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Asus ROG Phone review: More than a flagship smartphone

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Every gaming smartphone is a flagship smartphone, but every flagship smartphone is not a gaming smartphone. A gaming smartphone is a device with state of the art SoC (CPU, GPU) more RAM, better thermal solution, and lastly a striking design, which distinguish it from the typical smartphone.

PROS

  • Vivid high-refresh rate OLED display S
  • peed-binned Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC
  • Dual front-facing stereo speaker setup
  • Fast charging

CONS

  • Expensive
  • No microSD card slot

The Asus ROG Phone is the first gaming device from Asus with well-known ROG (Republic of Gamer) branding. I have been testing the smartphone from the last few days to find the justification for the Rs 69,999 price tag. Is this the smartphone that you should consider as your next smartphone or the first gaming smartphone? Let’s find out.

Specifications

  • Display – 2160 x 1080 pixels FHD+ 90Hz refresh rate
  • SoC – Qualcomm Speed-binned Snapdragon 845 with Adreno 630 GPU
  • RAM – 8 GB
  • ROM – 128 GB
  • Primary camera – 12 MP + 8 MP (Super wide-angle)
  • Selfie camera – 8 MP
  • Battery – 4000 mAh with fast charging support (30W)
  • Water resistance – IPX4 splash proof
  • Cooling solution -3D Vapor-Chamber Cooling
  • Sound – Dual stereo speaker setup
  • Lighting – ASUS Aurasync RGB
  • SIM slot – Dual nano-SIM slot

Design

The Asus ROG Phone is one of the unique looking smartphones in the market. The amalgamation of the glass and metal build gives a unique look to the smartphone and also offers better heat dissipation.

The Asus ROG Phone has a rear-facing fingerprint sensor with a dual camera setup flushed inside the body with no visible camera bump. The volume and the power buttons are on the right side, whereas the special DOC connected (dual type-C port) is on the left side, which can be used to attach accessories like AeroActive Cooler.

Photo Credit : Gizbot

The back panel of the ROG Phone is made using Corning Gorilla Glass 5 with ASUS Aurasync RGB Lighting (activates in boost mode). Overall, the Asus ROG Phone might not be the best-looking smartphone in the market, but it is one of the unique looking devices for sure.

Display and sound

The Asus ROG Phone, hands down has the best display that I have seen in the recent past. The ROG Phone has a 6.0-inch OLED display with 18:9 aspect ratio, offering 2160 x 1080p resolution, protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 6.

The display offers 1ms response time with 90Hz refresh rate. As a matter of fact, the Asus ROG Phone is the world’s first smartphone with an OLED display to provide 90Hz refresh rate. Going a bit more into technical aspects of the screen, the phone offers 108.6% DCIP3 coverage with 100000:1 Contrast Ratio. The display also supports FHD HDR content on various video streaming platforms like YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Videos, thanks to Widevine L1 certification.

Coming to the real-world applications, due to the higher-refresh rate display, I was able to notice smoother animations compared to every other smartphone (with 60Hz refresh rate). I also played some games which offer ~90fps, and I thoroughly enjoyed the gaming on the ROG Phone.

Photo Credit : Gizbot

The smartphone has a dual front-facing stereo speaker setup with a dedicated 3.5 mm headphone jack with DTS:X 3D surround sound support. I have to say; the ROG Phone has the best sounding speaker on any smartphone (in terms of loudness and sound clarity).

Cameras

The Asus ROG Phone has an 8 MP selfie camera on the front and a dual primary camera setup with a 12 MP RGB sensor and an 8 MP Super wide-angle lens. The camera setup on the ROG Phone is identical to the Asus ZenFone 5z, the affordable flagship smartphone from Asus.

With respect to hardware perspective, the Asus ROG Phone has the Sony IMX 363 sensor, which is being used on the Google Pixel 3. The sensor offers an f/1.8 aperture with optical image stabilization, which helps to capture steady shots and videos in the low-light environment.

Photo Credit : Gizbot

Main camera

Coming to the actual camera performance, the ROG Phone can capture good looking images with great details in the daylight condition. What amazed me is the fact that the camera performance on the ROG Phone is identical to the ZenFone 5z, which costs 1/3rd of the price of the ROG Phone.

Photo Credit : Gizbot

Selfie camera

The images taken on low-lighting conditions tend to deteriorate in color and details. In some instance, the camera struggles to capture enough details, again with contrast to other high-end smartphones at this price point. In fact, Poco F1 can take better pictures in low-light situations compared to the ROG Phone. Same goes for the selfie camera as well, which works like a charm in the well-lit environment, and struggles in the low-light condition.

The ROG Phone is definitely not a premium camera smartphone. As the phone has potent hardware, the company could further improve the camera performance via software updates.

Photo Credit : Gizbot

Performance

Without a doubt, the Asus ROG Phone is one of the most powerful Android smartphones with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC. The smartphone is powered by a speed-binned Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC, where the four high-performance cores are clocked at 2.96 GHz with Adreno 630 GPU.

Do note that the Adreno 630 GPU on the Asus ROG Phone with 710 MHz frequency, identical to the other smartphones with the standard Snapdragon 845 SoC.

Photo Credit : Gizbot
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