The ROG Phone 8, Premiering this January 8 at CES Las Vegas, Is a Bit of an Odd One.

They’re… focusing on cameras now? Isn’t this a gaming phone?

As January approaches, new phones are expected, ranging from budget, to flagships, to gaming phones. One of the very first phones to be released next year is the ROG Phone 8. It is highly anticipated, and maybe a little late since the Red Magic 9 series has just hit the scene this year.

However, if there’s one thing that ASUS presented in their teasers, it’s not its gaming capabilities but more of its cameras. Even though the name is clearly “Republic of GAMERS“. Thanks to this new, cleaner design, and clearly better cameras than the 7 Pro, ASUS is making the ROG Phone a more “general” phone, putting the Zenfone series in an odd position. The ROG Phone 8 is said to sport a 50MP Sony IMX890 primary camera, a 13MP ultrawide lens, and a 32MP selfie camera. Also, the ROG Phone 8 and its ultra variant will also have a 32MP telephoto camera with 3x optical zoom and OIS.

Speaking of Zenfone, ASUS announced the Zenfone 11 series (including an “Ultra” variant). You thought they are dead, huh? Nope! Thankfully, they are still kicking as ASUS is one of a handful of companies that truly takes their customer feedback well. This can be seen with the Zenfone 10 as it is a minimalist phone with a headphone jack, a compact design, and a clean UI. These elements make you feel relaxed, thus fitting the name “Zenfone”. However, if you’re expecting a compact Zenfone again, the chances are slim.

The new ROG phone, according to tipsters and leaked 3D renders, marks a departure in the series’ signature design. It now sports a cleaner look, as opposed to the aggressive look the ROG Phone 7 and its predecessors had. The new look, if ever real, is alright but since it’s a gaming phone, we like the prudishly unique look its predecessors have. Because at least their designs screams “gaming”.

It is also the first in the series to feature a punch hole notch. Previous phones used a clean 21:9 tall display. This allowed ASUS to have more screen and fewer bezels, as well as having a more modern look.

Of course, it will sport the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset with a whoppingly large 24GB RAM and up to 1TB internal storage! MicroSD Card slot? Forget it! It’s 2023 (and into 2024), those things are reserved for the budgeted ones. It is also expected to have an IP68 rating, various accessories (including a new AeroActive Cooler add-on), shoulder triggers, 144Hz refresh rate, and an internal cooling unit with powerful fans inside. RGB lighting, a 3.5mm jack, and stereo speakers are also expected.

Now, if the Zenfone 11 Ultra is set to come with the same configuration (that is, 24GB RAM + 1TB storage and Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3), then what ASUS needs to do is to distinguish how the two are different. They can put the Zenfone 11 series as more appealing to casual and compact users, while the ROG Phone can be for the hardcore power users. If they can make the Zenfone 11 series compete with the Samsung Galaxy S24 series at a cheaper price, that might put the Zenfone series back on the map.

The ROG Phone series is also in a position where it could be cannibalized by ROG Ally sales. The handheld console runs Windows and therefore, could run PC titles that the Zenfone can’t. This means, the ROG Ally can efficiently run emulators such as PCSX2 and Dolphin with ease, as well as open Microsoft Office applications, and because Google Play is coming to PC, it can run Android games too, making the ROG Phone somewhat redundant. The console is similarly priced to the base ROG Phone as well. One of its main caveats however, is its bulky handling and heavy weight and that it cannot make calls. However, the Zenfone series can fill that gap already.

We’re still positive that the ROG Phone and Zenfone series will do well financially. The rest of the specs of the ROG Phone 8 will be revealed on January 8 at ASUS’ Taipei headquarters. A livestream will be broadcasted during that time.

Source: GSMArena, Android Authority