ASUS PadFone S (PF500KL) is the most high-end smartphone offered by the Taiwanese company at this moment. While the specifications fall in the premium spectrum, the price is still very affordable like the rest of the offerings from ASUS. In fact, it is the cheapest among all phones that run on the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor. You can also dock it into its PadFone station to convert it into a 9″ tablet, as the name suggests.
ASUS Malaysia has loaned us a unit of the PadFone S and we really appreciate that. Unfortunately, we do not have the PadFone Station with us. Today, we are going to unbox this phone and to share our first impression on it. The full review is on the way!
ASUS PadFone S is priced at RM899 and this time, the PadFone Station is not bundled together. The optional tablet dock is available at RM499. It is nice for consumers that we have the choice to buy only what we need. I bet that this will make the PadFone S more appealing. Here are the full specifications for the device:
We have just reviewed two ASUS Fonepad 7 back to back, the entry level FE170CG and the better FE375CG. Both Fonepad 7s are launched in 2014. There is no question that Fonepad 7 FE375CG is the better tablet out of the two. However, it is priced at RM649(USD 200) while the FE170CG costs only RM429(USD 130). Can the improvement found in FE375CG justify the RM220 price difference?
Earlier this month, ASUS Malaysia has made the ASUS Fonepad 7 (FE375CG) officially available in Malaysia. The Fonepad 7 is a 7″ tablet with dual sim capability and given that we had just reviewed the cheaper Fonepad 7 FE170CG which is surprisingly solid for its price, we are excited by the arrival of its upgraded version. Also, ASUS Malaysia is kind enough to send us a unit for this review and we really want to thank them for their support.
Now I have been using the tablet for some time and it is time for us to see what is great and not so great about this tablet! You can jump to the conclusion for the whole impression if you are in a hurry.
What’s In The Box?
The packaging of ASUS Fonepad 7 FE375CG is very similar to the FE170CG. Their boxes are almost identical except that the picture in front is different and there is a model number at the bottom right hand corner. Nevertheless, the packaging is simple yet attractive.
The ASUS Fonepad 7 is a marriage between a phone and a tablet. Although ASUS calls it a ‘phablet’ where we usually refer as a phone with large display, the Fonepad 7 is actually a voice-enabled tablet rather than a big phone. Recently, ASUS had slashed the price of the 8GB model from RM599 (USD190) to RM429 (USD 140) which actually makes it one of the cheapest small tablet with telephony capability in the market. The price suggests that it is not a rather exciting product but it did change my mind after more than a week of using it .
Let’s find out how well it performs! Feel free to read the conclusion for the summary if you want to skip the extensive story.
This Fonepad is a loaned review unit from ASUS Malaysia. We really want to thank them for believing in us.
With its low price, we cannot expect to have everything great here. So ASUS has to decide what to be packed in and what to leave out. Here is the specification list:
The Design & Physical Look
The Fonepad 7 has 4 colour options, namely black, white, blue and red. The unit we received is black in colour but I have seen other models too. Personally I like the white and red ones. Although the blue and red models are more striking, all of them do possess the same simple feel. You can read the unboxing of ASUS Fonepad 7 for more on the external look.
In May, ASUS has made the Fonepad 7 (FE170CG) available in Malaysia and as its name suggests, is a hybrid of a phone and tablet. Although it seems to be quite late to discuss about this device, it is not actually so because of the recent huge price drop, which we will talk about it later. This suggests that now will be the correct time to have a reevaluation and review on this device.
This Fonepad is loaned to us by ASUS Malaysia and we would like to thank them for believing a young technology blog like us. It is our honor to be trusted by them.
What’s in the Box?
The box has a clean and nice look which rendered image of the Fonepad 7, the device name and the ASUS branding on top. The left hand side sports the Intel Inside logo as the device is powered by the Intel Atom processor. The right hand side shows the color options and the unit we have received is the black colored model.
Last week Microsoft announced the Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 and now it is available to developer preview unlocked phones, except HTC Windows Phones which have hardware related issues which need to be resolved first. The changes in this update include Live Folders, App Corner, multiple messages selection and other minor tweaks. Here’s my experience on Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1 on my Lumia 620.
Installing the Update
I did not receive the previous update (8.10.12400.899) as Microsoft has halted the distribution of updates to Developer Preview phones so I am getting the update together with Update 1 this time. This update bumped up my OS version of my phone to 8.10.14147.180.
