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Asus ROG Phone 8 vs. ROG Phone 8 Pro: All about the LEDs

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Asus ROG Phone 8 series

  • Asus ROG Phone 8

    Gaming perfection

    The Asus ROG Phone 8 packs the latest mobile hardware, notably the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset, which is more than sufficient for playing the most demanding Android games. While it doesn’t have the custom LEDs and storage options of its bigger brother, it has exactly the same internal hardware for a lower price.

    Pros

    • Same core specs as the Pro
    • Cheaper price
    • More color options
    Cons

    • No custom LEDs
    • Limited RAM and storage options

  • ROG Phone 8 Pro back plate showing camera bump, with white background

    Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro

    Top of its class

    On top of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset and the 165hz refresh rate, the Asus Rog Phone 8 Pro boasts stylish customizable LEDs that offer a unique way to personalize your phone’s exterior. But whether you care about customization features or not, it’s the most polished gaming phone on the market.

    Pros

    • Unique customizable LEDs
    • Higher RAM and storage options
    Cons

    • Expensive
    • LEDs are purely cosmetic


Asus’ latest ROG phones marked a notable design shift for the brand. While previous phones, like the ROG 7 Ultimate, were flashy gaming devices, the ROG 8 and 8 Pro attempt to interest mainstream Android users. While this means the phones don’t look out of place compared to the Samsung Galaxys and Google Pixels that regularly top our list of the best Android phones, gaming enthusiasts may be disappointed by the compromises made to reach this point.



Asus sells two versions of the ROG Phone 8, both of which go over the $1,000 price point. The ROG Phone 8 and 8 Pro are more similar than not, but some notable differences set the two apart. So is it worth spending an extra $100 on the Pro, or should you settle for the cheaper Rog 8?

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Price, availability, and specs

The ROG Phone 8 has 16GB RAM and 256GB storage and comes in black and gray. Both colors will set you back $1,100. No other storage sizes are available; for increased RAM and storage, you’ll need to upgrade to the ROG Phone 8 Pro.

The ROG Phone 8 Pro is available in two models. The base model with 16GB RAM and 512GB costs $1,200, while the 24GB RAM/ 1TB storage model clocks in at a whopping $1,500. All models, including the ROG Phone 8, ship with a lightweight clear case. However, the more expensive 8 Pro ships with the AeroActive Cooler X, which retails separately for $100, making the phone’s base cost $1,400 (there’s no way to buy the 1TB model without the AeroActive Cooler X). Both 8 Pro models are only available in black.


All Asus ROG Phone 8 models are only available through the Asus online store.

  • Asus ROG Phone 8Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro
    SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3
    RAM12GB, 16GB, or 24GB16GB or 24GB
    Storage256GB, 512GB, or 1TB512GB or 1TB
    Battery5,500mAh5,500mAh
    PortsUSB-C, 3.5mm headphone jackUSB-C, 3.5mm headphone jack
    Front camera32MP RGBW32MP RGBW
    Rear camera50MP, f/1.9 main; 13MP, f/2.2 ultrawide; 32MP, f/2.4 telephoto50MP, f/1.9 main; 13MP, f/2.2 ultrawide; 32MP, f/2.4 telephoto
    ConnectivityNFCNFC
    Dimensions163.8 x 76.8 x 8.9mm163.8 x 76.8 x 8.9mm
    Weight225g225g
    IP RatingIP68IP68
    ColorsRebel Grey, Phantom BlackPhantom Black
    Display dimensions6.78″6.78″
    Display resolution1080 x 24001080 x 2400
    Charge speed65W wired, 15W wireless65W wired, 15W wireless
    Operating SystemAndroid 14Android 14
    Wi-Fi connectivityWi-Fi 7Wi-Fi 7
    BluetoothBluetooth 5.3Bluetooth 5.3

Read our review

Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro review: I’m not sure this is a gaming phone

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Design and display

Distinctive use of LEDs

From the front, the ROG Phone 8 and 8 Pro are identical. Bezels are thin, corners are comfortably rounded, and the controversial pinhole camera stands out front and center. But flip the phone over, and things are a little different.


