Gaming Mobile

ASUS ROG Phone 3: The best gets better

Hot on the heels of the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel, ASUS unleashed the follow-up to its ROG Phone line with two devices—the flagship ROG Phone 3 and ROG Phone 3 Strix Edition. The segment-defining gaming smartphone since the original ROG Phone in 2018, the new ROG Phone 3 is the most powerful ROG Phone to date and now comes with 5G connectivity.

How do you better the best? Has ASUS done it again?

Holding back isn’t in the ROG Phone’s vocabulary that’s for sure. The ROG Phone 3, expectedly, uses Qualcomm’s most powerful silicon—the Snapdragon 865 Plus 5G Mobile Platform, which also includes Qualcomm Snapdragon Elite Gaming capabilities. The powerful SoC is coupled with up to 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM and up to 512GB of UFS 3.1 storage.

Qualcomm’s mobile platform also delivers multi-gigabit 5G and Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, ultrasmooth HDR gaming, ultra-realistic graphics, high-res photography, and AI experiences.

Keeping things cool is ASUS’ uprated GameCool 3 cooling system that has a redesigned 3D vapour chamber to maximise heat transfer, as well as an enlarged heat sink. The new cooling system dissipates heat during full-speed operation via specially-designed vents on the back cover.

For extra cooling, the new clip-on AeroActive Cooler 3 that rocks a cooling fan delivers increased airflow to the hotspots on the casing to enhance performance.

The ROG Phone 3 packs a 10-bit 6.59-inch 144Hz FHD+ display which boasts a superfast 1ms response time, industry-leading 270Hz touch-sampling rate and HDR10+ certification. It also boasts a Delta-E colour accuracy of less than one and TUV Rheinland Low Blue Light (Hardware Solution) and Flicker Reduced certifications.

Keeping the device juiced is a familiar, monstrous 6,000mAh cell that fast charges via either the side-or bottom-mounted USB-C charge ports.

The unique side-mounted charging port connects accessories such as the AeroActive Cooler 3 which supplies a pass-through USB-C connector, a 3.5mm adui jack, and a new kickstand on the back.

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ROG Phone 3 Strix Edition

Gamers will appreciate the upgraded AirTrigger 3 ultrasonic touch controls which provide extra-precise touch controls along the edges of the phone. ASUS has enhanced the gesture capabilities of the side sensors, now supporting additional wipe gestures and dual-button emulation.

ASUS has also added a brand-new motion sensor that adds a new gesture to the Armory, allowing you to control the action by shaking the device.

 And the upgrades continue. Audio performance is uprated, with the dual front-facing speakers tuned in partnership with audio specialist Dirac. So good in fact, the people at DXOMark Audio gave the ROG Phone 3 a score of 75 who were impressed with the phones flagship-level audio performance. The phone also supports Qualcomm aptX Adaptive technology for low-latency and high-quality audio over Bluetooth.

On the software side of things, gamers will appreciate X Mode—a performance optimise mode that loads different system parameters to suit different games or usage scenarios.

That aside, the dedicate Game Mode can further enhance in-game sounds effects.

Also new is ROG Connect—a new online social community built into the Armoury Crate app. It allows for ROG Phone 3 owners to join and play with friends or squads. Gamers can upload gameplay footage and screenshots.

New accessories

The beauty of the ROG Phone experience is its ecosystem of accessories. ASUS has stepped up with new accessories including the modular ROG Kunai 3 Gamepad; ROG Lighting Armor Case; ROG Clip to attach to selected console controllers; TwinView Dock 3 for dual-screen gameplay; and Mobile Desktop Dock for a desktop-like gaming experience on an external TV or monitor.

ASUS says it is partnering Stadia and Unity to establish a “truly integrated gaming ecosystem.” No further details about this partnership was revealed.

Pricing and availability

The ROG Phone 3 and ROG Phone 3 Strix Edition will be available from September 2020 in Malaysia.

No Malaysian pricing for the ROG Phone 3 as yet but according to ASUS Malaysia prices will be close to previous ROG Phone 2 variants.

  • ROG Phone 2 Strix  — (855 / 8GB RAM / 128GB Storage) – MYR2,499
  • ROG Phone 2 — (855+ / 12GB RAM / 512GB Storage) – MYR3,499
  • ROG Phone 2 — (855+ / 12GB RAM / 1TB Storage) – MYR4,499
  • ROG Phone 3 Strix —  (865 / 8GB RAM / 256GB Storage / 5G) – TBC
  • ROG Phone 3 — (865+ / 12GB RAM / 512GB Storage / 5G) – TBC
  • ROG Phone 3 — (865+ / 16GB RAM / 512GB Storage / 5G) – TBC
  • ***No 1TB Storage option for ROG Phone 3

The ROG Phone 3 is looking good. What do you think?

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Vernon is the founder and chief editor of A graphic designer by profession, he has a deep love for technology, cars, gadgets, food, and travel. He tweets too much and is also known as a caffeine bacterium ("life's too short for bad coffee"). Bleeds Blue (go Chelsea FC!) and considers BMW, Porsche, Alfa Romeo cars to have in the garage--for true petrolheads, that is.