Asus ROG Phone: Everything you need to know

Asus's monster gaming phone may cost as much as an iPhone X

asus rog phone news

What’s the worst thing about that monster gaming PC rig you’ve got at home? It’s the fact that it stays at home and never leaves because it’s so enormous, you’d practically need a heavy-duty crane just to shift it off the desk. Asus feels your pain, so it has made a smartphone that will satisfy your mobile gaming needs without compromising on power, funky designs, or hardcore gaming credentials. It’s called the Asus ROG Phone, and it’s coming later this year.

asus rog phone news front

Release details and price

When can you get a ROG Phone, and how much will it cost? A carrier in Finland has listed the ROG Phone early, and put it up for the considerable price of 1,000 euros. This converts over to about $1,160, and for comparison, the Finnish carrier has the iPhone X 64GB for 1,050 euros.

Asus hasn’t announced availability or price for other markets yet but says the device should be on sale before the end of the year. Given the technology inside and the presence of a special speed-binned processor, the phone was never going to be cheap.

It appears the ROG Phone can be pre-ordered through the Finnish carrier, and doing so gets you a free pair of Asus ROG Delta gaming headphones. The page shows deliveries starting sometime around September 17, 2018. Asus has not made any announcements of its own.

Specification

If you’re not a gamer, ROG stands for Republic of Gamers and is a division of Asus that focuses on gaming, esports, and modding PCs for the highest levels of performance. Hardware wearing the ROG branding is always impressive specs-wise, and the ROG Phone is no exception. It also introduces a new phrase to phone fans unfamiliar with the gaming world: Speed binning. This refers to Asus cherry-picking the best-performing processors from a production run, in this case, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 chip, which hits 2.96GHz inside the ROG Phone, well above the normal 2.8GHz clock speed.

This is exclusive to the Asus phone and instantly singles the ROG Phone out as one designed for people who take mobile gaming very seriously. The chip comes with 8GB of RAM, and either 128GB or a whopping 512GB of internal storage. To make sure you have the power when you need it most, a squeeze of the phone’s body — something like on the Pixel 2 and HTC phones — activates X Mode, where processing tasks are handled by the chip’s four fastest cores, and maxes out the clock speed. To avoid overheating, Asus has built a copper heat spreader into the body, and even sells a separate clip-on fan to speed up heat dispersal.

asus rog phone news rear

The dual-lens camera is made up of a 12-megapixel lens and an 8-megapixel wide-angle lens. Details on a Finnish carrier’s pre-order page shows the 12-megapixel camera lens has an f/1.8 aperture and a 1.4nm pixel size, while the second lens has a 120-degree wide angle. Around the front is a 6-inch AMOLED screen with a 90Hz refresh rate and a 2160 x 1080 pixel resolution, plus an 8-megapixel selfie camera. On the audio side, you get dual stereo speakers, DTS Headphone X enhancements, AptX HD Bluetooth, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Design

Made of glass and metal, the ROG Phone weighs a hefty 200 grams — in part due to the 4,000mAh battery — and the body is covered in slashes, angular lines, and design elements that will be familiar to Republic of Gamers fans. It looks great, especially the offset fingerprint sensor and glowing — yes, it really does light up — ROG logo on the back.

To go with the ROG Phone, Asus has made a series of accessories including a second display that’s identical to the one on the phone, an external 4K monitor, a 6,000mAh battery pack, and a dock for livestreaming use when you’re at your PC. Several different game controllers are also available to increase speed and accuracy over using the touchscreen, while the phone itself has two touch-sensitive buttons — called AirTriggers — built into the left-hand side of the device for use in landscape orientation.

The big question is just how much demand there is for a specialized gaming phone, a segment most recently explored by Razer with its Razer Phone. It’ll be fascinating to compare the two when the time comes. We’ll keep you updated with ROG Phone news right here.

Updated in August 7: Added price details taken from a Finnish carrier pre-order page.

Product Review

Dell's XPS 15 is the PC every laptop wishes it could be

Not everyone needs the power that a laptop like the Dell XPS 15 provides. But if you need a computer that can handle the heavy workload you use every day, the XPS 15 might be the best you can buy.
Deals

Check out our list of the best iPhone deals for August 2018

Apple devices can get expensive, but if you just can't live without iOS, don't despair: We've curated an up-to-date list of all of the absolute best iPhone deals available for August 2018.
Deals

Save up to $900 with the best smartphone deals for August 2018

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $900.
Android Army

Confused by this year's Motorola lineup? Here's the lowdown on what's to come

Struggling to figure out your E5 from your G6? No, it's not a weird chromatic scale -- it's just Motorola's new roster. But how do you know which is right for you? Find out with our guide to Motorola's 2018 phone lineup.
Wearables

Huawei could announce a trio of new smartwatches at IFA in late August

The Huawei Watch 3 may be a ways off from release, but that doesn't mean Huawei isn't working on what it could look like. A new patent from Huawei hints at a smartwatch with space to store a pair of true wireless earbuds.
Mobile

Apple aficionados, these cute pillows are made just for you

Created as "a cuddly tribute to the tech that changed our lives," these cute pillows will be hard to resist for diehard Apple fans. Each one features an iconic Apple product, including the first iMac and the game-changing iPod.
Mobile

iPad battery explosion prompts Apple Store evacuation in Amsterdam

An iPad battery exploded in an Apple Store over the weekend, causing breathing issues for staff members, and requiring the fire brigade and an ambulance to attend. The incident took place in Amsterdam.
Mobile

Airport’s low-tech solution to digital chaos involves the humble whiteboard

A U.K. airport has suffered a major computer error, caused by data connection problems, which has stopped flight boards from showing crucial passenger information. The solution is wonderfully low-tech.
Mobile

Free yourself! How to unlock a phone from the icy hands of your wireless carrier

Do you want to know how to unlock a phone through your carrier or a third-party service like DoctorSIM? Regardless of which way you want to go, we've compiled a list of requirements and methods for doing so.
Wearables

Part smartwatch, all fitness tracker, the Charge 3 is a blast from Fitbit’s past

Fitbit announced its next wearable: The Fitbit Charge 3. The new fitness tracker features a touchscreen OLED display, smartwatch capabilities, enhanced fitness features and more. Here's everything you need to know about it.
Wearables

Apple registers six models of Apple Watch Series 4 in European Union

Ready for an all new Apple Watch for 2018? It looks like Apple may be planning a complete redesign with improved health features. Here are all the details about the upcoming Apple Watch Series 4.
Photography

From DIY to AAA, here’s how to take a passport photo in 6 different ways

If you're applying for a passport or renewing one, you need to submit a photo in your official application. There are strict guidelines, but fortunately, it's something you can do at home. Here's how to take a passport photo.
Mobile

Huawei P20 photos show bezel-less display with teardrop notch, triple camera module

Huawei is no stranger when it comes to big phones. And this year it plans to go even bigger with the Huawei Mate 20 and Mate 20 Pro. Here's what we think we know about the new range.
Mobile

(Update: deal expired) The Essential Phone is on sale for a bargain price of $224

The Essential Phone (PH-1) was one of the best-reviewed phones of 2017, and it comes from Andy Rubin, the co-creator of Android itself. It has a striking design with a bezel-less display and the price is now down to $500.