The Asus ROG Phone is announced: it's meant to make headshots, but it aims at gamers' hearts

Mobile games are becoming a huge deal, there's no denying that. With phones becoming as powerful as a portable PC, developers have much more resources to work with. We've seen ports of popular console games work on smartphones, but also titles developed specifically for the mobile platform run with stunning graphics and framerates.

Well, if you have the right hardware that is.

Late last year, Razer jumped in the frey that is the smartphone market with its own first-ever handset — the Razer Phone. Now, Asus strikes back with the official announcement of the Asus ROG Phone. Meant as a part of the whole Republic of Gamers gaming hardware ecosystem, the ROG Phone offers top-tier hardware as well as some extra perks meant to please the hardcore powerusers.

Design and display

The Asus ROG Phone is unmistakably a gamer device. A full metal body with a glass back is accented throughout with aggressive-looking streaks and lines. A speacial vent at the back makes sure your processor gets enough cooling in order to keep pumping out those frames and quality graphics. Two speakers on the front deliver stereo sound, but don't worry — there's still a headphone jack next to the USB Type-C port at the bottom.

The display is an 18:9 AMOLED panel with the super-impressive refresh rate of 90 Hz. Sure, Asus didn't hit Razer's mark of 120 Hz, but let's not forget we have AMOLED vs LCD technology here. Asus' achievement is quite impressive and we'd love to see how it holds up in person.

Here's the big deal — the Asus ROG Phone actually has triggers embedded in the side of its frame. You can program each trigger for an exact action — be it a swipe or a tap. In other words, you can simulate holding a controller and you will finally be able to play shooter games on your phone more comfortably. When not in-game, the triggers can be programmed as app shortcuts. Asus also claims that the phone's enhanced haptics will make the device vibrate much like a conventional controller.

Hardware and enhancements

Of course you can expect the latest-and-greatest in commercially-available hardware to be shoved into a smartphone that's marketed as a gamer's dream. An octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 clocked at 2.96 GHz ticks inside, a generous 8 GB of RAM chip takes care of multitasking, and you've got a choice between 128 GB and 512 GB of storage.

There's a dual camera module on the back — a 12 MP main camera and an 8 MP secondary camera with a 120-degree wide-angle lens. On the front, there's an 8 MP snapper.

All of this is kept on by a rather generous 4,000 mAh battery, which should last you quite a bit on a single charge unless you are blasting through multiple matches of Fortnite, that is.

But what's cooler is that there are plenty of accessories to enhance your experience with the ROG Phone. For one, there's the included AeroActive Cooler, which can be attached to your phone via a proprietary port on the side. Granted, it kind of spoils the aesthetics, but the extra device is there to provide extra cooling for your phone when you are in the middle of an intense gaming session and the chassis is already burning up. It has ports for charging and headphones that lead the cables away from your grip as you play, so that you can plug your cables in a more comfortable spot during prolonged gaming sessions.

There's the Mobile Desktop Dock, which will let you power a 4K monitor and a set of keyboard and mouse peripherals to get a desktop experience a-la Samsung DeX and similar products.

The TwinView Dock is a clamshell-type handheld console with its own display. Pur the ROG Phone in there and it lights up with both available displays, opening up possibilities for game developers to use two screens independently. Alternatively, you can use the two screens to multitask. The clamshell houses an extra 6,000 mAh battery so that you don't drain your phone's battery halfway through the day.

Lastly, a WiGig Dock will let you mirror your phone's display wirelessly to your living room TV, giving you a larger screen to play on in a jiffy.

Price and release

There's no word on what the price for the ROG Phone would be, but given the specs and the brand history of the Republic of Gamers products, we wouldn't expect it to be cheap. The docks also seem to be separate purchases, but at least the AeroActive Cooler going to come in the box.

As far as release date goes — all we know is that it's slated for Q3 of 2018. This gives enough time for Razer to clap back with an eventual Razer Phone 2.

source: Asus



1. AbhiD

Posts: 885; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

Well, you did miss out a lot of things to point out in article. Some of them are carbon cooling pad, large copper heat spreader, 3D vapour chamber, vents at the back, all just to keep the phone Cool while gaming. Not only that, the ROG logo on the back lights up, there are 2 USB type C ports, S845 is not only overclocked in it but can also sustain peak performance for 5 times a regular flagship can. S845 used in this phone has been fine-tuned in collaboration with Qualcomm. Not to mention hoards of accessories and ecosystem it comes coupled with. External snap on cooling fan, snap on gaming pad that attaches to both sides, various docks etc. IMO this is the best gaming phone out there with best specs and the claimed best performance. Razer phone just left behind in the dust. Xiaomi and ZTE solutions don't even compete. PS - It has 30 watts super fast charging as well, with similar tech to Dash Charging, so as to charge phone without any issues while using.

