back to article Asus FonePad: You may feel a bit of a spanner

Do you really need a smartphone and a tablet? One overly expensive device with a screen and a battery that are both just a bit too small for comfort in this day and age to use for voice calls and cellular data, and a larger, Wi-Fi-connected gadget with a 7- or 8-inch screen for browsing the web, reading ebooks and watching …


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  1. Whitter
    Thumb Up

    Gold Star

    "As for looking a berk when using it in public, well, as a matter of principle I try not to use my phone when other people are nearby because I prefer not to inflict my conversations on complete strangers so it really wasn’t an issue."

    You sir are a Gentleman!

    1. Arctic fox
      Thumb Up

      @Whitter Re:"You sir are a Gentleman!"

      Indeed he is, clearly one of the old school. My observation of the kind of behaviour that he shuns is that where certain brain dead planks types engage in it it is usually the size of the mouth rather than the phone that is the issue!

    2. exanime

      Re: Gold Star

      Yes, I also like to keep my calls between me, whomever I'm calling and the NSA spooks

    3. Amorous Cowherder

      Re: Gold Star

      Ah yes! When forced to call while in a crowded space, the agony of getting the right volume so they can hear you at the other end of the call versus not annoying everyone around you with your personal business. Some of us do still care about those around us, even if those around us don't care about us.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Only the most

      Only the most confident of people could carry off using this phone, but I think being seen in public using the phone and being called a spanner are the least of your worries.

      You might get beaten up but at least they'll only steal you wallet, not your phone.

  2. Thomas 4

    Sounds promising

    As for the issue of looking like a berk when making a phone call, a bluetooth headset fixes that problem quite nicely.

    1. Graham Dawson

      Re: Sounds promising

      Why yes, it almost guarantees it will be so.

    2. NogginTheNog

      Re: Sounds promising

      Although with modern miniscule BT headsets you then have the problem of people looking at you strangely, or trying to reply to your random utterances, as they think you're talking to yourself!

    3. Marvin the Martian
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Sounds promising

      bad idea. How can I watch a vid while on the phone with my boss, if it's one device?

      Or choose which of the two to run down if no charger at hand?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sounds promising

      'As for the issue of looking like a berk when making a phone call, a bluetooth headset fixes that problem quite nicely.'

      True you won't look a 'berk' instead you'll just look like a knob.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looking at the size

    It reminds me of Dom Jolly, "I'm on the train !"

    1. Andy Roid McUser

      Re: Dom Joly - prophet.

      How we laughed at Dom Joly's Trigger Happy TV, whilst he walked around shouting into a three foot Nokia. We were all blissfully mistaking a comedy show for what was in fact a peek into the future from our modern day Nostradamus.

      Dom Joly is not who we think he is.....

      1. AMB-York Silver badge

        Re: Dom Joly - prophet.

        Giant rabbits in shop windows. It's not safe to go out at night.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Looking at the size

      Baker Street station features a Dom Jolly advert within about two metres of a phone pad advert!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's pretty obvious that if you make a humongous phone that even an Intel Atom will have good battery life.

    This device has a 4270 mAh battery!!! which is around 2-4 times what many phones have. Samsung's Galaxy S4 for example has a 2600 mAh battery.

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      which makes it a good thing surely. Bigger screen + much bigger battery = win

      1. Nigel 11

        Bigger screen + much bigger battery = win

        Unless you start to notice the extra weight?

    2. Mark .

      ASUS's ARM powered Nexus 7 has a 4325mAh battery. The Intel powered Orange San Diego has a 1460mAh battery.

      I think you'll find that larger devices have larger batteries, whether ARM or Intel (partly because they might as well make use of the space, and party because larger displays need consume more battery).

      Since Samsung have chosen Intel for their upcoming Galaxy Tab 3 10", they don't seem to have a problem with it.

  5. greifpad

    i wish this had been around 4 months ago before I bought my Nexus 7. My Galaxy S Plus is getting a bit long in tooth (even after a revitalising rooting and installing SmoothieJB custom ROM) and needs replacing. But I don't want to replace the Nexus 7 which is a great piece of kit. Downside on this Fonepad is the lack of a camera which means for many people it can't replace their existing smartphone.

  6. jerry 4

    Not sure if 3G means something different in the US and the UK, but it would have been nice to tone down your snark and explain how a 3G signal pulls down 21Mbps.

    Is this the same as US TMo's HSPA+? Can I "expect" 21Mpbs on US TMo?

    1. Tom 38 Silver badge

      This phone supports HSPA+, which is a 3G technology. I think in the US, you are told this is a 4G technology and pay more for it.

      HSPA+ UL:5.76 Mbps/DL:21 Mbps

      3G :

      WCDMA :


      1. Danny 14 Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        and whilst ive never had 21Mbps "3" has given me 10Mbps reliably in places (i.e. at my office and at home if I get a good signal) so it does work.

        1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          I get regular 15Mbps with "3"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      What is this 3G you speak of?

      Oh that thing you get in towns & cities, except really built up ones?

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        If you go with a real 3G network like 3, they have considerably more 3G coverage than other providers. You can actually use it out and about, rather than providers like O2 or Vodafone, where 3G really does just drop out as soon as you leave the town.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    if it comes with one (as it should), methinks I will... consider. Strongly.

    1. Annihilator

      Re: gps

      Due to the size of it, it comes with two GPS chips. One to locate the top half, one to locate the other.

