Just as the company had teased, ASUS today took the wraps off the ROG Phone 3, the latest iteration of its gaming smartphone. The announcement comes on the heels of Lenovo's own gaming phone, and internally, a lot is shared between the two.
The ASUS ROG Phone 3 sports Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 865+ chipset with clock speeds up to 3.1GHz, paired with up to 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 512GB of UFS 3.1 storage. The new chipset means the phone now supports 5G, but only on sub-6GHz networks. Powering all that is a massive 6,000mAh, which is still one of the biggest you can find in a smartphone, which you'll probably need thanks to the new 144Hz display.
The screen is the same size as last year's model, at 6.6 inches diagonally, with a 21:9 aspect ratio, but the refresh rate has gone up from 120Hz to 144Hz. ASUS offers plenty of configuration options, though, so you can set the display to 60Hz, 90Hz, 120Hz, or 144Hz depending on your needs. Audio has been upgraded, too, with a dual-speaker stereo setup that got a 75 score from DXOMark's Audio test, the second-highest score for a phone (trailing the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro by one point).
To address the extra heat generated by having 5G and a higher refresh rate, ASUS says it designed a new cooling system, with a heatsink six times larger than the previous generation to help dissipate heat. The whole cooling system uses multiple layers of cooling elements, and as usual, there's a vent on the back to help release hot air.
Another notable upgrade is in the AirTriggers on the side of the phone, which are meant to be used in landscape mode. They now support features such as gestures or motion controls, so you can swipe across the touch area or shake the phone for additional controls. Plus, each of the touch areas can be divided into two, so you can effectively get two shoulders triggers on each side of the phone.
The camera setup now features three cameras, the main one being a 64MP sensor, along with a 13MP ultra-wide camera and a 5MP macro lens. Video recording is also better with support for 8K, and even slow-motion video at 4K and 120fps.
The overall design of the phone is very similar to last year's, including the side-mounted USB Type-C port, so many accessories like the TwinView Dock and the ROG Kunai controller are still supported. Other accessories, such as cases, have been redesigned for the new phone.
Alongside the ROG Phone 3, ASUS also announced a Strix Edition of the phone, with a Snapdragon 865, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. Pricing and availability weren't announced for either model, though.
ASUS also announced a new ROG Strix X16 portable monitor, which can be used with the ROG Phone 3. It has a 144Hz refresh rate, too, so you get a similar experience in terms of smoothness, but it's an IPS panel. Of course, you can also use it with a laptop when you're on the go, for example, and it can conenct via USB Type-C or micro-HDMI. The USB Type-C port can also charge the monitor, which will last about three hours on a charge otherwise.