Android L is on its way, but people still want KitKat. It's true. If I were sitting around with a device still running, say, Android 4.1, I'd want an update to something newer, and I'm sure you would (or do) too. Well, Asus Padfone Infinity and Fonepad Note 6 owners now have their chance to take a bite out of a sweeter, more recent version of Android. Asus has announced the immediate availability of fresh firmware for both devices.
I've been lusting after ASUS' ambitious Padfone devices ever since they were announced way back in 2012. But since ASUS is a company that focuses on its home market first, we haven't seen hide nor hair of the docking smartphone-tablet hybrids over here in the United States. According to an Engadget interview with ASUS CEO Jerry Shen, that could change as soon as the second quarter of next year.
The interview is a lengthy one, but the juicy bit is near the end: Shen says that ASUS is partnering with a "big operator" in the United States to launch the next iteration of the Padfone on our shores.
It has only been a few months since Asus announced the original PadFone Infinity, but the new version of the phone-tablet hybrid was just outed in Taiwan. This is a spec bump on the last PadFone, which moves from Snapdragon 600 to 800, but that's not all.
Just like the last PadFone, this one has a 5-inch 1080p screen, which is upped to a 10-inch display at the same resolution when the phone is in the tablet dock.
Yesterday, we attended a press conference at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona where we were treated not only to the unveiling of ASUS' new Padfone Infinity and aptly-named Fonepad 7" tablet phone (with which we later got some hands-on time), but also to the dazzling (ly awkward and hilarious) antics of a "tech illusionist," and plenty of other awkward moments.
We were able to share a pretty detailed account of the event, along with a short video, but those who want to see the full unveiling from start to finish can now do so, thanks to ASUS' own YouTube channel.
While I was a bit too preoccupied at ASUS's press conference to really pay attention to the details of its products (you can find said details here), later in the day, I headed over to the ASUS booth on the MWC show floor to check out the Padfone Infinity and the Fonepad.
The Padfone Infinity was first on my list. After a few minutes with the phone portion, I wasn't particularly impressed, but I wasn't appalled, either.
We're here at ASUS's press conference in Barcelona, where the company has just unveiled two new Android products: the Padfone Infinity and Fonepad.
The Padfone Infinity is the follow-up to the Padfone 2, released late in 2012, which was the successor to the original Padfone that debuted at MWC last year. The Fonepad is a tablet that also works as a phone. Right (if you actually want to know more about those things, see this post).
At an afternoon press conference across the street from MWC 2013's enormous venue, ASUS has just wrapped a (hilarious) press conference that saw the introduction of two new devices (or three?) – the Padfone Infinity and the Fonepad. Before we dive in for hands-on, let's take a quick look at the specs and pricing for the devices.
Jonney Shih with the Padfone Infinity
The Padfone Infinity is the tablet/phone combination we were expecting from ASUS today.