Both prior models started at $900 when they launched, so it's safe to assume it'll be at least that much — possibly more, thanks to the notoriously pricey Snapdragon 865+ it's packing. Around front, there's a big, 6.59-inch display. Pair that much memory with the 865+, and you've got a phone that's absolutely unflappable. Note: We may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site, at no extra cost to you. We’re awaiting confirmation from Asus, and we’ll update this section once we know more. If that wasn’t enough, Asus has gone a step further by providing PC-esque control of the SoC, giving users the ability to either overclock the CPU and increase the throttle limit to boost performance and produce a sustained high frame rate, or underclock it to lengthen battery life and keep the phone cool. ROG Phone 3 release in America. Asus has learned to better straddle the line between playful and loud, and I appreciate that. You’ve even got access to a 480fps slow-mo video mode, and the ability to capture 4K time-lapses too. But for all the (frankly surprising) finesse in the ROG Phone 3's software, I've got one critical hangup: it's out of date. Officially announced all the way back in July, the gaming-friendly Asus ROG Phone 3 5G is finally in stock and available for quick delivery stateside starting at $999.99. There are certainly big improvements compared to ROG Phone 2, offering an upgraded 144Hz refresh rate and 10-bit HDR10+ support. At 6000mAh, it’s among the largest batteries on any smartphone right now - Asus claims it wanted it even bigger, but couldn’t do so without tweaking the dimensions of the phone. To accommodate its gaming-oriented flourishes, the ROG Phone 3 forgoes modern conveniences like wireless charging and IP-rated water resistance. More notable than its resolution, the display's refresh rate can be pushed all the way up to a blistering 144Hz. But look closer, and you can't miss the funky camera module, the cooling vents, and the REPUBLIC OF GAMERS branding. In the interest of transparency, I have to confess: I'm not big on the gamer aesthetic. I wouldn't bother springing for the upgrade, though — the base model has 12 gigs, and even that is more than any mobile game can make use of. If you have to ask, no. On paper, at $900, it's not a good buy for most people. The ROG Phone 3 has been officially revealed by Asus, but with more leaks than a sinking ship in the run-up to the event, it’s not really a surprise. If you don’t mind not having the fastest experience possible and want to save a bit of cash, the Asus ROG Phone 3 Strix Edition may be the one to go for. © Copyright 2020 IDG Communications Ltd. All Rights Reserved. But nagging flaws more expected from budget phones make it hard to recommend to any but the most ardent mobile gamer. If you really want to up the 1337 factor, you can set the RGB ROG logo to light up in practically unlimited ways. Not a big difference. It might seem underpowered compared to the flagship model, but even the Strix Edition is enough to give most 2020 flagships a run for their money, and at a great price too. Lewis Painter, Senior Staff Writer One of the more interesting optional accessories is the new TwinView Dock 3, providing a second 144Hz display to game on. Don’t be too disappointed - there are plenty of other great gaming phones available in the UK for you to choose from. It's also running an old version of Android, and there's no indication of when it'll see an update. Personally, past 90Hz, I think returns diminish pretty quickly — 60 to 90 feels like a huge leap, whereas 90 to 144 is practically imperceptible. Macro performance isn't particularly impressive. The only real letdown in the ROG Phone 3's panel is that it's a little uneven; when it's dim, grays appear grainy. Asus being Asus, it wants to do everything to the extreme, and that’s why the ROG Phone 3 can record at [email protected], more than the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, along with [email protected] on both the front- and rear-facing cameras. I'm just not sure whether that person exists. I squeezed six hours of mixed-use screen time out of the 6,000 milliamp-hour cell with the display set to 144Hz. 'Classic' is pretty close to a stock experience. While not the main focus for gamers, there’s also an upgraded camera setup available. For someone who lives and breathes mobile gaming and to whom price is no object, someone who doesn't care about getting increasingly common quality-of-life features and is unbothered by the prospect of their device missing security patches (to say nothing of OS updates), the ROG Phone 3 might still be a good purchase. Right: No fan. The famed AirTrigger technology has been upgraded with the ROG Phone 3, now offering the ability to split each touch button into two, and you can also integrate new gestures - like swipes and motion-based gestures - to bring more functionality to the buttons. It's currently sitting at a 5.5/10 rating on our update tracker, and its standing probably won't improve considering last year's ROG Phone II has missed seven updates. There’s also a range of accessories, all sold separately, to further enhance the high-end gaming experience Asus wants to offer, including