Asus’ ROG line has focused primarily on PC gaming, with laptops, desktops, and accessories. But in 2018, Asus turned some of its attention to mobile gaming by launching its first ROG Phone.
The first ROG phone came with class-leading specifications, although its exorbitant price tag made it in line with premium smartphones, which inevitably led to its downfall due to sub-par camera performance and average software.
Then, in 2019, Asus introduced its second ROG phone. With the ROG Phone 2, Asus managed to fix several bugs on its first ROG Phone. The camera’s performance received a much-needed update, consumers were able to choose the software, and most importantly, the price dropped dramatically, cutting it off the premium segment and falling into the main space of the killer.
Now, with the third iteration of ROG Phone, Asus appears to be looking to return to the premium segment, without outrageous pricing. The ROG Phone 3 comes with an improved chipset, smoother screen and more cameras than its predecessor. In terms of pricing, ROG Phone 3 costs 49,999 rupees, which is nearly 12k more than its predecessor.
Design and Build
In terms of design, little has changed, ROG Phone 3 retains everything from weight to RGB lighting. The latest ROG Phone features a glass and metal case; There is Gorilla Glass 3 on the back, Gorilla Glass 6 at the front, and an aluminum frame. The gamer style aesthetic continues with the ROG Phone 3, with a glossy finish and the RGB Republic of Gamers logo on the back.
The only noticeable change from the ROG Phone 2 is the triangular accent at the back, which is actually a window through which you can see the phone’s huge copper heat sink. At 240 grams, the ROG Phone 3 is noticeably heavier than other flagship phones, although it doesn’t take long to get used to that weight.
ROG Phone 3 has thick bezels on the top and bottom instead of a notch or camera hole. The volume button and power button are both located to the left of the phone, while the capacitive air returns as well. On the right is a second charging port, as well as a port to connect to accessories released alongside ROG Phone 3. The USB Type-C port allows you to charge your phone while gaming without the cable getting in the way.
ROG Phone 3 has two front speakers, providing the best sound we’ve heard from a smartphone. The speakers have been upgraded with a new setup made of 7 magnets and tuned by the Swedish sound company Dirac. The result is a fuller, more rounded sound with rich bass. The focus on sound here is impressive; I can understand the need for thicker edges to accommodate these amplifiers.
The ROG Phone 3 display contains two new improvements, giving it an edge over its predecessor. Asus chose a 6.59 inch AMOLED FHD + display (1080 * 2340 pixels). The screen is HDR10 + certified and capable of producing over one billion colors. The ROG Phone 3 has a maximum brightness of 1000 nits. It also has a color gamut coverage of 113 percent DCI-P3 and an average Delta-E> 1 percent. You also get a responsive in-screen fingerprint reader.
The screen is definitely an improvement over the previous ROG model and looks noticeably better. You won’t have a problem checking the phone in bright outside light, although the panel tends to have difficulty reproducing colors. Additionally, users can also manually set the refresh rate on ROG Phone 3 to 60Hz, 90Hz, 120Hz or 144Hz, while you can also set the refresh rate to automatic. There is said to be a secret 160Hz mode, but since it’s unofficial, we don’t recommend trying it.
ROG Phone 3 also features a 270Hz touch sample rate and 25ms latency. While the ROG Phone 3 loses its QHD + resolution, this is definitely one of the smoothest screens on a smartphone, and it doesn’t seem to put anything at risk. This is definitely not the brightest panel at this price, but it does a good job of balancing a high refresh rate and brightness.
Asus answered the call for another camera on the ROG phone, with the addition of a macro camera. The phone chooses a 64-megapixel main Sony IMX686 sensor with f / 1.8 aperture, 13 megapixels ultra-wide with f / 2.4 aperture, and a 125-degree field of view, and a 5-megapixel macro camera. In addition, there is a 24 MP f / 2.0 selfie shooter at the front.
Firstly, the addition of a third camera sensor is a move in the right direction and expands the ROG Phone 3 image collection. However, the macro camera has appeared predominantly in budget smartphones as a way to add a moniker like the “triple” or “quadruple” camera setup. But while we would have preferred having a telephoto camera here, Asus claimed there was not enough space. This makes sense given that stacked lenses take up more space considering ROG Phone 3 specs; Space seemed like the freedom that Asus was few.
First, let’s look at the 64-megapixel Sony sensor. In the bright light outside, photos captured with the main camera are impressive, to say the least. Images are generally clear with color fidelity and even exposure, while dynamic range is excellent. The main camera provides 5x digital zoom with useful results, although there is no apparent stabilization when trying to capture a moving subject.
You don’t get the main camera quality for an iPhone 11 Pro or Galaxy S20, but the overall results are really good for a gaming smartphone. There is enough here to compete with teams like Realme X50 Pro, OnePlus 8 Pro, and Xiaomi Mi 10. If we place this camera in a particular category, it should be the ‘flagship killer’ score.
ROG Phone 3
Aside from having a good main camera, the ROG Phone 3’s ultra-wide camera isn’t too bad either. The white balance between the main and ultra-consistent camera is mostly consistent. The 5MP macro camera also works well, capturing well-detailed photos of close-up subjects. We’re not big fans of macro cameras in general, but if you want to get up close and personal with static themes, you won’t be disappointed.
