Given how many people I see everyday talking on their ‘phones’ that has a 7-inch display, there is definitely a market for tablet manufacturers to cater to. Asus targeted such a market with their Fonepad 7 and today they’ve announced a new variant of its tablet – the Fonepad 7 Dual SIM (ME175). This variant may feel the same as the original one with just the addition of a dual SIM support but in fact, there are quite a few things that are different from the single SIM-equipped Fonepad.
The Fonepad 7 Dual SIM moves away from the textured design to a more cleaner back, which thankfully, doesn’t attract fingerprints. The screen size and the resolution has been kept the same at 7-inches with WXGA resolution (1280×800) but the processor powering the tablet is different. The Fonepad 7 Dual SIM features Intel’s Atom Z2520 dual-core 1.2GHz processor and 1GB RAM compared to Fonepad 7’s 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Z2560.
Despite the lower clock speed, the Android 4.3 is nicely optimised for the tablet. The UI is majorly stock Android but Asus has given a subtle touch of personalisation with a revamped notification panel as well as inclusion of pre-loaded Asus apps. The Floating apps now also supports widgets, which means any app that has widget support can be used as a floating app, thus greatly enhancing multitasking.
The tablet supports dual-SIM functionality with dual stand by and even supports 3G connectivity. The dual SIM management integrated in the tablet allows naming the SIM and even configuring the data use from a particular SIM. As for the voice calls, users can use the tablet like a big smartphone, thanks to the earpiece located at the top of the screen but I feel the call quality could be a bit better. The loudspeaker performance was mediocre as well. The one thing however, that stood out was the ability to record calls. One tap on the dialer and users can record a call and automatically save it. This nifty feature can be added through a third party app but making it work flawlessly out of the box without having the user to do the hard work is a big plus.
Just like the first Fonepad 7, the dual SIM version also comes with a 5 megapixel camera and a front-facing 1.2 megapixel camera. There’s no LED flash but the main camera is capable of recording video in Full HD resolution along with a variety of camera modes. The front camera is capable of doing 720p videos.
Rounding up the specs sheet is the low 8GB internal memory, which Asus tries to compensate with a 16GB Asus web storage for a year and microSD card slot. There’s also Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS/GLONASS and a 10 hour battery life.
The new Fonepad 7 Dual SIM is priced at Rs. 12,999 and is clearly targeted at consumers who want the best of both worlds and even segregate their personal and professional lives with the choice of having two numbers working at once.