Asus, a corporation well-known for its Republic of Gaming emblem of computing hardware, is the cutting-edge get into the mobile gaming area with its ROG Phone ($899.99 unlocked). With an overclocked Snapdragon 845 processor and a 90Hz AMOLED show, it is a cell gamer’s dream. But in case you’re a casual gamer or virtually need something more versatile, the Google Pixel 3 XL or OnePlus 6T are each stronger alternatives.
Design and Durability
The ROG Phone has a specific layout that game enthusiasts will possibly love, however, others can also find a little flashy. At 6.25 by means of three.00 by 0.33 inches (HWD) and seven.87 oz, it’s a huge cellphone. It’s nearly the exact identical size and weight as the Razer Phone 2, however heavier than the Pixel three XL (6.20 oz.) and OnePlus 6T (6.Forty two oz). The aggregate of length and weight make the ROG a two-exceeded device that takes up a number of room for your pocket.
Flip the smartphone over and you may without delay note the gamer aesthetic. The smoky Gorilla Glass backplate is adorned with geometric line drawings. There’s an uneven warmth sink at the proper facet of the smartphone with copper accents, in conjunction with a hexagonal digital camera sensor. The fingerprint sensor is also hexagonal and rancid-middle, making it difficult to get admission to.
And even as all the geometric flourishes garner interest, the actual showstopper is the big brand that glows while the smartphone is on. The brand does more than glow, although: It can also warn you of notifications or incoming calls. It’s just like the BlackBerry’s notification light, however with a touch extra flamboyance.
The left aspect of the phone is domestic to its metallic power and volume rocker buttons, each of which provides a satisfying click when tapped. On the proper, there may be a USB-C charging port and a proprietary connector for accessories; a small rubber guard covers the ports when not in use, but it does not attach to the telephone in any manner, so it’s almost sure to get lost. Special markings are also on every aspect of the phone to signify the location of its Air Triggers—strain-touchy buttons that may be used all through gameplay. A 2d USB-C charging port and 3.5mm headphone jack absorb house on the lowest of the smartphone.
The ROG Phone isn’t rugged, nor does it convey any IP score for water or dust safety. Since the phone is made of glass over an aluminum body and has a couple of ports, you may need to treat it with care (and purchase a case).
The ROG Phone’s 6-inch, 2, a hundred and sixty-via-1,080 AMOLED show has an 18: nine-factor ratio. And at the same time as it does not have a notch, the forehead and chin bezels are chunky. Nevertheless, it is a suitable show for gameplay or streaming video. Viewing angles are strong and the cellphone has the inky blacks and rich colors you anticipate from an AMOLED.
In our assessments, we determined the show to have suitable coloration accuracy, though vegetables had been barely undersaturated. Peak brightness measured at 451 nits, and we had a hard time seeing the display screen in direct sunlight.
The most noteworthy feature of the display is its 90Hz refresh fee—a primary for AMOLED. The Razer Phone 2 functions a 120Hz LCD, but LCD doesn’t compare with the rich colors on the ROG Phone. The telephone’s high refresh rate gives a greater responsive revel in as compared with the conventional 60Hz smartphone display while gaming or scrolling through websites or social media feeds. You can choose the refresh charge for person games and apps within the Game Center, however, keep away from setting 90Hz as your default refresh rate unless you need to fast dissipate the battery.
Network Performance and Audio
The ROG Phone is to be had unlocked and works on AT&T and T-Mobile’s networks. It helps LTE bands half of/three/4/5/7/eight/12/thirteen/17/18/19/20/28/29/32/34/38/39/forty/forty-one/forty-six. Band 71 is especially missing, that is a disgrace for T-Mobile clients in rural regions. Network performance in downtown Manhattan on T-Mobile’s network became super, with 28Mbps down and 29Mbps up in spite of heavy community congestion.
Wi-Fi is supported on the two.5GHz and 5GHz bands. There’s also Bluetooth five. Zero for audio and wearables, in addition to NFC for Google Pay.
Call satisfactory is awesome. Transmissions got here throughout clear with minimum clipping, and noise cancellation blocked out all heritage noise. At 88dB, earpiece volume is loud sufficient to hold on a conversation on a hectic avenue.
The ROG Phone’s front-firing speakers are solid. At 91dB, they may be loud enough to fill a small workplace, though the sound isn’t as immersive as what you get on the Razer Phone 2. There’s also DTS:X Ultra 1.0 for more desirable audio best with stressed out headphones.
Processor and Cooling
The ROG Phone functions a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor overclocked at 2.96GHz and 8GB of RAM. The version we examined has 128GB of storage, with about 110GB unfastened out of the field, although Asus also offers a 512GB version for $1,099. There’s no microSD slot on the smartphone, however, Asus does provide 100GB of Google Drive space for twelve months.
