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Our First Look at the ASUS ROG Phone

Tech giant Asus seeks to unite their expertise in mobile and gaming tech with the ROG Phone. We’ve recently had some hands on time with the ROG Phone and here’s what we thought of it.

Specifications:

BODY 

158.8 x 76.2 x 8.7 mm (6.25 x 3.00 x 0.34 in)
Build Front/back glass (Gorilla Glass) & aluminum frame


DISPLAY 

 AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 6.0 inches, 92.9 cm2 (~76.8% screen-to-body ratio)
1080 x 2160 pixels, 18:9 ratio (~402 ppi density)

PLATFORM 

OS Android 8.1 (Oreo)
Qualcomm SDM845 Snapdragon 845 (10 nm)
Octa-core (4x2.96 GHz Kryo 385 Gold & 4x1.7 GHz Kryo 385 Silver)
Internal 128/512 GB, 8 GB RAM

Right out of the box, ASUS has clearly gone out of their way to make sure the ROG Phone feels like a premium experience. Even the box it comes is elegantly designed. The unique hexagonal packaging stands out from the sea of plain boxes that other phones traditionally come in. The exterior of the box is engraved with various markings that resemble circuitry with the red Republic of Gamers logo on the sides of the box.

The packaging unfurls to reveal the ROG Phone and the various accessories it comes with. On the closest partition, there’s a smaller hexagonal box that houses the ROG Phone’s Charger adapter, USB Type-C cable and headphones. In the middle, snuggly sits the ROG Phone. In the farthest panel sits the special AeroActive Cooler fan that slots onto the phone to mitigate the heat and also serves as an additional USB port and headphone jack.

In fact, before we get to the phone itself, let’s take a little bit of time to talk about the AeroActive Cooler fan. It’s a nifty little solution to the ROG Phone’s significant heat generation through its overclocked SD845. With it’s additional USB port and headphone jack it allows for a better grip and hand position while charging when holding the device in landscape mode. It’s also very elegantly designed and compliments the aesthetic of the phone so it doesn’t look out of place when its clipped on. It’s also surprisingly lightweight but durable and fastens sturdily on the phone while mirroring its aura lighting on the ROG logo. All in all we don’t mind the bulkiness that it adds we think it’s an elegant solution that helps a lot more than it hinders.

Now onto the main event, the ASUS ROG Phone itself. The devices angular unorthodox form factor is definitely in a league of its own.

On the front display is 6.0 inches featuring 76.8% screen-to-body ratio. The front selfie camera is 8mp and can shoot up to video up to 1080p at 30 Fps.

The back has polygonal divet that functions at the fingerprint sensor, the  12MP back camera and the ROG Logo that supports aura lighting. The most interesting thing about the back is the unique raised segment with various angular designs and edges echoing the other products in the ROG line.

The phone also has a couple of notable features that set it apart from other brands. The most significant by far is the phone’s Air Triggers on its right side. When holding the phone in landscape these two sensors are positioned like the triggers on a video game controller and have haptic feedback when pressed. These are also remappable through the Game Genie overlay and can replicate any on-screen button press in any game. There is also the built-in ROG Game Center app that manages the settings of the aura lighting and fan speed.

There’s also the X mode which when activated boosts the performance of the phone to be able to play games better. We didn’t get to fully test the capabilities of the X mode or the Phone in general but one of our favorite things about it that when X mode activated the default screen wallpaper reacts accordingly.

In conclusion, we walked away from our interaction with the ROG Phone very impressed. Not just because of the unique design and specifications for the phone but also at the dedication to truly make a phone from the ground up with gamers in mind.


All photos courtesy of Will Work 4 Games