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Hands-on: ASUS PadFone Infinity

Hands-on: ASUS PadFone Infinity


Hands-on: ASUS PadFone Infinity

Aggressive Product Roll Out?

Barely four months after unveiling the PadFone 2, ASUS today introduced a new member to the PadFone family - the PadFone Infinity.

The ASUS PadFone Family
Device ASUS PadFone Infinity ASUS PadFone 2 ASUS PadFone
OS Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich
(Upgradeable to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean)
Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich
(Upgradeable to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean) 
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 quad-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 8260A dual-core 1.5GHz
RAM 2GB 2GB 1GB
Storage 32 / 64GB 32 / 64GB 16/32/64GB
Display 5-inch Super IPS 4.7-inch Super IPS+ 4.3-inch Super AMOLED
Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels 1280 x 720 pixels 960 x 540 pixels
Cameras

Rear: 13-megapixel / autofocus / BSI sensor / F2.0 aperture / five-element lens

Front: 2-megapixel

Rear: 13-megapixel / autofocus / BSI sensor / F2.4 aperture / five-element lens

Front : 1.2-megapixel 
Rear: 8-megapixel / autofocus / LED flash / F2.2 lens / 1080p video recording

Front: VGA
Battery Capacity 2400mAh 2140mAh 1520mAh

Dimensions
Weight

143.5 x 72.8 x 6.3 - 8.9mm / 141g 137.9 x 69 x 9mm / 135g 128 x 65.4 x 9.2mm / 129g

Unlike the other two PadFones, the PadFone Infinity seems to be the most solid mobile device ever built by ASUS. It sports a chassis made up of aerospace-grade aluminum, which exudes a premium feel. In addition, it has a brushed metallic finish on its back which reminds us of its tablet counterparts, the Transformer Pad Infinity and Transformer Pad Prime.

We could not help but wondered if the design teams at ASUS and HTC share ideas on building their next flagship models. The recently announced HTC One also comes in a full aluminum body with zero-gap construction, which is a remarkable change from the polycarbonate-clad chassis of its flagship devices in the past year.

Nonetheless, we think that the ASUS PadFone Infinity and HTC One are the two most well-built Android smartphones we've seen in recent times and other Android vendors ought to take cues from them on making great hardware. Android as a mobile OS has improved drastically over the years, but hardware appeared to take a back burner these days as companies get embroiled in cut-throat price wars.

ASUS jumped on the 5-inch bandwagon, and joined the likes of HTC and Sony with a 5-inch Super IPS display on the PadFone Infinity. After handling the device for a few minutes, we found the display to be extremely sharp and vibrant although the HTC Butterfly still gains the upper hand with its optical lamination and Super LCD 3 display.

Similar to the HTC One, the PadFone Infinity is equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core 1.7GHz processor and 2GB RAM. We managed to run some benchmark tests on the HTC One today at MWC 2013, and the results were great. It is likely that the PadFone Infinity will deliver similar or even better results.

While HTC preaches that higher megapixels doesn't necessarily mean better image quality, ASUS opted to go against the rule and throws in a 13-megapixel rear camera sensor on the PadFone Infinity. ASUS claims that the PadFone Infinity is able to take great images under low light conditions due to the f/2.0 aperture lens. It will definitely be interesting to put its claims to the test by pitting the PadFone Infinity against the HTC One, Nokia Lumia 920 and Sony Xperia Z.

As with all PadFones, the PadFone Infinity comes with a new PadFone Station which is marginally bulkier than the PadFone 2 Station. As points of reference, the new PadFone Station is 1.6mm longer, 0.8mm wider, 0.3mm thicker and 16g heavier. Most consumers will not be able to tell the differences as we did not feel it during our hands-on. It remains to be seen whether the new PadFone Station could accommodate the PadFone 2, and we will only find out when we receive the review unit.

The PadFone Station sees an upgrade in its display resolution (1920 x 1200 pixels) from 1280 x 800 pixels. It houses an embedded 5000mAh battery which can boost up to 40 hours of 3G talk time on the PadFone Infinity.

The ASUS PadFone Infinity will be available globally in April with a price tag of EUR 999 (inclusive of the new PadFone Station). It will come in three colors: titanium gray, champagne gold and hot pink.

Comparing the ASUS PadFone Infinity, HTC Butterfly and Sony Xperia Z
  ASUS PadFone Infinity HTC Butterfly Sony Xperia Z
Display 5-inch Super IPS 5-inch Super LCD 3 5-inch TFT
Resolution 1920 x 1080 pixels 1920 x 1080 pixels 1920 x 1080 pixels
OS Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 quad-core 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core 1.5GHz
RAM 2GB 2GB 2GB
Storage 32 / 64GB 16GB
(microSD support up to 32GB)
16GB
(microSD support up to 128GB)
Front Camera 2MP 2.1MP 2MP
Rear Camera 13MP autofocus 8MP autofocus 13MP autofocus
Battery 2400mAh 2100mAh 2330mAh
Dimensions 143.5 x 72.8 x 6.3 - 8.9mm 143 x 70.5 x 9.08mm 139 x 71 x 7.9mm
Weight 141g 140g 146g