Asus PadFone Infinity and HTC One – Battle of the Snapdragon 600 flagships
The ASUS PadFone Infinity uses an all-glass front, similar Sony and Apple’s flagship smartphones which presents a sleek looking front-end of the phone, significantly more appealing than the HTC One’s “nearly all-glass” front – two massive speaker grills sandwiching the HTC One’s smaller screen. The ASUS PadFone Infinity is also noticeably slimmer than the HTC One while both phones feature an aluminum back that gives both phones a “premium” feel to them. What’s interesting to note is both manufacturers have realized that placing the speaker on the back and away from the user isn’t very helpful – both phones have their speaker placed in much more audible locations now. Unfortunately, the ASUS PadFone Infinity’s new speaker location causes a cascade of design flaws – being relocated to the side of the phone where the volume controls usually are, it has pushed down both the power and volume controls also located on the same side of the phone. This means that what would usually have been the location to grip the phone now contains a speaker and a power button, causing me to have to hold the phone in an awkward fashion to avoid blocking out the speaker or accidentally pressing on the power button. Volume control wasn’t easy too – I had to use my spare hand to grip the phone before I could fiddle with the volume as the volume controls are now pushed so far down the phone, they are located near the middle of the phone, far out of reach of my fingers for easy one-handed operation.
The HTC One isn’t faring any better either – HTC still hasn’t learnt to properly manage the menu button – Just like its previous flagship, the HTC One X, the HTC One makes up for a lack of a menu button via a gigantic black bar taking up one-tenth of the already tiny screen while HTC yet again took its time in making an update to fix the bar (A “fix” is reportedly available in the latest Android 4.2 update, but we have yet to receive the update and thus are unable to comment about the fix). Worse still, the home button now takes triple duty – apart from acting as the usual home button and Google Now shortcut, HTC has combined the app switcher button with the home button, making usage of the home button much more confusing for new users. SO what went in place of the app switcher’s dedicated button? Well, a prominent (And undoubtedly useless) HTC logo wasting the row of button’s precious real estate. Of course, the ASUS PadFone Infinity didn’t have a menu button either, but ASUS has found an elegant yet functional solution to the problem – a small menu button hovers at the bottom right corner of the screen when it is required, not vying for any of the precious real estate with the apps and still provides a easy to use menu button for the user .