ASUS ROG Phone 5 review: he is still the king of gaming!

ASUS ROG Phone 5

It is already several years that ASUS dominates in the sector of mobile gaming thanks to its ROG Phone, that is a line-up of smartphones for gamers characterized by a first-class technical data sheet and performances that we can rarely find on other devices. Only 5 months ago we got to appreciate the ROG Phone 3 and in today's review we are ready to tell you about the new ASUS ROG Phone 5.

From year to year the company has done more and more to improve its devices, so as to earn our badge of "Best gaming smartphone". Will succeed the ROG Phone 5 to confirm what has been done with the previous variant? We just have to find out in the review!

Review ASUS ROG Phone 5

Unboxing - ASUS ROG Phone 5

What theASUS ROG Phone 5 is a high-end smartphone you can understand it already from the package, as this has a magnetic opening and inside there is a short comic that, if framed with the camera in the initial configuration phase, will come to life! It may seem nonsense, but such attentions are more than welcome to a gamer audience.

For the rest, the package is in black hardcover and inside there is the following equipment:

  • ASUS ROG Phone 5;
  • USB Type-C to USB Type-C cable in well-made fabric;
  • power supply from 65W;
  • plastic bumper;
  • pin for the SIM slot;
  • manuals.

Design and construction

As already reiterated in the review of the ROG Phone 3, with the advancement of the models the Taiwanese company is trying to make the ROG series less aggressive and best suited to more "elegant" contexts, although it still wants to keep some of the peculiar characteristics of a gaming smartphone.

This is probably because it also wants to aim at a target with a bit more classic tastes and that does not want to be too flashy.

ASUS ROG Phone 5

Sull 'ASUS ROG Phone 5, in fact, we find a design that follows the lines of its predecessors thanks to a photographic module with the usual appearance, but which this time has a surface in glass completely smooth and with protection Corning Gorilla Glass 3. Under the panel we can see a striped and dotted texture that is accompanied by the ROG logo al LED, which can be managed and customized through the settings.

I materials are of excellent workmanship thanks to side frame in aluminum it's a shell in glossy glass, which holds a little too many fingerprints, although on the whole it contributes to giving a feeling of great solidity. Unfortunately, however, solidity, cutting-edge technology and quality materials contribute to increasing the weight of the device and in fact we have the dimensions of 173.00 x 77.00 x 9.90 millimeters for a weight of 239 grams.

One-handed use it is not easy and all its grams are felt after a few minutes, so I advise you to help yourself with the other hand as well so as not to risk making it fall to the ground. However, the function is present in the ASUS software "One-handed mode" which will greatly facilitate daily operations.

For the rest, the device is embellished with many other details such as Air Trigger carved into the inscription "ROG" and the red of the brand around the power button and the SIM slot, which also has the acronym "GLHF!", or "Good Luck, Have Fun!".

On the right side, therefore, we find the power button, the volume rocker, the two Air Triggers and a first microphone, while on the opposite side there is a USB Type-C input, the Dual SIM slot and the coupling for some accessories that we will see later. Below you can see another USB Type-C input and the 3.5mm audio jack input, unlike the upper part on which only the third of the four system microphones is placed.

The fourth is located on the back cover, next to the photographic module, while the speakers are positioned on both ends of the front profile to ensure an engaging stereo effect.

Display

It is difficult to say which is the best sector of this smartphone, but probably the display rises on the podium thanks to a panel Samsung AMOLED da 6.78 inches with resolution Full HD + (2448 x 1080 pixels), maximum brightness of 1200 nits (in the peak), refresh rate up to 144 Hz, touch detection up to 300 Hz, support HDR10 + and color accuracy Delta-E <1 and protection Corning Gorilla Glass Foods.

We are faced with a display that will leave you stunned thanks to its definition, the decidedly powerful maximum brightness, the well-balanced contrast, the excellent fluidity thanks to the high refresh rate and its vivid and accurate colors, which make us seem to have a print in front of you. See movies and play withASUS ROG Phone 5 it will be a real pleasure.

