Finally, a gaming phone is here, and it’s here to stay. Republic of Gamers, an Asus brand, has just launched a new gaming phone, and it looks like a monster! So far, this is all we’ve learned about the Asus ROG Phone.
We had never seen a phone branded solely as a “gaming phone” before the Razer Phone came out in November of last year.
Though high-end phones with enormous screens and strong technology have always existed, they were always phones first and gaming devices second.
Afterwards, Razer simply went with the flow. Their unveiling of a high-priced phone with enormous specifications drew the interest of gamers all around the world. However, this post is not about the Razer Phone, which has been out for a while now.
Instead, the focus is on the all-new Asus gaming phone, which was developed in response to Razer’s.
The Asus ROG Phone has just been unveiled, and it might be the first of many “gaming phones” to follow in the footsteps of Razer.
So, when can we expect to see the ROG Phone, and what kind of performance can we expect, and what new tricks?
- Display with a 144Hz AMOLED panel
- Performance that is unmatched in the industry
- Exceptional features for gamers.
- Heats up rapidly
- Inconveniently large and hefty for one-handed use.
- The design of a dot-matrix is not adjustable
When it comes to a new phone, the first thing we want to know about it is its hardware specifications, and let me tell you, they are impressive.
Let’s start with the visuals, shall we? With a 6-inch AMOLED display, 1080p resolution, HDR, 90Hz refresh rate, and 1ms pixel response time, the ROG Phone has a wide color gamut and HDR compatibility.
In terms of performance, this is exactly what you’d expect from a high-end gaming monitor. Gorilla Glass is used on the screen, however the particular version has not yet been revealed.
For many individuals, the innards will be the most intriguing aspect of this tutorial. One of Qualcomm’s newest and most powerful CPUs, the Snapdragon 845, powers the device.
The four major cores run at 2.96GHz (!) while the four secondary cores run at a slower 1.7GHz. It has eight physical cores.
Following the 128GB and 512GB storage options will be the 128GB and 512GB storage options. This is the first time a phone has ever supplied such a large amount of internal storage, so keep that in mind.
ROG Phone will include 8GB of RAM, which is becoming more prevalent in high-end Android phones.
DTS Headphone:X-enabled headphone jack and dual speakers will be included in the sound section of the new phone.
This phone will have a 4000mAh battery, like the Razer Phone, which should be more than enough for most people’s daily needs. However, how long it will last in the gaming world remains to be seen.
A headphone jack is included in the phone, which is a rarity among high-end smartphones.
There is also an auxiliary port on the side, in addition to the usual USB-C port for charging and connecting to other devices.
The Asus ROG Phone offers a few additional features that aren’t immediately apparent.
When the phone is held in landscape mode, the “AirTriggers” work as a shoulder button/trigger, activating with as little as 20 grams of force. These can be programmed in any way the user desires, and can be used for any purpose.
The phone does not yet have a facial recognition feature and instead relies on a traditional fingerprint sensor located on the back of the handset.
In addition to that, the ROG logo may be found on the back.
Like its predecessor, the ROG 3, the Asus ROG Phone 5 sports a black rectangle with the same buttons and connectors as the ROG 3’s predecessor. The RGB-lit ROG insignia on the back cover has been filtered via blocks to make it appear 8-bit, for example, although the majority of the changes are subtle.
With capacitive touch buttons on the extreme top and bottom borders of the right side acting as shoulder buttons, there is a volume rocker above a power button on the right side. The ROG series has always included a USB-C port on the left side, but this time there’s a capacitive strip to connect to accessories instead of another cable port. And because it’s shallower than a port, the rubber stopper (which keeps dust and sand out) can be popped out more easily.
The thinner top and bottom bezels, more responsive shoulder buttons, and, of course, the 3.5mm headphone jack on the ROG 5 represent the tiny but perceptible enhancements to the user experience that the ROG 5 brings over the ROG 3. Asus hasn’t changed the back cover material, so don’t hold that against them if this wasn’t a developing trend in flagship phones to minimize costs. The back cover is still plastic (we see you, Samsung Galaxy S21).
The rear cover’s design has undergone a major overhaul. Still, there is a ROG logo (although with a blocky filter that makes it resemble retro 8-bit) on the regular ROG 5 that lights up in programmable patterns, much like gamer-chic light-up components within a PC desktop build. Symbols or messages can be shown on a 1-inch OLED panel that replaces the logo in the Pro and Ultimate models.
