Is it Possible for a Gaming Phone to Gain Mass Appeal? – Video

Is it Possible for a Gaming Phone to Gain Mass Appeal? – Video

Can A Gaming Phone Go Mainstream?

Gaming phones have always been a niche market, catering to gamers who prioritize performance over all else. However, the latest release from Asus, the Rog Phone 8 Pro, is taking a different approach. This gaming phone is making a play for the mainstream market, offering top-notch gaming capabilities while also delivering a more regular, everyday user experience.

The Rog Phone 8 Pro still packs in all the gamer essentials, including a powerful Snapdragon 8 gen 3 processor, a stunning 165Hz AMOLED display, and up to 24GB of RAM. Its gaming performance is unparalleled, easily handling even the most demanding games.

But what sets the Rog Phone 8 Pro apart is its focus on everyday usability. The phone has been designed to be more handable, with slimmer bezels and a smaller hole punch camera. It has also been slimmed down and made more balanced, bringing it closer in size to regular smartphones. Despite the slimming down, it still delivers impressive battery life and has the added benefit of full IP68 water and dust resistance.

While the phone still retains some gamer-centric design elements, like a hidden display on the back that can show logos, notifications, and even charge status, it has also made room for the first-ever wireless charging in an RG phone.

Overall, the Rog Phone 8 Pro is a compelling option for both gamers and regular users. It offers top-tier gaming performance, while also providing the everyday features and usability that make it a strong contender as a mainstream smartphone. As Asus transitions their best gaming phone into a more regular smartphone, it seems that the Rog Phone 8 Pro may be the first gaming phone to successfully go mainstream.

Watch the video by Marques Brownlee

Video Transcript

So one of the best gaming phones on the planet is going mainstream like look at all the previous Rog phones Rog phone 1 Rog phone 2 Rog phone 3 skipped four because four is bad luck RG phone 5 RG phone 6 and RG Phone 7 now this one is

The Rog Phone 8 Pro this one is noticeably more regular so Asus still makes other regular phones the Zen phone and RG still stands for Republic of Gamers this is very much still a gaming phone but the thing that makes gaming phones so good at gaming also makes them

Really good at media and just being all around really good daily drivers so Asus has finally said you know what what if we just package our great gaming phone for the m es and I think that’s really this is the first one where they’ve really committed to that idea now don’t

Get me wrong they still pack in the gamer stuff there’s still a hidden display on the back of the phone and all kinds of crazy specs but the pivot is real here so given the fact that it’s still a gaming phone we are not surprised that it still turns up the

Specs all the way to the bleeding edge with this 6.78 in 165 Herz AMOLED display up front that gets to a crazy bright 2500 nits it’s got a 3.3 gz Snapdragon 8 gen 3 with up to 24 gigs of lpddr 5x RAM and a terabyte of ufs 4.0

Fast storage it smokes geekbench it just crushes 3D mark it can play genin impact at 60fps like this phone is ridiculously fast also opening and moving through apps and just using it like a normal phone is crazy it’s one of the snappiest phones I’ve ever used taking photos is

Extremely quick from the millisecond your finger touches the shutter button even this Optical fingerprint reader underneath the glass is surprisingly fast it’s just overall the fastest like the most reactive phone I’ve ever used so all that is great and we know it can handle games but if you’re Asus how do

You now package this as a great daily driver because let’s be honest the previous gaming phones were just so gamery so okay first things first it’s got to be more one-h handable like yes you still want a huge display for gaming and Gamers will spend a lot of time with

The phone sideways in two hands but regular phone stuff happens vertically with one hand all the time so they’ve shrunken the bezels all the way around all the sides and it’s pretty noticeable at the top and the bottom which is now looking on par with other fullcreen

Flagships out there and that does also mean it’s the first time in an Rog phone that they’ve ever had a hole punch camera but it’s also a pretty small hole punch so it looks totally normal and this also comes at the expense of a little bit of that front-facing speaker

