Gaming

ASUS ROG Phone 3 launches, has 144Hz refresh rate

ROG refines its mobile gaming machine

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The ROG Phone has been top of mind in the past year whenever someone thinks about a mobile gaming device. ASUS wants a firm grip on that recognition with the launch of the ASUS ROG Phone 3.

As the third generation iteration of this product line, there aren’t any significant, jump out of your seat, wow levels of new things. Instead, the ROG Phone 3 is a refinement of their formula.

Let’s jump right into the specs. It was earlier announced that the phone will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus. It’s currently Qualcomm’s best and has an array feature geared towards “elite gaming.”

Elsewhere on the phone, it’s all about delivering the best. Naturally, the specs have been maxed out. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • 6.44-inch OLED display with a 144Hz refresh rate
  • Up to 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM
  • Up to 512GB of UFS 3.1 Storage
  • 6000mAh battery with a bundled 30W HyperCharge Adapter
  • Air Triggers with Enhanced Touch Gestures
  • Dual Front Facing Speakers

These are all par for the course and exactly the kind of specs we expected. In many ways, the ROG Phone 3 is a refresh of the ROG Phone 2 with minor noticeable changes — for good reason.

In terms of look, they toned the ASUS ROG Phone 3 down even more, getting rid of the cutouts that mimic the look of certain ROG laptops. The copper cooling vent has been replaced with a single sheet of glass with a transparent window to show off the AeroDynamic Cooling System.

The more understated, but still undeniably gaming look is in line, not only with their ROG line of laptops, but pretty much most gaming laptops of late. Gone are the bulky, over-the-top gaming look for something that looks a bit more subtle.

In terms of form factor and port placements, everything has largely remained the same. ASUS says this was intentional to make sure it remains compatible with existing accessories. That’s a really thoughtful approach.

Peripherals and accessories

Speaking of accessories, the ASUS ROG Phone 3 will come with the usual AeroActive Cooler 3 accessory. It’s a cooling device that now does more.

It now has a kicks stand so you can prop up the phone with the accessory on. ASUS also took away the 3.5mm audio jack from the phone — but this is still accessible with the AeroActive Cooler 3.

As mentioned, it will work with previous generations of peripherals. If you have the entire suite from either the ROG Phone or ROG Phone 2, it’ll work seamlessly with the ROG Phone 3.

The new accessory coming to the ROG Phone 3 is one that will let you connect your phone to any existing game controller you have lying round. It can be the Xbox Controller, DualShock 4 (PS4), or the Google Stadia controller — all will work with the phone with this new accessory.

Armory Crate, Game Genie

Also making an expected return are the gaming-related software baked into the phone. These are the Armory Crate and Game Genie.

Anyone who’s ever owned an ROG laptop should be familiar with this tool. With it you can customize how much power each core uses for certain tasks. You can also modify things like RGB lighthing, fan speed, as well as game controls.

Game Genie is like your mobile gaming assistant. Fire it up and it sends you into this interface where you can toggle all the games you have installed. It’s like having a console interface right on your phone.

It also lets you control the notifications you get while gaming and is also your tool in case you want to stream. You can stream directly on YouTube, but at the moment, Twitch is a no go. This is because there are still issues with Twitch’s API that need to be addressed first.

As for the UI, you can opt for the more stock Android experience, or you can embrace the whole gaming concept and go with the gaming skin. Like on the ROG Phone 2, it comes in two variations — one in black and one in white.

Again, like last year, if you have the Lightning Armor Case it’ll give you access to yet another variant of the gaming UI. Neat.

Solid cameras

From dual cameras, the ASUS ROG Phone 3 now sports a triple camera setup. They bumped the main sensor from 48MP to 64MP. And now it’s flanked by a 13MP ultra wide angle lens and a 5MP macro camera.

These likely won’t be competing against the likes of the Huawei P40 Pro/ P40 Pro+ or even the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, but unlike the very first iteration of the ROG Phone, these cameras should be capable. Not stellar, but pretty solid.

Pricing and availability

The ASUS ROG Phone 3 will come in three variants. They are as follows:

12GB + 512GB — EUR 999
16GB + 512GB — EUR 1099
8GB + 256GB (Strix Edition) — EUR 799

Pricing in other markets will be revealed as they launch on these respective markets.

