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ASUS ROG Phone Hands-On, First Impressions


Nowadays, gaming products such as laptops, peripherals, chairs, and desktops are commonly found in the market but what’s new is that companies started integrating their gaming concepts into smartphones. Thus, the ASUS ROG phone was born. Here’s our hands-on and first impressions of the company’s first gaming smartphone here in Computex 2018.

Asus Rog Phone Upclose • Asus Rog Phone Hands-On, First Impressions

We all know that the ROG Phone is not just your common smartphone with a simplistic design. Right off the bat, you can see the gaming-themed design at the back, which took its inspiration from the brand’s gaming laptop line. Simply put, the phone screams power from top to bottom.

The ROG Phone has a 6-inch FHD+ 18:9 AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time, and HDR. With these specs alone, you’ll know that ASUS ROG is going all out with its display. Color reproduction is great and viewing angles are acceptable. This is also the first ever AMOLED to have a 90Hz refresh rate.

Thanks to its refresh rate, playing games or watching videos on this device will be buttery smooth.  The orange bars peeping out in the front are actually two front-facing speakers. Speaking of speakers, the audio quality is great with the volume being loud enough to be heard in a closed room full of people talking.

Asus Rog Phone Hands • Asus Rog Phone Hands-On, First Impressions

The ROG phone actually has a pretty weird yet logical placement of a special port — in the middle of the left side. Since gaming is mostly done in landscape mode, ASUS created a special USB Type-C port where you can attach an accessory that will double as the charging port with HyperCharge technology and an added fan for extra cooling. This removes the hassle of having a cable sticking out on the left or right side of your hand when gaming in landscape. The port is also the main connector for most of the phone’s other accessories.

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Now, this is where it becomes special, the right side of the device holds, what ASUS calls, AirTrigger buttons. These are pressure sensitive buttons that actuate at 20 grams of force. They act as an additional button when used in landscape mode, think the L1 and R1 buttons of a controller. Other than that, commands can also be mapped to it via a built-in software.

Asus Rog Phone Left • Asus Rog Phone Hands-On, First Impressions

Another AirTrigger button can be found on the right side, which was designed to be an added button for portrait operations.

Asus Rog Phone Right • Asus Rog Phone Hands-On, First Impressions

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What we like about the ROG Phone on the get-go is the presence of a 3.5mm audio port below which will always be a plus for us. (Ahem, Razer) Aside from that, there’s the usual USB Type-C port.

Asus Rog Phone Bottom • Asus Rog Phone Hands-On, First Impressions

Finally, at the back is the dual 12MP + 8MP cameras, a weird-shaped fingerprint scanner, and two exhaust vents. What’s new is the vapor-chamber cooling system, which is supposed to keep the ROG phone cool under intense heat. Oh, and the ROG logo at the back is RGB.

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Asus Rog Phone Back • Asus Rog Phone Hands-On, First Impressions

In the hands, the ROG Phone feels heavy due to its 200g weight but it doesn’t feel bulky even though it has an 8.6mm thickness. The height and width are decent enough to be put in any user’s pocket.

Asus Rog Phone With Aeroactive Cooler • Asus Rog Phone Hands-On, First Impressions

The ROG Phone is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor with an Adreno 630 GPU and 8GB RAM. From simple navigations to heavy gaming performance, tasks are just a piece of cake. We also noticed that its user interface is heavily customized and different from the usual ZenFone smartphones that we’ve seen.

Along with this setup comes a 128GB/512GB internal storage options which are more than enough for storing files and games. We’ll surely be taking this gaming smartphone beast for a full spin when we get our hands on it.

Apart from the above mentioned included accessory, there will also be a few that will be sold separately:

  • TwinView Dock – for dual-screen handheld mode
  • Mobile Desktop Dock – for desktop usage
  • Gamvice controller w/ WiGig Dock – uses 60GHz Wi-Fi for big screens

ASUS ROG Phone key specifications:

  • 6-inch 18:9 AMOLED display @ 2160x1080px, 108.6% DCI-P3 color gamut
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 6
  • 90Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time
  • HDR
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 2.96GHz octa-core processor
  • Adreno 630 GPU
  • 128GB/512GB UFS 2.1 internal storage
  • 12MP Sony IMX363 1.4um, 1/2.55” w/ f/1.8 Night HDR, OIS/EIS, PDAF main
  • 8MP 120-degrees wide-angle secondary
  • 8MP f/2.0 front camera
  • 4G LTE Cat. 18
  • Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ad, 2×2 MIMO
  • Wi-Fi Direct and WiGig wireless display support
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • NFC
  • GPS, A-GPS, Glonass, and BeiDou
  • Custom USB Type-C port (side) w/ HyperCharge
  • USB 2.0 Type-C (bottom) w/ Fast charging
  • 3.5mm audio port
  • Dual front-facing stereo speakers with smart amplifier (24-bit/192KHz Hi-Res audio)
  • DTS Headphone:X™ 7.1 virtual surround-sound
  • Advanced vibration
  • 2x AirTrigger sensors
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • GameCool vaper-chamber cooling system w/ detachable AeroActive Cooler
  • ASUS RGB lighting support
  • ASUS Aura Sync support
  • 4,000mAh battery with HyperCharge technology
  • 158.8 x 76.2 x 8.6mm
  • 200g
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Pricing is not yet announced but the ASUS ROG Phone will be available this summer.

More from Computex 2018:

Avatar Of Vaughn Chua

Vaughn is your go-to person when it comes to comparing gadgets especially smartphones. He's also a gamer by heart and the "Hackerman" of the team.

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Kenneth S
Kenneth S
4 years ago

This looks very cool! I just started searching for a gaming phone, I wonder what are the competitors for this?

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