ROG Phone 3 Review
Sergio Montana
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ROG Phone 3 Review

2 in 1: game-oriented and everyday smartphone

ASUS continues to develop its line of gaming smartphones, supporting the most current technological filling in them. ROG Phone 3 resembles its predecessor in many ways, both externally and in terms of interface. However, there are a number of significant changes and innovations.

Before us is a new generation of the most game-oriented device, which at the same time can play the role of an everyday smartphone.


Design



Visually, the ROG Phone 3 is both similar and unlike its predecessor. At the back, the same Republic of Gamers logo stands out brighter, and the design of the back itself with gradient stripes under Gorilla Glass 3 stands out. That is where the obvious similarity ends. The camera block now consists of 3 lenses, it has become larger and protrudes significantly more above the body. In front, the front panel is as black as possible.



As regards the control elements, almost everything has remained in place: the power button and volume control keys, which have received a red border, are on the right, the SIM-card tray is on the left, but not at the bottom, but in the upper part of the side panel. If we talk about ports, the main charging connector is still to the left of the center of the bottom panel, the additional one is in the center of the left side panel next to the accessory port. But the headphone jack in the third generation ROG Phone was abandoned, they only put in an adapter.

The on-screen fingerprint sensor still works just as quickly and adequately, there are several options for unlocking animation.

There is no water protection of the case, like wireless charging. In the first case, the specificity of the cooling system does not allow it.

It is better to use the complete Aero case, Gorilla Glass is great, but it does not make the smartphone less slippery. The cover helps and does not increase the dimensions of the already impressive device so much.



The ROG Lightning Armor case is a little thicker, when you activate the X-Mode game mode, the illumination on the perforated case case starts up, and the line logo is displayed. An NFC sensor is built into the case, it activates a special theme when the smartphone is installed in the case.

The aforementioned cooler can be used as a stand for watching videos, and, of course, playing games via a connected wireless joystick.




Display

The AMOLED display of the smartphone is protected by Gorilla Glass 6. There are no cutouts or folds in the screen, this is commendable, the oleophobic coating is very decent, the marks are erased instantly.


In terms of resolution and diagonal, the screen of the new item has not changed compared to the previous generation. But from 600 to 650 nits, the brightness increased, as well as the refresh rate of the display, it is 144 Hz. The following modes are available in the settings: automatic (system selectable) 144, 120, 90 and standard 60 Hz. Automatic refresh rate detection is more applicable to everyday scenarios. The system gives out the optimal, in its opinion, frequency indicator, so that the image is smooth, and the interaction is fast, and so that the battery does not run out quickly.

Also, the polling rate plays an important role, which in the case of the ROG Phone 3 is 270 Hz. This parameter provides a quick response of the system to the commands entered, whether they are taps or gestures.

One of the bonuses is the Always On panel, which displays incoming notifications on the always-on part of the screen.


Battery

The battery capacity is 6000 mAh, which in fact gives excellent results in terms of autonomy. When setting the maximum frame rate, using instant messengers, email clients and several calls a day, the smartphone will be asked to charge by the end of the second day of use or the beginning of the third, we are talking about 4-5 hours of screen per day. The looping video test at 144 Hz showed the result at 23 hours 40 minutes.

A complete charge will replenish the battery capacity in 110 minutes. QuickCharge 4.0 and Power Delivery protocols are supported. The most interesting for gamers will be support for direct charging: when you connect the cable to the side connector, the device will charge exactly as much as the current use case requires.


Performance

There will be two modifications on sale: with 12 and 16 GB of LPDDR5 RAM in conjunction with the currently top Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus processor. All this is supplemented by 512 GB of fast UFS 3.1 permanent memory, 495 GB is available to the user. Tests and benchmarks consistently put the smartphone in the lead, which is understandable: the speed of the processor, as well as RAM and permanent memory, has increased, and the system has been optimized everywhere.


Mobile games for the most part just fly at maximum frame rates with top settings, be it PUBG, Fortnite, Dead Trigger 2, Real Racing 3, and other popular games. By the way, the last two games support 144Hz.


Communication capabilities

Like the ROG Phone II, the smartphone has 4 antennas to ensure a stable connection when gaming and 4 noise-canceling microphones for clear voice transmission. This is due to the fact that with a horizontal grip of the smartphone, the player with his palm can block the antenna or microphone, so such an engineering step was taken. ROG Phone 3 supports the most advanced wireless protocols and communication standards: Wi-Fi 6, 5G, Bluetooth 5.1.


Camera


The camera system in ROG Phone 3 does not amaze the imagination against the background of modern photo flags. The resolution of the main camera has increased to 64 megapixels, a Sony IMX686 module and the same Quad Bayer system are used. The additional camera has not changed, an ultra-wide module with a resolution of 13 megapixels is installed, this company has added a 5 megapixel macro camera, which is better than just a depth sensor.

In good lighting conditions, the ROG Phone 3 cameras produce quite adequate image quality. Portrait mode works correctly and smoothly on both main and selfie cameras. If we talk about night shots, then the automatic detection algorithm does its job. The transition between the main lens and the ultra-wide lens has practically no effect on color rendition, it is mostly soft and natural. The front camera also works with Quad Bayer, it shoots better than the last generation, as usual, there are settings for improving the face.



ROG Phone 3 offers a variety of video shooting modes, both in terms of various resolution options, and the Pro Video mode, in which, by analogy with Pro Photo, you can manually set the necessary shooting parameters, set focus for microphones and turn on wind protection, looks very curious. Hypersteady super stabilization can be added to the automatic shooting mode with EIS, it works in FHD and HD, and it works well.


Software

The system runs on Android 10, using the same ROG UI interface, which, if desired, can be switched to Zen UI, an option close to the stock interface.


As for the pre-installed software, the situation has not changed, the same game utilities Armory Crate, Game Genie, the ASUS Transfer data transfer application and, interestingly, the Netflix client.

The ultrasonic keys have received a quality update. First of all, now they can be either one button or split into two each, emulating the L1 / L2 and R1 / R2 buttons on joysticks. At the same time, in Game Genie, you can customize the size of each of the buttons, depending on its importance and frequency of use in the game. In addition, AirTriggers 3 now recognize not only touches, but also gestures: swiping (a quick gesture is read as a touch) and a swipe, which can serve as a fast zoom or move the camera in a given situation in the game, if the latter supports such capabilities, of course. Also, the keys now "understand" and a long press, interpreting it as a series of several presses. Among the innovations is the option to overlay the sight on the screen for those games where it is not provided, or in the training mode.


Armory Crate still allows you to flexibly customize the system and its behavior in games, lighting, fan speed of the accessory. Added display of information about the system in real time: a small window displays the current temperature of the processor, frame rate, CPU and RAM load, as well as the approximate time that the smartphone can work with the current settings.


Conclusion

ROG Phone 3 has an optimal price / quality ratio for those who are accustomed to counting on a smartphone as a long-term investment, especially since the characteristics can ensure confident operation and the absence of a feeling of lagging hardware for several years ahead.

ROG Phone 3 has improved cameras, cool stereo speakers and an excellent display in all respects. At the same time, the design of the smartphone still allows it to be used as the main device, at first glance it is not so easy to define a gaming device in it.








ASUS ROG Phone 3 Gaming 5G Smartphone 6.59 inch Phablet International Version


$1397.34


$799.99







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