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Asus ROG Phone 5 review: Killer specs at a price that kills

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Asus ROG Phone 5 review: Killer specs at a price that kills

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There is no doubt that the Asus ROG Phone 5 is a beast. — Everything with a gaming phone of The latest and greatest hardware, and it really makes a thick boy. While Asus is focused on game-centric features that will satisfy its core demographics, ROG 5 isn’t a complete nightmare to use outside of the game as well. that much ROG Phone 5 offers reliable everyday use with the added benefit of killer specs that can be tuned and tuned like a gaming PC. This is actually a phone for gamers, but that means it lacks some popular features and has a bit of an edge in the software. It may be the right phone for the right person, but in most cases it will be difficult to sell for over $1,000.

Design, hardware, and box contents

Asus serves the whole family ROG phones this year: Standard, Pro and Ultimate. Pro is unlikely to be released in the U.S. and Ultimate is a worldwide limited edition, so you probably don’t want to filter it out. Because of this, the standard comes in two variants, 12 GB of RAM and 16 GB, both of which include 256 GB of storage. There is a 16GB version to review.

ROG 5 offers a fairly clean look with a bit of gaming aesthetics thanks to the RGB logo lighting option. Both the power button and the SIM slot provide a pop color by providing a vivid blue tone contrasting with the white back and black front. The design is much less aggressive “gamer” than previous ROG phones. It’s just interesting. Not too flashy and enough to stand out.

ROG 5 is 6.78 inch display. This 1080p OLED display looks sharp enough and the colors are the same at all brightness levels. This is an improvement over last year’s model, which had grain problems at low brightness. This display offers a refresh rate of up to 144Hz and you can lock your device at this rate for smoother animations. This means fast-paced games are easier to play. Your opponent can only see 60 frames per second, but in some games you can get more than doubled. High refresh also makes the phone UI much more responsive.

Much like last year’s ROG 3 (yes, Asus skipped the numbers), the ROG 5 has 2 USB C ports, 2 touch-based triggers, an unobstructed screen (no camera with built-in display here, but a lot of bezels), Provides a double front. -Seeing speaker, notification LED and in-screen fingerprint reader It also comes with a 6,000mAh battery, which is actually two 3,000mAh packs at each end of the phone. they You can use 65W with the included charger, and you can use pass-through to power the device to reduce heat when gaming.

Sound is the main highlight of the ROG Phone 5. In addition to using dual front speakers, the device includes a DAC that supports high-resolution audio, and has some nice built-in software to adjust the sound in the front. The speaker is oriented to provide the best possible output. that much The ROG 5 sounds great no matter how you listen to it.

Asus is still pushing peripherals with the ROG 5., Such as Kunai 3 gamepad Case (see below). There’s also an AeroActive Cooler 5 fan attachment, a controller clip to support Xbox and PS controllers, a Lightning Armor case with its own rear lighting, and a few other Cetra headphone models and docks.

What stands out here is the Kunai 3 gamepad. It’s a split pad that works similar to the main controller on the Nintendo Switch and connects via USB C or Bluetooth. In other words, slide the split controller into the supplied phone case Handheld experience like a switchAlternatively, it can be connected to a separate controller frame that works via Bluetooth. Both methods worked fine for native Android games and Stadia. Latency wasn’t an issue either.

It is also worth noting that you can connect the AeroActive Cooler 5 while using the Kunai 3 gamepad. That’s why the phone has two USB-C ports. The resulting device is bulky in the hand, but allows for some extra cooling while sitting down for extended play sessions. Its weight is similar to that of the Switch Lite.

If you choose to go without additional peripherals, you will receive a phone, 65W charger, transparent case, a few stickers, and a variety of instruction booklets in the ROG Phone 5 box.

Software, performance and battery

Once again, Asus offers two UI choices when setting up the device. There is a classic theme that is similar to the default Android, and there is a Default theme that gives the game aesthetics. I chose Classic and it has features like Android, Google Discover, etc. We hope that more manufacturers will offer similar choices.

