Asus announced next to the new Strix laptops at Computex 2018 also the ROG Phone. That’s a smartphone that looks like gamers all the way through all the accessories that Asus can deliver. The phone has a screen that rotates at 90 Hz, which means that a new image is shown 90 times per second and that makes for more beautiful animations on the 2160×1080 OLED screen of 6 inches. There is also a special Snapdragon 2.96 Ghz processor in addition to 8 GB of memory that should ensure that all your mobile games run great.
The processor is not only fast, it is also overclocked, which means it has to be cooled separately. Asus does this through a process that they call vapor cooling. There is even a separate fan available that can ensure that you can get just a bit more power out by going into the special ‘X’ mode. The crazy thing: there is not a single game on the Android market that needs that kind of power, so why this is all conceived is a bit unclear.
The phone itself is so exaggerated, but the accessories are where it has to prove itself to ‘real’ gamers. Mobile games look good now and can go along with the somewhat older consoles, but the controls always remain a problem. Whatever everyone else is trying, a touchscreen is just not that good to play action games than a joypad or mouse and keyboard.
Of course, Asus offers a gamepad setup, which puts two separate pieces on the sides of the ROG with two analog sticks, four shoulder buttons and some extra keys, so you basically have a controller around your phone. With that and a WiGig dock, you can even stream the image from your phone to your TV, so you basically have the console experience on your phone.
Double as thick
But it gets even crazier: there is also the TwinView Dock, a clamshell accessory with its own screen and everything else on the gamepads plus a quad-speaker system, force feedback (vibration) and extra cooling. There you put your phone in and then you actually have a kind of very big Nintendo DS with two screens. What do you have? Very little, at this time. Asus has the idea that you could use this for marathon sessions, where you use the extra screen for example to chat while you are busy.
In addition, there is another dock with all kinds of connections for mouse, keyboard, monitor and other things so that you can use it as a mini-PC. For all those connections, the ROG has a separate port on the side of the phone that can do all that and you can also charge it via USB-C. That is in itself handy for a gaming phone because then it is practical to have the cable at the bottom if you have the phone horizontally to play games or watch the video.
The ROG is quite an impressive phone, if only because of all the technical gadgets that have been incorporated in it to make the life of the mobile gamer easier. Do you also have something to do with all those things? That is another question, which obviously also plays a part in what that joke is going to cost. Asus has not announced a price at the moment, but if you can just buy a PS4 and Nintendo Switch for the price of the phone and the necessary accessories, it is all less appealing. The ROG will be released in the third quarter of this year, and then we will be told how much it all has to cost.