If mobile gaming is important to you, then you should do it right. Asus probably thinks that too with the new Asus ROG Phone 5, which is currently the best gaming smartphone without competition. So well thought out that it no longer looks like a smartphone but like a console. And so the Asus ROG Phone 5 is even called within its own software: Console. In addition, it comes with so many features and detailed settings that I can’t even reproduce everything here. Therefore I mainly go into the most important things here.
Info in advance: I have the version with 256 GB memory and 16 GB RAM.
Asus ROG Phone 5 – design and design features
Anyone who has already had an Asus ROG product, regardless of whether it is a smartphone, PCs, notebooks, PC components, peripherals, immediately recognizes that one the Asus ROG Phone 5 speaks the same design language. This is not only important to Asus, but also to the fans, because ROG is practically a brand that not only speaks for high quality, but with which the fans also identify. In addition, the products form an ecosystem.
Accordingly, you can find many design elements, patterns, engravings, some play of colors and more on the smartphone itself. This is combined with the placement of various features on which I will also go into.
Let’s look at the back first. As with every new ROG Phone, the Asus ROG Phone 5 has come up with something new. This time, the back of the glass is completely smooth, except for the light camera dump, and the inside is decorated with a changing pattern. A lettering shows with the 05 that it is the Asus ROG Phone 5 and what ROG stands for: Republic of Gamers since 2006. This may look like a display in pictures, but of course it isn’t. For this we have the ROG logo in the form of point-shaped RGB LEDs, the colors or animation of which can be adjusted in the software and, if you want, can be defined for different scenarios. We’ll get to the camera later.
Above is one of the four microphones distributed on the Asus ROG Phone 5, which can be found above, below, right and on the back to record the best possible sound in any position, if one of the microphones is covered . Of course, this is also used for noise canceling. It looks similar with antenna markings of which there are a total of seven, i.e. a maximum of 2 on each side of the frame. For the best possible reception in every position.
On the right of the Asus ROG Phone 5 there are two engravings next to the power button with a red border and the volume rocker. These mark the position of the air trigger or shoulder button sensors. Super practical, but we’ll get to that later.
Below is the USB-C port for charging / or. for audio and a 3.5 mm jack connection, so that you can also use your favorite gaming headset, such as the Asus ROG Cetra II Core in-ear headphones announced together with the Asus ROG Phone 5, which also have a USB C variant exists, which of course also works here.
On the bottom left is the Dual SIM (dual standby, 1x 5G) SIM card slot in red and Engraved with “GLHF!”, which stands as a universal gamer greeting at the beginning of every match for “Good Luck, Have Fun!”. Further in the middle there is a rubber that covers other ports. I have to admit that I’m not a fan of the rubber because I keep looking for it in panic. Accordingly, I am now leaving it in the box. In any case, you will find another USB-C slot and a contact for other accessories, such as the fan, which I will talk about in a moment. The USB-C slot is generally extremely practical, because most games are played in horizontal mode. The same applies to films and series and of course it makes sense to bring the charging cable or maybe the headphones down in the middle. That is more pleasant and does not limit you. In general, the Asus ROG Phone 5 is even the best smartphone for horizontal use, as the software and menus are specially optimized for this and do not just rotate. Whereby you only want that with many smartphones, where usually not even the home screen can be turned .. Everything about your own software is practically handmade here.
Asus ROG Phone 5 – Air Trigger and AeroActive Cooler 5
If you use optional accessories, such as the AeroActive Cooler 5, the it can be bought separately from us this time, on the grounds that the price for the 50% who do not use it, you have a 3.5 mm jack in addition to the USB-C port. At this point, gaming becomes serious, because you use it if you want to exhaust all resources, for which a cooler with an integrated fan like this one makes sense, as it reduces the temperature of the Asus ROG Phone 5 by up to 10 ° lowers.
In addition, this time it comes with a stand and even with physical trigger buttons, which, together with the capacitive air triggers on the device, provides an extreme advantage over other players, which you only need to tap or press lightly, depending on how sensitive you set the sensor.
For both There is no need to support the game, because you can create a profile for each game with the Game Genie (swipe to the right at the top left in the game) and select the UI element on which the touch input is simulated. The app remembers this immediately. Once set up everything works and the feedback is flawless.
I have the opponents in COD Mobile in my first three matches where I have ever played the game formally destroyed with the Asus ROG Phone 5. I play a lot of games on the PC or on the console, but not many shooters and, above all, extremely little mobile on a touchscreen. Your own team can still be so bad, because with the additional use of the index finger or the middle finger you are immortal and can stand between 5 opponents and defeat them before any of them can even aim. It looks similar with the other controller accessories, which I have not tested. If you still had joysticks (for which there are also accessories), then that would probably be more than unfair.
To the air triggers It remains to be said that these not only support simple typing, but also press and hold, swipe left and right, up and down and even split into two buttons each. Sometimes it is so much that I lose track of everything that can be done with the Asus ROG Phone 5.
Another feature here are gestures that can be assigned similarly in the game, like the AirTrigger, for example that can shake, horizontal movement forwards, left and right, tilt or rotation to the left and right, front and back and also the squeezing of the smartphone such as with the Google Pixel or old HTC devices. An example could be that when driving, for example, you can put drifting on a tilting gesture, or swiping forward to jump. You use the gyro sensor here, as it were, like the JoyCons of the Switch, regardless of whether the game supports it or not and it generally works great.
Incidentally, the Aero Case Cover for the Asus ROG Phone 5 included in the packaging is compatible with all official accessories and specially designed to use them or some design features, such as the LED logo show can.