20. PeeCee25

Posts: 20; Member since: Jan 07, 2018

How much time will a 30 watt fast charger take to charge the 4000mAh battery from scratch to 100%,I wonder?

36. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Probably 0-80% under 10 minutes, and charge speed will be slowed down after that.. My guess will be 30-40 minutes from 0 to 100%

2. ahmadkun

Posts: 691; Member since: May 02, 2016

Because i'm a heavy user .. the market offers only few options to me like the note line and LG's V line but i still need something stronger, and i like the idea of these gaming phones i'd like to get one not only to play games but to get high performance .. the same with my laptop .. it's gaming laptop but i'm designing graphics and edit videos with it and it's really good

7. deleon629 unregistered

Exactly. The market has yet to see a true multitask-capable phone, that can run apps and programs with desktop level quality; without overheating and crashing of apps, which has become the norm. Android is banking on consumers having low expectations for their cellphones and for a long time they've convinced us that the expectation of an ideal desktop experience (use Office suite without auto-closing, etc.) is asking too much of them or unrealistic.

3. torr310

Posts: 1724; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

this should earn design awards.

37. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Right, they nailed the "gamer's phone" idea.. They just need to price it right.. $1000 for the phone and all accessories will be a good deal :D

4. Boast_Rider

Posts: 536; Member since: Sep 14, 2017

I don't see much of a point. Don't get me wrong, I have no doubt that this phone will be faster than other android phones, but there are no games that can even take advantage of the regular 845 currently. Not to mention the fact that this phone will cost more than a serious PC tower, and unlike PCs, the accessories here are going to go in a bin with the phone 2 years down the line, since they won't be forward compatible. It's a nice try, and an absolutely great spectacle of what can be done with a little more thickness(11 mm gives you 4000 mAh battery, stereo speakers, extra I/O, vapor chamber, RGB LEDs), but this phone is just not practical. I just want a simple phone with 845, 4000 mAh battery, stereo speakers, good cameras and a decent screen. Basically, just this phone without the bling, 90Hz screen, thickness, extra I/O and the price(I expect it to be $$$$).

13. semipro1337

Posts: 116; Member since: Oct 01, 2012

If you don't see the point, your not the target audience and shouldn't make comments like that. The point is that mobile gaming may overtake desktop gaming at some point, with Asus being a leader in gaming hardware they needed to have a product out there to compete with the Nintendo switch, and the upcoming mobile gaming device boom. The others who will say how ugly it is can stay with their subjectively pretty iPhones and galaxies, while true hardcore gamers will spend their money on this instead of the same old phones with a new number next to them. If this takes off expect Samsung and apple to try and cash in like usual. Both tend to be copy cats of each other with no negativity from either biased side towards their respective non inonnovative devices. Asus just innovated the market, keep this in mind the next time a new more advanced stylus or gimmicky way to unlock your phone comes around from the other companies.

17. Boast_Rider

Posts: 536; Member since: Sep 14, 2017

Well, I'm not bashing the phone, just posting my opinion, which is what comment section is for. I suspect this is going to bomb. Yes, mobile gaming will overtake PC gaming at some point, but that won't be due to 5% extra overclock. Those who are really serious will just buy an iPhone and get the extra performance, plus the better optimized games. Games on android suck, and that's because the devs have to tone it down to run on low end hardware. I own a Oneplus 3 BTW, so no iPhone owner here.

31. semipro1337

Posts: 116; Member since: Oct 01, 2012

Games on Android don't suck because of Android, it's also because of Qualcomm. The games may not run as well as apple because they fine tune their hardware and software to run as efficiently as they can. While software that runs more poorly on Android is technically the fault of both companies who push product out that works for so many devices, the game publishers do the same on Android. I agree with you, like you said the ports aren't as good, they can't optimize for 2 or 3 pieces of hardware like they can with iOS, they have to port to many different variants of hardware. Your comment about low end hardware I also agree with, but any new game engines should be able to tone itself down to run on the given hardware, unreal 4 does this I believe. I wish Qualcomm did 1 gaming processor with Nvidia GPU.. If they and Nvidia worked together to get the thermals and wattage where it needs to be, if anyone could give better GPU performance it would be Nvidia. Everyone knows GPU performance wins over CPU performance in games 100% of the time.

33. Boast_Rider

Posts: 536; Member since: Sep 14, 2017

It's not about the GPU performance really. Qualcomm is actually licensing AMD Radeon tech(ever noticed that adreno is an anagram) and it's really miles ahead right now compared to Apple's custom GPU and ARM Mali solutions. The issue is with the android as a whole platform and the fragmentation. With iOS, I have just high end devices, since there is no low end one. I make all the fancy graphics in metal. On android, I work on OpenGL (since vulkan never caught on ) and have to optimise for low end devices. Since high end devices are so low in number ( android 8 is only on like 6% devices ) I just don't care. I make a poor port and get away with it. Qualcomm can fit a GTX 1080 ti in a phone and Android gaming will still suck. Anyway, all the popular Android games are low intensity ( temple run, Subway surf, monument valley, asphalt 8, Candy crush, clash of clans etc ). So it's probably not that bad that graphics suck on android phones.

