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ROG Phone 8 Unboxing, First Impressions, and Camera Samples

OPPO
Infinix
We take a closer look at the new ROG Phone 8 with an all-new IP68 3rd generation design, an all-new camera system, and Snapdragon 8 Gen 3.
ROG Phone 8 Unboxing, First Impressions and Camera Samples
Sleek new design

ASUS Republic of Gamers has made it their mission to revolutionize what you expect to get from a gaming phone with the new ROG Phone 8. The world's first IP68-rated gaming phone.

It features a 165Hz 6.78-inch flexible AMOLED screen, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 octa-core processor, an Adreno GPU, LPDDR5X RAM, UFS 4.9, and a 5,500mAh battery with 65W HyperCharge and 15W Qi wireless charging.

At the back of the ROG Phone 8 are the 50MP main camera with a 6-axis Hybrid Gimbal Stabilizer, a 13MP ultra-wide, and a 5MP macro camera. While in front is the 32MP selfie camera with RGBW sensor.

Compared to the previous generation, the ROG Phone 8 is sleeker, slimmer, and easier to hold while achieving an IP68 water and dust resistance rating.

In the Philippines, it is expected to arrive soon.

Let's dive in.

Unboxing/Accessories

ROG Phone 8's outer packaging
ROG Phone 8's outer packaging

It comes in a massive black packaging with the ROG Phone branding and decals. Around the box are the key specs, features, and regulatory information.
Box inclusion part 1
Box inclusion part 1

Inside the box are several compartments that contain the following: ROG Phone 8 with a plastic screen protector, documentation, bumper case, SIM ejector tool, USB-C to USB Type-C cable, and the 65W wall charger.
Aero Active Cooler and carrying case
Aero Active Cooler and carrying case

Aside from the usual, it comes with the AeroActive Cooler X cooling fan attachment and a carrying case.

Impressive packaging with plenty of usable items inside

The new AeroActive Cooler X features a 2.6x larger cooling chip area while being smaller overall which should improve active cooling of the smartphone.

There are no included earphones inside the box.

Build Quality/Design

ROG Phone's all-new rear design
ROG Phone's all-new rear design

The frame is made of metal while the front and rear panels are made of glass. The curved rear panel is frosted which makes it resistant to fingerprint smudges but is still slippery.

There is no word yet if the inner screen has any form of protection.

Generally, the phone's design is immediately eye-catching for its all-black aesthetic, sleekness, and minimal but impactful gaming-themed touches.

Like the previous generation, it features a secondary ROG Vision matrix display that can showcase animations, logos, notifications, battery level, and the like which adds to the customizability and function of the phone.
Very nice display even if it has a punch-hole
Very nice display even if it has a punch-hole

The exterior features the aforementioned 6.78-inch E6 Flexible AMOLED with an FHD+ resolution, a 2,500 nits peak brightness, and up to 165Hz refresh rate.

Very nice display even if it has a punch-hole

The previous generation features slim size bezels but thicker top and bottom bezels to make room for the front-facing stereo speakers on both sides. The ROG phone has slimmed down the bezels significantly and moved the speakers to other locations.
Top and bottom sides
Top and bottom sides

On top of the phone are the antenna lines and a microphone port while at the bottom are more antenna lines, a microphone port, a USB-C port, a SIM tray, speaker grills, and a 3.5mm audio jack.
Top and bottom sides

On the left side are the Air Triggers, microphone port, metal volume rocker and metal power button while on the right are more antenna lines, and a USB-C port.
Close-up of the left Air Trigger, volume rocker, power button and microphone port
Close-up of the left Air Trigger, volume rocker, power button and microphone port
SIM tray with rubber gasket
SIM tray with rubber gasket

The SIM tray can carry up to two nano-SIM cards. It has a grey rubber gasket that aids in its IP68 water and dust resistance.
Rear camera module
Rear camera module

At the back of the phone are the 50MP f/1.9 main camera with a 1/1.56-inch Sony IMX890 sensor and 6-axis Hybrid Gimbal Stabilizer 3.0, a 13MP f/2.2 120-degree ultra-wide camera, and a 5MP macro camera and an LED flash.