the AeroActive Cooler 3 and the ROG Kunai 3 Gamepad. They've all got goofy Xtreme graphics, but they're often genuinely helpful, assuming you're playing games on this phone (and if you're not, you're probably using it wrong). That said, compared to prior generations of ROG Phone, the 3 is surprisingly subdued in its design: at a glance, with its customizable light-up logo off, the phone doesn't necessarily shout "games!" Other $1,000 phones are also all but guaranteed to be water resistant and offer wireless charging, and they probably take better photos, too. The Asus ROG Phone 3 may not look too different on the surface, with the same overall design and gamer-esque Aura RGBs on the rear, but there are plenty of upgrades on offer. There was no mention of UK pricing or availability during the ROG Phone 3 launch stream, suggesting that the gaming market either isn’t big enough or, more likely, it’s too competitive for the relatively expensive ROG Phone - especially when you can get the likes of the Red Magic 5G, complete with the same 144Hz refresh rate of the ROG Phone 3, for only £539. You'll also find him on the Tech Advisor YouTube channel. By Having shoulder buttons in mobile games is a treat. Just enter your email below. 30 June 2020: Launch event on 22 July suggested This story was originally published 2020/09/23 6:30am PDTon Sep 23, 2020 and last updated 2020/10/11 8:11am PDTon Oct 11, 2020. 2 July 2020: Asus ROG Phone 3 launch date official Asus has confirmed that the ROG Phone 3 will be revealed on 22 July. These are Asus's trademark AirTriggers, pressure sensors that act as shoulder buttons during gameplay. It's entirely possible that the fan would have a more pronounced impact on prolonged performance — Asus says it can lower the phone's surface temperature by up to four degrees Celsius — but the ROG Phone 3 performs perfectly well without it already. I didn't expect miracles out of the ROG Phone 3's triple camera setup, and I didn't get any. While the ROG Phone 3 was revealed today, 22 July 2020, Asus didn’t mention the release date during the reveal livestream. There are a number of gaming-centric software enhancements built in, like the ability to silence different types of notifications while games are open. It's not something you'll notice very often, but it's a pretty amateur blunder, particularly for a device where the display is such a focus. The phone comes with ROG UI on top of the Android 10 operating system. Still, it's sharp enough unless you're really looking for flaws. The selfie camera has also seen an upgrade, with a 24Mp sensor. Right: Night mode. "Default" includes more gamer-oriented accents, like an icon pack that makes system app icons look like skeuomorphic buttons and a default wallpaper that looks like a close-up of a Bay-style Transformer. Last year’s ROG Phone 2 wasn’t released until September 2019, meaning we may be waiting until September 2020 for the ROG Phone 3 to finally go on sale. There's also a notification LED above the screen — a throwback a certain set of enthusiasts still go nuts for. Asus more or less left Android alone here — if you choose the "Classic" software experience during setup, anyway. Learn more. But for all the (frankly surprising) finesse in the ROG Phone 3's software, I've got one critical hangup: it's out of date. The ROG Phone 3, launching soon in the US, pairs top-shelf internals with custom hardware and software tailored to creating an excellent gaming experience — and that laser focus on performance means it's great at other things we all use our phones for, too. The side port is also in a better location for charging the phone while you play games. There are new customisable battery-saving profiles on offer, providing granular control over the background apps and the hardware, along with new battery care options (including slow charge and charging limiter) to extend the life of the battery. All in all, this Asus device is a powerful phone with a premium design and build. At the heart of the ROG Phone 3, you’ll find the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus alongside the Adreno 650 GPU and either 12- or 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM, providing incredible power for mobile gamers and super-fast 5G connectivity. The root cause of the launch delay in the US and North America was that it couldn’t get approved to use 5G. You can get some okay shots with enough light — I love the picture of the bee below — but generally speaking, you'd be better off cropping in on a photo from the primary camera. Touch latency is also down to 25ms, and there’s an improved 270Hz touch sampling rate for improved touch response times. You’ll get the exact same hardware as the standard ROG Phone 3 - the only difference is in terms of power. It features a heatsink 6x bigger than that of the ROG Phone 2, along with a redesigned 3D vapour chamber and a larger graphite film. Our resident Apple expert, Lewis covers everything from iPhone to AirPods, plus a range of smartphones, tablets, laptops and gaming hardware. No wireless charging or water resistance. I only wish wireless charging were an option — I think that would be more use to more people than the RGB lighting on the phone's rear.