ROG Phone 5 Review: The Best Gaming Phone from Asus

Asus ROG Phone 5 Review: The Asus ROG 5 is a top gaming phone. It has a beautiful display, long battery life, fast charging, and superb speakers, making it one of the finest phones for media. They added a 3.5mm jack to the already-powerful predecessor.

Small problems with the phone, like its limited camera options, haven’t been fixed much to make it more like the Samsung Galaxy S21 series. The Asus ROG Phone 5 has a few advantages over other Android phones in terms of quality of life. If you don’t need the best camera, this makes it comparable to non-gaming smartphones.

Design of ROG Phone 5

The Asus ROG Phone 5 is a black rectangle (or white, if you purchase the Ultimate edition) with the same buttons and connectors as the ROG 3. The rear cover’s RGB-lit ROG insignia is now filtered via blocks to seem 8-bit, although most enhancements are subtle.

On the right side is a volume rocker above a power button, and capacitive touch buttons operate as shoulder buttons. On the left side is a USB-C connector, however instead of a cable port, there’s a capacitive strip to connect accessories. Being shallower than a port makes the rubber stopper simpler to remove.
The ROG 5’s tiny but notable quality-of-life upgrades include a slightly bigger 6.78-inch display, more sensitive shoulder buttons, and a 3.5mm headphone port. The rear cover is still plastic and feels cheaper than glass, which we’d hold against Asus if it weren’t an increasing trend in flagship phones to minimise costs (we see you, Samsung Galaxy S21).

ROG Phone 5

ROG Phone 5: Display

The Asus ROG 5 sports a 6.78-inch Full HD Plus (2440 x 1080) AMOLED display with HDR10+ certification. A slim black bar houses the front-facing camera, avoiding a notch.

The only flaw is that dark areas lose sharpness. The ROG 5’s Full HD Plus display isn’t as crisp as the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus’s WQHD Plus (3200 x 1440) screen. The ROG 5’s display is as excellent as or better than other flagship phones (the iPhone 12 Pro has just a bit of a clarity and colour balance edge on it).

The big advantage for gamers is the 144Hz refresh rate, which makes surfing the internet smoother than conventional 60Hz screens and gaming smoother when using higher frames-per-second rates.

The screen samples at 300Hz, which is quicker than other phones (the Samsung Galaxy S21 samples at 240Hz).

Camera of ROG Phone 5

The Asus ROG Phone 5 lacks a telephoto lens for zoom photos, despite its pricing. Its high-megapixel primary lens can crop-zoom, but it can’t replace the Samsung Galaxy S20 and S21’s Space Zoom.

Asus ROG 5 includes a 64MP primary camera, 13MP ultra-wide camera, and 5MP macro lens for leisure shooting. Fine 24MP front-facing camera.

The ROG 5 captures vibrant colours and great clarity in daytime, but it’s outperformed by the iPhone 12 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus (the phones we tested against). The Asus ROG 5 outperformed the iPhone 12 Pro at maximum (8x) magnification in daylight, delivering shots with less blur and more true-to-life light and shadow.

The Asus ROG 5’s depth of field and background blur are impressive, but its portrait mode isn’t as good as top-tier flagships. Low-light performance is decent, but better with ambient light, and you may have to fight with the camera to move focus (for depth-of-field).

The ROG 5 can capture 8K video at 30fps, 4K video at 60fps (or 30fps with the ultra-wide camera), and slow-motion 4K video at 120fps.

Specs and performance of ROG Phone 5

The Asus ROG 5 has top-tier specifications and performance, making it comparable with 2021’s greatest smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S21. Switching applications, surfing the web, viewing media, and playing games for lengthy durations.

The only difference between the Asus ROG 5 models is RAM and storage: the base version has 8GB of RAM, but you can purchase 12GB and 16GB. Asus provided us the 16GB RAM version, which buzzed through everything thanks to its strong CPU.

The ROG 5 with 16GB of RAM scored a multi-core Geekbench 5 score of 3732, topping the S21 Plus with 8GB of RAM’s 3170.

The ROG 5 has 128GB of storage, which is standard for 2021 Android phones, but can be increased to 256GB. Despite the brightly-colored SIM slot on the right side of the phone, there is no microSD expansion. ROG 5 Pro and Ultimate have 512GB storage.

The Asus ROG 5 comes with Android 11 and the elegant, minimal Zen UI. Includes Armoury Crate gaming software and ROG’s gamer-chic wallpapers that activate in X-Mode. The phone supports 5G sub-6 frequencies, not mmWave.

ROG Phone 5: Battery life

The Asus ROG 5’s 6,000mAh battery has been modified to improve charging performance. The ROG 5 includes two 3,000mAh batteries located on each side of the center-CPU, which enables the phone to recharge quicker with both units charging at the same time, replenishing nearly two-thirds (4400mAh) of the battery in 30 min using the 65W in-box charger, according to Asus.

Asus says that splitting the CPU decreases heat by 46% while full battery charge. In casual play sessions, like 20 minutes of Call of Duty: Mobile, the phone stayed cool, with just the metal frame warming up.

Asus’ slow charging feature from the ROG 3 is back. Instead of charging at full speed, you may charge it slowly, like overnight. We began with 6% battery life and rocketed up to 75% in half an hour, 90% in 45 minutes, and a full charge soon after.

Scheduled charging allows you set a wake-up time, and if the phone is plugged in, it will start charging around that time. It’s smart and helps battery-life-conscious people to save wasteful charging cycles. If you don’t want your phone fully charged, set a limit of 80% or 90%.

You may also utilise bypass charging to fuel your game sessions without recharging. Why? This is a wonderful alternative to have if your ROG 5 becomes hot after lengthy gaming sessions.

There’s also a new ultra-durable battery option that reduces the phone’s performance to save power. When the mode is enabled, the CPU, GPU, display refresh rate, touch input, and background activities are slowed. Just the basics to extend battery life.

Purchase it if..

  • You want the best gaming phone: Given its improvements, software, and accessories, we think the Asus ROG 5 is the greatest gaming phone. Mobile gaming is limited.
  • You like watching media on your phone: The Asus ROG 5 has a decent screen, fantastic speakers, and a huge battery that swiftly recharges with its 65W in-box charger. 3.5mm headphones assist.
  • You loathe running out of battery life: The Asus ROG 5 has a rare 6,000mAh battery. Few recharge as rapidly as this phone with its two 3,000mAh batteries and 65W charger.

don’t purchase it If…

  • You want a superior camera phone:The Asus ROG 5’s camera trails rival flagships. If you value phone photography, choose the iPhone 12 or Samsung Galaxy S21.
  • You want a cheaper mobile gaming experience: The Asus ROG 5 is expensive, particularly the Pro and Ultimate variants. Other high-spec, inexpensive flagships, like the OnePlus 8T, might deliver a better gaming experience.
  • You want a classier-looking phone: At the Asus ROG 5’s pricing, you may prefer a posher phone. The iPhone 12 series has squared-off corners, whereas the Samsung S21 Ultra/Note 20 Ultra is classy.

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Phil has been an avid gamer ever since he was a kid, and he now spends most of his free time reviewing and testing video games and other forms of consumer technology. When he's not out and about in Los Santos, that is.

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