Many smart phones differ from each other through a pair of banal lines on the case, probably through some software issues and case sizes, and even these are minimal. Seldom unique sinks are rare, but practically they do not reach the masses. Gaming smartphones can be compared to the same laptops: they get advanced "hardware" and an appealing futuristic design. In today's review, I will show you one of these unusual smartphones – ASUS ROG PHONE (ZS600KL). At the same time, we will try to figure out who needs this.
Package and first impressions
In addition to packing gaming laptops (maybe today there will be such a parallel), ASUS ROG PHONE and its package are "atypically" wrapped for a smartphone. In a large box there are three blocks. In a smartphone, in the other a few small documentation boxes, power supply, two C-type USB cable and a "clip".
But then there is a third unit with an unusual accessory for smart phones – an active external cooling system. Yes, this is a separate unit with a fan, you did not think. For him, there is a special port on the body, which is closed with a rubber stopper. The kit also contains a pair of such spare caps in case of loss. In addition, the user can purchase docking stations (with a smartphone and wireless port), a hub, a joystick-shaped dock with a second display, and side-caps with buttons. All this is expensive (from $ 90 to $ 400).
Beginning with the gadget included some unusual moments for setting up Android devices: there is a warning that you can not charge your device through the colored side connector; added the compression setting for the side walls to activate the game mode; and the typical generosity of the company is 100GB on Google Drive for one year. All others are known by those who have previously installed Android smartphones.
Design and use
The emergence of gaming devices is almost always more aggressive and futuristic. In the case of ROG PHONE is the second option. The body is a combination of glass and metal, and only in one color. At the same time, it is easily decorated with several drawings as a printed circuit board. Right on the back panel you can see the cooling slots. In combination with all the reflections, as well as the appearance of glare and matte surfaces, the appearance can be praised. The gameplay style here is great.
There is another point in the design that does not immediately attract the eye. When you turn on the game (we'll get to it later), the RGB illumination of the logo lights up. Gaming devices often shine in different colors, and the ROG smartphone is no exception (more precisely, its logo). In settings you can set the logo effect and color. Again, it looks great and very unusual for a smartphone, though of course there is no practical benefit from it. Well, those who have such "landscapes" indifferent, can stop this background light.
If the smartphone design is really successful, then with ease of use everything is a bit more complicated. The case is large – 158.8 × 76.12 × 8.7 mm, and weighs 200 grams. In a small hand, you will have to intercept it all the time or use it with two hands. But globally, ROG PHONE is not much more than some emblematic smartphones.
Placing the buttons is convenient: the power key and volume button are located to the right. Below is a C-type charging and synchronizing USB connector that is moved to the left. On the other side of the lower face there is a headphone jack. It would be assumed that they would prevent loading in a horizontal orientation, but in this case there is an additional accessory connector on the left side, which only sends the charging wire down.
An interesting, though not entirely new, feature of the smartphone is sensitive to compression. This is true, for example, on some HTC and Google Pixel models. So, pushing the sides in ROG PHONE enabled mode. This function can not be reallocated. But on the right there are two AirTriggers sensors to which you can assign any function in the game and use them as a "trigger" on a gamepad. Another one at the bottom left for the same tasks in portrait orientation. True, they are quite sensitive and will have to get used to them a little.
There is not even the slightest observation of the assembly no. The smartphone looks pretty durable and did not show signs of use during testing. However, abandoning such a device would be frightening. Over time, minor scratches may appear on it. And this is at least. It is likely that a fall will become a problem and given that traffic is unlikely to peak, it will not be difficult to repair just to find a place, but also to wait for the necessary details. And that's not to mention the cost. Such moments should be considered when choosing because the likelihood of destroying your smartphone is still high (the body is not just big, it's also slippery).
Face scanning and fingerprint scanning
Using the front camera, your smartphone scans the owner's face and lets you do not enter an unlock password. The setting went almost instantly, after which the function always worked perfectly. Before the smartphone does not recognize the owner, no notifications may appear, which slightly increases the privacy level. But since this trick makes the room, in the dark it will be helpless, as with glasses.
But I had to get used to putting the fingerprint scanner. Although it is not the most convenient form, it works in most cases. And it will be a good alternative to scanning the face in those moments when the camera will not cope.
For a gaming smartphone, you need a large screen because it would be very uncomfortable to play on the touch screen with a small diagonal, many fingers will overlap. So the ROG phone fits the 6-inch screen. It is elongated, with an aspect ratio of 18: 9. Although the resolution is not the highest (2160 × 1080 pixels, 403 ppi), it is sufficient for any task. The display is distinguished by a 90 Hz refresh rate rather than the 60 standard. This has, therefore, affected the smoothness of the display and increased comfort when working with the device.
The AMOLED matrix is responsible for image formation. Calibration is generally suitable for comfortable use, but unlike the IPS matrix, it has many saturated colors and, of course, deep black. Such a picture is good for games because a slight overlap of saturation in this case does not hurt, and social networking pictures will look a little "healthier." Unlike other impressions, this saturation does not seem to be "poisonous" and without a direct comparison with IPS, a regular user would hardly notice that there is an AMOLED matrix. A more experienced eye will notice a slight distortion of the colors at an easy angle.
