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Asus ROG Phone

STEVEN WINKELMAN
Asus, an organization famous for its Republic of Gaming brand of computing hardware, is the contemporary get into the cell gaming space with its ROG Phone ($899.99 unlocked). With an overclocked Snapdragon 845 processor and a 90Hz AMOLED show, it is a cell gamer’s dream. But if you’re an informal gamer or truly need something extra flexible, the Google Pixel three XL or OnePlus 6T are both stronger alternatives.

Design and Durability
The ROG Phone has a different design that game enthusiasts will in all likelihood love, however, others can also discover a little flashy. At 6.25 by 3.00 via 0.33 inches (HWD) and seven.87 ounces, it’s a big telephone. It’s almost the precise same size and weight because of the Razer Phone 2, but heavier than the Pixel 3 XL (6.20 ounces) and OnePlus 6T (6.42 ounces). The mixture of size and weight make the ROG a -surpassed tool that takes up a whole lot of room for your pocket.

Flip the telephone over and you may right now be aware the gamer aesthetic. The smoky Gorilla Glass backplate is decorated with geometric line drawings. There’s an asymmetric warmth sink at the right side of the phone with copper accents, at the side of a hexagonal digital camera sensor. The fingerprint sensor is likewise hexagonal and off-middle, making it hard to access.
And while all of the geometric prospers garner attention, the real showstopper is the large emblem that glows when the cellphone is on. The brand does greater than glow, though: It also can alert you of notifications or incoming calls. It’s like the BlackBerry’s notification light, but with a touch more flamboyance.

The left side of the phone is domestic to its metal strength and extent rocker buttons, both of which provide a satisfying click on while tapped. On the right, there may be a USB-C charging port and a proprietary connector for accessories; a small rubber defend covers the ports when not in use, but it would not attach to the cellphone in any way, so it is almost positive to wander off. Special markings are also on every side of the smartphone to indicate the place of its Air Triggers—stress-sensitive buttons that may be used at some point of gameplay. A second USB-C charging port and three.5mm headphone jack takes in the house on the bottom of the smartphone.

The ROG Phone isn’t always rugged, nor does it convey any IP rating for water or dust safety. Since the smartphone is made from glass over an aluminum frame and has multiple ports, you may want to deal with it with care (and purchase a case).

Display
The ROG Phone’s 6-inch, 2,160-by way of-1,080 AMOLED show has an 18:9 issue ratio. And whilst it does not have a notch, the forehead and chin bezels are chunky. Nevertheless, it’s a fabulous display for gameplay or streaming video. Viewing angles are stable and the smartphone has the inky blacks and rich colorations you count on from an AMOLED.
In our exams, we observed the show to have proper color accuracy, although veggies were slightly undersaturated. Peak brightness measured at 451 nits, and we had a difficult time seeing the display screen in direct daylight.

The most noteworthy feature of the display is its 90Hz refresh charge—a primary for AMOLED. The Razer Phone 2 features a 120Hz LCD, however LCD would not examine with the rich shades at the ROG Phone. The smartphone’s excessive refresh charge offers a more responsive enjoy compared with the conventional 60Hz cellphone show while gaming or scrolling via websites or social media feeds. You can pick the refresh fee for individual video games and apps in the Game Center, but avoid setting 90Hz as your default refresh rate until you need to quickly burn up the battery.

Network Performance and Audio
The ROG Phone is available unlocked and works on AT&T and T-Mobile’s networks. It helps LTE bands 1/2/3/4/5/7/8/12/13/17/18/19/20/28/29/32/34/38/39/forty/forty one/46. Band 71 is highly missing, which is a shame for T-Mobile customers in rural regions. Network overall performance in downtown Manhattan on T-Mobile’s network changed into awesome, with 28Mbps down and 29Mbps up in spite of heavy network congestion.

Wi-Fi is supported on the two.5GHz and 5GHz bands. There’s also Bluetooth five.0 for audio and wearables, as well as NFC for Google Pay.

Call pleasant is remarkable. Transmissions came throughout clean with minimal clipping, and noise cancellation blocked out all background noise. At 88dB, earpiece quantity is loud enough to carry on a communique on a busy avenue.

The ROG Phone’s front-firing audio system is stable. At 91dB, they’re loud enough to fill a small workplace, although the sound isn’t always as immersive as what you get on the Razer Phone 2. There’s also DTS:X Ultra 1.0 for greater audio exceptional with wired headphones.

