Asus’ insane gaming phone has 3 USB ports, clip-on cooling fan
After the Razer phone, Sony Xperia Play, and I guess the Nokia N-Gage, someone is trying to make a gaming smartphone again. This time it's Asus, which has tapped its PC gaming sub-brand, "Republic of Gamers," to create the Asus ROG phone.
The phone is still made out of the usual high-end smartphone parts, with a Snapdragon 845, with 8GB of RAM, 128GB or 512GB of storage, and a generous 4,000mAh battery. Asus says the Snapdragon 845 is the "world's fastest," thanks to "speed-binned" parts and a "GameCool vapor-chamber cooling" system. By grabbing only the best parts and extra cooling, Asus has been able to give the SoC a moderate clock increase from the usual 2.7GHz to 2.96GHz. The display is a six-inch, 2160×1080 AMOLED with HDR support. Rather than the usual 60Hz refresh rate, this OLED panel goes up to 90Hz. That won't quite match the refresh speeds of Razor's 120Hz LCD, but it's something.
Things get a bit more interesting with the port selection. In addition to the usual bottom-mounted USB-C 2.0 port and (woo) a headphone jack, there's also a second side-mounted port for Asus' collection of accessories. Engadget's hands-on of the device describes this port as two "conjoined USB-C ports." Asus just calls it a "custom" port that supports USB 3.1 Gen 1, 4K video over DisplayPort 1.4, and Asus' 20W "HyperCharge" technology.
Three ultrasonic sensors are located on the side of the ROG. In landscape, two of the sensors act as shoulder buttons and are programmable to trigger any on-screen action. In portrait, they work just like HTC's squeezable sides, allowing you to quick-access a phone feature, in this case the app drawer.
Of course, this runs Android—Android 8.1, to be exact—so any decent games for your gaming phone will be few and far between. Asus is mostly demoing the phone with the online shooter PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, one of the tiny handful of Android games that isn't a casual gaming snoozefest.
For those physical buttons and analog sticks, Asus teamed up with Gamevice to make a special grip for the ROG phone. This has everything you would expect from a console controller: dual analog sticks, a D-Pad, four face buttons, and four shoulder buttons. There's also a 60GHz 802.11ad Wi-Fi dock that can wirelessly beam your gaming content to a TV. Asus isn't providing a picture of the TV dock, though.
Yes, one may wonder why if there are no real high-end mobile games to take advantage of this hardware? Well, mobile gaming is certainly worth a lot of money and if you can up the standard and be in early, who knows maybe it is a good bet to make from Asus' perspective. If the hardware becomes available maybe the developers take advantage of it?
|Asus’ insane gaming phone has 3 USB ports, clip-on cooling fan
Asus' Republic of Gamers division built a smartphone and a ton of accessories.