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Asus Padfone 2 Announced – Quad-core Processor, LTE, Ultra-Light Body, and No U.S. Availability

Asus made the Padfone 2 official this morning, a device that they are selling as being “intuitive.” Just as its predecessor, the Padfone 2 is a smartphone that docks inside of a tablet shell to give you both a phone and tablet experience. While docked in the tablet, it’s still capable of making calls and using your wireless plan’s data, so for power users that aren’t interested in paying extra for a tablet data plan, this is the ultimate tech toy. 

On the spec front, the Padfone 2 packs many of the same specs that you’ll find in the LG Optimus G. It sports a quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro processor, 2GB RAM, a 4.7″ HD Super IPS+ display, LTE, 2140mAh battery, 13MP rear camera, 1.3MP front camera, and 16/32/64GB of internal storage. The tablet shell has a 10.1″ (1280×800) display, a 5000mAh battery, and a 1MP front camera.

The device will come in either black or white and will launch in Europe and Asia before the end of December.

The U.S. was not mentioned in the press release, and that should surprise no one. A device like this is anti-U.S. carrier. Allowing you to dock a phone inside a tablet and share its data plan will probably never happen with carriers like AT&T or Verizon, since they are now charging extra to have you add on a tablet to a shared data plan. There is a chance that Sprint or T-Mobile would take a shot, but knowing that they passed on the original Padfone, I’m not holding out hope.

It’s a shame really, because Asus has done a marvelous job with this device. The styling of the phone looks very high-end, the body of the phone and tablet when docked together is ultra-slim, and the weight together has been kept down to under the weight of most stand-alone tablets. Plus, they threw in LTE! Man, do I want one.

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Press Release

Live Life Intuitively with ASUS PadFone™ 2

Quad-core smartphone with incredible battery life and a thinner, lighter PadFone 2 Station deliver the ultimate mobile flexibility.

ASUS, a global leader in the new digital era, today announces PadFone™ 2. Building upon the successful PadFone combination of an Android smartphone and dockable tablet for incredible mobile flexibility, PadFone 2 consists of a higher specification quad-core, LTE-equipped smartphone and a completely redesigned tablet.

ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih unveiled PadFone 2 in front of the world’s media at a press conference in Milan, Italy. “Our relentless drive to innovate through our ‘Design Thinking’ philosophy has empowered us to create PadFone 2. It’s beautiful, it’s fast and, best of all, it’s intuitive,” said Mr. Shih.

PadFone 2 is a fully featured 4.7” Android™ smartphone with industry-leading specifications that docks with the unique PadFone 2 Station to become a lightweight, but fully featured, 10.1” tablet. Apps are seamlessly optimized on-the-fly to support both tablet and phone modes, with an instant transition between smartphone and tablet screen sizes.

Enlarge and charge

ASUS’ world-renowned ‘Design Thinking’ philosophy has significantly reduced PadFone 2 Station’s thickness and weight. At just 649g, the combined weight of both PadFone 2 and PadFone 2 Station is now lighter than most tablets on the market, and the dock mechanism has been redesigned to require just one swift step to use. PadFone 2 has also been subtly refined to increase its screen size to 4.7”, while reducing its thickness and weight to just 9mm at its thickest point and 135g, respectively.

Battery life is astounding, too. The higher-capacity PadFone 2 2140mAh battery provides up to 16 hours 3G talk-time and 13 hours Wi-Fi web browsing, while PadFone 2 Station’s 5000mAh battery gives up to 36 hours 3G talk-time. PadFone 2 Station’s internal battery also has enough capacity to recharge the docked PadFone 2 three times over.

Super phone, super performance

A 1.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 quad-core processor with 2GB of RAM ensures incredible PadFone 2 performance in both smartphone and tablet modes. The new 4.7” 1280 x 720 HD Super IPS+ display uses scratch-resistant Corning® Fit Glass and delivers sharp, detailed images with accurate colors, ultra-wide viewing angles and 550 nits brightness for stunning outdoor visibility.

