When it comes to gaming, the next frontier is the ubiquitous smartphone. Only in recent years have there been phones designed specifically for gaming like the Xiaomi Black Shark and the Razer Phone but Asus has just tossed their hat into the ring as they’ve announced the debut of a phone with every iota of its design dedicated exclusively towards ensuring an unsurpassed mobile gaming experience. Enter the ROG phone.
The ROG phone aims to top the competition in almost every aspect of its specifications from stem to stern. For starters, it comes with Qualcomm’s best processor currently in service – the Snapdragon 845 octacore SoC though it has been upgunned with a faster sustained clock speed to the tune of 2.96GHz. This is paired with a staggering 8GB of RAM with options for either 128GB or 512GB of storage out of the box.
The display on the ROG phone consists of a 6-inch, 2,160 x 1080 pixel AMOLED display with HDR content support and a 1ms response rate while running at a nippy 90Hz. The AMOLED display itself is a step up from LCD panels as it serves up brighter, more vibrant colours on top of better contrast in the bargain. According to Asus, the AMOLED HDR panel on the phone is capable of reproducing 108% of the DCI-P3 colour gamut – and no, that’s not a typo.
Added to this are a pair of front-facing speakers that support 24-bit/192Khz Hi-Res audio playback and it also has high-definition audio playback via Bluetooth 5.0 if you deign to do so. Powering all this is a 4,000mAh battery supported by their Asus HyperCharge tech that offers shorter, faster and safer charging times while delivering more power for juicing.
The rest of the gaming hardware crammed into the ROG phone dials things to 11, turning it into a bona fide portable gaming console. Rather than relying solely on the touchscreen to interact with games, the phone has three ultrasonic Air Trigger touch sensors. Two are located on the top of the display if you orient it in landscape mode; in a traditional portable gaming console these would be where the shoulder triggers would be. A third Air Trigger is plonked on the bottom left side for use when the phone is in portrait mode. These Air Trigger buttons all have haptic feedback, need just a light 20g to activate and are fully programmable too, which ought to be a treat for action games and the like.
The ROG phone further ups the ante with even more impressive hardware – it adds in a built-in vapor chamber system that integrates a network of carbon cooling pads and a copper heat spreader to ensure that the phone is able to sustain the Snapdragon 845’s higher clock speeds; it’s apparently able to offer 16 times more heat dissipation than conventional cooling designs seen in most smartphones. But wait, it gets even better.
The phone has a selection of attachable accessories that augment its performance even more. Of note is an ‘Aero Active Cooler’ that augments the cooling of the phone that will apparently come bundled with every ROG phone. This clip-on will also have a USB Type-C port and a 3.5mm audio jack too.
While the Aero Active Cooler is the star peripheral on show, Asus also showcased a TwinView Dock that latches on to the phone, adding on a secondary 6-inch AMOLED display, a front-facing quad-speaker system, two extra physical trigger buttons and a larger 6,000mAh battery pack. In practice, it looks very much like a huge Nintendo DS.
There’s also a Mobile Desktop Dock that lets you direct your feed to an auxiliary 4K UHD display and add in a mouse and keyboard too. There’s no word on price for the phone and its array of accessories but Asus has mentioned that it should be globally available in key markets sometime in Q3 2018 though there’s no word when and if Malaysia would get this portable gaming behemoth. We’ll keep you posted if we hear anything.