However, if you want to change the color calibration you can access the settings and change a series of parameters including the temperature, the always-on display, the notification LED, the font, choose the classic mode or the dark mode and the refresh. device rate between 144Hz, 120Hz, 60Hz or Automatic.

The possibilities are really wide and the experience of use you will have with the ROG Phone 5 you will hardly be able to find it on other smartphones of the same category.

Hardware, performance and accessories

Under the body of theASUS ROG Phone 5 we find a chipset Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, which is inclusive of an octa-core processor with a maximum clock frequency of 2.84 GHz flanked by a GPU Adreno 660, Well 16 GB di RAM LPDDR5 e 256 GB di internal memory UFS 3.1 not expandable via microSD. However, for those on a smaller budget, we point out that variants from 8 / 128 GB e 12 / 256 GB, which are equally good.

The smartphone therefore offers the best you could want from the market, thanks to a configuration that is the envy of the most classic notebooks. In daily use the ROG Phone 5 is a splinter and shows no signs of abating even when running more complex and resource-intensive applications. The switch between the apps happens with great fluidity and believe me when I tell you it will be a pleasure to use it in everyday life.

Let's move on to Gaming which is true core of the product and the aspect on which ASUS has focused a lot thanks to a series of hardware and software integrations that improve its performance, as well as a series of accessories that expand its functionality.

ASUS ROG Phone 5

We start from GameCool 5 cooling system, improved over the previous version and which features a reshaped thermal structure and vapor chamber and large graphite sheets that dissipate heat more widely, reducing heating in the central part. Yeah, because on the ROG Phone 5 the battery has been divided into two parts (3000 mAh each) and placed on the sides, in such a way as to leave the operational parts in the center.

As if that were not enough we also find theAeroActive Cooler 5, or an external accessory that can be connected through the side pins, which thanks to the integrated fan will allow you to further lower the external temperature and the CPU of the smartphone. Like the model designed for the ROG Phone 3 presents a kind of kickstand to hold the device upright, but they have also been integrated 2 news: two buttons for gaming and one more LED with ROG logo.

ASUS ROG Phone 5

Coming to the performance, the device behaves excellently and guarantees performances that are almost unattainable on other smartphones. In fact, you can run titles like Call of Duty, PUBG, Genshin impact e Fortnite to the maximum of details and with 3% 100D rendering (set them where possible). Just by activating the X mode there is this boost in performance that will give us a fluid playability even in the most difficult situations.

rog ui

We point out, in fact, that this mode can be activated from the settings, or simply by squeezing the smartphone on the sides. Many other customizations can be managed through the excellent portal ASUS Armory Crate e Game Genie and every single setting can be saved according to the game being played. More in detail, we can modify:

  • touch: touch sensitivity, precision, scroll, touch;
  • Display: anti-aliasing, brightness and refresh rate;
  • Performance: performance mode, memory cleanup;
  • Network: block network passage, limit sync in the background;
  • AirTrigger;
  • Viewfinder;
  • game registration;
  • Mapping key (for the GamePad);
  • Macro.

Furthermore, in Armory Crate we can manage the profiles of the scenarios of the various games, view the performance mode in use with a pentagonal graph (X, Dynamic, Ultra resistant or Advanced modes), access Connect (ROG community portal) and view all the titles available based on the refresh rate (144 or 120 Hz) or the use of the GamePad or of the suns AirTrigger.

Yeah because the AirTrigger they are real game changer as they say in the jargon, as it will be possible to use them in several ways, that is a function for each key, two buttons for each key (such as L1 + L2 or R1 + R2) or a function for scrolling. You will therefore understand that playing in this way will be much easier and will allow you to win more games.

Alternatively, if you have the ROG Kunai 3 Gamepad you will have an even easier life. This is a gadget that can be connected in multiple ways: through Bluetooth, through Type-C / Type-C included in delivery or through the ROG Kuna3 Bumper, that is a plastic bumper that has sliders at the ends to accommodate the two separate parts of the gamepad.

