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Meet the ASUS ROG Phone 3 - 2020's Pinnacle of smartphone gaming?

OPPO
We take a closer look at the new ASUS ROG Phone 3 with the Snapdragon 865+ SoC, 144Hz display, and 64MP triple-rear cameras.
ROG Phone 3

The third-generation ROG Phone has finally arrived with the Philippines. Like its predecessors, it continues to pack the bleeding edge in specifications like the 7nm Snapdragon 865 Plus octa-core processor, Adreno 650 GPU, 12GB/16GB LPDDR5X RAM, 256GB/512GB UFS 3.1 storage, 6,000mAh battery with 30W HyperCharge, and a 144Hz FHD+ AMOLED display.

Let's see how it performs!


Meet ASUS ROG Phone 3

Inside the ROG Phone 3 Box
Inside the ROG Phone 3 Box

The ROG Phone 3 comes in a familiar triangle-like packaging that slides into two main compartments. The bottom compartment carries the phone while the top houses the inclusions. These include the bumper case, SIM ejector tool, USB-C to 3.5mm headphone jack dongle, braided USB-C to USB-C cable, 30W Charging brick, ROG Aero Cooler 3, spare rubber port caps, ROG stickers, and documentation.
Netflix trailer on screen
Netflix trailer on-screen

When you turn on and set-up the ROG Phone 3 for the first time, you will be asked whether you want to use the classic Zen UI or the ROG UI. You can also change its letter in the Themes tab. 

The display 6.59-inch 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 6 protected AMOLED screen w/ 144Hz refresh rate, HDR10+, FHD+ 2340 x 1080 resolution at 391 ppi. It is bright and vibrant. Users have a choice between Default, Natural, Cinematic, Standard, and Customized color modes. Users can even tweak the color temperature of the display with a warm to cold slider.
Top and Bottom
Top and Bottom

On top of the ROG Phone 3 are two Antenna lines with one microphone port while at the bottom are two more Antenna lines, a microphone port, and the USB Type-C.

Left and right side

On the left side of the ROG Phone 3 is the SIM tray and a rubber cover that protects the secondary USB Type-C port.

While on the right of the ROG Phone are the two Air Triggers, Power button, microphone port, and volume rocker.
AnTuTu and GeekBench scores
AnTuTu and GeekBench scores

Inside the ROG Phone is the 7nm 3.1GHz Snapdragon 865 Plus octa-core processor, Adreno 650 GPU, 12GB/16GB LPDDR5 RAM, 512GB UFS 3.1 storage.


Monster performance, as expected!

In benchmarks, it was able to reach top tier scores. In AnTuTu, the ROG Phone 3 is one of the few phones who breached the 625K mark.

In games like COD, Mobile Legends, and NBA 2K20, we were able to play at the highest graphics settings while getting at least 60 fps. We even played games on Facebook live that you can watch below:


In terms of battery there is an internal 6000mAh battery with 30W HyperCharge. 
PCMark Battery Benchmark
PCMark Battery Benchmark

The internal 6,000mAh battery while running on the 144Hz refresh rate constantly lasted for over 12 hours and 31 minutes in our usual PCMark battery benchmark test.

In our experience with the ROG Phone as a daily driver with calls, text, constant WiFi/Data connection, the ROG Phone was able to last through the day from 8AM to 8PM with only 12 to 15 percent battery left with the 144Hz refresh rate consistently turned on until power saving mode after hitting the 20 percent mark.
Rear-facing camera
Rear-facing camera

At the back of the ROG Phone 3 are the 64MP f/1.8 main camera, 13MP f/2.4 125-degree ultra-wide-angle camera, 5MP f/2.4 macro camera, and an LED flash.
ROG Phone 3 camera app
ROG Phone 3 camera app

The ROG Phone 3's camera UI features modes like Photo, Video, Pro, Pro Video, Timelapse, Motion Tracking, Portrait, Night, Pano, and Macro.

The Pro Phot and Pro Video modes allow controls for ISO (25-3200), Shutter Speed (1/10,000-32 secs), AF, White Balance, and EV (+-2).

Slo-Mo modes include 4K/120fps, FHD/240fps, FHD/120fps, HD/480fps.

Rear Camera Samples

The ROG Phone 3's rear cameras can take great photos with good detail and with saturated colors that are pleasing in daylight and in indoor situations. All cameras are not good in low light and the night mode needs improvement.

