Hands On with the Redesigned ASUS Fonepad 7 FE170CG Dual SIM
ASUS last week launched its newest phablet, the ASUS Fonepad 7 Dual SIM FE170CG and we’re lucky enough to have our hands on this 7-inch tablet with 3G phone functionality. Check out below for our first impressions, photos and benchmark of the newest ASUS Fonepad 7 Dual SIM phablet.
The ASUS Fonepad 7 FE170CG comes with the power adapter and micro USB cable together with the manual and warranty card. Out of the box, the ASUS Fonepad 7 FE170CG captivates with its gorgeous design. It has a beautiful, black, glossy bezel and a front display with chiseled edges. The back is a textured hard plastic cover with curved edges. Overall, the ASUS Fonepad 7 FE170CG has a solid, premium build quality and doesn’t look and feel cheap at all.
Compared to its predecessor, the ASUS Fonepad 7 Dual SIM FE170CG has a lower screen resolution at 1024 x 600. The new ASUS Fonepad 7 does not also use an IPS display. Nonetheless, the ASUS Fonepad 7 provides brilliant display quality when viewing photos, watching videos and playing games. The ASUS Fonepad 7 has an anti-fingerprint coating but just after some minutes with the phablet, my fingerprints and smudges are all over the screen.
On top of the display are the 0.3 MP front camera and the speaker. The ASUS Fonepad 7 is powered by ASUS SonicMaster technology and produces a louder sound than other tablets. The placement of the speakers also provided a more direct sound and prevented me from accidentally covering the speakers when playing games or watching videos. What’s missing is the typical LED indicator.
On top of the phablet are the micro USB port and 3.5mm audio jack. The volume and power button can be found on the right side. On the left is the side compartment which houses the two micro SIM card slots and micro SD card slot. I had a hard time inserting the SIM card and I still have to use a stick to push and properly attach the micro SIM.
The ASUS Fonepad 7 Dual SIM FE170CG has a meager 4GB internal storage but can hold up to 64GB of micro SD storage. It also has an OTG support.
Compared to the previous Fonepad 7 Dual SIM phablet which has a 5MP rear camera (with 1080 video recording), the ASUS Fonepad 7 Dual SIM FE170CG has an inferior 2MP rear camera with autofocus (and 720p video recording). As expected, the rear camera produced poorer quality photos due to its lower resolution.
ASUS Fonepad 7 Dual SIM FE170CG sample photos:
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The ASUS Fonepad 7 Dual SIM FE170CG measures at 192x110x10.7mm (WxDxH) and weighs 290g. Although slimmer and 50g lighter than the first Fonepad 7 Dual SIM, the new ASUS Fonepad 7 phablet is still too big to hold comfortably with one hand. Texting also need to be done with both hands.
Other features that were cut were the E-compass and Proximity sensor. The new ASUS Fonepad 7 only retained the G-Sensor or accelerometer. On the other hand, the ASUS Fonepad 7 Dual SIM FE170CG now supports Miracast. The new 7-inch phablet now also comes in colors Black, White, Red and Blue.
Apps and Zen UI
Some of the ASUS ZenUI’s features. Do It Later, ShareLink, WebStorage, etc.
The ASUS Fonepad 7 Dual SIM FE170CG uses the ASUS ZenUI. On the Lock screen are the shortcuts to the Camera, Call and Messaging App. Also displayed on the Lock screen and (and also on the Home screen) is the What’s Next feature that lists down the schedules.
The ASUS Zen UI shows the Notifications as well as the Settings and Quick Settings when pulling down the notification bar.
SMS and Calls
The ASUS Fonepad 7 Dual SIM FE170CG uses an ASUS keyboard which features autocorrection, personal dictionary, etc. The ASUS FonePad 7 has a pretty accurate voice command engine.
When making or taking calls, you can record, add notes, hold and mute conversation. Moreover, you can reject calls with preset messages.
The ASUS Fonepad 7′s camera features a number of filters and post processing effects, it also includes a Party Link feature that automatically shares photos to nearby devices. Sadly, the 2.0 MP camera is underwhelming.
Gaming and Multimedia
The ASUS Fonepad 7 FE170CG does not fully utilize its screen. Notice the black space on the bottom (for the navigation buttons)
As with other phablets, watching videos and playing games is more exciting on the bigger display of the ASUS Fonepad 7 Dual SIM FE170CG. On the inside, the ASUS Fonepad 7 Dual SIM FE170CG is powered by a 1.2 GHz Intel Atom Dual Core processor with Intel Hyper Threading Technology. There are some obvious (but bearable) lags from time to time when playing graphic heavy games like Dead Trigger 2 but the ASUS Fonepad 7 performed surprisingly well on usual games such as Angry Birds (Star Wars 2), Temple Run 2, Plants vs Zombies 2, etc.
If you’re particular with benchmarks, the ASUS Fonepad 7 FE170CG recorded 15,191 on the Antutu Benchmark
ASUS posted on their site that the phablet lasted 10 hrs, looping 720p videos with brightness at 100 nits and external microphone, WLAN/3G On and Gmail logged in for email and updatesduring their test. I am still not able to fully test the battery usage of the ASUS Fonepad 7 Dual SIM FE170CG but I managed to squeeze 4 hours (mobile data on, 70% brightness) with the remaining 15% battery on the phablet.
Aside from the non-IPS display and the underpowered camera, the ASUS Fonepad 7 Dual SIM FE170C is a decent tablet for watching videos, playing games, browsing the web or reading ebooks and makes a good tablet for everyone in the family. In fact, the new ASUS Fonepad 7 Dual SIM is a steal for its price tag of Php 5,999.