Despite the fact that RGB and OLED panels have a ‘gaming style,’ the initial ROG phone had such deep grooves zig-zagging over the back cover that it appeared to be an incognito Decepticon disguise. Throughout the generations of ROG phones, these flourishes were tamed and the basic lines seen today are the conclusion of a more conventional style, with a geometric yet rounded camera block at its top.
As for the ROG 3’s ultrasonic shoulder buttons, they’ve remained in place and operate (although we’ve been assured that the density of sensors around the edge should make them more sensitive), the ROG 4 hasn’t changed much from the ROG 3. Because of this, we were able to map and appreciate the ROG 5’s shoulder buttons much more easily.
As a result, the phone contains four microphones positioned equidistantly around its perimeter to capture voice from all possible angles, regardless of how the phone is held or what peripherals are attached to it.
Aside from its excellent audio, we can’t think of another smartphone that comes close to matching the ROG 5. You’ll hear a significantly more balanced mix of music from both speaker sources when you put the ROG 5 down and walk around it, compared to any other phone (and especially those with single and/or bottom-firing speakers). The dual 12x16mm front-facing speakers with Dirac HD sound are pretty fantastic. Because the ROG 5’s sound is so powerful that it can fill a room, you won’t have to cover the speakers while gaming, even if other phones have more specific audio settings (like the iPhone 12 Pro, which seems to prefer a mix that makes dialogue easier at the expense of background noise).
ROG 5 vs ROG 5 Pro vs ROG 5 Ultimate
The Pro and Ultimate editions of the Asus ROG 5 aren’t much different from the ordinary model except for a few design tweaks. The more expensive models of phones offer the greatest mobile gaming experiences.
With 16 RAM and 256GB of storage, the ROG 5 is the top of the line in terms of specs. 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage are the only options available for the Asus ROG 5 Pro. The Asus ROG 5 Ultimate boasts 18GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, making it the best-spec’d device of this generation. As there is no microSD slot, none of them can increase their physical storage.
Design-wise, the most expensive models swap out plastic back covers for high-quality tempered glass ones, as well as an OLED display that can be used to display a personalised message or branding.
For the Pro and Ultimate, a pair of touch sensor strips on the rear of the phone that act as additional buttons are included. Their size makes them more difficult to use than the ultrasonic shoulder buttons because they’re narrow and lengthy. With your ring or pinky fingers, they’re just barely noticeable, with no discernible width or texture to help you find your way around.
All three phones have the same display, Snapdragon 888 processor and Adreno 660 GPU, 6,000mAh battery and 65W charger included in the box. However, the other specifications are equal.
As far as performance is concerned, we can only compare the ROG 5 Ultimate with 18GB of RAM and the basic ROG 5 with 16GB of RAM (we were not sent the ROG 5 Pro for review). The ROG 5 standard outperformed the ROG 5 Ultimate on a multi-core Geekbench 5 test, but only by a small margin: 3732 versus 3678 for the ROG 5 standard. 2GB of RAM seems insignificant at this point in the system’s RAM capacity.
Of course, there’s a huge gap here: how do the top-tier 16GB and 18GB phones we tested compare in terms of gaming performance to the 8GB and 12GB RAM configurations? Unfortunately, we can’t answer that question at this time, but we’ll update this area as soon as we get our hands on a lower-spec phone. To put it mildly, the more expensive Pro and Ultimate models appear to have just cosmetic advantages.
The ROG Phone’s accessories, on the other hand, are what truly sets it apart.
The AeroActive vapor cooling chamber, which is included with the phone, is the most prominent one. The detachable cooler is small and doesn’t interfere with the ease of use of the phone.
If you don’t mind cords sticking out of the sides of your phone when it’s held horizontally, the USB-C port and headphone jack on this phone are welcome additions.
Aside from the RGB ROG logo, this cooling chamber features an active fan for those that desire even greater cooling performance from their computer system.
Thermal throttling will keep the phone from overheating, thus it won’t require this additional cooler.
Thermal throttling is unnecessary with this cooler, which means greater long-term performance and a more pleasant phone to handle for extended gaming sessions.
First, there is the TwinView dock, which mimics Nintendo’s approach by bringing a second display that is identical to the phone’s own screen.
