The Asus ROG Phone 3 is the third and latest iteration of the ROG Phone series of gaming smartphones from Asus. It is an upgrade over the ROG Phone 2, and is geared toward serious gamers.
Why are we reviewing the Asus ROG Phone 3?
The ROG Phone 3 features a very high-end processor, along with a large display and a lot of RAM. It also features a very unique design that differentiates itself from other gaming smartphones on the market.
The Asus ROG Phone 3 has a lot going on in the spec sheet. So We’re going to take it in bits and pieces to get through it all. Sounds good? Great! Then let us begin the review!
Asus ROG Phone 3 Feature Review
What is the physical size of ROG Phone 3?
The ROG Phone is an Android smartphone that is 9.9mm thick and weighs 240g, which is pretty hefty for a phone with a 6.5-inch display. This gives the device a screen-to-body ratio of just above 78.2%, which is on the lower side of the spectrum, but not that bad.
When it comes to it’s dimensions, the ROG Phone measures at 171.0 x 78.0 x 9.9mm, which is not too big, not too small. It has a rather unique design, which resembles the new HTC U12+ and even the Razer Phone 2. But most importantly, it is comfortable to hold in our hand and easy to use!
What kind of display does this phone use?
The Asus ROG Phone 3 features a 6.59-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels and an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. But talking about the display PPI, it also has a pixel density of 391 pixels-per-inch.
While the ROG Phone 3 has a 19.5:9 aspect ratio, the AMOLED display itself is curved on all four sides, and has an overall screen-to-body ratio of 79.9%.
It also comes with HDR10+ support, which should be good enough for most. However, one missing feature is that it doesn’t support Adaptive-Sync. But it can display up to 90% of the DCI-P3 color gamut.
Additionally, the display has a refresh rate of 144Hz, which is extremely high, so the animation is smooth and there’s no lag whatsoever.
How Good Is ROG Phone 3 For Gaming?
If you’re into gaming, then you will really appreciate the added refresh rate. The high refresh rate will give gamers an edge over their competitors as there will be no lag and input lag is less noticeable.It is also a low-persistence panel, which helps cut down on ghosting when moving between frames.
What is Ghosting?
Ghosting is a phenomenon that occurs when the display does not completely refresh, causing a moving image to leave a faint, lingering image behind.
It is caused by slow response time, and can occur in CRT monitors, plasma displays, and LCDs.
It also means there will be no screen tearing.
What is screen tearing?
Screen tearing is a graphical issue in video display systems in which a display device shows information from multiple frames in a single screen draw. It occurs when the graphics chip and the display screen cannot sync up with their display refresh rates, causing parts of two or more different frames to be shown on the screen at the same time.
There’s a special technology that also helps improve the experience. The display is also protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 6. Asus claims that it is one of the brightest displays at 650 nits. The company also mentions that it has a 10,000:1 contrast ratio.
Which processor does the Asus ROG Phone 3 use?
The new Asus ROG Phone 3 uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ chipset, the latest from Qualcomm and the successor to the Snapdragon 845.
This gaming smartphone may not be the world’s first to be powered by the Snapdragon 865+ chipset, but it has the fastest clock speed of 1.9 GHz on a 7 nm process.
So let us talk about what is inside this processor now, alright?
To begin with, the SoC comes with a new set of Kryo 585 cores and an Adreno 650 graphics unit. It’s an octa-core chipset with one 3.1 GHz Kryo 585 Gold CPU and three 2.42 GHz Kryo 585 Silver CPUs, plus a four 1.8 GHz Kryo 585 CPU.
But it doesn’t just end there! Because the Snapdragon 865+ is also an SoC that comes with a separate core to handle the artificial intelligence (AI) workload. In addition to that, we can also see tht comes with a new NPU for faster AI performance.
Since there’s a good amount of RAM and the ROG Phone 3 should be able to handle pretty much anything you throw at it, although it does get warm when you push it to the limit!
Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)
But the real juice for this smartphone which is designed specfically for gaming, lies in it’s graphic power. So naturally, you will be looking for what that looks like, Right? So here we go!