The stock camera app's modes include Photo, Video, Portrait, Pro, Pro Video, Night, Time-lapse, Slo-Mo, Pano, and Light Trail.

The Pro mode allows for controls of ISO (25-3200), Shutter Speed (32 seconds to 1/10,000 sec), EV (+-2), Focus, and White Balance. Users can also switch between ultra-wide, 1x, and 3x digital zoom.

First Camera Samples

Rear main camera 1x
Rear main camera 1x
Rear main camera 2x
Rear main camera 2x
Rear main camera 3x
Rear main camera 3x
Rear main camera ultra-wide
Rear main camera ultra-wide

The images taken with the main camera (1x, 2x, 3x) and the ultra-wide are very good. The sharpness and detail are there while the contrast is deep. The colors were nearly accurate to the scene but could use a hint of vibrance to add a little more life to some of the areas.

The camera crops into the sensor to achieve the 1x, 2x, and 3x because the vanilla ROG Phone 8 does not have a telephoto camera.
Main camera Close-up
Main camera Close-up 

The rear camera's close-up shot is interesting. The middle of the image is sharp and detailed but there is a huge fall-off in the corners where the sharpness drops significantly. Otherwise, the colors and contrast are good.

On the punch hole is the 32MP selfie camera with an RGBW sensor.

Camera modes for the selfie camera include the Photo, Video, Portrait, and Night mode.
Selfie daylight
Selfie daylight
Selfie portrait
Selfie portrait

The selfies produced are sharp, and detailed with deep contrast and vibrant colors. It struggled with getting the skin tones accurate. The results were skin tones that were warmer than we would like.

While the portrait mode produced surprisingly impressive results. The edge detection is spot on. It was able to deal with fibers and the ears well.

As of now, the cameras take good images but could use tweaking to be great.

ROG is proud to introduce that the ROG Phone 8 features a centered SoC design. This means that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is placed in the middle of the phone's body. Alongside are the Boron Nitride and a rapid-cooling conductor that quickly conducts the heat from the SoC directly to the cover giving it a 20 percent increase in thermal efficiency.

Inside is the 5,500mAh Battery which supports a 65W HyperCharge wall charger and 15W Qi Wireless charging.

Other key features of the phone include an in-display fingerprint scanner, face unlock, Dual SIM, NFC, Bluetooth 5.3, 5G, LTE, WiFi 7, LDAC, AptX, AptX HD, USB-C 3.1 Gen 1, DP1.2, NFC, and 3.5mm audio jack.

Running the show is Android 14 with the option to choose from near-stock to ROG-themed visuals. Like recent versions of ROG's Android skin, it is snappy, fluid, and fast but with additional features that focus on gaming like the Armory Crate.
The new AeroActive Cooler X
The new AeroActive Cooler X

Included in the box is the AeroActive Cooler X. It works with the ROG Phone 8's centered SoC design, Boron Nitride, and rapid cooling conductor to efficiently cool the phone better once installed. Like the previous generation, it adds additional trigger buttons and RGB lighting.

As of the moment

Web surfing on the ROG Phone 8
Web surfing on the ROG Phone 8

Out of the box, we already love the new ROG Phone 8 because it addresses the majority of our concerns with the previous generations including the design, build, and camera system.

Not only did ROG redesign the body to add an IP68 water and dust resistance, but they also improved the cooling by using a centered-SOC design with Boron Nitride and a rapid cooling conductor which the company claims to offer 20 percent thermal efficiency that works even better with the new AeroActive Cooler X.

The thinness was made possible because of the super slim 5,000mAh Silicon Carbon battery with 65W HyperCharge.  Not to mention it's lightweight despite having metal and glass.

The E6 Samsung panel is bright at 2,500 nits with vibrant color, deep contrast, and crisp text.

What surprised us even more was the great out of box camera performance for a gaming smartphone.

Let's not forget the powerful stereo speakers, the 3.5mm audio jack, and the amount of included accessories.

If the price is right, the ROG Phone 8 is looking to be one of the more value-for-money smartphones of early 2024 and this is just our first impression.

Stay tuned.

What do you guys think?

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