ASUS ROG Gaming Phone 3 Review: The Most Powerful Gaming Smartphone With Snapdragon 865
Dull Tom

ASUS ROG Gaming Phone 3 Review: The Most Powerful Gaming Smartphone With Snapdragon 865

Qualcomm released the Snapdragon 865 Plus in a low-key manner at the beginning of this month. In addition to the 10% performance improvement based on the Snapdragon 865, it also pushed the main frequency of the Snapdragon SoC past the 3GHz mark.
And this year's first Snapdragon 865 Plus is still a multitude of gaming phones. Naturally, there is also the ASUS ROG gaming phone that has been the first echelon in the past.

Unknowingly, this is the third year ASUS has made gaming phones, and it is also the second cooperation with Tencent.
Last year’s ROG gaming phone 2 was jointly launched by ASUS and Tencent, and the game software lineup and hardware sales performed well. This year’s ROG gaming phone 3 has a refresh rate of 144Hz and is equipped with Snapdragon 865 Plus, plus 5G Mobile Mutual Entertainment has also achieved a more complete performance.

"Back to Basics" Game Phone

This year, ROG gaming phone 3 generally continues the iconic style of the past. The whole machine is slender and has the ROG breathing light that glows behind it.
However, compared with last year's ROG gaming phone 2, the three-generation body style is more restrained and low-key, diluting the bold colors and curves common in gaming phones in previous years.
In other words, it is no longer a fancy gaming phone.

Although this more restrained design makes the style of ROG Game Phone 3 less "gaming", it also makes the overall style of the phone less hard-core, more like a mid-range solution between gaming phones and ordinary phones, rather than Completely hardcore gaming style mobile phone. There are two advantages to this. On the one hand, it can continue to maintain the style of game phones, and on the other hand, it can make the suitable crowd of mobile phones wider.
An account manager who loves to play games but wears formal attire for work will not look out of style when using a gaming phone to call when meeting customers; a girl who loves to play games will not be too hardcore because of the shape of the phone , And a bit less cute coefficient...

This is currently one of the few mobile phones that still retains the message indicator
Of course, the features that gaming phones should have can still be found on ROG gaming phone 3.
Both the upper and lower speakers are placed on the front edge of the phone in order to form a dual-channel package, while avoiding the sound from being blocked by the palm of the hand when held horizontally.

On the right edge of the phone is AirTriggers. Although there are two side buttons on the surface, ROG has added a new gesture system to the side buttons this time. In addition to dividing a button into two for use, it also added a multi-point speed skating operation. , From the traditional 2+2 four-point touch, expanded to six points.

The other side of the phone also retains the peripheral interface, which can connect the phone to a fan, handle or docking station. At the same time, this side interface is also another power supply port of the mobile phone. When the mobile phone is horizontally played, you can charge while playing.

In addition, this time the side interface of ROG Game Phone 3 has added a silicone dust plug. Although it is nominally dustproof, I think it is more effective for waterproofing.

The iconic logo breathing light of ROG gaming phone still flashes on the back of the phone, which is the same as the previous ROG gaming phone, but the line stripe on the back of the phone will be lighter than before. This is also the same as ROG’s downplaying appearance. "The reason for the attribute is related.

This time with the evaluation machine, there are two accessories, "Cooler Fan 3" and "Glare Intelligent Protective Case".
What’s interesting is that as an exclusive peripheral of ROG Game Phone 3, the cooler fan also has a place to store the dust plug on the inside. Yes, it is the dust plug mentioned above, just when I was thinking about putting it I found this opening at the right time.

A heat dissipation hole is added to the inside of the fan, and its function is obviously to allow heat to be better discharged to the fan. There is a hidden bracket beside the telescopic arm of the fan, which may be used when the game is on hook, or used as a vertical bracket when watching videos. Like last year, the fan is also equipped with breathing lights, and even has an additional 3.5mm headphone port and USB-C interface.

It is worth mentioning that even if the smart protective case is put on, the fan can be used as usual with the phone, so there is no need to remove the case frequently to dissipate heat.
However, since the mobile phone, protective case, and fan all have their own weight, the weight of the mobile phone has risen from 240 grams to 314 grams after the three-in-one is equipped. It seems that just like ordinary notebooks and gaming notebooks, the weight is indispensable for good heat dissipation.

