The Good – The dual-SIM feature, battery and overall performance.
The Bad- Camera is just average while screen and audio could have been better though it is good than many in this range!
Asus is one of the famous brands in the computers and tablet market, and has capitalized well on the voice calling tablets for a long time now. After launching the Fonepad 7 last year and an improved version of it later, Asus, the Taiwanese giant is back with another tablet, or maybe I should say another improved version with dual-SIM which has been launched in the Indian market priced at Rs. 12, 999.
While the demand for dual-sim phones was always there, which was evident by the large no of handsets launched by equally large no of companies, a dual-sim tablet is something new on the platter and we’ll have to do a lot of guessing work about how the device may fare in the market and how much popularity does a dual-SIM Tablet get. Asus being one of the first major international brand to launch such a device, have kind of taken a risk and now we’ll review it and see whether it’s worth the money.
Table of Contents
Build and design of Asus Fonepad 7
Talking about the design then if you have seen the earlier versions of the Fonepad then you can get an idea about how this may look. It’s doesn’t vary much in design from it’s predecessors. Made up of plastic mostly, it follows the philosophy of conservative utility type design. The front side of the Fonepad 7 features the 7 inch IPS display screen which is surrounded by a wide black bezel which features a glossy finish.
Just above the display is placed the Chrome earpiece and 1.2 MP front camera below which is located near the Asus logo. Back panel is a little curved and features a matte greyish finish which really looks very nice.
On the backside of the device is 5 Megapixel camera lens located in the middle and there is the Asus logo which is coloured silver also on the back. The power and Volume Rocker key are also located at the back and are positioned a little towards left and sport matte finish. Though there positioning may look unusual to you but they are easy to use and reach and gives good feedback.
On the right side you will find 3 slots, two for the micro SIM cads and another one for your MicroSD card. There is a plastic flap covering it which may look fragile to you but is actually very good.
The speaker grill is in the back of the tablet towards the bottom. Now what happens because of this is when you put your tablet on table with it’s back lying, the sound gets muffled. If only Asus had placed the speaker at the front like in earlier version of Fonepad 7, that would have been a better construction choice.
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Display of the Asus Fonepad 7
Display in the Fonepad 7 Dual-SIM is a 7 inch IPS with 1280×800 px resolution. Though it is not a Full HD display, you won’t notice much of the pixellation. The brightness is not on the higher side in the Asus Fonepad 7 so viewing content in sunlight will take some efforts. Viewing angles are satisfactory but side angles and oblique viewing is not good and everything on screen will appear crisp and sharp and clear but not in all cases.
User Interface of the Asus Fonepad 7
The OS in Asus Fonepad Dual-SIM is rather old one, it still runs on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and has a custom user interface i.e. the ZenUI on the surface of it. The UI elements have been skinned like the Notification tray and an another button with the Android on-screen navigation keys for launching widget like utility apps. These widget like mini apps take the advantage of the big display and they can run on top of other apps. There is also a floating apps/widgets system which is very useful.
Asus offers a number of pre-loaded apps with the Fonepad 7 including an app to calibrate the display and tinker settings like temperature, saturation and hue, and App Lock utility to password protect apps and the Asus WebStorage app. Overall, software experience in the Fonepad 7 Dual Sim is good even though not much has changed if you compare it with the previous versions of the device. The Zen UI has got some nifty features which we have covered in our video review.
Check out our gallery of the Asus Fonepad 7 in the below images!
Camera of the Asus Fonepad 7
Asus Fonepad 7 have a a 5-megapixel rear camera and a 1.2 Megapixel front-facing camera. One bad thing is that there’s no LED flash at the back which makes it difficult to take photos in low-light conditions.
There is a custom Camera app coming with the Asus Fonepad 7 that includes the ability to play with granular settings for attributes like White balance, ISO, and Exposure Value, among others. The app also offers burst mode and face detection. The quality of pictures shot with Asus Fonepad 7 Dual Sim is average at best. These pictures can be used for social sharing and casual use but nothing beyond that. The front camera while being good for Skype and video chats, just take average quality selfies. The rear camera can capture videos 1080p quality and they are just decent enough to be polite.
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Performance of the Asus Fonepad 7
Fonepad 7 Dual Sim is powered by a 1.2GHz Intel Atom Z2520 dual-core processor (Clover Trail Plus) and 1GB RAM which makes it work fine without any lags while you will navigate through the home screen and app launcher or switch between the apps. Asus Fonepad 7 has an 8GB internal storage, out of which 5.21 GB is available to users. Though that Storage can be expanded up to 64GB with the help of a microSD card. It offers Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS connectivity options but no FM radio. The tablet was able to play HD videos very smoothly without much hassle and supports all major video file formats. Fonepad 7 Dual Sim comes with a 3,910mAh battery and will last you more than a day even if you put the screen brightness at the highest level and use 3G data all the time. You’ll be able to make about 2-3 hours of phone calls, play some casual games and browse the web in this time period. The tablet can also play videos continuously for 6.5 to 7 hours on full brightness and sound settings.
Gaming performance of the Asus Fonepad 7
Games like Subway Surfers and Temple Run 2 ran well without any lags or hiccups when we tested them. But graphics intensive games like Amazing Spiderman, Riptide GP2 and Asphalt 8 with their visual quality set on high showed signs of weariness sometimes and there was a little lag and missed frames too.
Many brands have their own offerings of dual-SIM smartphones available in Indian market which is one of the biggest smartphones market. ASUS has gone one step further with their Fonepad 7 Dual-SIM, the first Dual-SIM tablet in world by a major company. Although a number of local Indian brands offer dual-sim tablets from months but the Fonepad 7 is one of the few that boast of decent hardware specifications, good build quality and above average battery backup.
With a price of Rs 12,999, Asus Fonepad offers good value for money considering the connectivity options it offers along with relatively new software.
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