In fact, the Pad is made up of different parts that can be disassembled: the classic joystick-style handle and the central plastic body that acts as a junction for the two controllers. So by connecting the latter to the bumper it will seem like you have a Nintendo Switch.

The positive aspect is that having additional keys on the back will be better than a classic joystick and the latency will be practically zero, the negative aspect is that not all games support the use of a Pad, but only the use is allowed. of the touch.

We close the accessories discord with prices, as theAeroActive Cooler 5 is available a 59.99 €, ROG Kunai 3 Bumper a 19.99 € and ROG Kunai a 119.99 €. Personally I believe that the figures are a bit too high and if you wanted to buy in a group you would have to spend an additional 200 euros more on an already important price of 999 euros for the device.

However, those with no budget issues and want a full 360 degree experience then these gadgets could improve your skills and rankings.

Camera

L'ASUS ROG Phone 5 is equipped with a triple camera with main sensor Sony IMX686 da 64 mega-pixels and opening f / 1.8, a wide-angle sensor from 13 mega-pixels, opening f / 2.4 and viewing angle a 125° and a last macro sensor from 5 mega-pixels with opening f / 2.0. All this is accompanied by a single LED flash and digital stabilization.

ASUS ROG Phone 5

The camera has never been the strong point of gaming phones and we were aware of this. However, with the last model I was pleasantly surprised by the increase in quality compared to past variants, although this was still below the smartphone in the same price range.

With the ROG Phone 5 the Taiwanese manufacturer has decided to keep the same photo form seen with the 3 and in fact the quality remains the same, but with some improvements made on the software side. In short, we would have expected a little more since the technology has moved forward and other brands have introduced even more performing sensors, both in the mid-range and in the high-end.

Di day however the smartphone makes some beautiful pictures characterized by a good definition, a right contrast and a balanced lighting management. While overall I was satisfied with the final result, HDR sometimes intervenes by saturating the colors slightly more than they should.

Good macros thanks to a nice natural bokeh and high definition on the foreground subject. I was also convinced by the photos with the wide-angle lens which shows a good definition, as well as colors and contrast.

In night the situation changes and with little lighting the latter sensor may be there poco help given the low quality, unless you activate the night mode that will intervene by putting a patch. Just with the Night Mode you get better results even with the main sensor, as with a good steady hand you will be able to give light even in contexts poco enlightened. I must say that compared to the past they have made progress.

From the front we find a camera from 24 mega-pixels with opening f / 2.5. In daytime we have an excellent definition and management of the lights, thanks also to the automatic HDR which intervenes rather well by making the right balance.

If during the day the feedback is good, in the evening the quality drops and the noise increases slightly. In bright areas you won't have too many problems, but in slightly darker contexts this will be more evident. Overall I must say that we are on sufficiency.

In short, in general the photos are good, but comparable to a smartphone of medium-high band and not to a device around 1000 euros.

video can be registered up to a maximum of 8K a 30 fps, As well as in 4K a 60 fpsand the usual 4K at 30 fps and Full HD with electronic stabilization. However, until Full HD a 30 fps you can enjoy the HyperSteady, Or a super software stabilization.

Here too I confirm the opinions given on the previous model, as I have seen once again how the EIS on board performs well in almost all resolutions, approaching the performance of an optical stabilization. For the rest good colors, contrast and light management and we also have a sufficiently fast PDAF focusing.

Finally, remember that you will be able to record videos in slow-motion in 4K a 120 fps, in Full HD at 240 fps (or 120) and in HD at 480 fps.

Audio

This is one of the best sectors of theASUS ROG Phone 5, as it can boast of two front speakers able to actively involve the user in gaming sessions or in movie / TV series marathons thanks to a very high volume and a excellent frequency balance. In fact, the audio is characterized by a good presence of bass that make the sound full-bodied and enjoyable with all musical genres.