Classic left, default right

The phone’s software includes many game-focused options. Most of these settings can be adjusted in the Armory Crate app and can be conveniently called up through the Game Genie menu at any time during the game. There are many options. You can adjust the temporary control, CPU/GPU performance, RAM performance, fan speed, and best of all, you can join the network in a dual mode that improves network stability and speed. Asus obviously has a lot of resources gambling There is a feature, but the feature set is part of the rest.

Armory Crate app on the left, in-game Armory Crate on the right

Of course, how do you use all these options if you can’t really see the results of your changes? That’s why I really like the fact that Asus includes a real-time info widget that can always be displayed in-game. This way, you can adjust the settings of your Game Genie slides while keeping an eye on the frame rate, heat and CPU/GPU ratio. This extreme customization will make gamers happy, but not useful for the average smartphone user.

Real-time information widget at the top of the screen

ROG 5 will ship with Android 11. Asus has confirmed that the ROG Phone 5 line will get at least two years of software support, but older devices have missed quite a few updates. I wouldn’t have much hope for Android 12 or a quick security update..

As far as general performance is concerned, the ROG 5 will fly away, especially if you lock the screen’s refresh rate to 144Hz. Smooth as butter is a popular phrase, but the display is exactly that. The app loads fast and all the games I tested ran beyond my expectations.

Even the Genshin Impact, which maintains a reasonably solid 60fps at its highest graphics settings, hasn’t slowed down this phone. While testing Dead Cells, I was able to play with maximum graphics at 144Hz for the entire time. Of course, many games limit frames to 60 or 30, so you can’t always take advantage of high frame rates, but the performance is pretty amazing if you can.

Playing mobile games at the highest possible setting will incur battery charges, so it will be 6,000 mAh. Pushing 144fps for hours in a tricky game will reduce battery life, but it may not be as much as you might think. I can’t say I was afraid of running out of juice, and even if this is a problem, the fast charging of the device can cause it to run quickly due to low battery. Using this device as a regular phone, I was able to receive more than two days at no charge, and it wasn’t a problem to work all day despite heavy gaming tests.

Left: normal use battery level (slider), right: heavy game battery level (slider)

camera

During the release of the ROG Phone 5, Asus admitted that the camera for the ROG Phone line was not a priority. Obviously, the company aims to provide only the best cameras available for low-end gaming phones. The front and rear cameras can be said to be serviceable, but we expect better performance for the price of the device. But back to the gaming phone often compromise On the camera.

The default sensor is 16MP with af/1.8 aperture and 1.6um pixels., Low light is a weak point, but you can take good pictures in outdoor lighting. In ROG 3. The second rear sensor is an ultra-wide angle at 16MP with an aperture of f2.4, and the third sensor is a 5MP macro with an aperture of f2.0. The front camera holds 24MP with an af/2.45 aperture, allowing for fairly detailed selfies as long as the lighting is good.

Should I buy it?

ROG Phone 5 is the best gaming phone I’ve ever used, but it’s expensive and I’m not just talking about the high price. The Asus ROG brand is aimed almost exclusively at gamers. That’s why the camera is out of focus and you won’t see any wireless charging or water resistance at all. So, whether or not you are willing to accept these compromises depends on the case.

Your goal is Best mobile gaming experience, This is the phone for you. Whether you’re a mobile streamer, mobile eSports player, or simply a hardcore mobile gamer, ROG Phone 5 offers you plenty of options and peripherals to see the best possible performance in all your favorite mobile games.

But here is the problem. This phone will be expensive. Perhaps Too Even expensive. Asus is still pricing in the US, but the euro price is $1,069 for the 12GB model and $1,188 for the 16GB version I received. Asus has checked for two years of software support, but this support is often slow or completely missing, making it a little harder to recommend the phone.

As a gamer, I still consider the ROG Phone 5 to be a high score in the emerging gaming phone market. Personally, I’m happy to see Asus launch a fantastic gaming phone. Compromise doesn’t bother me too much.

Buy it if:

  • You want the best Android gaming experience possible.
  • I love to modify the settings to get the best possible game performance.
  • You are a mobile game streamer or you are heavy in the esports scene.

Do not buy if:

  • You need a fast and reliable OS update.
  • I prefer small devices that don’t weigh too much.
  • You take a lot of pictures.

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