Root NationMobile GadgetsSmartphonesASUS ROG Phone 8 and 8 Pro Gaming Smartphones Review: Hot and Fast!

ASUS ROG Phone 8 and 8 Pro Gaming Smartphones Review: Hot and Fast!

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There aren’t many smartphones specifically designed for mobile gaming enthusiasts on the market. Among them, ASUS ROG stands out, offering top-notch performance and special gaming features for several years now. In this review, we’ll take a look at the new ROG Phone 8 Pro, which comes equipped with the flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, a stunning display, a new set of cameras, virtual gaming buttons, pixel illumination on the rear panel, and a cooler attachment included in the package.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro

Technical specifications of ASUS ROG Phone 8 / ROG Phone 8 Pro

  • Body: aluminum frame, Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on the front panel, Gorilla Glass of unknown version on the back panel, water protection according to IP68 standard (withstands immersion to a depth of 1.5 m for 30 minutes)
  • LED backlight on the back panel:
    • ROG Phone 8 Pro: Anime Vision Mini-LED is a 341-element display that can show programmed or user-created animations
    • ROG Phone 8: RGB backlit logo

     

  • Display: 6.78 inches, LTPO AMOLED, 1080×2448, 395 ppi, 1 billion colors, 165 Hz refresh rate, HDR10+, 2500 nits peak brightness, 720 Hz touch sampling rate, always on display
  • Processor: Qualcomm SM8650-AB Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 (4 nm), 8-core (1×3.3 GHz Cortex-X4 & 3×3.2 GHz Cortex-A720 & 2×3.0 GHz Cortex-A720 & 2×2.3 GHz Cortex-A520)
  • Graphics chip: Adreno 750
  • Operating system: Android 14
  • Memory:
    • ROG Phone 8 Pro: 16/512GB, 24GB / 1TB
    • ROG Phone 8: 12/256 GB, 12/512 GB
    • Memory types UFS 4 and LPDDR5x
    • without a memory card slot
  • Battery: 5500 mAh, PD3.0/QC5 65W wired charging (100% in 39 minutes), 15W wireless (Qi)
  • Cameras:
    • Main: 50 megapixels, f/1.9, 24 mm (wide), 1/1.56″, 1.0 μm, PDAF, OIS, gimbal
    • Telephoto lens: 32 megapixels, f/2.4, 1/3.2″, 0.7 μm, PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom
    • Wide-angle: 13 megapixels, f/2.2, 13 mm, 120˚
    • Video recording: 8K@24fps, 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps, 720p@480fps; gyro-EIS, HDR10+
    • Selfie camera: 32 megapixels, f/2.5, 22 mm (wide-angle), 1/3.2″, 0.7 μm, 1080p video recording at 30 fps
  • Audio: stereo speakers, 32-bit/384 kHz Hi-Res Audio & Hi-Res Audio Wireless, 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Network and data transmission: 5G, Dual SIM, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e/7 tri-band, Bluetooth 5.3, navigation (GPS, GALILEO, BDS, QZSS, GLONASS, NavIC), NFC, two USB Type-C (including side DisplayPort 1.4), UWB, Samsung DeX support
  • Sensors: ultrasonic fingerprint scanner in the display, accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity sensor, digital compass, barometer
  • Dimensions and weight: 163.8 × 76.8 × 8.9 mm, 225 g
  • Price: ROG Phone 8 from $1180, Pro version from $1440

Read also: ASUS Zenfone 10 review: a compact flagship is relevant

Positioning in the lineup and price

ROG Phones always come in a pair: a regular version and a Pro version. However, there are minimal differences between them, so there’s no point in separately reviewing each model. As you might have gathered from the specifications, the ROG Phone 8 Pro is only available in black, and it features a Mini-LED screen with 341 dots on the rear panel, allowing users to even create their own images – a wow factor. Additionally, it boasts more memory – either 16 or a whopping 24 GB of RAM and 512 GB or 1 TB of internal storage.