Take a look at the images below.
rear main camera daylight
Rear main camera daylight
Rear ultra-wide camera daylight
Rear ultra-wide camera daylight
Rear main camera indoor
Rear main camera indoor
Rear ultra-wide camera indoor
Rear ultra-wide camera indoor
rear main camera close-up
Rear main camera close-up
Rear main camera low light
Rear main camera low light
rear ultra-wide camera low light
Rear ultra-wide camera low light
rear main camera night mode
Rear main camera night mode
Rear ultra-wide camera night mode
Rear ultra-wide camera night mode

As mentioned above, the ROG Phone's rear cameras perform well in daylight but struggle in low light. Even the Night Mode needs to be improved as the image has a lot of noise.
The front-facing camera on the top bezel
The front-facing camera on the top bezel

In front of the ROG Phone is a 24MP f/2.0 selfie camera on the upper right side of the top bezel.

The selfie camera app features only Photo, Video, and Portrait modes. In the portrait mode, there is a Beautification slider with levels 0 to 10. It does not specify what it does but from our experience, it smoothens and whitens the face. There is no separate control for whitening and for softening.
Selfie camera daylight
Selfie camera daylight
Selfie camera daylight with background blur
Selfie camera daylight with background blur
Selfie camera indoors
Selfie camera indoors
Selfie camera low light
Selfie camera low light

The rear cameras can record video at 8K/24 fps, 4K/60fps, 4K/30fps, FHD/60fps, FHD/30fps, and HD at 30fps. Only the 4K/30fps, FHD/60fps, FHD/30fps, HD/30fps can record with both the ultra-wide and main rear cameras.

There is a HyperSteady mode with a large crop and is limited up to 1080p/30fps only.

The front-facing camera can record up to FHD/60fps, FHD/30fps, and HD/30fps.

The rest of the features

Refresh rate and power button customization
Refresh rate and power button customization

The ROG Phone 3 connects wireless thru WiFi 6, 5G, 4G LTE, and Bluetooth 5.1. It supports GPS, GLONASS, and Dual SIM. It has an in-display fingerprint scanner, face unlock, 7-magnet stereo speakers, and 4 microphones.

ASUS has baked in features for customization of the power button and the display refresh rates.

ROG Phone 3 Specs

Display: 6.59-inch 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass 6 protected AMOLED screen w/ 144Hz refresh rate, HDR10+, FHD+ 2340 x 1080 resolution at 391 ppi
CPU: 3.1GHz 7nm Snapdragon 865 Plus octa-core processor
GPU: Adreno 650
RAM: 12GB/16GB LPDDR5
ROM: 512GB UFS 3.1
Back Camera: 64MP f/1.8 Sony IMX686 w/ PDAF + 13MP f/2.4 w/ 125-degree ultrawide-angle + 5MP f/2.4 w/ macro + LED flash
Selfie Camera: 24MP f/2.0
Battery: 6,000mAh battery w/ 30W ROG HyperCharge
OS: Android 10 w/ ROG UI
Connectivity: WiFi 6, 5G, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.1,  NFC, GPS (L1 + L5 dual-band), GLONASS, dual SIM
Sensors: Accelerometer, light, orientation, proximity, gyroscope, sound, magnetic, ultrasonic
Others: In-Display fingerprint sensor, face unlock, 7-magnet stereo speakers, dual NXP TFA9874 smart amplifier, GameFX, Dirac HD Sound, Hi-Res Audio, 4x microphones w/ ASUS Noise Reduction Technology, 2x USB-C
Dimensions: 171 x 78 x 9.85 mm
Weight: 240 g
Price: PHP 49,995 (12GB), PHP 54,995 (16GB)

Quick thoughts

ROG Phone 3

The ROG Phone 3 Classic Edition starts at PHP 49,990 and it is loaded with bleeding-edge specs like the 144Hz AMOLED display, Snapdragon 865+ SoC, 12GB/16GB LPDDR5 RAM, 512GB UFS 3.1 storage, 6000mAh battery with 30W ROG HyperCharge.

Added gaming-focused features like the Air Triggers and the RGB all aim to improve the gaming experience.

But aside from that, what impressed us is the amount of stuff inside the box. A lot of manufacturers have been slowly reducing the items included but ASUS has managed to pack the external cooler, extra side port caps, USB-C to 3.5mm headphone dongle, bumper case, and stickers.

Our only concern with it is the mediocre low light camera performance and that the 144Hz display is sucking a lot of battery. Otherwise, the ROG Phone 3 is great for what it was designed for.

For mobile phone gaming enthusiasts, the ROG Phone 3 offers great performance for the price and more.

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