Space the speakers are still quite loud and full sounding stereo front-facing speakers but yeah the fact is they are slightly less insane than last year and then they also went and made the phone thinner so they flattened out the frame on the sides again similar to some other

Phones so the whole thing is slightly more trim cutting it under 9 mm for the first time and it’s still honestly pretty well balanced even with this camera bump that we’ll talk about in a minute but of course thinner also means you guessed it slightly smaller battery

Again for the first time in an Rog phone it goes from 6,000 mamp hours to 5500 milliamp hours to be honest in using this phone I haven’t really noticed the difference because it’s still such a battery champ with all the optimizations Asus has pulled with the software with

This display but they did technically make the battery smaller so the result of all that trimming and sculpting is a phone that’s it’s definitely still big but it’s much closer to a normal size phone is basically the same size as my pixel 8 Pro that I’ve been dailying but

It still has room for the gamery media friendly features like there’s still a second USBC port on the side so you can keep charging while gaming in landscape still got the remappable shoulder triggers and the rare headphone jack and side note I’ve been testing a couple inar monitors lately and just enjoying

Using them in all kinds of places and this is one of the rare phones that I can actually plug it in and use it with and Asus always throws in a surprising amount of audio adjustment features and a bunch of different profiles and EQ settings that you can play with and make

A big difference and then hey if you’re going to use this daily people are going to want the confidence of water resistance like real water resistance previous gaming phones don’t really focus on that too much RG Phone 7 was ip54 and that’s nice but this is the

First R phone that stepped up to full ip68 water and dust resistance which is sort of the gold standard of not just getting rained on but like you can spill a drink on your phone or drop it in the toilet and actually be totally fine now

Do we still think this looks like a gaming phone honestly I think they’ve done a good job of of it’s it’s a nice balance like they’ve done a slow ramp of toning it down a little bit over the years and less RGB and jagged lines and

Screens on the back and all that sort of stuff now this one I think the camera bump is the weirdest part but aside from that it’s pretty subtle like this one’s it’s a satin black so it doesn’t show any fingerprints it’s got a single diagonal glossy strip which definitely

Screams like or maybe Whispers gamer but I don’t mind it and then I could probably do without all the text the Republic of Gamers text or the good luck have fun text next to the USBC Port but honestly this is fine super toned down

But what if I told you there is still a display on the back of this phone cuz there is they couldn’t help themselves like you literally cannot tell when the screen is off where it is but if you go into the Armory crate and turn on anime

Vision I I don’t know why it’s called that but the display then lights up it comes to life it’s this allh led do Matrix display that can show all kind kinds of things from logos to charging status to incoming call notifications and notification counters Etc even when

You’re uh taking a picture if there’s a countdown timer it’ll do the countdown on the outside screen or even when you’re gaming it’ll just tell the world that you’re playing a game it is definitely certifiably gimmicky but I like it anyway for a couple reasons one it’s it’s still pretty minimal on the

Back of the phone here but two it’s actually functional it’s giving you real useful information on the back of the phone I would say even more than the nothing phone it’s customizable you can go through and make special ones just for whatever use case and then when the

Screen is off you just can’t even see it can’t even tell it’s there and on top of all of that they even made room for the first ever wireless charging in an RG phone so these gaming phones have always had so much chaos going around on the

Back of the phone with these screens and lights that they just they never had room for wireless charging and that was totally fine because Gamers just weren’t interested but this time they’ve actually made the space for it one thing I’ll say though the coil is a little

Higher up here than normal it’s above that little display and so I think it’s a little higher than most other phones cuz if I put the phone on a vertical wireless charger like this it actually doesn’t line up and it doesn’t charge but I discovered that if I turn it

Sideways it does charge so you may have to play with that a little bit and you know lots of people don’t use wireless charging and that’s fine but just feels like this is something you have to offer to be considered one of the high-end versatile flagships uh even if you never

