Asus ROG Phone 3 review: the return of the king

The ROG Phone 2 was already the most successful gaming smartphone. His successor raises the bar even further. If the design of the ROG Phone 3 is wiser, the technical sheet, it forgets this false modesty thanks to the most powerful platform to date. But it’s not always about power. So what is the ROG Phone 3 worth? Answer in this test.

Series Asus ROG Phone is the sweetest dream a gamer can hope to have. We remember with pleasure the ROG Phone 2 of 2019. If you are not part of this video game generation, you might be tempted to go your way and head for a more “mainstream” proposition like the Samsung Galaxy S20 or the Huawei P40 to name only Android platforms. Design very marked by the history of the brand Republic of Gamers (acronym for ROG). Interface rich in tools related to gaming. Complete ecosystem of gaming accessories.

ROG Phone 3, presented today as promised, might almost change your mind. High-end model with a foolproof technical sheet, this smartphone is also visually wiser, more discreet and more accessible. The idea of ​​Asus is simple: If you’re a gamer, the ROG Phone 3 will be your new gaming companion, able to follow you everywhere. But the smartphone does not want to deny the fact that video games don’t have to be 100% of your life. So it also has to be a great smartphone. Is that the case ? This is what we will find out throughout this test.

Technical sheet

ROG Phone 3
Screen 6.59 ”
Full HD definition
resolution 391 pixels per inch
AMOLED backlight
144Hz refresh rate
HDR +
Chipset Snapdragon 865+ (7nm)
BONE Android 10
Zen UI or ROG UI
RAM 12/16 GB LPDDR5
Storage 512 GB UFS 3.1
microSD No
Main sensor 64 MP Sony IMX686 f / 1.8, PDAF autofocus
13 MP f / 2.0 wide-angle 125 °
5 MP f / 2.0 macro
Selfie sensor 24 MP
Drums 6000 mAh
30W quick charge
5G Yes
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.1, WiFi 6, NFC
Biometrics Fingerprint reader under the screen or on the edge
Audio Dirac optimized double front loudspeaker
No 3.5mm jack (USB Type-C to 3.5mm jack adapter included)
Four microphones
Water resistance No

Price and release date

To perform this test, we received the best-equipped ROG Phone 3 (with 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage) for testing. This version is marketed at 1099 euros and it replaces the Ultimate version of ROG Phone 2, which was sold for 100 euros less. Note that another version is also available in France. It has 12 GB of RAM. The rest of the datasheet is identical. It is sold 999 euros. And it replaces the Elite version of ROG Phone 2.

The price of the ROG Phone 3 is therefore lower than the flagships of more well-known brands. Whether it’s Apple with the iPhone 11 Pro, Oppo with the Find X2 Pro and the Samsung with the 5G versions of the classic Galaxy S20, Plus and Max. Even the Mi 10 Pro and the OnePlus 8 Pro are not necessarily cheaper: the Mi 10 Pro, equipped with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage, and the OnePlus 8 Pro, with 12 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage. , are sold at 999 euros. The ROG Phone 3 therefore offers more for the same price.

ROG Phone 3 is available globally from today, 22 Aug 2020. It is on sale both on the Asus site and at certain brands: Boulanger, Fnac, Darty and LDLC. Finally, you will certainly see articles about a “Strix” version of the ROG Phone 3. This one comes with a Snapdragon 865, 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage. It will not be marketed in France.

Design

The ROG Phone takes almost identical dimensions of its predecessor. The reason for this choice is simple: the backwards compatibility with old accessories with the new phone… and vice versa, since the majority of ROG Phone 3 accessories are compatible with ROG Phone 2. Go to the accessories section of this test for more information on this subject.

asus rog phone 3 test

The ROG Phone is gargantuan. It is bigger than the Galaxy S20 Ultra. 17.1 cm in length. 7.8 cm wide. Almost a centimeter in thickness. And a weight of 140 grams on the scale. It is, along with the ROG Phone 2, the heaviest smartphone among those that have been tested on our site. Here is a smartphone which, in conventional use, will not suit all hand sizes. Even among those with the biggest “paws” in the newsroom, reaching every corner of the screen is a challenge. Imagine when you add a protective shell to it.

