Asus ROG Phone 5 review: the king of gaming is back!
Protagonist of today’s review is Asus ROG Phone 5, a smartphone with a top technical data sheet intended for an audience of gamers. How does it behave during daily use? Let’s go find out!
The sales package of ROG Phone 5 it is not particularly rich in accessories: inside, in addition to the classic manuals and some stickers, we find the power supply from 65W, the USB-C / USB-C cable it’s a cover rigid that leaves the rear LED uncovered. At the first start, by framing the drawings inside the box, it is possible to view sequences in augmented reality that already give us a taste of the multimedia potential of the smartphone
Construction and design
ROG Phone 5 is a smartphone built in an excellent way and which offers a feeling of absolute solidity and build quality. The dimensions are equal to 172.8 x 77.3 x 10.3 mm, for a total weight of 238g. Reading these specifications I would have expected to hold a nice “brick” in my hands, but it is not: the weight is distributed really well along the whole body, in a balanced way, making it not at all difficult to use with one hand. The curved glass rear shell with LED integrated is a distinctive trademark of the series and certainly makes it immediately recognizable among many smartphones. Even the horizontal module that houses the three rear cameras has an uncommon shape, which I personally appreciated. The aluminum edges ensure good ergonomics and give a premium feel to the touch.
The side right, characterized by the inscription “ROG” engraved near the corners, it houses the volume rocker and the power button, the latter in a red color that “breaks” the monotony. The same color was chosen for the SIM trolley on the left side, placed a little lower than an ad hoc port to connect accessories such as the AeroActive Cooler 5 cooling fan and a second USB-C port to recharge the smartphone when accessories are connected.
The two doors are covered by a rubber pad which did not fully convince me, as it very often tends to rise even just by pulling the smartphone out of the pocket. The feeling is that Asus is well aware of his precariousness, as there is a second spare rubber in the package. The top edge it only houses a microphone, while on that inferior we find a second microphone, the USB-C input for charging and the input for the jack from 3.5mm supported by a dedicated quad DAC.
Finally, the upper frame houses a useful LED notification.
The ROG Phone 5 screen is a real gem: let’s talk about a AMOLED from 6.78 “ with support for HDR10 +, refresh rate a 144Hz, touch sample rate a 300Hz, latency at the touch of solos 24.3ms and maximum brightness of ben 1200 nits, for excellent readability even outdoors in direct sunlight. The colors are bright and well calibrated, the whites do not tend to smudge even when looking at the cut screen and the blacks are simply perfect. 111% of the DCI-P3 color space and 150% of the sRGB color space are supported.
Display is available Always-On, as well as several customization options: font style, theme, preferred refresh rate and color temperature.
The front camera is located on the right side of the upper frame: no notch therefore, but the screen-to-body ratio is still 82% and perhaps it represents the best choice for a smartphone devoted to gaming. Integrated into the display there is a fingerprint reader that has never disappointed me: always precise and very fast.
Hardware and performance
The Rog Phone 5 hardware is of the highest level: The Snapdragon 888 processor is accompanied by several cuts of RAM and internal memory UFS 3.1: 8/128, 12/256 and 16/512. This is a configuration capable of playing any game or application currently available without uncertainty. The opening of the app is very fast, crashes and jamming are practically non-existent and overheating is absolutely not at home, thanks to a particular solution implemented by the manufacturer. There drums it is in fact divided into two 3,000mAh modules, a choice that made it possible to place the processor in the center of the body, flanked by a vapor chamber and a layer of graphite larger than the other models. To complete the picture, the support for the Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2 and NFC chip.
We come now to the gaming experience, simply flawless. Thanks to the first level technical data sheet, ROG Phone 5 is able to offer minimal load times and play games at the highest level of detail without any hesitation. Up COD Mobile you can maximize each setting while still enjoying a frame rate of 60fps fixed, regardless of the complexity of the scenes reproduced; all this happens with temperatures always under control, never higher than 50 °, and with a minimum battery drain. The stability of the internet connection is also excellent, as ROG PHone 5 is able to connect to a Wi-Fi using the 2.4GHz and 5GHz band at the same time, switching from one to the other depending on the situation.
