Asus is launching a smartphone designed for gaming, complete with a clip-on fan to prevent it overheating.
The ROG phone (named after the ‘Republic of Gamers’ brand) has some frankly ludicrous specs including a 6-inch screen with a 90Hz refresh rate (and 1ms pixel response time), a 2.96GHz octa-core Snapdragon processor, a separate graphics processor (Qualcomm Adreno 630) and 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM.
The phone even has a special gaming mode – activated by squeezing the edge of the handset – that automatically shuts down background processes and puts all the resources into the game.
The squeezable edge also includes two ‘AirTriggers’ that act like a gamepad’s shoulder buttons and can be programmed so that you can play games without having to touch the screen.
There’s also a bunch of clip-on accessories including a fan (which automatically switched on in gaming mode) and two gamepads with buttons and analog sticks that attach to the ends of the phone, Nintendo Switch style. There’s even an option for a second screen.
The whole thing comes across as a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation however. Right now you’ll struggle to find any Android games that come close to making the most of these specs, for the simple reason that not enough people have such phones to make it worth developing such games. And the chances of many people buying this and similar models without the promise of games that take full advantage seem low.