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ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro First Look: 300 LED AniMe Matrix, Gimbal camera, wireless charging, and more

With the ASUS ROG Phone 8, they've created a slimmer, smarter, more discreet looking ROG Phone with bells and whistles you can't overlook.

Edited By: Manik Berry

Published: Jan 09, 2024, 05:30 AM IST | Updated: Jan 09, 2024, 05:31 AM IST

6. Aerocooler X mounted on ROG Phone 8 Pro
6. Aerocooler X mounted on ROG Phone 8 Pro

Story Highlights

  • The ROG Phone 8 is 15% slimmer and has 70% thinner bezels compared to Phone 7.
  • There's also a new AeroCooler X, which you get with the Pro Edition.
  • Top variant gets 24GB RAM and 1TB UFS 4.0 Storage.

The ASUS ROG Phone has always had a niche. A group that appreciates specs over looks, cooling over IP rating, and additional game triggers over-weight. The heavy, bulky, souped-up ASUS ROG Phones of the past have been a major reason why you haven’t seen anyone recommending the ROG Phone to someone who wants a flagship under Rs 1 lakh.

However, the latest ASUS ROG Phone 8 is changing that. ASUS showed us that they listen, and hence created a slimmer, smarter, more discreet looking ROG Phone with bells and whistles you can’t overlook. But as usual, there have been compromises, and we’ll talk about those too. But let’s give you a quick first look article for now.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro Edition box contents

The ASUS ROG Phone 8 comes in a futuristic packaging. One side of the box is packing a pouch for the Aerocooler X, the new Aerocooler X, a 65-watt USB-C adapter, and a braided USB-C cable. The phone rests in the main compartment, and you can clearly see it the moment you open the box.

The phone supports Qi wireless charging now, but there is no wireless charger in the box, and ASUS hasn’t shown us a separate charging pad for the ROG Phone 8 either. So, it is safe to assume you can just buy a third-party wireless charger and use it for this phone.

You can buy three versions this year. The base ROG Phone 8, the ROG Phone 8 Pro, and the ROG Phone 8 Pro Edition. The only difference between Pro and Pro edition model is that the edition variant gets 24GB RAM + 1TB storage, along with the Aerocooler X in the box. All the other differences are listed below.

ASUS ROG Phone 8, 8 Pro, and Edition version specifications

Specifications ASUS ROG Phone 8 ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro Edition
Display 6.7-inch E6 Flexible AMOLED
165Hz peak refresh, 1-120Hz LTPO panel
2500nits peak brightness
6.7-inch E6 Flexible AMOLED
165Hz peak refresh, 1-120Hz LTPO panel
2500nits peak brightness
6.7-inch E6 Flexible AMOLED
165Hz peak refresh, 1-120Hz LTPO panel
2500nits peak brightness
Cameras 50MP Main + 13MP Ultra Wide + Macro
32MP Front camera
50MP Main + 13MP Ultra Wide + 32MP 3x Telephoto
32MP Front camera
50MP Main + 13MP Ultra Wide + 32MP 3x Telephoto
32MP Front camera
Processor Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 with X Mode for performance boost Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 with X Mode for performance boost Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 with X Mode for performance boost
RAM + Storage 12GB + 256GB 16GB + 512GB 24GB + 1TB
Battery 5500mAh 5500mAh 5500mAh
Charger 65-watt USB-C charger in the box 65-watt USB-C charger in the box 65-watt USB-C charger in the box
Connectivity WiFi 7 ready, Bluetooth 5.3, 3.5mm headphone jack, NFC, Air Triggers WiFi 7 ready, Bluetooth 5.3, 3.5mm headphone jack, NFC, Air Triggers WiFi 7 ready, Bluetooth 5.3, 3.5mm headphone jack, NFC, Air Triggers
Dimensions and Weight 163.8 x 76.8 x 8.9mm, 225g 163.8 x 76.8 x 8.9mm, 225g 163.8 x 76.8 x 8.9mm, 225g
Colours Rebel Grey, Phantom Black Phantom Black Phantom Black
Box Contents ASUS ROG Phone 8, 65-Watt power adapter, USB-C braided cable ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro, 65-Watt power adapter, USB-C braided cable ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro Edition, 65-Watt power adapter, USB-C braided cable, AeroCooler X
Price ND ND ND

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro first look

The ROG Phone 8 feels lighter in the hand, it is 15% slimmer than the last gen, and the bezels have slimmed down by over 70%.

