MWC 2013: Asus announces Padfone Infinity combo tablet/phone

After weeks of teasing their MWC announcements, Asus has officially unveiled the PadFone Infinity. The new phone/tablet combo comes with improved internals to make for a package that competes directly with other 2013 flagships and brings the unique PadFone experience to a high-end smartphone.

The PadFone Infinity is two devices bundled into one. We will start with the good news. The Infinity ships with Android 4.2, so at least the software experience should be on par with the rest of flagships around. The display has grown from the 4.7-inch one in the PadFone 2 to a 5-inch Super IPS+ LCD, and the full HD tag means you get 441 pixels per inch. It matches the likes of the Xperia Z and HTC Butterfly and brings a 1080p resolution to the table.

The Asus PadFone brings two full HD displays in one retail package

The Asus PadFone brings two full HD displays in one retail package

The PadFone Infinity’s tablet component, or what Asus calls the Infinity Station, retains the 10.1-inch screen, but there’s full HD resolution here too: it now has a resolution of 1920 x 1200 pixels, up from 1280 x 800 pixels in the last model.
The Infinity’s insides have been upgraded too. It packs a quad-core Snapdragon 600 chip clocked at 1.7GHz and an Adreno 320 GPU, a combination that is gracing more and more flagships. The RAM has also been increased from 1GB to 2GB.
Buyers can choose to get the 32GB or the 64GB version of the PadFone Infinity. However, there is no microSD card slot, which is an odd decision considering one could have been fitted into the PadFone’s tablet component without much issue.
You get the usual connectivity options such as WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, A-GPS and even GLONASS. The device uses a nano-SIM rather than micro-SIM.
On the back, Asus has added a 13 megapixel auto-focus camera, an LED flash, a five-element f/2.0 lens and burst shooting at 8fps. The front-facing camera on both the tablet component and the phone is a 2 megapixel one. When docked, the PadFone uses the phone’s primary camera to take rear shots.
Besides running Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, the PadFone Infinity comes with come Asus-exclusive apps. These include SuperNote for note taking, Story for creating a more immersive photo album and ASUS Echo for voice control.
Battery life on the PadFone Infinity sounds promising. The 2,400mAh battery within the phone is good enough for about 10 hours of real-world use. The company claims the device can give you up to 19 hours of 3G talk time and 40 hours when docked into Infinity Station. The dock also has enough juice (5000 mAh) to fully recharge the docked PadFone Infinity up to three times, according to the company.
Here are the key specifications of the PadFone Infinity:

  • 5-inch Super IPS+ full HD display (phone) and 10.1-inch display with 1920 x 1200 resolution (tablet)
  • 4G, LTE Cat3 up to 100Mbps DL, 3G, DC-HSPA+ up to 42Mbps, GSM, EDGE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/ac/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, dual-band, Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Bluetooth 4.0 with A2DP
  • GPS with A-GPS support and GLONASS
  • 13 megapixel primary camera with LED flash and 2 megapixel front camera
  • 32 or 64GB internal storage
  • MicroUSB 2.0 with MHL link and USB Host support

And now for the bad news: the combined price of the Asus PadFone Infinity and the Infinity Station will be around £800 (approx Rs 65,000). The PadFone will arrive in Europe first, followed by Asia. Those looking to buy will have grey, gold and pink colour options to choose from.