ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro review: an extremely powerful smartphone for mobile gaming fans

A very interesting smartphone not for everyone with uncompromising performance, original design and additional gaming features.

By: Alex Chub | 01.05.2024, 18:28

The ASUS Republic of Gamers line of devices includes not only laptops, peripherals and accessories, but also smartphones that have been positioned as gamers for many years. The current ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro model is already under review at gg. Compared to previous generations, the smartphone has become a little closer to classic smartphones, but it hasn't lost its interesting gaming features. Thanks to this, ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro has become, so to speak, more mass-market than previous models in the line. It has become more compact, lighter, has full protection against dirt and water according to the IP68 standard and a more interesting set of cameras. At the same time, some compromises had to be made: the front camera is now in a hole in the screen instead of the area above the screen, as it was before. This allowed us to reduce the dimensions. The stereo speakers are now in the usual position instead of front-facing. Although these compromises are hardly critical. As before, ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro has top performance and is one of the most powerful smartphones available. Touch triggers are also present. And the design, despite being less aggressive, has received the AniMe Vision rear LED backlight system. All in all, the smartphone makes a very pleasant impression when used, but it cannot be recommended. Still, the price is high, and I don't really want to overpay for some features that the average user won't use.

And the closest competitor is..... Perhaps any good mid-range smartphone bundled with a laptop ASUS ROG Ally. And if we consider exclusively in the category of gaming smartphones, then this is REDMAGIC 9 Pro due to the processor, touch triggers and a rather serous cooling system. Although at their core, these are still devices of different classes.

Mobile gaming
ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro
ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro
ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro is a flagship gaming Android smartphone with a top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, 6.78-inch 165Hz AMOLED screen, LED backlighting on the back cover and touch triggers for gaming. The battery capacity is 5500 mAh and supports fast wired and wireless charging. The case has IP68 protection

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6 reasons to buy ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro:

  • It is one of the most powerful smartphones available
  • Extremely bright AMOLED display with a refresh rate of 165 Hz
  • You play a lot of games on your smartphone and will use touch triggers and other smartphone features
  • Interesting design with AniMeVision backlight and IP68 protection
  • Excellent sound quality
  • You are a fan of the ASUS Republic of Gamers line

2 reasons not to buy ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro:

  • High price
  • The camera is good, but there are competitors that shoot better

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro

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Quick Transition:

  1. What does ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro come with?
  2. What does ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro look like?
  3. How good is the screen of ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro?
  4. What are the ways to unlock ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro?
  5. What about the performance, memory, sound and battery life of ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro?
  6. How user-friendly is the ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro interface?
  7. How good are the ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro cameras?
  8. In summary

What does ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro come with?

ASUS ROG smartphones have always had interesting packaging and equipment. ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro also comes in a large black box with an unusual design with a hinged top and a peculiar pocket at the bottom. When you switch it on for the first time, the user is asked to play a simple game that demonstrates some of the features of the smartphone, which also involves the box.

The package of the smartphone differs depending on the version: 512 GB or 1 TB. We reviewed the junior version of ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro. In addition to the smartphone, the box contains a 65W power supply, a Type-C cable with a fabric braid, a protective bumper, a tray eject tool, and documentation. The older version also has an external AeroActive Cooler X cooler with its own case and a different bumper.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro review

In our case, the bundled bumper is a simple one made of transparent plastic:

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro review

What does ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro look like?

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro review

In place of the rather aggressive design with different types of coating, geometric patterns and an unusually shaped camera module almost the full width of the back cover, ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro has a more relaxed version. Matte black glass that glistens slightly with small specks under the light, a diagonal glossy stripe, the logo Republic of Gamers and a few other inscriptions. Yes, there are hints of gaming positioning, but the overall mood is much less aggressive. The manufacturer claims that the smartphone is 17% smaller, 15% thinner, and 9% lighter than the previous model. The smartphone is not small and light: 163.8x76.8x8.9 mm and 225 g, but it is much closer to the usual modern flagships of a large format.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro review

The rear camera module is also more similar to current flagships: rectangular with rounded corners. It has a kind of step around the perimeter and a cut-off lower right corner with the inscription ROG.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro review

But the most interesting element of the back cover is the AniMe Visionbacklight system, which includes 341 LEDs. With AniMe Vision, the smartphone can show notifications, the charging process, multimedia playback, camera timer, etc. There are both stock images and animations and the ability to upload your own.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro review

All AniMeVision settings are collected in the Armoury Crate app:

The front is more familiar: ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro is a large smartphone with a screen that covers almost the entire front panel with minimal bezels and a camera in a small round hole in the middle of the top of the display. The screen is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2. Above the display is a wide slot for the earpiece speaker, which also works for stereo sound.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro review

At first glance, nothing unusual. But owners of previous ROG Phones may not appreciate the front-facing camera in the hole. In previous models, there was a wide gap at the top where the front camera was placed, and the display was without a hole.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro review

This can be partially solved in the settings: there are modes in which the top part with the front camera is cut off. You can cut off only the top, or symmetrically from the top and bottom. Or display the entire screen with a hole. This can be configured individually for each game.