The touch responseas well as fast, it is precise and smudge-free, while the audio sector is to applause: the sound is full-bodied and the maximum volume reaches very high peaks without ever shelling, offering a truly experience immersive, either by resorting to stereo speakers or by listening with headphones, thanks to the DAC mentioned above.
If like me you are a shooter lover, the AirTriggers are what you need: these are ultrasonic sensors placed on the right edge of the smartphone that simulate the touch on the screen and can be mapped at will. On COD Mobile you can, for example, aim simply by touching the left corner of the device and shoot using the right, without ever removing your thumbs from the display, in the meantime used to move your soldier and rotate the view.
But we’re not done yet, as the smartphone offers tons of options for customize every aspect related to the game thanks to the dedicated app Armory Crate: you can change the sensitivity at the touch of the display and the AirTriggers, give priority to games in the use of the network, create Macro, record games up to 120fps and edit performance And temperatures of RAM, CPU and GPU. Finally, with a simple swipe from left to right during a game session, you can call up a menu from which to change aspects such as display brightness or refresh rate, as well as the ability to quickly record a game in progress.
On board we find the ROG UIbased on Android 11 updated to security patches of March 2021. The default UI is designed for a gamer audience, with very bright colors and animated backgrounds, but it is also possible to set the stock Android theme. The customization options are different, especially when it comes to display and game mode. You can record calls, set (and program) dark mode, clone specific apps, clean up RAM and download new themes.
ROG Phone 5 is equipped with three rear cameras:
- 64MP, f / 1.8, 26mm (wide), 1 / 1.73 ″, 0.8µm, PDAF
- 13MP, f / 2.4, 11mm, 125˚ (ultrawide)
- 5MP, f / 2.0, (macro)
The photos in good lighting conditions they are more than enough: the colors are faithful and the number of details captured is more than enough, as long as you don’t zoom in excessively once you have saved the shot.
The landscapes captured with the wide-angle sensor are very beautiful:
The zoom maximum is 8x and allows you to frame very distant subjects without losing too many details.
There night mode instead it is a bit lacking, as it tends to distort the colors and fails to fully eliminate the noise of the image, fighting with artificial lights.
Finally, good macro.
In summary we find ourselves in front of a camera certainly above the sufficiency and which offers very spendable shots on social networks. In this price range I usually expect something more, but it is understandable not to have a sacred monster of photography in your hands, since it is a device aimed at a very specific segment.
Rog Phone 5’s battery has a capacity of ben 6.000mAh, with wired fast charging support a 65W.
It goes without saying that mild use ensures at least two full days of autonomy, but even stressing it is difficult to stay dry in a short time. By setting the refresh rate at 144Hz and the brightness at maximum you can easily overcome the 6 hours of gameplay and the presence of a second port for charging is very convenient, always guaranteeing a firm grip.
Finally, the options related to battery management: it is possible to plan the times in which to automatically activate the energy saving, set a charging limit below 100% to delay the deterioration of the battery, prefer, at night, slow charging and set a custom profile to find the right compromise between autonomy and performance.
ROG Phone 5 is a smartphone designed for video game lovers and does not disappoint expectations at all, quite the contrary! The gaming experience that this device is able to offer is the most complete and immersive that a smartphone can offer and even daily use is a real pleasure, given the overall fluidity that a top processor like the Snapdragon 888, accompanied by several GB of RAM, it can deliver. The build quality convinced me, as well as the autonomy and the photographic sector, while not excelling, still allows you to take away some satisfaction.
Currently on the official website of the manufacturer it is possible to buy the cut 8 / 128GB to € 799 and the 12 / 256GB to € 899, while for € 999 you can take the version home with you 16 / 256GB. It is still not available at a more contained street price, unless you rely on some Chinese e-commerce that is currently able to offer the different versions at about a hundred euros less than the list price (but beware of do not run into the Chinese version with ROM Global flashed by the seller). These are figures fully justified by everything this smartphone has to offer, in some cases lower than those required for devices with similar technical data sheets.
Bottom line, if you were looking for a top of the range that could accompany you during long and intense gaming sessions you can stop here: ROG Phone 5 is the smartphone built specifically for you and you certainly won’t regret your purchase!