The King of Gaming Smartphones is back


Again in 2018, ASUS launched the ROG Cellphone, the corporate’s first gaming smartphone below the ROG model. At the moment, there are a number of competing gaming smartphones in the marketplace from manufacturers like Black Shark, Nubia’s Purple Magic, and Vivo’s iQOO. Every of those manufacturers presents highly effective {hardware} and helpful gaming options at a compelling price, however ASUS stands out from the pack with its no-compromise philosophy towards options. The spec sheet for final 12 months’s ROG Cellphone II checked off practically the whole lot {that a} smartphone fanatic may ever ask for, and whereas this 12 months’s ROG Cellphone 3 is lacking a number of options we had been hoping to see, there’s little question that ASUS has one other winner on its fingers. The ASUS ROG Cellphone 3 is the king of gaming smartphones, nevertheless it’s additionally simply an excellent smartphone general, even should you’re not into gaming.

ASUS ROG Cellphone 3 XDA Boards

Aura Lighting on the ASUS ROG Phone 3

ROG Cellphone 3 Specs. Faucet/click on to increase

Specification ASUS ROG Cellphone 3
Dimensions & Weight
  • 6.59″ FHD+ AMOLED
  • 19.5:9 side ratio
  • 144Hz refresh rate
  • 10-bit HDR
  • 650 nits outside brightness; 1000 nits peak brightness
  • DCI-P3 assist
  • Helps glove contact
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 6
  • ROG Cellphone 3 Strix Version:
    • Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 SoC
      • 1x Kryo 585 (ARM Cortex-A77-based) Prime core @ 2.84GHz
      • 3x Kryo 585 (ARM Cortex-A77-based) Efficiency core @ 2.4GHz
      • 4x Kryo 385 (ARM Cortex A55-based) Effectivity cores @ 1.8GHz
    • Adreno 650 GPU
  • ROG Cellphone 3:
    • Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus SoC
      • 1x Kryo 585 (ARM Cortex-A77-based) Prime core @ 3.1GHz
      • 3x Kryo 585 (ARM Cortex-A77-based) Efficiency core @ 2.4GHz
      • 4x Kryo 385 (ARM Cortex A55-based) Effectivity cores @ 1.8GHz
    • Adreno 650 GPU (10% quicker bin)
RAM & Storage
  • ROG Cellphone 3 Strix Version:
    • 8GB LPDDR5 + 256GB UFS 3.1
  • ROG Cellphone 3:
    • As much as 16GB LPDDR5 + as much as 512GB UFS 3.1
Battery & Charging
  • 6000mAh
  • 30W ROG HyperCharge direct charging
  • 30W USB PD 3.0
Fingerprint sensor In-display fingerprint sensor
Rear Digicam
  • Main: 64MP Sony IMX686, f/1.8, 1/1.7″ sensor, 0.8µm pixel
  • Secondary: 13MP wide-angle, 125° FoV, f/2.4
  • Tertiary: 5MP macro, f/2.0
Entrance Digicam 24MP
Different Options
  • Ultrasonic sensors for AirTrigger 3 and grip press
  • Wi-Fi 6 — 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax 2×2 MIMO
  • Bluetooth 5.1 (BR/EDR+LE)
  • NFC
  • GNSS:
    • GPS (L1/L5)
    • Glonass (L1)
    • Galilio (E1/E5a)
    • BeiDou (B1/B2a)
    • QZSS (L1/L5)
    • NavIC (L5)
  • 2x USB Ports:
    • Aspect:
      • Customized USB Sort-C
      • Helps USB 3.1 Gen 2
      • Helps DisplayPort 1.4 (4K UHD)
      • Helps 30W USB PD 3.0
      • Helps 30W ROG HyperCharge direct charging
    • Backside:
      • USB Sort-C
      • Helps USB 2.0
      • Helps 30W USB PD 3.0
      • Helps direct charging
  • Twin front-facing audio system (stereo) with twin NXP TFA9874 sensible amplifiers
  • Band Assist:
    • A-version:
      • 5G: N1, N2, N3, N5, N28, N41, N66, N71, N77, N78, N79
      • FDD-LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 32, 66, 71
      • TD-LTE: 34, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 48
      • WCDMA: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 19
      • GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
    • B-version and Strix Version:
      • 5G: N41, N77, N78, N79
      • FDD-LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28
      • TD-LTE: 34, 38, 39, 40, 41
      • WCDMA: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8
      • GSM: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
Android Model Android 10 with ROG UI

About this evaluation: I acquired the ROG Cellphone 3 (non-Strix Version) from ASUS on June 26, 2020.  The gadget has acquired a number of updates earlier than launch and is presently operating software program model WW_17.0822.2005.11. ASUS didn’t have any inputs concerning the content material of this evaluation.

ASUS ROG Cellphone 3: Design

ASUS has toned down the design of the ROG Cellphone 3 in comparison with final 12 months’s ROG Cellphone II. The rear remains to be made from glass, however the cowl for the vent takes up a lot much less house than earlier than. There are fewer etched traces beneath the glass again, too. One a part of the design that isn’t as subdued is the ROG brand, which is now a deeper white when the RGB Aura Lighting is turned off. The left and proper edges on the rear nonetheless have a refined curve to them to facilitate holding the telephone in your hand.

I’m not likely a fan of the shiny glass again cowl because it smudges very simply and feels slippery in hand, however I’ll reward the rear design for being aesthetically pleasing. Luckily, the aluminum body is straightforward to grip, which has the added bonus of constructing the AirTrigger gestures simpler to carry out. The horizontal digital camera bump can also be well-designed, with the bump across the tertiary macro digital camera aligning with the diagonally-etched line beneath the glass. This etched line runs between the 2 LED flashes and sits under the microphone gap that I presume is used for the brand new audio-related enhancements within the digital camera app. General, the ROG Cellphone 3 appears distinctive in comparison with the handfuls of similarly-designed BBK smartphones which have flooded the market in current months.

Let there be no mistake: The ASUS ROG Cellphone 3 is a huge telephone. It’s taller than each the OPPO Discover X2 Professional and the Samsung Galaxy S20 Extremely whereas having a smaller 6.59″ display measurement. The smaller display diagonal is justified, although, as a result of the ROG Cellphone 3 has a flat show that doesn’t prolong to the perimeters, which is useful for decreasing unintended touches in video games. On the backside bezel, you’ll discover one massive speaker grille. On the prime bezel, you’ll additionally discover a big speaker that’s symmetrical to the underside one, thus making up the twin front-facing stereo audio system. The highest bezel additionally has a single 24MP digital camera, proximity sensor, and different elements.

The ROG Cellphone 3 can also be significantly thicker and heavier than the OPPO Discover X2 Professional and Samsung Galaxy S20 Extremely. It’s thick and heavy out of necessity, although, because it has a large 6000mAh battery to offer 1 day of very heavy utilization or 2 days of reasonable utilization. The gadget isn’t too extensive, although, yielding a 19.5:9 side ratio. I’m in a position to stretch my thumb from the left to the precise finish whereas holding the telephone in portrait orientation. Given the telephone’s slippery glass again, weight, and top, although, it’s truly extra comfy to carry the telephone in panorama orientation with my fingers wrapping across the aluminum body on the highest and backside. ASUS designed the gadget to be usable in panorama orientation, although, as the facility and quantity buttons are close to the middle on the precise aspect (that means they’re on prime in the way in which most individuals maintain their telephones horizontally).

