The Asus PadFone Mini is finally official. As expected, the smartphone/tablet hybrid was introduced today in Taiwan, where it will be available soon. The device also will be released in China, Russia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Indonesia. The PadFone Mini is yet another addition to the PadFone series, however, its smaller size and more modest specs (compared to previous models) result in a more affordable price. The PadFone Mini will cost NT$ 11,990 at launch, which is around $400, and also will be available at subsidized price with a 2-year contract in Taiwan.
4.3-inch Asus PadFone Mini Smartphone
Unlike the PadFone Infinity, which belongs to high-end tier devices, the PadFone Mini falls into mid-range category. Following other PadFone devices, the Mini bundle includes a smartphone and a tablet-like dock. The phone is a mid-size offering, measuring 5.09 x 2.58 x 0.34 (129.3 x 65.6 x 8.7 mm) and weighing just 3.7 ounces (105 g). Its compact body houses a 4.3-inch display with 540 x 960 resolution, a 1.4 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor with Adreno 305 GPU and 1 GB of RAM.
Other features include a 1,500 mAh battery, 8-megapixel main camera, 2-megapixel front-facing camera, 16 GB of expandable storage, dual-SIM support, Wi-Fi b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS and GLONASS. Android 4.3 Jelly Bean completes the picture. The dock-tablet sports a 7-inch 1,280 x 800 screen and a 2,200 mAh battery.
The PadFone Mini will most likely not make it to the US, but it does not mean that PadFone devices will always be out of reach of US customers. In fact, in an interview with Engadget, Asus CEO Jerry Shen revealed that high-end PadFones are planned for US and European markets some time in the future. He shared that the company is now targeting new PadFone release with a “big operator” in the US for Q2 2014. Our guess is Verizon or AT&T.