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Overview

Asus ROG Phone 5 is one of the top options for gamers of the era. Released in 2021, this is a beast in performance, with specs that can handle any of the games you can think of. It is also designed as a device that looks like it would for gamers, with edgy lines and also a small RGB light panel on the back with a dot-matrix like display for minimal visuals. It has dual porting for batteries so if you are holding it horizontal the cable is not in your way. With a very powerful display, CPU and GPU, as well as RAM options this is the device for gamers.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Great display

  • Powerful CPU

  • Powerful GPU

  • Large dual battery

  • Decent cameras

  • Gorilla Glass on both sides

Cons

  • No waterproofing

Description

Asus is a producer of computers, components and smartphones too. With some great laptops for gamers that go under the ROG and TUF labels, ROG also has gaming smartphones. 

The Asus Rog Phone 5 is a well-designed device with a powerful range of specs to keep your high-end gaming needs met in every way. It is also a DualSIM in case you need two numbers active on you. One of the fun features is speakers that are balanced out so you get surround sound for your games, with DTS:X.

The rear has a small screen that can show the ROG logo or other images you can choose from. These mini animations are a great way to customise your device, customisation is something gamers are very much about.

Asus ROG Phone 5 internals and OS

The main point of power in this device is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G, a chipset that was produced using the 5nm method. This makes it insanely dense with transistors and capable of executions at a blistering rate. An octa-core setup, with 1 core at 2.84GHz, 3 at 2.42GHz and 4 at 1.80GHz.

It also features the Adreno 660, GPU that is integrated within the Snapdragon 888. It is a high-end graphics processor that features a full range of visual protocols that can take on almost every single game of its era and some that are to come. Along with these chips, one can opt for a variety of storage and RAM.

The storage options are either 128GB or 256GB, with the 128GB the RAM is either 8 or 12GB. With the 256GB you can either get 12 or 16GB. Storage is of the UFS 3.1 protocol so it is high performance, another aspect that streamlines your device. These are high levels of RAM as well, making for efficient and speedy task execution. This is one of the phones that doesn't allow for space extension via an SD card, so what you buy is what you have on you.

The Asus ROG Phone 5 is based on Android, with version 11 as its base. The layer on top is ROG UI, a proprietary user interface that is also designed as a better game space. With a feel that takes into account the gamer aesthetic, as well as modes that divert resources to your gaming so it is can make use of the largest amount of resources.

The OS can be either made very busy or cleaned up so you have a minimal feel, this is all about what you like personally. There are a ton of modes to get the exact optimised digital space you need, so you can use the device exactly how you like.

Game specific features and accessories

One of the winning features on this device is the shoulder buttons when you hold the device horizontally, these are called Air Triggers and are used as some of the main keys while playing games. This helps one have more buttons that are not on the display which can be a clutter the visual space.

There are 10 different motion controls you can make use of, these tilts and moves let you execute controls on the fly and can be tuned to different games so you have it set up how you need.

If one needs a more serious set-up, you can also get a controller accessory that your Asus ROG Phone 5 fits into so you have something similar to a game console controller with a display in the middle. If you are into extended gaming and need to keep your device cooled there is an external fan that can keep your device a lot cooler than its own abilities allow. In case you feel the visual space is lacking there is also the TwinView Dock that lets you have two displays.

Display and cameras

Coming to another crucial aspect of a gaming device, the display which is 6.78 inches. Starting at the resolution which is at 1080 x 2448 pixels, bringing the pixel density to 398 pixels per inch. Given this is with an AMOLED display the clarity is super crisp. There are 1 billion colours, with HDR10+ and 1200 nits peak brightness. The refresh rate is a staggering 144Hz, something that is not common among many phones of this era. The ROG Phone 5's display is protected by Gorilla Glass Victus, keeping it safe.

This display works wonderfully for games, giving you an experience that is smooth as can be.

Cameras are not a very big concern for gaming smartphones, but still, Asus has furnished this device well enough for most users. The main camera has a triple-lens set up with the main sensor at 64MP f/1.8 and it shoots a bit wide. The secondary sensor is 13MP f/2.4 and is used for ultrawide shots. For the third sensor, there is a 5MP f/2.0 one that shoots macro.

These combined with the camera app let you make use of many modes, such as HDR, Pano, Portrait, Night and Pro. The Pro mode lets you change settings in a more 'manual' kind of manner, so you can tune the results to be what you want.

