It’s only been a little over seven months since ASUS launched its ROG Phone 3 gaming smartphone, but the company is already releasing a tracking model to join Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 to party. The latest series is dubbed ROG Phone 5 (skipping the “4” due to tetraphobia; you obviously don’t want to associate the game with death), and while it may seem like it’s just making a few minor cosmetic changes, the innards have. been completely redesigned for better heat dissipation, better weight distribution and audio performance. As a bonus, there’s also a Pro model and a limited edition ROG Phone 5 Ultimate, with the latter boasting a whopping 18GB of RAM.
Gallery: Practical ASUS ROG Phone 5 and 5 Ultimate | 14 photos
Gallery: Practical ASUS ROG Phone 5 and 5 Ultimate | 14 photos
Let’s start by removing the basics. In addition to the processor, all three models share the same 6.78-inch Samsung E4 AMOLED display, which offers the same 144Hz refresh rate as before (so Nubia wins this round with 165 Hz), but with a slightly higher resolution of 2448 x 1080 and a slightly faster 300Hz touch sample rate, giving you an edge over other gamers in terms of responsiveness and accuracy. For those wondering, ASUS says there is now more than 200 games supporting 144Hz refresh rate, with titles including Rockman Dive X, Dead cells, Shadowgun Legends and more.
ASUS claims that this panel is also 23% brighter (up to 800 nits across the entire panel), while pushing the darkest setting to 5 nits with minimal distortion – the latter making a noticeable difference in the dark areas of the panels. videos. It is also rated with a wide DCI-P3 range of 111%, sRGB range of 150.89%, precision delta-E <1, and HDR10 + support. And yes, there is still an integrated optical fingerprint reader here.
While I appreciate the improvements in the display, it wasn’t until I started playing a game of PUBG that I noticed that this screen has rounder corners than before, which cuts off some information and buttons. Fortunately, I could go into the game’s graphics settings and change the “non-standard screens” setting, but this can become a problem for other titles that don’t have such an option.
Another less obvious but noticeable upgrade applied to the ROG Phone 5 is the Ultrasonic Shoulder Trigger feature. The new AirTrigger 5 buttons group more sensors (nine instead of seven) in the same space for improved sensitivity and accuracy, and they are now placed closer to the edges to accommodate smaller hands. As before, each AirTrigger supports swipe gestures, drag gestures (both horizontal and vertical), continuous trigger (long press to simulate multiple clicks), and double partitioning, giving you a wide range of options. customizable. Although personally I find the good ol ‘default mode to be good enough for my first person shooters already.
While most smartphones feature an L-shaped logic board with the processor placed near the top, ASUS has found a way to place the Snapdragon 888 in the middle of the ROG Phone 5 – away from both hands in landscape mode. This is mainly due to the MMT (Middle Middle Tab) battery technology which features higher energy density, allowing for a separate cell design without sacrificing the generous total battery capacity of 6000mAh. As a bonus, the two cells also offer better weight distribution and thermal control – up to 7 degrees Celsius lower battery temperature when using a 30W load, and up to 3 degrees Celsius. less when using 65W (as supplied with ROG Phone 5), according to ASUS.
This new internal layout, combined with the larger body, slimmer display panel, new side port, and the lack of an external 5G modem (thanks to the Snapdragon 888), saved ASUS extra space. in the front stereo of ROG Phone 5. speakers. These have the same chamber space of 1.2cc each, allowing for balanced audio performance as well as enhanced richness (the ROG Phone 3 actually had a smaller speaker chamber on one side). On top of that, the new Cirrus Logic CS35L45 mono amp driving each 12x16mm 7-magnet driver is apparently 21% more powerful than before. (It’s also worth noting that the ROG Phone 5 still has quad-mic noise cancellation.)
However, the hardware alone does not complete the puzzle. Following the impressive results on the ROG Phone 3, ASUS continued its partnership with Dirac for audio tuning on the ROG Phone 5. The Swedish audio specialist has since developed a dedicated solution for smartphones, which has apparently been successful. to more precise calibrations to reduce distortion. , enhancing perceived bass, expanding the soundstage and more on this new gaming phone. ASUS has even leveraged Dirac’s Multiple-Input and Multiple-Output (MIMO) technologies – previously reserved for luxury cars only – to co- Optimize both speakers in one system for better overall acoustic response.
In a quick comparison with the ROG Phone 3 and ROG Phone 5, the audio improvement was noticeable. In the rainy Tokyo scene where Natasha found Hawkeye in Avengers: Endgame, everything sounded shallower on the old phone, with the tiny sound of rain dominating the dialogue and music. The ROG Phone 5, on the other hand, sounded louder, richer, and deeper. The difference was rather surprising, given how impressed I was already with the ROG Phone 3. Then I realized that I could enable a “cinema” option in AudioWizard’s new “scenario effect” setting, which further amplified the perceived bass.
