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Asus ROG Phone 3 review in 5 points: Some reasons to buy it, some why you should not

Asus ROG Phone 3 is the most powerful smartphone you can get in India. Of course, it is meant for heavy-duty gaming but can you buy it for reasons beyond gaming?

twitter-logoShubham Verma | August 4, 2020 | Updated 16:01 IST

Highlights

  • Asus ROG Phone 3 is now available to buy in India for Rs 49,999 onwards.
  • It is the most powerful smartphone you can get in India right now.
  • The Asus ROG Phone 3 is a gaming phone but it will also woo you otherwise.

Asus made a gaming phone back in 2018, a time when mobile phone gaming did not exist as a full-fledged category a smartphone can be dedicated to and people were happy with the kind of gaming their regular smartphone would offer. The ROG Phone changed that and made people want more to quell their gaming expectations. Three years later, Asus is doubling down on that sentiment with the ROG Phone 3. It is raising the bar for a gaming phone. But it is also keeping it low on the outside with the design to woo buyers who will come for things other than those meant for gaming.

ROG Phone 3 is a mix of both the immaculate hardware needed for gaming and the subtle design that can be otherwise appreciated without the connotations for gaming. It has the most powerful processor to date, a great display with a monstrous refresh rate, and the frills that somewhere define it as a gaming phone. The uber-cool nerdy design that ROG Phone 2 had has been toned down a bit and given to the ROG Phone 3 as it sets out to appeal buyers beyond gamers. I had used the ROG Phone 3 for a good deal of time and wrote whether its Rs 49,999 price tag is justified or not in this expansive review.

I am breaking down my review in five concise points, for those who want my two cents without having to spend much time. These points will cover the most crucial features and hardware the ROG Phone 3 has to offer in a summarised manner. But it will also miss out on intricate details that I have talked about in my review. Here are five pointers for you unless you want to skip those details.


1. Asus ROG Phone 3 has the most advanced processor there is on a smartphone to date. It is the Snapdragon 865+ processor that runs the show on the smartphone. With top hardware like this, you will love how fast ROG Phone 3 will work and get you through the everyday tasks without even a minor hiccup. But since we are also talking gaming, Snapdragon 865+ pushed the boundaries to get you the best of the best. The processor speed can be boosted to give the maximum performance, so you never have to lose a PUBG Mobile match because your phone couldn't handle it.


2. It is not a gaming phone unless its design is not a bit over-the-top. ROG Phone 3 has everything you would want your gaming phone to look like. It has an iridescent glass panel with a seam-like line partitioning it virtually. The cameras have sharp angles to their module and so do the two LED flashes. On the right side, there is a lot going on. I love how the small triangular transparent adds to that geeky look of the phone I have been talking about. But while all this seems so favourable for a gaming phone, it is well under the levels that ROG Phone 3 predecessors had. This means the design is also clean enough for people who don't want too much decoration.


3. Cameras are an important part of your decision to go for a premium smartphone. At Rs 49,999, Asus ROG Phone 3 is expensive. This means you have to be very sure about the kind of photography it will provide for its price. I clicked some photographs using the three cameras at the back and one on the front. The main sensor is a 64-megapixel camera from Sony, which is also used on several top-range flagship smartphones. The photographs are quite detailed and have a good amount of colour in them. Nothing looks washed or oversaturated. There is a bit of an issue with autofocus sometimes and the camera app is a bit complex. The ultrawide shots come out good but lack some details. Portrait shots are not great but not bad either. And the night mode is something that impressed me quite much. I also loved my selfies from the phone and they are also well-detailed except for a bit of warm tone in them.


4. Asus ROG Phone 3 display is the most advanced one you can get in India right now. It is a 6.59-inch AMOLED panel without notches or punch-holes, which I really like not to have for some time. (Note: I abhor those tiny tub-style notches.) The display has four refresh rates - 60Hz, 90Hz, 120Hz, and 144Hz (although a fourth 160Hz is available with some coding in the developer mode). The entire marketing hoo-ha over refresh rates is acceptable only to a reasonable point when you are someone who wouldn't play resource-intensive games on your phone. In your regular tasks, having a 90Hz refresh rate will do just fine and save your battery but when you are set for some heavy-duty gaming, the 144Hz rate kicks in with the X Mode setting. Everything feels so smooth and buttery that the entire gaming experience gets quite enjoyable. A higher refresh rate will deplete battery as much faster.


5. For my final reason, I would talk about the battery, which backs all of these high-performance activities. It is a 6000mAh battery that powers the ROG Phone 3: it is a good thing that the phone has so much power to run the things but there is a downside to it. ROG Phone 3 is hefty at 240 grams, making it one of the wieldiest smartphones out there. The battery is long-lasting enough to get you through a day with every setting set to the maximum. This means you can use the ROG Phone 3 with 144Hz refresh rate and maximum processor under the X Mode for the maximum part of the day and still have some juice left at night. Plus, there is 30W fast charging and two USB-C ports on ROG Phone 3.

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