After leaking out in a set of press images over the weekend, ASUS’s PadFone mini is now officially official. The newest member of the PadFone mini features a 4.3-inch 960×540 display and can dock into a 7-inch 1280×800 PadFone Station tablet, both of which are smaller than the recently-introduced PadFone Infinity, which offers a 5-inch 1080p display and and a 10-inch 1080p tablet dock.
The PadFone mini is powered by a 1.4GHz quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor, just as the leaks predicted, as well as the combination of 1GB RAM and a 1500mAh battery. Rounding out the shrunken PadFone’s spec list is dual-SIM support, an 8-megapixel camera, 16GB storage and a microSD card slot. ASUS says that the PadFone mini will come preloaded with Android 4.3 running beneath a custom user interface. One of ASUS’s additions to the software includes Owl Mode, which can be activated in low-light situations to combine four sensor pixels into one, giving the user increased light sensitivity.
Now for the most important information regarding any new device: its availability. The PadFone mini is slated to launch in China, Russia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Indonesia with a price tag of NT$11,990, which works out to be around $405 USD. There’s no word on any other launches in other markets, but ASUS CEO Jerry Shen did tease to Engadget that his firm is working with a “very big” U.S. carrier on the launch of a new PadFone product in Q2 2014. Details on both the device and the operator are light, but considering that we’ve yet to see any of ASUS’s docking wonders make an official stateside debut, it’s exciting to hear that we’ll finally get a crack at one of the more unique smartphones on the market.