There are tactile triggers on the rear, which transforms the phone into a console-style handheld device. Asus is working with mobile game developers to ensure that the second screen may be utilized in a variety of games.
Lastly, there’s the desktop dock, which essentially transforms your phone into a desktop computer Ethernet, HDMI, DisplayPort, and a slew of USB connections are all included, just as you’d expect from a motherboard.
An external display and keyboard and mouse are all that’s required for you to play games on this dock, just like you would on a gaming PC.
Asus ROG Phone Release Date and Price
Without a firm deadline, we may assume that the phone will be available in the third quarter of 2018, specifically in July, August, or September.
At this time, there are no definitive signs of the pricing. However, despite the ROG Phone’s appearance, price may be its best feature.
There are multiple areas where it already beats the Razer Phone, so it’s going to be a tough act to follow for the rest of the year.
Asus ROG Phone vs. Razer Phone
Because these are the only two gaming smartphones available right now, it’s only natural that we compare them side by side.
The ROG Phone offers a few advantages over the Razer Phone on paper, as you can see.
First and foremost, the AMOLED screen provides a noticeable improvement in visual clarity, albeit a somewhat lower refresh rate. In any case, it’s nearly hard to distinguish the difference between 90Hz and 120Hz.
For resolution, Razer appears to have an advantage, but this isn’t necessarily a reflection of true quality.
A phone’s screen is so small that even if the Razer Phone has a greater pixel density than other phones, this is barely perceptible. Even after all of this time, the ROG Phone’s AMOLED screen still appears better in our opinion.
Because the hardware in both phones is so comparable, there is little chance that the performance will change significantly.
According to Asus, the phone would perform better than the competitors, including the iPhone X and the Galaxy S9+. Just wait and see if the ROG Phone is able to capture and hold the lead with physical force alone
For a more in-depth look at how these two gaming phones stack up, head over to GSMArena and check out their reviews.
The ultimate gaming experience
This is obviously a gaming smartphone, so what can you expect from the ROG Phone 5? I suppose a more pertinent question to ask is, where do I even begin? Because there’s a lot going on here, to say the least.
Starting with the ROG Phone’s AirTriggers, one of the most cherished features. It should come as no surprise that the ROG Phone 5 has additional sensors and better positioning for a superior trigger experience when gaming, and Asus has expanded on the gesture-based offering, allowing you to activate actions by tilting, spinning, or shaking the smartphone.
In summary, the ROG Phone’s AirTriggers are my favorite feature, since they provide a controller-like experience without the need for additional peripherals, and you can customize the actuation points depending on whether you want touch or press-based activation.
The optional Kunai 5 controller, which adds two shoulder buttons, analogue sticks, and additional buttons to raise the mobile gaming experience to a more Switch-like level, is available for those who desire it. Many famous games, such as Call of Duty Mobile and Fortnite, are compatible with the built-in triggers and Kunai 5, which can be assigned to any game.
While the previous Kunai 3 is compatible with the ROG Phone 5, it will require a new bumper case due to minor dimension changes, it’s worth mentioning.
Even though it’s a little bigger, the display is very similar to the ROG Phone 3 in terms of refresh rate, resolution, and brightness. It has an FHD+ (2448 x 1080) resolution with a 1ms response time and a maximum brightness of 482cd/m2 in our tests.
It’s not set to 144Hz by default, but you may force the refresh rate to utilize the highest possible 144Hz option, as well as lesser 120Hz and 60Hz values, regardless of what you’re doing.
With HDR10+ and a 300Hz touch sampling rate, users will experience blazingly fast response times when playing video games.
If you’re looking to watch movies and YouTube videos on the go or play the latest AAA mobile games, you’ll love the screen, which is flanked on either side by a pair of powerful front-firing stereo speakers.
The ROG Phone 5’s front-firing speakers sound fantastic, but Asus has also made significant improvements to the wired audio experience, including the ESS Sabre ES9280AC Pro DAC for Hi-Res audio playback, which is capable of handling both high and low impedance loads with ease.
In addition, Asus’ Audio Wizard software provides four audio playback modes tuned by audio specialist Dirac, as well as a customisable 10-band EQ to further customize the output to your preference, be it more bass-heavy to intensify the sound of gunfire or focused on the high-end to hear the clink of reloading weapons in the nearby vicinity.
Here we go: Let’s speak about software now that we’ve covered the hardware.