On the underside, you’ll discover the USB 2.0 Sort-C charging and knowledge port. The underside USB-C port is off-center, although, so that you’ll need to retrain your muscle reminiscence for plugging in a charger. (It’s really useful you cost from the aspect USB-C port, although, as a result of it helps ASUS’ 30W HyperCharge.) I want the port wasn’t off-center, although, because it means USB telescopic/extending gaming controllers just like the Razer Kishi can’t be linked to the gadget. This design side has been carried over from the ROG Cellphone and ROG Cellphone II, although, and it’s to accommodate the huge audio system that ASUS didn’t wish to compromise on. The audio system are superior, by the way in which, so I can’t completely knock them for that call.

As I discussed, you’ll wish to cost from the USB Sort-C port on the left aspect of the ROG Cellphone 3. This port is a USB 3.1 Sort-C charging, knowledge, and video output port. It helps ASUS’ 30W HyperCharge and DisplayPort 1.4 (@4K UHD) for video output (although you’ll wish to set up a third-party app for a greater desktop mode-like expertise). There are two inserts on the left aspect, and also you’ll wish to watch out you’re plugging your cable into the right one. You shouldn’t be plugging in a cable into the insert with the orange tab protruding—that’s supposed for the AeroActive Cooler and TwinView Dock attachments. To guard this port, ASUS features a piece of rubber that you could insert to dam off the port when it’s unused. To maintain you from dropping this rubber insert, the AeroActive Cooler attachment has a small insert the place you may put the rubber.

One stickler with the design that I do know will annoy some followers is the lacking 3.5mm headphone jack. ASUS says they selected to eradicate the port with this technology in an effort to accommodate the additional PCB house wanted for the exterior Snapdragon X55 5G modem, to keep up the identical 6000mAh battery capability, and to maintain the general dimensions the identical because the ROG Cellphone II. The final level is very essential as a result of ASUS needed to make sure that the second-generation equipment designed for the ROG Cellphone II nonetheless work for the ROG Cellphone 3. Luckily, the AeroActive Cooler 3 attachment that comes customary with the ROG Cellphone 3 has a passthrough 3.5mm headphone jack, so that you’ll no less than be capable of use your 3.5mm audio accent whereas gaming with the AeroActive Cooler connected.

In addition to the telephone, ASUS additionally despatched me the Lightning Armor and Neon Aero circumstances. Each are exhausting plastic shells, although the Neon Aero case is a little more versatile. I’ve been primarily utilizing the Lightning Armor case as a result of it has this cool RGB impact and covers up extra of the shiny rear glass.

The Lightning Armor case has a stable black colour and brings again the unapologetic gamer aesthetics that ASUS subdued when designing the ROG Cellphone 3. There are holes all through the again, a few of which have RGB LEDs beneath. The colours of those LEDs sync with the Aura Lighting function on the ROG Cellphone 3 that usually solely lights up the ROG brand on the again. The world that’s lit up on the Lightning Armor case is way bigger than the ROG brand on the rear of the telephone, and it’s fairly neat to take a look at once you flip the telephone over. The Lightning Armor case absolutely covers up the highest and backside however solely partially covers the left aspect to go away the aspect USB-C port simply accessible for the TwinView Dock and AeroActive Cooler attachments to clip onto. The fitting aspect isn’t coated in any respect to go away the AirTrigger shoulder buttons, energy button, and quantity buttons uncovered. Lastly, the Lightning Armor case has an NFC tag that’s positioned so it’s scanned robotically once you place the telephone within the case; scanning this tag applies a stay wallpaper designed to associate with the Lightning Armor case.

The Neon Aero case doesn’t have any of the flowery options that the Lightning Armor case presents. As an alternative, it’s a easy bumper case in a neat orange colour. The case offers minimal safety from bumps to the corners and leaves the aspect USB-C port, AirTrigger shoulder buttons, energy button, and quantity up/down buttons uncovered. There’s a cutout for the ROG brand and ROG’s “Rise Up. Be a part of The Republic” tagline is etched into the rear in a number of languages.

Prime: Lightning Armor case. Backside (1-2): Neon Aero case. Backside (3): Lightning Armor + Neon Aero circumstances.

Not proven right here is the included exhausting plastic bumper case, which has the identical design and really feel because the Neon Aero case however a stable black colour as an alternative of the orange colour.

ASUS ROG Cellphone 3: Show

ASUS ROG Phone 3 display

The ASUS ROG Cellphone 3 has a big 6.59″ AMOLED show at 2340×1080 decision for a 19.5:9 side ratio. Due to this side ratio, most video content material received’t fill the entire show. That’s typical of smartphones as of late, although thankfully, the viewable space is so massive that the video watching expertise doesn’t actually endure. There’s no notch or hole-punch cutout, both, so any content material that may replenish the entire display will replenish the entire display with out interruption.

The show helps a most refresh rate of 144Hz, with 120Hz, 90Hz, and 60Hz as further choices. The telephone’s default “auto” refresh rate mode isn’t a real variable refresh rate implementation (no smartphone in the marketplace presently helps that). Fairly, the Android System decides when to change between the assorted preset show modes. Since there aren’t any decision choices, meaning there are 4 completely different show modes: 2340×1080 @ 144Hz, 2340×1080 @ 120Hz, 2340×1080 @ 90Hz, and 2340×1080 @ 60Hz. The “auto” mode usually favors holding the gadget on the 144Hz refresh rate mode since that gives the smoothest potential expertise for the person. I don’t know precisely what standards ASUS makes use of to resolve when to change between the modes—I’m instructed it’s not only a easy exercise whitelist like OPPO and Realme’s telephones, although.

The ROG Cellphone 3 isn’t the primary smartphone in the marketplace with a 144Hz most refresh rate, nevertheless it’s one of many few that is ready to keep this refresh rate with out a ton of micro stutters. The telephone additionally has the battery capability to compensate for the toll that the 144Hz refresh rate takes on the battery life. In spite of everything, a show at 144Hz has to attract 2.4 occasions as many frames per second as a show operating at 60Hz, which suggests extra energy is required from the show processing unit and GPU. The Samsung Galaxy S20, for instance, has its 120Hz refresh mode disabled out-of-the-box for energy consumption causes.

In Settings > Show > Splendid, you may considerably customise the show settings. You’ll be able to select from the Default, Pure, Cinematic, and Splendid colour modes. You should use the slider on the prime to vary the colour temperature and the slider on the backside to regulate the colour matrix.

I’m instructed that the ROG Cellphone 3’s show has been calibrated to a median dE < 1 accuracy and is HDR10+ licensed, that means it might probably reproduce 1.07 billion colours. The show helps 113% of the DCI-P3 colour gamut, per ASUS. Pixelworks, a California-based show tech firm we’ve written about previously, lended its HDR tone mapping and brightness smoothing options. I can solely provide my subjective expertise with the show so far as I don’t have the instruments to objectively measure the colour accuracy and different features of the show high quality. Thus, I left the telephone at its default show settings to get a really feel for what ASUS thinks most customers will get pleasure from. I additionally left the refresh rate on the “auto” mode; since every show mode is calibrated individually, the auto/144Hz modes would be the one that the majority customers expertise.

ASUS went for a extra impartial colour profile on the ROG Cellphone 3. Colours aren’t as saturated as is typical on Samsung’s panels. (As a aspect word, I don’t know which show vendor supplied the panel for this gadget. I’ll have to attend for the kernel supply code to search out out.) I don’t have any common complaints in regards to the calibration, although. I haven’t seen any obtrusive points with the show which can be typical of poorly made and calibrated OLED panels, both. There’s no black crush when scrolling at a low show and ambient brightness. There’s no blue shift when viewing the telephone from an angle. I do discover a little bit of a greenish tint to in some darkish grays at low brightness ranges however solely when the encircling content material is black.

