2018 is the year that mobile gaming started being taken seriously by manufacturers and developers alike. As well as bringing the likes of Fortnite and PUBG to mobile, manufacturers like Razer, Xiaomi and Asus are bringing game-focused smartphones to the market with the Razer Phone, Xiaomi Blackshark and now, the Asus ROG (Republic of Gamers) smartphone.
The Asus ROG smartphone was announced on 4 June 2018 at a press event at Computex, and confirmed previous rumours that it will be a gaming-focused smartphone.
Read our in-depth Asus ROG Phone hands-on review.
When will the Asus ROG Phone be released?
While we’re still not quite sure of the release date, a Geeksnipper report citing Taiwan insiders claims that Asus is planning to launch a ROG-branded gaming-focused smartphone at Computex 2018, at some point between 5-9 June 2018.
While a press event on the 4 June 2018 announced details surrounding the phone, we are still no wiser on a release date as the best we got was the word 'shortly'.
While that would usually mean it’d go on sale soon afterwards, Asus doesn’t have the strongest track record when it comes to UK releases. Let’s take the Asus ZenFone AR as an example; the phone was announced at CES 2017 in Las Vegas, but didn’t go on sale in the UK or the US until seven months later in August 2017.
It’s a similar story with the Asus ZenFone 5Z; the smartphone was revealed at MWC 2018 in Feburary, but the smartphone is yet to launch in the UK with Asus only stating that it’ll be available “later this year”.
Asus told Tech Advisor to expect the ROG Phone around the end of Q3, which means around September time. By that point, Razer could launch a second-gen Razer Phone. The two companies are direct competitors, after all.
How much will the Asus ROG Phone cost?
While Geeksnipper could provide us with a rough launch window, the Taiwan-based insiders couldn’t provide any information about pricing. Judging by previous Asus launches, we may not even hear about pricing at the official launch of the ROG smartphone – Asus tends to announce pricing nearer to release.
What we can do is look at the Razer Phone, arguably the Asus ROG smartphone’s biggest competitor. The Razer Phone’s 120Hz display, stereo speaker output and rapid processor make it the dream smartphone for gaming, and we imagine that Asus will offer something similar with the ROG smartphone.
With that being said, we predict that the Asus ROG smartphone will cost a similar amount to the Razer Phone, around £595 in the UK.
We will, of course, update this section with more accurate pricing once Asus announces it.
What will the Asus ROG Phone feature?
The biggest news from the press event at Computex was the specifications for the upcoming ROG Phone.
The ROG Phone will feature the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor with the gaming optimised Qualcomm AdrenoTM 630 GPU.
The phone will feature a 6-inch AMOLED display with a 90Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time, showcasing HDR visuals.
ASUS have given some very serious thought to the cooling side too, with their unique GameCool vapor-chamber cooling system with a detachable AerpActive Cooler for additional cooling power should you require it.
The reason for the additional cooling option becomes apparent with the announcement of a large array of accessories for the phone. This includes the TwinView Dock for dual-screen handheld gameplay, the Mobile Desktop Dock for desktop-style gaming, and the Gamevice controller with WiGig Dock which uses 60GHz WiFi for big-screen gaming.
These options also include the ASUS Aura RGB lighting and Aura Sync support, along with ASUS HyperCharge direct-charge technology for faster, safer and cooler battery charging.