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ASUS ROG Phone hands-on

ASUS-ROG-Phone-Features

ASUS has brought the first smartphone under their Republic of Gamers brand. I was able to spend some time with it and here are my initial thoughts.

Right off the bat, I was immediately blown away with the design and build of the ASUS ROG Phone.  I think that anyone who would see it for the first time would feel the same since this device has a really unique and aggressive aesthetic.

ASUS-ROG-Phone-Review

However, those who are really into minimalistic and elegant-looking devices might find the ROG Phone too much due to its diamond-cut and copper detailing, plus, the RGB-lit ASUS ROG Logo. But they can surely appreciate its ergonomic curved back and a premium 3D glass back panel.

The interesting part is, the ASUS ROG Phone features a custom interface that compliments the aesthetic of the actual hardware. The entire interface is tinted in red and copper colors that really provides a gamer-feel to it.

It even has a dynamic wallpaper which plays a cool animation when you enable the X Mode.

ASUS-ROG-Phone-Software

The X Mode will basically clear the RAM and optimize the entire system to make sure it’s in tip-top condition before you start a game. This feature can be enabled when you squeeze the device, which is identical to the EdgeSense feature on select HTC smartphones.

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Speaking of gaming, the ASUS ROG Phone comes with a Game Center app pre-installed. This allows you to control the RGB lighting on the back and sync it with friends (or eSports teammates) who has the same device. The app can also adjust the fan speed of the included AeroActive Cooler accessory.

The dedicated app also lets you set different settings like the refresh on particular games. Plus, it provides a graphical information of your CPU, GPU, RAM, and Storage usage, as well as the device’s surface temperature.

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Now let’s talk about the actual gaming experience. And let me start by simply saying that, this thing is blazingly fast and powerful. It even dominated AnTuTu’s recent monthly top list. You can also check out some of the initial benchmark tests that we ran below.

ASUS-ROG-Phone-Benchmarks

Its overclocked Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and Adreno 630 GPU really comes in to play here. Also its large 6-inch QHD+ AMOLED screen projects graphics with great colors. And of course, there’s the smooth 90Hz refresh rate.

The device’s stereo speakers, partnered with its dual smart amplifiers is also mind-blowingly good. Other than its loud volume, the sound balance is good. It can also provide good left and right separation, perfect if you’re playing shooter games like Fortnite and PUBG Mobile.

ASUS-ROG-Phone-Fortnite

Also, the two Ultrasonic AirTriggers on top acts like built-in control buttons. You can use it to quickly pull the trigger while using a gun, or as a left and right navigation while steering on games like Asphalt 8.

For an overall complete audio experience, the ASUS ROG Phone also has an NXP 9874 amplifiers, DTS X 7.1 headphones surround sound, Qualcomm aptX HD wireless audio, and supports 24-bit/192KHz Hi-Red audio.

ASUS-ROG-Phone-Game-Genie

Moreover, the device also has a Game Genie feature. It’s like a HUD that provides real-time information of your hardware usage (CPU, GPU), as well as the battery status, temperature, and an FPS count.

And since game streaming is popular these days, Game Genie also allows you to record or stream your gameplay live on select streaming services. You also have the option to capture the game sound or include your own voice using the built-in or an external microphone.

ASUS-ROG-Phone

Well, that’s it for now. The ASUS ROG Phone does have tons of going on with it, features that we can hopefully take a more in-depth look in our full review.

For one, we’re excited to check out the gaming accessories that ASUS has built for this device. I’m also interested how its 12-megapixel and 8-megapixel dual rear cameras perform. As you remember, one of the main issues with the Razer Phone was its camera system. Hopefully, this gaming smartphone doesn’t experience that.

ASUS-ROG-Phone-unboxing

But, for as what we know so far, I think the ASUS ROG Phone is really an interesting buy. For its official price of Php49,995 for the 8GB/256GB model and Php61,995 for the 8GB/512GB variant.

With that price, the ROG Phone can go head to head against some of the most interesting Android flagships in the market today, including the recently announced Huawei Mate 20 Pro.

ASUS ROG Phone Specs

  • Android 8.1 Oreo, ROG Gaming X mode UI
  • 6-inch FHD+ AMOLED display, 2160 x 1080 resolution, ~402ppi
  • 90Hz refresh rate, 1ms response time
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 6
  • 108.6% color gamut, glove touch support, HDR
  • 2.96GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor
  • GameCool 3D vapor-chamber cooling system
  • Adreno 630 GPU
  • 8GB LPDDR4X RAM
  • 128GB / 512GB UFS 2.1 internal storage, non-expandable
  • 8-megapixel front camera
  • 12-megapixel + 8-megapixel 120-degree wide-angle, PDAF, LED flash
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • Ultrasonic AirTriggers, Squeeze gesture
  • Dual front speakers, Dual smart amplifiers
  • DTS Headphone:X 7.1 virtual surround, Qualcomm aptX HD wireless audio
  • 24-bit/192KHz Hi-Res audio
  • Game Center, Game Genie, X Mode
  • HSPA+, 4G LTE
  • WIFi  802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ad, 2×2 MIMO
  • WiGig 802.11 ad wireless display support
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou
  • NFC
  • Custom USB port on the side (supports USB 3.1, DisplayPort 1.4, 15w fast charging)
  • Dimensions: 158.8 x 76.2 x 8.6mm
  • Weight: 200g
  • 4,000mAh non-removable battery, ROG HyperCharge (60% in 30mins)

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