Asus’ ROG UI is pre-installed on the ROG Phone 5, which runs Android 11 out of the box. When X Mode is turned on, the icon rings glow red, and there are other gamer-oriented themes to choose from. However, you can switch back to the usual ZenUI look at any time.
Whichever user interface you like, the core of the ROG gaming experience is the Armoury Crate app, which now includes a revamped performance manager that lets you make system-wide improvements with a single swipe. When it comes to gaming, though, X-Mode and the much more powerful X Mode Plus are the go-to options, with Dynamic mode offering the finest balance of battery life and performance.
In order to get the most out of the 144Hz refresh rate, X Mode sacrifices battery life for increased frame rates, greater GPU performance, and other background modifications that enhance gameplay.
If you’ve got the AeroActive Cooler 5, X Mode Plus can be activated, but only if you’ve got the AeroActive Cooler 5 attached. Like the ROG Phone 3, the cooler reduces the total temperature of the phone by 10°C and the surface by up to 15°C, and it provides two additional mappable buttons and a kickstand for gaming, but it isn’t included in the box this time around – that’s reserved for the Pro and Ultimate models.
I’m afraid you’ll have to shell out the AeroActive Cooler if you want maximum performance from the ROG Phone 5.
Additionally, in Armoury Crate, you may fine-tune specific aspects of your mobile gaming experience for a PC-like experience, such as the refresh rate of your display and the sensitivity of your touch screen. Everyday gamers can simply enable X Mode, while power users can fine-tune settings to get the most out of their phone’s performance in a certain game.
To help players in shooters like PUBG, Asus has added Scout mode, which inverts colors on-the-fly to make it easier to identify foes. The company has also added a new listening-based haptic system, which alters the haptic reaction based on sound.
The Quick Controls feature, which is akin to PC macros, allows quick access to features like screen recording, scout mode, and screenshotting even while the action is intense.
The Kunai 5 controller, AeroActive Cooler 5, ROG Clip, Lightning Armour case, new ROG Cetra II earbuds, and the full-on ROG Strix Go BT II gaming headset are all available as add-ons, as had been the case with past ROG Phone versions.
Specs and performance
No surprise that the ROG Phone 5 has some impressive specs, given its gaming abilities. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 is at the heart of the gaming phone, and it offers a 25% boost in CPU performance and a 35% boost in GPU performance over the Snapdragon 865. This is paired with up to 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM and up to 256GB of lightning-fast UFS 3.1 storage, depending on the options available in your region. For the sake of completeness, I’m going to say that I was given a 16GB/256GB combination to review.
The ROG Phone 5 has a lot of specs, but that just means it’s fast. Regardless of what you’re doing, you’re moving at a high pace. The combination of a strong processor and a huge high-refresh rate display makes playing games on the smartphone a delightful experience. The ROG Phone 5 has never stuttered on me, and I don’t expect it to change any time soon, either.
Despite the fact that the ROG Phone 5 Ultimate has an astounding 18GB of RAM, I don’t think it will make much of a difference in terms of performance. It’s more of a futureproofing exercise than anything else when you get to a smartphone with 12GB+ of memory, because there aren’t any games or apps that make use of that much RAM right now.
According to benchmarks, the ROG Phone 5’s CPU speed is on par with Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro, but its graphics performance blows away the competition by a wide margin. below you can see a breakdown of the results in more detail
However, the ROG Phone 5 does heat up quite a bit while gaming. This is despite Asus’s GameCool 5 system, which aims to keep your fingers as far away from heat-generating components as possible by dividing up the battery into two separate sections and placing them on either side of your phone’s main PCB. However, after just 10-15 minutes of gameplay, even the edges of your phone begin to feel a bit hotter.
When it comes to keeping the ROG Phone 5 cool to the touch, the AeroActive Cooler 5 is the only component that can be relied on to keep the phone running smoothly for long periods of time.
Connectivity options include 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, and Bluetooth 5.2 support in regions where it’s available, as well as the latest and best technology.
When it comes to gaming phones, camera quality isn’t really a big deal, but that doesn’t mean Asus has skimped on the ROG Phone 5’s camera.
All three cameras are housed in a single 64MP Sony IM686 sensor, which is capable of producing photographs with 12MP resolution, as well as 13MP ultrawide and 5MP macro lenses.
