Asus ROG Phone 8/8 Pro review

GSMArena Team, 16 January 2024.

Introduction

It's that time of the year again, and ASUS has a shiny new ROG Phone hitting the market - the ROG Phone 8 Series, including a few models. First, there is the vanilla ROG Phone with a familiar RGB Aura logo on the back and a choice between Rebel Grey and Phantom Black colors. Then, there is the ROG Phone 8 Pro. It only comes in Phantom Black color with a different finish than the regular model and has a micro LED dot matrix display on the back. There is also a special "Edition" of the Pro version which comes with more storage and RAM and an ROG AeroActive cooler bundled in the box.

While we are technically focusing on the ultimate 24GB RAM and 1TB Pro Editon version in this review, we do also have a vanilla ROG Phone 8 in the office. We will also sprinkle in references to it throughout the review since the two phones are slightly different.

Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro specs at a glance:

  • Body: 163.8x76.8x8.9mm, 225g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus 2), glass back (Gorilla Glass), aluminum frame; IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 min), AniMe VISION: 341 Mini-LED programmable matrix on back, Pressure sensitive zones (Gaming triggers).
  • Display: 6.78" LTPO AMOLED, 1B colors, 165Hz, HDR10+, 2500 nits (peak), 1080x2448px resolution, 20.4:9 aspect ratio, 395ppi.
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SM8650-AB Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 (4 nm): Octa-core (1x3.3 GHz Cortex-X4 & 5x3.2 GHz Cortex-A720 & 2x2.3 GHz Cortex-A520); Adreno 750.
  • Memory: 256GB 12GB RAM, 512GB 16GB RAM, 1TB 24GB RAM; UFS 4.0, NTFS support for external storage.
  • OS/Software: Android 14.
  • Rear camera: Wide (main): 50 MP, f/1.9, 24mm, 1/1.56", 1.0µm, PDAF; Telephoto: 32 MP, PDAF, 3x optical zoom; Ultra wide angle: 13 MP, f/2.2, 13mm, 120-degree.
  • Front camera: 32 MP, f/2.5, 29mm (wide), 1/3.2", 0.7µm.
  • Video capture: Rear camera: 8K@24fps, 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps, 720p@480fps; gyro-EIS, HDR10+; Front camera: 1080p@30fps.
  • Battery: 5500mAh; Wired, PD3.0, QC5, 10W reverse wired, 15W Qi wireless charging.
  • Connectivity: 5G; Dual SIM; Wi-Fi 7; BT 5.3, aptX Adaptive; NFC; 3.5mm jack.
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader (under display, optical); stereo speakers.

Straight off the bat, it is easy to see that the ROG Phone 8 has a fresh new look this year. Indeed, Asus says that the ROG Phone 8 represents the kickoff of a brand new generation of ROG Phone products. The first three ROG Phone models (ROG Phone, ROG Phone 2, ROG Phone 3) are the first generation of more exploratory and experimental products as Asus was figure out what a gaming phone should be like. They were followed by the second generation (ROG Phone 5, ROG Phone 6, ROG Phone 7), which was marked mostly by refinement and additional features.

Today, we are witnessing the third generation pioneered by the ROG Phone 8. Asus outlines a few priorities or key points for this third generation of ROG Phone. The main priority was addressing the most major complaints or wishes ROG Phone users had regarding the product. Hence, it is no surprise that the camera department was a major focus this year, with some notable upgrades in place.

Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro review

There is also the addition of Qi wireless charging in the ROG Phone 8. The phone is also certified for IP68 ingress protection, making it the first "gaming" phone with it.

Of course, there are many other aspects of the Phone and the Asus AeroActive Cooler accessory to cover.

Unboxing

First, however, let's take a bit to marvel at the lavish retail packaging for the ultimate ROG Phone 8 Pro Edition, which comes with the AeroActive Cooler X bundled and one of Asus' signature over-the-top boxes. The box is very large and has a hexagon shape. It opens from the side with a latch held down by a strong magnet. There is lots of wasted space on the inside, though some areas get used in this generation's out-of-box setup experience, which, as usual, is a short game that Asus has created to show off some of the phone's features.

Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro review

In terms of accessories, if you purchase the Pro Edition package, you get the AeroActive Cooler X in the box, alongside a carrying pouch. The rest of the accessories include a black plastic hard case or rather snap-on protective frame, a nice braided USB Type-C to Type-C cable, and a ROG-branded 65W PPS PD charger.

You get a much simpler two-piece cardboard box if you don't ball out for the top-tier Edition and get a regular ROG Phone 8 or an ROG Phone 8 Pro without the cooler. It is still very thick and sturdy and protects the phone perfectly well. Plus, it is not nearly as wasteful as the large hexagonal box.

Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro review

In a much-appreciated move, even the basic ROG Phone 8 gets a rather rich accessory package this year, including a plastic case matching the phone's color, a USB Type-C to Type-C cable and the same 65W charger we already mentioned. So, you don't have to hunt for accessories and can start using your shiny new device immediately.

Reader comments

  • Garmarna
  • 19 Feb 2024
  • Sqr

Attention! People do not buy CN Tencent versions from Aliexpress, These are intended for China mainland only. They lack some GSM network bands needed in Europe or Americas. Also OTA updates won't work and service centers will not repair chinese-...

  • From0toHero
  • 04 Feb 2024
  • 00I

The difference is the display on the back and the pro has 512gb/1000gb option with 12/16gb ram while the non pro has “only” 256gb storage and 12gig ram

  • From0toHero
  • 04 Feb 2024
  • 00I

The difference is the display on the back and the pro has 512gb/1000gb option with 12/16gb ram while the non pro has “only” 256gb storage and 12gig ram