Asus started Computex 2018 with a bang launching the ROG phone. This is a new device in the gaming phone niche. And it seems like Asus is going to lead this market. Unlike the Razer Phone and Black Shark by Xiaomi, this aesthetically screams gaming and comes with a handful of accessories to support it’s claim.
Design and Display
The ROG Phone is a big phone with a 6 inch screen and enough bezel on the top and bottom to sport front facing speakers.It is a glass sandwich device but doesn’t quite look as sophisticated or polished as the other Android flagships or iPhones. It is charged via USB-C and also has a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The front has a 6 inch 2160x1080p AMOLED display which has a refresh rate of 90Hz. This is pretty much a world first – an AMOLED display with 90 Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time. The outstanding display also covers 108.6% of the DCI-P3 colour gamut. Flanking the screen on the top and bottom, there are dual front firing speakers with dual amplifiers. This would enhance the media and gaming experience on the ROG Phone completely. The front camera is an 8MP shooter.
The back of the device has me confused. It is not the most sexy design but it definitely has the ROG DNA in it. It has a pretty peculiar looking fingerprint sensor and the camera above the logo. The camera is the same from the Zenfone 5 – 12 MP main and 8 MP ultrawide sensor. The Asus ROG logo is RGB and can be controlled from within the software. Using the app, you can have it pulsating, strobing, cycling through various colors or switched off entirely. You can also sync your particular RGB setting with other ASUS Aura Sync products and even sync up to five ROG Phones, which would look pretty badass in your dorm.
What’s under the hood of the ROG Phone?
This is a flagship and has the flagship specs, but with a twist. The Snapdragon 845 powering the ROG Phone is modified a bit with it clocking slightly below 3 GHz at 2.96 GHz. On the GPU front, you get the Adreno 630. This is coupled with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB or 512 GB of internal storage. There is a 4000 mAh battery that keeps the lights on in this device. Asus has a “3D vapor-chamber cooling system” which is basically a large slab of copper heat radiator with some carbon cooling pads attached to the logic board. This supposedly provides 16 times more heat dissipation area than a standard smartphone cooling design, thereby allowing a five-fold CPU peak for a longer duration.
What makes the ROG Phone special?
First of all, the ROG Phone has not one but three USB C ports. While this sounds ridonkulous, there is a good reason why Asus has implemented this. There is one port at the bottom and two conjoined ports towards the left. One basic idea is to have no cables bothering you while your device is connected while playing. As for why it is conjoined, Asus has a bunch of modular components planned for the ROG Phone. These include a TwinView Dock which has a dual-screen handheld mode, and a Mobile Desktop Dock for those who want to have a desktop-style gaming experience. There will also be a Gamevice controller which enables console-like controls, and a Wi-Gig Dock to wirelessly cast your screen to a larger display with very little lag.
There also exist 3 ultrasonic sensors to facilitate gaming. Two of these are programmable and can be found on the shoulders in landscape mode right side up. This is so you have more viewable screen real estate. The third is present on the bottom left side and paired with the one on the right bottom, it acts like HTC’s Edge Sense feature. Squeezing the ROG Phone activates X Mode which you’ll recognize by the distinct red UI as soon as you activate it. It automatically optimizes the gaming experience by killing background processes and allocating more RAM for the game you’re playing currently.
Check out The Verge’s article and the amazing pictures of the ROG Phone here.