Asus ROG Phone 3 Review

ROG 3 Review
ROG 3 Review

Asus recently launched ROG Phone 3 in India. This gaming phone comes with several improvements over the predecessor and aims gamers who want no compromise in performance. I have been using this phone for the last 10 days as my daily driver.

Asus has made a few more improvements in the design as compared to previous ROG Phone 2. The phone is tall and has considerable top and bottom bezels for stereo speakers. The bezels are also necessary to avoid accidental taps while holding the phone in landscape mode.

The right side of the phone houses the power button and volume rockers along with two ultrasonic keys called AirTriggers. All the side buttons are easy to reach and offer satisfying feedback. The left side has a dual SIM slot and an accessory port to include fans and other phone accessories. There’s also a USB port to charge the phone or add the headphone when you are holding the phone in landscape mode.

ROG Phone 3 still comes with glass build but the vent on the back now takes lesser space. The Big ROG logo with RGB lightings.

The phone has Gorilla Glass 6 on the front and Gorilla Glass 3 on the back. The phone lacks IP rating but that is due to the design limitations. The phone is a bit slippery and weighs 240 grams. Asus also provided a plastic case included in the box.

ROG Phone 3 features a large 6.59-inch AMOLED display with 2340×1080 resolution and 19.5:9 aspect ratio. There’s no notch or hole-punch cutout, so there’s no interruption or distraction. The high aspect ratio gives a large viewable area. The display looks excellent, It offers nice Viewing angles is crisp with spot-on color accuracy The display can go up to 650 nits outdoors and remains readable in outdoors. The phone supports HD video playback in apps like Amazon Prime Video and Hotstar. It also supports HDR video playback on Netflix and YouTube at 1080p. So, you can enjoy high-quality video content on this brilliant display.

ROG 3 Review

The display supports a maximum refresh rate of 144Hz. The high refresh rate makes the display smooth. You can also select one from 144Hz, 120Hz, 90Hz, and 60Hz refresh rates. There’s also an “Auto” mode that tries to keep the refresh rate as high as possible for keeping smoothest possible experience. A high refresh rate consumes more battery, so Asus has included a large battery to compensate that.

In Settings, you have an option to customize the display settings. You can select one from different color modes, change the color temperature or color matrix. The device also has -Blue-Light certification from TÜV Rheinland that means blue light emission from the display won’t cause eye fatigue.

The ROG Phone 3 runs Android 10 and offers you the option to choose ROG UI or ZenUI. Both are excellent skins with near stock-version of Android. ROG UI has gamer-centric icons and wallpaper along with an AI system to manage memory and recommends apps. The ZenUI is for non-gamers.

The phone has X-Mode that can be activated by adding a game to Armoury Crate app. You can use the Armoury Crate app to configure several things like performance levels, touch/sliding sensitivity, refresh rate and more things for better gaming. There’s another ROG UI feature called GameGenie us also really helpful while gaming. It lets you perform several things like toggle the refresh rate, record game’s video click, clear background processes, customize crosshair, live stream the game on YouTube, setup AirTrigger and block notification without leaving the game.

The ultrasonic touch buttons called AirTrigers have been updated to give you more controls. Each AirTrigger can be divided into 4 shoulder buttons. It also now supports vertical or horizontal slide to give you more control. Asus has also added a monition control where you can shake the phone to trigger an action. These extra controls can give you a massive competitive advantage if used efficiently.

ROG Phone 3 is the first phone in India to come with Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus mobile platform. Asus has paired this Soc with 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 512GB of UFS 3.1 storage on the standard model. On the specs sheet, this is the fastest Android available in the market right now. The phone also manages to perform as per expectations. Apps launch quickly and swathing from one to the app to another remains smooth. Not a single lag I faced while using this phone as my daily driver even if there could be several apps running at the same time. This is a gaming phone, so talking about gaming performance is a must. This phone comes with a smoother and responsive display along with a powerful processor. So the gaming experience is really good. It handles all the games well I played and the experience was nearly perfect. With AirTriggers, you can take your gaming performance to the next level.ROG 3 Review

Asus has also added advanced hardware cooling solution to effectively keep the temperature of the phone low to give you long intensive gaming sessions without affecting performance.

ROG 3 is a gaming phone and gamers look for performance, not the camera. Still, the camera performance is up to the mark. The 64MP main camera works well and produces good 16MP shots. The phone captures good photos with accurate colors and excellent dynamic range.

The portrait mode offers good bokeh and you can control the amount of background blur. It also works well with non-human subjects. You can also use beauty tweaks in portrait shots. The camera can go up too 8x including lossless 2x zoom.

