ASUS ROG PHONE 3 FULL REVIEW AND PRICE
This is the ROG PHONE 3 the ultimate gaming smartphone. If you’ve been following the smartphone market closely you’re most likely aware of some of the changes that ROG has done from the first generation of the ROG phone series to the second generation ROG phone. Just to give you a quick breakdown they’ve made the display faster from 90 hertz to 120 hertz the CPU was updated to the fastest available at the time, the memory got a bump from 8 to 12 gigabytes, the battery size it went from 4000 milliamp-hours to 6000 milliamp hours, the camera system got a bit of an upgrade as well from 12 megapixels to 48 megapixels and pricing for the ROG Phone 2 was around Rs. 62,999 which was actually pretty good considering what you were getting.
Now we’re here in 2020 with the ROG Phone 3 and just after taking a glance at the specs and some of the features that ASUS has improved on this phone. I got to be honest, this is by far the coolest, most unique looking smartphone that I’ve personally come across. So let’s find out what’s new about the ROG Phone 3.
I’m gonna kick things off with pricing for the ROG phone 3, the price of the ROG phone 3 starts from Rs. 49,999. They’re gonna be three variants of this phone, one with 8 GB RAM and 128 GB storage worth Rs. 49,999, one with 12 GB RAM and 256 GB storage worth Rs. 57,999, another with 16 GB RAM and 512 GB storage worth Rs. 94,999.
There is a regular standard model that comes with 12 gigs of ram and 512 gigs of storage which is around Rs. 95,000. Now taking a look at the rest of the specs, this is again an area where ASUS does everything they possibly can to create a spec to ultimate. You’re getting the snapdragon 865 plus SOC with 5G compatibility, up to 16 gigabytes of LPDDR5 RAM half a terabyte of UFS 3.1 storage, dual sim support, a 6000 milliamp-hour battery which is the same size as the ROG Phone 2, so nothing has changed there.
So the first thing that stood out to me just about this phone is the design, I mean it’s obvious it’s a gaming smartphone made by ROG. If you look at their notebook lineup, the graphics cards they use are a class of their own and this phone sort of follows that trend, you get an RGB logo at the back that’s customizable through software. There’s also an aura RGB led right around the camera, that shines a bright light when you install the lightning bumper case. It gives you a matrix-led layout that’s pretty subtle but you can also customize the colors to pretty cool software. You see this isn’t your traditional flagship smartphone with a clean glass back and edge to edge display this is really designed to be practical for gamers and I’ll talk about that a little bit later.
As for size, this is a big phone in fact it’s bigger than One-Plus 8 pro which is already way too big for my hands. So you might have to get used to this form factor even if you have larger hands. If you take a closer look at the ROG phone 3 and compared to the ROG Phone 2, not a lot has changed from a physical standpoint. The display still expands around 6.6 inches it’s 1080p plus AMOLED HDR 10 plus certified just like the ROG phone 2. However they did bump up the refresh rate from 120 hertz to 144 hertz, it’s also got a 270-hertz touch sampling rate, the brightness levels have been improved as well. ASUS also claims that they’ve improved the color accuracy on this phone, they say that it covers 113 dc IP3 but out of the box, I did notice that it exhibits cooler tones compared to One-Plus 8 pro.
There are different profiles that you can play around through settings and now you can change the color temperature and saturation levels to your preference and honestly I have no complaints with it so far but let’s take a moment and talk about that sweet buttery smooth 144-hertz refresh rate because switching from a One-Plus 8 pro that features a 120-hertz display, I personally didn’t notice a huge difference switching to the ROG Phone 3 but this is still a very fast display.
When you can find games that can support a high refresh rate the experience is just unreal guys. I’ve been playing need for speed no limits recently and it just delivers a smooth experience, not to mention with that incredibly fast touch sampling rate every touch-based input is noticeably faster than One-Plus 8 pro.
Let’s not forget that this still features a flat display so you’re not getting any curves around the edges, thank you so much ASUS for keeping it that way and you’re also getting an in-display fingerprint sensor which works pretty well. It’s relatively as fast as the One-Plus 8 pro so I have no complaints in that area.