In turn, the regular ASUS ROG Phone 8 features a simple ROG logo with RGB illumination on the rear panel instead of a customizable screen. It has less memory – 12 GB of RAM and either 256 or 512 GB of internal storage, and it comes in two colors – black or gray.

The package also differs – the Pro version comes with a cooler attachment, and the box is larger and more interesting. These are all the differences.

As for positioning, ASUS doesn’t offer a variety of smartphone series like Xiaomi; there are only two series – ZenPhone (compact flagships, we tested the ten last year) and ROG Phone (gaming flagships).

ROG Phone 8

Now about the prices. Expensive, but not to say that it’s too much for such exotic devices. The ASUS ROG Phone 8 costs around $1180 for the base version with 12/256 GB. The ROG Phone 8 Pro starts from around $1440 for the 16/512 GB variant. As for the top-tier version with 24 GB of RAM and 1 TB of storage, it’s not yet available for sale in Ukraine.

The models have been available not so long ago – since February. I was glad to get a closer look at the ROG Phone 8 Pro and find out what makes (or perhaps what doesn’t make) ASUS gaming smartphones good. Especially since I hadn’t had the chance to test them before.

Read also: Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra Review: Strengths of AI and a Flawed Zoom

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Package contents

The ROG Phone 8 Pro box makes an unforgettable impression!

I recorded the unboxing on video, take a look (I just forgot to take out the case from a separate compartment because I didn’t notice it right away, sorry):

Inside, you’ll find a variety of items: the phone itself, a charger, a Type-C cable with fabric braiding on both ends, a case, and – exclusive elements for the Pro version – a cooler attachment and a fabric pouch for its transportation.

The case is quite perforated to showcase the beauty of the rear panel and provide side access to the virtual keys. It’s made of thin flexible plastic and protects the protruding camera block. Overall, it won’t fully protect the phone, but it’s better than nothing.

It fits snugly on the phone; however, when removing it, I managed to bend it (but bent it back), so be careful.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro caseLet’s take a look at the AeroActive Cooler X. It connects to the phone via the side USB-C port, features a glowing ROG logo, and can cool the phone at different speeds (adjustable in the Armoury Crate app). It also has two gaming keys, a power/lock button (which presses the same button on the phone since the cooler covers it), a 3.5mm jack, a USB-C port, and a built-in stand. We’ll discuss the detailed settings of the AeroActive Cooler X and its overall effectiveness during the review of the ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro. By the way, you can purchase this accessory separately.

Inside, the box also looks unusual, resembling a remote control. And not without reason. In the Armoury Crate app, which we’ll mention several times today, there’s an “Unboxing Mission” – it’s about a mini-game that is launched using this box itself.

Unboxing mission

First, you need to place the phone on a special sensor, then battle space enemies, using virtual keys and changing the phone’s position in space during the gameplay – a great way to get acquainted with the new gaming phone. To load “missions” onto the ROG Phone, you need to occasionally place it into the “server” of the box.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro

As for the standard ROG Phone 8, it comes in a regular rectangular box without any interactivity. Cooling is not included in the package, and it comes with a transparent plastic case.

ASUS ROG Phone 8

Read also: Redmi Note 13 Pro+ 5G Review: True Flagship

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Design

The Pro model is only available in black (the one we are testing), while the regular model is also available in gray.

ASUS ROG Phone 8In both cases, the design and materials are practically the same. The frame is made of aluminum, the front panel is protected by Gorilla Glass Victus 2, and the rear panel is also Gorilla Glass, but of an unknown generation.

The glass on the rear panel has a matte finish, glossy in the light, and velvety to the touch in the case of the ROG Phone 8 Pro. It looks luxurious, but when held, it feels pleasant yet very slippery. I was constantly afraid of dropping the phone. So, I would recommend putting on a case right away.

As for the regular ROG Phone 8, its finish is matte-glossy, with the matte part not as rough as in the Pro version, although there isn’t a critical difference.