      1. Jan 0

        Re: gps

        Two GPS chips? Better than that, from the Asus Specifications: GPS & Glonass, G-Sensor, E-compass

        It's a shame that it doesn't have a still camera. Is the screen brighter than a Nexus 7?

      2. tony2heads

        Re: gps

        also two clocks - in case the left and right are in different time zones

        1. pepper

          Re: gps

          Actually, you will find that that is to sync whichever side of the tablet is higher then the other, relativity is something to watch out for!

  8. Big_Ted
    Thumb Up

    Got one and its perfect for what I want.

    I need a working phone on me at all times so have to have sims with 2 different operators.

    That would mean 2 phones plus a tablet for when I don't want to use my glasses or want a better browser experience etc.

    So I got one of these, have used it twice for phone when 3 signal dropped and its great for that, use internal sim for the web etc and have the bonus of hotspot on phone if no signal on it.

    So for those of us that must have 2 sims to ensure we can call for help if needed then this is a great choice.

    Oh and its as goog as the nexus IMHO plus feels better in the hand.

  9. Richard Gadsden

    Does anyone make a bluetooth handset?

    Not a headset, a handset.

    Decent speaker, decent mic, bluetooth, proper buttons for dialling and enough screen to look up a contact.

    Something like a 6310i formfactor?

    The fonepad would be perfect with one of those.

    1. Graham Dawson

      Re: Does anyone make a bluetooth handset?

      I was wondering the same thing. According to google there are some possibilities out there, though they don't seem to have any dialling options.

      1. Nagy, Balázs András

        Re: Does anyone make a bluetooth handset?

        There was an ASUS side-project a few years back that envisioned a tablet and a "dumb" bt handset, but they pulled the plug on it sadly... I can't remember the name, but yeah, it sounded a great idea.

    2. Stu

      Re: Does anyone make a bluetooth handset?

      Can't quite tell if you're joking or not! Surely the point of this device is to eliminate the need to carry around any devices sub 5 inches, aka smartphones, dumbphones, general plastic lumps.


      I do, however, get where you're coming from, as you'll never catch me walking around outside with a BT headset dangling from my ear, kind of like how a million fat builders and taxi drivers do.


      As for the 6310i form factor, I was thinking perhaps WAY thinner, something clamshell designed, that is as unobtrusive in the pocket as a piece of corrugated cardboard.

    3. Matt Piechota

      Re: Does anyone make a bluetooth handset?

      Sorry, out of stock. I have the black model, but I so would have bought the red had it been available when I bought it!

      1. J. Cook Silver badge

        Re: Does anyone make a bluetooth handset?

        I have the red one. it works pretty decently, although the button and internal wiring is super delicate. I ended up having a friend of mine who is better with a soldering iron wire a more durable switch to it.

    4. NogginTheNog

      Re: Does anyone make a bluetooth handset?

      Google "phone handset bluetooth"...

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Does anyone make a bluetooth handset?

      Acer actually did make one, which fitted into the old compact flash slot on some of their PCs. However, it only charged in the CF slot so was useless unless a laptop was around.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Does anyone make a bluetooth handset?

        Take one Bluetooth headset, one chunky pen and some superglue- sorted!

        Actually, a pen-sized Bluetooth handset (that lives in one's breast pocket, for example) would be a more useful device for many people than a 'smart watch'... it could do simple notification alerts too, maybe a simple LCD screen for dispaying th name of incoming calls / SMS.

        One could hold it to ones ear like a normal phone, or perhaps perch it behind the ear like a builder does a pencil.

        Advanced gyro-equiped models could act as a paperless pen - sending handwriting to the connected phone/tablet. And let's go wild, and stick a roller-ball cartridge in there!

    6. BogBeast

      Re: Does anyone make a bluetooth handset?

    7. Paul.d.R
      Thumb Up

      Re: Does anyone make a bluetooth handset?

      Samsung HM5000 ?

  10. Jess

    I was very interested, until I saw the processor.

    This with an ARM processor, decent camera, gps (if it hasn't already) and dual sims would be ideal.

  11. Peter Ford

    No Camera?

    Surely that just makes it cover two out of three bases again, like other devices!

    I love the fact that I have a camera on my smart phone, but hate the tiny screen, so I use my tablet for browsing and stuff...

    Why can't these manufacturers just come up with one device that actually does all the things we want it to (for a realistic price).

    It would have added less than a tenner to the price to put a basic 5mp snapper in the case, surely?

    1. AbelSoul

      Re: No Camera?

      My sentiments entirely.

      I was getting increasingly tempted as I read through the review until I got to the part where it explained there's no camera.

      Deal breaker, unfortunately.

      Close, Asus, but no cigar.

      1. Greencat

        Re: No Camera?

        Same hear. The crazy thing is that the Asian version does have a camera - but less storage.

    2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: No Camera?

      Not a deal-breaker for me, but it might make me think twice. I hardly ever have a use for a fixed-focus, non-zoom, very wide-angle camera, but I've used it once or twice to document incidents when getting a real camera would be impractical.

  12. Interceptor


  13. PatientOne

    I bet the police will love this one...

    Can you imagine how easy it will be to catch motorists using a phone this size while driving?

    1. BlinkenLights

      Re: I bet the police will love this one...

      That would require police being out on patrol keeping an eye open for offending motorists. Nowadays enforcement is left to speed cameras alone.


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