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What we want to see from the ASUS ROG Phone 3

The ASUS ROG Phone 3 is expected to launch in a few months. Here's what we want to see.

Published onApril 26, 2020

The ASUS ROG Phone 2 was arguably the best gaming phone of 2019, packing capacitive shoulder triggers, a 120Hz OLED screen, and some nifty gaming enhancements. Things are heating up in 2020 though, as gaming phones like the Black Shark 3 series and nubia REDMAGIC 5G bring the heat. Toss in the refresh rate wars across the industry in general, and the pressure is on for new gaming phones to stand out. So with that in mind, here are the ASUS ROG Phone 3 features we want to see.

Real physical inputs

ASUS ROG Phone 2 gaming in switch adapter

The ASUS ROG Phone series delivered capacitive shoulder triggers, giving you pseudo-physical controls for shooters, sports games, and emulation. But as the Black Shark 3 Pro shows, physical triggers are indeed possible on smartphones, so we’d love to see ASUS offer this as an option for better tactile feedback.

In fact, we’d like to see ASUS pull an Xperia Play and deliver an integrated slide-out gamepad on the ASUS ROG Phone 3. It’s a tough design challenge owing to space and thermal requirements, but if it means not having to deal with Bluetooth pairing, I’d be happy.

Failing integrated physical controls, we’d definitely want ASUS to include a gamepad accessory in the box. This way, you’ve got everything you need from the get-go. This is most definitely one of the top ASUS ROG Phone 3 features we want to see.

QHD+ at 120Hz

ASUS ROG Phone 2 display with air cooler

The ROG Phone 2 beat Samsung to the punch by offering a 120Hz OLED screen before the Korean manufacturer. The only real downside is that the 6.59-inch screen was an FHD+ display, which wouldn’t be a problem if the screen was a little smaller.

Read: Here’s why I think the refresh rate wars are dumb

Hopefully ASUS brings a QHD+ OLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate to the new phone. And here’s hoping that you can use the 120Hz refresh rate at QHD+, rather than at FHD+.

Keep the 6,000mAh battery

ASUS ROG Phone 2 back in hand

The ROG Phone 2 offered a monster of a battery last year, coming in at 6,000mAh. This would still be a big battery if it landed in the ROG Phone 3, even though 5G connectivity might sap more power than last year’s phone.

Last year’s phone offered 30W fast charging that topped up the 6,000mAh battery in 105 minutes according to our ROG Phone 2 review. That’s on the quick side for a battery of this size, but we’d love to see faster charging to shave even more time off on the ASUS ROG Phone 3.

A telephoto camera

ASUS ROG Phone 2 camera macro

The ROG Phone 2 offers a dual rear camera setup, featuring a 48MP main shooter and a 13MP ultra-wide snapper. We were pretty happy in this regard, but the lack of a telephoto camera means the phone isn’t as flexible as other devices.

Read: The best budget camera phones you can buy

A telephoto sensor would be one of our top ASUS ROG Phone 3 features. Toss in improved image processing and hybrid zoom, and you’ll have a phone that can spar with traditional flagships too.

Keep the headphone jack

ASUS ROG Phone 2 gaming plugged in

We’ve seen several manufacturers drop the 3.5mm port in recent years, but we were glad to see ASUS buck the trend with the ROG Phone 2 last year. It was one of a few brands to offer the standard on a flagship, joining the likes of the LG G8 series, Samsung Galaxy S10 series, realme X2 Pro, and Redmi K20 Pro.

Hopefully ASUS keeps the headphone jack on the ROG Phone 3 as well, as it would allow consumers to use their legacy and/or preferred accessories. And that’s aside from the added versatility that comes with having a 3.5mm port in general.

Exclusive games

ROG Phone 2 Front shot of gaming playing RipTide

One of the more pie-in-the-sky wishes we have for the ASUS ROG Phone 3 is for it to offer some exclusive games. It wouldn’t be unprecedented either, as NVIDIA’s Shield tablet and TV boxes offer Android ports of popular PC titles.

One possibility is that ASUS signs deals with publishers for them to port their own games to Android, but this could be very pricey. Alternatively, the firm could theoretically strike a deal with NVIDIA to bring their Android ports to ASUS devices. The brand could also sign a deal with the likes of Sony to bring some console titles to the platform (e.g. PSP and Vita titles).

Again, we don’t think this is actually going to happen at all. NVIDIA would likely keep these titles for its own devices, while Sony would probably bring PlayStation games to Xperia handsets before other OEMs. Nevertheless, exclusive titles on Android would show that ASUS is serious about gaming phones.

Those are the ASUS ROG Phone 3 features we want to see, but we now turn it over to you! What would you like to see?