ASUS ROG Phone 8On the rear panel, there are polished parts – a strip in the middle that expands, reflecting beautifully, the logo, and the abbreviation of ROG. On the right side, there is a row of inscriptions – GLHF in the middle (presumably abbreviated from Good Luck and Have Fun), Dare to Win at the bottom, and Est. 2006 at the top (the year the ROG series was introduced).

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro

ASUS ROG Phone 8 ProThe cameras are housed in a heavily protruding module with a metal lining.

The camera bump serves as a convenient grip point, preventing this slippery phone from slipping out of your hand.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 ProAdditionally, at the bottom under the rear panel of the ROG Phone 8 Pro, there is a hidden Mini LED screen with 341 elements, which is not visible when turned off. We’ll discuss it further below; here I’ll just mention that the version without the Pro attachment is distinguished by having just a glowing logo instead of a screen.

ASUS ROG Phone 8Almost the entire front panel is occupied by the display, with very small and uniform bezels on all sides. Moreover, considering the dark theme by default, you don’t really notice these bezels at all.

The screen glass has slightly curved edges on all sides, making it convenient to perform gestures.

The notch for the front camera hardly draws attention. In previous generations, it was located above the screen, which could be convenient for gamers but increased the size of the phone. Now, if desired, the camera area can be covered with a black strip in the settings.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro

The fingerprint sensor is optical, built into the screen. It works quickly and without any issues. Of course, for those interested, there’s also facial recognition available.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro

On the left side of the smartphone, there’s a USB port with DisplayPort 1.4 support. It’s used for connecting accessories, such as the cooler included in the ROG Phone 8 Pro package. There are also other accessories available, such as the ROG Kunai 3 gamepad, the ROG Clip stand, and others, including those from third-party companies.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 ProOn the right side are the power/lock buttons, volume controls, and a microphone. Additionally, there’s the ROG branding in metal, and in the same locations are the virtual AirTrigger buttons, which respond to touch.

At the top, there’s only an additional microphone, while at the bottom, there’s a USB charging port, another microphone, a SIM card slot, speaker grilles, and – attention – a 3.5mm headphone jack. We haven’t seen this in flagships for a while, so it’s good that at least someone is not giving up on it. I think ASUS believes that gamers who prefer high-quality sound can choose traditional headphones.

Overall, I can say that the phone has a cool look. It doesn’t stand out with loud design like previous generations of ROG Phones or Chinese gaming phones; instead, it’s more restrained but still has enough elements that make it stand out from others.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro

The device can’t be called small; it takes some getting used to its size. But as an owner of the S24 Ultra, I don’t suffer – larger screens are better for consuming any kind of content and, of course, for gaming too. Phones are no longer just tools for making calls. The ROG Phone 8/8 Pro is quite thin and not too heavy, and the rounded edges of the body positively affect ergonomics.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 ProTo conclude this section, I’ll mention that the smartphone is protected against moisture according to the high IP68 standard, meaning it’s safe to immerse it in water, get it wet, wash it under the tap, and so on.

Read also: Review of Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Yoga (Gen 8): Business-Oriented

Anime Vision backlit screen

Let’s take a look at the hidden Mini LED screen under the rear panel, called Anime Vision. This is the same wow factor that distinguishes the gaming models of the ROG Phone.

You can customize the screen using the proprietary Armoury Crate app. By default, it cyclically displays the animated ASUS ROG logo, current time, battery level, and number of unread messages. You also have the option to display the incoming call icon and an equalizer during music playback.

During shooting, the Anime Vision screen can display the camera or a smiley, as well as a countdown in seconds until the frame is captured. During gameplay, there’s thematic animation. I’ve recorded the settings on video for clarity:

For each of the mentioned options, there are various animations to choose from (over twenty), as well as the ability to create your own animation. You can draw it, write text (with a choice of fonts and scrolling speed), or upload it from a file (supporting black-and-white GIFs with a resolution of up to 254×128). You can set AniMe Vision screen to work on a schedule at a specific time.

Such a cool wow feature!

