Gaming phones appear to be all the rage recently with the Razer Phone kicking everything off late last year. Following that, the Xiaomi-backed Black Shark made an appearance. ASUS is now getting in on the action with the ASUS ROG Phone (Republic of Gamers) making its way to the market. It’s got a number of tricks up its sleeve that ASUS hopes will push it ahead of the competition.
ASUS ROG Phone Specifications
|Specs||ASUS ROG Phone|
|CPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 @ 2.96GHz w/ Adreno 630 GPU|
|Camera||Rear: 12MP + 8MP (120° wide-angle lens)
|Storage||UFS 2.1 128GB or 512GB|
|Display||6-inch 2160×1080 AMOLED @ 90Hz, 1ms response time and HDR support|
|Speakers||Dual front-facing speakers, quad front-facing with TwinView Dock|
|Battery||4,000 mAh supporting ASUS HyperCharge, 10,000 mAh with TwinView Dock|
|Ports||3.5mm headphone jack, three USB-C ports|
|Connectivity||CAT 16 LTE, 60GHz 802.11ad Wi-Fi|
|Peripherals||AeroActive Cooler, Mobile Desktop Dock, TwinView Dock|
As a gaming phone, the ASUS ROG Phone aims to not only provide the best performance possible but also future proof as much as possible. With the ever-changing landscape of mobile phone technology, companies are putting more and more power into their mobile phones in order to be able to compete in the future. This is ensured by (what ASUS claims to be) the highest binned Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 system-on-chip available today clocked at 2.96GHz. The normal Snapdragon 845 is clocked at 2.8GHz. With this chip comes the Adreno 630, currently the best mobile GPU around. In terms of RAM and storage, there are two options. Both models have 8GB of RAM, but you can get 128GB or 512GB of storage – a lot no matter which you choose. If you’re worried about thermal throttling, ASUS has taken steps to ensure that won’t be happening by including vapor-chamber cooling and copper heat spreading to dissipate heat quicker than most phones. The company claims that you’ll be able to maintain top speeds 50% longer than most standard cooling systems, along with maintaining peak speeds for 5 times as long.
While the phone is certainly equipped for high-end gaming, the visuals are also important. You get a 2160×1080 6-inch AMOLED display with a refresh rate of 90Hz. It’s a bit odd, as most phone displays either come in at 60Hz or 120Hz (like the Razer Phone). ASUS claims that the display has a response time of 1ms and supports HDR visuals. The lower resolution may be annoying for some, but it’s likely in order to squeeze as much performance out of the device as possible. Higher refresh rates at a higher resolution may require more computational power than even the Adreno 630 can provide. This does mean you likely won’t be using the phone for virtual reality gaming though. They also boast a %108.6 DCI-P3 color gamut for vivid colors. With dual front-facing speakers, this device promises an excellent multimedia experience.
In terms of battery, ASUS has packed a massive 4,000 mAh battery into this device. What’s interesting to note is that ASUS is using their own proprietary charging method, dubbed “ASUS HyperCharge.” As far as we can tell, it boasts similarities to OnePlus’ Dash Charge as the company claims it can keep the phone cool while charging quickly with the bundled ROG Phone power adapter. It can apparently charge up to 20W.
While ASUS has paid a lot of attention to the common areas of complaints of mobile phones, they’ve also paid a lot of attention to a lot of the areas that commonly aren’t complained about. Slow internet connections are a problem for gaming, so the device supports both CAT 16 LTE and 60GHz 802.11ad Wi-Fi.
Ports and Peripherals
While we have internals out-of-the-way, this phone has much, much more to offer on the outside. The ASUS ROG Phone has not one, not two, but three USB-C ports. In case you’re worried that’s ASUS’ answer to not providing a headphone jack, you’ll be happy to know that there is also a 3.5mm headphone jack on board. Why are there so many USB-C ports? ASUS has announced a number of peripherals and extensions that will likely utilize all of these ports. They can also be used for high-speed charging, HDMI output, Gigabit LAN, or headphones.
The first module is an AeroActive Cooler, which appears to allow you to cool the device even further if temperatures are a problem in long-term gaming. Other announced modules include the Mobile Desktop Dock and the TwinView Dock. The Mobile Desktop Dock allows you to connect your phone to a 4K UHD monitor, mouse, and keyboard, while also connecting it to a Gigabit LAN and 5.1 channel surround sound. If you’d prefer, the TwinView Dock turns your phone into a dual-screen behemoth with quad speakers, physical trigger buttons for gaming, dual haptic feedback engine, a better cooling system, and a 6,000 mAh extended battery. You can also get a Gamevice controller which turns your phone into a portable console, so there’s plenty of options here.
While we don’t know how much the device costs, it’s not expected to be cheap like the competition. With an overclocked processor, extreme cooling capabilities, and an excellent display, it’s expected to cost a fair amount. Still, ASUS has got a lot right here with the ASUS ROG Phone, and it may certainly give competitors a run for the best gaming phone of 2018.
Rojenx is a leading concept artist who work appears in games and publications
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