ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro Impressions | A Multi-Class Flagship

The ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro has come out to play.

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After revealing a bounty of new tech at CES and announcing a local launch, ASUS Republic of Gamers was quick to follow up by unveiling their new mobile gaming beast, the ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro. This new device is featured in their ROG Phone 8 series in lieu of their usual “Ultimate” variant. It may be too soon to say if they will actually release a more decked-out Ultimate version, but “going pro” doesn’t sound so bad–given what you’re getting.

Having gotten our hands on one ourselves, we can say that this pivot was an interesting move. We have the notion that this version of the ROG Phone just might be expanding its territory just a bit. It doesn’t seem like your usual gaming phone–and that’s what intrigues us the most.

Check out our quick unboxing here.

The ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro right out of the box will surprise you–and not for reasons you’d expect. Doing away with the gaudy, gamer aesthetic, we get a simple, yet sleek design that would likely confuse you at first glance. Is this really an ROG Phone? From the outside, it’s a bit hard to tell, given how it doesn’t scream cyberpunk and lacks the usual “armor plating” exterior. Aside from a few familiar markings, it’s like you’re staring at a totally different phone.

It’s also an improvement–in our humble opinion.

 

While it appears less ostentatious and clearly thinner than its predecessor, it’s still quite hefty–and feels sturdy. The matte finish is a nice touch, and fingerprints won’t be bothering you anytime soon. Another interesting change comes with the camera’s positioning. Instead of the horizontal cut-out occupying most of the top backside, we get some nice corner placement for its all-new camera system comprised of a 50MP main shooter, a 13MP Ultra-wide, and a 32MP telephoto lens.

You can guarantee we’ll have fun testing it out.

We also get some new accessories like a 65W HyperCharging brick and the AeroActive Cooler X which comes with a nice pouch. It connects easily enough and has some sweet lighting to boot. Speaking of lighting, instead of the usual LED, the ROG Phone 8 Pro comes with backside AniMe Vision–a feature introduced in ASUS ROG’s laptops. It’s definitely something more minimalist, and something we definitely appreciate.

Moving on to the front, we get a 6.78″ AMOLED display with a snappy 165Hz refresh rate. Colors pop, and navigating through different apps is smooth as butter. Up top, we have a 32MP punch-hole lens. Navigating back and forth is where the ASUS ROG feels¬†kick in. Now, you can tell that you’ve got a premium, top-specked, ROG Phone in your hand. It’s that “familiar-but-oh-so-new” vibe that kicks in–especially if you’ve been an ROG Phone user for years.

Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t fire up at least one game–before going all out in succeeding days. After tinkering a bit with the patented Armory Crate and downloading one of the most demanding mobile games to date, we’re off to the races. Right out of the box, and without adjusting any of the settings, we’re getting some nice gameplay with Honkai: Star Rail. This is expected, though. We’d be surprised if the ROG Phone 8 Pro struggled at all. Still, it’s interesting to see how much it would improve if we lower said graphical settings–or how much of an effect cranking everything to max would have.¬†

There’s a lot to play around with–and that’s an understatement. From customizability to straight-up gaming, the ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro has a lot to offer from the get-go. We’re still very much intrigued by their move to ditch the overly gamer-esque aesthetic and go instead with a more subtle design. This is automatically a flagship, after all. Could this be ASUS ROG’s open challenge to smartphones in their price range? Are the gaming phones in its immediate vicinity no longer their only competition? We’ll find out soon enough.

The ASUS ROG Phone 8 series is coming soon. If you want to stay up to date and catch it when it drops, stay tuned to the official Facebook page.