Hands on: Asus Fonepad Note 6 review

Note the familiarity

What is a hands on review?
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Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 16 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 8 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 7 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 1920 x 1080
  • Processor Core : Dual-core (2 Core)

View full specification


  • Sharp display
  • Zippy performance


  • Cheap build
  • Too bulky

There's nothing better than a bit of healthy competition, and Asus jumped ahead of Samsung's Galaxy Note 3 IFA reveal with its own 6-inch alternative - the Asus Fonepad Note 6.

Don't get bogged down with the (typically) confusing Asus naming - this is more of a tablet and aims to mimic what Samsung has done with its own Note series.

The Fonepad Note 6 is certainly strong on the specs. Inside is a dual-core Intel Atom Z2580 processor clocked at 2Ghz offering 2GB of RAM and running Android 4.2. There's also 16GB or 32GB of storage, with an 8MP camera on the rear and 1.2MP camera on the front.


One of the first big positives to immediately stand out about the Note 6 is the sharpness of the screen. The full HD 1920 x 1080 Super IPS display makes the Note 6 nice and vibrant, especially noticeable during video playback.

Like the HTC One, the Fonepad Note 6 also rocks stereo speakers on the front for a fuller, richer sound, although we'll have to wait until our full review to really test the quality here. From what we did see, we were happy enough.


Asus is also slotting in an S Pen-like stylus that feels and acts almost identically to Samsung's. It even has its own version of Air View that lets you interact by hovering the pen above the screen.

As soon as you take the stylus out of its slot holder it boots up the note-specific applications. We found that doodling on the Note 6 was smooth and accurate during our time with it although Asus is yet to confirm whether the tablet stylus has the same levels of pressure precision as the Galaxy Note 3.


But the comparisons end when it comes to overall body design. At 10.3mm thick and weighing 210g, the Asus Fonepad Note 6 is bulkier than its Samsung rival and we found that holding it in one hand wasn't as comfortable, though still manageable.

And while we think the black version looks nicer than the white, it also suffers from being eye-blindingly glossy, which only reflects the cheaper build quality here. With that in mind, we hope that Asus is planning a lower price point for the device, and so far all signs look good.

For those who want to make use of the "Fone" side of things, the Note 6 comes with HSPA 3G and noise cancellation.


Early verdict

Asus takes a hefty swing at the Galaxy Note 3 but doesn't quite land a KO. The Padfone Note 6 is strong on the spec sheet but falls down in some of its mid-range design.

Still, with a mid-range price to match we can see a lot of Samsung would-bes might be tempted over to the Asus side. We'll have to wait to put them head to head in our full reviews to know for sure.

What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.


Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
Wireless LANYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported64 GB
Built-in Memory16 GB
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA+
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyFonepad Note 6
Cellular Generation3.9G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 700, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution8 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameAsus
Battery Talk Time7 Hour
Product ModelME560CG
Screen Size15.2 cm (6")
Screen Resolution1920 x 1080
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)210 g
Processor CoreDual-core (2 Core)
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Processor ManufacturerIntel
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 3.0
Backlight TechnologyLED
Operating System VersionAndroid 4.2 Jelly Bean
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density367 ppi
Front Camera Resolution1.2 Megapixel
SIM Size SupportedMicro
Height164.8 mm
Width88.8 mm
Depth10.3 mm
Radio TunerNo
Battery Standby Time490 Hour
ManufacturerASUS Computer International
Product NameFonepad Note 6 ME560CG Smartphone
Processor Speed2 GHz
Processor TypeAtom
Product LineFonepad Note 6
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Digital Compass, Proximity Sensor, G-sensor, Gyro Sensor, eCompass, Ambient Light Sensor
Manufacturer Part Number90NK00G2-M00700
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://uk.asus.com
Marketing Information

Meet the innovative new ASUS Fonepad Note 6

With a 6-inch, 1080 × 1920 Full HD display and 3G phone functionality, ASUS Fonepad Note 6 delivers a whole new mobile experience and will change the way you stay connected.

Stunning Design for the Modern World

The ASUS Fonepad Note 6 is one of the most beautiful products to date. Our challenge was in creating a comfortable and stylish experience for our users with full HD display. The result is a fusion of master engineering with elegant angles.

Standard Memory2 GB