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Asus brings ROG Phone to India – the first gaming smartphone to hit the market
Asus has launched the ROG Phone in India. First announced at Computex 2018 in Taiwan, the ROG Phone was the company’s maiden gaming smartphone.
It goes up against a few other gaming smartphones – a niche, but upcoming, category – such as Xiaomi’s Black Shark, the Razer Phone, and the Nubia Red Magic, although none of those have launched in India. Honor Play, of course, launched in India but had a misplaced gaming pitch.
Republic of Gamers
ROG, or Republic of Gamers, is Asus’ high-end gaming brand for their laptops and peripherals. This includes devices and accessories — traditionally with flashy branding and RGB lighting. With the ROG Phone, Asus is bringing those aspects to smartphones. Not only does thing phone have flashy branding and RGB lighting, but it brings the specs to match.
It sports an aggressive design with a glowing ROG logo at the back, surrounded by sharp edges and exhaust windows. This phone screams “gamer” like no other phone we’ve seen before, and it matches very well with the rest of Asus’ ROG lineup.
On the bottom, you’ll find a USB Type-C port and a headphone jack, and you’ll find another USB Type-C port on the left edge of the device. While this may look a little strange, it’s made to accommodate the variety of accessories Asus offers for the phone.
Packs in a punch
The Asus ROG Phone packs a 2.96Ghz Snapdragon 845 chipset (Asus claims it’s the “world’s fastest speed-binned” Snapdragon 845), 8GB of RAM, 128GB/512GB of storage, and a 4,000mAh battery. The higher-end model takes the crown as the highest-spec’ed Android phone on the market today, although that’s not coming to India.
The phone sports a 90Hz AMOLED display, losing to Razer in raw speed but arguably beating them in quality. AMOLED displays traditionally have much better color and contrast than LCDs. There’s a 6-inch 2160 x 1080 HDR display with a claimed response time of 1ms.
In terms of camera, the ROG Phone has the same camera setup as the Zenfone 5Z (12MP + 8MP wide angle and 8MP selfie camera), so it’s not an entirely new design.
|Asus ROG Phone|
6.0-inch, 18:9, 2160x1080, AMOLED with 90Hz refresh rate
Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip @2.96GHz
Qualcomm Adreno 630
Android 8.1 Oreo with custom "ROG Gaming" ZenUI skin
128GB / 512GB
12MP + 8MP (120-degree wide-angle)
4,000mAh, USB Type-C, 20W fast charging
Dual front-facing stereo speakers with smart amplifier
Accelerometer, e-compass, proximity sensor, Hall sensor, ambient-light sensor,
fingerprint sensor, gyroscope, 2 x ultrasonic AirTriggers
802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ad 2x2 MIMO
Wi-Fi Direct and WiGig 802.11ad wireless display support
Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC, 3.5mm headphone jack
158.8 x 76.2 x 8.6mm
What’s in for the gamers
Asus has added three AirTrigger ultrasonic touch sensors on the phone. These essentially give you shoulder triggers when holding the phone in landscape fashion. These are programmable in games and can also be used to launch specific apps and toggle tasks.
Another noteworthy gaming-related feature is X Mode. Much like other gaming phones, this is essentially a performance mode for the ROG Phone. The company says X Mode raises the minimum clock speed and restricts tasks to the four fastest cores.
The ROG Phone runs ROG UI, a customized UI layer over Android 8.1 Oreo that’s designed for a mobile-gaming approach. Built-in are additional software like the Game Center, where you can monitor live system information, and Enable X Mode for high performance gaming.
Asus has announced a range of accessories for the ROG Phone, such as an AeroActive Cooler, a TwinView handheld dock with a secondary display and 6,000mAh battery, a traditional desktop dock, and a third-party GameVice controller with WiGig functionality.
AeroActive Cooler, that comes in the box, is a heatsink that mounts to the back of the phone. It has a fan in it to keep the phone cool and includes an additional USB Type-C port and a headphone jack so you can keep charged while gaming – in landscape mode.
There’s also the GameVice controller that morphs the ROG Phone into a portable console. It packs dual analog joysticks, left and right fire triggers and bumpers, a D-pad, along with A,B,X,Y and L3, R3 buttons. The Mobile Desktop Dock allows gamers to connect ROG Phone to an external monitor, mouse, and keyboard.
The TwinView Dock turns ROG Phone into a dual-screen console for the ultimate gaming and live-streaming experience. As well as a 6-inch AMOLED (2160 x 1080) auxiliary screen that’s great for split-screen live-streaming, extended game display or group communication, it packs a front-facing quad-speaker system, two extra physical trigger buttons, dual-haptic force-feedback engine, an enhanced cooling system and a high-capacity 6000mAh extended battery pack.
Pricing and Availability
In India, the Asus ROG Phone comes in only one variant – 8GB + 128GB – and is priced at ₹69,990 ($1001). It will be available exclusively on Flipkart. The Professional Dock will be available at ₹5,499, GameVice at ₹5,999, TwinView Dock at ₹21,999, Desktop Dock at ₹12,999, and ROG Phone Case at ₹2,499.
What are your thoughts on the first gaming phone to launch in India? Is the ROG Phone a ‘flagship+’ phone as Asus likes to call it? Tell us in the comments!