Processor and Cooling
The ROG Phone features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor overclocked at 2.96GHz and 8GB of RAM. The model we tested has 128GB of storage, with about 110GB free out of the container, although Asus also gives a 512GB version for $1,099. There’s no microSD slot on the phone, but Asus does provide 100GB of Google Drive space for 12 months.
In phrases of benchmarks, the ROG is the quickest Android telephone to be had. It garnered a Geekbench multi-core rating of 9,432 and a single-center score of 2,572. That’s barely higher than the Razer Phone 2 (9,044 multi-core, 2,432 single-core) and much higher than the Pixel 3 XL (8,378 multi-center, 2649 unmarried-center). Keep in thoughts benchmarks are perfect for evaluating further prepared handsets, however, won’t give an accurate illustration of every day-overall performance.

Gaming
Since the Asus ROG Phone is constructed for gaming, we put it through its paces by means of gambling numerous prolonged fits of PUBG Mobile. We created a custom designed profile for the game in X mode, an app that allows you to create character game profiles, personalize pace settings and notice universal overall performance. After creating our PUBG profile, we configured the phone’s built-in gaming buttons, the aforementioned Air Triggers, to goal and shoot. Gameplay changed into perfect, without a dropped frames or choppiness.

A vapor chamber, cooling pads, and warmth spreaders are constructed in to save you overheating, and we observed the phone best started out to warm up after playing PUBG for an hour. During that hour of gaming, however, battery life reduced by using 20 percentage.

If you discover the battery depleting too speedy on your liking, Asus bundles a unique fan with the phone known as the AeroActive Cooler. The fan is made primarily for instances while you’re charging the telephone in the course of gameplay. It has a thoughtfully positioned USB-C charging port that sits on the bottom of the smartphone, together with a secondary 3.5mm jack for multiplayer games.

Battery
Although the ROG Phone has a four,000mAh battery, we observed battery lifestyles to be disappointing. During our battery drain test, which runs streaming video over Wi-Fi with the show set to 60Hz at full brightness, the cellphone died after 6 hours and 9 mins. That’s better than the Razer Phone 2 (4 hours, 17 minutes), but terrible when compared with the much less expensive OnePlus 6T (8 hours, 31 minutes) and Pixel three XL (8 hours, 10 mins).

During ordinary daily use, with X Mode became off and the show refresh fee set at 60Hz, we had no hassle making it via a 12-hour day with mild use. If you do find yourself strolling low on juice, the ROG Phone has a characteristic known as HyperCharge on the way to juice a depleted battery to 60 percent within half of an hour with the covered adapter, as well as Qualcomm Quick Charge four.0 on each the bottom and aspect USB-C ports.

Cameras
You’ll discover a dual camera array at the again of the ROG Phone. The primary sensor comes in at 12MP and has an f/1.7 aperture, whilst the 8MP secondary lens has a 120-diploma subject of view. On the front of the phone, you’ll find an 8MP selfie cam with an f/2.Zero aperture.
Both the rear and front-dealing with cameras performed well in sunlight hours checking out. Test photos have been the first rate, albeit oversaturated. The depth of field turned into desirable in most snapshots and background info had been properly-described. The front-dealing with digicam carried out almost as properly in shiny mild, though there has been a slight loss of history detail inside the check shots.

Low-mild pictures on the ROG Phone have been a combined bag. The rear cameras did an admirable activity, with best a mild quantity of noise and heritage blur. Photos with the front-going through digicam had been muddy and noisy.

Although the cameras at the ROG Phone produce respectable results, if an excellent digicam is a priority, you may want to appearance someplace else. The OnePlus 6T produces similar shots in a vivid light, and does plenty higher in low light, way to its Night Mode. If you want the absolute great cellphone camera, the Google Pixel 3 XL is your pinnacle choice.

Software
The ROG Phone ships with Android 8.1 Oreo. We’re disappointed it does not come with Android nine. Zero Pie, but expect an replace within the destiny. An exceptionally custom designed skin known as ZenUI sits atop Android and modifications pretty much the whole lot, from app icons to the notification bar. The look screams gamer and is once again an obtained flavor. Luckily, it can be effortlessly changed with a launcher.
There’s not a ton of bloatware at the phone, however, Asus consists of a collection of custom apps. The Game Center app sits at the dock and lets in you to look stats about the phone and create custom user profiles for games. It’s additionally where you customize the rear emblem.

ZenMoji also comes preloaded. It’s Asus’ take on Apple’s Animoji and Samsung’s AR Emoji. The app allows you to create cute GIFs that comply with your facial actions. In addition to a handful of animals, there are several human characters. While you could trade the color of your ZenMoji’s history, you can not make any customizations to the ZenMoji itself. It’s a shame, specifically due to the fact there are no alternatives that represent humans of color.

Conclusions
If you are inside the marketplace for a gaming telephone, the Asus ROG Phone is the only to get, with the satisfactory stability of hardware and capabilities for hardcore cellular gamers. For informal game enthusiasts, however, the telephone can be overkill. The OnePlus6T has excellent specifications for $350 much less, at the same time as the Pixel 3XL capabilities the first-rate cellphone digital camera you will locate, and is first in line to get Android updates and unique functions.