A few weeks ago, ROG announced the arrival of the new ROG Phone 8 series. It’s a lot earlier compared to its predecessor, and with it comes a lot of changes. We have a brand new design that affects many different aspects of the phone to the point that the entire community is rather polarized. Some love it, some absolutely despise it. But we’re not here for opinions today – so let’s see what the fuss is about.

Design

We’re absolutely shocked by the design change, honestly. The new design makes the ROG Phone 8 look like a typical smartphone if we ignore the LEDs and whatnot. We’ve seen a lot of people getting angry over this design as it changes many different aspects of the phone – like the front-facing speakers are now gone, and the screen also has a punch-hole for the selfie camera. All this is done to shrink the screen’s bezel and upping the screen-to-body ratio.

ROG Phone 8 review

However, there are a lot of people that love this new compact design. To each their own, I suppose.

ROG Phone 8 review

The ROG Phone 8 is available in two colors – and we have it in the Rebel Grey color. It looks sleek and that ROG eye logo still lights up in RGB.

The RGB LED inside the phone is now brighter than ever and is split into two zones. We can have mixed lights – like red on the left and maybe green on the right side.

Performance

The one main reason why everyone buys the ROG Phone 8 is for the gaming performance – and I’m happy to say that the performance is amazing. It comes equipped with the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 SoC and it ran every game that we threw at it. Check out the gaming test that we done on Nasi Lemak Tech.

As a quick mention that I think many people need to know – the ROG Phone 8 will perform identically against the ROG Phone 8 Pro and ROG Phone 8 Pro Edition.

Features

In terms of the gaming features available, ROG still has the usual AirTriggers which I felt it to be a bit unresponsive compared to the previous generations, but we have something new called the X Sense 2.0. This feature now supports games like Honkai Star Rail and also Genshin Impact – and it can do 4 things:

  • Auto-loot
  • Auto running
  • Speed up conversations
  • Auto-tapping to get out of a bad situation (stuck in bubble, frozen)

These are useful features on top of the existing features like macro and background mode – and that further solidifies the ROG Phone 8 as the ultimate gaming smartphone that money can buy, despite it not looking as “gamer” as before.

Battery life

The battery capacity has shrunken down to 5,500mAh but it can match its predecessor’s battery life. That goes to show how much the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 has improved in terms of efficiency.

Compared to the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate, the battery life is on par. The only reason why we’re getting about 40 minutes less is because I didn’t turn off the LEDs. I could, but those LEDs are the staple of the ROG Phone series.

Review - ROG Phone 8: Lots of changes 1

Charging speed

The charging speed, we still have that 65W USB-PD PPS charger included in the box. I’m glad ROG stuck with this standard as we can use any laptop chargers or even the ROG Ally’s charger to charge this phone at its maximum speed.

It takes around 50 minutes to complete the charging cycle, and that’s actually pretty quick.

ROG Phone 8 Pro battery charging benchmark

Cameras

One big focus of this generation is the cameras. The general consensus about a gaming phone’s camera is always bad – but ROG seeks to change that this time. It has a much bigger camera bump this time and it packs a lot of serious hardware too. But does it take good pictures? Here are a few samples for you to see.

As we can see, the day shots are fine though they still lack color consistency between the main and ultrawide angle cameras. The clarity of the ultrawide angle is also not that good, but acceptable if we just upload it to social media.

When the night falls, both cameras are struggling but the ultrawide angle takes some pretty dark shots to the point that I don’t think it’s usable.

I think the main and ultrawide angle cameras are much better compared to the previous generation… but not necessarily good when compared to other phones in the market right now.

Price

As for the price… the price hike to RM3,999 is quite daring, I’d say. There are some features removed here and there but we do get better gaming features on some supported games. I’m not sure if that’s going to matter more to other people – so that’s up to your personal preference.

ROG Phone 8 review 7

The cameras has definitely improved but I’m not sure if it’s enough. Perhaps firmware updates can fix this?

Where to buy? (Affiliate links)

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