Asus to discontinue ROG Phone 2 in India, no plans to launch 8GB RAM-Snapdragon 865 ROG Phone 3 variant yet
HT Tech got in touch with Asus India, mobile business head, Dinesh Sharma to talk about those variants, their India launch and what happens to last year’s ROG Phone 2 now that ROG Phone 3 is here.
Asus has just unveiled its gaming smartphone, the ROG Phone 3 in India. This is not just the only Qualcomm Snapdragon 865+ processor featuring device to hit the Indian shores but also a feature-rich smartphone that aims to give a tough time to other premium offerings from rival brands. India, for now gets two variants of the device – 8GB+128GB and 12GB+256GB at ₹49,999 and ₹57,999 respectively. However, there are other variants that have launched globally as well. So, HT Tech got in touch with Asus India, mobile business head, Dinesh Sharma to talk about those variants, their India launch and what happens to last year’s ROG Phone 2 now that ROG Phone 3 is here.
When asked about the ROG Phone 2, which launched at ₹37,999 (base model) last year and got a price hike in June this year, it was confirmed that the handset will be pulled from the Indian smartphone market. Sharma says that since with ROG Phone 3 users are getting loads of new features such as 64-megapixel camera, 8K video recording, 30W charger inside the box, better Air Triggers, Dirac speakers and more, that too at ₹49,999, which is just ₹12,000 more, it will make more sense to remove ROG Phone 2 from the shelves.
Also read: Asus ROG Phone 3: Quick thoughts
“So, basically, you're getting a huge upgrade at a marginally expensive price and when you're buying, when you're investing this kind of money, you're looking also at long term. So, from that perspective, we believe that consumers would be way better off actually shifting to the ROG Phone 3 rather than continue the ROG Phone 2 at ₹45,000 or ₹43,000 kind of a price point,” said Sharma in conversation with HT Tech.
Talking about Asus ROG Phone 3 8GB RAM variant with Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 and the 16GB RAM models, it was confirmed that Asus has no plans to launch the Snapdragon 865 SoC version in the country. However, the team is open to consider 16GB RAM variant and may bring it if they see enough demand.
“So, as far as the 865 model is concerned, no, we plan to currently stick only to the 865 plus model for India,” said Sharma. “Like last year, we introduced [Snapdragon] 855+, we are going to be working on only 865+ model for India because I think from an Indian customer perspective, once we cross a certain price threshold, you happen to go for the best. I will say that there is no doubt about the fact because relative pricing perception of Europeans when they look at Euros and when we are looking at Rupees, it's a very different ballgame,” he added.
Also see: Asus ROG Phone 3: In Pics
As for 16GB RAM variant, Sharma said that like in the case of ROG Phone 2 Asus wanted to keep the price difference between the two variants reasonable so they launched 8GB+128GB and 12GB+256GB models in India.
“If there is massive demand coming in for 16GB+512GB, which if we sense that, then there is always an option which is open,” said Sharma. However, the team thinks that 8GB+128GB and 12GB+256GB are currently the best combination for the market. Sharma says that is they launch 16GB+512GB version in India, it will be at a much higher price.