A new 13-megapixel high-performance camera captures incredibly detailed images with no shutter lag. Burst mode can capture up to 100 shots at a blisteringly quick six shots per second, while simultaneously recording 1080p HD video at 30fps, or 720p HD video at 60fps. Low-light performance is also enhanced by the wide f/2.4 aperture and a dedicated image signal processor. Both PadFone 2 and PadFone 2 Station feature superlative sound quality too, thanks to ASUS SonicMaster technology and audio tuning by Waves, recipient of a Technical GRAMMY Award®.

Easy to share, easy to save

With capacities up to 64GB and 50GB of ASUS WebStorage provided free for two years, PadFone 2 offers endless possibilities for storing data. Data syncing between devices is also a thing of the past, since PadFone 2 storage is used by PadFone 2 Station when the two are connected, while NFC allows users to share webpages, Contacts and user recommendations from Play Store with others. Shared mobile data connectivity between smartphone and tablet also means just one data plan is needed for both devices, while support for up to 42Mbit/s DC-HSPA+ and 100Mbit/s LTE delivers super-fast web browsing and downloads.

User-friendly enhancements

PadFone 2 also features a new version of the SuperNote app that instantly converts handwritten notes made in multiple languages into editable text. Its Instant Translation tool also translates any word, phrase or sentence in an email, web page or app at a touch, without the need for a third-party translation tool.

Availability

PadFone 2 will be launched before the end of December in Europe (Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and Sweden) and Asia (Hong Kong, India, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and U.A.E). Availability in other countries will be announced at a later date.

  • http://www.CommercialClout.com MichaelADeBose

    Networking, telecom, trains, automobiles and architecture are all places where you can find much better outside of the US. This is an excellent device and the specs are awesome. It’s also the kind of device we should see more of to help fuel competition within the country and ultimately innovation. Yet, it is true, I do really want this device.

  • Jeff “Big Red”

    I am looking at this device and I’m all for it. Asus should take the next step and have the tablet dock into a laptop with a bigger screen of course! You could call it the lapadphone! LOL….. No seriously want this…. all joking aside….

    • Jeff “Big Red”

      And if they did do the laptop-tablet-phone I would probably buy in a heartbeat!!!

  • GovGeek

    Shut up and take my money!

  • Androidian0005

    I hope they bring this to the States. I know why the majors won’t carry it…however, I would switch carriers to get this in a heartbeat.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kerb7777 Pat Kerby

    I am going to be so mad if Verizon doesn’t grab onto this Phone! I want on really bad, please Come to the US Asus!!!!

  • Mikeg1969

    Am I missing something here?!?! This is a phone with a “Tablet shell” dock, this is the same premise as what Motorola tried to do with the Lapdocks. Essentially you are still using the phone with a bigger monitor if I am reading all of the above information correctly. You would think that AT&T and Verizon would definately get onboard with this as many people would use their phone even more. More usage = more data, when you talk about more data on a tiered plan the carrier wins. AT&T usually is more aggressive when it comes to phone variety and selection and Verizon………well we all know about all of the poor decisions Verizon makes. Power users will always be power users……I would have to guess the biggest reason the U.S. carriers are not carrying this is simply tablet sales for them are not the strongest…..when you have to enter a contract just to get a subsidized price then pay a monthly fee, a wireless tablet makes much more financial sense. Why buy a spend more and enter a monthly contract when you can just tether a wi-fi tablet?

    • Silver Veloz

      I was just talking about and showing someone my lapdock. Which is similar to the above, just not as advanced. But it does what I expect it to do. I’ve enjoyed the Lapdock and take it on vacations with me. I have enough phone storage (internal and external card) to carry a lot of information (pics/videos/files) with me. It’s great being able to stream movies or just surf the web on a bigger screen, being powered by the phone (4G LTE). Oh, by the way, I have the Motorola Droid Bionic (unlimited data). This padphone is really cool though.

