Asus ROG Phone 8 Launch Suggests Changes in Gaming Phone Trends

Asus ROG Phone 8 Launch Suggests Changes in Gaming Phone Trends

The Asus ROG Phone has ruled as the undisputed champ of gaming phones. But with the just-announced ROG Phone 8, Asus seems to be changing the game plan.

Gaming phones have signature traits – big sharp screens, killer stereo sound, advanced cooling systems, shoulder triggers, giant batteries, and powerful specs optimized for gameplay. Compromises like average cameras are expected. But the ROG Phone 8 breaks the mold.

At their CES 2024 event, Asus actually said this model goes “beyond gaming.” That sounds like gaming isn’t the priority anymore.

The ROG Phone 8 still has top specs like the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip. But Asus stripped away some of the series’ defining gaming features. The crazy motorized cooling vent? Gone. The detachable fan with built-in subwoofer? Nixed. They shaved down the size, weight and battery too.

These trade-offs let Asus slim down the phone with smaller bezels and add extras like wireless charging and serious water resistance. Great additions, but weird losses for a gaming phone.

It seems like the ROG Phone is taking over where Asus’ regular Zenfone left off. With the Zenfone 8, Asus targeted smaller mainstream flagships. That left a gap for big-screen phones to rival the iPhone Pro Max. Now the ROG Phone 8 is stepping in, with a bigger focus on cameras and mainstream appeal.

The mobile gaming scene has changed too. Mobile gaming revenue now crushes PC and console. So more phone makers boast gaming features on their flagships. Apple touts iPhone 15 Pro Max ray tracing. Cloud gaming and controllers like the Backbone One make mobile gaming more mainstream.

The new Asus ROG Phone 8 looks less like a revolutionary gaming phone, and more like another excellent flagship among many. The era of the dedicated gaming phone innovator seems to be ending.