ASUS launches the ROG Phone 3 with the Snapdragon 865 Plus, 144Hz display, and 6000mAh battery
The ASUS ROG Phone is a gaming smartphone series from ASUS that is unapologetic about being “gaming first”. While this is certainly not the only gaming smartphone series around, it is one of the more widely available gaming phones that have consistently been pushing the boundaries of how much overkill can you really go on a phone. ASUS is now releasing the successor to the surprisingly successful ROG Phone II, coming in the form of the ASUS ROG Phone 3 and the ASUS ROG Phone 3 Strix Edition.
ASUS ROG Phone 3: Specifications
|Specification||ASUS ROG Phone 3|
|Dimensions & Weight|
|RAM & Storage|
|Battery & Charging|
|Fingerprint sensor||In-display fingerprint sensor|
|Front Camera||24MP, f/2.0, 0.9µm pixel|
|Android Version||Android 10 with ROG UI or ZenUI|
While other OEMs go around adding the “Pro” moniker to their flagships to indicate a step up from a flagship to a true flagship, ASUS has decided to stick with the vanilla ROG branding to refer to its overpowered beast. And in the same breath, a slightly saner variant of the ROG Phone 3 comes in the form of the ROG Phone 3 Strix Edition, but even this is squarely within flagship territory. The only differences between the two variants are that the Strix Edition comes with a Snapdragon 865 instead of the Snapdragon 865 Plus, and lower amounts of RAM and storage (but still retaining the latest RAM and storage technologies). No matter which ROG Phone you pick up, you do end up getting the ultimate gaming smartphone.
The ASUS ROG Phone 3 largely has the same design aesthetic as the previous phones in this series, as we’ve seen in the leaks before. It isn’t meant to attract the average consumer but that’s okay because they aren’t the target audience here. While it is still debatable whether smartphone gamers do appreciate this design aesthetic, we all can unanimously agree that the spec-chasers would much rather focus on what is inside the phone. While the phone might look like it has a metallic back, it is a glass sandwich with covers for the air vents and a metallic mid-frame. There’s also the ROG logo with a multicolor LED underneath, as well as sharp angular patterns for the camera island and LED flash.
The ROG Phone 3 also stands out for its size and display. The dimensions of the device indicate that this is a big and thick phone and that 240g weight will surely be noticeable when holding the phone. But the screen is only 6.59″ diagonally because the phone also accommodates dual front speakers — making it perhaps the only phone this year with this feature. ASUS also takes pride in the display on the phone, and for good reason, as it comes with a 144Hz maximum refresh rate along with options to switch to 120Hz, 90Hz, and 60Hz according to your preference. ASUS also claims a 1ms response time and a 270Hz touch sampling rate to provide 25ms touch latency. The display is also 10bit and supports HDR10+ for high dynamic range content. The display is also protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 6.
On the inside, the ROG Phone 3 is an absolute monster. We already knew that it would be coming with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus. ASUS is also helping this SoC with up to 16GB of the latest LPDDR5 RAM and up to 512GB of UFS 3.1 internal storage. Much thought has also been extended to heat dissipation, as the device features a vapor chamber, a large graphite film behind the screen, an enlarged heat sink, and vents in the back cover — ASUS claims this is one of the most effective thermal solutions available on a mobile device. The whole package should not only allow the ROG Phone 3 to reach one of the best raw performance levels on an Android smartphone but to also sustain this peak for a longer duration without needing to throttle. And this longer duration is also promised by the 6000mAh battery, which explains the weight of the device and should be a necessity to let you keep gaming for a few hours on a 144Hz display. And since you have the Snapdragon 865 on-board, you also get 5G support on the smartphone.
The ROG Phone 3 adopts a landscape-first ergonomics, in-line with its focus on smartphone gaming. The device also features ultrasonic sensors for AirTrigger 3, and this time, ASUS has upgraded what you can do with the side buttons and gestures. You can use the whole length of the ultrasonic button on each side as a single action button, or you can adopt a dual partition layout to divide the longer button into two shorter buttons. You can also swipe left and right to trigger different touchpoints, and you can also set vertical and horizontal slides for in-game actions like view controls. You can also press and hold for a continuous trigger. And if you still need more options, you can also shake the phone to activate a touchpoint. All of these actions will help simplify the experience of games that have a plethora of actions on-screen, such as PUBG Mobile.
And then there’s the 2x USB Type-C ports: one at the bottom and one at the side, so gamers will appreciate the convenience of using either for charging. The port on the side also connects to accessories such as the AeroActive Cooler 3, which in turn features a pass-through USB Type-C connector, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a kickstand.
Perhaps the only areas where the ROG Phone 3 does compromise is on the lack of an IP rating, the missing 3.5mm headphone jack, and missing wireless charging. The camera hardware also appears decent on paper, but past experiences from gaming smartphones indicate that we should keep our expectations grounded when it comes to them.
For the software, the ASUS ROG Phone 3 allows users to choose between the gaming-aesthetic ROG UI or the more cleaner looking ZenUI. The base Android version is Android 10, and ASUS claims to stick close to stock Android on both the skins apart from the visual identity and some gaming-specific features.
ASUS is also launching accessories alongside the ROG Phone 3. These include a new modular ROG Kunai 3 Gamepad which adds physical gamepad controls to the phone; a new ROG Lighting Armor Case; a ROG Clip to attach the phone to some selected console controllers; a new TwinView Dock 3 that provides a second 144Hz display for dual-screen gameplay; and a Mobile Desktop Dock to allow gamers to connect a desktop keyboard and mouse for a desktop-like gaming experience on an external TV or monitor.
Pricing and Availability for the ASUS ROG Phone 3
The global pricing of the ASUS ROG Phone 3 is as mentioned below:
- ROG Phone 3 Strix Edition (8GB + 256GB): €799
- ROG Phone 3 (12GB + 512GB): €999
- ROG Phone 3 (16GB + 512GB): €1,099
The device will be available from the end of July 2020 in Europe.
- ROG Phone 3 (8GB + 128GB): ₹49,999 (~$670)
- ROG Phone 3 (12GB + 256GB): ₹57,999 (~$777)
The Indian box includes a 3.5mm headphone jack adapter as well as a case in the box. The device will be available from Flipkart.com from August 6, 2020, onwards.
We’ll update pricing and availability for more regions as soon as it gets announced. Pricing and availability for accessories will also vary across regions.
What are your thoughts on the ASUS ROG Phone 3? Let us know in the comments below!