Asus announces the ROG Phone - a Nintendo Switch but without all the games | PCGamesN

Asus announces the ROG Phone - a Nintendo Switch but without all the games

Asus ROG Phone

As if the Razer Phone wasn’t enough, Asus have announced the world’s first 3D vapor-chamber cooling system for a phone. Why, you ask? Well, for the ROG Phone. That’s right, smartphones are getting the Republic of Gamers treatment.

Asus are no strangers to making phones, with the companies ZenFone range a pretty well-established range within the world of mobile devices. However, the ROG branding is a slight departure from the usual low-key professional styling of the current flagship range. Supposedly, the general public aren’t into RGB lighting at the expense of battery life? Ridiculous.

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Asus are touting its excitingly-named ROG Phone as the world’s first gaming smartphone - although I’m sure Razer are happy to argue semantics on that one. It features a six-inch design, which houses a 2.96GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 mobile processor and Adreno TM630 GPU. The display is a 90Hz HDR AMOLED with a speedy 1ms response time for all those mobile games.

The ROG Phone features a couple of quirks exclusively designed for gamers on-the-go within the initial design, such as two mounting ports on either side to keep cables out of the way, haptic ultrasonic AirTrigger controls for force feedback, and rear RGB lighting.

To keep all that mobile silicon cool Asus has fitted the ROG Phone with the GameCool 3D vapor-chamber cooling system to improve the natural heat dissipation properties of the phone itself. However, when under really extensive loads - such as Pokemon GO, the most demanding game known to man - Asus has a new accessory to deal with excess heat.

That’s the AeroActive Cooler: a detachable cooler unit that clips on the rear of your mobile and sucks all the heat away from your system. That’s not all, there’s also two side controllers called the Gamevice that clip on either side of the device, and you can also get a variety of docks - including a desktop mounted one for full-scale gaming.

Sound familiar? It definitely seems like Asus has spotted the incredibly popular Nintendo Switch console and decided to get on that lucrative bandwagon themselves. But without the talented first-party and vast third-party support that the Switch enjoys, it’s going to be a tough sell to get gamers to splash out on a mobile phone, that can do it all hardware-wise, rather than two independently capable devices.

Asus has not mentioned a price for the ROG Phone as of yet, but it will be surprisingly to see this device - especially with the added accessories - launching any cheaper than the Nintendo Switch at $299 / £279.

It’s a bold move from Asus to try and merge gamers' mobile phones and portable gaming devices into one unit - that is “built from the ground up to be a premium phone for gamers with unique features”, as Asus put it. But the ROG Phone will need to be better than both to really convince gamers, and that requires a ton of developer support on the software side, too.

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Belimawr avatarJacob Ridley avatarQDP2 avatar
Belimawr Avatar
1284
2 Weeks ago

First gaming phone? Did you forget the N-Gage? As that was Nokia back in 2003.

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Jacob Ridley Avatar
41
2 Weeks ago

Very true. How could anyone forget the N-Gage?

1
QDP2 Avatar
1030
2 Weeks ago

I'm trying to work out why anyone would get this over the Razer phone. It's heavier, thicker, has a lower resolution screen with lower refresh rate, no sd-card slot... I supose it does have a headphone jack, standing against the current trend of bluetooth or usb-c adapters, but what for what other reason would you want this phone?

I'm not a fan of the phone back but that's a personal choice, and the upfront price is lower than its competition, maybe that's Asus's plan, to hit the better value market? There are many bluetooth controllers for android, the idea of a phone-specific controller that also cools it down doesn't excite me anywhere near as much Razer's Project Linda laptop phone-docks.

1
Belimawr Avatar
1284
2 Weeks ago

If they market at the price of the switch they will be making massive losses on the phone, the 845 is in all of this year's flag ship phones that sell well over twice the price of the switch, even the budget phones running the mid range Snapdragon chips and lower graphics chips come in at a lot more than the switch price.

So if they did market this as a £300 phone they would blow even the cheap Chinese phone makers out of the water, this you are most likely talking at least a £700-£800 phone before extras. Either that or they took cheap options for everything outside the CPU.

1
QDP2 Avatar
1030
2 Weeks ago

OnePlus managed it with the OP and OP2, I believe the nVidea Shield Portable was also a flagship Snapdragon for ~£300. With a release retail at £280 (presumably without the add-ons), I doubt they can hike it up any further than £400-450 RRP with the cooling-controller. As you say, there's going to be a lot of budget cutting with this phone, wouldn't want to bet on customer support either if something went wrong with the phone.

1
Belimawr Avatar
1284
2 Weeks ago

the Nvidia Shield is cheaper as it is closer to a tablet and they are always cheaper, they can generally use larger parts and strip back a lot of the radio transmitters, phones are always more expensive due to the extra equipment required to make it a phone and the extra engineering to make all the parts precision fit and small enough to wrap around all the other bits. the same is true of batteries, generally phone batteries are manufactured to much stricter tolerances to fit the dimensions of the smaller device.

so the shield is fairly out of the comparison, as it's more comparable to a £300-£400 tablet.

as for OnePlus as I said the "cheap" manufacturers, but if you look at the OnePlus 6 the base model is about £470, for that you get the Snapdragon 845, but on the screen you get a measly 1080 screen at 402 PPI, while looking at the Pixel XL (a nearing 2 year old phone) it has a 1440 screen at 534PPI. this is how these phones get their prices down they cut corners where they think people won't look.

but still it's a basic phone at £470, even using the same lower quality parts of the OP6 the extra engineering to get proprietary cooler and other bragging points in, they are either cutting corners or or the price is going to be high.

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