The process completed without any error but it was quite slow given that the update is not a major one. It took me a full 2 hours to download and install it on my phone. The phone did turn quite warm in the process but not to an alarming temperature that I had to worry about.
This is probably the only feature most people care about. Although pinning tiles to the Start screen can give quick access to apps and provide useful information at the same time, our Start screen more often than not get messy over time. I used to have a very long Start screen because a lot of things were pinned there but not anymore as I had removed a lot of tiles away because I was having trouble to find the tile I want in a split second. Folders introduced by Nokia and Samsung (downloaded with the proxy trick to my Lumia 620) are not helping as they are very slow.
We all know that Xiaomi is making a lot of noise in the market recently due to the specifications-to-price ratio of its products. Mi3 is no exception, especially after the price drop from RM889 (USD 280) to RM769 (USD 240 ). I have posted about the unboxing and hands on earlier. But how does it actually perform? Let’s find out!
Before we get started, I would like to clarify that the Mi3 I reviewed is using the stable ROM although I understand that developer ROM is available. This is due to the fact that common users will be using the stable build and prefer not to mess around with the device too much. I hope you understand. If you find the review too lengthy, feel free to proceed to the conclusion for a brief view.
Design & Physical Appearance
The dimensions of the phone are 144×73.6×8.1mm. While the phone is quite thin for a mid-range phone, its not the case when you consider it as a flagship of a company. I think the thickness is still acceptable but the bezels are too thick, especially the top and the bottom. It is longer and broader than the cheaper Huawei Honor 3C I reviewed earlier. This will create some problems for using it with single hand. I hope the next generation will have a smaller bezel. It weighs 145g, which is just fine.
I was pretty excited when Xiaomi came to Malaysia officially and I had written on why this company deserves our attention. When they officially started the sales, the stock finished in minutes and I am lucky enough to get both the Mi 3 phone and the Mi Power Bank. I shall do a small review on the power bank after I have enough tries on it as we know that trying on battery performances took time. Now let’s come back to Mi3! Mi3 is priced at RM889 and the specifications are great that it almost can rival the other flagship phones with less than half of their prices. So this is why people are setting their eyes on it. This is just the unboxing and hands on. Full review
coming soon is here now!
If you have bought things from Xiaomi before, you can skip this part actually. Officially Xiaomi only sells their product through their own websites and they do not have any retail stores at all. So if you are buying from the other sources, the chance is that you might have problem regarding warranty and you have to pay more for it so I would advise you to buy everything from www.mi.com/my only.
In Huawei Honor 3C Review (Part I), my opinion on the design, hardware, display, performance, battery life and connectivity for this phone has been shared. If you miss the first part do feel free to read it before continue here.
The cameras on Huawei Honor 3C are one of the major selling point for the phone. Starting with the rear camera, it is a camera with 8 megapixel BSI (Backside Illuminated) sensor from Sony. BSI sensors are widely used in smartphone nowadays due to its better low light performance compared to front-illuminated sensors but there’s actually nothing new here. There’s a f/2.0 aperture which is quite big and it should be performing well in low light condition too. For the lens Huawei says it’s a wide angle lens and it’s true. The image taken is wider than normal camera and there is no funny distortion around the edges which can be found in photos taken with some wide angle lens.
When we deal with budget smartphone, very often it isn’t a perfect experience and we are fully aware of that. Unlike high-end flagship phone where no compromise on software and hardware should exist, sacrifices have to be made somewhere for the price to go down. But where should it be stripped down? Different OEMs have different answer and their varieties of answer might suite your need or maybe not. Last week, I posted about the unboxing of a budget phone from Huawei, Honor 3C and my first impression on it. Now here’s my final thought of it, the full review of this phone and let’s find out did Huawei made some wise choice over here. The review will be made to 2 parts and this is the first one.
Design & Physical Appearance
The look of the phone is important, isn’t it? Honor 3C comes in a beautiful blue box shown in the unboxing post and opening the box will reveal the Honor 3C. The design of the phone is very simple and sleek, and that is a very good thing. The phone does not look cheap at all for the design. I would believe if someone tell me it prices twice of its current retail price. It is rectangular shaped plastic phone and slightly curve at the corner. I have a white model and only the back of the phone is white while the front and the body is black. Honor 3C comes in 6 color options but you don’t really need to have a dilemma here. You can easily replace the back in the future if you feel that you want to have a change in color. You can also choose the flip cover that covers the front and the back, which is good for protection without additional bulk.