“The ROG Phone is the first and only gaming smartphone available in the Indian subcontinent right now”

A number of companies out there have tried to jump on the gaming phone bandwagon, but none so enthusiastically as ASUS has, with its ROG Phone (first impressions). This extremely interesting handset has finally been launched in India with a hefty price tag of Rs 69,999. The smartphone has got attractive looks, enviable specs and more importantly, a number of gaming-focused features that will immediately tempt gamers. But if you’re willing to sacrifice these gaming-focused traits, there’s one more phone in the market that’s offering similar internals at almost half the price. We’re of course talking about the OnePlus 6T (review), which starts at Rs 37,999. So if you are torn between the two, let’s try to help you reach a conclusion with by comparing the ROG Phone with the OnePlus 6T. 

Design and display

ASUS-ROG-Phone-first-impressions-91mobiles-008.jpgThe ROG Phone from ASUS will leave you impressed with the RGB-illuminated logo on its back surface. And the best part is that it offers the ability to customise the colours in these LEDs as well. The rear surface of this handset is covered with glass, and has a ventilation system for dissipating heat. The rectangular fingerprint scanner place on this surface blends with the design aesthetics of this device. The OnePlus 6T grabs the conventional glass-sandwich design, but its main attraction is definitely its full screen front surface, the only blemish on which is a waterdrop notch. The phone embeds its fingerprint scanner into its screen, leaving the dual-camera module and a flash to be the only occupants of its back surface.

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The ROG Phone sports a unique frame, which when pressed, activates its gaming mode. It even features additional pressure-sensitive areas on its side surfaces, allowing you to use them as trigger keys in various gaming scenarios. The 6T has no such feature, but it does keep the familiar alert slider that its predecessors have been offering. The headphone jack has been famously ditched by the OnePlus handset. As for the ASUS phone, it has indeed embraced the headphone socket, which sits on its bottom surface. It even has an extra connector on its side for attaching the various gaming accessories that are sold separately. These include a dual-screen dock, a mobile-to-desktop dock and even a console-style controller.

The ROG Phone adopts a 6-inch display with a 90Hz refresh rate. This HDR10-compliant panel bears a resolution of 1,080 x 2,160 pixels. The 6T on the other hand, plays home to a 6.4-inch panel with a resolution of 1,080 x 2,340 pixels.

Hardware and software

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The Snapdragon 845 chipset can be found inside both these handsets. This means the advanced graphical capabilities of the Adreno 630 GPU at your disposal, along with a powerful octa-core processor. However, the ASUS phone features an overclocked CPU. So while the base clock of the 6T’s processor is 2.8GHz, that of the ROG Phone is 2.96GHz. The ROG Phone is only offered in the form of a 128GB storage variant that ships with 8GB of RAM. In contrast, the 128GB model of the OnePlus phone comes with 6GB or 8GB of RAM, while its 256GB variant can only be purchased with 8GB of RAM. None of the two feature expandable memory. Being a gaming phone, the ASUS handset comes with a GameCool vapour chamber, while its optional AeroActive Cooler accessory delivers an extra cooling boost. No such thing exists on the OnePlus 6T.

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The software on the ASUS phone is based on Android 8.1 Oreo. It comes preinstalled with the company’s ROG Gaming Center app, which shows you CPU and GPU frequencies as well as the phone’s temperature at any given time. This software also includes an X-Mode which lets you set the CPU clock according to your liking. The 6T runs Android 9.0 Pie-based Oxygen OS, which looks very much like stock Android. However, there are numerous customization features that include gesture navigation, changeable navigation controls and much more. A gaming mode exists on this phone as well.

Camera and battery

ASUS-ROG-Phone-first-impressions-91mobiles-034.jpgThe ASUS ROG Phone is a gaming phone, so don’t expect much from its cameras. You get a 12MP + 8MP snappers on the back, which helps achieve optical zoom and bokeh effects in portrait shots. The camera combination of the OnePlus 6T is way better in comparison however. The smartphone sports a 16MP snapper which is accompanied by a 20MP camera. AI-based scene recognition has been introduced by this phone, apart from Nightscape mode that aids low-light photography. A 480fps slow motion mode also exists. As for selfies, while the ROG Phone offers an 8MP front camera, the 6T delivers a 16MP unit at the fascia.

As one would expect from a gaming phone, the ASUS handset comes with a beefy 4,000mAh battery. The handset also supports fast charging with its bundled adapter. The 6T isn’t too far behind with its 3,700mAh cell that supports Dash Charge.

Closing thoughts 

Both these phones are aimed at different audiences. If you’re a committed mobile gamer, there’s no better phone in the market right now than the ROG Phone. It almost feels like overkill at times. But if you’re looking for a great everyday phone that doesn’t go heavy on your wallet, look no further than the OnePlus 6T.