ROG Phone 3 is the same size as its predecessor, but you might notice some subtle design differences. ROG Phone 3 is less marked “gamer”, like the latest Taiwanese branded gaming PCs. This is in response to a request from the user community that gamers are not just gamers. And a gaming smartphone is therefore not just a gaming smartphone … but also a phone.

asus rog phone 3 test

As a result, the design is wiser (mat will even say some). At the rear, the number of lines on the hull have been reduced to their bare minimum. The “window” part, which gives a partial view of the interior of the phone (you can see the heat sink there), has been reduced. Close to this window you can see the ventilation. The photo block, which now has three slots, is more prominent. The ROG logo, illuminated by an LED, is still present, as well as the second LED, which can light up some customizable cases, also survived. It is visible next to the flash and the first secondary microphone (there are three to accompany the primary microphone). This is more useful for video shots.

asus rog phone 3 test

Let’s continue the owner’s tour with the slices. On the left edge, you find the proprietary connector for accessories. The black part of this connector is a USB Type-C port which can be used as such for headphones, charging or the 3.5mm jack dongle. You will also find on this section the SIM drawer (without memory extension port). This drawer has been moved from one end of this border to the other.

asus rog phone 3 test

On the other hand, on the right edge (above), you find the power button, colored in red (the only ergonomic fancy according to Asus), the volume control, the second secondary microphone (which is used to converse when the phone is in landscape orientation) and the two ” AirTrigger“. As with the ROG Phone 2, Asus has integrated two tactile keys with ultrasonic sensors and pressure measurement. Out of play, AirTrigger serves as a shortcut for system functions. In-game, you can assign certain functions to AirTrigger. These tactile keys already existed in the ROG Phone 2. They have been improved to support new movements (side slides and double virtual buttons).

asus rog phone 3 test

On the upper and lower edge, you find separations for the antennas. On the top edge is the third and last secondary microphone (for active noise reduction). On the bottom one, you find the classic USB type-C port and the main microphone. At the front, surrounding the touch screen, you will find two fairly wide borders. Each of them hosts one of the two front speakers. The upper border also has the various usual sensors: selfie, proximity, brightness, etc.

The smartphone shell is still made of mineral glass (Corning Gorilla 6 at the front and Gorilla 3 at the rear) on the fronts and aluminum on the sides. The design of the mobile is such that it is not waterproof. Not even certified against splashes. Asus explains that this would have changed the dimensions of the phone and lessened the heat dissipation capabilities. It is therefore a smartphone that will perfectly accompany gamers, but not necessarily backpackers. For them, the ROG Phone 3 is really not a good choice.

Screen

When it comes to video games, the display is very important. It is he who brings what the designers have come to life. We have therefore observed this display from every angle. Like that of ROG Phone 2, the screen of ROG Phone 3 measures 6.59 inch. The backlight is AMOLED. The definition remains Full HD + (1080 x 2340) and the resolution is 391 pixels per inch. This is still enough to play. On the other hand, it sometimes lacks that little “ultra precise” side of a QHD + screen, like that of the Galaxy S20. The choice of Full HD + is however very wise: the images are smoother and the battery life is better.

asus rog phone 3 test

Conversely, Asus prefers to improve the cooling of the panel. The ROG Phone 2 was the first smartphone to feature a refresh rate of 120Hz. What was then seen as a power-hungry gadget became standard at the high end. Many phones offer a 90 Hz or 120 Hz screen, especially at the top of the range. A year later, Asus is trying to set a new standard with a refresh rate of 144 Hz. Of course, you don’t have to go this route. The smartphone offers different settings: 60 Hz, 90 Hz, 120 HZ and 144 Hz. Note that there is also a setting that automatically adapts the refresh rate according to the content. In addition, Asus has signed partnerships with game publishers to justify the rate at 144Hz. The excellent Dead Cells is just one of the games that takes advantage of it. Find the latter in the performance part of this test.

The refresh rate of the panel is 270 Hz. This means that it checks 270 times a second if you are not touching it. The result: ROG Phone 3 is very fast and very responsive. The latency announced by Asus is 25 milliseconds. We haven’t measured that number. But the impression of fluidity is omnipresent in use.

asus rog phone 3 test

The maximum advertised brightness is 650 nits. We couldn’t verify this figure, but we had no difficulty using the phone in broad daylight. The screen ratio 19.5 / 9th. This means that movies and games will be displayed with a slight black stripe (at the top and bottom in the first case and on the sides in the second) when the phone is in landscape mode. The slab, TÜV Rheinland certified against blue light, is compatible HDR10 +. According to Asus, the Delta E (the difference between the standard color and the displayed color) is less than 1. The colorimetry does indeed seem fair enough (especially since it is customizable thanks to the Splendid menu). We will update this test with the results obtained with a probe.

