Computex 2018 | Asus's new gaming-focused ROG Phone features an overclocked Snapdragon 845 and ultrasonic buttons
Asus’s Republic of Gamers (ROG) brand has long been synonymous with enthusiast gaming notebooks, motherboards, graphics cards, and peripherals. Asus has also been in the smartphone manufacturing business since 2014, producing increasingly desirable devices in the last two years.
Combine these and you have the new Asus ROG Phone. This is Asus’s first attempt at a gaming smartphone, and it joins a small-but-steadily-growing category that includes the Razer Phone, Xiaomi Black Shark, and ZTE Nubia Red Magic. With such a small pool of phones, it is interesting to see how each manufacturer has chosen to differentiate their device from each other, and based on initial impressions we think that Asus has designed a well-rounded device that includes some of the best features from their competitors.
First up is a 3D vapor chamber, which is an improvement where the heat pipes are extensions of the vapor chamber, allowing better heat dissipation than a standard copper pipe running through a central vapor chamber. This cooling design has allowed the Snapdragon 845 SoC to be overclocked to 2.96 GHz, making it the highest clocked SD 845 available. The SD 845 is combined with an Adreno 630 GPU and 8 GB of RAM.
The display is a gaming-orientated 6-inch AMOLED HDR panel with 1 ms response time and a 90 Hz refresh rate. While HDR isn’t highly utilized on Android yet, the response time and refresh rate will help to provide a crisp image without ghosting and smooth motion in the fast-paced shooter or fighting games. There is a 4000 mAh battery to keep the hardware running a little longer than usual.
The body of the phone features “ultrasonic AirTriggers” that create two virtual buttons on the frame that allows user-configurable setting of game functions e.g., fire primary/fire secondary weapons. Asus has put an additional USB-C port on the side of the phone to make it easier to charge or power the phone while in a horizontal gaming orientation. Unfortunately, there is no mention of a 3.5 mm headphone port on the phone and we haven’t had a chance for a ‘hands-on’ at the time of writing but one of the accessories does have a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Rounding out the package is the TwinView Dock, which turns the phone into a dual-screen gaming device with two physical buttons, teased in an earlier tweet by Asus ROG. There is also a ‘Mobile Desktop Dock’ and a GameVice controller with WiGig Dock that uses 60 Hz WiFi for connecting to monitors or TVs. The ROG Phone includes RGB lighting and compatibility with Aura Sync.
Pricing and availability will be revealed at a later date.
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