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ROG Phone 8 Pro (Hardware) – Review

I’ve never really thought about mobile phones when it comes to gaming. I know they can do it, but it’s never been high on my list of priorities when I’ve been looking at upgrading, and I tend to stick to what I know, as I’m sure many others do. I’ve tried the fruity-flavoured brand, and in my previous life as a computer/mobile phone salesperson, I’ve tried Microsoft and Google, but deep down, Android always wins out, and of the various robot-logo brands I’ve tried, the biggest brand always wins out. At least, that was until I had a chance to play with the ROG Phone 8 Pro Edition, generously provided to us by ASUS ROG to have a bit of a play with, and now I’m questioning my choices.

Collecting the rather bulky package from the boss-man, I was quite impressed with the packaging. It may seem strange to be so excited by an oddly shaped box, but it left me feeling like I was carrying a premium product as I walked back to my car, and the anticipation as to what was inside was getting to be too much. Sure, removing an outer shell from a normal box isn’t overly difficult, and seeing your new phone sitting proudly as the lower portion drops into your hand is exciting, but this was something else.

Folding the top back, the ROG Phone 8 Pro Edition sits proudly in its sleeve, while a small cardboard drawer houses a thin protective case. A small box attached to the lid offers some additional protection to the phone, containing all of the standard paperwork such as warranty information and quick setup guides, as well as the SIM tray tool, and tucked neatly under the phone was a heavy power brick, a high-quality USB-C cable, and a strange contraption that I initially thought was a wireless charging stand, but that could all wait. I had a sleek new phone to play with.

Carefully lifting it from its cardboard housing and removing the plastic protective wrap, I carefully inspected the smooth glass panel and rolled the phone around in my hands. Compared to the packaging it came with, it was substantially lighter than I expected, weighing in at only 225 grams. It’s thin and comfortable to hold, with the only exception being the rear camera housing, proudly protruding a few millimetres from the rear panel, and housing three separate cameras and an LED Flash. As I continued to inspect the ROG Phone 8 Pro, I also noticed a second USB-C port located on the side opposite the power and volume buttons.

Placing the phone carefully on the table, I pulled out what I had assumed to be a wireless charger, only to notice that it housed a small fan and was designed to connect to the additional USB-C on the phone and securely clasp next to the control buttons. I was also curious about the additional buttons located on what would be the top of this device, should you be holding the phone in a landscape orientation while playing games. This device is the AeroActive Cooler X, a small cooling device to help keep the phone from overheating while gaming, adding an extra level of thermal efficiency to the already incredible GameCool 8 system, as well as what can only be described as shoulder buttons, perfect for playing mobile FPS games, but it was time to turn the phone on and get it set up.

Running Android 14, setup was incredibly easy – you just follow the bouncing ball; however, you are presented with the choice to either run this as any other Android device, or you can make use of the ROG UI. You can even tweak these preferences, such as retaining the normal Android feel, while still having some of the ROG UI settings, letting you dial in your experience to suit your needs. The ROG Phone 8 Pro Edition also includes Armoury Crate, which, much like its PC counterpart, allows you to adjust the performance of your device, dialling in the settings to maximise performance while playing games, or reducing the power consumption for those times you need that little bit of extra juice between charges.

I found the preset values were more than capable when it came to my needs, and simply touching the screen to set them was enough, but for those who like to get a little more involved, you can adjust the presets to suit your needs, just like you can on PC. AniMe Vision, much like on a gaming laptop I have previously played with, allows you to customise the 348 white LEDs on the rear panel. These can also be assigned to various applications on your device. They offer a variety of ready-made designs, as well as the ability to create and share your own, allowing you to personalise and bring life to your device.

The 6.78” FHD+ (2400×1080) AMOLED screen was beautifully clear, offering crisp detail and bright colours. Supplied by SAMSUNG, the Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2 display supports HDR10, up to 165Hz refresh rate, boasts a colour gamut coverage of 107% DCI-P3, 145% SRGB, and 103% NTSC, and a 10-point multitouch capacitive touch screen that was incredibly responsive to my inputs.

These factors gave me an advantage over my opponents – the sharp details meant I could clearly see them as they jumped around the map, the smooth frames allowed for more accuracy, and the responsive nature of the screen allowed me to take the shot when it suited me, not when it suited the device.

Furthering my advantage was the incredible speakers built into the ROG Phone 8 Pro Edition was the sound system. Multi-magnet dual stereo speakers off Hi-Res Audio up to 384kHz, driven by the AudioWizard mixer that comes with a variety of preset profiles, so sounds are crisp and delivered with a punch, and Dirac Virtuo for Headphones offers Spatial Sound should you have a set plugged into the 3.5mm connection, while dual ASUS Noise Reduction microphones allowed my communications to flow freely to other players, as well as offering a crystal clear phone call experience on the odd occasion I had to take a call.


The main camera, a 50MP gimballed Sony IMX890 with a 1/1.56” sensor, offers beautifully clear images with an aperture of F1.9 and an equivalent of 23.8mm focal length when compared to a 35mm film camera. A 32MP OIS camera offers up to 3x Optical zoom, letting you get that little bit closer to your subject, while the third 13MP camera offers 120-degree ultrawide-angled shots. Even the front-facing selfie camera offers an amazing 32MP and 22mm focal length.

If you’re more interested in video, the main camera supports up to 8K (7680 x 4320) video at 24fps, as well as 4K60 on both the main and secondary camera, as well as supporting HDR10+, 4K UHD time-lapse, and slow motion up to 120fps, or up to 480fps should you drop down to HD 720p. The selfie camera is a little more basic, but still offers FHD (1920 x 1080) 30fps recording., and you’ll have plenty of space to store these videos and photos alongside your games on the 1TB UFS4.0 drive.

A Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SM8650 Octa-core processor runs this device, with 3.3GHz and Qualcomm Adreno 750, while a massive 24GB LPDDR5X memory runs support. This significantly reduced the downtime as I loaded applications, whether I was loading a game or Facebook messenger, as well as keeping the phone running at peak performance while I had several apps running in the background. It was, for all intents and purposes, performing better than another handheld gaming device I have in my arsenal.

There is no doubt in my mind that ROG Phone 8 Pro Edition is an incredible phone, and I wish I had a chance to play with one sooner. The incredible display offers bright and vibrant images with butter-smooth animations, and the dual speaker system offers punchy audio, whether you’re taking calls, pumping out beats, or blasting opponents across the map. A combination of cameras offers a variety of high-quality image and video options, while the 1TB storage gives more than enough space to keep your favourite memories. I’m not far off upgrading my existing phone, and I know I’ll be keeping an eye on the ROG Phone 8 Pro Edition in the next few months.

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The Good

  • Incredible cameras
  • Crisp and clear display
  • Amazing sound quality
  • Insane performance
  • Incredible cooling, even without the AeroActive Cooler X

The Bad

  • The cameras protrude a little too much from the rear

Written by: Mathew Lindner


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