Asus ROG Phone includes everything and the heatsink

Asus has been hacking away at the smartphone market for a while now with its ZenFone line of Android handsets. Today, the company used Computex as a launch pad for its first-ever ROG-branded phone designed especially for gaming. The simply named ROG Phone has what Asus calls the world's first speed-binned Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC. The speedy chip is paired with 8 GB of LPDDR4 memory and either 128 GB or 512 GB of speedy UFS 2.1 storage.

The SoC's performance cores crank away at up to 2.96 GHz thanks to the factory binning and a unique vapor chamber cooling system. Asus says the speedier cores inside the ROG Phone can maintain its maximum frequency for five times longer than other phones with the Snapdragon 845 SoC. The quickest of Qualcomms can maintain its highest clocks when the user plugs in the included AeroActive cooler in the side-mounted USB-C port. The cooler module contains a fan that blows air into the phone and the potentially sweaty fingers of its operator.

Any self-respecting gaming device needs a deluxe screen, and the ROG phone is no exception thanks to its 2160×1080 AMOLED display with a 90-Hz refresh rate and claimed 1-ms response time. On top of the speedy reflexes, the screen should cover over 108% of the challenging DCI-P3 color space and has a claimed contrast ratio of 10,000:1. Gamers in colder parts of the planet might like the fact that the 10-point multi-touch input still works while the user is wearing gloves. The available 512 GB of UFS 2.1 storage on the ROG Phone is enormous capacity for a smartphone, but as far as we can tell, there's no microSD card slot for further expansion.

Input is a key component of a good gaming experience, and Asus outfitted the ROG Phone with three low-actuation-force ultrasonic AirTrigger sensors. Two of the AirTriggers are positioned as left and right shoulder buttons when the phone is in landscape mode, and the third is positioned when the phone is upright. Asus says the triggers can be programmed to do all sorts of functions, allowing gamers to reduce the amount of input funneled through the touchscreen. When gamers need more control, they can attach the optional Gamevice controller that includes dual analog joysticks, a full complement of physical buttons, extra battery capacity, front-facing speakers, and cooling hardware. The Gamevice attaches to the same side-mount USB-C connector as the AeroActive cooler.

Asus says it has even more accessories for that side-mounted USB-C port, including an attachment that turns the ROG Phone into a dual-screen portable gaming system, a WiGig dock for wireless displays, and a mobile desktop dock with a USB hub, display outputs, and other niceties. The back of the phone has copper accents, cooling vents, and an RGB LED-illuminated ROG logo.

The ROG Phone has next-generation wireless connectivity. The Snapdragon 845 SoC has Cat 16 LTE capability, and Asus added “gigabit-class” 60-GHz 802.11ad Wi-Fi. The company had little to say about the ROG Phone's cameras, a big change from the barrage of recent Android flagships that have been touting enhanced camera features as a way to stand out from the pack. The front snapper is an 8-megapixel unit and the rear camera system uses 12-MP and 8-MP sensors together. One of the rear peepers has a 120° wide-angle lens, though Asus didn't specify which.

The metal-framed, glass-encased ROG Phone measures 6.3″ tall (15.9 cm), 3″ wide (7.6 cm), and 0.34″ thick (8.6 mm). Asus says the phone weighs in at a fairly-hefty 7.1 oz (200 g), including the 4000 mAh integrated battery. The phone's body has an audio combo jack on the bottom and the included AeroCooler adds another headphone jack to the side of the phone for use when playing in landscape mode. There are USB-C ports on both the bottom and the side, a unique layout that Asus says will enhance landscape gamers' experience while playing and charging their handsets at the same time.

Asus didn't provide any pricing or availability information for the ROG Phone or its optional accessories. The only comment the company made about the phone's software was that it would run an ROG-specific version of Android.

Comments closed
    • Chrispy_
    • 1 year ago

    Everything about this is promising apart from the clown-like styling.

    When are these companies going to realise that we buy their silly-looking stuff not because of how it looks, but because we have no choice in how it looks, no matter who we turn to.

    All of them make ridiculously awful styling choices that NONE of the serious players in the mobile space (Apple, Samsung, Google etc) nor any of the players in the gaming space (Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo) want to be associated with. The minute any Asian company decides it’s for gaming, they can’t help but OMG ROBOT ANGULAR STUPID PLASTIC MILITARY CAMO BOLT-ON SPOILERS NEEDS MOAR 80’S CYBER WITH RED LIGHTS EVERYWHERE.

    I’m crying into my already-salted wounds 🙁

      • Kretschmer
      • 1 year ago

      I totally agree. I can’t tell if they’re building for local markets, misunderstanding western markets, or understanding western markets better than I do.

      Give me clean and spartan designs any day.

    • backwoods357
    • 1 year ago

    I’m wondering if the AD wireless is for the controllers on the sides, it isn’t supported by really any AP vendors and can’t penetrate a paper bag, so that’s really the only use I see it filling. I know some vendors are using it for wireless docking stations. I was hoping they would be compatible with similar sized phones.

      • Beahmont
      • 1 year ago

      Funnily enough, ASUS just released a new Router that does 802.11ax.

        • backwoods357
        • 1 year ago

        Oh, I know AX is hitting market. They are talking about the abandoned intel project 802.11 A[b<]D[/b<]. Different spec.

