BUILD AND DESIGN
The design and build of the ROG Phone 3 is pretty much the same as last year. In the front, you get a massive 6.59in display, two front-facing speakers, and an in-display fingerprint scanner. Around the back, you have a triple camera setup, the RGB logo and a pretty cool transparent area which shows you the belly of the beast
For the time skipped on redesigning this smartphone from the outside, they definitely did some tweaking on the inside. The heatsink that you can see from the back is six times larger than last time. Which means we might see better cooling performance from the ROG Phone 3. There’s a lot happening under the heatsink too.. There’s a larger graphite sheet inside now, something which Asus gave us an hour long presentation on. Albeit the TL;DR is that the ROG Phone 3 should stack up some great performance numbers and keep the heat bit out efficiently.
It’s definitely a premium feeling phone though. The curved edges at the back blend quite nicely with the aluminum bands around the smartphone and they feel nice to touch as well. Button placing is done absolutely right even if you’re rocking small mitts. Be careful though, it might slip out easily as it’s a bit on the heavier side. We did manage to lose our grip simply from the weight of this thing. That 6000mAh battery is quite a workout for your wrists.
We’re not allowed to discuss performance numbers just yet but we can let you in on Asus’ hardware secrets.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus makes its way here along with 8GB RAM and 126GB storage, or 12GB RAM and 256GB storage.
ROG Phone 3 is using UFS 3.1 storage so you can expect rapid performance in those areas as well. The 6000mAh battery juices up using a 30W bundled fast charger and there’s an option to set a lower charging limit of 90% or 80% for your smartphone. What it means is that you can let your smartphone charge only till 90% or 80%. Asus says this is a way to extend battery lifespan and also not overcharge your phone when you’re asleep. We’ll have to see how that works in the full review.
However, the crowning feature of the ROG Phone 2 was the AirTriggers and with the 2020 version, we’re getting better customization options for it. And some more touch options as well. You can now swipe left and right, tap and hold and also partition the tapping area for dual tapping (like L1 L2 and R1 R2 on controllers). With that you also get to fine tune the pressure sensitivity of these shoulder buttons.
We’re not allowed to show you sample shots just yet but this time you get one extra lens from ROG to pump up your social media game. The primary lens comes at 64MP. Meanwhile the other two are a 13MP and a 5MP lens for doing ultra-wide and macro jobs respectively. Judging from last year’s ROG Phone 2, we think this was the only area where the smartphone needed to deliver and make this a complete package but only time will tell if the ROG Phone 3 can deliver in the camera department.
In the front you get a respectable 24MP camera without any cut-out, hole-punch or drop notch nonsense. There’s a clear forehead and chin on this smartphone and it’s for a very gamer reason.
We should’ve started with this but almost got lost in a pool of features. There’s a mind-bending 144Hz screen on this thing. Yes, they’ve successfully gamified this for the spec-sheet audience and unlike its PC monitor contemporaries it doesn’t feel like a compromise in the colour department too. The FullHD+ Amoled display is HDR10+ certified and has a pixel density of 391. It also has a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio with 113% DCI-P3 and 1000nits of brightness.
ROG Phone 3 is giving us the same feeling as the ROG Phone 2. It’s a gamer centric smartphone with over-the-top features and touted for really heavy duty performance.
Are we experiencing old wine in a new bottle here? Not exactly, AirTriggers 3 has better customization features than before and the UI is very clean and quite Google-like. The 144Hz screen is rapid and we’re going to put this one through its paces in the full review. Especially the battery life, camera and audio.
Does the ROG Phone 3 have what it takes to convince us that we need it now, more than ever? Only the full review can tell.
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