ASUS Padfone S LTE Review: Great Value

ASUS started its Padfone series back in 2012. As the name suggests, it's a 2-in-1 smartphone and tablet. The phone unit docks into the station for big-screen tablet interaction and extended battery life.

Since the inception, the Padfone series have focused on premium materials, flagship specs and large tablet form. Early this year, ASUS launched a little-brother variant, Padfone Mini, which transforms a 4-inch smartphone to a 7-inch tablet. I quite like the smaller form factor, powered with budget specs and at a low price for the entry market. But I didn't get a chance to review it as ASUS decided not to focus on this model in Singapore.

To my delight, ASUS remembered my interest in the Padfone Mini and sent the Padfone S to me one week before the official Singapore announcement so that I could prepare for this review.


The Padfone series is the only solution in the market to achieve a converged phone+tablet experience. There is no need to sync your apps, files, chat history, media across multiple devices and waste your precious data counter. Use the phone on the go, and dock to the tablet station and continue working on the larger screen.

Unlike the earlier Padfones, the new Padfone S is priced for the masses. The phone unit has a removable back - but not removable battery - with similar matt coating as the Zenfone series. The companion Padfone Station is in 9-inch size with thick bezels, providing a comfortable grip and is more compact than earlier Padfone models, which are all 10-inch (except the 7-inch Padfone Mini). Both the phone and tablet are fitted with full-HD display panels so images and text look crisp.

As for the Padfone S functionality, there are no major surprises if you are familiar with the previous Padfones and the new ZenUI (as covered in the Zenfone 6 review).


With the new Padfone S, ASUS continues their commitment to create transformable multi-mode devices. I like this new Padfone S because it comes in a smaller Station which translates to better portability. It would be awesome if ASUS creates multiple-sized Stations to cater for wider consumer needs.

The Padfone S, together with the Padfone Mini, is a good breakaway from the earlier Padfone releases that were sold at a premium price. If you like the idea of an integrated solution to access your phone contents through a large tablet, there is no other device but Padfone.

The new Padfone S may have a few performance hiccups, but at half the price of competitors' flagship models, I am willing to overlook these minor challenges for the unique experience. If you have been hesitating to get a Padfone for the longest time, wait no further. The Padfone S is the best bang for your buck.

Reviewed by Chester Tan
Rating: 4 of 5

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