2. Specifications, Display & Performance
ASUS PadFone S is equipped with an IPS LCD 1080p display and this means that the display is not short of pixels. You can find 441 pixels per inch and basically individual pixels are not differentiable. The pixel count is no match of those phones with Quad HD display but due to the price and the size of battery, I think Full HD is a good choice for this phone.
Apart from the high resolution, the display has very accurate colours. The colour is certainly not as popping as OLED displays, but they are more natural to my eyes. The colour temperature is right for my taste too. Anyway, you can adjust the colour saturation and temperature via the ASUS Splendid app.
The screen is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and there are no scratches at all after using it for some time. The fingerprints on the glass will usually be cleaned by my pockets and I did not have to clean it manually even once. However, the front glass is quite reflective and I have trouble to read what is on the screen if there is any direct light source around. Under certain lighting condition I have to tilt the phone to have a clearer look. However, the problem is not severe and the wide viewing angle helps a lot.
The brightness of the display is on par with other IPS display, but the auto brightness setting is letting it down. It can be unreliable sometimes as it turns the brightness too low, even though the room is well lit. If you want to look at the display under the sun, you would have to turn off the auto-brightness and cramp up the brightness to the maximum. In my testing period, I tend to adjust the brightness manually. If you do not feel that it is a chore or you prefer a dimmer display, I think you can live with it.
The minor problems are not enough to undo all the positives of the display.
Ultimately, I have been quite satisfied with the display. The minor problems are not enough to undo all the positives of the display. The resolution is high enough and the colours are eye-pleasing. The problem I had is not a deal breaker at all and they are not found alone in this phone only.
Speaking of performance of the PadFone S, there is nothing much to be discussed about as the phone can handle everything you throw at it without any problem. The impressive performance is one of the best reasons to buy this phone. Navigating through the UI, firing up apps, playing games and multitasking are done without any stuttering.
The quad-core 2.3GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor that keeps the phone ticking may not be the newest and most high-end processor in the market, it is still a very, very capable chipset. This is the very same chipset that powers major players in the market like the Samsung Galaxy S5, HTC One M8 and LG G3. One thing to be noted here is that ASUS PadFone S is the cheapest among all phones that are equipped with Snapdragon 801 processor to date. Other than the powerful hardware, the clean UI which we will discuss later is helping its case too.
To put it simply, the PadFone S may not be the fastest phone in the market, but it is fast enough for almost everyone to do anything.
The Adreno 330 GPU found in the phone is capable handle any graphic-related tasks. Playing full HD movies or any games is just a piece of cake for it. Graphic-heavy titles such as Asphalt 8 can be played smoothly with no skipped frames, even at the highest graphics settings. The graphics of the game look awesome and heavy gamers will not be disappointed.
The PadFone S has 2GB of RAM, which may sound quite less in comparison as the newer phones have 3 or 4 GB of RAM. However, I am convinced by the RAM management of the PadFone S. Most of the time the applications can be resumed instead of loading up all over again. While more RAM may sound like a good idea, the 2GB of RAM here is sufficient to provide a good multitasking experience while keeping the cost lower.
To put it simply, the PadFone S may not be the fastest phone in the market, but it is fast enough for almost everyone to do anything. Unless you come from a newer and more powerful phone (which is very unlikely for people who are considering this phone) , the performance of the PadFone S will not let you down.