Every time Asus makes a new ROG phone that pretty much becomes the fastest android at that given point in time it’s almost a tradition at this point but I’ve never been as impressed as I am with the latest version the ROG phone three it’s definitely off to a good start this is probably not the most efficient way to package a phone but from the consumer perspective this gets you pretty excited so there are two main compartments on the left is accessories the first thing being the Aeroactive Cooler 3 which is an optional add-on that adds a whole load of stuff which I’m going to get to underneath that is the case and not a standard clear TPU case like you normally get with a phone it’s still plastic but designed for better grip and cooling there’s a 30-watt hyper charger a USB c to headphone jack adapter and a braided USB cable with a few rubber pieces to keep the phone’s ports sealed up okay let’s get on to the phone which is nestled into the second compartment.
I’m gonna be really honest with you my first impression of the phone itself after all that incredible packaging was oh it fits in an identical footprint the last model but now has a camera bump it still has the same substantial borders around the display which does allow for backwards compatibility with old accessories but the design sticks out a little more than it did last year and not in a good way and to be really honest I think in trying to make the design cleaner it’s lost its identity a little bit it’s still not clean but now it doesn’t have that aggressive look either the slanted buttons have become rounded buttons and it went from having these sharp glowing lines all over the phone to just having one main soft line which I think the phone would look better without but here’s the thing if you can look past that it’s only as I’ve started to sort of use the phone properly over the last month that I’ve come to the conclusion that this is an absolutely massive upgrade and I say upgrade because it seems like the strategy here was to basically take last year’s ROG phone 2 and make every possible aspect of it better the display has gone from 120 hertz to 144 hertz the ram has gone from 12 gigabytes to 16 the storage speed UFS 3.0 to UFS 3.1 the camera from 4k to 8k the heatsink for cooling everything down is six times larger that’s actually what you’re looking at through the window here six times even that Aeroactive Cooler which is made to cool both your phone and your fingers while bringing back the headphone jack well this new version here calls everything four degrees more whilst also doubling as a kickstand right out the box and I’ve only covered like 30 of this list the point is that it’s everything that you can’t see that’s what they’ve improved and if you enjoyed this video by the way a sub to the channel would be incredible okay so as an example one of the things that they’ve improved is the speakers and the result is hands down the best audio you can get on a smartphone so the main pain point you’ll have noticed with smartphone speakers is that they under-represent bass because to get thumping bass you have to shift large volumes of air and the insides of smartphones just don’t have the space to do that so what Asus has done here is created a software solution that detects when bass is present and then adds artificially extra bass on top of that they overcompensate on base because they know that smartphones under represent it.
So when you combine this with the haptics on the phone the vibration engine using the ROG phone is like a sensory experience and Asus knows it they’ve integrated subtle sounds and vibrations into all the actions you do on the phone just to kind of flex a little just to constantly remind you that you’re using this seriously capable bit of kit but okay let’s talk about the most important aspect of this gaming there’s been this long debate about whether or not we actually need a gaming phone and I’ve actually even gone on the record two years ago to say no because unlike with a computer where you could pick a graphics card that maximizes performance with a gaming phone you were getting the exact same chip and therefore gaming performance as you were with most other flagship phones only that you were getting it in a body that was bulky with a camera that sucked but as the ROG phone 2 came out and I started seeing some really cool stuff from red magic as well my opinion changed a little bit and now that I’ve been spending time with the next generation of gaming phones it’s changed a little bit more for a few reasons first of all that the camera is actually quite good and I’m not saying that it’s good relative to gaming phones that would be a pretty low benchmark it’s actually just pretty good it definitely doesn’t take the best selfies but as far as main camera is concerned I never felt limited by it photos are surprisingly detailed and you can actually take 8k video at 30 frames per second with stabilization that might be a world first early gaming phones had all these pretty garish heavy software skins but here you could just select classic when you’re setting it up and you’re good to go it looks simple it looks clean so I guess what I’m saying is that the compromises from going for a gaming phone have fallen like the cameras between these ROG phones have improved far faster than the cameras of let’s say the top end.
