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June 20, 2014

Asus FonePad 7 2014 (FE170CG) Review

A phone and a tablet in one do-it-all device; that’s one of the many gadget trends happening around, and for those who have a specific budget, the new Asus FonePad 7 is looking to be a great package, holding every essential element to a good experience. Is it worth the buy? Read our full review to find out.

Asus FonePad 7 (2014, FE170CG)

Asus has already released a FonePad 7 before; this new model got trimmed down in specs, but the price tag has been also shaved off. Below is our unboxing video:

Design and Construction

At first glance, the new FonePad 7 looks just like any other 7-inch tablet with a black slate design upfront. However, turn the device around and you’ll find that despite the affordable price, the back is far from cheap and is in fact a lot better than the competition by not feeling flimsy at all. It’s well-put and textured, and if there’s one complaint that we have, it’s that the FonePad 7 attracts quite a bit of dirt on our white model.

Asus FonePad 7 (2014, FE170CG)

The speaker and the earpiece is found above the front-facing camera and the display, while only the rear-facing camera is found on the back – all together with some branding. On the left side, you have the slots for the dual micro SIM cards and the micro SD card, while on the right you’ll find the volume rocker and the power button that is quite undistinguished, and finally, up top, you’ll find the place for audio equipment and charging.

Display

One of the things that downgraded with the new FonePad 7 is the 7-inch display – now at 1024 x 600 with a few more problems. First, the resolution can be an eyesore for long periods of use, as lots of details are really jagged. Second, the viewing angles are messy, giving you different colors from specific angles.

Asus FonePad 7 (2014, FE170CG)

Under the right light however, colors can be really accurate, and the display is very responsive. If you want to tweak a few elements on color, Asus has bundled Splendid software for that, which is nice.

OS, Apps and UI

We’ll be saying it here first, and we’re sure we will be saying it again in future Asus device reviews: the company’s new Zen UI is mind-blowing on Android 4.3. Really. No other manufacturer comes close to its consistent design and simplicity. It doesn’t put its services right in your face all the time, and some prove to be really useful and clean.

Asus FonePad 7 (2014, FE170CG)

Together with the UI, Asus has also bundled in beautiful and clean widgets that we’re enjoying at the moment. As for the apps, you’re not forced to use them anyway, but they’re there and can be hidden – AudioWizard, Do It Later, Splendid, What’s Next and a lot more.

In our time of use, we have received two software updates already, but none of them updated the tablet to Android 4.4 KitKat. Maybe in the future as promised.

Multimedia & Camera

Thank the heavens, for Asus has placed the speakers on this device up front, facing all of us. It’s no BoomSound and it’s far from being the best, but it’s really good and loud, giving a really pleasurable experience. Sadly, the display can’t compliment it with good viewing angles for watching video.

Asus FonePad 7 (2014, FE170CG)

In addition to the low-res display, say hello to the low-res cameras – VGA & 2 megapixels. We won’t really recommend using them, but they’re there for quick selfies and shots that simply need capturing whatever the quality.

Performance & Benchmarks

With a dual-core Intel Atom CPU and 1GB RAM, the device can manage mostly everything basic without sweat. There are still a few slowdowns loading apps and I may still see a few stutters playing Smash Hit on low settings, but the firepower behind it is more than enough for a tablet of this price.

Asus FonePad 7 (2014, FE170CG)

  • Antutu – 15,245
  • Quadrant – 6,362
  • Nenamark 2 – 60.2 fps

Call Quality & Battery Life

The FonePad 7 is also, well, a phone, having dual-SIM support – and for the most part, the connectivity experience is just average. The earpiece produces clear and loud audio, and we didn’t have any problems with it overall.

Asus FonePad 7 (2014, FE170CG)

As for our battery draining test, video playback at 50% brightness and 50% audio volume, the FonePad 7 lasts 11 hours on a full charge! We suspect it is because of the efficient internals paired with the low-resolution screen, so there you have it. Standby times have surprised us even more.

ASUS Fonepad 7 (FE170CG) specs:
7.0-inch WSVGA (1024 x 600) LCD, 170ppi
1.2GHz Intel Atom Z2520 dual-core CPU
PowerVR SGX544MP2 GPU
1GB RAM
4GB internal storage
up to 64GB via microSD
2MP rear camera, f/2.8
0.3MP front-facing, f/2.8
dual-SIM (micro), dual-standby
HSPA+, 3G, 2G
WiFi 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0
GPS, GLONASS & AGPS
Android Jellybean 4.3 (upgradable to Android 4.4 Kitkat)
3,950mAh battery
192 x 110 x 10.7 mm
290g

Conclusion

A lot of people have been really excited about the new Asus FonePad 7, us included, and it proves to us why it’s worth all the attention. For a price of just Php5,995, you get a really solid design with decent internals and a software experience that is almost unmatched. Not only does it have loud front-firing speakers and great battery life, it’s also a phone with dual-SIM functionality!

