Asus ROG Phone 3 seriously levels up the gaming phone series

It’s a good week for anyone interested in a new gaming phone. As well as the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel, we’ve also had the Asus ROG Phone 3 unveiled in the last 24 hours, giving you more choice than ever for high-spec, gaming-focused handsets.

Following on from last year’s Asus ROG Phone 2, the new and updated model adds 5G, Wi-Fi 6, and faster internals, and while the size of the AMOLED screen remains the same at 6.59 inches, the refresh rate has been upgraded to a super-smooth 144 Hz. The display is running at a very respectable 1,080 x 2,340 resolution as well.

The Snapdragon 865 Plus CPU powering the phone is the fastest mobile chip that you’re going to see in an Android phone this year, and that’s paired with a wide choice of spec configurations – all the way up to a huge 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage, if you need it. Those figures are more what you would expect from a laptop.

Battery capacity is the same as last year at 6,000 mAh, though that still beats most of the competition, and again it can be charged from the side (the bottom of the phone if it’s in landscape mode), so the charging cable doesn’t interrupt your gaming. An integrated heat sink and vapor cooling system combine to prevent overheating, and 30-W fast charging is supported (but no wireless charging).

The key spec upgrade is the Snapdragon 865 Plus processor packed inside
The key spec upgrade is the Snapdragon 865 Plus processor packed inside


As in previous years, Asus has applied a host of software tweaks on top of Android to appeal to gamers, optimizing performance and reducing bloat – the upgrades include improved screen recorder and in-game stats tools. If you have time for taking photos, there’s a triple-lens 64-MP + 13-MP + 5-MP camera on the rear, and a 24 MP selfie camera on the front.

The so-called AirTriggers that let you use the corners of the phone as controller buttons have been improved on the ROG Phone 3. They now support swipes as well as presses, and there are extra customization options too. The phone also comes with dual front-facing speakers, but there’s no headphone jack.

Also of note this year are the sheer number of accessories that Asus is promising: a snap-on fan for extra cooling (which adds a headphone jack too), a wireless keyboard, an official gamepad, headphones, a portable display, and a display dock that adds a second screen (which is useful for keeping touch controls separate from the actual game).

It’s certainly a strong contender in an increasingly busy gaming phone market, especially in terms of the raw specs. Asus has said the ROG Phone 3 will arrive in the US in September, but we don’t yet have a price – its predecessor had a starting price of US$899.99, so that gives you some idea of where this one might land.

Product page: Asus Rog Phone 3

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