ASUS on Monday announced its first Android-powered gaming handset, having debuted it in the form of the ROG Phone. Equipped with the most powerful hardware the mobile industry currently has to offer, the device is being touted as the ultimate choice for anyone interested in gaming on the go and will be released in the third quarter of the year in several configurations, though their price points and target markets are yet to be specified. The ASUS ROG Phone is the world’s first handset to utilize a cooling system based on a vapor chamber — called GameCool — that’s meant to keep its Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chip and other internals operating at reasonable temperatures even while doing heavy processing.
The device features a 6-inch AMOLED display with an FHD+ resolution of 2,160 by 1,080 pixels amounting to an elongated aspect ratio of 18:9, i.e. 2:1. The panel has a 90Hz refresh rate which is higher than any other contemporary mobile device on the planet bar the Razer Phone, another gaming-oriented offering. The ROG Phone’s screen promises 1ms response time and blur-free entertainment experiences, being capable of covering 108-percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut. Between side-mounted ports, a couple of programmable ultrasonic AirTriggers, and what’s billed as one of the most advanced mobile force-feedback systems ever created, the ROG Phone is a smartphone exclusively catering to gamers. The device can also be paired with a Mobile Desktop Dock, TwinView Dock, and WiGig Dock with Gamevice controller, all of which will be sold separately.
Two variants of the ROG Phone have been announced by ASUS, both of which come with 8GB of RAM. The base model will feature 128GB of UFS 2.1 flash memory, whereas the more premium one will offer 512GB of storage space, though a microSD card doesn’t appear to be part of the package. A USB Type-C 3.1 port is included, coming with support for fast charging (15W), whereas the phone also has an 8-megapixel front camera. The aggressively designed rear side of the handset features a dual-camera setup entailing a 12-megapixel sensor and an 8-megapixel one, being capable of delivering wide-angle photographs spanning 120 degrees. Dual stereo speakers are located on the front of the ROG Phone which is powered by a 4,000mAh non-removable battery and is relatively robust, being 158.8 x 76.2 x 8.6mm in size and weighing some 200 grams.
The device will ship with a custom implementation of Android Oreo and is protected by a combination of 2.5D and 3D Corning Gorilla Glass. Combined with the optional accessories ASUS intends to retail alongside it, the ROG Phone should be able to serve as an Android-powered alternative to the Nintendo Switch in the sense that it will be a mobile product that users will be able to connect to their TV via a dock. The handset is likely to feature a premium price tag and its more premium variant may not end up being available on a global level. It’s currently unclear whether ASUS managed to secure some exclusive mobile games or content for the ROG Phone, with the company promising to share more details on the device in the coming weeks.