Asus Padfone 2 vs Asus FonePad: Which should you buy?

However, the phone's vibrant 4.7-inch display really shows off the increasingly mobile-optimised web nicely, and the phone's speedy CPU and GPU loads content up just as fast as its internet connection will allow it.

Padfone 2 vs FonePad: Which should you buy?

There's the sense with 7-inch tablets such as the FonePad that you're getting an internet browsing experience that's caught somewhere betwixt and between - neither small enough to make the stripped-back mobile-optimised versions of websites feel natural, nor big enough to display full web pages comfortably like, say, an iPad can. Not without some vigorous zooming and panning, at least.

There's not much in it, but browsing the web feels a little less forced on the Padfone 2 - and there is something to be said for a full-sized tablet web browser, no matter how low-res.

Padfone 2 vs FonePad: Music

Listening to music is pretty much identical on both devices. Both have access to the marvellous Google Music service, which enables you to upload 20,000 tracks to the cloud for free, as well as to listen to your music through a stylish UI and to shop from Google's reasonably priced music store.

It's also about to go full-on Spotify on us, so watch out for an extra subscription-based incentive to opt for an Android smartphone or tablet (or both) in the near future.

It's considerably more wieldy listening to music on the go with the Padfone 2 thanks to its more pocket-friendly size, but then the FonePad has the benefit of that microSD slot for loading up even more music locally.

Padfone 2 vs FonePad: Which should you buy?

Back in the Padfone 2's favour, however, is the fact that it comes with a half-decent set of earbuds (the proper in-ear variety) packed in, while the FonePad has none.

Yes, any music fan should really be investing in a decent set of third-party earphones, but the fact remains that only one of these devices enables you to listen to music out of the box - at least without relying on a tinny speaker.

Padfone 2 vs FonePad: Battery

Both of these Asus phone-tablet hybrids impress when it comes to battery life. The Padfone 2 has a slightly larger than average 2,140mAh battery, which is technically removable if you don't mind performing minor surgery on your phone (that's what it feels like, at least).

Combined with the famously power-efficient Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 CPU, we were easily getting through a full day of moderate to heavy usage without running out of juice.

But that's not the biggest plus point in its battery life box. That comes from the unique tablet dock, which doubles as a back-up charger.

Padfone 2 vs FonePad: Which should you buy?

If you carry this around with you, the tablet portion's 5,000mAh battery can be used to completely recharge the phone section three times over. When you're away from a power point for a prolonged period, this could be a massive plus.

The FonePad, for its part, has no such gimmicks to rely on, but that's not to say its 4,270mAh battery doesn't sport impressive stamina.

We clocked around eight and a half hours of continuous usage - which involved whacking the screen brightness up to full and repeatedly looping an HD video - before the battery died. Impressive stuff.

Whichever Asus device you opt for, you won't have a problem with battery life.

Padfone 2 vs FonePad: Verdict

As we've hopefully made clear, the Asus Padfone 2 and Asus FonePad are far more different than their shared heritage and similar names would suggest.

This means that when it comes to deciding which is the right Android phone/tablet hybrid for you, your mileage may vary.

If you're after a capable smartphone first and foremost, with a competent tablet experience considerably lower down on your list of priorities, then the Asus Padfone 2 is the device for you. It's nicely proportioned and very powerful, while its 4.7-inch display is very impressive.

Padfone 2 vs FonePad: Which should you buy?

Sure, its tablet dock provides a sub-par full-sized tablet experience, but it does the job. This component also acts as a portable recharger for the phone, which could prove very useful for the frequent traveller.

If the tablet side of things is more - or even equally - important to you, then the Asus FonePad is probably the better buy. It's a superbly well balanced device with a sharp display, exemplary build quality and an irresistibly low price tag.

Indeed, it's the Asus FonePad's sheer value for money that nudges it over the line for us when weighing the two against each other. At a third of the price of the Asus Padfone 2, this competent all-rounder is firmly in impulse-buy territory - and few will be disappointed with such a snap decision.