Display

The ASUS ROG Phone 8 and ROG Phone 8 Pro feature a stunning display. Here are the specifications: 6.78 inches, LTPO AMOLED, with a resolution of 1080×2400, supporting a billion shades, HDR10+ support, a refresh rate of 165Hz, peak brightness up to 2500 nits, and a touch sampling rate of 720Hz.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro

As you can see, everything is at a high level, although the Full HD resolution could have been higher (in Samsung S24+ and Ultra – QHD). But this is just a nitpick; the resolution is still sharp enough, and having a higher resolution would drain the battery more, especially during gaming, which is probably not in the interests of a gaming smartphone.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro

The display is excellent, with deep blacks, pleasant color reproduction, and wide viewing angles. The readability is outstanding even in bright sunlight. The images are very smooth, but from experience, it’s evident that it’s not just the 165Hz refresh rate, but also a well-optimized interface. By the way, you can even choose the animation speed here!

ASUS ROG Phone 8 ProIn the screen settings, you’ll find all the standard options – night mode (blue light filtering to reduce eye strain), reduced flicker at low brightness, Smart Stay (the screen stays on while you’re looking at it), auto-rotate, and dark theme. There’s also “Eye comfort mode,” which activates night mode, reduces flicker, and further decreases brightness simultaneously. It’s better to use this mode in the dark as the brightness is significantly reduced.

The refresh rate can also be selected in the settings – automatic by default (from 1 to 165 Hz, as the screen is of the LTPO type), standard 60 Hz, 120 Hz, or 165 Hz. I would recommend using automatic mode – it’s the best for the energy efficiency of the smartphone.

By the way, by default, the current refresh rate is displayed in the status bar. The phone has different operating modes (which we’ll discuss later), and in the maximum X Mode, the refresh rate cannot be adjusted – it is selected automatically.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 ProThe display color profile is also customizable, not just in two options like most smartphones, but in five presets plus a custom option. Additionally, you can adjust the color temperature to your preference.

There’s an Always On mode, which can operate continuously, for 10 seconds after touching the display, or for a selected period of time. There are various clock styles available, and you can also write text or add your own image.

But what I particularly liked was the Screen light option. Remember those indicator lights on smartphones that used to blink during charging or when there were missed notifications? With the transition to bezel-less displays, they disappeared. So, the AMOLED screen allows you to keep only a specific part illuminated, in this case, the icon in the upper left corner. It can light up during charging or when there are unread notifications, and you can choose the color, style, and intensity of its illumination yourself. Cool, right? Definitely!

Performance of ASUS ROG Phone 8 and 8 Pro

The ASUS ROG Phone 8 and 8 Pro are powered by the top-of-the-line Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor. This is the best you can find on the market right now. Obviously, other smartphone manufacturers also use this chipset, so it’s in ASUS’s interest to do something better. For example, excellent cooling and highly optimized software with plenty of settings to make their model stand out from the rest. And I must say, they’ve succeeded more than well.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 ProThe Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is a 4nm chipset. It includes the ARM Cortex-X4 prime core clocked at up to 3.3 GHz, five Cortex-A720 cores clocked at up to 3.2 GHz, and two Cortex-A520 cores clocked at up to 2.3 GHz. It works with the Adreno 750 graphics processor.

The ROG Phone 8 Pro is available in versions with 16/512 GB and the most powerful 24 GB / 1 TB (which we tested!). As for the regular ROG Phone 8, it is sold in variants of 12/256 GB and 12/512 GB. The memory types are currently the fastest available – LPDDR5X 8533 MHz for RAM and UFS 4.0 for storage.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 ProAll benchmark tests were conducted in the optimal dynamic mode. However, if you switch the phone to the most productive X-Mode and even connect the cooler attachment, you can achieve even more remarkable results. Although even without this, the model often stays at the top, even among other smartphones with the same processor. Devices based on the MTK Dimensity 9300 chipset are rarely able to outperform it.

