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Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro vs ROG Phone 7 Ultimate: What’s the difference?

Asus has revealed the ROG Phone 8 Pro at CES 2024, but how does it compare to its predecessor, the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate?

It shouldn’t come as much surprise that the newer ROG Phone 8 Pro benefits from a faster processor than its predecessor, but it’s much more than that. With the ROG Phone 8 Pro, Asus has somewhat changed tact, going from your typical gaming phone to something that resembles a regular 2024 flagship.

However, there’s more to the ROG Phone 8 Pro than a simple face lift. Here are a few ways the Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro differs from the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate.

The Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro has a toned-down look

The Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro is a completely different beast from the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate, starting with the design. While previous entries in the ROG Phone series, including the 7 Ultimate, all have that classic edgy ‘gamer’ look with lines, patterns and in-your-face LED lighting, the same can’t be said for the ROG Phone 8 Pro.

Instead, the ROG Phone 8 Pro much more resembles a regular 2024 flagship than any previous gaming phone, sporting elements like a glass rear with textured matte finish, a near bezel-less display and even IP68 dust and water resistance for the first time. It’s also 8.9mm thick and weighs 225g, comfortably in regular flagship territory. 

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Of course, it is still a gaming phone, so Asus has included a new AniMe Vision panel with 341 programmable LEDs on the rear of the phone. The panel can display pre-loaded and custom animations and double up as a notification LED when the phone is screen down. 

However, when it’s not in use, it’s practically invisible, adding to that clean look Asus is going for with the 8 Pro.  

It’s also evident in a renewed focus on camera tech, usually not a priority for gaming phones, with a 50MP main, 13MP ultrawide and 32MP telephoto lens. 

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The Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro is more powerful than the 7 Ultimate

Gaming phones are about one thing – performance – so it should come as no surprise that the newer ROG Phone 8 Pro is more powerful than the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate, although just how much of a difference it makes in real-world scenarios is yet to be seen.

On paper though, the ROG Phone 8 Pro certainly sounds capable. It sports Qualcomm’s new top-end Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset with up to 24GB of RAM and 1TB of UFS 4.0 storage. On the other hand, the ROG Phone 7 Pro sports the year-old Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset with 16GB of RAM and 512GB as standard. 

According to Asus, that represents year-on-year gains of 30% in the CPU department and 25% in the GPU department, which should translate to even more frames per second in your favourite gaming titles. That’s paired with the new GameCool 8 advanced thermal system that helps keep things cool under pressure and delivers sustained gameplay sessions. 

There are also cool GenAI features available on the ROG Phone 8 Pro thanks to the GenAI-focused chipset, allowing you to generate ROG-style wallpapers all on-device, and it uses LLMs to make searching for content on your phone much easier too. 

Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro in-hand
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

The Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate has direct cooling

The Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro seems like an all-round upgrade compared to the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate, but that’s not necessarily the case. 

In its attempt to ‘flagship-ify’ the ROG Phone 8 Pro with IP68 dust and water resistance, the company has actually removed one of the most impressive features of the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate – direct cooling.

In simple terms, the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate had a portal that allowed for direct cooling of the internal components when used with the AeroActive Cooler 7 accessory that the phone came with. 

Access to the internals provided a speedy, effective cooling process perfect for long gaming sessions, especially with demanding titles like PUBG, Call of Duty Mobile or Genshin Impact. 

However, open ports aren’t good for dust and water ingress, so just a year after its introduction, it’s gone. Asus claims that using the new AeroActive Cooler X can sustain 60fps gameplay on Genshin Impact for an hour, but we can’t help but wonder if that would’ve been easier with a direct port. 

The Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate has a bigger battery

With a slimmer and lighter design than the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate, the ROG Phone 8 Pro had to make some sacrifices – and one of the most evident is battery capacity.

To be fair to Asus, the ROG Phone 8 Pro has a 5,500mAh cell that’s larger than most of the competition, but it’s not the 6,000mAh cell present in the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate that we were particularly impressed with in our review. 

Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Asus claims that, with the improved power efficiency of the new chipset, the ROG Phone 8 Pro matches the battery longevity of the 7 Ultimate in real-world use, but that’s yet to be confirmed. 

Regardless of which you opt for, you’ll get 65W fast charging tech with a charger in the box, though with a smaller battery, the ROG Phone 8 Pro will likely hit 100% a bit sooner than the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate. 

The Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro will go on sale soon

Asus has confirmed that the ROG Phone 8 Pro will be released soon, with pre-orders of the ROG Phone 8 Pro starting at £1,099/$1,199, while the top-end ROG Phone 8 Pro Edition with 24GB of RAM and 1TB of storage comes in at a not-insignificant £1,299/$1,499. There’s also the regular ROG Phone 8 that starts at a slightly cheaper £949/$999.

The good news is that the Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate has already dropped from its initial £1,199 RRP, making it a pretty tempting alternative to the ROG Phone 8 Pro if you don’t need the latest and greatest tech.

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