In terms of screens, this ROG gaming phone 3 uses a 6.59-inch Amoled screen with a resolution of 2340x1080. This screen has no bangs, no openings, or even a border that makes people visually boundless, but this is actually for a reason. I specifically asked the ROG staff about this, and the response I got was that they had considered four aspects:

- Leave a buffer space for the screen and frame to reduce the chance of palm touching by mistake;

- Front speakers with larger housing units on the upper and lower sides;

- Maintain the integrity of the picture and reduce the situation that bangs and openings block the game picture;

- Increase the size of the phone to accommodate a larger capacity battery.

Therefore, we can also see that compared to ordinary mobile phones, the consideration of gaming mobile phones will be more focused on the control and audio-visual performance of the game. It may not make people feel amazing, but it can reduce the rate of mishandling. Moreover, there is no bangs opening to occupy the screen and operation buttons, and the game compatibility has become more comprehensive.

Speaking of focusing more on game upgrades, the screen refresh rate of ROG Gaming Phone 3 has been increased from 120Hz of the previous generation to 144Hz, and the touch sampling rate has also reached a higher 270Hz. This is for games that can support high refresh rates. Silky screen and one-touch control.

Use 144Hz refresh rate, use automatic adjustment of refresh rate (bright screen time)

However, the high refresh rate also means that more power will be consumed, which directly affects the battery life of the mobile phone, although the 6000 mAh battery of the mobile phone allows the mobile phone to brighten the screen for 4.5 hours at 144Hz.
But in fact, I personally suggest that 144Hz is not necessary at all in the daily state. Basically, 90-120Hz can already bring obvious and smooth images on web pages and most games.
If the usage requirements are more complicated, then the refresh rate can also be handed over to the system to determine, which can extend the screen-on time of the mobile phone to about 6 hours.

How did the Snapdragon 865 Plus debut?

Compared with last year, Qualcomm’s release of the Snapdragon 865 Plus this year is much more low-key. Although the product has already been released, several manufacturers have responded to the first launch, but they are mainly game mobile phone manufacturers, and the user coverage is relatively limited. There is a time difference, so not many people know that Qualcomm has released the Snapdragon 865 Plus, which makes the announcement of this new SoC very low-key.

The upgrade rhythm of this year's Snapdragon 865 Plus is very similar to that of last year's Snapdragon 855 Plus. It can even be said that this has been Qualcomm's main strategy for small upgrade products in recent years. The two parts of the CPU and GPU architecture are based on the Snapdragon 865 unchanged, and are still a combination of the Kryo 585 architecture and Adreno 650.
However, with a higher frequency, processing performance and graphics capabilities are each upgraded by 10%. Although this range is not very large, it is still stronger than the 865. Especially for "high-performance users" such as gaming phones, the higher the configuration, the better.

Therefore, there is actually a mutually beneficial relationship between Qualcomm and gaming phones. The new flagship SoC will be launched on the big platform of high-universal gaming smartphones. Gaming phones can also open the gap with the configuration of ordinary phones during this initial release period, thereby expanding the differentiation of this branch route.

Therefore, in recent years, we can see that the "full blood version" of Snapdragon processors are generally launched on gaming phones, rather than ordinary flagships. This is actually a balance of the overall product situation. Qualcomm is enriching its product lineup. Besides, it will not affect the sales of equipment that are already in use in the first half of the year.
Although the gap between Snapdragon 865 Plus and 865 is not very obvious, the actual gap is still there. The ROG gaming phone 3 in my hand has a 12GB RAM plus 128GB configuration. Compared to the Snapdragon 865 device with 12GB RAM, ROG gaming phone 3 still has obvious performance advantages.

New 2x2 shoulder button, new heat dissipation structure

Asus's game system upgrade to ROG Game Phone 3 covers both hardware and software, the AirTriggers 2x2 side shoulder button on the hardware, and the X graded performance mode on the software.
As the name implies, the AirTriggers 2x2 side shoulder keys divide the two physical shoulder keys into four in the system to correspond to different virtual key positions.

