Asus has a mixed history with software support, but more often than not, the company slips behind on keeping its phones updated. The original ROG Phone was released in late 2018 with Android 8.1, a few months before Android 9 Pie became available, and finally received Pie a year later. Now it seems the gaming flagship will stay on the outdated OS.
Asus was among the first brands that got a head start with their Android 11 beta trials back in September, closely following the official release for Pixels. But the company took far too long to patch everything up and ready the final builds, which it's only just doing now. Asus has just begun rolling out the Android 11 update to its older flagship ZenFone 6, with its home market of Taiwan getting it first.
TeamWin Recovery Project, or TWRP for short, is a custom recovery partition often used together with custom ROMs and/or rooting. It can help you create full device backups, install new ROMs, and troubleshoot broken software. TWRP v3.4 was released in June with limited Android 10 support, and now TWRP 3.5 is rolling out to all supported devices.
Now that more people are staying at home these days, augmented reality has the potential to become even more important. AR may not be as novel as it once was, but that doesn't mean Google isn't continually expanding its ARCore SDK to more devices to enable them to seamlessly access AR experiences like its virtual zoo.
Asus is among the better-known Chromebook manufacturers, and it's not too long ago that it launched the Chromebook Flip C436. And now the touchscreen-equipped convertible is already discounted by $100 on Amazon and Best Buy ahead of Black Friday. You can get the i3 128GB/8GB version for $700 and the i5 512GB/16GB variant for $800.
Chromebooks might be the main way we experience Chrome OS, but Chromeboxes aren't going anywhere. The mini PCs that run Google's operating system are simple and speedy computers for education, business, and even home use. ASUS released its Chromebox 3 back in 2018, and now it's returning with a super-powered sequel that features some major spec boosts.
Android 11 has been available on Pixel phones for a while now, but most other devices are still on Android 10. Asus started accepting closed beta signups for the Zenfone 7 Pro last month, and now the first Android 11 build is rolling out to testers.
The processing power common to flagship phones means you can expect mobile games to run smoothly on them, but for most devices, that gaming prowess is an afterthought or an added bonus. The ROG Phone 3, launching soon in the US, pairs top-shelf internals with custom hardware and software tailored to creating an excellent gaming experience — and that laser focus on performance means it's great at other things we all use our phones for, too. But nagging flaws more expected from budget phones make it hard to recommend to any but the most ardent mobile gamer.
If it wasn't for the Pixel 3a, the Asus Zenfone 6 probably could've been a surprise hit in 2019. It packed an almost stock-like Android experience, the best processor on the market (back then), and a unique flip camera. We worried that Asus' creation could turn out to be a flash in the pan, but after spending two weeks with the Zenfone 7 Pro, I can confirm that it is an improvement over that already great phone. It comes with a higher price, though.
ASUS has finally revealed US pricing for the ROG Phone 3, and it's ambitious to say the least: $999.99 for the 12GB/512GB version, and $1,099.99 for the 16GB/512GB model. Amazon, B&H, and ASUS's own site will be offering this pricey gaming phone.