You may have heard a new PadFone was on the way -- it's not like ASUS has been dropping obvious hints or anything. In any case, surprise! ASUS just unveiled a new model, the PadFone Infinity. Like other PadFones, this is a handset that slips into a tablet-like dock, allowing you to make use of a bigger screen. This time, though, it ships with Android
4.2 4.1.2, and the display has grown from 4.7 inches to five. The resolution is now 1080p (up from 720p), which comes out to 441 pixels per inch. Additionally, the tablet's 10.1-inch screen has a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200, up from 1,280 x 800 in the last-gen model. It's plenty bright, too, at 400 nits, but that's a slight step down from the last-gen model, which lit up to 500 nits.
What's more, the phone's gotten an upgrade on the inside: it now packs a quad-core, 1.7GHz Snapdragon 600 chip with an Adreno 320 GPU, some of the freshest components Qualcomm has to offer at the moment. Also on-board, you get 2GB of RAM to help boost performance, with your choice of either 32GB or 64GB of built-in storage. As far as connectivity, you're looking at EDGE, GPRS, GSM, WCDMA, LTE and DC-HSPA+, along with all the usual radios: WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC, A-GPS and even GLONASS. According to an ASUS rep, the device uses a nano-SIM rather than micro-SIM. Around back, ASUS has added a 13-megapixel autofocusing camera with an LED flash, five-element, f/2.0 lens and burst shooting at eight fps. There's a front camera too, capped at 2MP, in case you want to do the occasional video chat. Meanwhile, the 2,400mAh battery promises up to 19 hours of 3G talk time, and up to 40 with the dock attached.
Like every other PadFone that's been released, this won't be available in the US, but the phone-and-dock combo will cost £799 / €999 when it goes on sale in Europe this April. The phone is also headed to Asia, though we don't have any more details. You'll also have your choice of colors, we hear: gray, gold and hot pink, if that's what you're into. Check out our hands-on gallery for a closer look.
Update: Hands-on photos and video now added. You're welcome.
Update 2: The article has been updated to reflect the fact that the PadFone Infinity actually ships with Android 4.1.2 instead of 4.2.
ASUS PadFone Infinity
ASUS PadFone Infinity hands-on
Richard Lai and Sarah Silbert contributed to this report.
ASUS Announces PadFone™ Infinity
LTE smartphone with 5-inch Full HD display combines with a 10.1-inch tablet dock
for seamless mobile flexibility
Mobile World Congress, Barcelona, Spain (25th February, 2013) - ASUS today announced PadFone™ Infinity, a powerful LTE smartphone with a sleek metallic design and a 5-inch Full HD display that becomes a 10.1-inch tablet when docked to its companion PadFone™ Infinity Station. PadFone™ Infinity features Android 4.2 and groundbreaking mobile performance, thanks to its next-generation Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 600 quad-core processor and up to 19 hours* of 3G talk time.
"PadFone™ Infinity is the latest evolution of our PadFone™ line," said Jonney Shih, ASUS Chairman. "It combines incredible design with an uncompromised user experience derived from our Design Thinking philosophy."
Premium design with premium performance
With a slender unibody design crafted from aerospace-grade aluminum, ASUS PadFone™ Infinity is both beautiful and durable. The 5-inch screen features a 1920 x 1080 Full HD resolution with an extraordinary 441 pixels-per-inch for text so crisp it looks like a printed page and wonderfully detailed high-resolution images. 64GB of storage complements the class-leading Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 600 1.7GHz quad-core processor for a smooth and responsive premium Android experience, while 100Mbit/s LTE and 42Mbit/s DC-HSPA+ ensure super-fast web browsing and downloads.
ASUS PadFone™ Infinity features a high-performance 13-megapixel camera with an f/2.0 5-element lens that captures incredibly detailed images with no shutter lag. A dedicated image signal-processor enhances low-light image quality and enables PadFone™ Infinity to capture up to 100 sequential photos at 8 frames-per-second, while simultaneously recording 1080p Full HD video. PadFone™ Infinity can also output 1080p Full HD video via its micro-USB-compatible MyDP interface.
Share apps and mobile data instantly
The unique two-in-one nature of ASUS PadFone™ removes the tedious need to synchronize data between smartphone and tablet. Data and settings on PadFone™ Infinity are available instantly on PadFone™ Infinity Station upon docking, and running apps are smoothly reformatted to fit the larger display. Mobile data bills are also reduced, since a single data plan can be shared between both devices.
PadFone™ Infinity comes with new and exclusive ASUS apps, including SuperNote 3.1 for note taking, Story for creating stunning photo albums and ASUS Echo for voice control of PadFone™ Infinity.
PadFone™ Infinity has up to 19 hours of 3G talk time*, which increases to up to 40 hours when docked into PadFone™ Infinity Station. PadFone™ Infinity Station also has sufficient battery capacity to fully recharge the docked PadFone™ Infinity up to three times.
*Specifications may vary without prior notice. Options, pricing, performance and availability dependent upon region. For more details about the products mentioned in this press release, please visit http://press.asus.com .
Availability & Pricing - UK
The combined price of the ASUS PadFone™ Infinity and Infinity Station will be around SRP £799 (inc VAT). Exact price and availability will be announced closer to UK launch date.