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Review: Asus ROG Phone 5

The Asus ROG Phone 5 Ultimate is extra in just about every regard

Let us start with some of the outlandish details: 18GB of LPDDR5 RAM; 512GB of fast UFS 3.1 storage; multiple USB-C ports to facilitate charging while using the phone in landscape or portrait mode; a fan cooler in the box with passthrough charging; a 3.5mm jack and remappable buttons; two mappable, pressure-sensitive buttons on one edge of the phone itself; the ability to overclock the processor and GPU; and a rear facing OLED screen. Phew!

With all this performance stuffed into one smartphone, naturally the best way to start reviewing the device is by playing some of the most demanding games on the Play Store. Frankly, I couldn’t even come close to finding a game that really pushed the phone to its limits. With so much performance on tap, to say that opening apps and switching between them is effortless is simply futile. 

The 6.67-inch FHD+ AMOLED screen is among the best that I have ever used and the 144Hz coupled with a 300Hz touch sampling rate and just 24 milliseconds of latency mean that the gameplay experience is way too smooth to even be able to describe. A lot of flagship phones are pretty decent gaming devices but the ROG Phone 5 Ultimate is on another planet altogether. You have to have spent time playing games on it for you to even relate. The front-facing stereo speakers add to the experience immensely. And for this iteration, Asus has brought back the 3.5mm jack and added a pro DAC for hi-res audio too. 

On the software front Asus has gone about refining Armoury crate, its in game suite for software and hardware changes mapped to individual games. It now gives you the ability to overclock the CPU and GPU for specific games. It also allows you to map specific controls for particular games. The Air Triggers, in their newest iteration have become better than ever before and are far more responsive. You can even map the sensitivity of the Air Triggers to your liking. 

If you’d still prefer a controller, Asus has you covered there as well. The phone supports a number of controllers and mapping them to individual games is a breeze as well and can be done using the Armoury crate. 

A few minutes into using the phone, I realized that the fact that this phone is by far the most exemplary piece of tech geared towards smartphone gamers is a foregone conclusion. Asus has gone above and beyond what was required to make a great gaming smartphone. For instance, the display at the back of the smartphone is not really necessary but gives gamers the option to have a line of scrolling or text or an image—an additional layer of customisation. So far, the phone’s US price is unknown, but rest assured that it will retail around the $1500 mark. Yes, that’s a lot of money but Asus is giving the avid gamer everything they could ask for, and a whole lot more.

Specification:

BODYDimensions172.8 x 77.3 x 10.3 mm (6.80 x 3.04 x 0.41 in)
Weight238 g (8.40 oz)
BuildGlass front (Gorilla Glass Victus), glass back (Gorilla Glass 3), aluminum frame
DISPLAYTypeAMOLED, 1B colors, 144Hz, HDR10+, 800 nits (typ), 1200 nits (peak)
Size6.78 inches, 109.5 cm2 (~82.0% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution1080 x 2448 pixels (~395 ppi density)
PLATFORMOSAndroid 11, ROG UI
ChipsetQualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 5G (5 nm)
CPUOcta-core (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 680 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 680 & 4×1.80 GHz Kryo 680)
GPUAdreno 660
MEMORY
Internal512GB 18GB RAM
MAIN CAMERATriple64 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)
SELFIE CAMERASingle24 MP, f/2.5, 27mm (wide), 0.9µm
BATTERYTypeLi-Po 6000 mAh, non-removable

Price: TBA

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