For the past few years, Asus has been trying to get the attention of players like me with its ROG line of gaming phones. Dedicated gaming phones have always been seen as niche devices, and while that thought is slowly fading away, the ROG Phone 5 represents an ideal way forward for a high-end gaming phone. I managed to get the ROG Phone 5 for insight – and I finally understand the appeal of this gaming smartphone.
Price of Asus ROG Phone 5 in India (according to the review): 57 999 kn
Review of Asus ROG Phone 5: What’s new?
On the surface, the ROG Phone 5 resembles its predecessor, the ROG Phone 3. There are subtle differences between the two devices when it comes to design language. The back has a ROG logo illuminated by a matrix style, which is very customizable. On the front is a large 6.8-inch AMOLED screen, along with the best speakers ever on the phone. The frames are significantly reduced, and for a change, the headphone jack is returned. Although the front of the ROG Phone 5 is glass and the sides are metal, I wish the phone had a lighter feel. The phone is solidly crafted, though I have to say the ROG Phone 5 is a heavy phone.
On the left side of the phone you will find a special connector for gaming accessories, such as AeroActive Cooler 5. One of the things that makes the ROG Phone 5 a gaming phone are its AirTriggers, two touch buttons that act as shoulder buttons on a real gaming controller. They’re not perfect, but I found AirTriggers useful in selected titles. The bottom of the device contains a USB-C port and a reliable headphone jack. Note that Asus is removing the microSD card slot. This means there is no expandable memory – so choose your internal capacity wisely.
Review of the Asus ROG Phone 5: What’s good?
The phone has a 6.78 inch AMOLED screen with a resolution of 2448x1080p. The screen is sharp and the colors literally appear. It was a pleasure to watch Wonder Women 1984 on the ROG phone 5. The screen refresh rate of 144 Hz is excessive, I would say. Fortunately, you can set the refresh rate to 144Hz, 120Hz or 60Hz. The device also has a fingerprint scanner on the screen. It seemed to be an improvement over the built-in fingerprint scanner found in the ROG Phone 3.
What’s impressive about the ROG Phone 5 are the drastically improved speakers. The front speakers are surprisingly loud and offer shaky bass. They don’t just sound like good smartphone speakers – they actually sound just as good as a small portable Bluetooth speaker.
Like most new flagship smartphones, the Asus ROG Phone 5 is powered by a Snapdragon 888 processor paired with up to 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Asus lent me a review unit with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, but the base model has 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. The phone feels instantaneous – and fast. Whether I’m opening apps or playing popular games, I haven’t had a problem using the ROG phone 5. If you do a lot of multi-tasking, this phone is for you.
But the ROG Phone 5 is the first gaming phone. Not only does it have the best hardware on the flagship smartphone, but also graphene sheets and an improved cooling system help the device stay cool after long gaming. In addition, a 144Hz display and a 300Hz touch sampling rate allow for an enhanced gaming experience. Asus has also added great features to the device’s built-in gaming software like Game Genie and X Mode, something you won’t find on any other smartphone. For example, X mode gives you complete control over the CPU, RAM, performance and GPU speeds of the phone. The ROG Phone 5 comes with Android 11 and ZenUI on top. The user interface offers a lot of flexibility, although the problem with Asus phones remains the lack of commitment to Android updates.
The ROG Phone 5 features two 3000mAh cells, delivering a total capacity of 6000mAh. The phone lasted 13 hours on a single charge. The battery life is impressive, though I’d like to add here that its lifespan is a game in play. I played games, watched YouTube videos, streamed music via Apple Music, took photos and browsed the web, and again I got the juice of one day.
Review of Asus ROG Phone 5: What’s wrong?
The camera experience on the ROG Phone 5 isn’t great, but it’s not bad either. There are three cameras on the back: a 64MP Sony IMX686 sensor that can record up to 8K video, 13MP ultra wide and 5MP macro. The image quality is not particularly sharp, whether you are shooting from a 64MP primary lens or an extremely wide 13MP lens. The colors looked washed out, however, in good lighting conditions I got respectable shots. It is important to note that the phone additionally processes photos. To be clear, the ROG Phone 5 camera doesn’t come close to the iPhone 12 or Galaxy S21 in the camera department. To my surprise, the camera went well in low light. However, the 24MP selfie camera is impressive.
Review of the Asus ROG Phone 5: Do you need to buy it?
The design and sale of gaming phones is far from easy, and Asus knows it well. The ROG Phone 5 strives to impress with features like a 144Hz screen, virtual controls, louder speakers, a DAC headphone jack, better cooling and so on. In a way, the ROG Phone 5 is approaching the definition of a dedicated gaming smartphone. However, Asus ’flagship phone also has drawbacks. There is no water resistance rating, and the phone lacks a microSD slot and wireless charging. It’s also big and heavy, plus the camera is average. If you want a high-end gaming smartphone that differs slightly in appearance and attractiveness, and can also be stomach Rs 57,999, this deserves a look.