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Asus ROG Phone 3 First Impressions: Hardware overkill is back

Asus ROG Phone 3 is likely “the ultimate gaming smartphone” for mobile gamers as per the claims. Days before the launch, I got a chance to use the latest flagship smartphone from Asus. Here are my first impressions of the ROG Phone 3.

Asus ROG Phone 3 First Impressions (4)

Asus has just launched its flagship gaming smartphone, the ROG Phone 3 in the Indian market. This time, the company ensured that the India launch coincided with the global launch for the smartphone. The smartphone maker also shared the Indian pricing and availability details right after the global launch. It hopes to recreate the success that it achieved with its predecessor, the ROG Phone 2. Asus also claims that this is “the ultimate gaming smartphone” for mobile gamers. Also Read - Asus ROG Phone 3 India launch today: Livestreaming details and what to expect

It has announced two RAM and storage variants of the smartphone in the Indian market. These options include the base model with 8GB RAM and 128GB internal storage and top-of-the-line model with 12GB RAM and 256GB internal storage. Asus has priced the base model of the smartphone at Rs 49,999. The 12GB RAM variant will cost Rs 57,999 and both variants will go on sale from August 6, 2020. Interested users can head of Flipkart to buy the latest flagship gaming smartphone from Asus. It also launched a 16GB RAM and 512GB storage variant in Europe for €1,099 or Rs 95,099. Also Read - Asus ROG Phone 3 press render leak, shows a familiar design

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In addition, the company has also announced a number of optional gaming accessories with the ROG Phone 3. These accessories include the ROG Kunai 3 gamepad, TwinView Dock 3, Mobile Desktop Dock 2, and the Professional Dock 2. The company has also launched the ROG Clip, AeroActive Cooler 3, and “Lightning Armor Case”. Days before the launch, I got a chance to use the latest flagship smartphone from Asus. Here are my first impressions of the Asus ROG Phone 3. Also Read - Top 5 phones to launch in India in July: Realme C11, OnePlus Nord, Asus ROG Phone 3 and more

Asus ROG Phone 3 design

Asus ROG Phone 3 First Impressions (7)

First up, we obviously have to talk about the design of the ROG Phone 3. The latest iteration comes with a somewhat familiar design made from metal and glass. We get the usual dark-grey finish on the back with the Asus light-up logo and colorful accents to highlight the design. We get the usual dual USB Type-C ports on the smartphone with one on the bottom and one on the left side. It is worth noting that familiar design elements do not mean that the company has not made any changes.

The light up Asus logo on the back of the smartphone

Talking about the changes, we get a triple rear camera setup instead of a dual-camera system. Beyond this, the company has also made some changes to the active cooling area on the device. The change introduces a new reflective design with rainbow texture. Asus has also made some changes to the dual front-facing speakers. Finally, Asus also made an inevitable change; it removed the 3.5mm audio socket in favor of USB Type-C port.

Asus ROG Phone 3 First Impressions (1)

Specification overkill

ROG Phone 3 sports a 6.59-inch AMOLED display with FHD+ (2,340×1,080 pixels) resolution and 19.5:9 aspect ratio. We also get 144Hz refresh rate, HDR10+ certification, 270Hz touch sampling rate, and 25ms touch latency. Asus has added a 2.5D curved glass on the device along with Corning Gorilla Glass 6. The smartphone runs on Snapdragon 865 Plus SoC with an Octa-core CPU clocked at up to 3.1 GHz and Adreno 650 GPU. Beyond this, we get up to 12GB LPDDR5 RAM, and up to 256GB UFS 3.1 storage.

Asus ROG Phone 3 First Impressions (8)

As mentioned above, the company has upgraded the rear camera system to a three sensor layout. It includes a 64-megapixel primary camera with Sony IMX686 sensor, a 13-megapixel ultra-wide sensor, and a 5-megapixel macro camera. The front of the ROG Phone 3 sports a 24-megapixel camera for selfies and face unlock. In addition, we also get an 8K video recording at 30fps, 4K HDR video recording at up to 60fps on the device. It features Android 10-based ROG UI out of the box. The company has also added the option to select the theme of the device during the setup.

Asus ROG Phone 3 also gets all the required features such as accelerator, compass, proximity sensor, in-display fingerprint scanner, ultrasonic sensors for AirTrigger 3, and more. We also get 5G support, GPS with NavIC, Bluetooth v5.1, Wi-Fi 6, NFC, and dual front-facing speakers. The smartphone also supports Hi-Res audio with USB Type-C port on the bottom and quad-microphone setup. Last but not the least, the Asus ROG Phone 3 runs on a 6,000mAh battery with support for 30W fast charging technology with two Type-C ports (one on the bottom, and one on the right side).

Gaming-focused hardware backed by gaming-focused software

Asus ROG Phone 3 First Impressions (6)

Beyond the usual hardware stuff, we also get dedicated gaming-focused apps includes the Armoury Crate and “MyASUS” apps to manage the smartphone. The Armoury Crate app is bundled along with almost all ROG-branded products in the market including motherboards, laptops, and more. This app provides quick access to all the installed games, shortcut to “Game Store”, and other specialized features. These features include the “X-Mode” along with quick-access to GameGenie, AirTriggers, Fan speed, and system lightning. The company has also added dedicated “Featured”, and “News” sections in the app for ROG related content.

First Impressions for the Asus ROG Phone 3

Asus ROG Phone 3 First Impressions (9)

On paper, Asus ROG Phone 3 can be summed up in one word, “overkill”. The company has gone out and gathered all the top-of-the-line materials to upgrade the ROG Phone 2. It is pushing the limits of what hardware is available with 144Hz display and optional gaming accessories. All this at the starting price of Rs 49,999 is compelling, especially for hardcore gamers who want the best experience. The specifications sheet leaves me quite interested and impressed by the claims. However, we still have to conduct our tests to check how tall these claims manage to stand. Stay tuned for our comprehensive review for the Asus ROG Phone 3 soon.

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  • Published Date: July 22, 2020 10:15 PM IST


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