So far as the brightness itself is anxious, the show reaches as much as 650 nits outdoor, based on ASUS. It’s readable, however different smartphones just like the OnePlus 8 Professional get far, far brighter outdoor. On the flip aspect, the telephone can get comfortably dim. ASUS says the gadget has acquired Low-Blue-Mild certification from TÜV Rheinland, which mainly simply implies that the show’s blue gentle emission is much less more likely to trigger eye fatigue. To this point, it hasn’t for me, although I additionally wish to flip on Night time Mild to make the display tinted yellow at night time.

For top-quality video content material, the ASUS ROG Cellphone 3 helps L1 of Google’s Widevine DRM. Meaning it helps HD video playback in apps like Amazon Prime Video and Hotstar, amongst others. Netflix has additionally licensed the gadget for HD video playback, although the app’s “playback specification” web page reviews that the gadget does not assist HDR video. That could possibly be a mistake, although, because the ROG Cellphone II supported HD and HDR video playback on Netflix. There’s little transparency into Netflix’s certification course of, so maybe a future software program or app replace may allow HDR playback. Not less than YouTube helps HDR playback on the ROG Cellphone 3 at as much as 1080p decision.

One other key side of the show, particularly on the subject of gaming, is the contact sampling rate. That is the speed at which the display reviews the place of a touchpoint. The upper the contact sampling rate, the extra probably {that a} faucet is instantly registered and processed. That is essential for fast-paced video games the place you need as little latency as potential between your faucets and actions being carried out in-game. On the ROG Cellphone 3, the contact sampling rate is 270Hz, that means the display reviews a touchpoint 270 occasions per second. Moreover, ASUS has optimized the contact knowledge pipeline and Android framework to scale back the contact latency (the time between the faucet being registered by the display after which being processed by the OS) all the way down to 25ms. The slide latency, which has similarities to the contact latency however for swipes, has been diminished to 18ms. ASUS claims these figures are the bottom of any smartphone in the marketplace.

Under-display fingerprint scanner on ASUS ROG Phone 3

Lastly, the ROG Cellphone 3 has an optical under-display fingerprint scanner. There’s nothing actually particular to notice right here—under-display fingerprint scanners have been round for two years now, they usually’ve been getting barely quicker and extra correct with every technology due to improved expertise from Chinese language vendor Goodix. Like with different optical sensors, the pixels above the sensor gentle as much as facilitate studying your fingerprint. Sure telephones gentle up the entire display which could be an eyesore at night time, however the ROG thankfully solely lights up the pixels above the sensor. Display results like Night time Mild are momentarily disabled whereas the fingerprint is learn, which has appeared prompt for me in typical lighting circumstances. I’ve had hassle getting my fingerprint to be learn outdoor, although re-adding my fingerprint a second time has improved the accuracy. I’ve additionally disabled the fingerprint unlock animation, which looks like it barely improves the unlocking pace however that would simply be a placebo.

Gaming on the ASUS ROG Cellphone 3

There are various smartphones in the marketplace with the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset, a excessive refresh rate show, and large quantities of RAM. A few of these gadgets are marketed as gaming gadgets, however what actually makes a gaming smartphone are the gaming-centric options that it presents. ASUS is a pioneer of gaming options on Android, and the ROG Cellphone 3 is loaded with them.


Let’s begin off with X-Mode. You’ll be able to activate it by including a recreation to the Armoury Crate app, tapping the Fast setting tile, or long-squeezing on the ultrasonic shoulder buttons (as proven within the video under). The default X-Mode applies a configuration that tunes the kernel to squeeze efficiency out of the CPU and GPU. You’ll discover related efficiency modes on smartphones from different gadget makers, however none are as customizable as X-Mode.

For each recreation you add to Armoury Crate’s Recreation Library, you may customise the “Situation Profiles.” The “Efficiency” tab is the place you may select the efficiency mode that prompts when the sport is launched: “identical as system setting”, “off”, “gaming tuning”, and “hardcore tuning.” The “gaming tuning” mode presents 3 completely different efficiency ranges, all tuned by ASUS; degree 3 is the utmost efficiency degree and requires that you just connect the AeroActive Cooler 3 to successfully dissipate the warmth that’s generated by the SoC. Underneath “hardcore tuning,” you may customise the temperature management (the thermal throttle threshold), the CPU utilization, and the GPU utilization. Scroll down and choose “superior,” although, and also you’ll be capable of finely tune practically each CPU parameter uncovered by the kernel; this degree of customization will really feel proper at residence for individuals who have tinkered with customized kernels from our boards.

Armoury Crate’s Recreation Library allows you to see your put in video games in both a grid view or a card carousel. Every view possibility presents the identical actions, together with the power to launch the sport, change the state of affairs profile (customise X-Mode and different settings), view your document of screenshots and display recording clips, or launch the web site for the sport. Within the card carousel, you may personalize issues a bit by altering the quilt artwork for the cardboard.

The opposite tabs embrace “Contact”, the place you may management the contact/sliding sensitivity in addition to how removed from the perimeters to dam touches. There’s additionally a “Show” tab the place you may toggle anti-aliasing and set the refresh rate for the telephone to run at once you launch the sport. Word that the sport’s body rate nonetheless depends upon what the sport itself helps. Within the “Community” tab, you may toggle the “forestall switching networks” choice to disable automated Wi-Fi <–> cell knowledge swaps and “prohibit background sync” to prioritize your recreation’s community connection. Lastly, there’s the AirTrigger tab (which we’ll get to within the subsequent part), Key Mapping (for mapping button inputs from the Kunai Gamepad to the touch inputs on the display), and Macro (to document and playback a collection of inputs, helpful for monotonous duties in RPGs.)

GameGenie and AirTrigger Gestures

ASUS ROG Phone 3 Armory Crate

In Armoury Crate’s Console, you may see your gadget’s {hardware} statistics and handle settings for Recreation Genie, AirTrigger, fan pace (for the AeroActive Cooler), and system lighting.

GameGenie is maybe probably the most helpful gaming instruments in ROG UI. It’s a slide-in overlay that seems once you swipe in from the left in any recreation added to Armoury Crate. Right here’s a listing of what you are able to do with Recreation Genie:

  • You’ll be able to disable distractions by blocking notification and telephone name alerts. You’ll be able to even go “data-only” to utterly disable incoming telephone calls which can in any other case trigger community disruptions throughout gameplay.
  • You’ll be able to shortly alter or lock the brightness degree with out knocking down the standing bar (exiting Immersive Mode can mess with the UI of some video games ).
  • You’ll be able to toggle the refresh rate.
  • You’ll be able to document a brief 5, 10, 20, or 30-second video clip with the floating “marked clip” button.
  • You’ll be able to launch ZenUI/ROG UI’s display recorder overlay for longer video recordings.
  • You’ll be able to present a floating overlay with real-time CPU utilization, GPU utilization, battery degree, battery temperature, and optionally the present FPS and/or the remaining battery life estimate.
  • You’ll be able to faucet the “pace up” button to clear background processes (liberate RAM).
  • You’ll be able to document a macro that mimics your inputs and performs them again.
  • You’ll be able to present a customizable crosshair for video games that don’t present them by default, resembling in third-person mode in PUBG Cellular.
  • You’ll be able to lock the display for when it’s essential to make certain nothing modifications in-game with out your enter.
  • You can begin livestreaming on YouTube (Twitch was once an possibility however was not too long ago eliminated) at as much as 1080p decision should you join your account in settings.
  • You’ll be able to add a number of apps to a listing that you just wish to later open in a floating window with out exiting the sport.
  • You’ll be able to launch a search overlay to shortly search the online for movies and different content material related to the sport you’re in.
  • Lastly, you may arrange the AirTrigger gestures for the sport you’re enjoying.

