Mobile Gamers Just Cannot Ignore This One
ASUS has finally unwrapped its latest gaming smartphone, the ROG Phone 3. The new smartphone will fill in the shoes of last year’s ROG Phone 2 which was our pick of the best gaming smartphone for 2019. The company received impressive feedback for the ROG Phone 2 last year which is also rated to be one of the best phones on e-commerce platform Flipkart. According to Dinesh Sharma, Mobile Business Head – Asus India, the ROG Phone 2 got a phenomenal response last year. It faced inventory issues during the Covid-19 lockdown as it went out of stock in India for months. He also confirmed that while the stocks are back with a revised price (GST + Rupee-Dollar pricing), it will be the last set of units after which the company will no longer sell or manufacture the smartphone anymore. Now it is definitely going to be tough for the successor as ASUS basically nailed it with the last year’s model. At first, the ROG Phone 3 seems like a small update, and it also looks a lot like the predecessor. You still get a shiny back with striking lines giving off a rainbow of effect, the bold RGB-backlit ROG logo, and an angular section that now lets you see the internal aerodynamic cooling system. It is still hefty thanks to the large 6,000mAh battery, which is a good thing as it makes the phone last long during gaming sessions. Notably, it weighs exactly as the ROG Phone 2 at 240gms. Probably my only complaint from last year was that the display was not really impressive compared to other smartphones. With the new ROG Phone 3, ASUS seems to have read my mind and now offers a much-improved AMOLED display that now offers an HDR10+ certification, an improved brightness of 650-nits reaching a peak of 1000-nits and to top it off you now get 144Hz refresh rate, a 270Hz touch sampling rate and 25ms touch latency. Of course, to push out raw performance for gaming, ASUS has gone for the newest flagship chipset from Qualcomm. The new Snapdragon 865+ octa-core processor has been tuned to deliver up to 3.1GHz clock speeds which breaks the barrier of being one of the fastest mobile chipsets. To keep temperatures under check, ASUS has upgraded the cooling system which it calls the GameCool 3.0. It features a 6-times larger heatsink, redesigned copper 3D vapor chamber and a larger graphite film. It helps in spreading the heat over a bigger surface like most phone cooling solutions, but also moves it outside, resulting in lower and more stable temperatures during gaming sessions. The storage also sees a bump as you now get a faster UFS 3.1 standard with the option of either 128GB or 256GB. As for the memory, there is the option of 8GB LPDDR5 or 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM. If you were a fan of the shoulder buttons, then you are in luck as the company has upgraded these as well. The all-new AirTrigger 3 now supports both sliding, swiping and the ability to divide each button into two partitions for tapping. This means that you now get four shoulder buttons. There is also a new single shake gesture to control on-screen input, giving you a fifth option to trigger an in-game function. Probably the best use of this gesture could be to reload your gun in certain games. ALSO READ ASUS ROG Phone 3 India Launch: Snapdragon 865+ SoC, 144Hz AMOLED Display, and More Now the camera isn’t something that I had complaints about since gamers don’t usually need a high-end camera. The ROG Phone 3 now offers a triple camera setup with a 64-megapixel Sony IMX686 sensor with an f/1.8 aperture lens, a 13-megapixel, f/2.4 ultrawide camera, and a 5-megapixel f/2.0 macro camera. This offers PDAF, EIS, and the ability to shoot 8K videos at 30fps. The front camera is a 24-megapixel f/2.0 camera to take selfies. I think the best feature on the ROG Phone 2 was the large battery, and ASUS continues to offer the same on the successor. The 6,000mAh battery is perfect for long gaming sessions and it supports 30W fast charging with ASUS bundling a fast charger in the box. Good job. ASUS shook the market when it launched the ROG Phone 2 last year at a competitive price of under Rs 40,000. Things are a bit different this year and the new ROG Phone 3 sells at a starting price of Rs 49,999. This doesn’t sound that bad because the company had to take three main things into account- increased GST rates on mobile phones, weakened value of Rupee against US Dollar and the higher cost of the Snapdragon 865+ chipset. Being the only mobile-gaming centric smartphone to launch in India this year, the new ROG Phone 3 could potentially be a winner in 2020. Stay tuned for a list of all the accessories that will be coming alongside the new smartphone.