Asus ROG Phone 3 review: Best Gaming Phone | Fastest Phone In The World

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Asus has announced the ROG Phone 3, the ultimate gaming smartphone which competes directly with Oneplus 8 ProIs this the gaming phone to rule them all? Let’s find out in our Asus ROG Phone 3 review.

Asus ROG Phone 3

Asus ROG Phone 3

Full Specifications

BrandAsus
ModelROG Phone 3
Release date22nd July 2020
Expected PriceRs 49,999
Launched in IndiaYes
Battery capacity (mAh)6000
Removable batteryNo
Fast chargingQuick Charge 4.0
Processor octa-core
Processor makeQualcomm Snapdragon 865+
RAM8GB
Internal storage128GB
Operating systemAndroid 10
SkinROG UI
Display Size (inches)6.59
Display TypeAMOLED HDR 10+
Touch ScreenYes
Resolution1080x2340 pixels
Protection typeGorilla Glass
Aspect ratio19.5:9
Rear camera64-megapixel (f/1.8, 1.6-micron) + 13-megapixel (f/2.4) + 5-megapixel (f/2.0)
Rear autofocusYes
Rear flashLED
Front camera24-megapixel (f/2.0, 0.9-micron)
Display Fingerprint SensorYes
Wi-FiYes
Wi-Fi standards supported802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/Yes
GPSYes
BluetoothYes, v 5.10
USB Type-CYes
Number of SIM2
Face unlockYes
In-Display Fingerprint SensorYes
Compass/ MagnetometerYes
Proximity sensorYes
AccelerometerYes
Ambient light sensorYes
GyroscopeYes
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The Asus Rog Phone 3 Full Review

Hands-On Design And Build

ROG Phone 3 Back Design

Rog phone 3 is a flagship phone. Made of premium glass and metal as expected. You get the gamer style aesthetic here including a glowing LED logo. This year the bold design elements are a bit more toned down. And the finish is glossy, not matte. One special touch is the triangle accent on the back. Rather than some sort of decal, it’s actually a window through which you can see the phone’s huge copper heat sink.

The looks and form factor of the Rog phone 3 are quite similar to last year’s model. Just a bit thicker and heftier this time around. But just like on the Rog phone 2 there’s no IP rating. This fancy hardware is vulnerable to dust and water.

Accessories And Snap-On Attachments

Asus ROG Phone 3 box contains

  •  Asus ROG Phone 3 handset
  • USB Type-C Cable
  • 30W fast charger
  • Aero Case
  • SIM Ejector tool
  • USB-C to 3.5 mm Dongle

Asus is known for its extensive selection of gaming accessories for its Rog phones. Most of which you’d need to buy separately. But you do get an aero active cooler 3 in the box. It’s a fan that attaches to help cool down the phone. And your hands too. Plus it doubles as a kickstand. You can reuse some accessories from last year. Like the kunai gamepad too.

ROG phone 3 TwinView Dock 2

The case and paddles don’t fit on the Rog phone 3. So you have to use it as more of a standalone Bluetooth controller. However, if you really want to make the phone look like a Nintendo Switch. Asus has just announced its new kunai gamepad 3. Last year’s twin view dock 2 is fully compatible here as well. And it gives you a giant Nintendo DS sort of vibe. Although in-game support for a dual-screen is pretty scarce at the moment. You can find a couple of games that can utilize the second screen.

The just-announced twin view dock 3 also works much the same way. But the second screen has a higher refresh rate. Another peripheral you can use with the Rog phone 3 is the mobile desktop dock. It allows you to connect the phone to a TV or monitor and play your games on the big screen. You can use this with a controller or even plug in a mouse and keyboard. Which for some games can feel almost like cheating?

6.6″ AMOLED Display

ROG phone 3 Display

The Rog phone 3′s display has seen some upgrades over last year. Despite keeping the same size it’s a 6.59 inch (16.74 cm) AMOLED panel. With a 1080p resolution. But what makes it stand out is its super-fast 144-hertz max refresh rate. And 270 hertz touch sampling rate. This means that moving objects should appear much smoother to the eye.

