The ROG Phone: Game Changer
While there have been plenty of releases in the smartphone front this year, for us gamers, the salvo between brands on which is the de facto gaming smartphone has been one of particular interest. Perhaps one of the most surprising release during COMPUTEX this year, the ROG Phone from ASUS has definitely gotten people talking not just from its unorthodox design and feature set, but its modular approach to gaming has gotten some people buzzing.
The ROG Phone may not be the first modular smartphone but ASUS’ accessory and docking ecosystem is rooted on their years of mainsteam computing experience and if there’s anything ASUS is good at, its going crazy with ROG products.
In this article we’ll take a look at all the ROG Phone accessories and docks available as part of the complete ROG Phone package. This includes everything from the ROG Phone Case all the way to the Mobile Desktop Dock. We’ll break each product’s function and how it compliments the ROG Phone for its intended purpose and how it helps you, the owner, of this extravagant set.
ROG Phone Suitcase
The ASUS ROG Phone’s complete suite of accessories is shipped in a suitcase. The suitcase is designed to reflect the ROG Phone color scheme featuring abstract panel lines on a predominantly semi-gloss, black body. Trims feature a copper treatment which most of the high-end ROG products on non-components feature nowadays.
The suitcase is a carry-on size, hard luggage featuring TSA-certified 3-digit combo lock. The suitcase features telescopic handles and has a top- and side-handle. The ROG suitcase also features hard-plastic wheels with 360* rotation for easier travel.
The design is similar to the ASUS ROG Ranger Suitcase but features a different front shell design. The suitcase also comes with a dust cover.
Instead of a traditional suitcase compartment, ASUS has outfitted the ROG Phone’s suitcase with a foam lining with custom cutouts for all the accessories included. A strap is present but the cutouts by themselves do a decent job locking down the boxes with friction and they sandwich each other very well.
Inside the suitcase package, you get the following as part of the ROG Phone complete accessory bundle:
- ASUS ROG Phone
- ASUS ROG Phone Case
- ASUS ROG Phone Mobile Desktop Dock
- ASUS ROG Phone Twinview Dock
- GameVice for ROG Phone
- ASUS Professional Dock
- ASUS WiGig Display Dock
Most of the items are exclusively for the ROG Phone but some of the included devices can also work with other devices e.g. the Professional Dock and WiGig Display Dock.
We’ll cover the ROG Phone in detail in our upcoming review.
For this article, we’ll run through each of these in the following segments so you’ll know which one you need. Read on
ROG Phone Case
As with most phones, you’ll probably want a protective case with your ROG Phone. As of right now though, options are a little bit scarce. Thankfully, ASUS themselves is offering an official ROG Phone Case
ROG Phone Case Specifications
- Model: ROG Phone case
- Dimensions: 160 x 100 x 10 mm(WxDxH)
- Weight: 40 g
- Color: Black
- Material: Polycarbonate(PC)
The ROG Phone comes packaged in a slim box with a window cutout to show off the design of the case. At the back are some quick specs about the case and opening up the package with see the ROG Phone case itself together with some documentation. There is a dummy ROG Phone cardboard insert on the case just to show off the design.
The ROG Phone Case comes in 3 pieces: two for the edges of the phone and one main backing for the rest of the body. These snap together to form the entire ROG Phone Case. The upper and lower pieces have adhesives in them which are reusable. You can opt not to use the adhesive sheet and the case will still work but if you want utmost security, ASUS recommends to use the adhesives.
The ROG Phone Case is a polycarbonate-based plastic shell which adds a layer of protection to your ROG Phone. The case itself only adds a bit to the profile of the phone from the front with the top and bottom receiving a slight bumper to them. Edge bumpers aim to prevent knocks on the sides in case of a fall and the upper/lower pieces also add a slight raise to the front so prevent direct floor-to-phone hits on the phone screen.
ASUS also wisely added cutouts of the ROG logo as well as the expected cutouts for the camera and fingerprint sensor.
The ROG Phone case allows use of the Aero Active Cooler by letting users remove the main backing. The main backing also blocks access to the proprietary red Type-C port to prevent accidental usage as the ROG Phone uses that for other things and plugging it is not recommended by ASUS.