  • Diablo81588

    Damn marketing speak. “HD Super IPS+” What a joke.

  • andrew galvin

    release just this phone in the US with LTE! I could do with out the tablet

  • Stevedub40

    This looks like an awesome device. It’s too bad that carriers and a good portion of Americans are too stuck on apple’s tip to appreciate a good piece of technology like this.

  • thenew3

    Since this device has LTE radio, would one be able to stick a verizon 4g sim card in it and have it work on verizon’s LTE network?

    • jonny6pak

      The LTE radio would have to work on Verizon’s frequencies (not sure if it does) and you would still need a CDMA radio for voice calls since Verizon doesn’t yet have VoLTE rolled out to everyone.

      • Tom Ball

        Does Europe and Asia have VoLTE? If not then the real question is if it’ll run on AT&T’s frequencies… Would love to know.

      • arthuruscg

        All we need is Google to lay free Google Voice over data and the argument goes away.

        • Eric

          Just use Groove IP and your good to go. This is what I plan on doing. If i can get confirmation it will work on Verizon’s LTE network.

  • Greyhame

    Wow. It’s a damn shame if this doesn’t come here. Something like this would honestly make me consider switching off of VZW and their stranglehold on me.

    • JoshGroff

      Import it and go with T-Mobile’s full unlimited prepaid plan for 69.99. Save $20 a month over what you’d pay if you got it subsidized.

      • Greyhame

        Only wish I had a T-Mobile phone to test out first. Here in central WI, things can get iffy quick.

        • JoshGroff

          They do have a 14 day policy, just get a free phone and try it out (or a higher end one since you’ll be returning it either way.) You’ll get hit with a restocking fee of course. ($50+a portion of the monthly bill)

          Alternatively, you can get a G2X or Sensation 4G off eBay/swappa reasonably cheap, get a prepaid SIM and try it out., but then you have to try to sell it and still lose a few bucks. ($30 5GB plan + ~$25 loss from seller fees and shipping) That’s assuming you can buy one and sell it for the same price, could end up making a few bucks with a good snipe.

        • Ibrick

          I’m in SE WI, and switched from TMo, paying 3 ETF’s to get away from them and their crap service. VZW had LTE rolled out in my area before TMo had 3g.. pathetic..

          • Greyhame

            Ouch. I recently moved up from the Milwaukee area and now I’m in an extended service area, but still rocking LTE if needed and it’s blazing fast too. Not sure many users are quick to adopt new tech up here, so there isn’t a lot of people on the LTE network.

  • ddevito

    THIS should have been called the Transformer tab….just sayin

    #amirite?

    • JoshGroff

      Especially with the keyboard dock. So much versatility.

  • znewman

    I wish these would come to the US

  • https://plus.google.com/110773438514346746273/ tjhrulz

    I wish it had on screen keys though.

  • Aaron

    This just makes so much sense. When I’m home I use my tablet, when I’m out I use my phone. This is just awesome. Damn dirty US carriers. *Puts money away*

  • David Verba

    I love living in such a free, democratic country, where the people matter more than large corporations. /end sarcasm

    • JoshGroff

      To think we tried to stop Microsoft from gaining that much power, and yet we let the carriers bend us over. It costs less per month for a home security system than a monthly charge for 1 smartphone. That’s messed up.

  • thebruce44

    Sometimes this country sucks. How can the carriers here get away with this? We are falling behind the rest of the world in data speed, and especially how much we pay for it.

  • Southrncomfortjm

    Will there be a GSM version sans LTE that could be imported and put on a prepaid plan? I want this device big time.

  • Chris Malkiewicz

    Stupid Question….. Couldn’t you just purchase from overseas and connect to a US carrier like Verizon or AT&T?

    • JoshGroff

      AT&T maybe. It’s pentaband GSM (should work with most GSM carriers.) I’m not sure what frequency the LTE chip is on, so I’m not sure if it will accept AT&T’s LTE, but it should at least work with their HSPA+.

      VZW would require a CDMA radio for voice and text. (Until they manage to implement VoLTE.)

