Yearly, smartphone OEMs flood the markets with a whole lot, if not hundreds of gadgets with diverse specs, designs and USPs. Correspondingly, consumers out there for say, a camera-centric telephone would look keenly in the direction of the brand new Pixel gadgets from Google, or the newest Galaxy S-series telephone from Samsung. Similarly, ASUS has been the go-to model for players for some time now and through the years, the corporate’s ROG Cellphone sequence has been aptly dubbed “overkill”, “a gamer’s paradise” and rather more. On the flip aspect, the gadgets have additionally been scrutinised for his or her sub-par digital camera efficiency and have been titled superfluous by many- in spite of everything, you don’t essentially want a ‘gaming telephone’ to run Android video games at the absolute best settings. So, can the model lastly win over all of the naysayers with its newest smartphone – the ROG Cellphone 5? Nicely, let’s discover out on this evaluate.
Desk of Contents
If this isn’t your first rodeo with a gaming telephone, then you definately’ll know what to anticipate with the ROG Cellphone 5 within the design division. Though the model has considerably streamlined the aesthetics of its gaming telephones, the ROG Cellphone 5 is indubitably extra gamer-y than its predecessor and extra radically designed than anything available on the market. To that notice, the again of the telephone employs glass for its building and options edgy accents and a carbon fibre-esque print, together with the corporate’s Republic of Avid gamers RGB emblem, which by the way in which, has been repositioned a tad in the direction of the underside of the telephone. And, that’s not the one factor that has modified this yr, as the brand contains a dot matrix LED this time round, the likes of which you may’ve seen on the model’s Zephyrus G14 gaming laptop computer too.
I must also add that the RGB emblem isn’t only for present and doubles up as a notification LED too. So, in order for you, you’ll be able to customise the RGB impact from the smartphone’s Armoury Crate app and select to mild up the brand while you obtain notifications from choose apps. The smartphone additionally options vibrant pink accents on the facility button in addition to the SIM tray, making it stand out that rather more. Relaxation assured, should you don’t like to attract consideration, then you definately may need to look elsewhere because the ROG Cellphone 5 will undoubtedly appeal to eyeballs each time you’re taking it out of your pockets. Oh, they usually’ll must be fairly accommodating pockets too because the ROG Cellphone 5 is among the many greatest (10.39-inch thickness) and heaviest (238g) telephones I’ve examined this yr. Suffice it to say, the smartphone wasn’t designed with one-handed utilization in thoughts.
As for the ports, the smartphone comes outfitted with the corporate’s famed side-mounted twin USB Kind-C connector that permits players to cost the machine with out altering the orientation of the telephone. You additionally get a Kind-C connector on the backside, together with, watch for it – a headphone jack! That’s proper, the corporate has gone again on its choice and has reintroduced the headphone jack with the newest ROG Cellphone. You’ll even be greeted by a pair of stereo audio system that take up house on the highest and backside bezels, together with a clicky quantity rocker on the telephone’s right-hand backbone.
Lastly, very like most different gaming telephones, the ROG Cellphone 5 additionally comes with a pair of capacitive set off buttons that you may map to an in-game operate or command. Earlier than I wrap up the design part, listed here are another tidbits concerning the ROG Cellphone 5’s design –
- The handset ships with Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus on the entrance, and Gorilla Glass v3 on the again. That stated, the telephone has been primarily constructed out of glass and due to this fact, I’d urge consumers to make use of the telephone with a case.
- Not like another competing gadgets, the ROG Cellphone 5 isn’t IP68 licensed, so assume twice earlier than utilizing the telephone close to a pool.
- The ROG Cellphone 5 ships with an enormous battery that refuels rapidly too. Nevertheless, the smartphone doesn’t include assist for wi-fi charging.
- The haptic suggestions on the ROG Cellphone 5 is kind of passable. It isn’t the perfect, no less than for typing, but it surely’s not horrible both.
The ROG Cellphone 5 ships with a 6.78-inch, Full HD+ E4 AMOLED panel from Samsung that refreshes at 144Hz and sports activities a peak brightness of 800 nits. Having used the telephone for a bit, I can guarantee you that the panel on the ROG Cellphone 5 is a category aside. For one, the display is extraordinarily responsive owing to its 300Hz contact sampling price and due to this fact, can register the faintest contact or swipe, thereby guaranteeing no enter goes amiss. Funnily sufficient, I discovered the ROG Cellphone 5 to be a tad sooner than the OnePlus 9 Professional I reviewed just lately. Seeing how each the gadgets are backed by the identical CPU in addition to the identical kind of storage, I’m assured that the ROG Cellphone 5’s extra responsive panel had one thing to do with it. However, I digress.
