Its specifications are top-of-the-line, its numbers are top-of-the-line, and Asus has squeezed everything into a body that is both sexy and rugged.
Some product designs are iconic: Mini Cooper, Porsche 911, and in the phone world Nokia 3310 and iPhone. Add to that list ROG phones by Asus. In fact, right now, possibly no other phone stands out in terms of design as uniquely as these gaming phones do (the backlit logo itself is magical).
The latest in the series, ROG Phone 3, was recently launched, and I used the unit for about 15 days—in addition to design, it excels in a number of areas, even as there is room for improvement. Short for Republic of Gamers, ROG Phone 1 was launched in India sometime in late 2018, ROG Phone 2 in late 2019 and now ROG Phone 3. As the name implies, these phones are used primarily for gaming —but that doesn’t mean these aren’t good daily-use phones.
Where it stands out
Design: Globally, the Nubia Red Magic 5S is making waves. But if you see closely, its design appears heavily inspired by ROG phones. The dimensions of ROG 3 are exactly that of ROG 2, such that any accessory you may have bought for ROG 2 can easily fit ROG 3.
Best battery life: Possibly no other phone in the world (with more or less similar specifications) will last you two days on a full battery charge (on regular usage, even at 144Hz— it means the screen display on ROG 3 refreshes 144 times per second). Its battery is rated at 6000mAh, and a bigger battery means lesser charge cycles, and this implies the battery will outlast the phone itself.
Gaming: Powered by the 3.1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus 5G Mobile Platform, the ROG 3 is the most powerful mobile device in the world such that you can play any kind of game on it. The screen is extremely clear, you can charge the phone while gaming and the wire doesn’t get in the way, there is a carbon chamber cooling system on the side, and air triggers are magical.
Audio quality: It has a Game Mode to enhance in-game sound effects. For regular usage such as watching videos, its dual front-facing speakers positioned at the top and the bottom deliver stunning sound quality.
Where it’s average
Camera: It’s great in terms of specifications (64MP plus 16MP main rear camera, 13MP second rear camera ultra-wide, and 5MP Macro third rear camera). You also get 8K recording, 4K HDR recording up to 60fps, and the user-friendly Pro Video mode. But in terms of actual results something is still missing— in good light it shoots very good photos, but not so much in poor light. Also, unlike in ROG 2, in ROG 3 the rear camera is slightly protruded, which feels a bit odd. Mention must be made of the ultra-wide camera; it’s really wide, at 125-degrees.
What it lacks
A few things I found missing are:
It doesn’t have a headphone jack (USB Type-C port doubles as the audio port).
There is no IP water resistance rating.
It doesn’t have wireless charging (probably because it will interfere with the
Overall, in terms of battery and specifications, no phone in the world can beat ROG 3— you see it’s not designed for ‘normal’ telephonic things such as calling, photography, surfing the internet, etc. Its specifications are top-of-the-line, its numbers are top-of-the-line, and the best thing is that Asus has been able to squeeze in everything in a body that looks sexy and is rugged.
In many areas ROG 3 is better than the best iPhones and Android devices from Samsung and multiple Chinese companies. Lastly, in addition to being ‘iconic’, the design of ROG 3 also comes across as ageless – even in the year 2030, it won’t look out of place.
There are two variants available: 8GB/128GB for Rs 49,999 and 12GB/256GB for Rs 57,999. It’s a very customisation-friendly phone, so there are numerous accessories you can buy.
Display: 16.73 cm; 144Hz
Processor: 3.1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus 5G
Operating system: Android 10 with ROG UI
Memory & storage: 8GB/12GB RAM, 128GB/256GB storage
Camera: 64MP + 16MP (main rear), 13MP 125-degree ultra-wide (2nd rear), 5MP Macro (3rd rear camera), 24MP front camera
Estimated street price: Rs 49,999