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ASUS ROG Phone First Impressions

The star at ASUS’ Computex 2018 has made its way here in Philippine shores. It’s the first smartphone under the ROG brand as it claims to be the “Game Changer” in the smartphone market considering there are gaming solutions such the Razer Phone and the Xiaomi BlackShark. The ROG Phone is ASUS’ first take on what a gaming phone should be.

Quick Specs

SOC – Binned Snapdragon 845 @ 2.96Ghz
GPU – Adreno 630
RAM – 8GB
OS – Android 8.1
Battery – 4000 mAh
Screen – 6″ FHD+ 18:9 AMOLED Display
Screen Refresh Rate – 90Hz
Weight – 200 Grams
Extras – Air Triggers and Gaming Accesories

UNBOXING

The ROG Phone is packed with style unlike every other smartphone. It’s very tricky to open because of its form. The packaging presents the contents in a flashy manner.

Out of the box you’ll get the ROG Phone itself, the AeroDynamic Cooler, a type-c cable, a power adapter, extra covers for the side port. There’s also a ROG Phone Case(not shown) included in the packaging.

The ROG Phone comes with a 6″ FHD+ 18:9 AMOLED display with dual front firing speakers. The display also sports a 90hz refresh rate for a faster and fluid gaming experience. This makes the ROG Phone the first ever to have an AMOLED screen with 90Hz refresh rate.

The back features a landscape oriented ROG logo with RGB AuraSync capabilities. The fingerprint scanner is located at the left side as opposed to most mobile phones having their fingerprint scanner located slightly above the center of the phone. The bottom(landscape)/left side of the phone sports a cutout for the vent and its accessories – more on that later.

A key accessory of the ROG Phone is the Aerodynamic Cooler that uses a proprietary connector that not only cools the fan but serves as a port for the 3.5mm jack and usb-c.

This accessory is vital to the phone as it cools the binned 2.96Ghz Qualcomm SnapDragon 845 processor. It also helps to counter performance degradation from the heat generated from extended gaming periods. Do note tho that the fan’s noise can be a nuisance as you ramp up its fan speed.

 The ROG Phone’s UI is patterned with their popular ROG game center app which was popularized with their ROG Gaming Laptops. The ROG game center is where the magic is created. This app lets you control all the bells and whistles of the ROG Phone. The Air Triggers can be mapped using the app as well as the squeeze function and the AeroDynamic Cooler’s fan speed. The app can also be used to configure its Aura RGB lighting that’s found on the back on the phone and its accessories.

Upon firing an app or a game you can immediately notice a system monitoring overlay displayed on the upper part of the screen. The overlay can be re-positioned to avoid obstruction with the in-game controls. Playing PUBG on the ROG phone dynamically improves my overall experience thanks to the screen and the air triggers. The air triggers have presets for supported games like Free Fire: Battlegrounds. Games without native support can still take advantage of the Air Triggers but it requires time to configure the settings properly. Using the Air Triggers for shooting games like PUBG gives you an unfair advantage as you’ll gain better hand-eye coordination with extra controls as opposed to playing with a phone without using controllers.

The camera is not on par with other flagship phones as the ROG Phone’s main purpose is for Gaming. However, it’s using the same sensor found on the Zenfone 5Z making a viable camera for some light photography.

Conclusion

Experiencing the ROG phone’s capabilities such as its AMOLED display with 90Hz refresh rate paired with proprietary and gamer centric features such as the Air Triggers, AeroDynamic Cooler and a stat monitor is truly a game changing experience. The 90Hz refreshrate improves the overall quality of life as scrolling and browsing through apps feels smooth while it also contributes to the overall immersion when gaming. The lack of time and accessories such as the game vice and dock render our conclusion incomplete. But so far, the ASUS ROG has done a splendid job in shaping the gaming smartphone industry.

We have yet to test the ROG phone with other benchmarks, games and other technical & scientific B2G metrics. Here’s a sneak peek on what to look forward to in our ROG Phone Review. Be sure to stay tuned at our page!


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