The ROG Cellphone 3 has ultrasonic sensors across the aluminum body that may detect presses and swipes. This expertise is from an organization known as Sentons that focuses on making digital buttons for smartphones. The ROG Cellphone 3 is the primary smartphone to utilize Sentons’ new SDS GamingBar expertise.

In video games, you may map these AirTrigger gestures to faucets, swipes, slides, and steady presses onscreen. For instance, if I wish to liberate my proper thumb from having to faucet the shoot button in PUBG Cellular, I can map the precise AirTrigger button to faucet on the place the shoot button is positioned in PUBG Cellular’s contact controls. You’ll be able to transfer the faucet areas wherever on the display, so it’s as much as you ways you wish to use them.

The ASUS ROG Cellphone II solely supported two faucet inputs (from the left and proper ultrasonic buttons) in addition to a horizontal or vertical slide motion, however the ROG Cellphone 3 provides 4 further capabilities:

  • Twin partition: The 2 ultrasonic buttons could be partitioned into two shorter elements, that means you’ll be capable of map as much as 4 shoulder buttons to faucets on the display.
  • Steady set off: press and maintain on the shoulder button to set off a number of faucets consecutively
  • Swipe: swipe left or proper to set off faucets on the display
  • Movement management: shake the telephone to set off a faucet on the display

In complete, now you can map a complete of seven AirTrigger gestures to faucets, swipes, or slides on the display. Right here’s a useful graphic from ASUS that illustrates that varied AirTrigger gestures you are able to do:

ASUS ROG Phone 3 AirTrigger Gestures

AirTrigger gestures grant you a large aggressive benefit in any cell recreation the place customers predominantly use contact controls for inputs. Utilizing a devoted controller (and even keyboard and mouse) affords you the very best response time, however not each cell recreation allows you to use them. Some even go so far as placing gamers into completely different queues. I’ve discovered AirTrigger gestures to be actually helpful for offline video games, resembling these performed by an emulator. Utilizing contact controls in a recreation meant for controller enter could be irritating, however mapping sufficient AirTrigger gestures to controller inputs can alleviate that ache.

Earlier than I end, there’s one other cool aspect to AirTrigger gestures that’s not often talked about on-line. Whenever you aren’t gaming, you may squeeze the perimeters of the telephone to carry out actions like launching the Google Assistant, toggle the sound mode, toggle the flashlight, launch an app, open Armoury Crate, and extra. You’ll be able to even set completely different brief squeeze and lengthy squeeze actions! It’s mainly a customizable model of Google and HTC’s Energetic Edge/Edge Sense function however with a ton of further gaming options.

AeroActive Cooler 3

The usual ROG Cellphone 3 comes with the AeroActive Cooler 3 attachment within the field. It’s mainly a clip-on fan that blows air instantly onto the a part of the again the place the SoC and modem generate probably the most warmth. This helps cool the telephone down, bettering battery life and sustained efficiency. ASUS additionally added a load of helpful options to the AeroActive Cooler 3. For instance, there are two ports on the backside for passthrough charging and passthrough audio. For the reason that ROG Cellphone 3 itself lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack, the AeroActive Cooler 3 allows you to use your present 3.5mm audio accent with out an adapter. There’s a USB Sort-C to three.5mm dongle within the field, although. There’s even a kickstand on the rear that may prop up the gadget on a flat floor. The telephone isn’t tremendous secure when propped up this fashion, so I don’t suggest you play video games that contain a number of tough interactions with the display when the kickstand is up. As you may see within the pictures, the “REPUBLIC OF GAMERS” textual content brand and the ROG brand gentle up and cycle by the assorted colours that the person set in Aura Lighting settings. Lastly, there’s a skinny space on the within the place you may insert the small piece of rubber that protects the ROG Cellphone 3’s aspect USB-C port that the AeroActive Cooler 3 connects to.

Rant: Smartphone gaming is not a joke

When you contemplate your self an avid gamer on console or PC, you then’re in all probability cautious of cell gaming. Cellular video games have a foul rep, and that’s not undeserved. Gacha mechanics, microtransactions, and simplified gameplay are hated by hardcore avid gamers. I’ve not too long ago come to re-evaluate my very own views on smartphone gaming, and it’s not as a result of cell video games themselves have gotten considerably higher. Fairly, it’s the whole lot else that’s gotten higher.

Cloud gaming companies are actually a viable approach to get pleasure from many new titles in high-quality. Processors have change into rather more highly effective in the previous few years whereas retro recreation console emulators have additionally vastly improved in efficiency. An Android smartphone is each the very best moveable emulation machine you should purchase whereas additionally probably the most accessible gateway to cloud gaming. For instance, I not too long ago began enjoying Valkyria Chronicles, a PS3 title ported to PC, on my telephone by way of NVIDIA’s GeForce NOW. I additionally use Moonlight to stream Persona 4: Golden from my PC to play on my telephone from the consolation of my sofa. I’ve even used Moonlight to stream Pokémon Sword (emulated by way of Yuzu Emulator) to the ROG Cellphone 3.

Contact controls aren’t an issue when you’ve got the precise controller, both. Though the Razer Kishi (and different telescopic gaming controllers) don’t match the ROG Cellphone 3 due to its off-center USB Sort-C port on the underside, you should utilize quite a few your present wi-fi gaming controllers. I personally paired my Nintendo Change Professional Controller whereas propping up my telephone utilizing the AeroActive Cooler 3’s built-in kickstand (extra on that later). As soon as ASUS’ Kunai Gamepad controller or Gaming Clip change into out there, I’ll probably swap to utilizing both to play my video games. Or perhaps I’ll simply hook up the telephone to a TV to play some video games with a wi-fi controller linked—the ROG Cellphone 3 helps DisplayPort Alternate Mode (video output) by the aspect USB-C port, in any case.

I’m personally nonetheless easing myself into gaming on cell after a decade of gaming on consoles and PCs, however I’m absolutely on board with the thought now. I hope this rant has modified the minds of some smartphone gaming skeptics. When you’re keen on attempting out cloud gaming in your new ROG Cellphone 3, ASUS partnered with Google to supply 3 months of free Stadia Professional.

ASUS ROG Cellphone 3: Efficiency with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus

Specs, Artificial Benchmarks

The ROG Cellphone 3 is without doubt one of the first smartphones to be powered by the brand new Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus cell platform, the opposite being the Lenovo Legion Cellphone Duel. The Snapdragon 865 was introduced final December whereas the Snapdragon 865 Plus was introduced earlier this month. Each the 865 and the 865 Plus are fabricated on TSMC’s N7P course of, function 1 ARM Cortex-A77 “Prime” CPU core, 3 ARM Cortex-A77 “Efficiency” CPU cores, and 4 ARM Cortex-A55 “Effectivity” CPU cores, and have the Adreno 650 GPU. The Snapdragon 865 Plus has an overclocked Prime core (@3.1GHz versus 2.84GHz) and GPU (10% quicker graphics rendering). ASUS has paired the Snapdragon 865 Plus with 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 512GB of UFS 3.1 storage on the usual ROG Cellphone 3. On paper, this makes the brand new ROG smartphone one of many quickest Android smartphones in the marketplace.