ROG Phone 8 Pro laying on deskmat showing fullscreen game

Below the camera bump on both phones is an LED light set implemented differently. The ROG Phone 8 arranges them behind a ROG logo cutout. You can program the colors and activity (e.g., you can set it to switch colors when charging the phone), but not much else beyond this.

On the other hand, the ROG Phone 8 Pro has AniMe Vision, a programmable white LED set that can be programmed to show images, animations, and text. Unlike the ROG Phone 8, it has some practical applications. For example, it can be set to show the countdown when taking a delayed photo. When turned off, the LEDs are invisible.

ROG Phone 8 Pro laying on hobby mat with rog logo showing as white leds


Beyond this, the phones are identical. They’re the same weight (225 grams), have the same screen size (6.78 inches), and are IP68 rated. Both phones also have Air Triggers.

While the ROG Phone 8 Pro’s design beats the cheaper model, it’s a purely aesthetic difference limited to the phone’s exterior. It’s definitely an upgrade, but considering you spend most of your time looking at the front of the phone, it’s not entirely worth the $100.

Software and performance

Identical except in extreme situations

ROG Phone 8 Pro laying on deskmat showing armoury crate settings to crop screen

The ROG Phone 8 and 8 Pro run the same Asus-flavored Android 14 OS. For those unfamiliar with Asus’ take on Android, it’s an incredibly customizable experience with some genuinely helpful gaming features. These are found in the Armory Crate app, which lets you customize how you run your games.


While the software is identical on both phones, buying the ROG Phone 8 Pro’s higher RAM version can theoretically let you use the phone with less impact on battery life and temperature. X Mode on ROG phones maximizes performance at the cost of battery life and temperature, allowing you to crank the settings on the most demanding Android games up to the maximum. An additional 8GB of RAM means you don’t need to always have this setting on while gaming on the ROG Phone 8 Pro, it should usually handle games fine with the default settings.

However, it’s hard to use more than 16GB of RAM when gaming on Android devices, so the bump up to 24GB is only relevant when performing niche activities like emulating recent consoles. If you just need a phone capable of playing any game on the Play Store, paying for the more expensive ROG Phone 8 Pro is unnecessary.

The Aero Active Cooler included with the 1TB model of the ROG Phone 8 Pro can improve performance by keeping temperatures low, but it can also be purchased separately for the ROG Phone 8.


Battery life and camera

Completely identical

The ROG Phone 8 and 8 Pro have 5,500mAh batteries that will last you up to two days without a charge. They both support wireless charging, although this will charge the phones slower than the maximum 65W over a wired connection. The 24GB RAM on the ROG Phone 8 Pro technically uses more power but not enough to make a noticeable difference in battery life.

Asus has notably improved its cameras on the ROG Phone 8 and 8 Pro compared to previous generations, but both have the same camera hardware and post-processing. The shots below were taken on a ROG Phone 8 Pro, but you’ll get identical results on the 8.


Which is right for you?

The only notable differences regarding performance between the ROG Phone 8 and 8 Pro are when comparing the former to the 1TB model of the 8 Pro. However, even with this model, you still won’t notice a practical difference whether playing demanding Android games, watching media, or multitasking. Even with the included Aero Active Cooler, it’s not worth $400 more. Therefore, the ROG Phone 8 is the better choice as it is significantly better value for money.

Asus ROG Phone 8 series

Asus ROG Phone 8

Mobile gaming at its best

Everything you need

The Asus Rog Phone 8 is an expensive device that is worth every penny. From its streamlined design to top-of-the-line hardware, Asus’ latest gaming phone doesn’t miss a trick.

The programmable LEDs on the rear of the ROG Phone 8 Pro are fun, and while they offer few practical benefits, they are still a unique feature that makes the 8 Pro stand out more on a day when Android phones are growing more similar by the year. However, it’s a lot to justify it being worth $100 more.

ROG Phone 8 Pro back plate showing camera bump, with white background

Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro

Overpriced but powerful

Even more, but at a cost

While the Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro is functionally identical to its cheaper model, it boasts nifty aesthetic tricks that help it stand out. You also won’t be worried about performance, as you can buy it with up to 24GB RAM and 1TB storage.

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