The ROG Phone 3 has an Adreno 650 GPU built into it. So what does that mean? It means that it is having better graphics that is also capable of HDR gaming! This makes the ROG Phone 3 a solid choice for mobile gamers.
But having said that, let us now talk on the software side!
This smartphone runs the latest version of Android 10 with the ROG UI on top of it.
But how does this perform?
Well, for one we found it to be incredibly powerful and the ROG UI offers so much customization that it’s a bit overwhelming. But also the gaming-focused interface is really slick and very fast!
But what about the storage?
So Yeah! I can hear you screaming in my ears asking this question. How does the memory part of this smartphone looks like.
Since this is a smartphone designed for gaming, you want it to have good memory space right? Well, we are happy to say that this smartphone doesn’t dissapoint you in that area! Because here is how it looks like:
Asus ROG Phone 3 has a memory of 128 GB of internal storage with 12 GB of RAM, 256 GB with 12 GB RAM, 512 GB with 12 GB RAM, and 512 GB with 16 GB RAM.
The flash storage is based on the latest storage technology – UFS 3.1. Asus has chosen to go with 128GB of internal storage as it’s base class and has not opted for the microSD card expansion slot. A trend that we are seeing in more and more phones these days for better or worse!
Let us talk about Camera!
If there is one thing that delights non gamers about this phone for sure, it has to be the camera!
But why? Because I see that this smartphone comes with a myriad of sensors that will work for every occassion! Hmm…not sure what I mean? Well take a look at it’s specs for yourself then!
The ROG Phone comes with a triple-camera setup on the back. The primary one is the 64-megapixel sensor while the secondary one is a 13-megapixel sensor with a 125-degree field of view and a gyro-EIS module. Finally the third one is a 5-megapixel depth sensor.
But it doesn’t end there. Because this triple camera setup comes with a dual-LED flash as well.
On the front side, the ROG Phone also comes with a 24-megapixel selfie camera. This selfie camera on the Asus ROG Phone 3 comes with a 1/2.6″ sensor, an f/2.0 aperture and an 84-degree field of view.
The camera software is also customized by Asus, with features like Anti-shake, AIS and AR effects. So this will ensure that you will never have a bad time taking amazing selfies! Now that is cool, right?!
Hello boss! But what about the video?
Surprisingly, this smartphone does a great job on the video recording front as well!
The main camera can shoot video at 8k resolution at 30fps and 4K resolution, at 60fps. You also have the option to record at 4K resolution, at 120fps, which can be used to create slow-motion videos. You can record 1080p videos at 30fps, as well as 720p ones at 480fps.
But how good is the sound quality on Asus ROG Phone 3?
Asus has focused on the audio capabilities of the ROG Phone 3 really well! So let us take a look at it in detail:
3.5 mm Audio Jack
First up, the 3.5mm headphone jack. I’m glad it’s there. There are still a lot of games and other content that comes out in analog format and I appreciate being able to use my wired headphones when I want.
The earphones bundled with the smartphone are equipped with great amplifiers, which boost the audio signal from the smartphone. It’s a unique solution that could be particularly interesting in a home theater context.
Next, A 24-bit/192kHz audio output is a first for this smartphone. It’s a direct consequence of the DTS:X support in the loudspeaker. DTS:X is an extension of DTS which is able to send different audio tracks to each speaker, creating an immersive audio experience. So for an audiophile like me, this is niravana!
But the other feature important for me is the speakers. Because there are times when you don’t feel like plugging in an earphone and block your ears completely. Right? So how does the ROG Phone 3 fare in this front? Here is my experience:
Luckily, the front-facing stereo speakers produce some of the loudest and most dynamic audio we’ve ever heard from a phone. The surround sound-like effects that come from having two speakers makes gaming and watching movies an unforgettable experience.
But there is more! The external speakers are also good for hands-free calls. The bundled ROG Audio Wizard app allows users to fine-tune the audio settings to their liking.
So all in all, I feel this phone is perfect for gamers and audio buffs alike.