In phrases of benchmarks, the ROG is the quickest Android phone to be had. It garnered a Geekbench multi-middle rating of nine,432 and single-core score of 2,572. That’s barely better than the Razer Phone 2 (nine,044 multi-center, 2,432 unmarried-middle) and much better than the Pixel three XL (8,378 multi-middle, 2649 single-middle). Keep in thoughts benchmarks are ideal for comparing further equipped handsets, but might not provide an correct representation of daily-performance.
Since the Asus ROG Phone is constructed for gaming, we placed it via its paces by gambling several prolonged suits of PUBG Mobile. We created a customized profile for the game in X mode, an app that allows you to create character recreation profiles, personalize speed settings and notice average performance. After creating our PUBG profile, we configured the cellphone’s built-in gaming buttons, the aforementioned Air Triggers, to intention and shoot. Gameplay turned into best, with no dropped frames or choppiness.
A vapor chamber, cooling pads, and warmth spreaders are built in to save you overheating, and we observed the phone handiest started to warm up after playing PUBG for an hour. During that hour of gaming, however, battery existence decreased through 20 percentage.
If you find the battery depleting too quick on your liking, Asus bundles a special fan with the telephone known as the AeroActive Cooler. The fan is made frequently for instances whilst you’re charging the phone at some point of gameplay. It has a thoughtfully positioned USB-C charging port that sits on the lowest of the smartphone, alongside a secondary three.5mm jack for multiplayer games.
Although the ROG Phone has a four,000mAh battery, we discovered battery life to be disappointing. During our battery drain take a look at, which runs streaming video over Wi-Fi with the show set to 60Hz at full brightness, the phone died after 6 hours and 9 mins. That’s higher than the Razer Phone 2 (four hours, 17 minutes), but terrible when in comparison with the much less costly OnePlus 6T (8 hours, 31 minutes) and Pixel three XL (8 hours, 10 minutes).
During everyday daily use, with X Mode became off and the display refresh fee set at 60Hz, we had no trouble making it thru a 12-hour day with slight use. If you do discover your self running low on juice, the ROG Phone has a function known as HyperCharge a good way to juice a depleted battery to 60 percent inside half of an hour with the included adapter, in addition to Qualcomm Quick Charge four.0 on each the bottom and side USB-C ports.
You’ll discover a dual digicam array on the back of the ROG Phone. The primary sensor comes in at 12MP and has an f/1.7 aperture, while the 8MP secondary lens has a 120-diploma subject of view. On the front of the telephone, you may find an 8MP selfie cam with an f/2.0 aperture.
Both the rear and the front-facing cameras performed well in daylight checking out. Test photographs had been terrific, albeit oversaturated. The depth of the area was exactly in maximum pictures and historical past info was properly-described. The front-going through digital camera finished nearly as well in vibrant light, although there was a slight lack of historical detail inside the test pictures.
Low-light shots on the ROG Phone have been a combined bag. The rear cameras did an admirable activity, with handiest a slight amount of noise and heritage blur. Photos with the front-dealing with a camera had been muddy and noisy.
Although the cameras on the ROG Phone produce decent consequences, if a terrific digital camera is a priority, you will need to look someplace else. The OnePlus 6T produces comparable pictures in vibrant light, and does a good deal higher in low light, way to its Night Mode. If you need the absolute exceptional cellphone digicam, the Google Pixel 3 XL is your pinnacle preference.
The ROG Phone ships with Android eight.1 Oreo. We’re disappointed it does not come with Android 9.0 Pie, but anticipate an replace in the destiny. An enormously customized skin known as ZenUI sits atop Android and modifications pretty much the entirety, from app icons to the notification bar. The look screams gamer and is all over again an acquired taste. Luckily, it can be without problems modified with a launcher.
There’s now not a ton of bloatware at the telephone, but Asus consists of a suite of custom apps. The Game Center app sits at the dock and permits you to peer stats about the cellphone and create custom consumer profiles for games. It’s also in which you personalize the rear logo.
ZenMoji additionally comes preloaded. It’s Asus’ take on Apple’s Animoji and Samsung’s AR Emoji. The app allows you to create cute GIFs that comply with your facial movements. In addition to a handful of animals, there are numerous human characters. While you can exchange the coloration of your ZenMoji’s history, you can’t make any customizations to the ZenMoji itself. It’s a shame, in particular in view that there aren’t any alternatives that constitute humans of color.
If you are inside the marketplace for a gaming cellphone, the Asus ROG Phone is the one to get, with the exceptional balance of hardware and functions for hardcore cellular game enthusiasts. For informal game enthusiasts, but, the phone may be overkill. The OnePlus6T has extraordinary specs for $350 much less, at the same time as the Pixel 3XL functions the great phone camera you may locate, and is first in line to get Android updates and special features.