Overall, there’s currently no phone more productive than the ASUS ROG Phone 8. And you can feel it not only in benchmark tests and the most demanding games but also in everyday tasks. It feels like the phone completes tasks faster than I give them! It’s just lightning-fast. Recently, I’ve been using the latest Galaxy S24 Ultra, also a top-of-the-line model with a “boosted” processor, but in comparison, it’s not as fast. The difference here is clearly not in the “hardware” but in the animations and software, which are slower on Samsung. Plus, ASUS allows you to customize absolutely everything, even the speed of each animation, and the maximum screen refresh rate of 165 Hz also does its job.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro

Read also: Samsung Galaxy S24+ review: a proven formula for success

Cooling

A powerful processor is great, but it also heats up quite a bit. And for a gaming smartphone, ideal cooling is more important than ever. To ensure its effectiveness, the hardware inside the chassis is arranged in a special way, and the ROG Phone 8/8 Pro features an additional layer of copper thermal dissipation touching the SoC. It’s called the Rapid Cooling Conductor and is positioned above the boron nitride layer, designed to transfer heat from the motherboard to the rear panel. You can immediately feel this under load – the rear panel does indeed heat up significantly.

Rapid Cooling Conductor

During gaming, it’s not so bad – you can hold the phone in your hands, but during stress tests and benchmark tests, the phone heated up to the point where it could be used as an iron (I’m not exaggerating!). Holding it was unreal. However, we shouldn’t confuse cause and effect. The casing heats up significantly precisely because the specially designed system is meant to dissipate heat from the processor – and for a gaming phone, this is more important than the comfort of holding it in hand.

Indeed, for this very reason, the AeroActive Cooler is included in the package. It fits snugly against the back panel and dissipates heat from it. With the cooler, holding the phone in your hands is absolutely not a problem.

However, let’s briefly revisit the throttling tests. Overall, despite the overheating of the back panel, the cooling system of the ROG Phone 8/8 Pro is effective. During stress tests, for the first 20-30 minutes, the processor works at full capacity and reduces its peak power by only 7-9%. Moreover, there is not much difference whether the test is conducted with or without the cooler attached, which speaks volumes about the quality of the cooling system.

However, if you continuously stress the phone at 100% load for an hour or more, throttling (reduction in processor performance) becomes evident, reaching up to 50%. This is a significant figure. However, it’s worth noting that no game, even the latest and most graphically demanding, can consistently load the processor at 100%. Throttling tests are exceptions. During the tests, the phone never overheated to the point where I couldn’t hold it.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro

AeroActive Cooler X

Active coolers are included with ASUS ROG phones from the start. They come with the Pro models, and if desired, the accessory can be purchased separately.

The AeroActive Cooler from ASUS underwent its most significant changes with the introduction of the active Peltier cooling element, which occurred in the sixth generation. This element is also present in the new AeroActive Cooler X. Therefore, the cooler is equipped not only with a heat dissipation fan but also with a special thermoelectric converter that takes electrical current and uses it to make one side cold and the other side hot.

It works effectively – simply touching the inner panel of the cooler when it’s active will reveal that it’s as cold as metal in winter (it’s actually covered with a soft-touch coating and has a copper plate). This is precisely what is needed to cool the hot back panel during heavy loads. Technically, the design of the cooler is not intended to dissipate heat from the back of the phone but rather for active cooling.

The AeroActive Cooler X attaches to the phone like a cradle and connects via a Type-C port. The snug connection ensures easy installation and removal of the cooling device. The AeroActive Cooler X also features its own USB Type-C output, duplicating the functions of the phone’s port. Additionally, it includes a 3.5mm audio output.

The device features programmable AirTrigger buttons, although compared to the previous generation, the number has been reduced from four to two. They click excellently and are omnidirectional, meaning you can press them anywhere and in any direction.

The AeroActive Cooler 8 comes with its own RGB lighting. When the accessory is attached to the ROG Phone 8, the lighting will match the ROG logo on the back panel of the phone. In the case of the ROG Phone 8 Pro, a lighting customization menu will appear as soon as the accessory is installed.

