It’s almost ironic that just when gaming has become even more pervasive, gaming-centric smartphones have seemingly gone under the radar. Compared to last year, we aren’t hearing much about these souped-up handsets, especially not from Razer. Lenovo has yet to unveil its first-ever Legion-branded smartphone and ASUS has yet to launch its third stab at that still niche market. If you’ve been holding your breath for the ROG Phone 3, though, you might want to start breathing again. If these new official and unofficial details are any indications, we won’t be seeing anything spectacularly new this year.
Although Razer was the one that started it all, ASUS’ Republic of Gamers took the gaming smartphone idea to the extreme. Going beyond the specs and design of the smartphone itself, ASUS’ ROG Phone came with a set of accessories that truly marked the phone as something earmarked for gaming. That was, however, the novelty of the first ROG Phone which the ROG Phone 2 refined. The ROG Phone 3, in contrast, almost gives you a sense of deja vu.
ASUS confirmed on Weibo that the ROG Phone 3 will get a large 6,000 mAh battery. While gigantic by today’s flagship standards, it’s actually the same capacity as the ROG Phone 2. Nothing has changed in this regard and it seems not much has changed with its accessories.
Of course, the set that Pricebaba leaked does have some subtle differences compared to their 2019 predecessors but they’re pretty much the same Kunai controller, TwinView Dock, and AeroActive Cooler as before. The lone exception is the Lightning Armor case that now has a matrix-like arrangement of LED lights that gives it an almost retro 8-bit feel.
The ASUS ROG Phone 3, which will be announced on Thursday, will undoubtedly see some upgrades in the specs department though more cameras don’t seem to be in the books. It is perhaps a symptom among almost all these gaming smartphones that have gotten stuck with few places left to innovate without resorting to gimmicks.