The width of the shoulder key can be customized for all four keys

For example, in "Peace Elite", the four shoulder keys can be mapped to open the mirror, shoot, squat, and switch weapons. This reduces the operation of tapping the thumb away from the screen; for example, the four shoulder keys can be mapped to the "King" "Glory" heroes have different skill points, so that the shoulder button becomes a skill shortcut.
However, the 2x2 shoulder button is very functional, but occasionally the touch is not sensitive. This is because my fingers are larger, and the recognition area of the shoulder button is smaller than the finger. When the game is intense, occasionally There will be situations where I can't press the shoulder button, and I still need to use the touch screen to complete the action I want.
However, the 2x2 shoulder key is a more significant help for the shortcuts of the game. After all, this is to expand the shortcut keys from two to four. More shortcuts means more buttons that can be mapped as shortcuts. , Can be realized on this phone.

Although I did not take the phone apart, I think that since the shoulder button can achieve 2x2 touch, the sensors under the frame should also be more than before, at least more advanced than before. This may allow AirTriggers to support speed skating this time. The reason for gesture operation.

In the game settings, the functions of the two buttons can be freely combined according to personal habits. For example, the left shoulder button can be a double button of "aim + shoot", and the right shoulder button is used as a speed skating gesture for switching weapons, so that the shoulder button can be used. Responsible for three common actions to speed up the action response during encounters.
It is worth mentioning that in addition to the two shoulder buttons, the phone also has a hidden "button". Shaking the phone can map a shortcut function. This shortcut key can be activated at the same time as the shoulder button without conflict, but because shaking the phone requires a certain range of motion , Is not very suitable for immediate response.

So I personally think that this function can show the greatest value in racing games, such as enabling nitrogen, which is also a good shortcut.
There are three levels of performance options available in X mode. The most high-end LV3 is equivalent to increasing the performance of the CPU and GPU to the highest frequency, so it must be turned on by connecting an external fan. In addition, users can customize the mobile phone performance configuration according to their own preferences.

For X mode, ASUS also plans to provide a configuration sharing function in the future, allowing users to transfer configurations to each other to improve mobile phone operating efficiency.
Game gods can share configuration files to the player community, and game manufacturers can also provide configuration files to improve running quality. In short, since these custom content can be shared, there are many possibilities.
While testing the game, I was also observing the heat of the phone. After adding 5G and 144Hz screens, ASUS also improved the heat dissipation structure of ROG gaming phone 3.

This time, ROG Game Phone 3 uses the "Matrix and Cooling Cooling Architecture 3.0" solution:
Behind the screen is a large-size graphene panel, which is used for heat conduction and heat dissipation of the screen; the CPU and 5G baseband part uses a newly designed 3D vacuum chamber temperature equalizing plate to be responsible for the heat conduction of the two large heat sources; finally the heat will pass through the heat dissipation scales Compared with last year’s ROG gaming phone 2, this heat dissipation scale is 7 times larger than the former.
After running the game for about 30 minutes in a 5G environment, I checked the heat of the phone with a thermal detector. At this time, the upper middle part of the back of the phone was warmer, and the result was 40 degrees Celsius.

Before using a fan for cooling
But don’t forget that we also have cooling fans available. According to laboratory data released by ASUS, Cooler Fan 3 can reduce the surface temperature of the fuselage by up to 4 degrees Celsius.
The wind blown by the fan will also be diverted to both sides of the fan to dry the user's hand sweat and keep it dry.

After using a fan for cooling

So after testing the bare metal heat dissipation, I installed the cooling fan on the phone, then turned on the maximum wind speed, adjusted the phone refresh rate to 144Hz, and played "Peace Elite" for another 30 minutes, and finally got a result of 34 degrees Celsius, proving that the fan is indeed Play a role in reducing the temperature of the phone.
However, as a peripheral accessory that needs to be purchased additionally, the fan is mainly targeted at professional players who are truly "hands-on-hand". Is it necessary for ordinary users to add additional equipment? Personally, I think it mainly depends on the frequency and intensity of the game.

