ASUS has officially announced the third-generation model of their ground-breaking gaming phone today. The ROG Phone 3 addresses many of the small complaints that we had on the previous-gen model while adding a ton of new features that non-gaming phones can’t match.
The design has changed a little bit, with the phone now sporting a transparent design on the back cover. Overall dimensions are almost identical to the second-gen phone (for reasons that will be obvious later), and the phone still uses a side-mounted USB Type-C connector that’s been the tentpole for the series’ robust accessory ecosystem.
The screen is a 6.59-inch full HD+ AMOLED panel, with a blisteringly fast 144Hz refresh rate, up from 120Hz on last year’s model. The screen’s touch sampling rate has been bumped up to 270Hz now, and overall touch latency has dropped to 25ms as well.
The screen’s still HDR-10 certified, and it’s still one of the most color-accurate panels around, with a Delta E<1 color accuracy.
As far as hardware’s concerned, the ROG Phone 3 comes with Qualcomm’s latest and greatest Snapdragon 865+ processor, with configurations going up to 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM and storage going up as high as 512GB using UFS 3.1. ASUS will also be releasing a Strix variant of the ROG Phone 3 that will get 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage at the get-go, which should be priced lower than the higher-end model.
The ROG Phone 3 will come with a massive 6000mAh battery, which should be enough to sustain Qualcomm’s 5G-capable Snapdragon 865+ processor for all-day gaming sessions. ASUS hasn’t added wireless charging for the phone, and fast charging options top out at 30W to preserve the massive battery’s lifespan.
One of the biggest advantages of the ROG Phone 2 VS other phones for gaming were the AirTriggers, which were basically touch-sensitive areas on the sides of the phone that could double as shoulder buttons while gaming. The ROG Phone 3’s new AirTrigger 3 system uses ultrasonic sensors to not only register taps and slides but also swiping as well as partitioning the two shoulder buttons to two shorter buttons.
It wouldn’t be a gaming phone if couldn’t take accessories, and one of the biggest changes here is the fact that the ROG Phone 3 can take most of the accessories made for the ROG Phone 2 without any issues. Most of the important (and pricey) accessories can be used with the device without any problems, though there will be some accessories that face compatibility issues because of slight changes in dimensionality between the previous and current generation.
The bundled AeroActive Cooler 3 is one such accessory, which has been improved greatly for the new flagship. It now has 40% faster RPM which translates to lower temperatures when gaming – up to 4 degrees Celcius, according to ASUS’ internal tests. And while the phone itself loses the 3.5mm headphone jack, the AeroActive Cooler 3 puts it right back.
There’s also a new, improved Kunai 3 Gamepad that now features slight design revisions, but the accessory that we’re most excited for is the ROG Gaming Clip. It’s basically a mounting solution that allows you to use either a PS4, XBOX or a Google Stadia controller with the ROG Phone 3. You no longer have to buy ASUS’s own solution.
The ROG Phone 3 is priced at 799 Euros(~Php 45.8k) for 8GB/256GB Strix Edition, 999 Euros(~Php 57.2k) for the 12GB/512GB model, and 1099 Euros(~Php 63k) for the 16GB/512GB model. All three versions come with 3 months of Google Stadia.