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If you are looking for a tablet which gives you the capability to make calls with its dual-SIM card slots and a decent look in budget price, then the Asus Fonepad 7 is the perfect choice for you. The hardware though, isn't very promising and the tablet is definitely not for the ones who need a device for graphic intensive tasks like gaming.
BODY AND DESIGN
The new Fonepad 7 tablet has been refreshed although it keeps the same design and form factor as the previous versions of the tablet. The front has a 7-inch HD display which uses an IPS panel. The viewing angles offered by the display are just average and under the direct sun it can get a bit difficult to read. The tablet desperately needed an anti-glare coating as the protective glass makes it difficult to see the contents on the display. The bezels are quite wide, which makes us wonder why Asus didn’t trim them up a bit. Above the display there is a chromed up earpiece and the front facing camera and below the display is the shiny Asus logo.
The top has a microUSB port for charging/data synching and a 3.5 mm audio jack. The bottom is pretty much empty except a tiny hole for the microphone. The right and left edges are essentially empty but the back is curved, so close to the edges on the right you will find the power and the volume control keys which are technically on the back panel of the tablet. Similarly on the left side, there is a flap which covers the two microSIM card slots and the microSD card slot.
The back is an all-glossy plastic which houses the 5MP camera, a bunch of logos and the loudspeaker. The overall build quality of the Fonepad 7, at the price point, is subtle and Asus has gone for a very basic and simple looking design.
UI AND PERFORMANCE
The tablet runs on Android 4.3 with Asus’ very own UI layer on top which thankfully doesn’t seem very heavy on customisation. It is quite responsive and seems very stable. A lot of consumers like the idea for a tablet to have a UI that rotates completely when using in landscape mode and the Fonepad 7 offers just that. Apart from the apps and the menu, the homescreen and the lockscreen rotate if you have enabled the auto-rotate setting for the display. This makes using the tablet easier to use in the landscape mode.
Asus has also added some features and apps to improve the experience on the Fonepad 7. There is an app locker where you can lock specific apps on your tablet, an audio wizard which is essentially a quick equalizer setting for the audio, a power saver mode, a display colour temperature control app and also Asus’ very own cloud storage app.
The highlight of the tablet is its dual-SIM capability which not only allows you to use 3G data but also lets you make phone calls. This functionality works quite well and the voice quality on 2G and 3G networks is equally upright. You can select your primary and secondary SIM cards and also choose which one to use for calling and which one to use for data or both.
Running on an Intel Atom dual-core processor, we didn’t expect a lot of power from the Fonepad, but we still went on to test its level of performance by running some benchmark apps on it. You can check out the results below:
The tablet manages to run games that require high FPS rates although it doesn’t provide the most fluent performance level. While you can play high-end games like Real Racing 3, Dead Trigger 2, GT Racing 2 and so on, the graphics performance didn’t seem to entice us. Although faced minor lag here and there, the overall gameplay was quite playable. The gaming performance should be quite good if you like playing low-end and less graphics intensive games.
For the ones who are looking for a tablet which can make calls, have 3G data connectivity, perform your daily tasks like emails, browsing the internet, checking your social media, at an affordable price - then the Fonepad 7 from Asus is actually a great option. The build and design is good and coming from a dependable brand like Asus, the tablet seems to be like a keeper. It isn’t a powerhouse when it comes to performance. So if are the one who loves gaming, just give this tablet a pass.