Under the screen hides a optical fingerprint reader. Not always very fast, it even happens to have some reading difficulties, especially in the phases of learning a new fingerprint. However, once a fingerprint is properly saved, ROG Phone 3 recognizes it quite easily. We much prefer this solution to facial recognition which, relying on a single sensor, remains a solution that can easily be cheated.

Performances

Performance plays a key role in ROG Phone 3. It’s not just a marketing argument or a sales positioning. Everything is done to ensure that the smartphone is powerful, fast and responsive. The mobile has a Snapdragon 865+ clocked up to 3.1 GHz. This chipset does not include a 5G modem, Qualcomm having chosen to deport it outside the component. Why ? Because of the heat. An overclocked chipset already heats up a lot. A 5G modem is also a great source of heat. Combine the two and you’ve got a remake of the Snapdragon 810, infamous for causing a few crashes because the builders failed to tame its fiery temper.

asus rog phone 3 test

To contain this dual heat source, Asus has equipped the ROG Phone 3 with a complete solution. First you find a heat sink, as in ROG Phone 2. A small part is visible from the shell window (see above). That of the ROG Phone 3 is six times wider than that of its predecessor. This heat sink is directly connected to a ventilation next to the window. It is also connected to the aluminum outline of the smartphone which passively participates in heat management. Behind the motherboard, you also find a steam chamber which circulates hot air to a graphite film placed behind the screen. Finally, let’s not forget AeroActive Cooler 3, an accessory delivered with the mobile. This incorporates a fan which expels the hot air coming from the ventilation of the hull. It is supplied by the side proprietary port.

asus rog phone 3 test
Rear view of AeroActive Cooler 3

Heat dissipation is important for two reasons. The first is toprevent overheating, Of course. The second is maintaining the performance of the phone andavoid the “throttle” effect (jerks that momentarily reduce performance until the chipset has returned to a moderate temperature). Asus has designed the ROG Phone 3 so that performance is intact throughout a game session of 30 minutes (or more). In reality, there is a slight decrease. By successively testing the mobile with AnTuTu, we note a slight inflection in the scores. But, unlike other phones, the ROG Phone 3 maintains good performance throughout the test, even when Mode X (performance mode) is activated.

asus rog phone 3 test
asus rog phone 3 test
On the left, X mode deactivated. In the center, Mode X activated (with AeroActive Cooler 3 connected).

Other important points of the platform: the ROG Phone 3 tested here is equipped with 16 GB LPDDR5 RAM, the fastest to date, and 512 GB UFS 3.1 storage, the fastest too. Add to that a fuel-efficient Full HD + display, but a variable refresh rate that can go up to 144Hz, and you’ve got the most powerful phone ever. The ROG Phone is the second business model to surpass the 600,000 point mark on AnTuTu, after Oppo’s Find X2 Pro. And not just a little. However, we failed to hit 650,000 points like Asus in its internal tests. We weren’t far from it either (note that whether or not certain network services are enabled may explain this discrepancy). You can find above some tests carried out with the mobile.

asus rog phone 3 test
Dead Trigger 2
asus rog phone 3 test
Dead Cells

What then can this power be used for? To play of course! We have done (with some pleasure, let’s face it) several game tests with the ROG Phone 3. Dead Trigger 2, one of our test takers. The latter turns in [email protected] Hz. It’s a very enjoyable experience. Dead Cells, the multi-award winning metroidvania. According to Asus, it runs at 144 Hz. We especially noted excellent responsiveness and a real pleasure to play (especially with a controller). We also tested several particularly greedy emulators: Citra (3DS) and Dolphin (Wii). Neither emulator showed any slowing down. The same applies to PPSSPP (PSP) or Redream (Dreamcast), which are also very greedy. We haven’t tested Candy Crush Saga because… good.

asus rog phone 3 test
Citra
asus rog phone 3 test
Dolphin

Autonomy and recharging

With so much power under the hood, ROG Phone 3 has every interest in offering a battery with plenty of capacity. And this is the case: the smartphone takes over the battery from 6000 mAh of its predecessor, offering two days of autonomy in mixed use (calls, surfing the Internet, music and… a little game anyway). Of course, the more you play, the lower the battery life will be. Be aware, however, that the ROG Phone 3 exceeds 9 hours of Call of Duty Mobile continuously. Which means that this smartphone should be able to accompany you during all day long, even in heavy use. It’s a great performance.

