The ROG Phone 3 is big, it’s heavy, and has more vents and RGB lighting than most people would likely see comfortable on a mobile device. But if you̵
From the moment you pick it up, the biggest difference between the ROG Phone 3 and more traditional smartphone it’s just like it’s face: it’s like the Mountain Dew of phones. Its 6.59-inch 2340 x 1080 OLED screen is already big enough, and when you factor in a decent amount of bezel and dual front-facing speakers, the whole phone looks even bigger. In fact, weighing just under 8.5 ounces, the ROG Phone 3 is heavier than almost any phone on the market aside from foldable or swivel phones like the Galaxy Z Fold 2 or LG Wing.
But with that weight come some pretty bestial components, including some of the loudest speakers I’ve tested on any phone in recent memory, and a screen that supports an industry-best 144Hz refresh rate. Now, if we’re honest, I can’t really tell the difference between the ROG phone 3 of 144Hz Screen and 120Hz Display Samsung has put on many of its 2020 Galaxy phones (and there aren’t a ton of games that support 144Hz either), but for anyone coming from a phone that’s stuck at 60Hz or even 90Hz Hz, the difference is immediately evident. Everyday things like scrolling through websites feel a lot smoother, and in games it helps eliminate some of the ghostly and blurry animations you see, especially during the most intense fights.
Meanwhile, along the top edge of the phone, Asus has included two touch sensors, which are actually split into two Air Triggers on either side, providing a total of four customizable shoulder buttons for use while gaming. This is a feature that I really appreciate, because I try to avoid dragging behind add-as a separate controller or gamepad holder. Aas soon as you have those accessories, you begin to compromise the portability of a phone. But with the ROG Phone, everything you need to play is already built in, unless you really can’t do without things like physical joysticks (which I totally get).
Despite all the brutality, it’s clear that Asus is still paying attention to the needs of gamers thanks to a design that increases the phone’s bottom USB-C port with two more on the side. These bonus ports are used for accessories like the included GameCool 3, which adds a USB-C passthrough port, headphone jack, kickstand, and even a fan to help your phone and your hands stay a little cooler. And by putting those USB-C ports on the side of the phone, you have access to those extra ports that ruin the grip when you hold the phone on the side. Smart enough for a phone designed to play games where you cut down trees with a pickaxe. And behind it is Asus it means logo with bright eyes, which I admit is a bit much, but honestly, I wish more phones to have support for external RGB lights.
But clearly the best thing about the ROG Phone 3 is its performance. In both mainstream performance benchmarks like Web XPRT 2015 and Geekbench 5 and other games-Targeted tests like 3DMark’s Sling Shot Extreme, Asus’ phone churned out axes across the board and often finished 5 to 10% higher than similarly priced flagship phones with the same Snapdragon 865 chip. Additionally, Asus includes also a whopping 512GB of base storage, which is more than enough to make me forget that the ROG Phone 3 doesn’t have a microSD card slot.
The end result is a phone that always, and I always mean, feels snappy, even before you squeeze the sides of the phone and enable Asus’ X mode, which frees up RAM and boosts processor performance to make sure you don’t get hit by any lag. X-Mode also works with Asus Armory Crate, which allows you to create custom profiles for specific games, so you can have different settings depending on the title. Honestly, it’s more customization than anyone really needs, but for those times when you want the ability to tweak things just the way you like, it’s a nice combination that you don’t really get on other phones.
And for a gaming phone, the cameras in the ROG Phone 3 are pretty good too—not quite as competent as a Pixel 4, mind you, but still respectable. In well-lit daytime shots, the ROG Phone 3 produced sharp photos with bright colors that were only slightly lacking in finer details and color saturation. And in a night shot of a ghostly skeleton, the ROG Phone 3’s auto low light mode captured a surprisingly well-exposed shot that’s actually a little too bright. That said, in very dark situations, Google’s Night Sight still has a big advantage in low-light environments.
Finally, with its massive 6,000 mAh battery, the ROG Phone 3’s 16 hours and 56 minutes time is the second-best time ever in our video display test, being only below the 17:18 mark. original Galaxy Z Fold.
Look, I don’t blame anyone who wants to write the ROG Phone 3 as an aerobatic device meant to entice gamers with dangling RGB lighting and transparent vents on their faces, because that’s definitely part of its schtick. But the ROG Phone 3 also supports its best-performing aesthetic I’ve seen on an Android phone this year and with useful features like Asus’ AirTriggers and its side-mounted USB ports, the ROG Phone 3 also sports a thoughtful design. it really helps people enjoy mobile games better. The ROG Phone 3 definitely isn’t for everyone, and even some people might just buy one to flex their friends, no doubt this phone has a game.
- The ROG Phone 3 is a lot extra in most gamers possible way.
- It supports 5G, but only on sub-6Ghz bands, which means it doesn’t really work on Verizon.
- Technically, there are two USB-C ports on the side of the phone, but the copper-the colored one isn’t really designed to work alone, so don’t plug anything directly into it.
- I’m still not sure if that vent is really necessary, but it looks interesting.
- The ROG Phone 3 comes in an optional configuration with 16GB of RAM instead of just 12GB in case you really want to flex, but don’t expect to hear much of a difference in actual performance.