We’ve already extensively benchmarked the Snapdragon 865 because it seems on Qualcomm’s Reference Gadget and a number of other flagship smartphones in the marketplace. The Snapdragon 865 Plus theoretically shouldn’t rating considerably greater in artificial benchmarks in comparison with the Snapdragon 865, so we weren’t terribly enthusiastic about analyzing knowledge from the usual benchmark suites. We all know some customers shall be on this knowledge anyway, so listed below are the outcomes we bought from Geekbench 5.0, PCMark’s Work 2.0, GFXBench’s 1080p Manhattan OpenGL ES 3.1 Offscreen and 1440p Aztec Ruins Vulkan Offscreen, and AndroBench. We carried out every of those checks with the telephone’s “X-Mode” enabled for max efficiency.

The AndroBench outcomes present that the ROG Cellphone 3’s sequential learn, sequential write, random learn, and random write speeds are noticeably greater than the Snapdragon 865 Qualcomm Reference Gadget (QRD). The distinction in sequential learn pace is about 200MB/s whereas the distinction in sequential write speeds is about 500MB/s. The random learn and write speeds are about 50MB/s and 60MB/s greater respectively on the ROG Cellphone 3 in comparison with the QRD. My ROG Cellphone 3 has a 512GB UFS 3.1 storage chip whereas the QRD had a UFS 3.0 storage chip, for reference. I can’t absolutely clarify precisely why the ROG Cellphone 3 exhibits superior leads to AndroBench’s storage checks, although I can say that the enhancements don’t imply a lot when it comes to real-world efficiency, as we’ll see within the subsequent part.

In Geekbench 5.0, the ROG Cellphone 3’s single-core rating was barely greater than the QRD’s common, although the previous’s multi-core rating underperformed the latter’s by about 110. The previous is anticipated given the Snapdragon 865 Plus’s overclocked Prime core, however the latter was sudden and should boil all the way down to variations in kernel tuning between the QRD and ROG Cellphone 3. Geekbench is usually helpful for evaluating the theoretical CPU efficiency between completely different SoCs, so it’s not a very helpful metric for the aim of this evaluation. Likewise, GFXBench’s 1080p Manhattan OpenGL ES 3.1 Offscreen and 1440p Aztec Ruins Vulkan Offscreen are each helpful for showcasing the telephone’s best-case GPU efficiency, however few cell video games push the GPU to the restrict.

Then again, PCMark’s Work 2.0 benchmark can inform us a bit a couple of gadget’s real-world efficiency because it benchmarks the efficiency throughout real-world duties like doc modifying, net searching, picture modifying, video modifying, and knowledge manipulation relatively than extra summary workloads. The ROG Cellphone 3 scores a whopping 15,178 in PCMark, practically 3,000 factors greater than the QRD. The ROG scores considerably greater in PCMark’s net searching, video modifying, picture modifying, and knowledge manipulation subtests, which implies that the gadget is anticipated to outperform a reference Snapdragon 865 gadget on the aforementioned fundamental duties.

Along with the set of artificial benchmarks that take a look at the theoretical most efficiency of a sure metric, I additionally did GFXBench’s Manhattan 3.1 OpenGL ES 3.1 long-term efficiency/battery lifetime benchmark and CPU Throttling Check (for half-hour) to check the sustained GPU and CPU efficiency, respectively. In GFXBench, the ROG Cellphone 3’s rendered an excellent 4530 frames within the first iteration however shortly dropped all the way down to rendering round 3700 frames after about 5 iterations of the take a look at. Within the CPU throttling take a look at, the efficiency was throttled to about 87% of its most efficiency after half-hour.

The outcomes of those checks counsel that the CPU and GPU had been throttled fairly a bit. To be honest, although, these checks aren’t consultant of the common CPU and GPU workload of even probably the most demanding Android video games on the Play Retailer, so contemplate these outcomes as theoretical representations of the sustained efficiency below intensive CPU and GPU masses. Apparently, the battery temperature in GFXBench solely reached a most of 37°C after 25 minutes of the take a look at, suggesting the telephone did job of pushing warmth out of the system. That’s what ASUS designed the ROG GameCool 3 system to do, in any case. The “GameCool 3” cooling system, based on ASUS, consists of a “layered sandwich design” that features a massive graphite movie, a 3D vapor chamber, the aluminum body, an enlarged copper warmth sink (6x bigger than the one on the ROG Cellphone II), the vents on the again cowl, and eventually, the AeroActive Cooler 3 accent.

ASUS ROG Phone 3 GameCool 3

ROG GameCool 3 system. Supply: ASUS

In our evaluation, real-world UI and gaming efficiency are extra essential than artificial benchmarks. That’s why we devised a brand new set of instruments to measure the app launch speeds, UX fluidity, and in-game efficiency.

App Launch Pace Check

XDA’s Mario Serrafero and I’ve created a brand new app launch pace take a look at script to debut for the ROG Cellphone 3 evaluation. On this take a look at, we used Android’s ActivityManager shell interface to measure how lengthy it takes for the primary Exercise of 12 functions to launch from a chilly begin (ie. they’re not in reminiscence). These functions are Google Chrome, Fb, Gmail, Google Maps, Messages, Netflix, Google Pictures, Google Play Retailer, Twitter, WhatsApp, XDA, and YouTube. We launched these 12 actions for a number of iterations (killing every app between launches) to scale back the variance. Compared to the Samsung Galaxy S20 with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, the outcomes are combined. Whereas the ASUS ROG Cellphone 3 is ready to open Twitter, WhatsApp, and XDA extra shortly than the Galaxy S20 and is shut in Google Chrome, Messages, and Fb, the Galaxy S20 launched apps most apps extra shortly. Nonetheless, the variations between the Galaxy S20 and ROG Cellphone 3 aren’t that important since each gadgets function related processors, RAM, and storage.

After I in contrast the app launch speeds to gadgets with older or weaker Snapdragon processors, the ROG Cellphone 3 blew them out of the water. In abstract, apps will usually open from a chilly begin very, in a short time on the ROG Cellphone 3. When you have the 16GB RAM variant as I do, then they’ll open up much more shortly since most apps shall be cached in reminiscence.

UI Stutter/Jank Check

One other new take a look at we’re attempting out for the ROG Cellphone 3 evaluation is a modified model of Google’s open-source JankBench benchmark. This benchmark simulates a handful of widespread duties you’ll see in on a regular basis apps, together with scrolling by a ListView with textual content, scrolling by a ListView with pictures, scrolling by a grid view with a shadow impact, scrolling by a low-hitrate textual content render view, scrolling by a high-hitrate textual content render view, inputting and modifying textual content with the keyboard, repeating overdraws with playing cards, and importing bitmaps. Our script information the draw time for every body throughout the take a look at, ultimately plotting all of the frames and their draw occasions in a plot together with a number of horizontal traces representing the goal body draw occasions for the 4 widespread show refresh charges (60Hz, 90Hz, 120Hz, and 144Hz.) You’d assume these easy checks can be a cinch to go for a telephone just like the ROG Cellphone 3, and you’ll be (largely) proper.

Whereas the telephone is undoubtedly tremendous clean in day-to-day utilization with its 144Hz refresh rate show, I do discover the occasional microstutter whereas scrolling or performing sure duties. That is mirrored in JankBench, as proven within the charts under. Within the bitmap add take a look at, for instance, 78.31% of all frames missed the 144Hz goal of 6.944ms. This isn’t too horrible since solely 15.98% of all frames missed the 120Hz goal of 8.333ms, however this degree of jank is certainly noticeable to the person. Whereas the Samsung Galaxy S20 additionally fares poorly within the bitmap add take a look at for the 144Hz goal (21.94% of janky frames), the Galaxy S20 has the advantage of operating at solely 120Hz (0.82% of janky frames) so these janks aren’t perceptible. From the time I’ve used the Galaxy S20, I’ve felt that Samsung has performed the very best job at optimizing its software program for 120Hz, and the outcomes present. The distinction between 120Hz and 144Hz is barely perceptible to me, so I’ll probably run the gadget at 120Hz more often than not. (I’ve even set each of my LG 32GK650F-B displays to 120Hz since I don’t discover the distinction, and 120Hz is a perfect refresh rate for body interpolation software program like SVP.)