asus rog phone 3 test

Of course, the operating system incorporates power consumption profiles to optimize this generous battery. For example, you can suspend background apps while gaming, or reduce platform performance when you’re not playing. The operating system detects greedy applications that are present in the background in order to close them. You can also choose times when the smartphone activates energy saving modes on its own.

asus rog phone 3 test

ROG Phone supports fast charging. The maximum power of this load is 30 watts. You’ll need 45 minutes to recharge to two-thirds. And a little less than an hour and a half to fully charge it. The battery manager also includes tools to adopt better charging habits, in order to reduce wear. Carry out slow loads (therefore longer) to avoid placing too much strain on the energy cells. Schedule recharges according to your habits. Or, set a charging limit of 80% or 90% (of course at the expense of battery life).

Interface and customization

Interface side, Asus is not here either in simplicity. At the launch of ROG Phone 3 (but also after if that does not suit you), you will have the choice between ZenUI and ROG UI. The first overlay is the one you find on all ZenFones and whose ergonomics are close to Android Stock. The second is the exclusive ROG Phone overlay, with live wallpapers and bold design. There is no functional difference between the two “overlays”: you find the same applications and the same settings. ZenUI is considered by the system as a simple theme. Note that some accessories (such as customizable cases) come with an exclusive theme.

asus rog phone 3 test

If you opt for an ROG theme with stylized icons (two preinstalled themes), you will be entitled, by default, to an animated wallpaper that changes depending on the state of X Mode. If enabled, the screen background is red. If it is disabled, it is blue. Note that the interface has two basic live wallpapers and several static backgrounds. You cannot opt ​​for an animated background (with change of state depending on Mode X) with ZenUI. In addition, the theme store accessible from the Settings menu will not offer you the same aesthetic options if you are under ROG UI or ZenUI …

asus rog phone 3 test
The ROG Phone 3 box serves as a support for a virtual reality application.

In use, ROG UI interface is similar to ZenUI and Android. Two default home screens, one screen for the news feed. A clock widget, Google Search, Google Play and the Google Mobile Services suite on the first screen. Asus and third-party applications on the second. An application drawer with an integrated search engine. A notification area and quick settings. Google Assistant accessible with a long press on the usual “Home” button. You can choose to navigate with the classic virtual keys or with the advanced gestures built into Android 11. Nothing unusual, other than the futuristic look.

Asus enriches its interface with some important applications and parameters. First stop: the quick setting area. In addition to the usual buttons, you will find the X mode, AirTriggers, Lighting System. The first is to activate the eponymous mode. The second activates the ultrasonic areas of the wafer. The last one illuminates the logo on the back of the phone. Note also the presence of Battery Modes, which replaces Energy Saving, and Multi-windows to activate the eponymous mode here too. You can add others that are just as exclusive to ROG Phone: Fan, Refresh rate, Audio Assistant.

asus rog phone 3 test

Second stop: the Settings menu. Many settings have been added compared to those available in other, even high-end Android devices. In ” Applications“, You find a more detailed manager that alerts you when one of them is consuming energy unnecessarily. In ” Sound and vibrations“, You find Audio Assistant to customize the audio rendering of the mobile (find more details in the audio part of the test). In ” Drums“, You find PowerMaster, the advanced battery manager seen previously in the autonomy part of the test. In ” Display“, You find splendid, which is used to adapt the colorimetry of the screen.

asus rog phone 3 test

In ” Advances«, You can activate the navigation gestures and the keys AirTriggers. You will find the Mobile manager (classic optimization suite), OptiFlex which optimizes the loading of applications, or Twin Apps, for users who have two different accounts on the same service. You will also find the setting of ” Game Genie“, A menu that appears in certain compatible fun applications. This menu is used in particular to activate the live broadcast of a game on YouTube. For the rest, no big significant change.