In addition, the experience during gaming sessions will be enhanced by vibrations during the reproduction of sounds and excellent haptic feedback, which can be customized in the settings.

As for the audio in the headphones, we point out that the DAC. It goes without saying that with wired solutions you will have a sound that you will hardly be able to find on other high-end smartphones. As if that were not enough, there is a special menu for headphone calibration and equalization.

In call the audio is crystal clear and they are present well 4 microphones which will do a great job suppressing surrounding noises. In short, an applause to ASUS for having taken care of down to the smallest detail a sector that is sometimes overshadowed by other brands.

Connectivity

L'ASUS ROG Phone 5 supports 5G Dual-Mode thanks to the modem Snapdragon X60 RF, as well as obviously the 4G + and in terms of reception I found good performance, managing to hook the 4G + even in more remote places.

For the rest we find the WiFi 6E with three antennas available placed in different parts of the smartphone to always guarantee maximum speed based on the grip of the device. Also present the Bluetooth 5.2 with Qualcomm aptX support, NFC, Dual Frequency GPS / A-GPS / GLONASS / BeiDou / Galileo.

Software

L'ASUS ROG Phone 5 is based on Android 11 with security patch of January 5, 2021 with proprietary interface ROG UI.

Already during the first configuration of the device we will be asked which theme to choose between the classic "gaming" one typical of the ROG series or a 'stock interface clean, but which always features the ASUS goodies.

In fact, we are talking about a really very complete and full of customization software, from the display to the battery and from the gaming to the rear LED. We have already analyzed the Armory Crate and Game Genie portal for gamers, but otherwise we find many useful settings in everyday life such as Twin Apps, Mobile Management, OptiFlex, app lock with password, call recording, support for third-party icon packs, the “squeezing” function and much more.

In daily use, the ROG Phone 5 runs wonderfully thanks to a great optimization and a very fluid system.

Battery - ASUS ROG Phone 5

Under the body of theASUS ROG Phone 5 we find a battery from 6000 mAh, or rather, we find two batteries da 3000 mAh positioned on the sides of the device. These, flanked by excellent management on the software side, allow us to have a very good autonomy.

ASUS ROG Phone 5

Indeed, with intense use and about 1 and a half hours of gaming with Mode X, automatic refresh rate and Always-on active display I came to about 1 day and 1/4 of autonomy with approximately 7 hours of active display. This means that by taking advantage of the various energy saving modes proposed by the software and with a more economical use you will be able to easily reach the 2 days.

Through the settings, however, we can manage many aspects such as the slow charge, the scheduled charge, the charging limit, we can monitor the loading frequencies, the consumption of the apps in the background and much more.

Speaking of charging, however, we find support for the quick charge to 65W, which thanks to the power supply supplied will allow us to arrive from 0 to 100% in about 50 minutes. Incredible timing that exceeds the previous model by 30 minutes.

Too bad it is absent la wireless charging, a small burr that does not make it flawless.

Conclusions - ASUS ROG Phone 5

After analyzing the smartphone in detail, it is good to come to conclusions. In fact, theASUS ROG Phone 5 confirms the good things done with the previous model, brings several improvements, while proposing some things already seen (the photographic modules).

The company is making gods huge steps forward to ensure that the ROG series is not intended only for gamers but also for all those who want a smartphone with top performance for everyday use, without giving up moments of leisure.

In fact, we have a terrific technical data sheet, a wonderful display, excellent autonomy and high-level software, a pity only for the camera which has remained unchanged and has not undergone major changes.

Unfortunately, however, in the end it must come to terms with the price which is in line with other top of the range, but which still remains one important figure. In fact, we are talking about 999 € for the variant from 16 / 256 GB, 899 € is preferably used for 12 / 256 GB e 799 € is preferably used for 8 / 128 GB. The latter two are already more competitive since for many users 8/12 GB and 128 GB may be more than enough for a certain type of use.

For the rest theASUS ROG Phone 5 is confirmed on best gaming smartphone ever. The sheriff is back in town!

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