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Asus FonePad giganto-phone is massively cheap at £179

Asus' 7-inch FonePad smart phone goes on sale later this month in the UK, for the amazingly affordable price of £179.

Asus' ludicrously large and memorably monikered FonePad smart phone goes on sale later this month in the UK, for the amazingly affordable price of £179.

The FonePad will land in the UK with a terrific thump on 26 April, Asus confirms, the same day as the rather more costly Samsung Galaxy S4. Pre-orders start this Friday.

With a vast 7-inch screen, you'd think it was just a tablet, but the FonePad is one of the biggest devices we've ever seen that's capable of making a proper phone call, and it's staggeringly cheap too.

My hard-to-embarrass colleague Rich Trenholm had a go on the FonePad at Mobile World Congress in February, where he daringly demonstrated what it would be like to make a call on the enormous thing.

It's not just a pretty (massive) face, either. Its 7-inch screen packs in 1,280x800 pixels, for a perfectly respectable 216 pixels per inch. That doesn't approach the density of Apple's retina display, or the 1080p 5-inch Android phones we've seen this year, such as the HTC One, but then it's a third of the price.

In fact, it's much cheaper than some similarly sized tablets that can't make calls. The iPad mini will set you back £269, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is around £350.

The FonePad has the same screen as the brilliant Nexus 7, which Asus builds for Google. The version of the Nexus 7 that has 3G data is £239, and can't make calls, although the cheapest Wi-Fi only model is cheaper than the FonePad at £159.

Other FonePad specs include a pretty mediocre dual-core 1.2GHz chip, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, expandable with microSD (unlike the Nexus). It runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which isn't quite the latest version of the software, but pretty close.

Are you tempted by the FonePad? Can you afford to miss it at that price? Or is it utterly ludicrous making calls on something so face-shakingly monstrous? Make some suitably gigantic comments below, or over on our planet-sized Facebook page.