The smartphone that thinks it’s a tablet – and a bloody good job too
“So, can you live with a 7-inch, 340g smartphone? Yes. Naturally there are compromises to be made. I wouldn’t want to take a FonePad with me to my local pub for the evening or to a gig, and the absence of a suitable camera is going to become an issue at some point down the line. But the cash savings and the sheer convenience of having one device rather than two to carry and charge does have its attractions.
“Considered simply as a 3G tablet, the FonePad is an even more impressive bit of kit. For the price, the excellent screen and reasonable battery life are very welcome and while it’s not the most powerful tablet around, 3D gaming aside it did all the things I asked of it quite as comfortably as my Nexus 7.
“I’m all for affordability and versatility, and the FonePad delivers both in spades. Which makes it the one of the very few budget tablets – the other being the Nexus 7 – I’d recommend to a friend.”
Since I mislaid my wonderful Razr i, I bought myself a Fonepad, got a new SIM from EE, and I’ve been using it happily ever since (though I still miss my Razr i).
The lack of a rear-facing camera is the only main fault, and a ridiculous one, too. What were ASUS thinking of? You could turn the tablet round (positioning your finger on the shoot button the while) and you might, just MIGHT, get a usable result.
ASUS have added a number of built-in apps I know I’ll never use, so I have disabled them, despite stern warnings of dire possible consequences if I do so.
My Razr i (sorry to keep going on about it, but I do miss you, my love!) had a nice version of the Swype on-screen keyboard. I had to download it from Google Play for this tablet, and it’s not a nice version at all. I’ve tried to turn off predictive text (karldallas was corrected to jackals!) but it still acts like someone looking over my shoulder with better ideas about what I’m trying to say.
I hate on-screen keyboards anyway, so I’ve bought a neat little Duragadget external keyboard from GadgetplusUK, and this works fine, apart from a tendency to slip into the horizontal when resting on my knee.
Also, though I have disabled screen rotation, so it should be always in landscape mode, some apps (notable those from BT, who are my home broadband provider) insist on switching to portrait, so I get a crick in my neck or have to slide the Fonepad out of the case to use them.
BTW, don’t confuse this gadget with the Padfone, also from ASUS, a quite different, and to my mind inferior, device.