The wide-angle camera also performs well and captures good shots. Photos come with a general softness but look good. HDR auto mode on ultrawide produces good results.

The 5 megapixels macro camera is just fine and you won’t get any extraordinary results from this fixed focus sensor. You need to be careful about the distance of the camera from the subject if you want good shots. When you try to capture a closeup shot using the regular photo mode, the camera app hints that you should switch to macro mode. This is helpful.

 

The camera performance is average in low light. Photos captured in low light come with little noise in most shots. The night mode products some good shots and the camera app is smart enough to understand when to use night mode. Depending on the scene, night Mode can produce good results.

There’s a Pro mode to give you more control over the photography. If you know how to use it, you can use this camera in a better way.

The phone has 24 megapixels Quad-Bayer sensor for selfies. Even if it is a fixed-focus camera, the focus distance is well to give you good selfies. Selfies come with good details, nice colors. The sharpness is also well. You can also capture Portrait mode shots on selfies and the result is good. Low light selfies are also fine. So, overall selfie experience on this phone is good.

The camera can record up to 8K@30fps videos and 4K@120fps slow-motion videos. You can choose an encoder of your choice. Choose h.264 for the best possible quality and dynamic h.265 if you want clips to consume less space. The ultrawide camera can record up to 4K@30fps but the videos recording using the ultrawide camera aren’t as good as in primary sensor.

I am really impressed with the video stabilization. Even if there’s no OIS, the 3-axis EIS system impresses. It is even available with 8K videos and works well. There’s also a HyperSteady mode for more stable videos but it is limited to 1080p videos. Videos recorded in this mode are really good and you get stable videos without compromising in quality. ROG Phone 3 can capture HDR video but it is limited to 4K. HDR video clips are good.

Low-light videos are also decent and you get fine videos even in challenging lighting conditions.

The selfie videos are really good but the crop is an issue that I personally faced. You will have to either use a selfie stick, monopod, or stretch your arm to gull length to get a face fully in frame. That’s the only issue with the selfie camera. Videos recorded using the selfie camera offers good quality and EIS does a good job.

Asus has included dual front-facing speakers. These have 7 magnets as opposed to 5 on the ROG Phone II. Each speaker is powered by a dedicated NXP TFA9874 smart amplifier. The phone also features Dirac’s HD Sound Technology. Speakers perform well and sound is also loud without any noticeable audio distortions or clipping. There’s also the AudioWizard app with 7-band customizable equalizer with 6 equalizers presets to fine-tune audio.

The phone is Hi-Res Audio (HRA) certified and also supports High-quality Bluetooth audio codec including aptX, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, LDAC, and AAC.

The phone also has 5G with support to Sub-6 and no mmWave but that’s of no use until 5G network is available. Other option are Dual-Band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac/ax and Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi 6E, Wi-Fi direct, GPS BeiDou and NavIC. It also has Bluetooth 5.1 and Type-C. Call quality on the phone is excellent and I didn’t face any issue while using the phone. Earpiece volume is loud enough to keep having conversations on a busy street.

The phone packs 6000mAh large battery, but it also has a power-hungry 5G modem and 144Hz display to drain the battery faster. Still, Asus has managed to optimize the phone in a really good way. Even if you do a lot of gaming, this phone can easily offer a full day battery backup with a screen-on-time of around 9 hours at high brightness. If you use it as a regular phone, you will get a battery backup of around two days. This battery takes around 2 hours from charging from 0 to 100% using the charger provided in the box. The phone supports 30W HyperCharge technology that isn’t as fast as other fast charging tech found in other flagship phones. But limiting the charging to just 30W allowed Asus to pack a larger battery and this also help in maintaining battery longevity. The phone lacks wireless charging and it may disappoint a few people.

Asus ROG Phone 3 comes with powerful performance, strong audio performance, buttery smooth display, and gaming-specific design and strong battery backup to make it the best choice of mobile gamers. But the phone is still good enough for non-gamers who want a good phone for enjoying video content, a capable camera, and a good daily driver.

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Asus ROG Phone 3

8.6 Score

"Asus ROG Phone 3 comes with powerful performance, strong audio performance, buttery smooth display, and gaming-specific design and strong battery backup to make it the best choice of mobile gamers."

The Good

  • Powerful performance
  • Brilliant Display
  • Long battery backup
  • AirTriggers
  • Good day light camera
  • Impressive selfie camera
  • Impressive video recording

The Bad

  • Average low-light camera
  • No IP Rating

Breakdown

  • Design 75%
  • Display 90%
  • Performamce 90%
  • Gaming 95%
  • Camera 75%
  • Battery 85%
  • Value for money 80%