They told you it was coming, and now it’s here. ASUS dug into its huge reserve of gaming nous and came out with the ASUS ROG Phone, a gaming smartphone that intends to dwarf all mobile gaming smartphones before it. It’s no surprise that ASUS is bringing their popular Republic of Gamers (ROG) brand to fore – this brand name is already established as one of the more popular PC gaming brands out there. What you get is a supreme mobile gaming machine, with more features than you can point fingers to.
The ASUS ROG Phone is intended to compete in this new gaming smartphone niche, the one pioneered by Razer. So by default, it is intended to compete with the Razer Phone, Xiaomi’s Black Shark gaming phone, and ZTE Nubia’s Red Magic phone. But will the ROG Phone stand up to these, specs-wise? Let’s look at what the ROG Phone brings to the table:
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor overclocked to 2.93Ghz
- Adreno 630 GPU
- 8GB RAM
- 128GB/512GB internal storage
- 6-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display with 90hz refresh rate and 1ms response time, HDR support
- 12-megapixel main and 8-megapixel wide-angle rear cameras
- 8-megapixel front camera
- 4G LTE
- Dual SIM
- WiFi, Bluetooth
- GPS, A-GPS
- USB Type-C, Fingerprint scanner
- GameCool vapor-chamber cooling system, AirTrigger force feedback haptics
- Aura RGB lighting and AuraSync Support
- Stereo speakers with smart amplifier and support for Hi-Res Audio, DTS:HeadphoneX, and aptX
- 4000mAh battery with HyperCharge
- Android 8.1 Oreo with ZenUI 5.0
Given the state of Android gaming these days, and with the emergence of the high graphics requirements of battle royale games like PUBG and Fortnite, the specs of the ASUS ROG Phone still feels like overkill, but that is usually the strategy with gaming hardware – kill it with specs. The Snapdragon 845 processor that powers the system has been overclocked to 2.93GHz from the already powerful octa-core 2.8GHz normal setup. That is paired with the Adreno 630 for graphics and 8GB RAM in support.
The 6-inch AMOLED display gives you a butter smooth 90Hz refresh rate, coming short of what the Razer Phone gives (120Hz), but well above the normal 60Hz refresh rates of consumer smartphones. It supports HDR and gives 1ms response time, which should be plenty accurate for mobile gaming.
Xiaomi’s Black Shark gaming phone provides some sort of liquid cooling, but the ASUS ROG Phone went the way of its GameCool system, which uses “highly efficient 3D vapor-chamber cooling.” If that’s not enough, then there’s a detachable AeroActive Cooler fan accessory you can get, if you’re paranoid like that.
Where the ASUS ROG Phone blows away the competition is in the number of accessories and connections it is able to make. The TwinView Dock turns the ROG Phone into a dual-screen gaming machine, taking its inspiration from the Nintendo DS. The Mobile Desktop Dock that allows you to connect to an external monitor and play with a mouse and keyboard, for more frags on PUBG, naturally. We don’t yet know what software system this uses, but we surmise it’s some sort of desktop-oriented Android Oreo.
For leverage when gaming on the go, ASUS gives you the Gamevice controller. This accessory adds physical buttons to the ROG Phone and gives you the traditional gaming console look. If you want to cast the display over to a bigger external screen, the WiGig dock allows you to do just that. ASUS really pulled out the stops with accessories, knowing that gamers like to do stuff that normal users won’t do. Of course, it brings more money (ka-ching!) to the company.
The other essential specs include a 4,000mAh battery, a side-mounted USB-C port, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The next question will of course be the pricing, but we won’t be getting that until Q3 of 2018 when the phone enters the market. Are you already interested in this gaming phone?