Use that there’s still 65 wat wir charging with the brick that is yes included in the box now in previous reviews I would literally say the camera it’s pretty bad but it’s a gaming phone that’s not one of the reasons that you’re buying this phone and then so it

Just be fine but in a phone that you want to package and sell as a mainstream phone that goes from an afterthought to literally one of the most important pieces of this phone so how did they do well this is an allnew camera system for the Rog phone it’s a 50 megapixel

Primary camera a 3X telephoto for the first time and a 13 megapixel ultrawide it’s more Hardware than before but I would say it’s somehow still feels behind the Zen phone 10 which is also made by Asus like are are those branches of the company even talking to each

Other this primary camera sensor is an IMX 890 it’s the same camera sensor that’s in the OnePlus 11 and the nothing phone 2 and some other phones in the6 700 range and it produces pictures that look kind of like those phones too they’re decent sometimes in good light

But often a little too much motion blur and a lot too much HDR seriously sometimes with people as the subjects it looks like they’re just trying to blast the exposure on faces and drag everything else down it’s just very aggressive processing like it’s running algorithms made for a sensor from 5

Years ago now there are upsides like the super steady video it’s now capable of thanks to the hybrid 6axis gimbal just like the Zen phone it means you can shoot slightly better handheld in low light but it’s really smooth video and the front-facing camera is wider angle

So you can fit more people on the frame even if it is still kind of HDR and the telephoto that’s something new that the Zen phone also doesn’t have and that is genuinely useful if you shoot a lot of Zoom you know 3x isn’t the most zoom in

The world but the stabilization on it is so Rock Solid so you can keep punching it with digital Zoom all that’s to say it’s leveled up but it’s clearly still not the focus of this phone Focus but it’s it’s not the strength of this phone which might just be fine in another $700

Phone but as you may have picked up from my tone and from the rest of the specs in this video this is not a $600 phone this is a very flagship phone with a very Flagship price this Rog phone starts at $1,100 and the spec that I’m reviewing with the

24 gigs of RAM and the terabyte of storage this R phone Pro is $1,500 now I also want to point out that you’re going to start noticing AI features with basically every phone that comes out this year with the Snapdragon AG gen3 like this is the one of the

First ones there’s maybe one or two other Snapdragon H gen 3 phones out but Qualcomm has built in new AI capabilities into that chip and oh boy every manufacturer’s got some new AI stuff to play with in their phone so for this gaming phone they’ve built in some clever things like pattern

Recognition inside of games to fast forward through recognized scenes in certain supported games or even recognize what’s on the screen and prompt you to find a walkthr of the part of the game that you’re in now I found the you know the smaller stuff like the settings search more useful it’s got

More semantic understanding it can intelligently find the setting you’re looking for based on what you write so even if if you type like two of one it knows oh you’re you’re talking about the twin apps feature that lets you have multiple accounts open for one app at

The same time but in general that’s just going to be a theme of 2024 to look out for AI capabilities of phones with this chip just you can you can just trust me on this one so the summary of the Rog phone is look this is a very still a

Very capable powerful really fast Android phone like it always is and it’s just a little more tame looking like they’ve traded some of their gamery Edge for Mass Appeal and I think a lot of the decisions were really smart like trading some of the basic stuff like thinner

Bezels and a little bit more of a trim like overall form factor and one or two millimeters of thickness for a slightly smaller battery fine and I still think you know getting the gamer stuff with the display on the back but still having wireless charging and ip68 water resist

That’s great but the one thing that they couldn’t quite get over that hump is the camera system it’s good but it’s not over that hump and that just happens to be one of the most important things about a mainstream phone and so this remains a really good gamer

Phone thanks for watching catch you guys in the next one Peace

Video “Can A Gaming Phone Go Mainstream?” was uploaded on 01/16/2024 to Youtube Channel Marques Brownlee