Samsung Galaxy phones even though those are better the gap feels narrower and at the same time the benefits of owning a gaming phone have become clearer the ROG phone 3 is more powerful than any other android phone out there it’s the first phone in the world with the snapdragon 865 plus chip which adds another 10 on top of the already flagship 865 and cooling has gotten really good as well as that heat sink that you see in this window here there’s an air vent there’s a redesigned vapor chamber and a graphite film on the inside which all sounds very extra but the numbers speak for themselves it does a good job of keeping its temperatures low and therefore keeping its performance high battery capacities have become enormous on these gaming phones the first ROG had a four thousand million power cell this has a six thousand million power cell that means it does take longer to charge to a hundred percent than some other phones but it also means that some days I would just take it off when it’s on 60 because I know it’s still gonna last the whole day the battery is so big here that it doubles as a power bank to charge your other tech and gaming phones have always had these gaming features but I feel like over the last few years they’ve slowly but surely become more user-centric I’m still not a fan of these capacitive shoulder buttons having used the physical ones on that black shark phone but it’s kind of amazing that now mid game I can tap one button and auto save the last 30 seconds of gameplay footage.
I can open up an internet search to quickly look something up while the game is still running I can create macros one command that triggers a whole set of responses like pressing one button to actually shoot a gun and reload it automatically and I guess more important than any of that is really that we’ve now got more games to play over the last few years cod mobile PUBG, Fortnite have just exploded and speaking from personal experience since I’ve started playing cod mobile because of that social element because I’m competing with friends there’s definitely been more of an incentive to improve at least for me the prospect of having a tool that could potentially help me gain better has become more enticing because let’s face it I really need the help so what I’m trying to say with all this that I feel like gaming smartphones have transitioned a little bit from this ultra-niche category to a still niche but definitely much wider net but there has still been one thing on my mind this whole time see there are plenty of gaming features that have been added to this phone like the six thousand million power battery like the incredible speakers which elevate the whole phone experience.
But I can’t ever feel like the two crown jewels of this phone this super high-end overclock chipset and this 144hz display you rarely get to take full advantage of them just because of the very nature of how smartphone games are made when you play games on a pc frame rates are usually unlocked that basically means the more powerful your machine is the higher the frame rate you can run a game at but on android most developers lock their frame rates I guess to try and create a consistent experience across different devices but that means that even though the screen can refresh 144 times per second when you’re playing a game like cod mobile you’re still getting the exact same 60 that you would on a mid-range phone and as a result you’re also not really taking advantage of this extra power the phone has so what I think we really need to see is either a technology that can sort of override the frame rate set by the developers to allow for high refresh rate gaming or maybe even a technology that can just insert frames we’ve seen a few phones this year using something called memc which basically takes normal video shot at let’s say 30 frames per second and then inserts extra frames in it to make it look like a 120 fps video and if this tech could be improved to automatically work on all games I feel like that would be a turning point credit where do the phone does guide you towards games that support its various features but this just isn’t how people search for games I’m not going to play a game just because it supports high refresh rate I want to be able to play the game because I want to play the game and just trust the fact that it will support high refresh rate okay couple of final things to bear in mind the phone doesn’t have a headphone jack it doesn’t have wireless charging and it also doesn’t support microsd cards although it does go up to 512 Gigs internally so you’d probably be all right there and we do have an in-display fingerprint scanner which works fine but for some reason the screen kind of flickers while I’ve been using it so anyways to bring this all together I’ve never been more tempted to own a gaming phone it feels like the company has finally understood that chances are you’re not going to have one phone for gaming and one phone for taking photos so your gaming phone has to be your everything phone and this is more or less that as long as you can put up with a design that is less slick than you could get okay.