Third stop: Asus applications. You will find among others Gallery, an image manager that is sometimes more practical than Google Photos; File manager, to browse your files, create shortcuts to them and connect your mobile to your PC via the WiFi network (very, very practical); Calculator, with an excellent unit and currency converter. The Photo application is also customized. We will detail it in the photo part of our test.

asus rog phone 3 test
Gallery, File Manager, and Calculator (left to right)

One of the most important system applications is obviously Armory Crate. Already present in the ROG Phone 2, Armory Crate is so central to the ROG experience that it is present in the permanent shortcuts in the interface. Armory Crate is a toolkit for optimizing the performance and customizing the behavior of ROG Phone 3. You can in particular customize the performance of Mode X (with three possible performance levels).

asus rog phone 3 test

Some parameters are managed per game (AirTriggers activation, notification deactivation, refresh rate, touch screen sensitivity, customization of touch keys, etc.). The management console provides a quick overview of the status of the platform (CPU and GPU frequency, temperature, available RAM, approximate battery life). Armory Crate is also used to customize the behavior of AeroActive Cooler 3 and the mobile logo lighting.

On the marketing partnership side, the ROG Phone 3 comes with four third-party applications: Netflix, Instagram, Facebook and Facebook Messenger. For just over a year now, Asus has chosen to dramatically reduce the number of third-party (and often unnecessary) applications in ZenUI and ROG UI. No additional mail client. No second web browser. A choice towards simplicity that we can only praise. This does not mean that the interface is not complete, as we have seen.

Audio experience

On the audio side, the ROG Phone is interesting according to four points. First point, the ROG Phone has two front speakers. These two speakers deliver clear and powerful sound, whether watching a movie, playing a game, or calling someone. Sound is never obstructed by a finger or the palm of a hand, whether in landscape or portrait.

asus rog phone 3 test

Second point, we previously noted the lack of a 3.5mm jack port. This port is however still used with the ROG Phone 3. First, the mobile comes with a USB type-C to 3.5mm jack dongle. This dongle can be placed in any of the two USB Type-C ports, even the one on the side. And this is a rich idea: in landscape orientation, the headphones no longer interfere with the right hand during gaming sessions. Then, a jack port is also present in the AeroActive Cooler 3.

asus rog phone 3 test

Third point, the ROG Phone has four microphones, also cited above. Each of its microphones has a different role from the others. One is a classic microphone for conversations in portrait orientation. Another takes over this function in landscape mode. A third, placed next to the photo sensor, is used to capture the sounds when you take a video. And the last is dedicated to active noise reduction. ROG Phone 3 is therefore rarely caught off guard during an audio conversation. Besides, the sound is clear during calls for both parties.

asus rog phone 3 test

The last point is the replacement of the partnership with DTS (since the first ROG Phone) by that with Dirac, developer of audio technology similar to DTS and Dolby. Asus justifies this choice by explaining that Dirac has left Asus more freedom to create richer spatial sound, whether with the two front speakers or with headphones (a little over ten models of Asus are compatible). We noticed richer sound with both speakers in multimedia applications (the Xperia 1 II, for example, offers a similar experience for movies). We were not able to test the differences obtained with any of the Dirac compatible headsets. If we have the opportunity, we will update this test.

Finally, note that the Audio Assistant is obviously back and is taking advantage of the partnership with Dirac. It allows music lovers to adjust the different audio frequencies according to their tastes. Profiles with presets will suit more amateur audiophiles.

Photo Quality

Let’s move on to the photo. A high-end, modern smartphone should be good at photography. Without excelling like Huawei’s P line or Samsung’s S line, the ROG Phone 3 builds on the good results of ZenFone 6 and ROG Phone 2, while improving some weaknesses. Not all of them, as we will be able to see. But the most important were. This is the first good news. Second good news, the photo interface is very complete. It includes the classic modes (photo, video, portrait, night, slow motion and fast motion, etc.), plus two manual or pro modes: one for photo (second to last on the right) and one for video (first on the left) . These two modes offer the same thing: access to the settings of the main sensor (exposure, white balance, aperture, etc.). Players who are also amateur photographers / videographers will find their accounts there.

asus rog phone 3 test
Manual mode of the Photo interface

The configuration of the ROG Phone 3 is this: a primary sensor 64 Megapixel Sony Exmor IMX686 (definition of the default 16 megapixel photos in Quad-Bayer mode, but possibility to switch to 64 megapixels) opening at f / 1.8 with phase detection autofocus, a 13 megapixel secondary sensor opening at f / 2.0 for panoramas (viewing angle of 125 °) and a last 2 megapixel sensor opening at f / 2.0 for close range macro photos. There is no optical zoom in the ROG Phone 3. Even an unfortunate 2x ratio isn’t offered. This is ROG Phone 3’s biggest flaw in photography.