Overall the ASUS ROG Phone Case is a nice way of protecting the ROG Phone and allowing full usage of its features. Aside from the AAC, the ROG Phone Case also allows the usage of the Mobile Desktop Dock. The case however prevents usage of the Twinview dock.
As for experience, the ROG Phone Case is sturdy and adds to the significant feel of the ROG Phone. It adds a bit more structure to the ROG Phone and gives the sides of the phone some more edges that you can feel. This makes it lose the sleek feel of the phone but generally adds a more secure and sturdy feel. Not losing access to some of the accessories is a plus and overall its a good investment if you’re the kind that isn’t too careful with their phone. Aesthetics- and usability-wise, it does have its drawbacks but is offset by ASUS’ decision to make it a modular, snap-on design.
ROG Twinview Dock
As we mentioned, not all the accessories for the ROG Phone are proprietary but those that are proprietary and designed exclusively for the ROG Phone get really eccentric fast. If the AeroActive Cooler isn’t enough of how far ASUS is willing to go to offer accessories for the ROG Phone then the TwinView Dock is sure to surprise you
ROG Phone TwinView Dock Specifications
- Display: 6-inch (2160 by 1080) AMOLED display with ASUS Tru2Life Technology
Capacitive touch panel with 10 points multi-touch (support glove touch)
- Speakers: Dual speaker with Qualcomm smart amplifier
- Haptic vibrator: 2 x Haptic vibrator
- Interface: Customized connector (48 Pin) attached to ROG Phone
- I/O port: 1 x USB 3.0 Type-C connector
3.5mm audio jack
SD slot (support SDXC UHS-I)
- LED: AURA RGB support
- Power indicator on station (color: R/G)
- Button: 2 x Upper side button , Power button on station
- Battery pack & life: 6000mAh, Station charge to ROG Phone only
While we’ve seen controller docks for phones before, ASUS takes that concept a bit further and gives us another screen entirely. Basically the TwinView Dock serves as a secondary device, not just a screen. You can open apps independently of the ROG Phone and vice versa
Above is an extreme example of what the ROG Phone paired with the TwinView Dock can do. Running both Mobile Legends and PUBG Mobile on the same device on different screens, this is a good benchmark of how powerful the ROG Phone is. As for the TwinView Dock, this showcases just how friendly it is for multitasking purposes.
There are some games that support the TwinView Dock and completely repurposes it for game functions like the pre-installedd Asphalt game which uses the lower screen as a map.
That said, it should be noted that the TwinView Dock is intended to be an engagement accessory to compliment apps and games by expanding screen space and providing a second screen for utility. Unfortunately as of this moment, development is solely the discretion of the app devs and ASUS has not published any list of new apps which support TwinView
As for its other functions, the ASUS ROG TwinView Dock has a built-in 6000mAh battery which charges the ROG Phone while its connected. It also has a SD card slot for storage expansion while docked.
Overall, we feel like the TwinView Dock is a promising piece but ASUS needs to work with devs closer to showcase the functionality of the TwinView dock. There are plenty of games out there that can function so much better with a second screen. For now, it sits well with gacha game players who want to maximize their phones by running two games at once and that’s pretty much the TwinView dock is about at the moment without dev support.
ROG Phone Mobile Desktop Dock
The ROG Phone features decent processing muscle under the hood and while it wasn’t the first to create a dock for its phone to turn it into a workstation, its implementation is a bit more feature rich. The ROG Phone Mobile Desktop Dock features a lot of connectivity including a input DisplayPort for your PC so you can actively switch between Mobile and PC and use the same peripherals on both devices. This allows a lot of possibilities for multitasking but as this is a gaming phone, mobile streamers are at the forefront of this design.