Using image processing technology from the ZenFone series to enhance photographs, the camera on the ZenFone 2 Pro produces snaps that are sharp, detailed, and have a wide dynamic range when combined with HDR options. With an f/1.8 aperture, it’s also capable of delivering good low-light results. With the built-in Night Mode, and if you know what you’re doing, the built-in Pro mode, you can go even further.
The ultra-wide lens has a similar quality, making it an excellent lens for landscape photography and group photos (once those come back into vogue, that is!). Moreover, the color contrast between the main and ultra-wide isn’t as pronounced as it is with some other main and ultra-wide pairings.
Although the 5MP macro lens is useful for taking close-up photos, most users are unlikely to use it because it isn’t readily available in the Camera app. Still, if you need it, it’s there!
Even while ROG Phone 5 can shoot [email protected], there are just a handful of monitors capable of supporting this resolution, so you’ll most likely be filming in the equally impressive [email protected] When capturing video, it exhibits a gimbal-like smoothness thanks to the EIS rather than OIS.
When you flip the phone over, you’ll find a 24Mp camera that’s more than adequate for the occasional selfie and video chats with pals, and it can capture [email protected] video.
The ROG Phone 5’s 6,000mAh battery capacity is split evenly between two 3,000mAh cells, making it one of the most power-efficient smartphones on the market. Even though the high refresh rates and high-end performance may drain more battery power than a typical smartphone, there is still the potential for all-day battery life here.
You may easily get a day out of the phone’s battery life if you keep it in dynamic mode, which adjusts performance and refresh rate to suit the task at hand. Even if you don’t use your phone nearly as much as I do, you can get two days of battery life out of it, even if you’re constantly messaging, checking Twitter, and playing Call of Duty Mobile.
The ROG Phone 5’s outstanding 15-hour and 44-minute battery life in Dynamic mode is corroborated by our battery benchmarks.
When using X Mode or the much more potent X Mode Plus, battery life begins to dwindle quickly. In order to keep the phone charged during long gaming sessions, Asus incorporated a USB-C port on the side of the phone. However, this has a negative impact on the battery life of the phone.
Due to this, the ROG Phone 5 now features bypass charging, which lets you run the system without having to recharge the battery. This helps extend the battery’s life and keeps the phone cool. The ROG Phone 5 employs a number of battery-extending tactics, including timed charging and enforcing charge limits, but bypass charging is expected to be the most popular feature.
The ROG Phone 3’s 30W rapid charging capabilities were adequate, but not revolutionary.
That’s where Asus’ ROG Phone 5 comes in. It comes pre-installed with a 65W HyperCharge charger. We measured a charge time of 30 minutes from 0% to 73%, and according to Asus, the device can charge from 0% to 100% in just 51 minutes. Considering the phone’s tremendous 6,000mAh battery capacity, this is a remarkable achievement that gamers are sure to appreciate.
While other high-end phones have stripped away their charging cords and headphones in favor of being more eco-friendly, Samsung’s flagship phone comes with its own charger and cable.
Is Asus ROG a good phone?
This is, if not the best gaming phone available, the Asus ROG 5. It’s also one of the best phones for watching movies, TV shows, or listening to music, thanks to its fantastic speakers, long battery life, and vibrant display.
Is Asus ROG phone durable?
Although the phone claims to be the most powerful in its class, it doesn’t appear to be as durable as one would expect from a high-end gadget. The Asus ROG Phone 5 failed terribly in a recent durability test done by well-known Youtuber Zack Nelson, best known as JerryRigEverything.
You can’t argue with the facts of the matter. I think the ROG Phone is going to be a fantastic phone.
Whether or not Razer’s “gaming phones” will become a long-term trend is still up in the air.
The ROG Phone has no apparent issues at this point, but we do have two minor gripes.
- Because there is no 256 GB option, we would have preferred a smaller storage capacity with microSD support over relying only on the built-in storage.
- In spite of the fact that the phone has a glass back, it does not allow wireless charging via Qi.
In addition to the phone itself, it’s important to think about the available add-ons.
If game developers take full advantage of the dock’s features, the TwinView dock will be a must-have for everyone who enjoys mobile gaming.
In addition, the desktop dock is unique since it allows you to replace your desktop PC with a single phone.
We can’t help but wonder what the future holds for Android phones, despite the fact that they don’t have the capabilities of a gaming PC or workstation.