Portrait mode bokeh can be adjusted in the viewfinder with good edge detection. ROG Phone’s front camera does a very good job at capturing clear photos with a wide dynamic range. The background blur in selfies on the front camera is very respectable. Self-portraits taken in low light do not produce desirable results and you should definitely consider using a flash.
Speaking of low light, the Asus ROG Phone 3 features a night mode that works well with a flagship smartphone, but it’s definitely not the best in its class. Night mode brightens up the dark landscape somewhat, but not as much as some competitors. The night mode results will depend on the light source of the image and will provide reliable results most of the time. Night mode also extends the ultra-wide camera, although there was a noticeable drop in quality. However, the low-light images in the ultra-fast range are among the best we’ve seen in the 50 KB sub-section
The main camera can record 8K video at 30 fps or 4K at 60 fps, while the front camera is limited to capturing 1080p video at 60 fps. The main camera on ROG Phone 3 lacks optical image stabilization but provides electronic image stabilization. You can easily switch between the main camera and the ultra-fast shutter when shooting 1080p video, although there is noticeable noise when switching to the ultra-high-definition camera.
ROG Phone 3 also includes some great video features like Super Steady mode (1080p, 60fps), wind filter to reduce wind noise, focus on the microphone (audio zoom), slow-motion video recording in 4K at 120fps, And more. The phone also has a motion tracking feature that tracks moving objects as long as they remain in the frame. Video recording on the front camera is limited to 1080p at 60 frames per second, which is better than the 1080p limit at 30 frames per second on most smartphones at this price.
The main feature of the ROG Phone 3 is its performance. The phone is an absolute monster, thanks to the power of Snapdragon 865+ SoC, currently ranked as the fastest smartphone chipset. The powerful chip is coupled with up to 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and up to 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage. However, our model came with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The phone also supports 5G, Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth 5.1.
Performance isn’t something you need to worry about when using a ROG Phone 3. Our synthetic benchmarks have produced benchmark results. ROG Phone 3 achieved an AnTuTu score of 627101 with Mode X activated and it fell to 626.013 in Normal mode. On Geekbench, the phone scored a single base score of 989 and over 3,341 points. With our tests, it’s safe to say that the ROG Phone 3 will perform solidly for years to come.
ROG Phone is specially designed for games, and there is no mobile game on this planet that this giant cannot handle. We tested 2 games with maximum settings, including Asphalt 9: Legends, Call of Duty: Mobile, PUBG Mobile, Fortnite, Raid: Shadow Legends, Shadowgun: Legends, and Sonic Dash 2, which performed well without much effort.
You can get a first-class gaming experience on most flagship smartphones, though the ROG Phone 3 takes it to the next level with features designed specifically for gaming. First of all, there are capacitive air triggers that can be used to plan actions in the game. Moreover, each trigger can be divided into two buttons, while swiping in any direction can be a click. Finally, you can also customize an in-game action to shake the phone. Yes, phone vibration can be a click.
ROG Phone 3 works with Android 10 with ROG UI or ZenUI interface. Both themes are relatively clean and free of bloatware, although ROG’s UI has a lot of gaming aesthetics, while ZenUI is closer to stock Android. You get the usual Android features on a ROG Phone 3, including an app drawer, an intuitive settings screen, and a customizable hot toggle menu.
The most notable change from the usual stock Android is the addition of the Armory Crate software. Armory Crate software was originally introduced on the Asus gaming PC and brought new levels of utility while gaming. It works as a game library to check all the addresses installed on your mobile phone, allowing you to check statistics and records and adjust the performance of each game separately.
In addition to checking CPU and GPU temperatures, you can also configure performance parameters, including fan speed, CPU and GPU frequencies, and temperature control configuration. You can also use Armory Crate to adjust touch sensitivity and add macros. All of these parameters can be configured for each game separately and can also be shared with ROG Phone 3 users. Asus’s Armory Crate software provides mobile gamers with the same level of customization as regular PC players.
Another intuitive gameplay feature on the ROG Phone 3 is Game Genie. Game Genie can be lifted with a single swipe from the top right of the screen. It has a lot of functions, which show you clock speed, frame rate, temperature, change the refresh rate, configure pneumatic triggers, access screen recording, and start the live broadcast on Twitch or YouTube. Game Genie is easy to use and can also be used to block calls, alerts, or notifications. Game Genie is one among a handful of useful features that make the ROG Phone gaming experience unparalleled.
The ROG Phone 3 packs a whopping 6000mAh battery from its predecessor. However, this time, Asus has included a 30W charging adapter in the box. This is easily the largest battery we’ve seen in a flagship smartphone. However, unlike most leading companies, ROG Phone 3 does not support wireless charging. It takes a little over 90 minutes to go from 0 to 100 percent.
You will definitely get more than a day of an average use of ROG Phone 3. Although the high refresh rate and main chipset will affect the battery, it will be nearly impossible to drain the battery in one day. We are talking about 9 to 12 good hours of screen time with moderate usage. 6 to 7 hours of screen time is good for the phone