You have options for 60, 90, 120, or 144 hertz. Which are enforced across the whole system? Where possible and there’s also an auto mode that will adjust the refresh rate based on the particular app. The low 25-millisecond touch latency means that the phone is quick and responsive. Perfect for gaming or even just swiping around.

The display performed admirably in our tests too. You get an excellent contrast. You’d expect from an AMOLED and max brightness is great. Up to around 460 nits with the slider and 720 nits in auto mode in bright conditions. And there are several color presets to choose from some of which are quite color accurate.

Under-Display Fingerprint Reader: Always-On Display

ROG phone 3 Security

Like most phones, you see these days with AMOLED screens. The Rog phone 3 employs an under-display fingerprint scanner for waking up and unlocking the phone. It’s quite fast and responsive. There’s an always-on display. As well as a notification LED up at the top. Plus you can program the glowing logo on the back of the phone to shine for notifications. So when it’s time to check your phone you’ll know.

Stereo Speakers & Audio Jack

ROG phone 3 Speaker

The Rog phone 3 has a dedicated front-facing stereo speaker setup. It’s powerful. Each speaker has a 7 magnet design. And an independent amplifier. Plus Asus has partnered with the Swedish audio company Dirac. For the phone’s cutting edge audio software which is specifically tailored towards gaming. Certain sounds and frequencies like footsteps are amplified. Plus there’s advanced crosstalk cancellation.

To have better separation of the channels for cleaner directionally. And one of the coolest features is the bass boost. Which uses psychoacoustics to trick the air into recognizing louder and deeper bass tones. Up to two octaves deeper than what the speakers of this size are otherwise capable of. Overall the max loudness of the rog-3 speakers is a little less than what we measured on the rog-2. But it’s not by much.

And the audio quality here is awesome. Really on a different level compared to most smartphones. There is no 3.5-millimeter jack on the Rog phone 3. But there is a dongle included to plugin traditional headphones. And there’s actually an audio jack on the aero active cooler fan so if you have that attached you’re all set.

Storage Options

The Rog phone 3 is of the super-fast UFS 3.1 variety. You can choose from 128, 256, or 512-gigabyte options. This isn’t expandable via micros SD. Though there is support for plugging in an external hard drive. If you wanted to do that.

Software: ROG UI over Android 10

ROG Phone 3 Software

The Rog Phone 3’s user interface is based on Android 10. And as you’d expect from a device marketed for gamers. It brings bold aesthetics with geometric shapes and contrasty colors. And a ton of options related to gaming. One feature that’s back from last year is the high-performance mode called x mode.

When you toggle it the UI transforms and the LED on the backlights up. x mode has different tiers. And the highest performance level is only available if you have the fan plugged in. if the gamer style UI isn’t quite your taste. There is also an option for a squeaky clean. More traditional looking interface and themes.

There’s something called power master which is a centralized place for managing app power consumption and charging options. To increase battery longevity. And there are in-depth controls dealing with both screen recording and screen capture. Great for anyone serious about recording their gameplay.

Gaming-Centric Features

Speaking of gaming one handy set of features on the Rog phone 3 lies with the game genie. This is an in-game overlay. That’s easily accessible by swiping on the edge of the screen. It provides quick access to a bunch of gaming-related options. Like, do not disturb and brightness or live-streaming. It can also enable a floating toolbar.

ROG phone 3 Air Triggers

That displays performance stats fps and temperature. Plus you have key mapping options for the air triggers. The two touch-sensitive areas on the corners of the phone that are great for games like shooters. In addition to that, there are motion control options key mapping for controllers. And even macros you can set up for input combinations.

If you thought that was all you’re way off. There’s a whole gaming portal called the armory crate. Which on the surface is a convenient and cool-looking hub for accessing all of your games. But it’s even more than that one cool feature it allows for is creating a custom performance profile for each individual game or app. This includes CPU, GPU screen refresh rate, and temperature control.

