Asus Rog Phone 3 hands-on review

Last Update 2020-07-22


After a relatively long wait, ASUS has finally unleashed the next generation’s ROG Phone 3 gaming flagship which comes with significant upgrades over last year’s ROG Phone 2. The Asus ROG Phone 3 arrives with Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ SoC and includes a GameCool 3 heat-dissipating system with a redesigned copper 3D vapor chamber. There is also a Rog Phone 3 Strix Edition with standard Snapdragon 865 SoC. ASUS has also introduced a bunch of accessories with the phone, including the Kunai 3 gamepad, Aeroactive Cooler 3, Twinview Dock 3, and ROG Cetra RGB in-ear gaming headphones. As for the pricing, the ASUS ROG Phone 3 is priced at €799 for the “Strix Edition.” Its 12GB + 512GB and 16GB + 512GB variants cost €999 and €1099, respectively. The device will be available for purchase from the end of July 2020 in Europe. In India, it will go on sale on August 6th.

Design and display

The ROG Phone 3 arrives with a bold, future-proof design which is unique in its own way. The rear is made of glass. One part of the design that isn’t as subdued is the ROG logo, which is now a deeper white when the RGB Aura Lighting is turned off. The left and right edges on the rear still have a subtle curve to them to facilitate holding the phone in your hand. The horizontal camera bump is also well-designed. On the bottom, you’ll find the USB 2.0 Type-C charging and data port. The ASUS ROG Phone 3 has a large 6.59″ AMOLED display at 2340×1080 resolution for a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. There’s no notch or hole-punch cutout, either, so any content that can fill up the whole screen will fill up the whole screen without interruption.

The display supports a maximum refresh rate of 144Hz, with 120Hz, 90Hz, and 60Hz as additional options. In Settings > Display > Splendid, you can somewhat customize the display settings. You can choose from the Default, Natural, Cinematic, and Splendid color modes. You can use the slider at the top to change the color temperature and the slider at the bottom to adjust the color matrix. The display also supports 113% of the DCI-P3 color gamut. As far as the brightness itself is concerned, the display reaches up to 650 nits outdoors, according to ASUS. On the ROG Phone 3, the touch sampling rate is 270Hz, meaning the screen reports a touchpoint 270 times per second. The phone has an optical under-display fingerprint scanner.

Front and rear cameras

For photos and videos, the Asus ROG Phone 3 has a triple rear camera setup that includes a 64-megapixel Sony IMX686 primary sensor that has an f/1.8 lens. The camera setup also has a 13-megapixel secondary sensor with a 125-degree ultra-wide-angle lens and a 5-megapixel tertiary sensor with an f/2.0 macro lens. All this comes as an upgrade over the dual rear camera setup on the ROG Phone 2 that had a 48-megapixel primary sensor and a 13-megapixel wide-angle shooter. The ROG Phone 3 also has a 24-megapixel selfie camera sensor at the front, along with an f/2.0 lens. The phone also has up to 4K video recording support through its rear camera setup, while the front camera is capable of recording up to 1080p videos.

Processor, software, and battery

 The ROG Phone 3 is one of the first smartphones to be powered by the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus mobile platform, the other being the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel. The Snapdragon 865 Chipset was announced last December while the Snapdragon 865 Plus was launched earlier this month. Both the 865 and the 865 Plus are fabricated on TSMC’s N7P process, feature 1 ARM Cortex-A77 “Prime” CPU core, 3 ARM Cortex-A77 “Performance” CPU cores, and 4 ARM Cortex-A55 “Efficiency” CPU cores, and have the Adreno 650 GPU. The Snapdragon 865 Plus has an overclocked Prime core (3.1GHz versus 2.84GHz) and GPU (10% faster graphics rendering). ASUS has paired the Snapdragon 865 Plus with up to 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 512GB of UFS 3.1 storage on the ROG Phone 3.

Connectivity options include 5G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth v5.1. Sensors on the phone include accelerometer, ambient light, gyroscope, magnetometer, and a proximity sensor. Asus ROG Phone 3 runs on Android 10 with ROG UI on top. Apart from this, the ROG Phone 3 houses a massive 6,000mAh battery, 30W hyper charging support, dual front-facing speakers with GameFX and Dirac HD Sound, as many as four microphones with noise reduction technology, and HyperFusion technology to manage Wi-Fi and mobile connections. The handset also packs a cooling tech, which the company likes to call “GameCool 3.”