Asus FonePad 7 (2014, FE170CG)

Asus made two big sacrifices here to attain this extremely attractive price tag – the display and the cameras. For a tablet whose main purpose is to give a great multimedia experience, the display is a big downside, lacking in resolution and good viewing angles. As for the cameras, we’re sure a lot can live without it, especially since it’s not ideal to take pictures with a 7-inch device, but if you’re looking for the complete package with decent cameras, this is not it. If, however, you can survive with the display and the cameras – the new Asus FonePad 7 is a killer.

What we liked about it:

  • Affordable price tag
  • Solid design
  • Beautiful software
  • Long battery life
  • Phone functionality
  • Great speakers

What we didn’t like about it:

  • Low-res display
  • Bad viewing angles
  • Sucky cameras
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27 Responses to “Asus FonePad 7 2014 (FE170CG) Review”

  1. the_jabroni says:

    with a very limited internal storage of 4 gig are you able to save apps to sd or at least move it there w/o rooting it….tia

    • acguymk2 says:

      To answer your question, yes, thankfully asus also included that option to install apps to the external storage (microsd). You’ll find it the asus customized settings at Settings

  2. JFV_noB says:

    The low-res display is another reason to have a long battery life. The viewing angles are indeed bad but it looks fine in portrait and color quality is acceptable. Cameras are not that competitive but the camera app have premium features like HDR, Time Rewind, and Smart Remove… oh, and GIF too!

    This Fonepad 7 lite-like is still awesome and I’m proud to own one.

    Still waiting for KitKat though…

    • eric Mendoza says:

      The bad viewing angle which makes it difficult for others to see what I’m doing with my tablet for me is one of the major reasons why i liked this tablet.

  3. D3X says:

    I got this one for my daughter where she now uses it as her primary phone (just need to get a bluetooth headset so you don’t look funny when answering phone calls because of its size). Nevertheless it’s just what you need for phone + tablet. Navigation and apps are also quite fast as it uses an Intel processor. And of course it is also value for money at only 6k.

  4. Dave says:

    Hi Yugatech,

    Regarding that unit
    Where can i buy it? Mandaluyong area po..

    Thanks

  5. robbie says:

    may i know 4gb storage after deducting system file,remain how much storage for us to install apps?

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  7. jc lazaro says:

    selling ASUS Fonepad 7 (FE170CG) cases (green, blue, black) P450 or P550 for case+screen protector+free pluggy stylus. msg me here or viber/sms me 09985501710

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  10. pogs says:

    congratulations asus!
    great phablet with amazing quality…
    im going to recommend this fpad to my friends, families, neighbors and to anyone…
    rating: 9/10

  11. bongyeah says:

    Meron pa bang game na nasesave sa SD???lahat yata ng ininstall ko hindi namomove…puno na memo, badtrip…simpleng games hindi masave…haist…napaatras tuloy aq sa zenfone…

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  13. eric says:

    just bought an asus fonepad 7 fe 170cg. the user manual said the unit needs 8hrs initial charging but must be disconnected afterwards for it is not designed for auto disconnect. now im concerned with how long does it take to normally charge afterwards.

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  16. FunkyMonkey says:

    i would like to ask for those who already bought the asus fonepad 7, if its possible that you can transfer large size apps to SD card? and does this tablet support sdcard up to 32gb? im still earning more money hopefully to buy one :) purposely for watching anime,music,surfing and gaming, i really don’t mind if they didn’t put a front cam also i’m not really in to selfies anyway, i’m not ugly tho. ^.^

    • pogz says:

      yes.it can transfer large files and supports 32gb sd.. sdhc micro..
      good for games like soul craft 1&2..
      ..
      long battery capacity.. i had it lat 2 weeks. durable and great also in music and movies…

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  23. Gem Dionisio says:

    My Fonepad 7 got a Android 4.4.2 firmware updat 2 weeks ago to tell you, performance slowed down.

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Bob Freking writes, edits, & renders for YugaTech. You can contact, follow or tweet him at @bobfreking. For all his social media links, you can go to https://tinyurl.com/bobfreking

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