The maximum brightness of 426 cd / m² is sufficient for a sunny day, especially since AMOLED feels better in such conditions. Also, the screen received a night mode, and there are some color rendition adjustments in the settings. With the sensitivity of the sensor, there were also no problems, there is also a way of working in the gloves. Such a screen, if you arrange the color, will not cause problems. Personally, I was completely comfortable with it, although my eyes are usually better than an IPS matrix.
The ROG has one of my favorite functions – the front speakers. Unfortunately, they are not as common. Here, the stereo speakers are located above and below the screen, they are large and sound great. They are just as good at listening to music or accompanying video and game sound. So, in the shootings, for example, you can even understand why part of the enemy is running. Viewers liked it very much.
Unfortunately, sometimes you have to wear earphones. And for such a case, the smartphone has a classic connector, and for the wireless option owners, of course, there is Bluetooth. There are no headphones in the box. My Ears Ultimate Ear sounded with such a smartphone is quite acceptable. Speaking and the microphone are not the strongest of the competitors' flagship ships, but I do not say that their quality is poor.
Performance and software
The main thing for such a device is performance. ROG PHONE is equipped with a slightly overclocked Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, which at the peak will operate at 2.96 GHz, unlike standard 2.8. And here it is worth noting that only four of the eight cores can do so, the rest at the top only up to 1.76 GHz. Adreno 630 is responsible for processing graphics. There is a lot of memory: 8 GB of operating memory are accompanied by units with a capacity of 128 or 512 GB. A wireless communication set is represented by two SIM slots for LTE support, ac-standard Wi-Fi, WiGig support, Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC. There is probably no slot for a memory card, which is unlikely to be a problem for top version owners.
Tests show that the device is designed for the most complex tasks. But unfortunately, trotting is still there, but in games or in normal use it is completely invisible. Speaking about games, here the user will be able to count on any hit with stable SFS indicators. Unfortunately, 90 frames per second in Asphalt 9 or PUBG Mobile will not receive, but 30 will be (with small and imperceptible fluctuations in +/- 2 frames). In this case, the body can warm up significantly. In less demanding games, the frame rate will be much higher, but the body will still be warm.
The Android 8.1.0 interface in this case is complemented by a slightly customized version of ZenUI. There is a special theme with stylized icons of standard applications (though not all). When you turn on the game mode, they change the circuit from gray to red. At the same time, the screen saver in the background is slightly animated. But all of this can be changed if desired.
A separate game application allows you to monitor CPU, graphical memory and memory performance. It also shows the processor temperature. These data can be displayed overlay during games. There are also settings for backlighting of logos and cooler rotation speed when connected to your smartphone. At the same time, you can set up profiles for different games, where you can set CPU overclocking frequency, automatically turn on gaming for any games, and turn off notifications. All this will be available during games.
The rest of the interface is pretty easy to understand. Generally, there are convenient additions, but nothing new for ASUS smartphones. The work of the system only provokes praise, memory works particularly well (play started in the morning can be developed after dinner and continued to play from the same moment). While testing critical comments did not occur, for the most part everything works fast and hassle-free.
Not every smartphone boasts such an accessory as an external cooler. For ROG PHONE this is included. It attaches to the cassette and is connected using a USB dual USB connector. It has another USB-C connector and a 3.5 mm jack. Thus, you can connect the power and headphones from the side so that they do not interfere during the game but come down.
The cooler itself does not say it will significantly affect the processor temperature. Neither the tests nor the games changed the temperature sensor values. And at the point of contact, the accessory body is thick enough, not the fact that it would help cool the inside of the smartphone. But breathing, at least outdoors, makes the "back" slightly cooler and at the same time blows into the palm of your hand, which adds a bit of comfort during the games. Although there is a lot of noise out of it. And despite the dubious functional component, the WOW effect of this accessory is certainly there.
Each player sooner or later heard the phrase "Your games are bad for you". The same can be said about the autonomy of the gaming smartphone. A 4000 mAh battery can last about six and a half hours in the PCMark test and a little more than six during normal use.
In principle, the day was enough. But it is worthwhile to start playing because this indicator will be a few times smaller. Game lovers will have to wear a portable battery.
But the charge does not take long. With support for the Quick Charge 4.0 standard with a full power supply, it takes an hour and a half to fully charge. This is pretty fast and in most cases it will take less time if not to play "to failure".
ASUS ROG PHONE sensors and chips come from the ASUS ZenFone 5z, the review of which we already had. These are the same two cameras in the main module: 12 MP with an aperture of ƒ / 1,8, and the second – 8 MP with a / 2,2 aperture and a wide viewing angle (120 degrees).
Generally, this is a good room. They can not compete with leaders in this field, but they can still deliver good results. The main room collects enough light and behaves well even under difficult conditions. Details and color transfer with them are enough. A wide angle may lose the details in detail, which is to blame for a lower resolution. But in some situations, it will still be useful. In addition, artificial intelligence helps in processing photos.
Main camera sample images:
Sample images of a wide-angle camera:
The video can be recorded in 4K resolution. The camera has a stabilization and the rollers are pretty good. In addition, the image looks good.
The 8 megapixel front camera and the ƒ / 2.0 light diaphragm, of course, take good photos in the daylight, but do not fail under difficult conditions. In uncomfortable camera circumstances, with a warm home light and a green background, the camera was confused with the white balance, but it made another good shot compared to what other smartphones have.
The camera application puts all the necessary settings at your fingertips, at the same quick start and switch between modes. The main thing is that it will not take long to get used to it, and its capabilities will be enough for most users.