For selfies, there is a 24MP f/2.5 sensor and this can also shoot HDR, Pano and more. Video on this side is shot at 1080p with a frame rate of 30fps. The main side has a lot more variations with video. It can shoot 8K at 30fps, 4K at 30, 60 or 120fps. 1080p on the main side can be shot at 30, 60, 120 or 240fps, while 720p is shot at 480fps. The main side also features gyro-EIS so your shots are a lot more stable in case you are walking or in a vehicle of any kind.

These cameras are not the main concern but are well-performing as cameras are almost a need these days with video calls, picture sharing and social media.

Connectivity, sensors and battery

There is a full range of relevant wireless connection modules, this includes WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS and NFC. There is no FM Radio in the Asus ROG Phone 5, which is definitely a calculated subtraction on the brands part. For physical connectivity there are two USB Type C ports, one is a 3.1 and the other is a 2.0. There is also a 3.5mm audio jack so you can easily connect your gaming headset, in case it is not wireless. A wired connection also uses lesser power than Bluetooth, so in case you want to preserve battery that could help. The accessory connector allows you to add on the accessories mentioned above.

The sensors that are very much needed for this device to truly function include an accelerometer, a gyro, a compass and a proximity sensor. A fingerprint reader is also embedded into the display so you can unlock the device in a flash, not wasting any time putting in a pin or pattern.

This device has two batteries that combined has a capacity of 6000mAh, which is quite a lot of power. But with all this performance power the device needs power otherwise, you'd just be connected to a charger. This is even with the Snapdragon 888 being a marvel of tech when it comes to battery management. The two USB ports are set in a way that you can either connect the charger to the base of the device or to a side, this way when you are holding the ROG Phone 5 horizontal the cable is not in your way.

Charging features also include Quick Charge 5, Power Delivery 3.0 and reverse charging. Asus advertises 70% charge in 30 minutes and a 100% in 52 minutes, but this tends to vary over time and keeping into account other factors such as temperature.

Comments

The one drawback of the Asus ROG Phone 5 is that it does not feature any kind of waterproofing, which could be due to the accessory connector although the brand has not specified. Other than this, this device is one of the most powerful in its range and time. You can choose two colours, Phantom Black or Storm White; based on whichever suits your personal aesthetic.

The kind of performance this device can put out, it can take on any task at this point in time. With all this power and quality, the price of the Asus ROG Phone 5 is high, it will put a serious dent into your pocket, especially if you go for the higher RAM and storage options.

Specifications

SIM Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)
Display Type AMOLED, 1B colors, 144Hz, HDR10+, 800 nits (typ), 1200 nits (peak)
Display Size 6.78 inches, 109.5 cm2 (~82.0% screen-to-body ratio)
Display Resolution 1080 x 2448 pixels (~395 ppi density)
Protection Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
OS Android 11, ROG UI
Chipset Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 5G (5 nm)
CPU Octa-core (1x2.84 GHz Kryo 680 & 3x2.42 GHz Kryo 680 & 4x1.80 GHz Kryo 680)
GPU Adreno 660
Card slot No
Internal 128GB 8GB RAM, 128GB 12GB RAM, 256GB 12GB RAM, 256GB 16GB RAM UFS 3.1
Triple Camera 64 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/1.73", 0.8µm, PDAF 13 MP, f/2.4, 11mm, 125˚ (ultrawide) 5 MP, f/2.0, (macro)
Camera Features LED flash, HDR, panorama
Video [email protected], [email protected]/60/120fps, [email protected]/60/120/240fps, [email protected]; gyro-EIS
Selfie Camera 24 MP, f/2.5, 27mm (wide), 0.9µm
Selfie Camera Features Panorama, HDR
Selfie Camera Video [email protected]
Loudspeaker Yes, with DTS
3.5mm jack Yes 24-bit/192kHz audio
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot
Bluetooth 5.2, A2DP, LE, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive
GPS Yes, with dual-band A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, QZSS, GNSS
NFC Yes
Radio No
USB USB Type-C 3.1 (side), USB Type-C 2.0 (bottom), accessory connector, USB On-The-Go
Sensors Fingerprint (under display, optical), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
Battery Type Li-Po 6000 mAh, non-removable
Charging Fast charging 65W, 70% in 30 min, 100% in 52 min (advertised), Reverse charging 10W, Power Delivery 3.0 ,Quick Charge 5
Colours Phantom Black, Storm White

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