Phonepad review: Hands-on
Phonepad review: Hands-onT3
The Phonepad enables you to turn your Samsung Galaxy smartphone into a tablet. T3 was invited along for a sneak preview...
The Phonepad - not to be confused with the Asus Fonepad or Asus Padfone 2 - is a device that has been designed to turn your smartphone into a tablet, games console or business tool.
The gadget currently works with the Samsung Galaxy S3 and Samsung Galaxy S2, although the makers also strongly hinted that a Samsung Galaxy S4 version in on the way.
In theory, the device can be tweaked by the makers to work with almost any phone and we're told that the company is already in talks with at least one other major smartphone brand about producing a version that will work with their devices.
As with the Asus Padfone, the idea is that you insert the phone into the Phonepad, in theory, cutting out the need for a separate tablet and the associated data costs.
You can either operate the phonepad using the screen on your phone or the touchscreen display on the device itself. Alternatively you can use the provided Bluetooth controller for games.
Hardcore gamers are almost certain to be rocking their own portable console, such as the PS Vita, so the Phonepad seems to be aimed more at the casual gamer.
Phonepad: Size and build
The Phonepad measures in at 187mm x 270mm x 20mm so it's not exactly a slimline tablet that's likely to worry the iPad 4 or the Sony Xperia Tablet Z. And at 968g (not including the weight of your phone), it's no lightweight either.
The build quality isn't the best we've seen, although what we were looking at weren't 100% finished samples, so we'll just wait and see what the final product looks like.
The 10.1-inch HD screen has a resolution of 1024 x 600 with a 16:9 ratio. It's not the sharprest display we've seen, but it's completely usable, especially as it means you can blow up films and games to around 4x the size of your smartphone screen.
The screen can either be used in landscape or portrait and can also be rotated so that it can be viewed from the back - handy if you're giving a presentation.
You'll also find two built-in speakers plus the ability to add headphones, via a 3.5mm jack.
The built-in rechargable battery offers 8 hours of running time on a full charge, says the maker - something that we'll be testing out in our full review. Phonepad will also charge your phone when it's docked.
The Phonepad is certainly an interesting prospect, especially if other smartphone manufacturers jump on board. However, an element of futureproofing might have been preferable - as it stands, you'll need a new Phonepad each time you upgrade your phone to the lastest model.
We're also not quite convinced about the portability of what looks like a slightly bulky product, especially when you add in the games controller. However, we'll know more as soon as we get our mitts on a full review sample. Stay tuned...
Phonepad release date: TBC - expected around May 2013
Phonepad price: £149.99
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