The frame is metal, matte black. The set of functional elements is also not quite usual. Physical buttons are located on the right side in the usual places. On the same side there is an additional microphone and touch triggers, they are marked with ROG engravings.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro review

On the opposite side there is an additional Type-C, which can be used either for more convenient charging during the game or to connect the AeroActive Cooler X. Also, the side Type-C supports DisplayPort 1.4.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro review

On the top edge is only an additional microphone. The bottom has a lot of things: a microphone, Type-C, which is shifted to the edge, a tray, the main speaker and the now almost extinct standard 3.5mm headphone jack.

Of course, there is no room for MicroSD in the tray, you can only install 2 SIM cards. But what was very surprising and confusing is that the smartphone does not support eSIM.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro review

Subjectively, the design update was successful, the smartphone looks more calm. And, one might say, expensive. Although, of course, this is a matter of taste. One thing to keep in mind is that the smartphone is slippery, and you don't want to stick it in the bundled bumper. But among the quite objective improvements, it is worth mentioning that ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro now has full protection against dirt and water according to the IP68standard, so it can withstand immersion in water to a depth of 1.5 m for up to 30 minutes.

How good is the ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro screen?

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro review

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro is equipped with a LTPO AMOLEDdisplay Samsung E6 with a diagonal 6.78 inches. Resolution 2400x1080, pixel density is about 388 ppiThis is a 10-bit matrix capable of displaying 1 billion shades of colour. The refresh rate is up to 165 Hz. And in adaptive mode, the frequency can vary from 1 to 120 Hz depending on the content. The sensor reading frequency is 720 Hz, most likely in game mode. The manufacturer promises colour coverage of 107.37% of the DCI-P3 space , 145.65% of sRGB and 103.16% of NTSC. Local peak brightness 2500 cd/m² in automatic mode. The display supports HDR10+, unfortunately, the standard Dolby Vision is not supported. There are a lot of screen settings: dark and light themes, night mode, eye protection, flicker elimination at low brightness DC Dimming, refresh rate selection, interface scale, animation speed, Always on Display and Splendid colour schemes. There are four of them with the ability to adjust the colour temperature, as well as a custom mode.

The screen is really very bright, the image remains clear in the sun. The viewing angles are maximum, the picture is very saturated. Hardware measurements have shown that this is indeed one of the brightest screens in the smartphones we have tested. Themaximum brightness in the "Optimal" mode was 781.217 cd/m2. The colour gamut is significantly higher than sRGB, butthe picture leans quite noticeably towards cold shades. In this case, the ability to adjust the colour temperature will be useful.

In the "Natural" mode, all indicators are very close to the previous "Optimal" mode, with the maximum brightness of 785.351 cd/m2:

In the "Cinematic" mode, the maximum brightness was 768.382 cd/m², the colour gamut is also much wider than sRGB, but the colour reproduction is closer to the reference values.

In the "Standard" mode, the colour gamut is close to sRGB, the colour temperature is 7500K (with the reference 6500K), and the brightness is 768.527 cd/m².

Comparison with other models:

Device name White field brightness,
Black field brightness,
ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro 785.351 0
Xiaomi 14 481.764 0
realme 12 Pro+ 5G 447.879 0
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra 721.58 0
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold3 479.32 0
Xiaomi 11T Pro 493.872 0
ASUS ROG Phone 5 482.347 0

How to unlock ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro review

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro has a completely standard set of modern means of owner identification: face recognition using the front camera and an optical fingerprint scanner in the screen. Face recognition works quite normally: it's fast in good light. In low light, it's slower, or it doesn't recognise the face if the light is very poor. The fingerprint scanner is accurate and quite fast. Perhaps not the fastest: ultrasonic and optical scanners work faster in some models. But in general, it does not cause discomfort. It's placed quite high, but you get used to it quickly.

What about the performance, memory, sound, and battery life of ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro?

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro is positioned as the most powerful gaming smartphone, so it's no surprise that the current flagship processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3is used as the processor. It is still one of the most powerful mobile chips available. It is manufactured on a 4-nanometer process and has a configuration of 1+3+3+2 cores: one powerful ARM Cortex-X4 core with a frequency of up to 3.3 GHz, three Cortex-A720 at 3.2 GHz, two Cortex-A720 at 3.0 GHz and two energy-efficient Cortex-A520 at 2.3 GHz. Graphics accelerator - Adreno 750 with a frequency of 1 GHz. RAM 16 GB LPDDR5X, internal storage - 512 GB UFS 4.0. There is also a version with 24 GB of RAM and 1 TB of storage. Of course, the ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro is not the only smartphone with Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, but ASUS has worked on the cooling system and certain software developments and operating modes to achieve maximum performance. 

