ROG Phone 8 Pro Review – For the Gamers

With every iteration, the look of the ROG Phone series gets a little more understated. The ROG Phone 8 Pro, while still very much a Gamer Phone™, has the ability to fly under the radar with a sleeker, slimmer design – or, depending on your customisation choices, to look like the absolute gaming beast it is. It’s a versatile phone that comes with a few notable features, and right from the get-go it’s clear that it’s designed for those who prioritise gaming performance – it definitely does the job when it comes to everyday use, it just might be overkill for those who don’t want all those gaming extras. 

ROG Phone 8 Pro

Unboxing experience

Setting up the ROG Phone 8 is an experience in itself, with the phone’s main features introduced to you through an interactive tutorial that incorporates the box itself into the phone’s initial start-up. It does feel a little gimmicky, but the phone does come in a strangely-shaped box, and it was fun to see that part of the reason for that was so that it could be a part of the experience. Its inclusion makes it feel from the start like this phone is for a specific audience, and if you’re a gamer – it understands what you’re there for, and immediately feels engaging. If you’re not? It’s probably a little weird. But it’s a cool way to force you to check out the phone’s features.

ROG Phone 8 Pro

Design and physical feel

Slimmer and lighter than its predecessors, the phone does look slick and feels great to hold. The matte finish that covers most of its exterior keeps the back fingerprint free, with reflective accents adding a nice touch. While from a distance it absolutely keeps a low profile, once you look closer and see phrases like ‘GLHF’ written across the back, it’s undeniable that it is, once again, a Gamer Phone™ – with some extra phrases written on the basic case included in the box. The text didn’t add much for me personally, but for those really out for that gaming experience, it might give them a bit of a kick. 

For those into the flashier side of a gamer phone, the AniMe Vision screen is likely to quickly catch your eye. A customisable mini-LED display on the back of your phone, the screen can show practical bits of info like a clock or battery percentage, a phone icon when a call is coming through, animations to sync with your music, along with other fun little gimmicky animations. To get the most out of these, you really need to be someone who spends a lot of time with your phone face down beside you – obviously, while in use, this screen isn’t visible. But the programmable screen is a lot of fun to mess around with, at least when you’re first setting things up, and it is nice to be able to see things like remaining battery or the time without having to turn on the screen and be greeted with a mess of distracting notifications. 

What’s more exciting is the handful of particularly useful ports the phone offers, like the inclusion of two USB-C ports that allow you to use the included AeroActive Cooler X while also charging your phone, or to simply charge it from whichever angle is more convenient for your cord placement. Best of all, it has a coveted (by me at least) headphone jack, which is quickly becoming hard to find, but that allows the use of wired headphones (or, if you’re me, allows you to plug an AUX cord into it to play music through your aging car).

ROG Phone 8 Pro

Battery life and everyday use

When using it lightly during the day and for a few gaming sessions at night, I was easily able to get a day and a half of battery out of the ROG Phone 8 Pro without needing a top-up. When life got hectic and I had to set it aside for a few days, I was surprised to find that after two days of not touching it, it was still sitting at around 30%. Given the number of things the phone has going on in the background at any given time (like customisable gaming modes using the in-built ‘Armory Crate’ and the LED screen on the device’s rear) this was surprisingly decent. 

A 6.78” AMOLED display shows a clear, crisp picture, whether you’re using the phone for gaming or scrolling the internet, and the Snapdragon® 8 Gen 3 processor is powerful enough to handle anything you might want to throw at it. I spent a chunk of my time with the phone using it basically as a Game Pass Cloud machine, putting it through its paces with as many games as I could, and it never struggled – so emails, social media, casual games, they were all easy work. 

ROG Phone 8 Pro

Peripherals and gaming features

Included in the box with the ROG Phone 8 Pro is the AeroActive Cooler X, a neat little device that clips onto the back of the phone and ensures it stays cool through long gaming sessions. It’s a little impractically bulky to carry around with your phone in, say, a handbag, but it slips nicely into a backpack or laptop bag to be used on a commute. It has its own customisable backlights (of course) and a little kickstand for resting your phone upright, and it remains surprisingly quiet while keeping the phone cool. It also provides an extra two physical buttons for the phone to be used in gaming sessions, but they were a little awkward for my tiny hands to use with any degree of comfort. Overall, it’s a nifty piece of equipment that reminded me of something you’d clip into your Game Boy, or a Nintendo 64 controller. 