ASUS hasn’t forgotten the headphone users who still prefer the good old 3.5mm jack. The ROG Phone 5 won an ESS Saber ES9280AC Pro Quad DAC, which apparently can deliver a best-in-class 130dB signal-to-noise ratio, and can also drive headphones with a slightly higher impedance (over 50 ohms). using a 2Vrms output. This should pair well with the new ROG Cetra II Core headphones, which offer a seemingly impressive 20Hz to 40kHz range. But if you want a wireless option, ASUS is also launching the ROG Strix Go BT II today, which offers up to 45 hours of battery life with AI noise cancellation.
On the photography side, you’ll also find the same set of cameras in the ROG Phone 5 series. In fact, all four shooters are the same as the ROG Phone 3. The rear trio includes a 64MP f / 1.8 main camera. (Sony IMX686 sensor), a 13MP f / 2.4 125 degree ultra-wide camera and a 5MP f /2.0 macro camera, while the front has a 24MP f / 2.45 selfie camera.
Things get a little more interesting with the ROG Phone 5 Pro and the limited ROG Phone 5 Ultimate. The first thing you’ll notice is the small “ROG Vision” PMOLED color display on the back, which lets you display customizable graphics for incoming calls, charging, gaming, and other scenarios. With the Ultimate Edition, ASUS has taken a bold move by equipping it with a monochrome rear display to go with its matte white finish. Additionally, both models offer two additional capacitive touch zones on the rear panel, in case you still need more mappable buttons for your hardcore gaming.
Speaking of which, it’s worth pointing out that the updated Game Genie app here offers an “Esports Mode”, which allows “do not disturb” but disables all key mapping, macros, quick commands and more. (therefore no AirTriggers and no rear touch panels). This can be useful for tournament organizers who want more control over fair play. Game Genie now also offers audio haptics for selecting games (i.e. PUBG), which automatically maps specific sounds such as, say, shooting, haptic feedback, and different weapons provide a different feel to make the game more immersive. But again, Esports mode disables audio haptics.
Just like nubia Red Magic 6 Pro “Dao” edition, the ROG Phone 5 Ultimate even offers a generous 18GB of LPDDR5 RAM (supplied by SK Hynix), though it shares the same 512GB UFS 3.1 storage as the 5 Pro, which packs in 16GB of RAM. . The Ultimate Edition will also come with a gift box containing a baseball cap, towel, deck of playing cards, badges, stickers, mask cover and more.
ASUS has rarely failed us when it comes to the line of accessories for the ROG Phone series, but with the ROG Phone 5 it ultimately decided to remove the dual-screen TwinView Dock and Mobile Desktop Dock. ASUS admitted that both of these devices were just too expensive, which was likely a sign of low adoption.
On the other hand, ASUS has made a new AeroActive Cooler 5 which now blows directly to the hot spot, thanks to the repositioning of the processor. The company claims that this clip-on fan, with the help of the vapor cooling chamber and graphite sheets inside, offers up to 10 degrees Celsius lower CPU temperature, as well as surface temperature. up to 15 degrees Celsius lower. On top of that, not only does this accessory still serve as a kickstand, it also adds two physical buttons. In other words, that means that with the AeroActive Cooler 5 you get a total of four mappable buttons on the back of the Pro and Ultimate editions. Alas, if you get the classic ROG Phone 5, you’ll have to purchase this fan separately.
The ROG Phone 5 series also supports the Switch-type Kunai 3 gamepad as long as you have the updated version which comes with a bumper that fits the slightly longer body. Other optional accessories include the ROG Gaming Clip for attaching console controllers (for Xbox, PlayStation and Stadia), the new ROG Lighting Armor Case 3 (which uses the pogo pins on the redesigned side port) and the docking station. ASUS professional reception (for HDMI and USB extension).
It looks like ASUS has once again delivered a well-thought-out package for mobile gamers, thanks to its focus on audio performance, buttons, and cooling, with the ROG Vision display from the Pro and Ultimate editions serving as the icing on the cake. the cake. . We are awaiting confirmation of a US launch of the ROG Phone 5 series, but for now we know that the regular version will launch this month, ranging from 799 euros (8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage). at 999 euros (16 GB + 256 GB) in Europe. The Pro edition will launch in April for € 1,199 (16GB RAM + 512GB), followed by the Ultimate edition in May with a price tag of € 1,299 (18GB + 512GB).