The ASUS ROG Phone is the Latest Attempt at a Gaming Phone

ASUS has officially announced the ROG Phone, the company’s first take on a gaming phone. The ROG Phone, positioned under its Republic of Gamers brand, is filled to the brim with game-changing features aimed at delivering the best gaming experience on a smartphone and is accompanied by a slew of accessories to expand that experience even further.

The ROG Phone features some of the best internal hardware available in the market right now including a binned version of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, which is clocked at 2.96GHz, making it the fastest Snapdragon chip in the market. That processor is backed by an equally top-of-the-line Qualcomm Adreno 630 graphics processor. It also comes with 8GB of RAM, 512GB of internal storage, and a 4,000mAh battery.

The 6-inch display on the ROG Phone features an 18:9 aspect ratio AMOLED panel with a resolution of 2160 x 1080 pixels and a response time of 1ms. The screen also has a refresh rate of 90Hz, making it only the second phone after Razer to feature a display with that refresh rate, allowing to output frames faster than other smartphones screens. It also comes with HDR support and 108.6 percent DCI-P3 color gamut coverage.

The ROG Phone is also equipped with two front-facing speakers that are powered by a 24-bit/192kHz DAC. For those who want to use headphones, it supports DTS Headphone:X 7.1-channel virtual surround sound and aptX wireless Bluetooth headphone support.

While the ROG Phone’s hardware and display already puts it at the top of the heap in the smartphone market, its the phone’s ambitious gaming features and accessories that really sets it apart. Squeezing the sides of the device activates “X Mode,” which automatically optimizes the phone’s performance for gaming by prioritizing both processing and RAM allocation to games as well as shutting down background applications.

The ROG Phone is also equipped with what the company calls AirTriggers, which are placed on two opposite corners on the right edge of the phone where shoulder buttons would usually be found on game controllers if the phone was positioned horizontally. There’s also an additional AirTrigger on the bottom left corner of the phone. The AirTriggers are user-programmable, making them very versatile for things like macros or even non-gaming tasks.

The phone’s “X Mode” also lets users control the AeroActive Cooler, the included cooling accessory that attaches to the phone via the additional USB Type-C port on the left edge of the phone. The AeroActive Cooler supposedly helps dissipate heat from the phone by blowing air across its rear. It also comes with a USB Type-C port and an audio port so users won’t have to deal with cables getting in the way when the phone’s usual bottom ports are used.

The other accessories that ASUS is offering with their ROG Phone is where things get interesting for the device. There’s a Mobile Desktop Dock complete with a set of ports that allow users to hook up a 4K monitor, Gigabit Ethernet, 5.1-channel speakers, and multiple USB peripherals to turn the ROG Phone into a psuedo-desktop computer. There’s also a clamshell dock, called the TwinView Dock, with an included display that’s identical to the one on the ROG Phone to turn it into a dual-screen device.

Lastly, there’s the WiGig Dock that lets users wirelessly stream the phone’s display, via 802.11ad Wi-Fi, onto a nearby TV. The dock works in tandem with attachments that connect on either side of the phone, similar to Switch Joy-Cons, to provide physical controls including analog sticks, shoulder buttons, face buttons, and more.

The ASUS ROG Phone and its round of accessories are definitely an ambitious bunch that could potentially make the gaming phone category a reality. While ASUS  has announced that the new phone and its accessories should hit the market sometime in the third quarter of the year, the company has yet to announce just how much the phone and its accessories will cost but it’s probably safe to say that with its list of specifications and features the ROG Phone will definitely not come cheap. More information on the ASUS ROG Phone can be found at the official website.