Cooling grid

If you just entertain for 30-40 minutes occasionally, come to a round of drills or play for a while, then the heat dissipation mechanism of the phone itself is sufficient.
Finally, I also tested the mobile phone charging, using the standard 30W fast charging, 0-100% full charging took 83 minutes. As a mobile phone with a 6000 mAh battery, this time consumption is still within an acceptable range. After all, it takes about 70-80 minutes to charge a 4000 mAh battery.

A small upgrade in taking pictures

Unlike last year’s ROG game phone 2, this year’s ROG game phone 3 uses a three-shot lens configuration. The most commonly used main camera has also been upgraded from last year’s 48 million to 64 million pixels (IMX686), another main lens It is still a 13-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens with a maximum shooting angle of 125 degrees.

The newly added 5 million pixel lens is a macro lens. Like the macro lens we have touched before, this lens cannot be switched like the main shooting frame, and can only be used by switching the camera mode.
The camera system of ROG Game Phone 3 is one of the most versatile among game phones. It can quickly switch modes by switching between left and right gestures. And this time ASUS has also added several dessert-level functions to mobile phone recording, such as directional recording, video anti-shake, wind noise reduction, 8K30fps shooting and so on.
But I don’t know if it’s because I often hand-held shooting outdoors, so among these new features, I think wind noise reduction and video anti-shake are two more practical ones.

The sharpness and color of the main camera in the daylight environment can please the eye. The details of the branches and leaves and the architectural lines are better processed. In the scene of high light ratio, the dark part can also be recorded more clearly.

Day proof

But it may be due to the beta system. When the mobile phone is turned on HDR shooting against the light, occasionally when the optimization is too strong due to metering or other reasons, the screen will appear slightly overexposed and white.

The ultra-wide-angle lens maintains almost the same level as the previous generation in daylight environment. The clarity and color are both up to standard. It also provides distortion correction, and the finished film looks good.

There is basically no obvious problem with the camera in the daylight environment. After all, the manufacturers now have more mature adjustments to the hardware, and there is also an AI later stage, so most of the mobile phones can meet the medium and upper film level for daytime photography. The only thing I feel is that the phone lacks a telephoto lens.

Indoor proofs

The look and feel of the proofs in the night environment is not bad. In the dark and bright scenes, the camera can well preserve the interior decoration and outdoor architectural details.

Night proof

The color style of the picture tends to be strong, but it has both advantages and disadvantages. It is more pleasing to the eye when shooting food and other scenes, but when shooting portraits, the colors will feel a little harder.

"Differentiated thinking" of differentiated gaming phones

At the press conference tonight, ASUS announced the price of each configuration version of ROG Game Phone 3:

Elite Edition (12+128GB): about 577 Dollar

Classic Edition (12+128GB): about 621 Dollar

Classic version (12+256GB): about 679 Dollar

Extreme Edition (12+512GB): about 1000 Dollar

Extreme Edition (16+512GB): about 1156 Dollar

As a professional branch of high-performance flagships, gaming phones themselves have different attributes from ordinary phones. Their design is more radical, and their hardware configuration and software systems are specifically built for high-intensity games.
Just like a high-horsepower, high-torque racing car, they are built for the track, not the road, which is clearly different from the all-round flagship.
However, judging from the development history of gaming phones in the past few years, overly radical designs are not a good thing for gaming phones. Although the appearance of the game can often give players a sense of technology and cool play, people who really like this feeling can’t say that they don’t have it, but they are not too many. This invisibly limits the audience circle of gaming phones.
In addition, this year more and more manufacturers enter the game mobile phones, under the same characteristics, it is inevitable that there will be homogeneity.

Therefore, this year ASUS adopted another strategy on ROG gaming phone 3, downplaying the aggressive appearance of gaming phones, moving the phone design and functions closer to high-end phones, but still maintaining the consistent features of gaming phones in terms of functions and content, and continuing to work with Tencent digs into the possibility of mobile games, which allows ROG Game Phone 3 to make design differences in cloud gaming phones, allowing the phone to cater to more people's aesthetics, without losing the core "gameiness" of gaming phones.

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



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