ROG Phone Mobile Desktop Dock Specifications
|Dimensions||6.94 x 4.17 x 3.45 in (176.30 x 106.00 x 87.80 mm)|
|Weight||0.88 lbs (0.39 kg)|
|Interface||Customized connector (48 Pin) attached to ROG Phone|
|I/O Port||HDMI 2.0 standardGigabit LAN RJ45USB 3.1 Gen 1 (Type-A)SD slot (normal size)SATA (support 2.5-inch HDD include H: 9.5mm and 7mm)3.5mm combo (headphone and S/PDIF out)3.5mm microphoneType-C power (for charging)USB Micro B 3.0 (PC intput)Display port 1.3 (PC intput)Display port 1.3 (output)|
|Switch||Switching NB/PC and phone display(Dock workable condition)1. Phone + (adapter insert to dock)2. NB/PC + (adapter insert to dock)When Dock has inserted the adapter, you can use (NB/PC + dock) or (phone + dock) separately.|
|LED||AURA RGB support|
The ROG Mobile Desktop Dock fully incorporates video display and audio output, USB3.0 input, a LAN port and an SD card slot. ASUS showcased this unit in COMPUTEX in tandem with Garena’s FreeFire battle royale game wherein the controls are mapped to the keyboard and mouse. Key mapping is done via the ROG Phone and allows keyboard and mouse input to be mapped to phone screen tap inputs unless the game natively supports keyboard/mouse input. Aside from games, if you have any productivity software on your phone, the dock allows you to fully utilize your keyboard and mouse but why you do that next to a PC, we wouldn’t know
Mobile Legends doesn’t natively support keyboard and mouse input and with all its onscreen buttons, the keyboard gets loaded immediately. This is a limitation of the keymapping option itself and needs the user to create workarounds.
Similar with the TwinView Dock, the Mobile Desktop Dock is promising especially when used in the right scenario. When mapped right, the dock removes the need to use the screen so full monitor gameplay is possible with a keyboard mouse and the dock can utilize the built-in camera of the phone for streaming purposes. Other than though, ASUS needs to spearhead the software development of the Mobile Desktop Dock and provide software that can fully utilize the keyboard/mouse input. Similar to the TwinView, it should allow independent display of the monitor should the user prefer that for more multi-tasking possibilities.
It has its perks but without apps that can utilize it, the burden of giving function to the Mobile Desktop Dock via keymapping is tedious and can be a challenge for beginners and intermediate users
GameVice for ROG Phone
The GameVice isn’t necessarily an ASUS product. GameVice is a separate company which makes gamepad docks for both iOS and Android devices. The ROG Phone version of GameVice is directly distributed by ASUS and isn’t sold on GameVice’s website.
The GameVice is exactly what it looks like: a gamepad for your ROG Phone. The docking system is designed specifically for the ROG Phone and will not fit any other device.
GameVice for ROG Phone Specifications
- Model: Gamevice Controller for ROG Phone
- Dimensions: 247 x 85 x 25 mm(WxDxH)
- Weight: 125 g
- Color: Black
- Material: Polycarbonate(PC)
- Charging Plug: USB Type-C
Similar to the Mobile Desktop Dock, the GameVice is reliant on software support for maximum use. For those that don’t, keymapping is still available. GameVice does have a catalog of supported games, predominantly “AAA” level titles for mobile including console ports of popular games like Final Fantasy.
The GameVice is pretty straightforward and doesn’t serve any other purpose and while it feels like it acts like a rival to the TwinView, it actually doesn’t step into that category.
Functionality-wise, there’s plenty of games out there that support gamepad input and there is a large emulator library that brings further possibilities for it. Still, this is depending entirely on your games of choice and if you’re not into console ports on mobile, this is definitely gonna sit on the box for you.
ASUS WiGig Display Dock
We really wouldn’t call the WiGig Dock a dock rather its a receiver. You really don’t dock anything to it so why ASUS decided to call it that, I apologize in advance for not getting it. Kidding aside, the WiGig display dock serves as a wireless receiver for the ROG Phone or any WiGig compatible device and the receiver outputs via HDMI to your display whether it be a monitor or a big screen TV.
ASUS WiGig Display Dock Specifications
- Model: WiGig® Dock
- Dimensions: 124 x 48 x 100 mm(WxDxH)
- Color: Black
- Power: AC 100 V–240 V input / DC 12V/2.0A output
- Material: Polycarbonate(PC)
The ASUS WiGig display dock is quick compact and sits nicely on your desktop or living room setup. An AC adapter is included to power the device and the WiGig dock itself features an HDMI output as well as a USB3.0 port.
Much like the other accessories, the WiGig display from ASUS is also a 1-trick pony only intended for use for wireless display function. It works best in tandem with the GameVice for that console feel. We just don’t get why you’ll spend nearly 5x the price of a modern console to play a castrated version of its games.
