Gaming Phone Showdown: ASUS ROG Phone Vs. Xiaomi Black Shark Vs. Razer Phone

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Time for the battle of the beasts!

Since late last year, brands have been ramping up efforts in creating a smartphone that is geared towards hardcore gamers. Razer started this trend with the Razer phone, and ASUS and Xiaomi decided to offer their own version of the gaming phone in the ROG phone and Black Shark respectively.

Now with three gaming phones to choose from, which of the three is the true beast? Before we start off our comparison, here’s a rundown of their specs:

ASUS ROG Phone Specs
  • Speed-binned 2.93Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor
  • Adreno 630 GPU
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128GB/512GB internal storage
  • 6-inch Full HD+AMOLED display with 90hz refresh rate and 1ms response time, HDR support, Gorilla Glass 6
  • 12-megapixel main and 8-megapixel wide-angle rear cameras
  • 8-megapixel front camera
  • 4G, LTE
  • Dual SIM
  • WiFi, Bluetooth
  • GPS, A-GPS
  • USB Type-C
  • GameCool vapor-chamber cooling system, AirTrigger force feedback haptics
  • Aura RGB lighting and AuraSync Support
  • Stereo speakers with smart amplifier and support for Hi-Res Audio, DTS:HeadphoneX, and aptX
  • 4000mAh battery with HyperCharge
  • Android 8.1 Oreo with ZenUI 5.0

Xiaomi Black Shark specs
  • AI-Powered Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 octa-core processor
  • Qualcomm Adreno 630 graphics unit
  • 6GB/8GB RAM, UFS 2.1
  • 5.99-inch Full HD+ In-Cell display, 18:9 aspect ratio, 97% DCI-P3 coverage
  • 64GB/128GB of expandable storage
  • 12-megapixel f/1.75 primary rear camera and 20-megapixel f/1.75 secondary rear camera with dual LED flash, PDAF, Dark Light enhancement, Portrait mode
  • 20-megapixel f/2.2 front camera with beauty mode, 4K recording
  • Dual SIM
  • 4G LTE, LTE-A
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC
  • Fingerprint scanner, USB Type-C port, liquid cooling system
  • 4000mAh battery
  • Android Oreo with JOY UI

Razer Phone specs
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor
  • 8GB RAM
  • 5.7-inch Quad HD IGZO 120Hz display with UltraMotion
  • 64GB storage
  • 12-megapixel f/1.75 wide angle and 13-megapixel, f/2.6 telephoto rear cameras with dual-tone LED flash
  • 8-megapixel f/2.0 front camera
  • 3G, LTE
  • 24-Bit DAC with Dolby Atmos and THX certification
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, USB Type-C, fingerprint sensor
  • Custom Nova Launcher Prime Razer Edition skin
  • 4000mAh battery with Qualcomm QuickCharge 4.0+
  • Android Nougat (7.1.1) (Updatable to Android Oreo)

Internals: Overclocking IS life

While using either the Snapdragon 835 or 845 processor is a de facto option, ASUS ups the ante by using an overclocked version of the Snapdragon 845, with a clock speed of 2.93Ghz. On top of that, the ROG Phone dominates over the Black Shark and Razer Phone by offering not just 8GB of RAM, but also a 512GB internal storage option so that you have more space for games.

Display: ASUS and Razer go head-to-head…almost

The Razer Phone has the bragging rights here with its 120Hz IGZO Quad HD display, but the ROG Phone comes close: Using a Full HD+ AMOLED panel, ASUS claims that it has a refresh rate of 90Hz and a quick response time of 1ms. We can’t say much as to which display is better until we get to test both phones with graphics-intensive games.

Camera: Props to Razer and Xiaomi for the effort

While cameras are not really a priority in a gaming phone, the Razer phone manages to pack both a wide-angle and telephoto lens for its dual rear camera setup. Xiaomi, on the other hand, boasts of 4K recording with their 20-megapixel front camera for those clear stream sessions.

Just like the display, we can’t say much about camera quality until we get to test them.

Battery: Same ground, plus fast charging to boot

This is where all three gaming phones get it right: Aside from all three boasting a generous 4000mAh battery, all three support the latest quick charging tech, ensuring you quick top ups so that you have an uninterrupted gaming session.

Cooling: Xiaomi and ASUS lead the way

Among the many reasons why we’re quite disappointed with the Razer Phone is that they did not specify any form of cooling system for running intensive apps. While the Black Shark offers a liquid cooling system, the ROG Phone offers two cooling options: an in-phone GameCool vapor-chamber, and an external Aeroactive Cooler for additional cooling (and better placement of the USB-C and headphone jack).

Accessories: The part where ASUS got it right

No argument here: While the Black Shark offers a Bluetooth controller accessory, ASUS’ ROG Phone offers a plethora of accessories to suit every kind of gamer. This ranges from the Nintendo Wii-inspired WiGig Dock, a Mobile desktop dock, and a dual-screen TwinView Dock.

Verdict: The ROG Phone is the king…for now

ASUS was not kidding when they said that the ROG Phone is a game-changer: From its cooling system to its accessories lineup, ASUS just set the bar for the gaming phone segment. With all the bells and whistles it has, we are hoping (and praying) that ASUS gives a fair price to the ROG Phone.

Since it is slated to launch by Q3 of 2018, this should give Razer some time to work on a possible Razer 2 Phone. Can the succesor of the Razer Phone match the ROG Phone? We will have to wait and see.

(unbox.ph, http://bit.ly/2M1RLRo)

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