The ROG Phone 8 feels lighter in the hand, it is 15% slimmer than the last gen, and the bezels have slimmed down by over 70%.

The ROG Phone 8 Pro is now coming with what ASUS calls a ‘Gen#3 design’ still heavy, but the weight distribution makes it feel light in the hand. It is now 15 percent thinner than the ROG Phone 7, but still retains the same 6.7-inch display size.

The 300 LEDs on the back make up the AniMe Matrix. This can be customized to show whatever you want to present at the back of your phone. It is controlled from the Armory Crate app.

The 300 LEDs on the back make up the AniMe Matrix. This can be customized to show whatever you want to present at the back of your phone. It is controlled from the Armory Crate app.

One of the standout features is the AniMe Matrix, and it will be an understatement to say the ASUS got the concept of backlights better than Nothing. This customizable 300 LED matrix can display anything you want it to show. From time to camera timer, and from battery to a DND message when you’re gaming on the phone, it looks really cool.

The new AeroCooler X also has a built-in kickstand so you can place the phone in front of you, pair it to a controller, and play with more screen real-estate.

The new AeroCooler X also has a built-in kickstand so you can place the phone in front of you, pair it to a controller, and play with more screen real-estate.

The design has changed so a couple of things have gone and made way for a new couple of things. For starters, the slit that used to open up with the AeroCooler attachment is now gone so the phone gets IP68 weather resistance. The overall phone is slimmer, but now has a massive camera bump on the back. This camera bump has given the ROG Phone 8 something that we were always asking for.

With the massive camera bump, comes a 50MP main camera, a 13MP ultrawide, and a 32MP 3x telephoto lens. ASUS claims gimbal levels of stabilization from the main camera that now has OIS, but we are yet to test that. There are also tons of AI features onboard now, so there’s contextual search in the settings box, and AI wallpapers that we are also yet to test.

Long story short, the ASUS ROG Phone 8 has made an apparently huge leap in terms of design and cameras. The performance, as usual, is handled by the fastest available chip, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, an excess 24GB RAM, and an even more excess 1TB storage, just like a gaming phone is supposed to have. In tradeoffs, the battery is now smaller than the ROG Phone 7, and has to power more AI features along with the fan and the AniMe matrix at the back.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 FAQs

Q: What is AniMe Matrix?

Ans: The AniMe Matrix is a layout of 300 customizable LEDs at the back of the ROG Phone 8 Pro. These LEDs can show time, battery percentage, notification numbers, or act as a countdown timer when taking photos with the phone. You can also create or upload your own GIFs to show a unique message/image on the matrix.

Q: Does the ASUS ROG Phone 8 have IP rating?

Ans: Yes, both the ROG Phone 8 and 8 Pro have IP68 weather resistance. These are the first ROG phones to come with proper water and dust resistance ratings.

Q: What is the processor on the ROG Phone 8?

Ans: The ROG Phone 8 is packing a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip clocked at 3.3GHz. You can also use the X Mode for a higher performance boost on the Phone 8. This chip is paired with up to 24GB RAM and 1TB storage for the ROG Phone 8 Pro.

Q: What are the AI features of the ROG Phone 8?

Ans: The ROG Phone 8 has multiple AI features like contextual search in the settings search bar, and AI grabber to pick keywords from a game and search the web for the relevant results. ASUS has also updated to X Sense 2.0 which has pattern recognition and lets you fast forward cutscenes in games, set the player to keep running, keep shooting, and so forth. Although X Sense 2.0 is only available for Genshin and Honkai Star Trails for now.

Q: What is the battery capacity of ASUS ROG Phone 8?

Ans: The ROG Phone 8 has a 5500mAh cell that supports 65-watt wired, and 15-watt wireless charging. However, to make the phone slimmer, ASUS has downsized the battery from 6,000 mAh on the last gen. There’s also no reverse wireless charging for now.

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Author Name | Manik Berry

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