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro Performance Tests

And it worked. In synthetic tests, ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro demonstrates truly impressive results, with some benchmarks placing the smartphone at the top of the rankings. The tests were conducted in performance mode X. When using an external AeroActive Cooler X, the X+ mode becomes available. But, for obvious reasons, we couldn't test it:

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro performance and heating

The smartphone uses a rather sophisticated passive cooling system (yes, there are gaming smartphones with a fan inside), which includes graphite plates, an evaporation chamber, and much more. It is claimed that the cooling system is 22% more efficient than the previous generation.

CPU Throttling Test showed that under prolonged maximum load in X mode, the smartphone's performance can drop by up to 86%. The metal frame heats up significantly and the situation is similar when passing GFXBench. However, in everyday use and long gaming sessions, the heat is not felt at all.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro Performance

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro has the proprietary Armoury Crate and Game Genie applications. In addition to gaming settings, Armoury Crate allows you to customise the AniMe Vision backlight. There are really a lot of functions, you can set up a performance profile for each game, assign triggers, macros, and much more. One of the most interesting things is that for each game, profiles of other players from the community are available, which can be applied to your case. Of course, there is a brightness fixation, blocking notifications during the game, overlay with current information about the system load, temperature and FPS, screenshots, video recording, on-screen sight, etc.

All modern games run perfectly on ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro, you can safely set the maximum graphics settings and have a high FPS. Of course, where it is supported. Hello, XCOM 2 with a 30 FPS lock.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro Communications

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro is equipped with almost all modern wireless interfaces: tri-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e/7 (interestingly, in X mode, the smartphone can simultaneously connect to 2.4 and 5 GHz), Bluetooth 5.4 with support for AAC, aptX, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, aptX Lossless, LDAC. There is a module NFC for contactless payment. Global positioning systems are supported: GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, BDS, QZSS and NavIC. As mentioned earlier, for some reason, the smartphone does not support eSIM. And it doesn't depend on the region, it's just that this option is not available at all, which is very strange and not very convenient.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro sound quality

The stereo sound quality of ASUS smartphones has been consistently high in recent years. And ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro is no exception: the sound is loud and high-quality, there is even a little bass. And, importantly, even at maximum volume, the sound is not distorted. To customise the sound, there is an Audio Wizard app with presets for different usage scenarios and an equaliser. The smartphone supports Dirac Virtual surround sound. Some users will also be pleased with the presence of a classic 3.5mm headphone jack, which is becoming increasingly rare in smartphones. Especially in the top segment. The only thing we have complaints about in terms of sound is the AI Noise Cancelation technology. It is designed to improve voice communication. But, in my case, it was the opposite and the interlocutor's voice simply disappeared from time to time. Therefore, the function was turned off.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro battery

Compared to the previous model, the ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro battery has decreased from 6000 to 5500 mAh. The smartphone is equipped with a proprietary 65W ASUS HyperCharge power supply, supports Power Delivery 3.0, Quick Charge 3.0, 5.0, and 15W Qi 1.3 wireless charging. It takes 40 minutes to fully charge the smartphone. And in 15 minutes, ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro replenishes 45% of the charge. This is not the fastest charging we've seen, but the performance is good. As for the battery life, it depends very much on the usage scenario. If you play games very actively, the smartphone will last until the evening. On the first day of using the smartphone, I used it in the usual mode, with benchmarks and games added to it. I had to put the smartphone on charge late in the evening. Then, with more moderate use, the smartphone lasted steadily for a day, which is quite normal for a model of this power. In the settings of ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro, in addition to standard charge monitoring and power saving, there are performance mode settings. The standard dynamic mode automatically adjusts the settings depending on usage. The aforementioned X mode and the long battery life mode can be configured in great detail to suit your needs. In addition, there are various charging modes, including a pass-through charging mode for gaming.

How user-friendly is the ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro interface?

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro runs on the latest Android 14 with the proprietary ROG UI shell. The shell doesn't make any drastic changes to the Android logic, but it offers great opportunities to customise the appearance. Themes, wallpapers, shape, type, size of icons, grid, fonts, animations, colour themes - everything can be customised. The organisation of the workspace is standard: desktops, widgets, and an optional separate application menu. One of the important differences is the quick settings panel: you can choose the standard Android panel with large switches, the option with small switches, or a separate panel with separate notifications and switches.