Asus ROG Phone 5 – 144 Hz display for 144 FPS
Where these features offer an enormous advantage, you are competitive several steps ahead of the opponents simply because of the display of the Asus ROG Phone 5. Here is set on a custom Samsung AMOLED display, what with its 6, 78 Inch has all the features a display needs: HDR 10 +, 800 nits (APL 100 + HBM) or 1200 nits (APL1) brightness (minimum 5 nits), blue light filter and more.
It is more important, however, that this is with 144 Hz is one of the fastest smartphone displays on the market. That means where other 30 FPS or 60 see FPS, the game is running here 144 FPS i.e. frames per second. For me that made an extreme difference, because it is really incredibly fluid, which is why you have the advantage of reacting faster and more precisely.
The 144 FPS supported of course not every game, but the great thing is that the Armory Crate software directly lists which games all 144 FPS, 100 support FPS etc. and have them downloaded directly from the Play Store. In the game, however, you have to activate it again, such as in Shadowgun Legends, Final Fantasy XV Mobile etc., since the games are mostly based on 30 or 60 are preset and not unlimited. In the game you can open Game Genie by swiping from the top left to the right and see the actual FPS while playing.
Asus ROG Phone 5 – Performance
In order to achieve high FPS, you need the right performance. For this, you can use the Armory Crate app as a kind of console launcher, with which you can create an enormous number of settings for the smartphone itself as well as for the individual profiles. Of course, I want to play graphically complex games like Genshin Impact with full graphics quality, the highest possible FPS etc., so I can set which performance the device should call up specifically for this game.
If you set everything to maximum, the Asus ROG Phone 5 also recommends the cooler directly, because then temperature etc. is neglected as far as possible and performance is preferred. You can also use Armory Crate or Game Genie in the game to set background processes to be minimized, messages to be muted and calls not to be displayed while the game is running. Also that you shouldn’t switch between two WLAN networks, you should reserve the highest possible speed, etc. Here the smartphone can also use Wifi 6 in addition to 5G and is therefore well equipped.
So that so much performance can be accessed you can use the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 with UFS3.1 and 16 GB LPDDR5 memory. 256 GB / 16 GB is the maximum, but there are still combinations with 8 GB, 12 GB and 16 GB RAM to 128 GB and 256 give GB of storage. In the Limited Edition and Pro Edition you even get 18 / 16 GB RAM and 512 GB memory.
Anyway, I tried everything to push the Asus ROG Phone 5 to its limit. It does not work. All games run on maximum settings with maximum frames. What the Asus ROG Phone 5 is going to be is hot. Thanks to the internal cooling technology, it stays really cool in normal situations, but if you activate the X mode, 144 Hz and maximum graphic settings in addition to the connected charger, it is advised to use the active cooler. This cools with up to 10 degrees and ensures that the performance can be maintained over a longer period of time, while the device does not become too uncomfortable for the hands.
This of course also helps to save the battery, which is equipped with 6000 mAh is huge. If you don’t play, it really lasts forever. Normal users would be able to use it for 2-3 days and for 4 days. Should the battery be empty, that’s no problem either, because with 65 W is already reached 70% in 30 minutes, or 100% in 50 minutes.
Asus ROG Phone 5 – speakers and feedback
A gaming smartphone like the Asus ROG Phone 5 needs very good vibration feedback and audio. Both are available here. Regardless of whether you operate the AirTrigger or use other game elements, the vibration feedback is great and extremely precise, where many smartphones now go for cheap, where you neither feel nor hear anything.
similarly beats well the same applies to the sound. For the 3.5 mm headphone output, a Hifi ESS DAC was chosen for lossless sound and it is actually one of the best 3.5 mm jack connections I have ever had in a smartphone. At least as good as with some LG smartphones of the past. Of course you can also hear via USB-C, but the quality via the jack is simply much better. If you use Bluetooth headphones, you can also look forward to Bluetooth 5.2 and the support of the most important codes such as: A2DP, LE, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive.
Two symmetrical speakers are also used placed front speakers that have been optimized by Dirac. The quality of the speakers is top-notch and, especially for gaming, they have really “oomph” and really good bass. In addition, it is probably one of the loudest smartphones on the market. So you can see that Asus has not saved on the Asus ROG Phone 5.
Asus ROG Phone 5 – cameras
The camera of the Asus ROG Phone 5 was not in focus in my test and Asus itself says that the main focus is not here, but mainly on the gaming experience. But although I don’t have too much to photograph at the moment, the few photos that I took as snapshots are really good and it should, because the specs are impressive.
As the main camera s we have a 64 MP f / 1.8 wide angle sensor, one 13 MP ultra-wide sensor and a 5 MP macro sensor to photograph very small objects or details. There is also a 18 MP f / 2.5 front camera.
As I said, the camera was currently not my focus, but I’ll try to add that later. Regarding the video camera it can be said that here recordings in 8k 24 FPS, 4K 30 / 60 / 120 FPS 1080 p 30 / 60 / 120 / 240 FPS and 720 FPS 30 / 60 / 120 / 240 / 480 Record FPS.
Asus ROG Phone 5 – Price and availability
The Asus ROG Phone 5 is already available. I list the prices below:
- Asus ROG Phone 5 – 8 GB / 128 GB – 799 Euro
- Asus ROG Phone 5 – 12 GB / 256 GB – 899 Euro
- Asus ROG Phone 5 – 16 GB / 256 GB – 999 Euro
- Asus ROG Phone 5 Pro + AeroActive Cooler 5 – 1. 199 Euro (available later)
- Asus ROG Phone 5 Ultimate Edition + AeroActive Cooler 5 – 1299 Euro (available later)
In terms of price, I think, precisely because you get real top hardware and a sophisticated smartphone, that the Asus ROG Phone 5 comes at a fair price. Sure, the design is a matter of taste and it is also a top smartphone for non-gamers in terms of price-performance. And the smallest version will be sufficient for most of them.