Asus ROG Phone 3 has a killer hidden feature — but Asus doesn't want you to use it

Asus ROG Phone 3
(Image credit: Asus)

The Asus ROG Phone 3 has a secret 160Hz refresh rate that has just been discovered.

XDA Developers (via Engadget) initially found references to the mode inside the ROG Phone 3's Settings app code. It then discovered that with a debugging command, you can boost the phone's basic 144Hz refresh rate even higher.

To enable this hidden mode, you need to use the command through the PC app Android Debug Bridge. Once you've done this, and rebooted the phone, the 160Hz option appears in the refresh rate settings.

You can then benefit from this display rate on apps where the frame rate hasn't been specifically capped at a lower rate. However, as XDA Developers notes, this mode clearly isn't as optimized for users as the other modes.

In a statement to Engadget, Asus confirmed the setting is present, but that it wasn't intended for consumer usage. "The 160Hz refresh rate is only for our internal testing and ASUS has not made this part of the official specifications of the device," a statement from the company reads.

Most Android flagships released this year are using 120Hz displays, including the upcoming Samsung Galaxy Note 20. The ROG Phone's 144Hz advertised refresh rate already beats it on that front, as does its huge 6,000 mAh battery and maximum 16GB RAM. The Note 20 Ultra has a 4,500 mAh battery and 12GB RAM in comparison.

Like the Note 20, the ROG Phone 3 uses a Snapdragon 865 Plus chip with 5G compatibility. However, the Note 20 will have the better cameras, featuring a 108MP sensor and 5x optical zoom camera on the Ultra model, plus the many benefits offered by its S Pen stylus.

If you're convinced that the ROG Phone 3 is the phone for you, you'll have to wait for it. It's not due to arrive in the US until September, although it will release in Europe at the end of July.

Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.