AeroActive Cooler XAnother functional element is the retractable stand. It extends from the bottom and provides excellent support for the phone, although the angle of inclination is not adjustable. Additionally, when the cable is connected, you cannot place the phone upright, which is a bit inconvenient. During performance testing, I had to place it on the edge of the desk.

The AeroActive Cooler X has its own settings menu within the Armoury Crate application.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro

In the application, you can adjust the lighting settings, as well as choose from 4 operating modes. The light ones include Smart (automatic) and Cool (uses only the fan for heat dissipation). The more powerful ones, Frosty and Frozen, utilize both the fan and the Peltier element.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 ProThe Frosty mode activates the Peltier element with a lower current – one that the smartphone itself can provide. In the Frozen mode, the AeroActive Cooler X requires a power cable connection, and the cooling is at its strongest – akin to a refrigerator!

I can’t say that the cooler is quiet, but then again, it’s a cooler – the fan spins, and it makes noise. In the minimum mode, you hardly notice it. In the Frosty and Frozen modes, the noise is noticeable but not as loud as computer fans. If you turn on the speakers or wear headphones, the noise won’t be bothersome. There’s an option in the settings to turn off the cooler when the microphone is active.

And the main question – is this cooler effective? Very much so! Even under heavy load, the phone will still be slightly warm with it, but it won’t overheat. This is well demonstrated by a stress test example on throttling – without the cooler, the phone loses up to 50% of its power after half an hour of maximum load, with it at maximum speed – no more than 10%.

Games on ASUS ROG Phone 8 / 8 Pro

I installed all the popular titles on the smartphone, paying particular attention to those that require the most hardware resources. I don’t think anyone will be surprised when I say that everything works without any issues, quickly and smoothly, even when setting the graphics to maximum in the settings. The FPS mostly peaked at maximum, depending on the game, ranging from 60 to 100 and more..

genshin impact rog phone 8

By the way, about maximum graphics – the ROG Phone 8 even supports Ray Tracing technology (a method of generating images using the modeling of light paths as individual rays, creating more realistic and natural visual effects such as reflections, light refraction, and shadows). While it’s still rare to find it in many games, it’s available in War Thunder – and the difference is truly noticeable.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 ProUnder load, the phone does heat up, but as I mentioned earlier, games are not specialized stress tests, so they don’t push the phone to its limits. You can comfortably hold it in your hand during gameplay.

The touch buttons work flawlessly, and we’ll discuss their settings and other gaming features in detail below.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro

Read also: POCO X6 Pro smartphone review: It came to conquer… a niche.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 and 8 Pro cameras

Previous ASUS ROG Phones could be as fast and powerful as you wanted, but their cameras were not particularly noteworthy. Perhaps gamers didn’t find this critical, but if you’re investing a serious sum in a smartphone, you want to get “everything at once,” right? Overall, ASUS has seriously improved the “camera department,” practically changing everything compared to the 6th and 7th generation models.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 Pro

The main module features a 50 MP Sony IMX890 sensor with a size of 1/1.56 inches and a gimbal-like stabilization system (Hybrid Gimble Stabilizer 3.0). There’s also a 32 MP telephoto lens (Samsung JD1SM15) with optical stabilization, 3x optical zoom, and up to 30x digital zoom. The wide-angle camera boasts a 13 MP OmniVision OV13B sensor with a 120-degree field of view. It’s a basic sensor without even autofocus, so the ROG Phone 8 isn’t capable of taking close-up and macro shots. There’s also no dedicated macro sensor.

ASUS ROG Phone 8 ProWhen it comes to photo quality, everything is good, especially in adequate lighting conditions. The shots are clear, vibrant, with pleasant color reproduction and excellent dynamic range.

ALL PHOTOS FROM ROG PHONE IN ORIGINAL SIZE ARE IN THIS FOLDER

The only thing I’d point out is that the lens doesn’t allow shooting close enough to the subject; for sharp focusing, you need to move the camera approximately 10 cm away. And there’s no macro mode.