If you’re not rocking a smart TV, Netflix or any streaming app would be a nice reason for the ASUS WiGig display dock but ultimately, its a very niche product.
Performance-wise, as long as you’re within direct line-of-sight of the WiGig receiver dock, you should have smooth, low-latency performance from your device.
ASUS Professional Dock
ASUS Professional Dock Specs
- Model: ASUS Professional Dock
- Dimensions: 100 x 60 x 15.6 mm(WxDxH)
- Weight: 105 g
- Color: Black
- Material: Polycarbonate (PC)
- Charging Plug USB Type-C
- Cable Length: 60cm
- Compatibility: ZS600KL (For safety purposes, use ONLY the bundled power adapter and cable)
Of all the accessories of the ASUS ROG Phone, the ASUS Professional Dock is easily favorite. Serving more as an adapter than a dock, this USB3.0 dongle provides USB3.0 Type-C input charging, USB3.0 device hubs, an HDMI output port and a LAN port. This basically provides everything you need for streaming the phone towards a capture card
The ASUS Professional Dock can connect to either Type-C port of the ROG Phone. Once connected, you will be prompted by Android with some connection messages.
Here’s the ROG Phone connected to our display via the professional dock. This seems to be the most ideal way for us in using any of the display docks included as it incorporates the inputs of the Mobile Desktop Dock but still offers a certain level of freedom similar to the WiGig dock. This makes the professional dock the best in-between for gamers who still want to use their touchscreen but want to display on a big-screen. For streamers who play mobile games this way, this is also perfect for your capture setup.
Thoughts and Conclusion
The ROG Phone’s accessory ecosystem is one of modularity and not all compliment each other. Its not a brick-on-brick system where functionalities are compounded which makes recommending buying the entire set a little bit of a challenge. That being said though, each one does have its function and despite how niche they may be, there’s still an audience for these accessories.
ASUS retails the full accessory bundle with either a 128GB storage model ROG Phone or 512GB storage version. The cost of the complete bundle is Php108,465 and Php120,465 respectively. Barring the cost of the phone of Php49,995/Php61,995 (128/512 variants), that leaves us with nearly Php50,000 worth of accessories. That may sound a lot but it might convince you otherwise that purchasing these accessories individually will probably net you a tad bit higher than 50k Php, and while there’s no official SRP for each accessory separately, the ROG Phone case at Php2495 and AeroActive Cooler at Php3995 should give you an idea how pricing works for these individual accessories.
[ASUS] have went out of their way to ensure that most of the accessories stay-in-line with their vision of what an ROG Phone is
In terms of sheer functionality, much like the ROG Phone, everything is a niche product. While some accessories compliment each other, some are good enough standalone. That said, you really can’t build an ecosystem with these accessories as they function outside of each other’s premise.
To ASUS’ credit, they have went out of their way to ensure that most of the accessories stay-in-line with their vision of what an ROG Phone is and that’s sheer performance and quality.
But again, the ROG Phone is still heavily dependent on software that can utilize its full potential and ASUS needs to devote a software team to really push the accessory front further and maximize their functions. The phone itself is capable of streaming directly so anything aside from the Professional Dock is simply a niche item intended for a small audience. If you’re a rockstar mobile gaming streamer or content creator, there may be usable scenarios for you but for the common folk, the limitation isn’t with the accessory nor ROG itself, its on the platform itself and we mean Android. Android’s game library is centered around accessibility and while standout titles do exist, the Play Store is predominantly simple games that can’t leverage the power of modern smartphone hardware.
…a nice multi-tasking accessory and appeals to those that like to consume social media content in an unprecedented scale
That said, its really up to the user on how valuable a certain accessory is. For us, the Mobile Desktop Dock is a great a multi-tasking platform and allows a unique way to play mobile games. The TwinView Dock is a nice multi-tasking accessory and appeals to those that like to consume social media content in an unprecedented scale. Having two screens which are independent of each other also allows games to be run in tandem so Ragnarok Mobile players can still play PUBG Mobile or Mobile Legends side-by-side.
There’s plenty of other scenarios and we’ll highlight them all as we explore the ROG Phone further. Look forward to our full review of the ROG Phone coming soon!