Now given the gaming brand attached to the smartphone there are some features that they’ve improved from the ROG phone 2. So when you’re holding the phone in landscape mode where the volume and power buttons are located there are two invisible ultrasonic buttons, ASUS is calling this the air trigger 3 technology. Basically, you can remap your touch inputs on the display within a game-play, to those individual buttons through the game genie. Which is an overlay that pops up when you enter a game so that way you don’t have to use your thumbs to interact with the game. Your two index fingers would do the job. Those individual buttons come with haptic feedback as well which is really nice.
With this generation of the ROG phone series, ASUS has added support for sliding, swiping, and creating two partitions per button resulting in a four shoulder trigger configuration. I’m not a hardcore gamer like a lot of you out there but having played some racing titles and some other games I’m actually really enjoying using these air triggers because then I don’t have to worry about using my thumbs, I can focus a little bit more on my game-play and these sort of features make a lot more sense for a gaming smartphone because they are very useful and I’m sure if you’re a hardcore mobile gamer you’ll definitely find these useful.
The side-mounted ports are one of the signature features of the ROG phone series because you can simply plug in the charging cable while gaming in landscape mode so that doesn’t get in the way like your standard smartphone charging orientation.
This port also acts as a hub for a variety of gaming accessories that ASUS will be offering like a gamepad, a twin view dock, and a mobile docking station that gives you access to a bunch of USB ports and jacks display port sand and SD card slot. I mean ASUS is pushing the limits of what a smartphone can achieve and actually a level beyond that. I should also mention that in the box you get the aero active cooler, which again uses the side-mounted ports to attach the phone. It has an active fan that is designed to lower the surface temperatures on the device by four degrees while boosting clock speeds on the CPU as well it also has a USB type-c pass-through port and a 3.5 mm audio jack, which I think is important because as you can probably hear the fans, they do get loud so sometimes you are not able to hear your teammates. The other thing I want to mention is that this does come with an instance, it’s a nice little handy feature for watching movies.
This phone has two front-facing speakers and they sound absolutely amazing. It is by far the best sounding speakers that I’ve listened to from a smartphone. I think I’m definitely gonna take advantage of this setup because it really is pretty awesome, unfortunately, they did remove the headphone jack on the smartphone and I’m sure a lot of gamers might be a little disappointed with that illumination because this is a gaming smartphone after all and a lot of you most likely end up using headsets. To use this phone without any accessories installed just doesn’t make any sense because the ROG Phone 2 had it why would they eliminate something like this. ASUS has designed this to be a gaming smartphone but they decided to eliminate one of the most crucial elements that people or gamers value keeping.
This phone still doesn’t have support for wireless charging.
When you take a look at the internal components of the smartphone ASUS has packed it with layers of enhanced cooling to make sure that the soc’s clock speeds stay stable during longer gaming sessions because this thing has like an actual air vent at the bottom of the top and you’ve got two side ports as well so I guess these are all some of the factors to consider which is totally understandable.
Now after running some synthetic benchmarks and comparing it to One-Plus 8 pro, the ROG Phone was faster and it made sense because you know they’ve packed so much inside the smartphone that you’re ultimately looking for the best performance in terms of frame rates, battery backup, and performance.
Then this is the way to go I mean they’ve really nailed it in terms of charging, this phone does support 30-watt fast charging. But given how massive the battery is, ASUS has implemented a few battery care options to extend its lifespan. So in the menu called “BATTERY-CARE”, you can enable slow charging limited to 10 watts and you can also set the charging limit for less battery wear over time you can also schedule charging which is a nifty little feature.
The software experience for the most part is very close to what you get with a Pixel and One-Plus device. ASUS has not loaded this thing with any bloatware applications except for armory crate which is the performance tuning application for the phone. In-fact when you’re setting up the device they’ll give users the option to choose between a gamery style theme or a classic stock look, which is what I prefer they have a dedicated theme store, if you want to expand your options you can also customize a few things within the UI like changing the system, navigation style to either gesture-based or the classic circle round and square buttons.
The armory crate software is like a game portal where you can choose what performance modes you’d like to enable within certain games. You can see there is a game library where you can launch a game or you can go into scenario profiles and fine-tune different factors that affect the game-play experience like touch sensitivity, refresh rate, performance, network, air trigger customization, key mapping, macros, there’s just so much you can explore.
