ASUS is well established as a high-end computer gaming manufacturer through its Republic of Gaming, or ROG, brand. At COMPUTEX 2018 in Taiwan, ASUS on Monday announced its move from the PC to the mobile, with the launch of the ROG Phone.
According to ASUS, mobile is the largest games segment today. A total of US$46.1 billion was spent on mobile gaming last year, with an increase of 19.3% year-on-year. This contrasts to PC gaming at US$29.4 billiion and 2.6%, and console gaming at US$33.5 billion and 3.6%.
At the same time, ASUS notes eSport viewership is growing, with 16.1 million eSports watchers last year and an audience increasing by 20.1%.
ASUS says the Android-powered 6” phone delivers “epic performance,” stating it comes with 8Gb RAM and up to 512Gb ROM, and is the world’s fastest smartphone in all categories.
The processor is an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 mobile platform, but ASUS has had the Kyro CPU speed-binned and this combines with its own research and development to provide advanced cooling and deliver sustained processor performance of 2.96GHz. It also includes a gaming-optimised Qualcomm Adreno 630 GPU.
To deliver performance like this, an epic phone needs epic cooling. ASUS states it constructed a 3D vapour-chamber cooling system with a carbon cooling pad that provides 16x greater heat dissipation than other mobile phones.
An AeroActive cooling accessory, which grips the phone in landscape mode, is also bundled for extra-cooling.
Display-wise, the mobile uses AMOLED to provide vivid colours, HDR visuals, and a full HD+ DCI-P3 wide colour gamut. It offers blue-free gaming with a 90Hz refresh rate and 1ms ultrafast pixel response time.
Raw hardware specs are one thing — the phone truly offers impressive detail there, and even non-gamers will see appeal in the world’s fastest smartphone — but ASUS has also striven to put care and thought into the gaming experience.
This is seen with its concept of “airtriggers” – highlighted on-screen controls that are programmable and mappable and show over the game being played, along with advanced haptics to simulate the action inside the game so you truly feel it when playing.
In addition, the phone contains a dedicated side port for charging in landscape mode. There will be no awkward playing a game with the power cable sticking out where your hands are. A second charging port is in the normal landscape, to cover all bases.
The phone is not bulky; iTWire spent some time handling one and it felt no heavier than any conventional Android or iPhone. However, it includes:
- A 4000mAh battery
- Dual-front facing speakers
- Dual smart amps
- Dual cameras
- Advanced haptics
- Side port
- Dual WiFi antennas
- Up to 11.5hrs of Wi-Fi video play
- Up to 40 hours of Wi-Fi music livestream
- Up to 7hrs Wi-Fi gameplay
The inclusion of the side port meant ASUS had to build the world’s slimmest PCB, with its narrowest width of 1mm. This meant some real engineering challenges had to be solved to make this happen, including charging in itself. The phone offers what ASUS calls Hypercharge, and bundles a special Hypercharge power charger. It also supports QuickCharge 3, QuickCharge 4, and USB 3.0 power delivery.
Now, a great gaming phone demands great-gaming accessories. ASUS has it covered here too, with
- Bundled AeroActive cooler – additional cooling on-the-go; and
- Twinview dock, pictured below – providing easy mobile live-streaming, giving a second screen in a traditional game controller form with shoulder buttons. ASUS is working with developers to expand the UI of select games to take advantage of two screens.
- ASUS WiGig dock, pictured below – providing console controllers and wireless display over 802.11ac so everyone can watch.
- Mobile desktop dock, pictured below – expand to the max for desktop-style gaming. Connect your phone to a monitor, keyboard and mouse. It works as traditional PC docking station for desktop-based gaming, files and other activities.
iTWire is excited by this phone, but at this time availability in Australia is not confirmed.
The writer is attending COMPUTEX 2018 as a guest of ASUS.