Actual-World Gaming

Subsequent, to check the ROG Cellphone 3’s efficiency in video games, I collected framerate knowledge whereas enjoying 25-30 minute classes in 5 completely different video games. Right here’s what I performed:

  • Tremendous Mario Sunshine. A preferred 3D platformer from the Nintendo GameCube, emulated on Android utilizing the Dolphin Emulator. Tremendous Mario Sunshine is capped at 30fps.
  • New Tremendous Mario Bros. Wii. A preferred 2D side-scrolling platformer from the Nintendo Wii, emulated on Android utilizing the Dolphin Emulator. New Tremendous Mario Bros. Wii is capped at 60fps.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Masks 3D. A preferred 3D action-adventure recreation from the Nintendo 3DS, emulated on Android utilizing the Citra Emulator. This recreation is capped at 60fps.
  • Actual Racing 3. A racing recreation for cell with largely automated controls aside from steering. This recreation can run at as much as 144Hz.
  • Lifeless Set off 2. A primary-person capturing zombie survival recreation with automated capturing. This recreation can run at as much as 144Hz.

Other than a number of graphical glitches in The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Masks 3D (which has extra to do with the state of Nintendo 3DS emulation on Android than something particular to the telephone itself), the ASUS ROG Cellphone 3 dealt with all the video games I threw at it practically completely. The typical FPS of every recreation I examined was very near the goal FPS. The share of frames that handed the 2 thresholds I made a decision as “playable” and “excellent” had been within the excessive 90s and low 80s to mid 90s respectively. Lastly, the Median Absolute Deviations* of every plot had been inside 5 fps, with each Tremendous Mario Sunshine and New Tremendous Mario Bros. Wii having MADs of lower than 0.5 fps.

I used a customized script created by Mario Serrafero to generate the plots under. The overwhelming majority of the body drops, or spikes, that you just see in every chart occurred throughout loading screens. For Citra Emulator, particularly, the problem is compounded by the truth that the emulator has to generate shader caches on-the-fly. For Actual Racing 3 and Lifeless Set off 2, in-game/pre-rendered cutscenes, menus, and loading screens all brought on dips within the body rate. Whereas in-game, I noticed every title operating practically completely on the ROG Cellphone 3. Gaming on the ROG Cellphone 3 has been a pleasure, and I sit up for spending extra time with the gadget.

From a quick evaluation of the gadget’s firmware, the beforehand revealed checklist of titles that assist excessive refresh rate gaming, and an up to date checklist that ASUS despatched us, we will confidently say that there are lots of of video games which can be optimized for the ROG Cellphone 3’s excessive refresh rate show. There’s a recreation for everybody on the checklist. In reality, we’re instructed that 256 video games proper now assist playback at 144fps. By our personal depend, 60 video games assist playback at 90fps whereas practically 140 assist playback at 120fps. We’ll publish a full checklist of video games that assist gameplay at over 60fps quickly, so hold a watch out for that.

*We calculate MAD (Median Absolute Deviation) to exchange Variance. Why? For various FPS ranges (i.e. 60 FPS vs. 144Hz video games), Variance turns into much less intuitive. The system for Variance has errors (distances of samples from pattern imply) develop quadratically, so for 144Hz video games, the sum of errors shortly explode. Our MAD statistic is way easier: We calculate the gathering of absolute errors from the imply (not median, for our case), then seize the median of the gathering. Within the context of video games, we will interpret this as “the middling worth of all of the FPS fluctuations”. As a fast instance, if we’ve a pattern of [49, 60, 51, 52, 60, 60, 59], the pattern imply is 58.5. So absolutely the errors change into [9.5, 1.5, 7.5, 6.5, 1.5, 1.5, 0.5], and the median of that assortment, our MAD worth, is 1.5. Which means that our recreation is operating at 58.5 FPS on common, and half of body fluctuations are equal to or decrease than 1.5. For the reason that imply FPS in our samples is often tremendous near the goal FPS, then MAD provides us an approximate thought of what most framedrops seem like.

ASUS ROG Cellphone 3: Battery Life & Charging

With the push for 5G and even greater refresh rate shows, the ROG Cellphone 3 is well-equipped for the power-hungry 5G modem, Snapdragon 865 Plus processor, and 144Hz show. With its 6000mAh battery, the gadget will simply final a full day of heavy utilization after which some. My common screen-on-time ran between 8-9 hours at excessive brightness ranges, which is admittedly a bit shorter than I used to be used to with the ROG Cellphone II, however nonetheless a lot better than different 2020 flagship smartphones. My typical utilization consists of 1-2 hours of Reddit, ~1 hour of Google Chrome searching, 1 hour of Twitter, Discord, Slack, and Telegram utilization, 2-3 hours of watching movies in VLC, 1-2 hours of listening to music in Google Play Music/YouTube Music, and 1 hour of gaming. I additionally stored the All the time-on Show energetic and had my telephone continually paired to my Samsung Galaxy Watch, which retains the telephone operating within the background due to Samsung Well being. I pressured myself to make use of the gadget greater than I usually would throughout this evaluation interval, however even should you use your smartphone greater than I did, I firmly consider that you just’ll nonetheless wrestle to run the battery down by the top of the day.

Screenshots of my battery utilization statistics from 6 completely different days.

To estimate the everyday battery life you may anticipate whereas gaming, I ran GFXBench’s Manhattan 3.1 OpenGL ES 3.1 long-term efficiency/battery lifetime benchmark. This take a look at loops by the performance-intensive Manhattan 3.1 benchmark a number of occasions and estimates how lengthy the telephone will final if the benchmark had been to repeatedly run. The benchmark estimates the ROG Cellphone 3 will final 305 minutes, or roughly 5 hours, whereas gaming at most brightness. The benchmark ran at 1080p decision and rendered the scene between 60-90fps. I might take this battery life estimate because the minimal it’s best to anticipate from the gadget since Manhattan 3.1 is significantly extra performance-intensive than the overwhelming majority of Android video games in the marketplace.

Zen UI/ROG UI is all about customization, although, and that extends to battery life administration. Inside Settings, you’ll discover your typical battery care options from AOSP together with Adaptive Battery and Battery optimization/Doze mode, however ASUS has additionally added its personal options below “PowerMaster.” With Auto-start supervisor, you may management which apps are allowed to robotically begin within the background (off by default). Underneath “Battery modes,” you may allow the usual power-saving mode or an much more restrictive “tremendous saving” mode that turns off cell knowledge and permits the system darkish theme. ASUS additionally lets the person create as much as two of their very own customized battery modes, with choices resembling toggling cell knowledge/WiFi/Bluetooth/location/hotspot/5G, altering the show timeout, brightness degree, refresh rate, system theme, and extra. Underneath “battery-saving choices”, ASUS has consolidated varied system toggles that contribute to the next battery drain, together with cell knowledge, Bluetooth, hotspot, location mode, and so forth. On the backside of “battery-saving choices,” the person can disable a few of ASUS’ battery optimization options which can be enabled by default, together with “clear up in droop”, “auto deny apps from auto-starting”, and “hibernate apps.”

