ASUS producing a gaming smartphone is one of the more esoteric news stories at the Computex 2018 trade show this year. To fire a shot right across the bow of Razer, ASUS is putting its ROG credentials on display: a speed-binned Snapdragon 845 running at a higher frequency than the standard S845 smartphones, a higher-than-standard 90 Hz refresh rate display with 1ms response time and 108% DCI-P3 gamut, programmable ultrasonic AirTrigger sensors, force feedback, and additional docks for purchase. One of the key elements is that ASUS built this phone with an 11mm thickness, well beyond the 7-8mm we see on flagship smartphones today. They have put that additional volume to incredible use for extra battery, more haptics, bigger speakers, more connectivity, and it's a showcase of what we could see if other smartphone manufacturers offered a bit extra z-height.

The 6-inch 2160x1080 AMOLED display is paired with the high-performance Snapdragon 845 SoC, 8GB DRAM, 128GB and 512GB of UFS 2.1 storage, along with a 4000 mAh battery, 20W ASUS Hyper Charge, support for 24-bit audio, and Corning Gorilla glass. One of ASUS’s key marketing points is the use of ASUS Aura RGB lighting, with the company stating that this is one of the first phones (if not the first) to fully exploit RGB in this way.


Comparing the size of the LG V30 (left) and ROG phone (right). It's big

For control, ASUS will be adding three ultrasonic air touch sensors – two shoulder triggers being the main ones. These are designed to be fully programmable and are more sensitive with haptic feedback.

With the AeroActive cooler, which is bundled with the phone, aside from an additional fan to help cool the phone and sweaty fingers, it provides an extra USB Type-C connector which is side mounted for direct charging, HDMI output, Gigabit Ethernet, and headphones.


Bundled AeroActive Cooler, attaches to side port


How the cooler is inserted

ASUS will be offering the ROG Phone with a series of accessories, including a TwinView Dock to convert the machine into a dual-screen hand-held console. The Dock also offers front-facing quad-speakers, two extra physical trigger buttons, better haptic feedback, an enhanced cooling system, and a 6000 mAh extended battery back. 

The Mobile Desktop Dock, another accessory, allows the phone to be connected to a 4K monitor, mouse, keyboard, and wired gigabit networking.


Desktop Dock, Rear

The Gamevice controller and the WiGig dock, also to be available, focuses on 802.11ad wireless display connections as well as a dual analog stick gaming – like a console

.

ASUS ROG Phone
Processor   World’s fastest, speed-binned 2.96Ghz octa-core Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 845 
Mobile Platform
GPU   Qualcomm® Adreno™ 630
UI   ROG Gaming UI
Display   6.0“ 18:9 (2160x1080) AMOLED 
90Hz refresh rate with 1ms pixel response time
108.6% DCI-P3 color gamut
10000:1 contrast ratio
Capacitive touchscreen with 10-point multi-touch (supports Glove Touch)
Discrete image processing chip support HDR display – gaming, video & images
Dimensions   158.8 x 76.2 x 8.6mm
Weight   200g
Battery   4,000mAh
Memory   LPDDR4 8GB RAM
Storage   UFS 2.1, 128GB / 512GB
Sensors   Accelerometer, e-compass, proximity sensor, Hall sensor, ambient-light sensor, fingerprint sensor, gyroscope, 2 x ultrasonic AirTrigger sensors
Wireless connectivity   802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ad 2x2 MIMO; Wi-Fi Direct and Wi-Fi Certified WiGig® 802.11ad wireless display support
Bluetooth® 5.0
GPS   Supports GPS, aGPS, Glonass, BeiDou
I/O ports   Side: 
Custom USB-C™ 
Supports USB 3.1 Gen 1 / DP 1.4 (4K) / fast charging (QC 3.0 +QC 4.0/PD 3.0) (15W) 
ASUS HyperCharge direct charging

Bottom: 
USB-C™
Supports USB 2.0 / fast charging (QC3.0/PD3.0) (20W) / Direct Charge
3.5mm headphone jack
Front Camera   8MP
Main Camera   12MP + 8MP (120° wide-angle)
Voice Wakeup   Yes
Speakers   Dual front-facing stereo speakers with smart amplifier
24-bit/192KHz Hi-Res Audio
DTS Headphone:X™ 7.1 virtual surround-sound
Qualcomm® aptX™ High-definition Bluetooth® wireless audio
NFC   Supported

More information as we get it at the show, hopefully with some hands on.

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  • eastcoast_pete - Monday, June 04, 2018 - link

    If ASUS gets the plum 845 chips (top bin), doesn't that automatically mean that every other brand gets what's left in the bin? So, the very "premium" Samsung Note 9 (premium as in likely to cost > $ 1000 in the States) will get the so-so 845 chips? I know I am being a bit facetious here, but Qualcomm might want to avoid that impression, if they want their largest customers (Samsung, LG, HTC/Google) continue to be their largest customers. If I would be parting with that kind of cash for a phone, but I don't want the ASUS ROG phone, knowing that somebody else is getting the primo chips and I am not would probably make me quite unhappy. Luckily, I won't be buying such gear this year, and can watch this from the sideline. Reply
  • erwos - Monday, June 04, 2018 - link

    Every chip manufacturer does this, and it has been a practice for at least 30-40 years now. It's not a big deal. As long as the chip in your phone can safely run at the speed the manufacturer claims it can (and it does!), there is zero impact to you. The only people who could even theoretically be impacted are overclockers, and they are a fraction of the market that is not even worth mentioning. Reply
  • ZeDestructor - Tuesday, June 05, 2018 - link

    This isn't Asus' only SDM845 phone. Assuming they volumes line up, they might be binning entirely internally. Reply
  • eastcoast_pete - Monday, June 04, 2018 - link

    Forgot to ask: Related to this ROG phone that looks great on specs, but awaits actual release for purchase. Has anybody seen a RED Hydrogen phone in the wild, or seen a an actual review of one? The specs on that thing sounded amazing, and RED's cameras certainly make for an impressive pedigree, but is their phone actually out there? Appreciate any updates - Thanks! Reply
  • erwos - Monday, June 04, 2018 - link

    Engadget had a review a few days ago. Not my cup of tea, but I think it could be huge for the photography crowd. Reply
  • 29a - Monday, June 04, 2018 - link

    I've been saying for years that we need cellphone docks to turn them into desktops. Why does the phone have split storage? Why not just 640GB? Seems like a pointless pain in the ass to have two drives. Reply
  • Makaveli - Monday, June 04, 2018 - link

    When I read the storage specs

    Storage UFS 2.1, 128GB / 512GB

    that tells me its 128 or 512GB

    How is it split?
    Reply
  • 29a - Monday, June 04, 2018 - link

    "The 6-inch 2160x1080 AMOLED display is paired with the high-performance Snapdragon 845 SoC, 8GB DRAM, 128GB and 512GB of UFS 2.1 storage, along with a 4000 mAh battery, 20W ASUS Hyper Charge, support for 24-bit audio, and Corning Gorilla glass."

    From the article. Maybe I'm reading it wrong.
    Reply
  • 29a - Monday, June 04, 2018 - link

    I just read the Asus press release and it is worded clearer. The press release says up to 512GB. Reply
  • flyingpants1 - Monday, June 04, 2018 - link

    STEREO SPEAKkers?!?!!! YESSSSS!!!!!!!!!

    Good phone. I know pixel has front speakers too, but I've been waiting for something like this.

    All it needs now is waterproofing, wireless charging, SD card, extended battery (5000mah for 10mm...), Ultra low power CPU, flexible screen (easy replacement)... I've been waiting long enough for a real phone.
    Reply

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