Asus ROG Phone 8 Hands-On: First Impression

After its debut at CES 2024, we had the opportunity to get our hands on the authentic Asus ROG Phone 8, the version that will be available for purchase in the US and UK. This groundbreaking phone offers many impressive new features that enhance the overall user experience. Let’s take a closer look at the ROG 8 in Rebel Grey to discover its outstanding features.

Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro review

Asus ROG Phone 8 Hands-On: First Impression

Design

The most noticeable difference between the Asus ROG Phone 8 and its predecessor lies in the device’s design and appearance. Asus, who had remained faithful to the symmetrical thick bezel design on the top and bottom for years, has now embraced the bezel-less trend. However, during gaming sessions, the software will automatically hide the top and bottom borders, ensuring a seamless gaming experience while reducing the overall size of the device.

Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro review

The Asus ROG 8 Phone has dimensions of 163.8 x 76.8 x 8.9 mm and weighs only 225 g, making it significantly more compact than the ROG Phone 7, which measured 173 x 77 x 10.3 mm and weighed 239 g. Precisely speaking, the ROG 8 is up to 1 cm shorter due to the removal of the top and bottom bezels, 1.4 mm thinner, and 14 g lighter, resulting in a noticeable difference during use. Overall, the dimensions and weight of the ROG Phone 8 are quite similar to the recently released RedMagic 9 Pro+, another impressive gaming smartphone model.

In addition to being more compact and lighter, the ROG Phone 8 has a slightly more squared-off shape and a larger camera cluster. It is also dust and water-resistant, meeting IP68 standards, making it suitable for daily use beyond gaming.

Features

The back of the ROG Phone 8 still features two halves but with simpler patterns compared to previous models. The bottom corner retains the illuminated ROG logo with an RGB backlight. In the ROG 8 Pro version, the screen utilizes 341 LED bulbs that can display changing content.

Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro review

As expected from a gaming phone, the ROG Phone 8 still includes two customizable buttons known as AirTriggers, located on the side of the device. The latest generation of the ROG Phone retains other elements, such as the headphone jack and two USB-C charging ports, including one on the side for both charging and gaming.

Furthermore, Asus has made improvements to the cooling system in the ROG Phone 8, known as GameCool 8, integrating a 360° SoC Cooling System Gen 2 design, resulting in a 22% increase in efficiency when combined with a separate cooling solution. Furthermore, the efficiency of the AeroActive Cooler X has undergone a 20% improvement.

Display

Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro review

The Asus ROG Phone 8 features a perforated edge-to-edge screen design for the front camera. The screen is 6.78 inches in size with a resolution of 1080 x 2400 pixels. It utilizes a 1 billion-color LTPO AMOLED panel with a refresh rate of 165Hz. The screen can reach a full-screen brightness of 1600 nits and a maximum brightness of 2500 nits. Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2 protects it for enhanced durability.

Camera

Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro review

It comes with three cameras: a 50MP main sensor, a 13MP ultra-wide camera, and a 5MP macro camera. The main camera supports “gimbal OIS” optical image stabilization, which is a notable new feature.

Performance, battery, software

The Asus ROG Phone 8 runs on the latest and most powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor for Android. It features an 8-core chip with 1×3.3 GHz Cortex-X4, 5×3.2 GHz Cortex-A720, and 2×2.3 GHz Cortex-A520. Additionally, it has 12GB of RAM and 256GB of UFS 4.0 memory.

Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro review

This configuration ensures smooth gameplay with high graphics settings. The device also boasts an improved cooling system and direct power supply, allowing for extended gaming sessions.

In order to achieve a more compact size and reduced thickness, the device’s battery capacity has been reduced from 6000 mAh to 5500 mAh. However, this is not a significant concern as the device is designed to supply power directly during gameplay.

Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro review

The Asus ROG Phone 8 comes pre-installed with Android 14 and offers an almost uncustomized interface for a smooth user experience. It also includes additional features and customizations for gaming, such as trigger buttons and compatibility with the company’s accessories.

Pricing and availability

The ROG Phone 8 comes in Rebel Grey and Phantom Black colors and the ROG Phone 8 Pro Edition & Pro comes only in Phantom Black.

  • On Amazon.com, the 16GB + 256GB model of the ROG Phone 8 is priced at $999, while on Amazon.co.uk, it is priced at £949.99.

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Asus ROG Phone 8 and Phone 8 Pro specifications

  • Display: 6.78-inch (2400×1080 pixels) Full HD+ 1-120Hz LTPO (max 165Hz for gaming) Samsung E6 AMOLED 10-bit HDR 20:9 aspect ratio display, up to 2500 nits brightness, 107.37% DCI-P3 / 145.65% sRGB / 103.16% NTSC, Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2 protection
  • CPU: Octa Core Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 4nm Mobile Platform with Adreno 750 GPU
  • RAM + ROM: 12GB / 16GB / 24GB LPDDR5X RAM with 256GB / 512GB / 1TB (UFS 4.0) storage
  • OS: Android 14 with ROG UI
  • Features: Dust and water resistant (IP68), 3.5mm audio jack, dual speakers, 5-magnet stereo speaker, Dirac Virtuo for Headphone Spatial Sound, Tri-microphones with ASUS Noise Reduction Technology, In-display fingerprint sensor, Dual SIM (nano + nano)
  • Rear camera: 50MP main camera with 1/1.56″ Sony IMX890 sensor, f/1.9 aperture, 6-axis Gimbal stabilization, 13MP ultra-wide camera, 32MP 3x telephoto sensor, OIS (8MP photos after pixel binning)
  • Front camera: 32MP front-facing camera, 90° FoV
  • Connectivity: 5G SA/NSA, Dual 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 7 802.11 be, Bluetooth 5.4, GPS/GLONASS/Beidou, Galileo(E1+E5a), QZSS(L1+L5), NavIC(L5), USB Type-C, NFC
  • Battery: 5500mAh (typical) with 65W Hyper charge fast charging, Quick Charge 5.0 and PD Charging, 15W Qi wireless charging
  • Dimensions: 163.8×76.8×8.9mm
  • Weight: 225g

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