asus rog phone 3 test

The automatic mode takes beautiful shots when the light conditions are generous. The colors are well reproduced and the brightness controlled. There is contrast, but not too much. There are many details. This is a better than expected result. Be careful, when the light goes down, but night mode isn’t useful, ROG Phone 3 results are a bit dull. It is then necessary to play on the integrated tool to artificially increase the light (which risks degrading the color rendering). The zoom offered with the ROG Phone 3 is digital. In automatic mode, you have the choice between shooting in 1x ratio or 0.6x (panorama). If you spread your fingers apart, you access the digital zoom that goes up to 8x. You can see the digital zoom results here, which are far from bad, although the 8x ratio replaces details with noise.

asus rog phone 3 test
asus rog phone 3 test
Digital zoom test: 1x, 2x and 8x ratio (left to right)

The 13 megapixel sensor also offers beautiful panoramas, but is (unsurprisingly) less bright. You will also notice that the algorithm that corrects the distortion on the sides tends to degrade the detail where it worked. Which is a shame. The macro sensor is interesting, but could have been replaced with a more useful sensor, like a 2x optical zoom. It is accompanied by a dedicated shooting mode, the usefulness of which is not entirely clear here. Self-portraits are managed by un capteur simple de 24 mégapixels ouvrant à f/2.0. Ce dernier propose des autoportraits de bonne tenue, avec de nombreux détails et des couleurs respectées.

asus rog phone 3 test
Panorama
asus rog phone 3 test
Photo réalisée avec le capteur macro (et le mode macro)
asus rog phone 3 test
Photo réalisée avec le capteur principal, sans mode macro

Le mode portrait offre un très bon rendu : le sujet est parfaitement isolé et le fondu d’arrière-plan est maitrisé. Vous avez la possibilité d’accentuer manuellement l’ouverture pour renforcer le bokeh. Le mode portrait inclut également des outils pour améliorer les portraits : adoucisseur ou éclaircissement de la peau, yeux plus grands, joues amincies. Ce sont des filtres que les Asiatiques utilisent beaucoup. Notez que le mode portrait (incluant les filtres) est également accessible avec le capteur selfie.

asus rog phone 3 test

Le mode nuit est disponible aussi bien en mode « automatique » (le mode photo par défaut), quand l’intelligence artificielle détecte qu’il fait nuit, qu’en mode manuel (dans le mode nuit dédié). Dans le premier cas, vous pouvez désactiver la prise de vue en mode nuit ou profitez d’un temps d’exposition allongé de 4 secondes. Dans le second cas, le mode nuit est forcé. Le temps d’exposition est de 3 secondes par défaut, mais peut être monté à 5 secondes. Retrouvez ci-dessous un comparatif entre le mode nuit 3s, le mode nuit 5s et sans mode nuit.

asus rog phone 3 test
asus rog phone 3 test
Mode nuit désactivé, mode nuit 3 secondes et mode nuit 5 secondes (de gauche à droite)

Les résultats du mode nuit sont très étonnants. En effet, ce mode parvient à éclaircir considérablement une scène (un peu à l’image du mode nuit d’Oppo dans les Find X2) et à révéler de nombreux détails : des branches d’arbres invisibles, des personnes sur la plage, des pavés sur la route, etc. Et il y parvient dans des situations où l’oeil nu, lui, ne voit pas grand-chose. En outre, il garde généralement le contrôle sur les sources lumineuses. Un très bon point, donc. Notez que dans une rue bien éclairée, le mode nuit est contre-productif : il magnifie les sources de lumière, réduit le contraste et gâche les détails. En outre, le mode nuit n’est pas toujours capable de faire la mise au point correctement (car trop peu de lumière). Enfin, comme toujours, le mode nuit est inapproprié quand des sujets sont en mouvement dans le champ de vision.

asus rog phone 3 test
asus rog phone 3 test

Accessoires

Comme son prédécesseur, le ROG Phone 3 est accompagné d’un vaste écosystème d’accessoires. De nouvelles versions de certains des accessoires sont proposées, lesquelles sont, pour la plupart, compatibles avec le ROG Phone 2. Le Twinview Dock 3, dont l’écran intégré est compatible 144 Hz pour être parfaitement en ligne avec le ROG Phone 3. Le Kunai GamePad 2, qui conserve le même concept que le précédent, mais affine l’ergonomie. And ROG Clip (l’accessoire qui permet de jouer avec le ROG Phone 3 avec une manette Stadia, PS4 et Xbox One). Disposer de la panoplie complète coûte excessivement cher. Si vous ne devez en acquérir qu’un seul, nous vous conseillons le Kunai Gamepad 2.

