Against all odds, it seems that ultra-high-end gaming-focused smartphones are rapidly transitioning from curiosity territory to the mainstream arena, as Asus joins Razer, Xiaomi and ZTE in trying to take “mobile gameplay and graphics to the next level.”
Similar to Xiaomi and ZTE’s Razer Phone-rivaling efforts, this latest uncompromising handset uses a sub-brand of its parent company. Of course, the Republic of Gamers name is far more respected and established around the world than Nubia and newbie Black Shark, pursuing a “mandate to push boundaries to deliver a better gaming experience” since 2006.
The first-ever ROG Phone sure looks special, with a 2:1 6-inch screen sporting fashionably thin bezels, and an eye-catching backplate including everything from bizarrely shaped dual cameras and a fingerprint reader to a glowing, customizable logo and a proprietary cooling system dubbed GameCool.
In addition to a built-in copper heat spreader and 3D vapor chamber, the ROG Phone also supports an ingenious auxiliary “AeroActive” cooler, which will come standard in the box to handle those “extremely strenuous gaming sessions.”
The main reason you may need this heat-limiting show of force is a uniquely overclocked Snapdragon 845 processor, running at up to a record-breaking 2.96GHz speed on the ROG Phone. Qualcomm’s “fastest-ever mobile platform” is still optimized to maximize battery life (with a 4,000mAh cell), but if you don’t care about that, you can activate “X Mode” to “ensure maximum performance” at all times.
A whopping 8GB RAM and up to 512GB of blazing fast UFS 2.1 storage will further contribute to said “maximum performance”, while the large FHD+ (2160 x 1080 pixels) AMOLED display refreshes at 90Hz, which is 50 percent better than “typical smartphone screens”, although not as impressive as the Razer Phone’s 120Hz beaut.
The atypical gaming improvements don’t end there, as the ROG Phone features a trio of programmable “AirTriggers”, aka ultrasonic buttons positioned on the left and bottom right edge, as well as two USB Type-C ports, including a side-mounted connector for an optional WiGig Dock. A Mobile Desktop Dock and TwinView Dock will also be sold separately from the Android handset for a complete desktop experience and dual-screen functionality respectively.
Unfortunately, we don’t have any price tags, and all we know about availability is that it’s set to begin sometime “this summer.”