34. semipro1337

Posts: 116; Member since: Oct 01, 2012

Actually ATI (AMD) sold the tech to Qualcomm, its not licensed. It was renamed to Adreno before it was sold. And I have been a PC gamer for 20 years, and trust me when I say GPU performance trumps CPU performance 100% of the time. I wont argue that point with you, its the absolute truth. While most games still use 1 - 2 cores of a CPU, the GPU does the majority of the workload with physics and of course rendering. My old i7 6700K which I sold to a friend to buy my Ryzen 1600x running a GTX 1060 at the time gained 1/3 more FPS in GPU intensive games once I got an OC 1070. Once I installed the Ryzen, which in multithreaded workloads walks over the 6700K, there was maybe a 5% difference in FPS. Points is, much faster CPU, minimal change in FPS. Desktop CPU's tend to bottleneck GPU's = GPU's consume more bandwidth and do more processing than some modern CPU's can keep up with. Video rendering is now being done on GPU cores because they are light years ahead of CPU cores in areas like that. Supercomputers are being built on GPU tech not CPU tech, that should in itself explain with one is faster. What exactly is your definition of "suck" when it comes to Android gaming? I have seen what an Nvidia Shield is capable of, PUBG on Android's higher end phones is not much different than iPhone (they both look like a pile of pixely s**t). Sure, iPhone may load faster, but gameplay is not much different if at all between these 2 devices.,

28. AmashAziz

Posts: 2934; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

That is an excellent post sir. Truly, I want gaming phones and if I have the budget for them, I will buy them.

40. mootu

Posts: 1541; Member since: Mar 16, 2017

"while true hardcore gamers will spend their money on this instead of the same old phones with a new number next to them." I've been a hardcore gamer for the last 30 years and i wouldn't even give a device like this a 2nd thought. BTW harcore gamers don't do their gaming on phones.

5. deleon629 unregistered

Ladies and gentlemen...THIS is what a $1k-plus phone looks like

29. AmashAziz

Posts: 2934; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

And it's price hasn't even been revealed.

6. Loveneesh

Posts: 451; Member since: Jul 14, 2015

Shut up and take my money.

8. deleon629 unregistered

Wasn't the Predator tablet supposed to cover this market? What happened to it?

9. Farcaster

Posts: 167; Member since: Apr 16, 2018

Why is gaming always associated with gaudy design?

10. Ghost04

Posts: 522; Member since: May 03, 2014

Gaming phones is a useless concept as long as their is no games in the platform to support such potential.

11. fyah_king unregistered

My cash is ready!!!

12. WingMan

Posts: 263; Member since: Mar 28, 2008

There are no games to use the hardware to the full capacity, but there are a few great things about this one. The included cooling fan is awesome, so there shouldn't be any throttling. Considering how fast the phones have become, the desktop dock sounds amazing as well. p.s. You can't take a PC tower with you so the comparison is irrelevant, and PC's are not really backward compatible either. Cpu sockets, ram standards etc change quite frequently, so by the time you have to upgrade CPU or RAM, you have to get new of everything. New socket, new RAM socket, etc.

23. Loveneesh

Posts: 451; Member since: Jul 14, 2015

Well, mobile games is evolving much faster than consoles and PC and after the start of this new concept of gaming phones, the game developers now not need to worry about heating to use the Soc to its full potential. I'm pretty sure that there some new games will come in mobile gaming who use the hardware to it's full potential.

14. Chris_ABN

Posts: 198; Member since: May 16, 2018

Great phone with specs but I just don't find gaming on a phone that fun. I don't take it nowhere as serious as my Console. But to each his own. I'm sure they'res ppl that love gaming on a phone. I've played old console games on my S9 Plus with the adapter it came with to play threw a emulator and it was fun to have all my old games I used to play. But if I have to use my screen for buttons, f**k a gaming phone

15. Humanoid

Posts: 1226; Member since: Dec 11, 2017

You take subway to go home after a long day at work. You take this phone out of your pocket and start playing games. Next to you someone with a Moto G2 is playing the same game. LOL

18. josephnero

Posts: 795; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

Yeah lol

27. AbhiD

Posts: 885; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

The next someone can't even run PUBG on their G2 while this can run the same game at max settings possible for the longest periods out there. This is not targeted at candy crush market.

38. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Playing PUBG on subway is a terrible idea IMO. (did you have good 4G coverage in subway?)

16. josephnero

Posts: 795; Member since: Nov 16, 2011

Man,if it had Sony Xperia UI I would have bought it in a heart beat. I don't like asus ui much

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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