Mobile gaming has been around before we even thought that it was available but the increasing popularity of mobile games and the increasing power of mobile devices has led some manufacturers to produce a device dedicated for gaming. While most smartphones are mostly compatible enough for most mobile games in the market, the need to create a dedicated device for such market is a huge gamble and in late 2017 the first modern gaming smartphone were introduced with the first Razer Phone and then followed by the new BlackShark device from Xiaomi and the ZTE Red Magic.
Moving forward today, ASUS with its long-time success in gaming devices and peripherals in the PC realm with the Republic Of Gamers branding, the company decided that why not make a gaming smartphone as well and here it is, the new ASUS ROG Phone in what really is the aesthetics and a truly dedicated gaming smartphone for every mobile gaming enthusiasts complete with the most powerful spec’s in the market today and the accessories that’s available for it.
In aesthetics and design, the new smartphone is way too different from ASUS’s common smartphone the ZenFone line. The ROG Phone follows the same design concept of its desktop and notebook counterparts with that sick and menacing looks.
The front as expected is dominated by the large 6.0-inch screen with an 18:9 Aspect ratio and features a 90Hz 90Hz refresh rate with 1ms pixel response time and a dedicated discrete processing chip with HDR support. Thin bezels on both the sides while the top and bottom comes with a noticeable amount of bezels with cut-outs for the twin front-firing stereo speakers.
Moving into the back, the handset’s back panel design stays true to the ROG design language with a radically designed imaging module and that fingerprint reader that’s something of a first that we’ve seen on any smartphone. It also has a what seems to be cooling vents and the Republic Of Gamers brand emblem with a specialized RGB illuminated logo that can be customized with different light patterns. The handset is made with a full metal frame with a both the front and back being covered by Corning Gorilla Glass.
Ports on the new ROG Phone includes a USB-C interface and a 3.5mm Jack at the bottom and another USB-C on one side of the handset for charging and accessory attachments. The choice design and implementation of ports enables users to engage on their games flexibly while charging or having the device docked on a specialized docking station accessory. The 3.5mm supports Hi-Res audio and DTS Headphone:X support.
The handset also features a new Ultrasonic AirTriggers on two corners of one side on landscape mode, this works as a virtual triggers in games. They can also be customized and assign specific actions or commands within games (that is if they are supported). And then there’s the squeeze gesture similar to the HTC’s but what is does on the ASUS ROG Phone is it activates “X MODE” which allows the system to optimize itself by shutting down other background tasks and change the theme to red.
For connectivity, the handset comes with Nano SIM port with 4G LTE support and other standard connectivity options including a Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac and WiGig 802.11ad for wireless display support, Bluetooth 5.0 with AptX HD, NFC and GPS with A-GPS.
The new ROG Phone is powered by no less than the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 with Octa-core CPU that tops at 2.96GHz paired to an 8GB of system RAM. For storage, ASUS throws in a 128GB or the beefy 512GB of internal storage but there’s no support for memory cards which is a bit weird by the way given that the device is geared for mobile game enthusiasts, but nevertheless it has already an ample supply of bytes for most of the user’s gaming needs.
For imaging, the handset comes with dual cameras on the back that includes a 12 Megapixel main sensor and an 8 Megapixel with Phase Detection AF and is coupled to a dual-tone LED flash. On the front, the Selfie shooter is a standard 8 Megapixel camera which should handle casual Selfies and video calls pretty much easily.
Keeping the beat is a 4000mAh embedded battery ASUS’s HyperCharge 20W fast-charging technology. Out of the box, the new ASUS ROG Phone boots Android 8.1 Oreo with ASUS customized UI and gaming specific features and apps pre-installed.
Besides the sheer power of the ROG Phone, the gaming-centric device supports a number of official accessories specifically designed for gamers. One of which is the AeroActive Cooler accessory that has a built-in cooling fans and includes a USB-C port and a 3.5mm jack that attached to the side USB-C port on the device. This enables users to attached a USB-C cable and a headphone into the device without interfering the gaming experience as it’s held sideways.
Then there’s a streaming dock that uses WiGig 802.11ad connectivity to stream contents to larger compatible displays and another doc that allows users to connect other peripherals including keyboard, mouse and a display with the ROG Phone being the main system or simple the CPU unit of the setup. And for the ultimate mobile gaming experience, ASUS has a TwinView dock, a clamshell handheld accessory that docks the phone on the top part while the bottom has a secondary display for everything. And what really makes the TwinView dock a must have is that it comes with a built-in 6000mAh battery, that’s a total 10,000mAh of battery power for anyone’s gaming needs.
So overall, the ASUS ROG Phone looks like the only gaming device that one needs to get their hands to, I mean there were a few gaming devices in the market at the moment but what ASUS has done with the ROG Phone is just insanely over the roof. If anyone could match it though that would be awesome but if we are to weigh in all other capable devices there is, the ASUS ROG Phone wins without a doubt.
What we haven’t known for now though is the pricing. But with that kind of features, expect them to be over the top of everybody else, unless ASUS has something else in mind.