A First Look: ROG Phone; Game Changer Indeed!

ROG Phone Kantotech
ROG Phone Kantotech

When ASUS launched their new Zenfone 5 series of smartphones here in the Philippines last April 2018, their top executives subtly confirmed the future of ROG and the ROG Phone, eventually joining the gaming-centric smartphones in the market like the Razer phone. Upon hearing this possible venture, honestly, we didn’t expect any physical product launching very soon as there’s little to no leaked information nor photos about this mystery ROG mobile phone. Hence, having no leaks or whatsoever could only mean that either it’s still too early to talk about this device, or there’s no device at all given that ASUS doesn’t have a good track record in keeping secrets about their upcoming products.

ROG Phone
ROG Phone

But today, ASUS surprised everyone with its official launch of the ROG Phone in Computex 2018 and boy we didn’t expect it would be this shockingly sexy and a beastly performer! What we were expecting was something that’s quite near with the existing Zenfone 5 looks, prepped up with few red and black color to mimic ROG notebooks color scheme, and backed-up with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 at the very least. But what ASUS showed today steps up 10x what everyone is imagining this device would look like!

Top features

Aside from the bold design, sharp edges and curves, and orange / rust accent color in the vents and grills, ASUS has introduced a lot of unexpected things that could make all mobile gamers go loco on this phone:

  • World’s fastest 2.96Ghz speed-binned Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
  • Innovative GameCool vapor-chamber cooling system
  • Ultrafast 90Hz display with 1ms response time
  • AMOLED screen with HDR visuals
  • Ultra-responsive AirTriggers and advanced haptics
  • Unique-handling design with side-mounted port

Specs and feature-wise, this device is a monster. In fact, this is the first device to score more than 300,000 in Antutu benchmark! That’s more than what the Samsung Galaxy S9, iPhone X, Razer Phone, and the Xiaomi BlackShark phone can score. ASUS even throw-in a 90Hz refresh rate display with a whooping 1ms response time! Though it falls short than the Razer phone’s 120Hz refresh rate, it’s the first device announced with this smooth and silky display response time.

We were also intrigued in the “Speed-binned” 2.9Ghz Kyro CPU of the Snapdragon 845 in this device as this is the first device that supports this CPU from Qualcomm. For easier understanding, we tried to look up what does speed binning mean and came along with this definition:

“Speed binning” is the process of testing identical hardware parts to various specific standards – the parts that meet the highest standard and are sold as faster products, the parts that meet the lower standard are sold as slower products.

Based on this and ASUS explanation, the Snapdragon 845 in the ROG phone which is boosted in an above normal clockspeed at 2.9Ghz compared to what we currently have in the market at 2.8Ghz is optimized for a full gaming experience. This means that the CPU is fully optimized with its memory, software, and heat management in the device to deliver the highest possible performance to the end-user.

ROG Phone benchmark
ROG Phone benchmark


With this great power, everyone would expect that heat would be a main issue. Thankfully, ASUS has come up with a cooling solution which in paper, would cool the device easily due to its vapor-chamber cooling. A vapor-chamber that is 16x larger than the standard cooling systems found on devices now in the market! This would result to 60% improved CPU cooling efficiency and 5x longer peak endurance for maximum performance. Another step that ASUS took to better improve the cooling of the ROG phone is by releasing an accessory called “Aeroactive Cooler” which you can attach to the phone to provide an extra cooling boost.

ROG phone with the Aeroactive Cooler
ROG phone with the Aeroactive Cooler attached


The device having this looks also sports the same gaming-centric software with its own icons and theme inside to complete the package. But do note that we noticed the eerie similarities between the software of the ROG phone with the current Zenfone 5 series excluding the on-device ROG gaming theme. Not a big deal and we were actually expecting this anyway.


The ROG phone was launched also alongside with new accessories which would definitely make it more appealing to mobile gamers worldwide. It could be used in a gaming PC-like setup through its Mobile Desktop Dock, plug it in a big-screen setup with the Gamevice & WiGig Dock, or have it docked in a Twinview Dock to have a handheld dual-screen setup anywhere! The Mobile Desktop dock, as you might expect, would extend your device screen to a monitor so you can play your favorite mobile games in a PC-like setup. While the Gamevice & WiGig Dock enable you to play your mobile games wirelessly so everyone can watch and use your device as your main controller. Lastly, but the most interesting accessory, the Twinview Dock, which is aimed for those who love to livestream their game or just have an extra canvass to extend their gaming display through a second screen built-in in the dock itself. Now that’s what you call fancy!

Mobile Desktop Dock (Top Left); Gamevice & WiGig Dock (Bottom); Twinview Dock (Top Right)

Currently, we don’t have any news about the release of the ROG phone yet here in the Philippines. In the meantime, we got a gallery for all photos we were able to take in a short time we spent with the device and its accessories:

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Check out the press launch photos here.