The Asus ROG Phone has a 90Hz screen, overclocked CPU, and vapor cooling

David Matthews

TS Maniac
Staff member

Razer released a surprisingly competent "gaming focused" smartphone last year that featured a high refresh screen and loud speakers. At Computex this week, Asus is trying to one-up the Razer Phone with its own Republic of Gamers branded smartphone aimed squarely at hardcore mobile gamers.

To start off, the ROG Phone maxes out basically every spec you could want in an Android phone:

  • Processor: Overclocked Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (2.96Ghz)
  • Display: 6-inch 2160x1080 OLED screen with 90Hz refresh rate. Includes HDR support
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128 or 512GB
  • Battery: 4,000mAh
  • Audio: Dual front facing speakers and a headphone jack
  • Camera: 8MP front facing camera, Dual 12MP/8MP cameras on the back

Because of the overclocked Snapdragon 845, the ROG Phone features vapor cooling and an attachable fan accessory. However, maximum performance isn't available off the bat. The ROG Phone has a squeeze function, similar to the Pixel 2 and HTC Edge Sense, that activates "X Mode". X Mode transforms the gamer visual aesthetic from blue to red, optimizes the phone for gaming by prioritizing the game in RAM and shuts down background processes.

Of course, no serious mobile gamer will use the touchscreen as their primary mode of input. Asus has created a suite of accessories for the ROG phone. First, is an actual gamepad made by Gamevice that clips on either side of the phone. The gamepad includes the usual physical buttons and analog sticks. The gamepad also works with a WiGig dock to wirelessly stream gameplay to a connected TV.

Next, is a weird clamshell accessory that turns the ROG Phone into a dual screen phone. The second screen is also a 6-inch 1080p panel while also housing a 6,000 mAh battery. It also features front facing quad speakers, shoulder buttons, and more cooling. Asus imagines this could be used for extended gameplay sessions.

For those gamers who prefer more of a desktop setup, Asus is also selling a dock that connects to a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to use as an Android desktop. This is similar to Samsung's DeX dock that does the same thing. Unlike the DeX dock however, the Asus dock can also connect to a PC and allow the gamer to switch back and forth between the PC and the ROG Phone.

It's almost like Asus thought what a hardcore PC gamer would want in a gaming PC and transplanted those specs into mobile form. This is probably the most ambitious gaming phone so far and it will be interesting to see if Razer (or any other gaming hardware company) will continue to push the boundary of mobile gaming. The ROG Phone will launch later this year in Q3 2018.

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Tanstar

TS Evangelist
I don't need or want a "gaming phone" but
the Asus dock can also connect to a PC and allow the gamer to switch back and forth between the PC and the ROG Phone.
sounds pretty nice.
I like the option to play games on my phone, but I agree that the docking station is the coolest option. I look forward to reviews once it is released!
 

koblongata

TS Addict
Ticks all the boxes as a great Daydream phone,
and then yet again it does not support it, like everybody else.

Daydream VR is really dead I think.
 

OutlawCecil

TS Evangelist
And the switch sounds like my psp go, your point?
swing and miss. I was referring to the "dockability" of this phone and the ability to connect hardware controls on both sides of it. How is this in any way similar to the psp go? And how can you not see how it's similar to the switch?
 

GeforcerFX

TS Evangelist
swing and miss. I was referring to the "dockability" of this phone and the ability to connect hardware controls on both sides of it. How is this in any way similar to the psp go? And how can you not see how it's similar to the switch?
PSP go + dock + DS3 = tv gaming, they had a portable device with a external controller hooked up to tv's back in 2009, had the psp (2,000, 3,000) hooked up to tv's back in 2006, but the go's system was more refined, offered the DS3 as a option (since the go had BT) and allowed component for better quality. The dock ability for a device has been around for a lot longer than the switch, the vice controllers have existed since 2010-2011 for phones, and motorola had a android phone with a dock with video out and usb input on it, so did HP back in 2015-16. The switch was not really cutting edge in design, more the amount of performance they got into the package.

This seems to offer far more than the switch (granted I am sure the price will correspond) since it's full android it can actually be a pocketable phone that does all your phone stuff, plus a on the go gaming device, plus a basic computer beyond that.
 

OutlawCecil

TS Evangelist
PSP go + dock + DS3 = tv gaming, they had a portable device with a external controller hooked up to tv's back in 2009, had the psp (2,000, 3,000) hooked up to tv's back in 2006, but the go's system was more refined, offered the DS3 as a option (since the go had BT) and allowed component for better quality. The dock ability for a device has been around for a lot longer than the switch, the vice controllers have existed since 2010-2011 for phones, and motorola had a android phone with a dock with video out and usb input on it, so did HP back in 2015-16. The switch was not really cutting edge in design, more the amount of performance they got into the package.

This seems to offer far more than the switch (granted I am sure the price will correspond) since it's full android it can actually be a pocketable phone that does all your phone stuff, plus a on the go gaming device, plus a basic computer beyond that.
I never heard of the pspgo dock but just researched it. Interesting, but complicated from the looks of how you had to set it all up. Learn something new every day I suppose... The Switch's popularity is probably due partly to the ease of switching between TV and portable. I didn't see in this article where it explains what all is involved with the docking but the video makes it seem straightforward.
 

lazer

TS Addict
I bought an Asus device a little over a year ago and it was very nice until it told me to upgrade. So I did and that's was the end. It STOPPED working.

Worse was when I contacted their help desk and got pushed back and forth with meaningless try this and that and yet nothing worked. So I am stuck with a piece of crap.

Warning to others: Asus is ***-U - buy it, and they make an *** out of U....
 
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BrianMontanye

TS Booster
I bought an Asus device a little over a year ago and it was very nice until it told me to upgrade. So I did and that's was the end. It STOPPED working.

Worse was when I contacted their help desk and got pushed back and forth with meaningless try this and that and yet nothing worked. So I am stuck with a piece of crap.

Warning to others: Asus is ***-U - buy it, and they make an *** out of U....

I have been using ASUS motherboards and components for over a decade, with probably 75+ PC's that I have built for myself, family and friends. Every component is still working and functional like it came out of the box. I think you might have had bad luck /shrugs.
 

richalone442

TS Enthusiast
I bought an Asus device a little over a year ago and it was very nice until it told me to upgrade. So I did and that's was the end. It STOPPED working.

Worse was when I contacted their help desk and got pushed back and forth with meaningless try this and that and yet nothing worked. So I am stuck with a piece of crap.

Warning to others: Asus is ***-U - buy it, and they make an *** out of U....

I have been using ASUS motherboards and components for over a decade, with probably 75+ PC's that I have built for myself, family and friends. Every component is still working and functional like it came out of the box. I think you might have had bad luck /shrugs.
I am another that has had nothing but trouble with Asus products, I have a Asus 555 laptop that takes about 2 minutes to boot Windows 10, nothing works correctly, I had a Sabertooth MB that went bad in warranty, Asus kept replacing it with bad MBs (3 in all), until the warranty expired, and so did the final MB, I will never buy another Asus product!