July 18, 2024
ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro

The goal of ASUS’s ROG Phone 8 Pro series is to expand upon the gaming community that was the natural target of earlier ROG phones. Fundamentally, it remains a gaming smartphone with a few special features that set it apart from rivals across all price points. The most recent ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro, on the other hand, has a simpler and thinner design. Additionally, a renewed emphasis on cameras has resulted in a wider appeal.

It is powered by Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC, which supports UFS 4.0 memory standards and LPPDR5X. Additionally, a version of the ROG Phone 8 Pro with up to 24GB of RAM is available, which is extremely amazing and unheard of for a smartphone. Does it mean it’s the most powerful (and valuable) smartphone available in India?

Verdict

With its updated cameras and design, the ASUS ROG 8 Pro acquires a distinct advantage that even non-gaming users may find appealing if performance is a top concern. It is still primarily a gaming gadget, though, and is best suited for avid players. It is extra accessories and built-in AirTriggers make the entire gaming experience incredibly worthwhile—possibly unmatched. Although it has good cameras, there is room for growth in terms of native editing features and detailing.

Design and display

With good reason, ASUS says that the ROG 8 Pro series boasts the “biggest” redesign in its history. It is approximately 15% thinner and 9% lighter than the ASUS ROG Phone 7 at 225 grams and 8.9 mm in thickness. The back camera module is precisely positioned in the upper right corner after being downsized. Despite having fewer curves and a satin-like surface than the previous generation, the back still manages to look inconspicuous, even to non-gamers. There’s a white variation that looks just as good as the black version, which is stylish.

Using the built-in Armoury Crate software, users may customize the AniMe Vision lights to respond to particular notifications. It’s also a useful feature for viewing alerts and the clock when the phone is lying screen-side down. Additionally, there is a version of the ROG 8 Pro that retains the traditional gaming looks that ROG laptop owners are accustomed to, with RGB Aura lighting on the ASUS logo on the back.

On the new ASUS ROG smartphones, a few additional things don’t change. For example, it still has two USB-C connections so that customers can connect and charge external devices like the AeroActive Cooler at the same time. For a gaming experience akin to a console, the right side has integrated AirTriggers that rely on haptic motors and specific touch sensors.

Moving on, the ASUS ROG 8 Pro boasts one of the most feature-rich displays of any smartphone. It has a large 6.78-inch AMOLED display with a refresh rate of up to 165 Hz, a touch sampling rate of 720 Hz, and Full HD+ (2,400 x 1,080 pixels). With extremely thin bezels and a display-to-body ratio of 94%, the viewing experience is clear and immersive. Additionally, it has the smoothest scrolling of any smartphone I’ve used. Gorilla Glass Victus 2 is an additional durable option that can offer further protection, particularly in the event of unintentional falls. It is still prone to scratches, though, as I discovered when reviewing it.

Interestingly, the ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro‘s screen does not provide the appropriate dim levels in low light, yet provides ample brightness even in direct sunshine. Although there is an “extra dim” option, it is not very helpful.

Both gameplay and performance

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC from Qualcomm powers the ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro, as was previously announced. For Rs 1,19,999, the device I’m reviewing has 1TB of USF 4.0 storage and 24GB of RAM, which may sound like too much memory and too expensive. You might want to look into the entry-level model, which comes with 512GB of storage and 16GB of RAM, for Rs 94,999. Even the most ardent players will find the latter adequate.

The ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro easily outperforms all rivals in Geekbench and AnTuTu based on numerical data. Despite using CPDT for its dedicated RAM benchmark, the ROG Phone 8 Pro maintains its height. Based on the figures, the iQOO 12, which costs half as much, is the most similar device to the ROG Phone 8 Pro. Crucial gaming features like AirTriggers and specialized accessory support are absent from the latter, though.

Performance is also much improved by attaching the AeroActive Cooler, however, it is not the most ergonomic attachment. With X mode on and BGMI running at 90 frames per second for almost 20 minutes with fluid visuals, the phone remained 33 degrees Celsius thanks to the AeroActive Cooler. Remember, this was at a time when temperatures in most of Delhi reached 45 degrees, making air conditioners less efficient. If using AirTriggers gets tedious, the attachment features tactile buttons. Convenience is the main factor, however, I still like AirTriggers better.

There isn’t much to complain about with the ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro‘s performance outside of gaming. With the phone’s stock Android build, lag-free performance is to be expected. Its innate AI and gen-AI functions aren’t very productive though. AI tools are being used to enhance photos and for gaming (AI Grabber is used to extract text directly from games). However many productivity-focused users would like native AI services like live transcribing or object removal from photos.

In that scenario, the Pixel 8 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra continue to lead in terms of software experience.

Cameras

While cameras weren’t the first emphasis on previous ROG Phones, they are with the ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro. Three cameras are housed in the rear camera system: a 13MP ultra-wide camera, a 32MP telephoto camera with optical zoom and OIS, and a 50MP camera with OIS. There is a 32MP camera on the front.

Without question, the specifications and performance of the back cameras have improved. The majority of images taken with the ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro have a neutral white balance and natural colors. The phone does a great job controlling shadows and contrasts, which results in extremely dramatic and Instagram-worthy shots. The color constancy in images captured by the front, telephoto, ultra-wide, and wide cameras particularly pleased me.

In low light, I observed a comparable performance. In low light, the ROG Phone 8 Pro maintained a minimal amount of noise while effectively balancing light and color. As a result, when you enlarge, details may be lost.

At best, the video performance is passable. Good stability was provided by the ROG 8 Pro during full-HD recording; however, in 4K, that would suffer. The front camera can only record in 1080p at 30 frames per second. ASUS might have added recording at least 60 frames per second.

Battery

The ROG Phone 8 Pro’s comparatively smaller battery unit is one of the reasons it became lighter and narrower this year. Rather than a 6,000mAh battery, it has a 5,500mAh one. However, a 5,500mAh battery is still a very decent size for a smartphone.

The ROG Phone 8 Pro achieved a respectable score of approximately 10 hours (with flight mode active and 50% brightness and music) in the PCMark battery test. In reality, though, the phone ran on the highest settings—including AniMe Vision lights—for an entire day. You may simply extend the backup with moderate use.

The ROG Phone 8 Pro required about 50 minutes to fully charge from 20 percent of its supplied 30W charger. The phone is compatible with 65W charging.

Final verdict

The ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro is still best suited for gamers, but it can be regarded as a “massy” smartphone with its updated design and cameras. Thanks to an overclocked Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC and the newest memory standards onboard, it can also be the perfect smartphone if you want to experience unmatched performance.

Nevertheless, the ROG Phone 8 Pro has not yet unlocked native Gen AI functions; for that, the Samsung Galaxy S24 (review) or Google Pixel 8 Pro (review) series may be superior. The iQOO 12 (review) is a great option if you’re on a small budget and still want a gaming-focused gadget with a respectable degree of camera emphasis.

However, the ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro outperforms its competitors if performance and design are important to you and you want the smoothest scrolling experience possible.

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