ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro hands-on: Close to perfection

I’ve at all times been a fan of gaming telephones, and nobody does a greater job on this phase than ASUS. I acquired to use all of the units within the ROG Phone sequence, and whereas they delivered excellent efficiency, there have been two issues that prevented these units from gaining extra mainstream consideration: the design wasn’t actually refined, and the cameras have been a definite afterthought.ASUS is wanting to tackle these shortcomings with the ROG Phone 8 sequence. You do not get the identical aggressive styling any longer, with the model as an alternative providing a way more reserved design that makes these units nearer to mainstream telephones from Samsung, Google, and Xiaomi. I used the ROG Phone 8 Pro as my day by day driver for simply over per week now, and here is why you want to concentrate to the system.ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro: Design(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)The greatest distinction with the ROG Phone 8 Pro is the design; you now get a clear design on the again, with a two-tone end on the usual ROG Phone 8 and a matte texture that appears incredible on the ROG Phone 8 Pro. There’s nonetheless ROG branding and a few textual content on the again — GLHF, Dare to Win, and so forth — but it surely is not seen till you are a couple of inches away from the system.(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)Basically, the design is all grown up, and whereas I used to be a fan of the aggressive styling of years previous, I’ll agree that this design aesthetic seems rather more trendy, and makes the telephones interesting to a considerably wider userbase. Thankfully, ASUS nonetheless retained RGB lighting, however that is restricted to the ROG Phone 8; the Pro model will get a dot matrix panel as an alternative that is dubbed AniMe Vision.(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)The better part in regards to the display on the again is that you could disable it completely, and doing so makes it invisible — there is no approach to inform it has a second panel on the again that reveals notifications, cost stage, and incoming calls. And no, there is not a mannequin that has the ROG Vision panel on the again, however ASUS could debut one other variant down the road. Fingers crossed.(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)The ROG Phone 8 is the thinnest and sleekest telephone within the sequence by a big margin, and that is instantly noticeable when utilizing it subsequent to the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate. It is simply 8.9mm thick, and at 225g, it’s considerably lighter to maintain and use. The design additionally sees flatter sides, however with refined curves the place the again meets the mid-frame, and this makes utilizing the telephone an absolute pleasure.(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)ASUS additionally lavished a variety of consideration on the entrance, decreasing the scale of the bezels to a big diploma. More than the rest, this variation places the ROG Phone 8 on par with the very best telephones when it comes to the design. And whereas it’s thinner and lighter, ASUS nonetheless someway managed to present a 3.5mm jack, not like nearly each different model. And sure, you continue to get a second USB-C charging port on the left aspect.(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)On the entire, it is a acquainted design that has been modernized, and truthfully, ASUS did an excellent job. Talking about positives, the ROG Phone 8 boasts a variety of firsts — it has upgraded cameras, together with a 50MP predominant lens, 13MP wide-angle, and 32MP zoom module with 3x optical zoom, and what I notably like is that it will get IP68 mud and water resistance. This is a large deal on a gaming telephone, and once more, performs into ASUS’s narrative that it’s focusing on a mainstream viewers.(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)Just these additions would have been sufficient to flip the ROG Phone 8 into the very best gaming telephone of 2024, however ASUS additionally added 15W wi-fi charging to the system. You get 65W USB PD charging as properly, and you should utilize any of the 2 USB-C ports to cost the system.ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro: Screen(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)The ROG Phone 8 Pro has a 6.78-inch AMOLED display that goes up to 165Hz, and it’s brighter and extra vibrant than what we acquired in earlier fashions. But the largest differentiator is that it now makes use of LTPO tech, so it seamlessly switches from 1Hz all the way in which to 165Hz based mostly on the content material on the display. This is a giant deal, and it brings the ROG Phone 8 Pro nearer to the likes of the Galaxy S24 Ultra and Xiaomi 13 Ultra on this regard.I additionally just like the thinner bezels across the sides, and the transfer allowed ASUS to shrink the size of the system whereas nonetheless providing a display of the identical dimension as earlier years. Color vibrancy and distinction ranges are sensible out of the field, and the display is a delight to use. ASUS put in a variety of work to make the system excel at gaming, and excessive refresh fee gaming is phenomenal on the telephone.ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro: (*8*)(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)ASUS is aware of a factor or two about {hardware}, and the ROG Phone 8 Pro has what’s arguably the very best {hardware} package deal of any telephone I used to date. It is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, and it makes use of an revolutionary cooling system to ship excellent efficiency. A whole lot of manufacturers use liquid cooling, however nobody does nearly as good a job as ASUS on this regard.ASUS sells the system in three storage variants: 12GB/256GB, 16GB/512GB, and 24GB/1TB. I’m utilizing the 24GB/1TB mannequin, and whereas the RAM is overkill, I’m glad there’s loads of storage — I switched to it from the Pixel 8 Pro and its paltry 128GB of storage, and there is considerably extra headroom on this system.The 5,500mAh battery is not as massive as what we acquired final 12 months, but it surely’s nonetheless greater than sufficient on the system. I’ll share extra particulars in my evaluate, however what you want to know now’s that the ROG Phone 8 Pro has a terrific {hardware} package deal.ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro: More to come(Image credit score: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)There’s rather more to discuss in regards to the ROG Phone 8 Pro, however I’ll reserve that for the full-fledged evaluate. The cameras specifically are significantly better than earlier years, and the 50MP Sony IMX890 lens has confirmed reliability. The software program can also be among the many better of any telephone immediately; ZenUI has a clear interface with none bloatware, and also you get intensive customizability.The solely draw back is that the telephone will get simply two platform updates. I bugged ASUS for years to change its stance, however the model solely ensures two Android OS updates together with 4 years of safety updates. That’s not almost sufficient when you think about most different manufacturers provide 4 OS updates as commonplace, with the Pixel 8 sequence going up to seven.There is not a lot of a distinction between the ROG Phone 8 and the Pro mannequin, with the latter getting the 24GB/1TB variant and the AeroActive Cooler X out of the field. There are variances with the design, however aside from that, you get the identical {hardware} and cameras on both system.Availability has been a difficulty with ASUS previously, and the model notes it’s going to do a greater job in that space in 2024. Overall, the ROG Phone 8 Pro is popping out to be an early contender to one in all my favourite telephones of 2024, and the adjustments to the design and upgrades to the {hardware} make it a wonderful alternative if you’d like a telephone that not solely excels at gaming, but in addition takes nice images, and has all of the extras.

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