You can import and export these profiles and share them online too. Within these profiles, if you want to go even further you can enter advanced hardcore tuning. This lets you tinker with specific values for the phone’s internals. We’ve never seen this level of hardware control before without rooting the phone. There is also plenty of general system-wide settings. As well as controls for the cooling fan lights and accessories. Plus you have access to the game genie from here and all that entails.

Finally, finding games that make the best use of Rog phone3’s various features can be tricky. But in the armory crate, there is a menu that lists games organized by supported features. Complete with links to the play store. Take these with a grain of salt though particularly with high refresh rate support that’s up to the individual developers to make possible.

Snapdragon 865+ Performance

ROG phone 3 Air Triggers

Now let’s move on to the phone’s actual performance. The Rog phone 3 has the latest announced snapdragon 865 plus chipset. This is the first time we’ve seen this ship. And it’s the fastest you can get on the android. It provides support for 5g network speeds. And compared to the regular 865 offers a 10 bump in clock speed of its prime CPU core.

As well as an increased GPU clock speed as far as benchmarks go the Rog phone 3 does an excellent job as you would expect. It sits at the top of the charts as far as CPU performance goes. And as far as graphics tests go it beats the rest of the Android competition. Only falling short of Apple’s hardware.

All in all, it’s not a night and day improvement over the regular snapdragon 865. But it is quite noticeable. One interesting observation we had was that the x performance mode didn’t seem to boost the maximum performance scores or fps rates very much. Instead, Asus seems to be aiming more towards high sustained performance over time. Which is useful when you’re actually sitting down and playing games.

The phone is already great at combating thermal throttling. Thanks to its heat sink and fan attachment. But the x mode tweaks performance parameters and thermal tolerances. To help make sure that an hour or two into gaming you don’t run into some heat-related slowdown.

6,000mAh Battery: Battery Life & Charging Speed

ROG phone 3 Performance

At 6 000 mAh battery. The Rog phone 3‘s battery is among the largest ones you can get on a flagship today. With it, the Rog 3 scored an impressive endurance rating of 120 hours in our battery life tests. With its screen at the highest refresh rate.

Screenshot 421 1
144 Hz Refresh Rate Test
Screenshot 422 1
60 Hz Refresh Rate Test
Screenshot 423 1
Charging Test

And bumping the refresh rate down to a standard 60 hertz led to an even better score of 133 hours. The charging speed is decent. Especially for such a big battery with the 30-watt power delivery charger. We were able to charge from 0 to 43 % in 30 minutes.

Camera Performance And Samples

ROG phone 3 Camera

It’s not all about gaming. You might want to take the occasional picture too. The Rog phone 3 is equipped with a triple camera setup on the back. There’s a 64-megapixel quad Bayer main cam. A 13-megapixel ultra-wide cam. And a 5-megapixel macro camera. The main camera’s photos come out in 16 megapixels.

And these are perfectly decent there’s plenty of detail and colors look natural. We did have some trouble with them HDR though. Which is quite inconsistent. Even when forced on so dynamic range is sort of hit or miss. You can capture photos at the full 64-megapixel resolution. Though this doesn’t offer as much benefit as you might imagine.

Screenshot 425
16 MP Main Camera
Screenshot 426
Main Camera Auto HDR
Screenshot 427
Main Camera, HDR On
Screenshot 428
64 MP, Main Camera
Screenshot 429
16 MP Main Camera, 2X digital zoom
Screenshot 431
13 MP Ultra Wide Camera
Screenshot 432
5 MP Macro Camera

There isn’t much more detail and the file size is huge. Zooming is available and is advertised as lossless. Though it is a digital zoom taken from the main cam. At two times this looks decent with a surprising amount of detail. Though they’re a bit too soft to be called lossless. Portrait shots also come from the main cam. They’re very clean looking with nice subject detection and separation and convincing defocus backgrounds.