It could disappoint some to listen to that the ASUS ROG Cellphone 3 doesn’t cost as shortly as current telephones from OPPO/Realme, Xiaomi, or Vivo, not to mention the truth that it doesn’t assist wi-fi charging in any respect. Having not too long ago taken to consolidating all of the litter on my desk, and meaning decreasing what number of charging cables I’ve, I, too, was initially dissatisfied by the dearth of wi-fi charging assist. Nonetheless, ASUS makes an ideal argument for why they caught with their 30W Hyper Cost expertise. For starters, ASUS says it allowed them to pack the biggest battery they probably may within the gadget, as quicker charging applied sciences require batteries to have thicker separators between the anode and cathode. Second, it’s well-known that quicker currents result in better battery degradation, so the conservative 30W Hyper Cost expertise will yield longer battery life over lots of of charging cycles. Units with dual-battery designs lose some usable capability by design, too. Subsequent, ASUS factors out that typical fast-charging options decelerate their charging speeds because the battery reaches round 70% capability (which I’ve discovered to be true in testing); in distinction, the 6000mAh battery on the ROG Cellphone 3 will keep its greater charging pace for longer. Lastly, the massive battery of the gadget means you’re unlikely going to wish to prime up the battery with a fast cost throughout the day.

ASUS 30W Hyper Charge on the ROG Phone 3

Utilizing a script, I recorded how lengthy it took to cost the ASUS ROG Cellphone 3 from 5-100%. It took about 97 minutes for Android to report the battery was absolutely charged and one other 20 minutes for the present to succeed in 0 mA. The present stayed constantly excessive till the mid-60%, in contrast to different quick charging options which see the present shortly drop off. The battery temperature by no means exceeded 43° as reported by the Android OS.

ASUS ROG Phone 3 30W Hyper Charge

Lastly, I ought to point out a number of of the options that assist keep battery longevity on the ROG Cellphone 3. First, the charger itself. Based on ASUS, the charging circuitry is constructed into the adapter itself along with the telephone, producing much less warmth on the battery whereas charging. That is much like OnePlus’ Warp Cost, besides ASUS’ Hyper Cost additionally works with customary, top quality (3A) USB Sort-C cables. Subsequent, in Settings > Battery > PowerMaster, there’s a devoted Battery care setting with choices to restrict the charging pace (to 10W), schedule the charging to forestall trickle charging, and set a charging restrict (to 80 or 90%). The charging restrict possibility is fascinating as a result of as soon as the gadget reaches the specified charging restrict, the charging circuitry switches to instantly holding the gadget powered, much like the H.S. Energy Management function that made waves on the Sony Xperia 1 II. ASUS says that setting the charging restrict to 80% will scale back battery capability loss by 8% over 500 charging cycles. These options are enabled by default, so it’s as much as you if you wish to get pleasure from quicker charging or prolong battery longevity as a lot as potential.

ASUS ROG Cellphone 3: Audio

ASUS has positioned two massive front-facing audio system in stereo on the entrance and 4 microphones across the physique to ship stellar sound and voice recording capabilities. The complete audio system of the gadget is known as “GameFX” and it consists of a number of elements:

  • The aforementioned dual-front going through audio system. These have 7 magnets (up from 5 on the ROG Cellphone II) and are every powered by their very own particular person NXP TFA9874 sensible amplifier.
  • Sound tuning in live performance with the audio specialists at Dirac. The ROG Cellphone 3 options Dirac’s HD Sound Know-how which contributes the next audio enhancements:
    • Impulse response correction: Dirac tuned the audio kernel to condense the impulse responses generated by sounds they decay in time with out interfering with different acoustics.
    • Frequency response correction: appropriate the frequency copy of headphones and audio system so that they produce extra balanced and correct sound traits. (To attain this impact on 1000’s of various headsets, I like to recommend attempting the Wavelet app.)
    • Bass enhancement: provides synthetic over-tones to complement the perceived bass of audio by as much as 2 octaves with out a important drop-off in quantity
    • Crosstalk cancellation: reduces the cross-talk impact which occurs when the left ear hears sounds from the precise channel and vice versa
    • Quantity enhancement: high-quality, multi-band dynamic vary compression algorithm boosts weak audio indicators
    • Recreation mode: when enjoying video games, the built-in audio system and ASUS ROG headsets enhance sure frequencies generally discovered inside recreation audio, resembling footsteps. Dirac’s specifically tuned sound profile helps all ROG headsets, together with the USB-C ROG Cetra/Delta/Theta 7.1, the three.5mm ROG Delta Core/Strix Fusion 300/Theta Electret, and wi-fi ROG Strix Go 2.4/Strix Wi-fi.
  • Hello-Res Audio output: the ROG Cellphone 3 is Hello-Res Audio (HRA) licensed so it helps enjoying again 24-bit/96kHz or 24-bit/192kHz audio information if paired with an HRA licensed output gadget.
  • Excessive-quality Bluetooth audio codec assist: together with aptX, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, LDAC, and AAC
  • Lastly, there’s the AudioWizard app which presents a 7-band customizable equalizer with 6 equalizer presets, Treble and Bass enhance sliders and the aforementioned Dirac sound profiles for ROG headsets.

Dirac Audio Tuner on ASUS ROG Phone 3

I normally don’t play any audio from the audio system since I’ve quick access to earbuds, earphones, and headphones, however I examined the ROG Cellphone 3’s speaker high quality and couldn’t discover any complaints value mentioning. The telephone will get decently loud—a lot louder than most different smartphones I’ve, the truth is—with none noticeable audio distortions or clipping. I’m not shocked that audio sounds impartial/balanced given what I do know of Dirac’s audio expertise. The equalizer customization is welcome and can assist customers tune the audio to their liking—I’m an enormous fan of the Wavelet app which is basically a community-driven model of what Dirac has performed when it comes to frequency response correction. I don’t have any ROG headsets to see if the sport mode makes a distinction, however I’ve no purpose to doubt that it could assist. The ROG Cellphone 3 is just one of many smartphones to function Dirac’s audio expertise, nevertheless it has the excellence of actually letting Dirac’s expertise shine whereas additionally permitting the person to manage the way in which the audio sounds for themselves.

Software program – ZenUI/ROG UI

Any OEM software program that strays too removed from what folks contemplate “inventory Android” (learn: Google’s Pixel software program) receives a number of hate. ASUS ZenUI/ROG UI was once within the class of gaudy OEM software program that messed with Android an excessive amount of, nevertheless it has massively improved ever since final 12 months’s ZenUI 6 based mostly on Android 9 Pie. It’s as near “inventory Android” because it’s ever been, the truth is. There are nonetheless a number of issues that want extra sharpening and some “options” that have to be reduce, however general, ZenUI/ROG UI on the ASUS ROG Cellphone 3 has supplied a pleasing expertise.

Right here’s a abstract of what I like about it:

  • The inventory ZenUI launcher is extra customizable than most OEM launchers, with grid measurement choices, swipe-down gesture, steady residence display, app icon badges, locking apps behind a PIN/password, hiding apps, displaying folders within the app drawer, and extra.
  • There’s a one-handed mode that may make navigation on the huge ROG Cellphone 3 a extra sensible endeavor.
  • Scrolling screenshots!
  • The dialer app has a name recorder than can robotically document each telephone name.
  • You’ll be able to unlink the ringtone and notification volumes, which hasn’t been potential in Android for a few years now.
  • The sensible ringtone setting adjusts the ringer quantity based mostly on the background noise degree. No extra embarrassing outbursts out of your telephone at max quantity!
  • Customized battery modes!
  • Customized energy button menu kinds!
  • Battery longevity options resembling a sluggish charging toggle and scheduled charging.
  • “Sensible display on” retains the telephone display on when you’re it. Sure, that is much like Samsung’s Sensible Keep and Google’s Display Consideration function.
  • All the time-on Show with a number of customized clock kinds.
  • Facial recognition that may be personalized to disable unlocking the gadget however enable for displaying notifications on the lock display.
  • A bunch of various gestures to activate or off the show, mute incoming calls, reply calls, management music, or launch an app.
  • The whole lot about AirTriggers, GameGenie, AudioWizard, and ArmouryCrate.