  • Ibrick

    I really want this thing!
    If the reasoning behind no US carriers picking it up is true, not being able to charge an additional fee for the tablet data, couldn’t you argue that being able to use the tablet would encourage people to use more data?
    Just thinking out loud, as I really want this thing!

    • JoshGroff

      Sprint and T-Mobile should be the only two that care, VZW and AT&T get their money from tiered data. They’d only be losing $10 a month, but you’d probably have to end up throwing that into a higher data tier.

    • Aaron

      US carriers don’t want you to use more data. They want you to pay for it, but if you are using it you are adding to network congestion. They only want to upgrade their networks as little as possible to combat congestion, thus maximizing profits. That’s my take on the situation, anyway.

  • AlexKCMO

    If I was on AT&T, I’d buy this. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wished AT&T and VZW were on the opposite ends of network reliability. I’ve been salivating for this thing since the concept of the first one.

    Also, Android looks to be pretty stock with this thing.

    • bose301s

      Google Voice requires voice service to call people and it even uses your carrier minutes.

      • AlexKCMO

        Then I would just get a Skype number.

        $30 for a year.

        • bose301s

          That would work :)

  • Stew

    This should be the next Nexus…

  • yeahyouwithnnoname

    and apple said that galaxy phones looked like the iphone, look at this clone

    • JoshGroff

      I can see the resemblance too. It has a glass screen, icons, and the company name even starts with the letter A. ;)

    • Ibrick

      *insert requisite ‘Apple litigation joke’ here*
      Seriously.. This thing looks nothing like Apple has ever made.

      • JoshGroff

        That’s what makes it funny. You clearly missed the sarcasm.

        • Ibrick

          Now that I hear it in my head with the correct voice inflection, there’s the sarcasm.. stupid printed word.

          • JoshGroff

            That’s why I use /s or a wink. Print leads to so many problems.

  • Anthony Cardenas

    One eye sheds a tear of joy and amazement and the other, a tear of sorrow… Asus is one of my favorite companies but no US availability is a huge let down!

    • JoshGroff

      As long as it’ll work with T-Mobile’s HSPA+, I’d consider importing one when I get my tax return.

  • JoshGroff

    “If” T-Mobile gets this phone, I would switch in a heartbeat.

  • http://twitter.com/RonJigga Roshan John

    I want this so bad. Asus updates fast, and has great build quality. I think it totally makes sense to combine the tablet and phone.

  • http://twitter.com/fritzo2162 DougZ

    I’ve predicted smartphones eventually morphing into something like this— your phone is your digital office, and you just plug it into an input device depending on where you are. At home it could be a TV, at work it could be a workstation, etc. Asus seems to be making the first steps in that direction.

    • HotRodJohnson

      This is their 2nd Padfone, but don’t forget that Moto Lapdock too.

      • chaosrv

        Why not forget it? Moto has.

      • http://twitter.com/fritzo2162 DougZ

        I did say “steps” :) They’re the first to make a decent implementation of a phone plugging into a larger screen. I’m not including that mess that Moto did with their laptop docks. Ugh.

    • Cowboydroid

      I wonder who influenced your “prediction.” Could it be the dozens of other tech pundits saying the exact same thing?

      • http://twitter.com/fritzo2162 DougZ

        Or maybe I work in the industry and had a lot of foresight several years ago?

        • Cowboydroid

          Many people have been predicting this for years. I honestly doubt yours was an original thought.

          • http://twitter.com/fritzo2162 DougZ

            Not sure where I said I was the first one to think of this idea ever.

            I get the feeling you’re the Debbie Downer of your group.

  • chaosrv

    I am going to go out on a limb here and say the US carriers declined to pick this up precisely for the reason why power users would want one as stated in the very first paragraph – because they wouldn’t be able to charge an extra fee for tablet access.

    I understand companies want to make money. Hell, I do too. But wireless carriers are well…they’re whores.

    • JoshGroff

      Power users could also use a tethering app.