asus rog phone 3 test

Notez que la majorité d’entre eux sont rétrocompatibles. Ce qui veut dire que si vous avez investi dans une manette ROG Kunai ou dans un Twinview Dock 2, vous pourrez les utiliser avec le nouveau modèle, grâce au fait que le ROG Phone 3 reprend les dimensions et la connectique latérale de son prédécesseur. Notez que l’écran du Twinview Dock 3 est compatible 144 Hz. Mais son taux de rafraichissement sera bridé si vous utilisez le ROG Phone 2 avec. De même, le ROG Phone 3 sera limité à 120 Hz si vous le branchez au TwinView Dock 2.

asus rog phone 3 test

Certains accessoires sont fournis dans la boîte du téléphone (voire les photos ci-contre). Le premier est l’AeroActive Cooler 3, système de refroidissement actif. C’est le seul accessoire du ROG Phone 3 qui n’est pas compatible avec le ROG Phone 2 (notez que l’inverse est vrai aussi : l’AeroActive Cooler 2 n’est pas compatible avec le ROG Phone 3). Cet accessoire à une triple fonction. Il permet d’améliorer sensiblement la baisse de la température de ROG Phone 3 (jusqu’à 4 degrés de moins). Il déporte l’un des ports USB type-C tout en se doublant d’un port jack 3,5 mm. Et il intègre un pied amovible pour poser le ROG Phone 3 sur une table. Très, très, très pratique pour jouer avec une manette (comme avec une Switch) ou pour regarder un film.

asus rog phone 3 test

Le ROG Phone 3 est également livré avec un dongle USB type-C vers jack 3,5 mm, pour compenser l’absence de jack 3,5 mm, une coque pour protéger le smartphone, la prise murale compatible charge rapide 30 watts et un câble USB type-C. Petite note sur ce câble : il est renforcé en nylon, comme les câbles des souris pour les PC gamer. Ça, c’est un câble qui ne vous lâchera jamais !

Conclusion

Malgré l’adoption d’un design plus sage, le ROG Phone 3 reste, comme son prédécesseur, un smartphone à part. Il est le plus puissant aujourd’hui, à plusieurs encablures des (ex-)meilleurs. Il pourrait même le rester jusqu’à l’année prochaine, en attendant la sortie des premiers terminaux sous Snapdragon 875 (ou quel que soit le prochain chipset haut de gamme de Qualcomm). Bien sûr, le Snapdragon 865+ y est pour quelque chose. Mais la LPDDR5 et l’UFS 3.1 le sont aussi. Mais pas seulement : la possibilité de dédier toutes les ressources à une application en est une autre. Plus encore que son prédécesseur, le ROG Phone 3 écrase la concurrence dans ce domaine.

asus rog phone 3 test

Et la domination du ROG Phone 3 n’est pas que sur les performances. Il est équipé d’une batterie et des outils d’optimisation pour assumer cet usage si énergivore. Il offre une expérience audio aussi intéressante que celle offerte par les mobiles certifiés DTS X et Dolby Atmos. Son écosystème d’accessoire est riche. Très riche. And son prix est souvent en dessous de la concurrence directe à configuration similaire.

Certes, son écran n’est pas flexible. Il n’est même pas incurvé. Il n’est pas non plus compatible QHD+. Mais il est clairement le plus fluide aujourd’hui. Et la définition Full HD+, moins gourmande que le QHD+, suffit amplement. Certes, son appareil photo n’est pas le meilleur, face à Huawei, Samsung ou Apple. Et pourtant, Asus n’a pas à rougir et offre ici l’une des meilleures expériences photographiques de son catalogue, avec de belles qualités, de jour comme de nuit.

Ses gros défauts sont inhérents à sa nature. Il est lourd. Il est énorme. Il est difficilement utilisable avec une seule main. Et son design reste marqué de l’esprit « gaming » qui ne conviendra pas à tout le monde. Toutefois, si vous êtes gamer, soyez (r)assuré : s’il vous faut choisir un smartphone aujourd’hui pour vous accompagner en tête des classements mondiaux de PUBG ou Call of Duty Mobile, c’est le ROG Phone 3 qu’il vous faut !

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