Gaming

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 Soundtrack adds 37 new tracks

Get hyped for the remaster as you listen to this diverse set of tracks

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Activision has an exciting addition to its anticipated remaster of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 for new and longtime fans. Even though just a simple release trailer would’ve been great, they decided to take it one step further. In a 14-minute YouTube virtual concert, the developers showcased what is essentially the music behind the remastered classic.

The Noisey YouTube channel hosted this virtual concert, which featured a stellar list of rap, punk, and indie artists. These artists are behind a whopping 37 new tracks added to the remaster’s official soundtrack. Coupled with some of the classic tunes from the original, this soundtrack echoes the sounds of skateboarding. During the concert, artists like CHAII, Merkules, and Machine Gun Kelly even gave us a taste of the new music.

Apart from these, the concert also showcased previews of gameplay from the remaster itself. In between performances, you will just see clips of players doing all sorts of skateboarding tricks across the park. Also, some of the footage even features real-life skaters — or, at least character models of them.

If you want to watch the whole concert, you can watch it here.

Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2 arrives on September 4, 2020 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

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Enterprise

Smart unveils first 5G gaming hub, speed peaks at 1Gbps

Ready for cloud gaming!

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Smart Communications has unveiled its first 5G-powered gaming hub in the Philippines. Situated at Gariath Concepts sports venue in Quezon City, the deployed 5G connection’s speed peaks at 1Gbps.

An important milestone

To test its speed, Smart hosted the country’s first crossplay match via cloud gaming and gathered esports athletes to partake in the competition.

PLDT-Smart Omega armed its players with 5G-certified handsets and competed with Team LuponWxC playing through their gaming PCs. The athletes played a DoTA 2 match via cloud gaming, where PLDT-Smart Omega was victorious with a score of 34-6.

Cloud Gaming

In Europe and America, Cloud gaming is becoming popular. Cloud gaming streams a game through cloud services letting you play a multitude of gaming titles no matter what device you’re on.

People can play their favorite games even with just a smartphone, as long as they’re using a fast and stable internet connection. No more relying on a gaming console or desktop computers.

Google’s Stadia, Microsoft’s XCloud, and NVIDIA’s GeForce Now are prime examples of game streaming services that offer cloud gaming.

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Gaming

ROG Phone 3, ROG Phone 3 Strix Edition coming to the Philippines

Official announcement is in Mid-August

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If the ASUS ROG Phone 3 announcement made your jaw hit the floor, you’ll be happy to know that the phone, along with the ROG Phone 3 Strix Edition, is coming to the Philippines.

ASUS ROG will make the official announcement on August 15, 2020 at 8PM. Pricing and availability will be revealed that day. You can tune in to the ROG Philippines social media pages to keep yourself updated.

ROG Phone 3

It was earlier announced that the phone will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus. It’s currently Qualcomm’s best and has an array feature geared towards “elite gaming.”

Elsewhere on the phone, it’s all about delivering the best. Naturally, the specs have been maxed out. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • 6.44-inch OLED display with a 144Hz refresh rate
  • Up to 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM
  • Up to 512GB of UFS 3.1 Storage
  • 6000mAh battery with a bundled 30W HyperCharge Adapter
  • Air Triggers with Enhanced Touch Gestures
  • Dual Front Facing Speakers

In terms of look, they toned the ASUS ROG Phone 3 down even more, getting rid of the cutouts that mimic the look of certain ROG laptops. The copper cooling vent has been replaced with a single sheet of glass with a transparent window to show off the AeroDynamic Cooling System.

Armory Crate, Game Genie

Also making an expected return are the gaming-related software baked into the phone. These are the Armory Crate and Game Genie.

With it you can customize how much power each core uses for certain tasks. You can also modify things like RGB lighthing, fan speed, as well as game controls.

Game Genie is like your mobile gaming assistant. Fire it up and it sends you into this interface where you can toggle all the games you have installed. It’s like having a console interface right on your phone.

One of the new accessories coming to the ROG Phone 3 is one that will let you connect your phone to any existing game controller you have lying round. It can be the Xbox Controller, DualShock 4 (PS4), or the Google Stadia controller — all will work with the phone with this new accessory.

Watch our ROG Phone 3 review for more.

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