How About Wireless Connectivity
Next, we have the rest of the phones communication bits. You’ll get the normal Wifi, Bluetooth, GPS, NFC, and the FM radio. For the Wi-Fi, Asus is using the latest 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac with 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.
It also has Wi-Fi Direct and Hotspot functionality. This means that you should have no trouble connecting to a network and using the internet on the go.
Okay! That is all good. But what can I do if I want to connect it to my car? I need to use other wireless connection then, right? So how do I go about doing that? Well that is when I use my Bluetooth!
The ROG Phone 3 features Bluetooth 5.1. Now this version of Bluetooth has a higher bandwidth than the previous versions, which makes it perfect for watching videos, using wireless headphones, and transferring data. It is also backwards compatible with previous versions of Bluetooth, so you can use it with all of your devices.
Bluetooth is no longer limited to file transfer and can be used for wireless speakers, headsets, keyboards, mice, and more. It is also the new AptX standard, which is supposed to give a better quality of sound over Bluetooth.
Okay! But what about my mobile payments? What can I do to look cool paying money from my smartphone? Like that Apple fanboy standing in front of me flaunting his iPhone to pay the bill?
Near Field Communication (NFC)
There is NFC connectivity on the ROG Phone 3 as well. So you can use NFC pay as well!
But it does not end there. Because NFC is great for sharing data between phones and sharing links with people that don’t have data on their phones as well. But if you want to transfer a lot of data, you can do so with a cable.
Moving on to the radios, we have a few that have been announced and some that haven’t. First up, is the aforementioned FM radio. This will be available in the US. It will also support GPS with GPS, GLONASS, and QZSS for Russia. This allows you to find your location, and navigation is also possible with the GPS.
Then we have BeiDou Navigation Satellite System or BDS. This is the Chinese satellite system that is slowly being adopted by more and more countries. Then we have GALILEO, which is the European system that has been adopted by more countries as well. The last one is QZSS. QZSS is the Japanese satellite system that is also slowly being adopted by more and more countries.
The Good Old USB
Finally, we have the ports. The right side has the a USB 3.1 Type-C port. This is just like the OnePlus 6T and Razer Phone 2, but it is backwards compatible with 3.0. USB-C is great because it is reversible, and it is becoming the standard for charging phones. You’ll also get an adapter for USB-C to USB-A and USB-C to HDMI. This is also the way to charge the phone. At the bottom is another USB port but this time it is USB 2.0.
What About Sensors in ROG Phone 3?
The ROG Phone 3 has a unique solution to a very common problem in modern smartphones. The ROG Phone 3 offers fingerprint scanning technology embedded directly into the display. The process works like this: the user places their finger on the screen and the smartphone then flashes an image of the user’s fingerprint, which the phone’s built-in scanner then uses to identify the user and unlock the device. In addition to this, it has the standard array of sensors such as accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity sensor and compass.
How Good Is The Battery On This Phone?
The Asus ROG Phone 3 battery at 6000mAh is the largest capacity battery in our list of best gaming phones. This helps the ROG Phone 3 to rank high in all three of our battery tests, coming in at number two in our web browsing test, number three in our video test and number four in our talk time test. While the Asus ROG Phone 3 has a massive battery, the phone is not designed to be charged wirelessly, which is disappointing considering it is one of the few features that you might have expected on a gaming phone. This does mean that the ROG Phone 3 does support Quick Charge 4.0 and USB Type-C, so you can expect to see this phone charge fast when you use the right cable.
The Asus ROG Phone is an odd beast – a gaming phone with 5G connectivity in tow, even if it is just for show right now. The 5G version has support for the full set of sub-6GHz 5G bands, as well as a wide range of LTE bands – though some of them are not available in the US. It has a Cat.20 LTE modem, which theoretically offers speeds up to 2000Mbps downlink and 150Mbps uplink. It also supports 5G NR on its newest 5G bands, with the B version having 5G NR on bands 34 and 39 and SA support.
All in all, we feel that this is a great smartphone for gamers and audiophiles alike! So if you fall into any of these two categories, you should definitely check this smartphone out!