If you switch over to the console tab this is where you can enable X mode which overclocks the CPU and let it stay consistently at higher clock speeds. Keep in mind that enabling X mode can affect battery life. You can also adjust the fan speed of the aero active cooler system lighting.
I’m not really sure what software support is going to be like for the smartphone in the next two to three years because when you look at the ROG Phone 2 that phone just recently got the update to android 10 so it’s definitely not going to be first in line to receive the best that Google has to offer so that’s something to keep in mind.
Last but not least let’s talk about the cameras, ASUS has updated their main camera with Sony’s new IMAX 686 sensor. Now don’t confuse that with the IMAX 689 sensor found on the One-Plus 8 pro. The sensors do fall into the same category but they feature different characteristics.
You also get a 13-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera and a 5-megapixel macro camera. Let’s start with the ultra-wide, it does a pretty good job with dynamic range and exposure interestingly enough when I compared it to One-Plus 8 pro, I noticed that the ROG phone captured true-life colors and it just gets the white balance right there is good detail as well and it doesn’t really crush the shadows that much, so that’s awesome. Switching to the main camera you’ll notice that the ROG phone struggles to maintain dynamic range even with HDR processing enabled, these get a bit overexposed compared to the One-Plus 8 pro. I also noticed that this phone tends to produce contrasty images by crushing the shadows a bit but to be honest I kind of like that look versus the 8 pros.
Again these are all subjective so you may end up liking one or the other but I’d like to know what you think in the comments. Lower performance is actually pretty good as well on this phone. I’m surprised at how well it was able to keep up with the One-Plus 8 pro the detail is present, colors don’t get washed out. I’m nitpicking I’d say that it does fiddle around with white balance here and there but overall, it’s actually a really good system. The 24-megapixel selfie camera is great, it surprisingly captures my skin tones accurately along with yielding excellent dynamic range it does soften my skin a little bit but overall I’m really happy with the results.
Now this phone can shoot up to 8k at 30frames per second but you do lose HDR and image stabilization but you can also shoot at 4k up to 120 frames per second which is awesome, that is actually something that I’ve never seen from a smartphone camera.
It’s loaded with video features and the video is really good, I love the dynamic range coming out of the sensor also this is a great test for the microphone quality as well, I think I’m really happy with the white-balance or I guess the color signs coming out of the sensor in general.
I think ASUS has really done a great job for a gaming smartphone. So let me know what you guys think about it in the comments.
So there you guys have it everything that you need to know about the ROG Phone 3. You see this phone gives a completely different vibe and that’s because this isn’t the average flagship smartphone that you’d walk into a carrier store and just buy right away. It’s a class of its own and that’s essentially delivering the fastest most, powerful android smartphone for Rs. 94,999. But let’s not forget that this is a gaming smartphone first and that’s very important for you guys to remember because it isn’t something that’s meant to compete with One-Plus, google, or Huawei.
It is a gaming smartphone and you might be wondering why would you spend that kind of money on something like this. While PC and Console users may not see the point of mobile gaming, it’s a massive and growing market according to some studies it will go way beyond a hundred billion dollars this year. The mobile gaming market is largely driven by countries like India, China, and other Asian markets and it’s slowly making its way into North America and Europe. Let also acknowledge that a lot of this revenue is driven by in-game purchases because while a game is free to download you’re gonna have to sort of pay your way through to unlock achievements or certain packs and things like that to win the game.
There hasn’t been much focus on the need for higher frame rates in mobile games, but as titles become more demanding higher-end hardware is necessary to push developers to do more. Even game streaming services like Ge-force now offer a broader selection of titles if standard android games aren’t your thing now can this be used as a mini-console 2 by plugging in a Bluetooth controller and outputting to a display via type c to an HDMI adapter. Well, this could be an interesting option especially for someone who might not be able to have a PC or console, but still wants to play on a bigger display.
So that’s it for today guys let me know what you guys think about the ROG Phone 3 in the comments in fact if you are in the market for an android flagship smartphone would you consider getting a gaming smartphone or would you just eliminate that off your list I’m curious to know. Thank you so much for reading.
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