The 13-megapixel shots from the fixed focus ultrawide cam are perfectly decent. But a bit on the soft side. Close-up shots taken with the 5-megapixel macro cam are okay. The results are usable. But the resolution is nothing impressive. And since the focus is fixed you need to use some trial and error to get a sharp photo.

Low-Light Camera Performance and Samples

Screenshot 433
Low Light Main Camera
Screenshot 434
Night Mode Main Camera
Screenshot 435
Low Light Ultra Wide Camera
Screenshot 436
Night Mode Ultra Wide Camera

In low light shots from the main camera were pretty good. They’re surprisingly low noise good enough detail and decent dynamic range. There isn’t night mode supported here. Which you can set to be enabled automatically if the conditions are dark enough. Depending on the particular scene night mode can be surprisingly effective.

Often managing to bring back a lot of detail from the dark shadows. The ultra-wide cam’s performance is pretty poor in low light as expected. Because of its dim lens. If you turn on night mode you may end up with a usable result. These take a long time to shoot and don’t expect anything mind-blowing.

Selfies

Selfies are taken with the 24-megapixel quad Bayer front-facing cam. These six-megapixel shots are good. The focus is fixed. But these tend to come out sharp with nice detail colors and dynamic range.

Video Recording

4k videos from the main cam can be taken in up to 60 fps. And quality is quite decent. You get a good amount of detail with vibrant colors. The sharpening might be a bit overdone though. There is even an option to capture video with this camera and 8k.

A trendy feature these days. And on top of that, this mode has electronic stabilization. Which we haven’t seen before. The quality here is great. You can shoot in up to 4k at 30fps with the ultrawide camera. These are pretty good. Though the dynamic range is noticeably more narrow than the videos from the main camera.

Even though there is no optical stabilization to be found on these cameras. In fact, all the footage looks quite smooth if you turn on the electronic stabilization. It does a splendid job. There’s an extra stable that is called hyper steady. Which only works in 1080p resolution. It is very impressive though effectively smoothing out things like running

Conclusion

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Great build quality.
  • Compatible with many of the ROG Phone 2 accessories.
  • Trigger 3 ultrasonic touch sensors are very precise.
  • Superb AMOLED screen with HDR10+, 144Hz refresh rate.
  • Great battery life, even at full 144Hz, battery health is mind-blowing.
  • Industry-leading speaker performance, complete with gaming-specific sound tweaks.
  • Fastest-available Snapdragon 865+ chipset.
  • Blazing-fast LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 storage.
  • Unrivaled accessory ecosystem.
  • Solid daylight photos, as well as low-light images.
Cons
  • No water or dust resistance.
  • No micro SD, no 3.5 mm jack.
  • HDR needs some extra work.

So that’s the Asus Rog phone 3 from top to bottom. The upgrades it brings are pretty much geared toward improving the gaming experience. You get a large and responsive high refresh rate AMOLED display. A cool looking gamer style design. Great stereo speakers tuned toward the audio you can hear in games.

Excellent battery life and a cutting edge chipset that can give high-class performance over long gaming sessions. There are a couple of nitpicks to be had here though. First is the camera quality which isn’t the flagship level. But for the gamer crowd, I don’t think it’s such a high priority. And it gets the job done. The other thing I want to mention here is the focus on a super high refresh rate. The high fps is awesome for gaming.

But since it’s up to game developers to enable it on their end. You’re never sure whether a game would support 144 fps or not. The play store doesn’t make it easy to find the right game titles either. So you have to rely on info posted on forums online and things change all the time.

Overall though I think this phone offers an awesome premium gaming experience that pushes the boundaries of what’s possible on an android device. It’s not for everyone but for the hardcore mobile gamers out there the Rog phone 3 deserves a recommendation.

Do let me know in the comments below Rog phone 3 is the best android gaming phone at this price or not?. If you enjoyed this post share it with your friends.

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