A recent leak suggests ASUS is planning on releasing a PadFone S2 during by the first quarter of 2016. By the time it arrives, it’ll be the first PadFone in over a year and could be one of the first to feature Snapdragon‘s next-generation 820 series chip.
When it comes to innovation, or just doing things differently, ASUS caught our attention a few years ago when it first unveiled the PadFone. The company released a phone which slid in to a dock built in to a large touchscreen display, transforming it in to a tablet. It was probably the first notable attempt at a convertible smartphone/tablet, and ASUS isn’t done yet.
According to a recent leak, ASUS is planning to release another version of its PadFone next year. If leaked specs are to be believed, it could be a real flagship challenger on its own. It’s purported to feature the same sized screen and resolution as the LG G4, that is QHD over 5.5-inches diagonally. It could also come equipped with 4GB RAM, a 21MP camera, 8MP front camera and a 3,060mAh battery built in to the phone. The slate unit is rumored to have its own 5,100mAh battery and a 10.1-inch screen. All these would be alongside the brand-new Snapdragon 820.
This new chip was originally teased by Qualcomm at MWC earlier this year and isn’t expected to hit the market until 2016. What makes it notable is that it’s built using a new manufacturing process named FinFET. This process keeps chips small by stacking them in 3D arrangements. It was rumored that this year’s Huawei-made Nexus smartphone would feature the Snapdragon 820 too, but we’re not sure how likely that is. Huawei typically uses its own processors.
As for Qualcomm, it needs this Snapdragon 820 to save its reputation after all the issues with its current flagship processor. Its 810 chip was ignored by Samsung in favor of its in-house Exynos chips, LG opted for a weird 6-core chip in its G4 while flagships with the 810 — like the HTC One M9 and Xperia Z3+ — have received complaints of overheating.
Like the Zenfone 2 this year, next year’s PadFone could prove to further the manufacturer’s reputation for building great devices at a competitive price. If it’s anything like as well-received as the Zenfone, it could be the phone/tablet crossover that finally makes a big impression.