Though there are a number of powerful dedicated portable gaming systems available, Razer opted to marry handheld playability and mobile communications with the launch of its Razer Phone back in November 2017. Now the gaming arm of Taiwan's Asus has entered its own gamer-specific smartphone into the battle arena, with the launch of the ROG Phone.

The Asus ROG Phone has a slightly larger screen than Razer's effort, but with a lower resolution and refresh rate. It is an AMOLED display though, rather than LCD, so should be no slouch as far as sharpness and color are concerned.

All of that translates to an Android phone with a 6-inch Gorilla Glass display with 2,160 x 1080p resolution in an 18:9 aspect, a 90 Hz refresh rate with the promise of a 1 ms pixel response time and 10,000:1 contrast ratio. Asus also reports that the ROG smartphone supports 108.6 percent of the cinema-grade DCI-P3 color space, while HDR is served up by an independent image processing chip that enhances contrast for all content.

Providing the Phone's processing grunt is a special version 2.96 GHz octa-core Snapdragon 845 chip from Qualcomm, which includes an Adreno 630 GPU, supported by 8 GB of LPDDR4X RAM and up to 512 GB of UFS 2.1 storage.

"Our entirely re-architected Snapdragon 845 Mobile Platform with the gaming-optimized Adreno 630 GPU is designed for speed, minimizing thermal throttling and maximizing battery efficiency so users can play longer," said Qualcomm's Don McGuire. "Snapdragon 845 is engineered to deliver an unparalleled gaming experience; supporting exceptional performance, fast and smooth graphics, and Gigabit speeds whether on LTE or 802.11ad Wi-Fi."

To counter the heat generated by such powerful internals, Asus has developed something called the GameCool system, featuring a copper heat spreader, 3D vapor chamber and an optional AeroActive cooler that blows air over the back of the Phone to help speed up heat dissipation, while also rocking charging and headphone ports.

Among the usual collection of sensors – such as accelerometer and gyro – Asus has included a proximity sensor, a Hall sensor and two ultrasonic AirTriggers, which are dedicated control buttons (two to the left and one on the right) that need only 20 grams of force to actuate. Support for GPS, aGPS, Glonass and BeiDou is also cooked in, as well as Bluetooth 5.0, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ad Wi-Fi with Wi-Fi Direct and WiGig 802.11ad cable-free display support and NFC.

There are USB-C ports to the bottom and side, the latter allowing a charging cable to be attached when playing in landscape mode so that hands remain free of obstructions, a 12 MP and 8 MP dual camera to the rear and an 8 MP front-facer. And a ROG logo to the rear glows in player-chosen colors.

Good audio can be just as important as decent visuals in the gaming world, and Asus has responded with dual front-facing stereo speakers with internals capable of processing Hi-Res (24-bit/192 kHz) audio. Plug in a pair of headphones and you can look forward to DTS Headphone X 7.1 virtual surround sound.

A range of accessories are launching with the ROG Phone, including a dock for dual-screen gaming, a desktop dock for cabling up the Phone to a 4k UHD monitor and peripherals, and a wireless dock with console-like controls and offering low latency wireless display connectivity.

The Asus ROG Phone was launched at Computex 2018 today, and will be available from Q3 for an as yet undisclosed price.

Source: Asus ROG

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