If someone came to you in 2017 to tell you about a mobile phone which would let you game like you do on a gaming console, you’d have probably been right in shutting them up. But things changed when long-time computer-maker Razer developed and launched their Razer Phone with a Quad-HD 120Hz display with 8 gigs of RAM. If you thought gaming on a smartphone couldn’t go beyond that, Xiaomi unveiled their version of a gaming smartphone with the Black Shark which was followed by Nubia releasing the Red Magic smartphone back in April.
Gone are the days when the tech crowd were sceptical about gaming smartphones and we can clearly say so looking at the newest announcement from ASUS. Starting the proceedings at the Computex 2018 in Taiwan, ASUS introduced the ROG Gaming Phone which is the first mobile device under the company’s Republic of Gamers lineup. The ROG Phone as the device is referred to comes with a 6-inch FHD+ AMOLED HDR panel that has a high refresh rate of 90Hz and a response time of 1ms. The company claims that the device covers 108.6 percent of the DCI-P3 colour gamut with a dedicated HDR mode for gaming.
Internally, the ASUS gaming smartphone comes with a custom version of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC, clocking in at 2.96Hz instead of the regular specced 2.8GHz clock speed. It’s coupled with 8GB of RAM and up to 512GB of onboard storage’s as to be sufficient for the high-end games that it’s designed to run. Additional features on the inside include a GameCool system that ensures the thermals on the inside doesn’t heat up using the copper heat spreader and 3D Vapor chamber embedded next to the chipset.
The ROG Phone has three ultrasonic pressure sensitive zones one of which works like the squeezing function on the HTC U11 and the Google Pixel 2 but however, activates a special X Mode. The X Mode is ASUS’ way to optimize the ROG phone by disabling background processes and services, activating the inbuilt cooling technology and turning the theme inside the phone to red indicating that extreme gaming smartphone can then be performed. The other two pressure sensitive zones are located at the two corner while using the device in landscape mode and can be re-mapped to a user’s choosing.
The ASUS ROG gaming phone pulls no stop at being a flagship smartphone of 2018 as it packs in a dual 12MP + 8MP camera at the back which is set up horizontally adjacent to each, not so far away from the rhombic-designed fingerprint scanner at the back. All of this is powered by a massive 4,000mAh battery which supports ASUS HyperCharge technology for faster-charging cycles. The power adapter is the one which now equips the charging chip instead of the mobile device so as to reduce the heat that’s dissipated on the smartphone while it’s being charged.
Along with 4G VoLTE, WiFi, GPS, NFC and Bluetooth v5.0, the ROG Phone also equips three USB-C ports – one on the bottom and two on the sides. While the ports on the sides will indeed provide support for additional accessories (which we’ll talk about in a minute), ASUS says that the ports on the sides will allow users to play games in landscape mode without having to deal with an irritating cable that is sticking out from the bottom.
If the ROG Phone hasn’t impressed you yet, ASUS’ bunch of accessories are sure to sweep you off your feet.
AeroActive Cooler – While ASUS sells all of its accessories for an additional price, the clip-on AeroActive Cooler is essentially a cooling fan for the device, the parameters to which can be controlled via ASUS’ dedicated app.
TwinView Pedestal – If you wish to use a second screen for an immersive gaming experience instead of tactile buttons, the TwinView Pedestal gives you an additional 6-inch screen. Not only does the accessory allow you to use your ROG Phone as a Nintendo 3DS, it provides an extra 6,000mAh battery to the already 4,000mAh powered unit.
Gamevice Gamepad – Like the name reads, the add-on offers a gamepad-like dock which allows you to game using a bunch of mechanical keys on the Gamepad.
WiGig Dock – The 60GHz 802.11ad WiFi based dock transforms smartphones gaming into console gaming by letting you stream content and games on a TV.
Mobile Desktop Dock – Probably the best thing to happen to a smartphone is the Mobile Desktop dock which takes some inspiration from Samsung DeX and allows the ROG Phone to be used as a Desktop PC. Not only can the dock be connected to an external display, it allows users to add a keyboard, mouse and other peripherals and also is backwards compatible.
With all this going in favour of the ASUS ROG Phone, there’s no way that the device will be a cheap proposition. Not only does ASUS pack a whole plethora of accessories to sell its first gaming dedicated smartphone, the Taiwanese giant has gone on to create a whole ecosystem that works differently for different accessories and possibly future ROG phones. Expect this to be the most expensive gaming smartphone of current times and if things go well for ASUS, you can expect this to hit the shelves during the latter part of Q3 2018.