ASUS FonePad Unveiled: First 7-Inch Tablet With Phone Capabilities

ASUS unveiled its new FonePad smartphone-tablet hybrid device at this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

The device is actually a 7-inch tablet with built-in phone functionality, making it similar to Samsung's upcoming Galaxy Note 8 device. The FonePad was rumored for quite some time and many of its spec leaks happen to be pretty close to the official ones.

The FonePad features a 1.2GHz Atom Z2420, 1GB RAM, a PowerVR SGX540 GPU, Android 4.1, JellyBean, 3-megapixel rear camera, a 7-inch 1,280x800 IPS display, and an HSPA+ radio. It also has a 4,270mAh battery that can last up to nine hours.

In terms of design, the FonePad has a smooth metal back that comes in both grey and gold. This back plate separates the ASUS device from other 7-inch tablets such as the Kindle Fire HD and Google Nexus 7 due to its more sturdy design. It also comes with a hidden antenna, a micro-SIM slot and a microSD reader which can support 32GB cards.

The FonePad will be released in Europe and will cost $249. Even though a U.S. price was confirmed, Engadget states that there is a chance that it will not launch in the nation.

Samsung is expected to unveil its Galaxy Note 8, which is somewhat similar to this ASUS FonePad, since it is a close to 7-inch tablet with built-in phone capabilities.

The company launched the Galaxy Note 8 in three different variants, according to reports. The three types include the GT N5110, which will be Wi-Fi only, the GT 5100, which will have 3G connectivity, and the GT N5105 that will have both 3G and LTE connectivity, according to YouMobile.

There is no official word on the pricing. Samsung will launch the Galaxy Note 8 to better compete with Apple's iPad Mini, which launched at the end of last year.