In the camera interface, there are several levels of zoom – 2x, 3x, 8x, 10x, 30x. Starting from 3x, the advanced telephoto lens comes into play. And up to 10x, ASUS promises Hyper Clarity AI zoom. Of course, it’s not on par with the Galaxy S24 Ultra, but the quality of zoomed shots is genuinely good. You can see that the AI processing does an excellent job. Here are some examples:

I wouldn’t call night photography perfect. At first glance, it’s not so bad, but there’s a certain amount of noise, a lot of post-processing, and the light elements are not handled in the best way. For this price, you can find better options. Moreover, night shots take relatively long to capture – you need to keep the phone still for about 3 seconds (and if the light is very low, even longer).

I’ll note an interesting shooting mode with “light trails,” and the results are great. Plus, you can choose from various effects:

Let’s move on to the wide-angle lens. There’s nothing to complain about here – the photos are pleasant, clear, detailed, with minimal differences in color reproduction compared to the main camera. In low light conditions, it’s a bit weaker, but that’s not surprising. Here are some examples, with the wide angle on the right:

ALL PHOTOS IN THEIR ORIGINAL SIZE ARE IN THIS FOLDER

The ROG Phone 8/8 Pro can record videos in resolutions up to 8K@24fps. For HD, FHD, and 4K resolutions, you can choose between 60 or 30fps. There’s also an HDR mode, but with it, the options for 60fps and 8K are not available. Overall, the video quality is excellent, even in low light conditions – clarity, color reproduction, dynamics are all impressive. I would recommend shooting in FHD or 4K; in 8K, you won’t get significantly more details, but the files will be much larger, and the video may be less smooth. You can see examples of videos on our YouTube channel or simply in this folder.

There’s a HyperSteady mode, available only for Full HD resolution, but it works with both the main and wide-angle cameras. With it, you can even shoot on the go – it works quite well. In the example below, I first jumped high, then ran:

We have left to discuss the results of the 32 MP selfie camera. It allows you to shoot “closer” and “further” (with a 73-degree or 90-degree field of view), and the photo quality is excellent – with numerous details, nice skin tone, and overall natural shots. Of course, there are various options for smoothing-beautification and a decent portrait mode.

The camera interface offers many functions, but everything is logically arranged without chaos. There is also a Pro mode, especially for videos.

Read also: Redmi Note 13 Pro and Redmi Note 13 Pro 5G: Review and Comparison

ASUS ROG Phone 8 and 8 Pro software

The smartphone runs on Android 14 with ASUS ROG UI as its custom skin. The UI has always had its vibrant, gaming style with unique animations and icons, and nothing has changed in the ROG Phone 8/8 Pro.

First of all, the black interface catches the eye. Thanks to it, the screen bezels are completely invisible. The icons are stylized, with all the branded ones being black with colorful elements, while the rest are uniform in shape. The row of Google app icons with a white background stands out against the other black ones, but it’s a matter of personal preference.

If desired, you can switch to the light theme with round icons.

There is an app with various themes, wallpapers, and icons, most of which look great and have a gaming focus. Both paid and free options are available.

The main feature of the interface is that everything can be customized. Any function or feature, even the speed of each animation, as we discussed earlier. It might seem like there’s too much to handle (like controlling a nuclear reactor), but some people might like it. If you don’t like the ROG style or want to take a break from it temporarily, you can simply switch to stock Android in the settings. Or you can customize only certain aspects of the interface, such as the style of the notification shade, volume slider, power menu, call screen, and so on. There are many screenshots in the carousel that you can check out if you’re interested.

There are also familiar features from other interfaces, such as various gesture controls (including double-tap, motion gestures, drawing symbols on the screen, configuring touches on the virtual AirTriggers buttons to activate different actions), a side menu for launching apps in windowed mode, split-screen functionality, an application for memory optimization and cleaning, creating clones of apps and games, and so on.