There is gesture and button navigation. In addition, there are many additional gestures for quick wake-up, camera launch, and gestures on the deactivated screen:

As in most modern shells, there is a sidebar with icons for quick launch of applications and basic switches. The panel is customisable both in terms of position and transparency, as well as content.

The application manager is absolutely typical for modern Android smartphones. A horizontal carousel of running applications with the ability to close all of them at once, take a screenshot, and switch to dual-window mode.

In addition to the aforementioned application, ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro comes with just a few more: a smartphone manager, file manager, calculator, voice recorder, and ASUS Phone Clone, a tool for transferring data between smartphones:

How good are the ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro cameras?

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro has a set of rear cameras typical of modern smartphones: main, ultra-wide-angle, and telephoto. This is a kind of modern optimal standard. The main module is a 50 megapixel Sony IMX 890. It has a large physical size 1/1.59", pixel size 1.0µm, optics with an aperture of f/1.9, 24 mm EFE, PDAF phase detection autofocus and optical stabilisation Hybrid Gimbal Stabilisation 3.0, which is capable of correcting movement in the range of +/-3°.  The telephoto camera has a resolution of 32 MP , physical dimensions 1/3.2" and a pixel size 0.7 µm. Optics - f/2.4, zoom factor - 3x, optical stabilisation is available. The ultra-wide-angle camera uses a module with a 13 MP, f/2.2, , viewing angle 120°, without autofocus. The front camera is 32 MP, f/2.2. The smartphone can record video with a resolution of up to 8K 24 FPS.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro review

The app is quite familiar and convenient. A carousel of basic modes, a separate menu with additional modes that can be added to the main ones. Basic settings on the viewfinder screen (flash, format, camera switching). Additional settings are in the drop-down menu. There are fully manual modes for photos and videos, as well as an interesting long exposure mode.

The main camera takes high-quality detailed pictures with a wide dynamic range and close-to-natural colours. HDR works well, and dark areas are well extracted. Night photos also have good detail and minimal noise. There is a yellowish tint, characteristic of processing algorithms, but in a small amount.

2x zoom - crop from the main camera:

The telephoto camera takes good photos in most situations. Even evening photos are quite detailed. But the processing algorithms are already more obvious:

Photos from the ultra-wide-angle camera have less detail and are generally darker, which is quite standard. In good light conditions, the photos are quite good, but at night, digital noise and a significant reduction in detail are already visible. And, of course, orange tints.

The smartphone has an interesting long exposure mode with several presets. Of course, ideally, you should use a tripod for this mode, but you can also take interesting photos on your own:

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro shoots video well, at 4K 60 FPS the picture is quite clear, the stabiliser works well. The video doesn't shake, but the minimal jello effect is noticeable:

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro
ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro
  • It is one of the most powerful smartphones available
  • Extremely bright AMOLED display with a refresh rate of 165 Hz
  • Interesting design with AniMeVision backlight and IP68 protection
  • Excellent sound quality

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To summarise: five things you need to know about ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro.

  • ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro is one of the most powerful smartphones available.
  • It has an interesting design with LED backlighting on the back.
  • It is equipped with additional touch triggers for games.
  • It has a very bright 6.78-inch AMOLED display with a refresh rate of 165 Hz.
  • Supports fast wired and wireless charging.
ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro specifications
Display LTPO AMOLED Samsung E6, 6.78 inches, 2400x1080 (20:9 aspect ratio), 388 ppi, 10 bit, HDR10+, 165 Hz, peak brightness 2500 nits
Body dimensions: 163.8x76.8x8.9 mm, weight: 225 g
Processor 64-bit 4nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, 1x3.3 GHz Cortex-X4, 3x3.2 GHz Cortex-A720, 2x3.0 GHz Cortex-A720, 2x2.3 GHz Cortex-A520, Adreno 750 graphics, 1 GHz
Flash memory 512 GB / 1 TB UFS 4.0

main: 50 MP (f/1.9, 24 mm, 1/1.54", 1.0µm, PDAF, Hybrid Gimbal Stabilisation 3.0); telephoto: 32 MP (f/2.4, 1/3.2", 0.7µm, PDAF, OIS, 3x zoom); ultra-wide-angle 13 MP (f/2.2, 13 mm, 120˚); flash, video 8K@24fps, 4K@24/30/60fps (HDR10+), 1080p@60fps; front camera: 32 MP (f/2.5, 22 mm)

Wireless technologies Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e/7, Bluetooth 5.4 LE, NFC
Battery 5500 mAh, non-removable, fast charging 65 W, wireless charging 15 W, reverse wireless charging 10 W
Operating system Android 14 + ROG UI
Sim card 2xNanoSIM
Additionally optical in-screen fingerprint scanner, touch triggers, IP68 protection
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ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro
An extremely powerful smartphone for mobile gaming fans

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