Unlike previous ROG phones, which have been primarily focused on serious mobile gaming, Asus is aiming to take the ROG Phone 8 “beyond gaming” by giving it a slimmer and lighter design, with the goal of appealing to streamers and content creators as well as gamers.
As a result, the design of the ROG Phone 8 is more refined than that of its predecessors. The fierce ROG eye logo is still present, but the aggressive slashes in the phone, and features like the 2-inch ROG Vision rear display, have been removed, ushering in a much cleaner looking phone.
The Pro and Pro Edition models, however, do have the Anime Vision Mini-LED display, which can turn the ROG logo into different animations via presets or user-created options.
The ROG Phone 8 comes in at 163.8 x 76.8 x 8.9mm and weighs 225g, which is notably slimmer and lighter than the ROG Phone 7. Despite this, Asus has managed to pack in its Rapid-Cooling Conductor design, which helps conduct heat away from the center of the phone to its rear; and for people who want more cooling, there’s a new AeroActive Cooler X clip-on cooler that’s smaller yet more efficient than its predecessor.
Specs-wise, the ROG Phone 8 has a suite of flagship parts. At its heart is the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip, which is supported by 12GB, 16GB or 24GB of LPDDR5X RAM depending on the storage option users go for, with a choice of 256GB, 512GB and 1TB UFS 4.0 variants. Keeping these parts ticking along is a 5,500mAh battery with support for 65W wired charging and 15W Qi wireless charging.
The 6.78-inch AMOLED display has a FHD+ resolution and peak brightness of 2,500 nits, with its LTPO panel supporting a variable refresh rate of 1Hz to 120Hz, but it can also be pushed to a max refresh rate of 165Hz; this is an upgrade on the ROG Phone 7 and ROG Phone 7 Ultimate, but is arguably overkill for mobile gaming.
Leaning into its ambition for the ROG Phone 8 to go beyond gaming, Asus has put an emphasis on the phone’s cameras. There’s a main 50MP camera with Asus’s third-generation Hybrid Gimbal Stabilizer, which should help deliver things like smoother video. The ultra-wide camera comes in at 13MP with an f/2.2 aperture, and the telephoto camera has a 32MP sensor and 3x optical zoom. On the front there's a 32MP selfie camera.
At first glance there’s nothing particularly attention-grabbing about the camera suite, but Asus notes that the camera can cover a range of focal lengths, and touts new AI and image processing to deliver things like improved night photos. Of course, we’ll need to try this for ourselves to see if the ROG Phone 8 can come close to some of the best camera phones.
We’ve got our hands on the ROG Phone 8 and we'll be reviewing it very soon, so watch this space – and in the meantime check out our unboxing video, on TechRadar’s TikTok channel and embedded below.
Other features on the Asus ROG Phone 8 include AI enhancements, including the AI Grabber, which can capture text from games, and X Sense, which can provide gaming tips on the fly – I can see the former tool being handy for content creators. There’s also AI-powered noise cancellation to improve phone calls and in-game communication.
Set for a February release date in the UK and Europe, with a US release date TBC, the ROG Phone 8 will cost $1,099 / €1,099 / £949 (approximately AU$1,640). The ROG Phone 8 Pro will come in at $1,199 / €1,199 / £1,099 (around AU$1,790) and the ROG Phone 8 Pro Edition will be a somewhat hefty $1,499 / €1,499 / £1,299 (some AU$2,240).
We’re looking forward to putting the Asus ROG Phone 8 through its paces to see if it can not only deliver on the gaming font, but also whether its flagship specs and features can, as Asus clearly hopes, get close to some of the best phones you can buy right now.
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Roland Moore-Colyer is Managing Editor at TechRadar with a focus on phones and tablets, but a general interest in all things tech, especially those with a good story behind them. He can also be found writing about games, computers, and cars when the occasion arrives, and supports with the day-to-day running of TechRadar. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face and a nose for food markets.