Despite what their names might suggest, the 2020-released Asus ROG Phone 3 is obviously just one generation behind this year’s ROG Phone 5 gaming beast.
Powered by a state-of-the-art Snapdragon 865 processor and packing anywhere between 8 and 16GB RAM, last year’s 6.59-inch Asus flagship was naturally an ideal candidate for an early Android 11 update from a hardware standpoint. But bizarrely enough, the Taiwan-based company chose to snub both this niche high-end device and the more mainstream ZenFone 7 duo for its first such rollout back in December 2020.
While the ZenFone 7 and 7 Pro followed in the ZenFone 6’s footsteps several months ago (which nonetheless felt infuriatingly late), the ROG Phone 3 was kept waiting until… this week.
That’s right, the big day has finally arrived for Taiwanese users eager to take Android 11 for a spin before Android 12 becomes a thing, with a global expansion undoubtedly set to happen sometime soon. It pretty much goes without saying that you’re looking at a hefty collection of UI tweaks, all-new features, and performance enhancements here, tipping the scales at over 2.7GB.
Some of the highlights of a particularly lengthy changelog include a “new ZenUI design”, a bunch of revamped proprietary apps, an “adjusted notification tray”, Bubbles, a revised Quick Settings panel, new editing options added to the native Gallery app, and freshly integrated PowerMaster features in Mobile Manager into Battery Settings.
By no means one of the overall best phones money can buy in 2021 due to its… divisive design and, well, the fact it’s no longer up for grabs in many places with a US warranty included, the Asus ROG Phone 3 definitely feels like the kind of device that should receive at least two major OS promotions, although the second one is hardly guaranteed based on the history of the handset’s forerunners.