If I had been to call one side I actually dislike about ZenUI/ROG UI, I might decide the aggressive background app administration options. ASUS is ranked #6 on, an internet site that ranks Android producers based mostly on how aggressively they kill apps operating within the background. The crew behind the web site even made a benchmark to check how typically an app’s scheduled jobs (on the primary thread and on a customized thread executor) and alarms are reduce off by the OS. I ran this benchmark for five hours on my gadget. Earlier than I disabled all of the background app administration options, my gadget was getting a paltry 3% on the take a look at. After I disabled all the required toggles and re-ran the take a look at, I bought a rating of 100%.

To utterly disable ASUS’ aggressive background app optimization, I needed to make it possible for 4 issues had been turned off:

  • Settings > Battery > PowerMaster > Battery-saving choices > Hibernate apps
  • Settings > Battery > PowerMaster > Battery-saving choices > Clear up in droop
  • Settings > Battery > PowerMaster > Battery-saving choices > Auto deny apps from auto-starting
  • Settings > Battery > PowerMaster > Auto-start supervisor > Allow All apps (enabled by default)

…that’s a number of further battery/app administration options on prime of AOSP’s Doze mode and Adaptive Battery. Until you’re actually, actually involved a couple of rogue app draining your telephone’s battery life, I like to recommend altering these settings to permit your apps to behave as anticipated. ASUS included a big 6000mAh battery within the ROG Cellphone 3 anyway, so that you shouldn’t actually be involved in regards to the telephone prematurely operating out of battery earlier than the top of the day.

ASUS ROG Cellphone 3: Digicam

ASUS ROG Phone 3 cameras

With the ROG Cellphone 3, ASUS has upgraded the digital camera config from the ROG Cellphone II in a number of methods. First, they added a higher-resolution main digital camera, the 64MP Sony IMX686, with a f/1.8 extensive aperture and 1.6μm pixel measurement. The 64MP foremost digital camera helps 4-in-1 pixel binning utilizing a Quad Bayer colour filter to provide high-quality 16MP pictures in good lighting circumstances. Customers even have the choice to seize native 64MP pictures from the sensor, nonetheless. The high-resolution of the 64MP picture sensor could be cropped for 2X lossless zoom throughout daylight. At night time, the 16MP output is used for cropping. Subsequent, they added a tertiary 5MP macro digital camera that may deal with objects as shut as 4-6cm. The entrance digital camera is once more a 24MP shooter whereas the secondary 13MP ultra-wide angle additionally returns; the 13MP picture sensor is paired with a 125° field-of-view lens with real-time distortion correction assist.

ASUS has additionally added a plethora of latest options within the ZenUI digital camera app, together with a Professional video mode, directional audio recording, free zoom, HDR video, HyperSteady Video with the wide-angle digital camera, Wind Filter to scale back wind noise in movies, Mic Focus AKA audio zoom, separate auto publicity, and autofocus settings, seamless transitions between cameras, [email protected] sluggish movement, [email protected] video seize with EIS, extra time-lapse settings, and a dynamic night time mode that prompts robotically when low-lighting circumstances are detected. You’ll be able to’t use Night time Mode with the entrance digital camera, nor are you able to document movies from the wide-angle digital camera (except you employ HyperSteady Video).

The digital camera high quality is admittedly not one thing I paid a lot consideration to on the ROG Cellphone 3, however I used to be impressed by the standard of the pictures that I took. The colours had been correct, the dynamic vary was wonderful, and the macro digital camera allowed me to take some fairly cool close-up pictures of nature. Digital zoom pictures as much as 5X had been serviceable given first rate lighting. White stability appeared constant between the primary and ultra-wide-angle cameras. Portrait mode produces a weak bokeh impact by default however this may be adjusted within the viewfinder. Night time mode isn’t groundbreaking right here, nevertheless it’s a viable various to utilizing the LED flash.

Right here’s a Google Pictures album consisting of varied picture samples that I took with my ROG Cellphone 3. To maintain issues easy, I’ve sorted the pictures into classes based mostly on the sensor they had been captured by.

ASUS ROG Cellphone 3 Digicam Samples – Google Pictures

Right here’s a brief YouTube playlist consisting of two rear movies recorded at 4K60fps and 1 front-facing video recorded at 1080p60. Word that many video options like HDR video, “Wind Filter”, and HyperSteady Video are disabled by default so that they weren’t enabled in these movies.

Conclusion – The ASUS ROG Cellphone 3 is the Finest Gaming Smartphone of 2020

I’ve used the ROG Cellphone 3 for practically a month now. I initially had some considerations with the battery life and the warmth generated by the SoC making the glass again uncomfortable to the touch. Each of those points had been largely addressed by current software program updates. ASUS has been extremely forthcoming with particulars on the ROG Cellphone 3, they usually’ve proven a willingness to take heed to suggestions from each followers, common smartphone fanatics, and the press. I might daresay that ASUS is the brand new fanatic smartphone model, dethroning OnePlus within the course of.

With the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+, a 144Hz refresh rate show, 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM, a 6000mAh battery, and 512GB of UFS 3.1, I’m in no way anxious about this sense outdated in simply 6 months. I’ll in all probability make this gadget my everlasting day by day driver after right now since I do know it’ll at all times energy by no matter duties I throw at it all through the day. In reality, I felt the identical approach in regards to the ROG Cellphone II and was planning on utilizing that as my day by day driver, however I, sadly, had the Tencent mannequin that didn’t assist all of T-Cellular’s LTE bands. With the worldwide ROG Cellphone 3 in my hand, I can entry T-Cellular’s community by Google Fi simply positive.

Must you purchase the ROG Cellphone 3? When you have any curiosity in enjoying video games in your smartphone, then the reply is sure. This gadget was constructed for gaming, from the aspect USB-C port to the AeroActive Cooler attachment to the AirTrigger gestures. The 144Hz refresh rate show and 6000mAh battery are the icings on this cake, making certain that video games will play easily and for lengthy durations. Then there’s the digital camera, which is definitely fairly first rate for a gaming smartphone. Subsequent, there’s ZenUI/ROG UI, which has change into one in every of my favourite OEM software program experiences after Google’s Pixel UI and OnePlus’ OxygenOS. There are too many nice options of the ROG Cellphone 3 for me to checklist.

ASUS didn’t simply make a smartphone that appeals to avid gamers, they made a tool that just about checks all of the bins that smartphone fanatics have been asking for for years. When you can overlook the dearth of wi-fi charging, an IP ranking, and a 3.5mm headphone jack, you then’ll discover that the ROG Cellphone 3 has a ton to supply.

ASUS ROG Cellphone 3 Boards

You should purchase the 12GB + 512GB variant of the ROG Cellphone 3 for €999. The 16GB + 512GB variant of the gadget prices €1099. The 8GB + 256GB Strix Version, which comes with the Snapdragon 865 and never the 865 Plus, prices €799. The gadget will go on sale on the finish of this month in Europe beginning with the Strix Version. We’re nonetheless ready to listen to about North American and Indian availability and pricing. I’m personally ready to listen to extra in regards to the different equipment for the ROG Cellphone 3, together with the Kunai Gamepad 3, the ROG Gaming Clip, the TwinView Dock 3, the Skilled Dock, and the Cellular Desktop Dock. If I ever get my fingers on any of those, I’ll share my ideas in a separate evaluation.

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