ASUS producing a gaming smartphone is one of the more esoteric news stories at the Computex 2018 trade show this year. To fire a shot right across the bow of Razer, ASUS is putting its ROG credentials on display: a speed-binned Snapdragon 845 running at a higher frequency than the standard S845 smartphones, a higher-than-standard 90 Hz refresh rate display with 1ms response time and 108% DCI-P3 gamut, programmable ultrasonic AirTrigger sensors, force feedback, and additional docks for purchase. One of the key elements is that ASUS built this phone with an 11mm thickness, well beyond the 7-8mm we see on flagship smartphones today. They have put that additional volume to incredible use for extra battery, more haptics, bigger speakers, more connectivity, and it's a showcase of what we could see if other smartphone manufacturers offered a bit extra z-height.

The 6-inch 2160x1080 AMOLED display is paired with the high-performance Snapdragon 845 SoC, 8GB DRAM, 128GB and 512GB of UFS 2.1 storage, along with a 4000 mAh battery, 20W ASUS Hyper Charge, support for 24-bit audio, and Corning Gorilla glass. One of ASUS’s key marketing points is the use of ASUS Aura RGB lighting, with the company stating that this is one of the first phones (if not the first) to fully exploit RGB in this way.

Comparing the size of the LG V30 (left) and ROG phone (right). It's big

For control, ASUS will be adding three ultrasonic air touch sensors – two shoulder triggers being the main ones. These are designed to be fully programmable and are more sensitive with haptic feedback.

With the AeroActive cooler, which is bundled with the phone, aside from an additional fan to help cool the phone and sweaty fingers, it provides an extra USB Type-C connector which is side mounted for direct charging, HDMI output, Gigabit Ethernet, and headphones.

Bundled AeroActive Cooler, attaches to side port

How the cooler is inserted

ASUS will be offering the ROG Phone with a series of accessories, including a TwinView Dock to convert the machine into a dual-screen hand-held console. The Dock also offers front-facing quad-speakers, two extra physical trigger buttons, better haptic feedback, an enhanced cooling system, and a 6000 mAh extended battery back. 

The Mobile Desktop Dock, another accessory, allows the phone to be connected to a 4K monitor, mouse, keyboard, and wired gigabit networking.

Desktop Dock, Rear

The Gamevice controller and the WiGig dock, also to be available, focuses on 802.11ad wireless display connections as well as a dual analog stick gaming – like a console


Processor   World’s fastest, speed-binned 2.96Ghz octa-core Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 845 
Mobile Platform
GPU   Qualcomm® Adreno™ 630
UI   ROG Gaming UI
Display   6.0“ 18:9 (2160x1080) AMOLED 
90Hz refresh rate with 1ms pixel response time
108.6% DCI-P3 color gamut
10000:1 contrast ratio
Capacitive touchscreen with 10-point multi-touch (supports Glove Touch)
Discrete image processing chip support HDR display – gaming, video & images
Dimensions   158.8 x 76.2 x 8.6mm
Weight   200g
Battery   4,000mAh
Memory   LPDDR4 8GB RAM
Storage   UFS 2.1, 128GB / 512GB
Sensors   Accelerometer, e-compass, proximity sensor, Hall sensor, ambient-light sensor, fingerprint sensor, gyroscope, 2 x ultrasonic AirTrigger sensors
Wireless connectivity   802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ad 2x2 MIMO; Wi-Fi Direct and Wi-Fi Certified WiGig® 802.11ad wireless display support
Bluetooth® 5.0
GPS   Supports GPS, aGPS, Glonass, BeiDou
I/O ports   Side: 
Custom USB-C™ 
Supports USB 3.1 Gen 1 / DP 1.4 (4K) / fast charging (QC 3.0 +QC 4.0/PD 3.0) (15W) 
ASUS HyperCharge direct charging

Supports USB 2.0 / fast charging (QC3.0/PD3.0) (20W) / Direct Charge
3.5mm headphone jack
Front Camera   8MP
Main Camera   12MP + 8MP (120° wide-angle)
Voice Wakeup   Yes
Speakers   Dual front-facing stereo speakers with smart amplifier
24-bit/192KHz Hi-Res Audio
DTS Headphone:X™ 7.1 virtual surround-sound
Qualcomm® aptX™ High-definition Bluetooth® wireless audio
NFC   Supported

More information as we get it at the show, hopefully with some hands on.

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  • Wardrive86 - Monday, June 4, 2018 - link

    Absolute beast. So happy to see the rise of the "gaming" phone. It makes perfect sense as mobile now (2018) accounts for 51% ($70.3 billion) of the total gaming market. PC accounts for 24% ($32.9 billion), console accounts for 25% ($34.6 billion). Mobile shows double digit growth year on year and has done so for 11 years now and as of this year is bigger than console and PC combined. The quality of mobile gaming has spiked significantly in the last two years due to many more professional developers making the move to mobile and it would seem this is a trend that will continue.
  • Wardrive86 - Monday, June 4, 2018 - link

    Oh to add portable consoles (Vita,3DS) are included in the console stats. The mobile gaming stats are for Android and IOS alone, and are projected to exceed $106 billion by 2021. At this point it would be hard for established publishing houses to ignore mobile
  • PeachNCream - Monday, June 4, 2018 - link

    I had no idea that was how the totality of the gaming market broke down, but seeing it laid out like that makes perfect sense. Whereas PC games appeal to a limited number of people that spend the time to purchase relatively costly computing hardware required to support that hobby, mobile gaming is accessible to anyone with a phone and that now represents a huge chunk of the global population. Add that to the fact that you can accomplish useful computing tasks on a mobile device and it only makes sense that gaming revenue has seen a titanic shift. I think the fact here is that "gamers" tend to limit what they consider gaming to a narrow range of devices that align with their personal preferences rather than agreeing that the grandmother hunched over her phone flicking angry birds at some piggies is also just as much of a gamer. To do so would rob people of their own perception of uniqueness and the result is that they're somewhat self-protective or feel injured when forced to view the world through a lens that isn't self-serving.
  • Wardrive86 - Monday, June 4, 2018 - link

    Another amazing facet of this is that PC and Console are still showing growth. Mobile isn't dipping into the sales of the other hardware/software. It has created (currently $70.3 billion) gaming revenue that never existed before.
  • jrs77 - Monday, June 4, 2018 - link

    It's a development into the absolutely wrong direction.
  • Gunbuster - Monday, June 4, 2018 - link

    So a partial glass back with all kinds of angles in it? Sounds like a lot of potential for weak spots there.

    And it's ugly. Shame since ASUS has some good designers, guess they just gave this one to the guy stuck 5 years in the past.
  • erwos - Monday, June 4, 2018 - link

    I don't know what phone you're looking at, but this one looks pretty good to me. Loving the ecosystem - wonder if they'll make a car dock with some innovative features, too.
  • Makaveli - Monday, June 4, 2018 - link

    I would rather have a dedicated gaming device like a switch and a cell phone. Never understood the lets kill my cell battery playing games on my phone. Then when I need to use the phone for actual phone stuff its dying. But then again this seem to be projected towards children and not actual adults.
  • erwos - Monday, June 4, 2018 - link

    Thing is, you have to haul around two devices in your scenario. For some of us, that's not really that convenient. Also, I can guarantee that the primary target demo for $800 phones is not "children".
  • ZeDestructor - Tuesday, June 5, 2018 - link

    Just one more cutout, for the vent, really, and said vent is raised it seems. If anything, that particular corner should be the least likely to get shattered.

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