Asus ROG Phone 5 Series Hands-on Review

Last Update 2021-03-10


Asus ROG Phone 5 is official now as the best gaming smartphone from the brand. It is the successor variant of last year’s ROG Phone 3. There’s no ROG Phone 4. ASUS has jumped from the ROG Phone 3 to the ROG Phone 5 because of a common problem with the number “4” in East Asian countries. Yes, the ROG 5 is the first Asus phone to have three models: the standard version, the Asus ROG 5 Pro, and the Asus ROG 5 Ultimate. The latter two have slightly better specs and small OLED displays on the rear cover.

Price and release date

The Asus ROG Phone 5 is officially available in the EU and UK from Asus. You can buy the base model with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage for €799/£799. You can upgrade the RAM to 12GB and storage to 256GB for another €100/£100. For yet another €100/£100, you can get 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. There is also a ROG Phone 5 Pro with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage for €1199. The Asus ROG 5 Pro will go on sale in April. Moreover, there’s also the ROG Phone 5 Ultimate. It not only has a unique monochrome body and a monochrome PMOLED ROG Vision, but it comes with 512GB of storage and a whopping 18GB of RAM. The Asus ROG 5 Ultimate’s price tag will be €1,299 for 18GB RAM and 512GB storage.

Design and display

The new ROG Phone 5 features a better design than its predecessor (ROG Phone 3). As mentioned above, there are three devices in the lineup. All three have an identical design except for the color and the secondary screen. The vanilla ROG Phone 5 has a dot-matrix RGB LED for the ROG logo, whereas the ROG Phone 5 Pro features a color POMLED display called ROG Vision. The ROG Phone 5 Ultimate also flaunts the same ROG Vision screen, but it is monochrome. The phones also come with a 3.5mm audio jack. The display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, the frame is aluminum, and on the rear side is a Corning Gorilla Glass 3. In terms of colors, the ROG Phone 5 Ultimate comes in a single white color option with a blue accent as well as a matte finish. The ROG Phone 5 Pro, on the other side, has a glossy black color finish. Lastly, the regular ROG Phone 5 can be bought in either Phantom Black or Storm White color option with a glossy finish.

For the best gaming experience, you’ll want a display that’s big, high-resolution, color-accurate, bright, comfortable, and refreshes quickly. The ROG Phone 5 series phones meet all these criteria with a 6.78-inch AMOLED display, Full HD+ (2448 × 1080) resolution, ΔE<1 color accuracy, wide 111% DCI-P3 color gamut coverage, 800 nits of outdoor-readable brightness, 24.3ms touch latency, 300Hz touch sampling rate, and support for DC Dimming and night mode. The phones also come with a 144Hz refresh rate. ASUS uses a Samsung-made E4 AMOLED panel for the ROG Phone 5 series. Last but not least, the ROG Phone 5 series measure 172.8 x 77.2 x 10.29mm in dimensions and weighs 238g.

Front and rear cameras

The ROG Phone 5 is a gaming phone, but it still features cameras just like any other handset. The Asus ROG Phone 5 series has a modest array of cameras for its price range, notably missing a telephoto lens for zoom photography. Still, the Asus ROG 5 has casual photography covered with its triple rear cameras: a 64MP primary shooter, 13MP 125-degree field of view ultra-wide camera, and a 5MP macro lens. There’s also a 24MP front-facing camera that works just fine. The other two devices have the same front and rear cameras. According to the company, they can record 8k videos at 30fps, 4k videos at 30/60fps, and Full HD videos at 30/60/120/240fps.

Software, processor, and battery

The ASUS ROG Phone 5 series features the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888. The Snapdragon 888 features an octa-core CPU configuration with 1 ARM Cortex-X1 core clocked at up to 2.84GHz, 3 ARM Cortex-A78 cores clocked at up to 2.4GHz, and 4 ARM Cortex-A55 cores clocked at up to 1.8GHz. The GPU is Qualcomm’s Adreno 660. The chipset also has an integrated 5G modem, though the ASUS ROG Phone 5 only supports sub-6GHz 5G networks. The phones also come with Wi-Fi 6E support. In Geekbench 5, the ROG Phone 5 scored 3,672 on multicore. As for the software, ROG Phone 5, 5 Pro, and 5 Ultimate run ROG UI based on Android 11 OS. On the connectivity front, these phones support 5G, WiFi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, and dual-frequency GNSS (GPS, Globass, Galileo, BeiDou, QZSS, NavIC). The devices also come with a grip detection sensor, Ultrasonic sensors for AirTrigger 5, Pixelworks i6 Processor, dual stereo speakers, dual Cirrus Logic CS35L45 Mono AMP, ESS Sabre ES9280AC Pro QUAD DAC, and lots of gaming-oriented features. The Asus ROG 5 series gaming phones have the same 6,000mAh capacity as the battery in the predecessor ROG Phone 3, though it’s been redesigned internally to achieve better-charging performance. Instead of a solid 6,000mAh unit, the new phones feature two 3,000mAh batteries placed on either side of the center-CPU, which allows the phone to recharge faster with both units charging at the same time.