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Graphics: Sarvesh Kumar Sharma/Mint
Graphics: Sarvesh Kumar Sharma/Mint

Asus ROG Phone: A smartphone that will appeal only to gamers

Asus is bundling a cooling accessory with a fan. Other accessories such as controller and docks are sold separately

New Delhi: As the mobile gaming market grows, smartphone makers are introducing “gaming phones". These devices are designed to take advantage of Android’s full gaming capabilities.

Asus’s ROG Phone is the second gaming smartphone in India.

Display: While it has a resolution of 1080p, the ROG Phone’s six-inch AMOLED display looks more vibrant and supports HDR, which enhances contrast.

The phone also offers a high refresh rate of 90Hz, while other smartphones have 60Hz displays. This, theoretically, allows a smoother gaming experience. However, Asphalt 9 is the only game that can take advantage of the faster refresh rate right now.

Performance: With the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 chipset, Adreno 630 graphics and 8GB RAM, the smartphone is equipped to run the most hardware-intensive games.

The Game Centre is the first-of-its-kind tool in smartphones, adapted from Asus’s gaming laptops, and allows users to adjust the CPU clock speed to suit a game’s requirements. However, battery backup is a bit of a letdown. With regular web browsing and few calls it lasted about 8-10 hours. With gaming it lasted even less.

The ROG Phone has built-in vapour-chamber cooling tech, which keeps it from getting overheated when gaming. We noticed a slight warmth on the back while playing PUBG Mobile, but that’s natural.

Design: It looks big and feels bulky, and has RGB lighting on the body, which is common in gaming devices.

Camera: The dual 12-megapixel camera system on the back can capture portrait shots, but they are clearly no match to the camera output of the Pixel 3 XL or the iPhone XS. The phone can take decent pictures if the lighting is good.

Verdict: The ROG Phone is a gaming powerhouse with features that are not available even in expensive flagship-class phones. Using it as a daily driver is going to be a challenge, but an avid gamer will cherish the gaming smarts it brings to the table.

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