      • T4rd

        Yes, but this makes it all the more easier and carriers wouldn’t go for that. I thought it was retarded that AT&T/Verizon charged extra for tethering when the Atrix/Bionic lapdock was available. You’re not even tethering a device, you’re still using the phone’s OS and hardware, yet they charge you an extra $30/month just to connect it to a larger display and keyboard. It’s ridiculous.

        • JoshGroff

          There are free tethering apps. And of course some ROMs allow you to bypass the WiFi hotspot lock.

          • T4rd

            Well of course, I know that and use them. But that’s not the point here. The carriers want to charge you for everything they can think of or not offer it at all if they can’t charge you for it. That’s what Chaosrv (OP) is referring to.

    • http://twitter.com/morpheus282 William

      Verizon currently charges $10 per month to add a tablet to the shared data plan. I’d gladly pay an extra $10/month on my plan to have this device merely for the convenience of not duplicating my apps and data across devices.

      • JoshGroff

        Yet they also offer WiFi hotspot for free, so if your phone is typically on you, it costs nothing to have data on your tablet.

        • http://twitter.com/morpheus282 William

          Excellent point, and if I ever go to a shared plan I’ll be danged if I’m going to pay an extra $10 for the tablet. I’m just saying that if Verizon isn’t carrying this because they think it’ll cut into their tablet sales then they really need to take another look at their corporate strategy.

      • Anthony Cardenas

        How would you get it to work with verizon if its not available for the US… cause if all it costs is an extra 10 bucks why the hell not!!!

        • http://twitter.com/morpheus282 William

          You probably can’t get it to work with Verizon, I’m just saying that if they would offer it but with an extra $10 fee (since it’s a phone and a tablet) then I’d still go for it.

          • michael arazan

            I know Europe has barely gotten Lte started, and I haven’t read anywhere if it is LTE capable. If it is I’d love to get one and go into verizon, Just with the phone, and have them activate it for their network, then comeback with the tablet, plug it in and say thanks.

          • http://twitter.com/morpheus282 William

            That would be the way to go. Hopefully it’s affordable and that trick works, then I can use my grandfathered unlimited data on it and be one happly little geek.

  • chris125

    This might be worth importing. Asus makes nice hardware and is good with updates

  • Zach Grabill

    Heck, I’d take just the phone, as those specs look very, very promising. The Sony shooter is a great addition.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=200400756 Alexander Ma

    That’s really disappointing about no US release…I wonder how much importing it will be…

    • JoshGroff

      I don’t think it’d be that much. You could always head over to the local post office or UPS store and find out, people there are usually quite knowledgeable. (at least in my experiences.)

  • Greg Morgan

    This saddens me as I’ve heard very positive things about this phone. I really wish it was coming to the US. *Stomps Feet* Stupid US Carriers….

  • nightscout13

    No US availablity??? Come on ASUS D:<

    • http://www.droid-life.com Kellex B

      I know, I’m very sad about this. The original was a brilliant idea, and this thing looks to be as impressive as any smartphone on the market today.

      • Random

        What’s to stop them from releasing an unsubsidized model with US carrier bands?
        If AT&T or Verizon try to block them, couldn’t they get hit with antitrust?

        • jonny6pak

          Asus could release the phone in the US and carriers attempting to block the devices would most likely be an FCC violation. However, I can’t see a company releasing this thing in the US without any sort of carrier push. It’s going to cost the manufacturer a lot more to market the device. And without subsidies, it’s going to be quite expensive. The barriers to be successful are probably quite high.

          • arthuruscg

            Just release it on the Google Play store. Then the techies buy it and do all the work legal and marketing work for free.

  • http://www.facebook.com/DJock Matt DiGiacomo

    Holy shiiiiiiiiii-!

  • sdfdsfadf

    no docking station? not as useful.

    • http://twitter.com/Mechaphil Philip

      No software keys (on phone, obvs) or Bluetooth stylus, either. A step back, even with those specs.