Asus ROG Phone: Five features that make it a true gaming phone
At Rs 69,999, the ROG Phone does not come cheap. But it justifies the price with some really cool features.
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Slowly, but surely, mobile gaming is becoming big. With titles like PUBG, Fortnite, Asphalt 9, Tekken Mobile and Darkness Rises, the idea of gaming on smartphones has finally evolved into something that can in essence rival the experience promised by stand-alone gaming consoles.
While much of this is down to the rapid progress seen in silicon technology, the real game changer has been the emergence of a gaming-centric ecosystem in the smartphone industry. This is especially true for the Android market where smartphone manufacturers have moved beyond just equipping their devices with raw processing power, to focusing on craftsmanship in design, under the hood hardware and software to create machines truly fit for gaming on the go.
Over the last two years, we have seen a number of brands jump into the fray and bring to the market their very own gaming smartphones that have each promised to be the real deal.
The latest in the line of such devices is the Asus' ROG Phone, which was launched on November 29 in India, at the price of Rs 69,999.
Here are five cool features that make it great for mobile gaming.
(Photo: Sushant Talwar/ DailyO)
Most powerful Android smartphone
Unveiled at Computex 2018, Asus ROG Phone is a device that has been designed with gaming in mind, and as such, it comes with the best in class technology that makes it not just a great phone to play games on, but also makes it arguably the most powerful Android smartphone in the market.
Taking a cue from the gaming hardware Asus makes under its ROG sub-brand, the smartphone uses a specially binned variant of the Snapdragon 845 SoC running at 2.96Ghz – a higher clock rate than found on regular 845 chips. Asus has paired this SoC with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage.
While this may not help the phone achieve extraordinary results in real-world usage, in terms of synthetic benchmarks, the factory overclocked Qualcomm SoC gives the device an upper hand over its rivals – a claim that is further strengthened by its overall Antutu score of 297078.
Vapour cooling system
Another standout feature is the ROG Phone's use of a sophisticated vapour cooling system. While this is not the only phone of 2018 that is using a liquid cooling solution to keep the phone's temperature's in check, it definitely is one of the more impressive ones.
To keep things cool, Asus has equipped the phone with a system that makes use of vapour-chamber cooling, a carbon cooling pad, and copper heat sinks.
However, if vapour cooling isn't enough, there's also a special fan accessory that users can snap on the phone to bring its temperature down some more and prevent the device from throttling while playing a graphics intensive game. The particular accessory called the AeroActive cooler, which is basically an extra air cooler for the phone, is also being bundled with the phone.
90Hz display for improved frame rates
At the front of the phone, Asus has equipped the device with a 6-inch 2160 x 1080 AMOLED HDR display, which has a 90Hz refresh rates with a 1ms response time.
It is important to note that a display with such a high frame rate is unheard of for smartphones as most of them max out at 60Hz. But this excess that the company has introduced for gaming should also help the phone shine in daily use. The device's display that is optimised for gaming and promises fast refresh rates and zero lag while playing games should also deliver more than just crisp and sharp images during normal usage.
Having said that, we still need to put the Asus ROG Phone through the hoops and figure out if the 90Hz display translates to high frame rates while playing games that support the technology.
(Photo: Sushant Talwar/ DailyO)
Built for gaming
As is the case with the other hardware that Asus markets under its ROG sub-brand, this phone too is built with gaming — and only gaming — in mind. As such, from the design to ROG skinned OS on the phone, the device – inside and out – brings with it features that makes this device primed for gaming.
The phone uses 6th generation 2.5D curved edge Corning Gorilla Glass on the front as well as 3D curved-edged Corning Gorilla Glass 5 on the back. The sheet of toughened glass at the back hides under it an RGB illuminated ROG badge that can be set to change colours in different patterns or light up for notification alerts.
On the corners of the phone, Asus has added touch-sensitive buttons to help give users an edge while playing games on the go. The phone comes with three of these AirTriggers, and can be used both in landscape and portrait-oriented games.
In terms of software, the phone's custom ROG UI comes with a special Game Center that brings with it options for customisations, including under and overclocking the SoC on-board. These customisations can be used as master profiles or be set for individual games according to the user's preference.
The ROG Phone also comes with what Asus calls the GameGenie. This basically allows users to modify software and hardware settings on-the-fly, and even record or live-stream your gameplay to Youtube and Twitch.
(Photo: Sushant Talwar/ DailyO)
Accessories to make it the ultimate gaming phone?
Last, but not least, is the promise of customisation using accessories that make the ROG Phone stand out from the crowd.
Though the phone comes with an air-cooler accessory in the box, Asus has also announced four other accessories that can be bought to turn the ROG Phone into the ultimate gaming device.
There is a TwinView Dock which transforms the device into a dual display gaming rig, a Mobile Desktop Dock that allows the projection of the phone's visuals on a larger secondary display and adds support for keyboard and mouse, thus turning the ROG Phone into a full-scale desktop gaming console. There is also a much simpler Professional Dock that allows an ROG Phone to be connected to an HDMI display and adds support for USB-based keyboard and mouse.
Asus is also bringing with the phone the GameVice Controller which allows the ROG Phone to transform into a handheld gaming console.