If extra buttons on your phone excite you, you’ll love the Air Triggers – two pressure-sensitive ‘buttons’ positioned on the horizontal edge of the phone, basically designed to act like trigger buttons. They take a moment to get used to (the sensation of ‘pressing’ something that isn’t there is an odd feeling) but the vibration feedback makes them quite tactile, and strangely fun to use. You’re introduced to them during a mini-game included in the phone’s unboxing tutorial, but honestly, after that, I didn’t use them as much as I would have liked. Playing meatier games on the phone is much nicer when you have a full set of physical buttons to use, like the ones on a controller attachment. Trying to use the Air Triggers while using the rest of the screen as a touch screen like normal never quite feels right.

Final thoughts

The ROG Phone 8 Pro offered up a lot of features that were undoubtedly cool, but ultimately went unused for a lot of the time I spent with it – at least when I wasn’t making a conscious effort to scope them out. For some, these features will be game-changers, and no doubt inclusions like the AeroActive Cooler X or the AniMe Vision screen will be exactly what they’re looking for for hardcore gaming sessions. For me, it was a little hard to see how some of these features – like the Air Triggers – wouldn’t be quickly made obsolete by other hardware like an attachable controller – something a lot of the target market would likely also own. They’re cool, but are they necessary, or practical? I’m not so sure. 

Overall, the ROG Phone 8 Pro is a solid option for mobile gaming that will provide all the power you need, along with some gaming gimmicks you probably won’t. It’s sleek, has a great variety of external ports, and a display that’s bright enough for any kind of use – but it’s also undoubtedly a Gamer Phone™. Your mileage for that may vary, but if you can handle the ‘GLHF’ energy of the casing there’s a great device here for any type of user. 

If the ROG Phone sounds like it’s for you, you can learn more about it on the ASUS website.

Player 2 was kindly provided with a review unit by ASUS in order to write this review.

ROG Phone 8 Pro Series Specs

Dimensions / Weight

163.8 x 76.8 x 8.9mm / 225g


ROG Phone 8 Pro Edition & Pro: Phantom Black

ROG Phone 8: Rebel Grey & Phantom Black

Rear Camera

Main: 50 MP 6-axis Hybrid Gimbal Stabiliser 3.0, 1/1.56”, f/1.9

Wide: 13 MP, f/2.2, Free-form Lens

Tele: 32 MP, f/2.4, OIS, 3X optical zoom, pixel binning 1.4μm(Actual output photo: 8 MP)

Front Camera

32 MP RGBW,pixel binning 1.4 μm(Actual output photo: 8 MP)


6.78” flexible AMOLED, FHD+, up to 165 Hz refresh rate, LTPO 1~1 20 Hz, peak brightness 2500 nits

Battery / Charging

5,500 mAh (typical), Wired 65 W HyperCharge, Wireless 15 W Qi-certified charging


12 GB + 256 GB / 16 GB +512 GB / 24 GB +1 TB


5G SA&NSA: n1 / n2 / n3 / n5 / n7 / n8 / n12 / n18 / n20 / n25 / n26 / n28 / n38 / n40 / n41 / n48 / n66 / n77 / n78 / n79

4G FDD-LTE: B1 / B2 / B3 / B4 / B5 / B7 / B8 / B12 / B17 / B18 / B19 / B20 / B25 / B26 / B28 / B32 / B66

4G TDD-LTE: B34 / B38 / B39 / B40 / B41 / B42 / B43 / B48

WCDMA: 850 / 900 / 1700 / 1800 / 1900 / 2100MHz

GSM: 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900MHz


Accelerator, E-Compass, Proximity, Ambient light sensor, Fingerprint on Display, Gyro (supports ARCore), AirTrigger, WiFi 7 ready, Bluetooth® 5.3, GPS / GNSS / GLONASS / Galileo / Beidou / QZSS / NavIC, 3.5 mm headset, NFC


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