    • moose17145
    • 1 year ago

    Still doesnt check the boxes that I want…

    MicroSD slot
    User removable battery
    And apparently more recently, a headphone jack of all things…

    I love how phones are getting more expensive while becoming less capable and with fewer feature (that not long ago used to just be standard) in areas that matter to many people. And people wonder why I’m still holding only my galaxy s5… if these company want me to spend 700+ dollars on their stupid phone… it damn well better have at least have the three boxes I mentioned above checked.

      • Kretschmer
      • 1 year ago

      There are mid-range phones that should be a substantial upgrade and check those boxes. Look at Motorola’s lineup.

      I would also add “close to stock Android” to your criteria.

      • WayneManion
      • 1 year ago

      The bottom of the phone does have a headphone jack. Asus pointed out the headphone jack on the fan accessory and I assumed this was the only audio jack.

      • gmskking
      • 1 year ago

      I still have my Note 3 from 2013 and its working great. Headphone jack, removable battery and SD slot. It is 2018 and I still have no reason to “upgrade”.

      • albundy
      • 1 year ago

      just wait until they remove the screen too!

    • Growler
    • 1 year ago

    LPDDR4 RAM? [i<]I[/i<] only choose the far superior [url=http://vgamuseum.ru/gpu/noname/videoloca-bitchin-fast-3d-2000/<]LMNOPRam.[/url<]

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 1 year ago

    Is that a headphone jack on the bottom of the cooler?

      • DPete27
      • 1 year ago

      [quote<]The phone's body doesn't have a headphone jack, but the included AeroCooler module contains such a port.[/quote<]

        • tay
        • 1 year ago

        Lacking courage.

        • Beahmont
        • 1 year ago

        [quote<] The phone's body has an audio combo jack on the bottom and the included AeroCooler adds another headphone jack to the side of the phone for use when playing in landscape mode. [/quote<] Updated info. It does have a combo audio jack (Mic/Headphone) on the bottom.

      • WayneManion
      • 1 year ago

      It is a headphone jack on the bottom. I made a mistake. We have updated the text of the post. Sorry for the confusion.

    • Kretschmer
    • 1 year ago

    With all accessories this ROG phone will end up being four times the price of a switch for a quarter of the game quality.

    I understand that some people do not want to be seen with dedicated gaming devices, but carrying around a REPUBLIC OF GAMERS phone with external cooling is not likely to be the optimal solution for that demographic.

      • LostCat
      • 1 year ago

      Apparently higher end gaming in the mobile market is a thing in Asia.

      I doubt it’ll sell much elsewhere, but it is interesting.

    • Waco
    • 1 year ago

    I don’t understand the market for these types of phones. I think I’m getting old.

      • DreadCthulhu
      • 1 year ago

      This sort of thing might make sense if you have a long commute by bus or train everyday; might as well play games while you ride. That sort of commute is pretty common is East Asian countries, like Taiwan were Asus is based. Still, the lack of a headphone jack, unless you plug in the fan attachment, is a deal killer to me.

        • Waco
        • 1 year ago

        I guess for that use case it could make a lot of sense. 🙂

        • Beahmont
        • 1 year ago

        [quote<] The phone's body has an audio combo jack on the bottom and the included AeroCooler adds another headphone jack to the side of the phone for use when playing in landscape mode. [/quote<]

      • albundy
      • 1 year ago

      i really dont see one. any kid that wants one of these will most likely go for a Switch.

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 1 year ago

    What about the [i<]bezels[/i<], I need someone to tell me if this phone is keeping with the latest 2018 trends. Also, I think this would be less moronic if it had a big fat battery worthy of powering a nearly 3ghz ARM chip. There might be room for cooling in such a device. Also, I want to see a real machined copper heatsink on the back of the damn thing. Or better yet, exposed heat pipes. That is all.

      • DragonDaddyBear
      • 1 year ago

      Bezels make it easier to hold, especially for my kids.

        • Anonymous Coward
        • 1 year ago

        Imagine how easy it would be to hold with a huge heatsink sticking out the back! I want it to look like a slot-1 cartridge like the OEMs would use, large widely spaced fins that relied on a case mounted fan and plastic shroud to draw air through them.

      • Vaughn
      • 1 year ago

      4000 Mah battery!

    • DragonDaddyBear
    • 1 year ago

    Wow, this looks gaudy but seems promising. The only box for me they didn’t tick was a headphone jack.

    EDIT: I should add that the biggest thing for me is the front facing speakers. For the love of all is holy, why are bottom and REAR facing speakers a thing still?!

      • WayneManion
      • 1 year ago

      You’re in luck, because the ROG Phone does, in fact, have a headphone jack. It is located on the bottom of the phone. Sorry for the confusion.

    • TwistedKestrel
    • 1 year ago

    ASUS invents the Switch phone… another company making the mistake of producing a gaming device wed to the Android ecosystem

    • chuckula
    • 1 year ago

    [quote<]The cooler module contains a fan that blows air into the phone and the potentially sweaty fingers of its operator.[/quote<] ARMComm has invented a new type of "active" cooling for CPUs? Moving air with a "fan"? BRILLIANT! We already knew Intel's failed product line was obsolete. This innovation just [i<]blew away[/i<] anything Intel can come up with in the next 20 years. Thank you ARMComm!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This