March is a time for madness, and this year's 4th annual Smartphone Madness is ready to add to your crazy. Today we launch into the first matchup with one of the world's most popular devices in Apple's iPhone 5. This flagship faces off against a beast in the 7-inch ASUS FonePad. Who wins is all up to you. Only your votes will determine the victor, and you have until Wednesday, March 13 at 9 a.m. EST to cast your vote. Now let's take a second to meet the players.
Before its release the iPhone 5 was likely the most anticipated smartphone of all time. When it finally hit consumers' hot little hands in September 2012 it didn't disappoint, quickly earning an Editors' Choice award. Not only is the iPhone 5 amazingly thin and light, it boasts a bigger and more vibrant screen than its predecessor, fast 4G LTE speeds and one of the best cameras on any phone. Add in Facebook integration and easy photo sharing and it's easy to see why the iPhone 5 is the No. 1 phone in the U.S.
On the other hand, we weren't blown away by the very minor interface improvements or Apple's sub-par Maps app. Despite those minor gripes, the $199 iPhone 5 improved upon a great smartphone in every way while circling the competition when it comes to design. But is the iPhone 5's agility and speed enough to take on what could be a Cinderella newcomer?
The ASUS FonePad is a tablet that doubles as a phone with its mammoth 7-inch display. That's a whole lotta phone to love. We got to spend some time with this puppy at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and we found it to be highly responsive. Thanks to the 1.2-GHz Intel Atom Z2420 processor under the hood, the Fonepad offered zippy performance. While we did feel a tiny bit ridiculous holding all that phone up to our head, the built-in Bluetooth 3.0 support means using a headset with the FonePad is a valid option.
There is no official word yet on when the ASUS FonePad might come to U.S. shores, but we're sure that if it does it'll be a megaphone to watch. ASUS claims its phablet will hit the United Kingdom and Asia sometime between April and June for a competitive $249.
So without further ado, it's now time for the judges (you) to deliberate. Which is the better phone, worthy of advancement to the second round of this competition? Only you can say, but you'd better get to deciding quick because the polls close tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. EST.