ASUS is sending the ROG Phone 3 to custom ROM developers from LineageOS, Paranoid Android, Dirty Unicorns, and others
Bridging the gap between Android OEMs and the aftermarket development scene is part of what we do on the XDA Portal. Our initiative with Xiaomi for the POCO F1, for instance, played a significant role in the rise of the vibrant modding community around the smartphone. Device seeding also helped boost the popularity of the POCO X2 and the Redmi Note 8 Pro on our forums and among enthusiasts. Apart from Xiaomi, Realme and ASUS have also collaborated with us in the past with similar device seeding efforts. Now, ASUS is taking another step towards boosting their developer-friendliness by sending the newly launched ASUS ROG Phone 3 to select custom ROM and kernel developers.
The ROG Phone 3 has the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus chip, a 6.59-inch 144Hz high refresh rate AMOLED display, up to 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM, a massive 6,000mAh battery with passthrough charging support, dual front-facing stereo speakers, an in-display fingerprint sensor, and a whole lot of goodies packed inside a gamer-centric chassis. On the software side, the device offers a pretty polished user experience through the latest ZenUI 7/ROG UI skin on top of Android 10.
The Taiwanese OEM has already released an official bootloader unlock tool and continues to publish up-to-date kernel source code for the device, which should be useful in getting the ball rolling on making custom ROMs, kernels, and other modifications. In addition, with the company shipping devices to developers, we expect third-party development to switch to high gear on our forums.
List of developers who will get the ROG Phone 3
Here is the list of developers that were selected to receive the ASUS ROG Phone 3.
|XDA Username||Project||Prior Work|
|luca020400||LineageOS||LineageOS for the ASUS ZenFone 6, OnePlus 6, and Samsung Galaxy Tab S2|
|OrdenKrieger||LineageOS||LineageOS for the ASUS ROG Phone II and ZenFone 6|
|xboxfanj||Paranoid Android||Paranoid Android for the OnePlus 6|
|mosimchah||AICP, LineageOS||AICP contributor and LineageOS for the LeEco Le Pro3|
|micky387||OmniROM||OmniROM for the ASUS ZenFone 6 and OnePlus 6T|
|NYCHitman1||Dirty Unicorns||Dirty Unicorns for the Google Pixel 2 XL, Pixel 3, Pixel 4a, Moto G7 Plus and Redmi Note 7|
|_Mrinal_||CarbonROM||CarbonROM for the POCO X2, OnePlus 5, and OnePlus 5T|
|aleasto||LineageOS||Previous AOSPExtended contributor and current LineageOS contributor|
|phhusson||Project Treble GSI support||Lead developer of custom Project Treble GSIs|
|Freak07||Kirisakura Kernel||Custom kernels for the Google Pixel series, ASUS ZenFone 6, ROG Phone II and OnePlus 7 Pro|
|tbalden||CleanSlate Kernel||Custom kernels for the Google Pixel 4/4 XL, OnePlus 8/8 Pro, OnePlus 6/6T and multiple HTC devices|
|Captain_Throwback||TWRP||TWRP developer for multiple HTC devices|
Some of the developers in the list have already received their devices, which is why we are already seeing some releases such as an early TWRP build and custom kernels like Kirisakura Kernel and CleanSlate Kernel. The CleanSlate developer in particular is having a bit of fun with the device, with tweaks to the notification LED and more actions for the AirTriggers squeeze feature.
Porting AOSP takes a bit more time, especially since there are always unforseen issues with pairing the AOSP framework with vendor binaries (the under-display fingerprint sensor is a common issue for AOSP builds, for example, because there is no standard implementation for it). The listed custom ROM developers who have already received their devices are working diligently to fix these and other issues, so keep an eye out on our forums for when the builds are stable enough for public use.
If you’re wondering about Google Camera ports, the latest builds by Wichaya support the ROG Phone 3. With the Google Camera port, you can use all 4 camera lenses and even capture 64MP unbinned images with HDR+ enhanced enabled. While you don’t need to root your phone to use a Google Camera port, there are other benefits to rooting, such as being able to enable VoLTE on T-Mobile in the U.S.
In our ROG Phone 3 and ASUS ZenFone 7 Pro reviews, we noted how ZenUI/ROG UI offers welcome customization options without significantly altering the stock Android look and feel that we have all grown to love. From our conversations with ASUS, it’s clear their software development team values giving users as much choice as possible. However, there are only so many features the OEM can officially support, but there are no restraints on what third-party custom ROM and kernel developers can cook up. With physical devices in their hands, these developers will be in a better position to contribute to projects that offer more choice to end-users and eventually help extend the life of the phone. We hope to see more OEMs recognize the potential of an active development community and follow in the footsteps of ASUS.
If you’re interested in purchasing the ROG Phone 3, you can grab it from the ASUS Store in Europe or Taiwan. The 8GB RAM + 256GB Strix Edition costs €799, but it features the Snapdragon 865 rather than the 865 Plus. The Snapdragon 865 Plus is found in the higher-end 12 + 512 and 16 + 512 models costing €999 and €1,099 respectively. The phone has been confirmed to launch in the U.S., but ASUS has not announced a launch date yet.
Device seeding is also planned for the ROG Phone 3’s sibling device, the ZenFone 7 series, but no devices have been shipped yet and/or the list has not been finalized. Once we can confirm those details, we’ll follow up with a separate article.