Asus ROG Phone 8 renders leak shows a new direction for the gaming range

Well, that was unexpected: the ROG Phone 8 looks very different from its predecessors and from its key rivals too

Asus ROG Phone 8 and 8 Pro renders
(Image credit:

You know what gaming phones look like. They're the smartphone equivalent of monster trucks or incredibly intimidating SUVs, designed specifically to make a statement – I AM POWER! – long before you get to use them. Take the ASUS ROG Phone 7, for example: the only things missing are bull bars, spotlights and go-faster stripes. 

You'd expect the ROG Phone 8 to be more of the same, maybe with a set of truck nuts hanging from the lower section. But in a move that's genuinely surprising, ASUS has gone in a completely different direction. The renders above, created for, show that ASUS's next premium phone looks like... a phone.

What is ASUS up to with the ROG Phone 7?

The ROG Phone 7 and ROG Phone 7 Pro look very much like flagship smartphones rather than just gaming phones, and that's no doubt entirely deliberate: as much fun as gaming phone designs are, you can see how they may be a little off-putting to more casual buyers or for those of us who like to get a bit of gaming in during an otherwise tedious business day. The 8 appears to have a matte finish and the Pro a more glossy casing.

What we can't tell from the images is what effect the design change will have on the ergonomics: gaming phones are held for much longer and in different ways from other smartphones, so hopefully ASUS hasn’t thrown the ergonomic baby out with the design bathwater.

No matter what's going on outside, the internal specs are likely to be impressive: we gave the current ROG Phone five out of five stars and it's our current pick for the best gaming phone. It's ridiculously overpowered for casual gaming, but it's not designed for that; it's made for hardcore gamers who have to tear themselves away from their beloved rigs and as a result it has to deliver a much more stellar gaming experience. As we said in our review it does that very well, and it is perfectly capable of handling day to day tasks too. And now with the eighth version, you'll be able to use it in stealth mode too.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series; her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, was shortlisted for the British Book Awards. When she’s not scribbling, Carrie is the singer in Glaswegian rock band Unquiet Mind (unquietmindmusic).