ASUS ROG Phone 7 Hands-On: Visual Upgrades Taking Precedence

ROG Phone 7 set 3

ASUS has just officially unveiled the ROG Phone 7 and its Ultimate variant, following a month or so’s worth of leaks. But prior to the official launch, the company gave us a chance to take a quick look at the two variants. Well, technically three, since the two colour variants for the base model look pretty distinct from each other.

Unlike the previous generation, with its four distinctly different variants and specs – and that’s before we take the special editions into consideration – ASUS has decided to keep things simple for the ROG Phone 7. And despite there being a base model and an Ultimate model, they are both identical on the specs front. Both come with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, up to 16GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage space. They even share a 1.78-inch Full HD+ 165Hz display with its 720Hz touch sampling rate. Ditto the 50MP main + 13MP wide-angle camera combo at the back, and the 32MP secondary camera.

ROG Phone 7 white vs black

As mentioned, the base model ASUS ROG Phone 7 has two very distinct colourways, black and white. Both sport a sort of two-tone design, with one half giving a faux see-through design. The black-coloured unit does it better, in the sense that the faux see-through bit is more convincing. Even the texture here is different, with the see-through segment having a glossy feel to it while the other half has the more slippery matte-like texture. This makes it feel a lot more secure in the hand, compared to the entirely matte back of the white coloured versions, both the base model and the Ultimate. Also, the Ultimate model only comes in white, just like the previous generation’s Pro model.

Another difference between the two base models is the ROG branding with RGB lighting. On the black coloured one this is done using mini LEDs reminiscent of the AniMe Matrix on the newer Zephyrus laptops. The white model, on the other hand, looks more conventional, with a single panel making up the whole ROG logo. As for the Ultimate, this has neither, with the ROG Vision screen making another appearance.

ROG Phone 7 Ultimate vent open
ROG Phone 7 AeroActive Cooler 7

So, beyond the way they look, what exactly is the difference between the base and Ultimate versions of the ASUS ROG Phone 7? This actually comes down to the cooling systems. The Ultimate model has another vent on the back of the phone which opens whenever the AeroActive Cooler is attached, with the better cooling leading to more stable gaming performance over extended periods of time.

Overall though, all variants of the ASUS ROG Phone 7 feels very familiar in hand. You’d be hard-pressed to identify any difference between it and the previous generation device. There’s the familiar heft to it, and barring the glossy half of the black coloured model, just as slippery. The buttons are all in the same place, as are the AirTriggers, the 3.5mm audio jack, and the two USB ports.

While the ASUS ROG Phone 7 has made its international debut, the local launch has yet to happen. The company says that this will be happening on 10 May, so that will be when we’ll find out which RAM and storage configurations will be making their way here, and what their accompanying prices will be like.

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