Nearly everyone who owns a smartphone has some sort of game installed on their phone – so why shouldn’t we have a more dedicated gaming phone on the market?"> Nearly everyone who owns a smartphone has some sort of game installed on their phone – so why shouldn’t we have a more dedicated gaming phone on the market?" /> Nearly everyone who owns a smartphone has some sort of game installed on their phone – so why shouldn’t we have a more dedicated gaming phone on the market?" />

An Honest Review Of The Asus ROG Gaming Phone

Nearly everyone who owns a smartphone has some sort of game installed on their phone – so why shouldn’t we have a more dedicated gaming phone on the market?

Well, Asus decided to throw their hat in the gaming smartphone ring alongside Razer, who released a competent gaming-centric phone last year. The Asus ROG phone will launch in Malaysia this early November at the prices of RM 3,499 and RM 3,999 for the 128GB and 512GB variant respectively.

The phone comes in a unique box.

Equipped with one of the latest and fastest chipsets, the Snapdragon 845, this smartphone is no slouch. However, Asus had to find a way to justify the somewhat hefty price tag, especially since other flagship phones such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, OnePlus 6 and Xiaomi’s Pocophone F1 all have the same Snapdragon 845 processer under the screen.

Here’s a quick rundown and review of most of the things that set the ROG phone apart from the rest, both good and bad:


Overclocked Processor

Of course Asus would overclock the processor to run faster on a ROG product. The ROG Phone’s Snapdragon 845 runs at 4×2.96GHz & 4×1.7 GHz, as opposed to the standard variant’s 4×2.8 GHz & 4×1.7 GHz. Quite impressive on a phone. While this is a great add-on on for the device, overall you really won’t feel that much of a difference when compared to other phones with the same chipset, especially in normal daily use.

Vapor-Chamber Cooling and Aero Active Cooler

Probably the real defining feature of the phone, the cooling systems for the ROG phone will stop you from dropping frames and cooking an egg on the back of your phone. With the detachable Aero Active Cooler fan (included in the box), the phone was always at a decent temperature and was able to play games like PUBG Mobile on the highest graphic settings with no problems at all when we tested the phone. The detachable Aero Active Cooler fan also gives an added bonus by allowing you to charge your phone from the side (bottom in landscape mode) as well as an extra headphone jack so that cables don’t get in the way of you playing any of your games. The only small complaint is the fact that the Aero Active Cooler blows hot air into your palms when playing. It’s not uncomfortable, but it might cause sweaty palms – so do be careful not to drop the phone.

Aero Active Cooler fan


Extra Side Port

As mentioned earlier, the ROG phone has the ability to charge from the left side as well as from the bottom of the phone. While we thought it was a great feature, we had to remove a little rubber plug that is both annoying to dig out and very easy to lose in order to access the port.


Other than that small annoying design issue with the phone, the ROG phone is well built and very pleasing to the eyes. This will be especially true for anyone who likes RGB, because what gaming accessory or device is not complete with RGB? The ROG phone, with its sleek glass and copper design, also includes the programmable Asus Aura RGB lighting (the ROG eye logo) on both the phone and the Aero Active Cooler. The colour possibilities are endless!

A well built and sturdy smartphone overall, the only complaint would be the phone is a little on the heavy side (200g not including the Aero Active Cooler), but is something you can get used to, seeing that it’s nearly identical in weight to the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (201g).

Two Front Speakers and HDR AMOLED 90Hz 1MS Display

For anyone who enjoys watching videos on their smartphone or playing fast paced games, you will definitely appreciate the two front facing speakers and the HDR AMOLED display. The sound quality is amazing for a smartphone, and the vivid and colourful screen is a blessing to any gamer. The only real issue is finding content and games that fully utilize the screen’s great abilities.

“Air Triggers”

Essentially pressure sensors on the phone that are similar to the squeeze function on the HTC U11 and the Google Pixel 2, this turns the ROG phone into a nearly a complete handheld gaming device. With the three such sensors on the phone (one on the left, two on the right), you essentially get left and right programmable triggers for gaming ( in landscape mode) or some extra functionality to your phone for daily use.

While not perfect and something you have to get used to (the Air Triggers are not physical buttons!) the Air Triggers are a welcome addition to a gaming phone. Not only does it give you more space to view the screen when playing, you don’t have to go out any buy those peripheral triggers we’ve seen some hardcore PUBG Mobile fans using. The only issue I personally had with Air Triggers was experimenting with different hand grip methods and trigger sensitivities to prevent finger cramps (Editor’s Note: the reviewer has big hands).



Battery life is not amazing and feels surprisingly average despite the ROG Phone having a 4,000mAh battery. Then again, this is somewhat expected with any gaming device. Running PUBG Mobile on max with the Aero Active Cooler, the ROG Phone lasted about 3-4 hours of straight gaming, and should easily last your a day of moderate normal use. On the bright side, at least charging is super fast (faster on the custom side port with Asus HyperCharge 0%-60% in 30 minutes) with the the included power brick and cable.



The camera feels very average for a flagship phone, but who actually cares about the camera on a gaming phone? The rear camera setup is a standard dual camera system, similar to what you can find on the Asus ZenFone 5.


No Expandable Memory

Like the OnePlus 6, what you buy is what you get. You won’t be able to expand the storage capacity of this phone with a microSD card, so do think carefully if you need the extra space when buying the ROG phone.



The only thing we regret we couldn’t review or test out was the list of accessories that are purchasable for the phone from Asus. The phone can really become a true gaming device with accessories like the Gamevice controller for RM349 (controller), Twinview Dock for RM 999 (a dock with another phone screen like Nintendo DS), and the mobile desktop dock for RM 599 which would allow you the plug in a monitor, keyboard and mouse for a truly portable gaming experience. While some of these may sound fun and exciting, we didn’t get to test whether these accessories are practical or just really for novelty’s sake.



The ROG phone is a solid device and an innovative gaming smartphone that looks to pave the future of gaming smartphones. The fact that a few companies have been trying to replace laptops with smartphones shows the direction that the market is heading in. Now would this specific ROG phone ever replace my other gaming devices or computer? Probably not any time soon. Though as an addition to a gamer’s life, if you’re in the market for a new phone and have the money to spare, then this might just be for you – plus it’s always going to be a great conversation starter when you whip this thing out in front of other gamers.