You must also know that the ROG Cellphone 5’s show isn’t locked at 144Hz and you may change to 60Hz and 120Hz profiles to raised the telephone’s battery life. However, seeing how I used to be netting a outstanding display on time with the show locked at 144Hz, I didn’t trouble decreasing the panel’s refresh price. What’s extra, the display is pretty color correct too and presents a Delta-E < 1, together with HDR10+ certification, guaranteeing you’ll be able to stream your favorite exhibits and flicks on the highest high quality attainable.
Lest I neglect, the panel additionally comes with assist for an All the time-On show, that means you’ll be able to look on the time and examine in your notifications with out unlocking the telephone. All issues thought of, the show on the ROG Cellphone 5 won’t solely elevate your gaming expertise, however will even pave the way in which for a incredible media consumption expertise.
Audio, Connectivity and Biometrics
A smartphone’s audio setup performs an important position, not simply in video games however while consuming content material on the fly too. To that notice, the ROG Cellphone 5 ships with what’s in my books, the loudest stereo speaker setup to ever grace a smartphone. The unit comes outfitted with a pair of 12×16 Tremendous Linear audio system, every with a devoted Cirrus AMP that purportedly delivers 21 % extra ‘oomph’ than those on its predecessor. Relaxation assured, you’ll revel watching your favorite TV exhibits and flicks on the telephone.
Furthermore, as prefaced beforehand, the smartphone revives the headphone jack too and ships with a high-res licensed 3.5mm connector that has been paired with an ESS SABRE ES9280AC Professional DAC together with an ESS SABRE amplifier. Per the model, the handset can comfortably drive headphones with impedances starting from 8-1000 ohms – let that sink in for a minute. Now, in all honesty, I didn’t have any high-impedance headphones to check the corporate’s claims however, my high-res licensed IEMs paired splendidly with the ROG Cellphone 5, so no complaints right here.
When it comes to connectivity, the ROG Cellphone 5 can home two SIM playing cards directly. Furthermore, seeing how the telephone is backed by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888 processor, the handset is 5G prepared too. Throughout my testing, I didn’t run into any points with LTE connectivity on my Airtel Postpaid SIM and was getting stellar add and obtain speeds with the telephone. The identical holds true for the smartphone’s biometrics as nicely, and I used to be very happy with the unit’s responsive fingerprint sensor too. That being stated, the facial recognition software program onboard the telephone managed to unlock the machine even after I was sporting a masks. Quick? Positive. Safe? Ehh…
No surprises right here, the ASUS ROG Cellphone 5 is the quickest Android telephone you may get your palms on for the time being. The machine is backed by Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 888 processor which works alongside 12GB of LPDDR5 reminiscence and 128GB of UFS 3.1 storage. Coupled with the handset’s fast show, animations and transitions fly on the telephone and I didn’t run into any performance-related points with the machine throughout my stint with it. You’ll be able to comfortably max out all of the graphics settings in your favorite video games with out affecting the body charges, which is nice. Furthermore, seeing how the telephone ships with a high-refresh price display, you’ll discover minimal tearing on titles that may output excessive body charges too.
Now, fortunately, you don’t must scour the interwebs to search out the video games that may benefit from the ROG Cellphone 5’s innards. In actual fact, ASUS has a devoted part in its armoury crate app that’ll spotlight all of the video games that are bettered by a 120Hz or a 144Hz display, the likes of which embrace Unkilled, Into the Lifeless, Injustice 2, and so on. For the aim of my testing, I caught with Name of Responsibility Cellular and Genshin Impression as they’re two of essentially the most demanding Android titles. To that notice, the smartphone was capable of run the video games effortlessly and be it exploring the huge jungles of Genshin Impression, or entering into heated gun battles in CoD, the handset by no means slowed right down to catch its breath.
Clearly, you may get the identical expertise on gadgets just like the Samsung Galaxy S21 sequence, or the OnePlus 9 sequence which begs the query – how does the ROG Cellphone 5 stand out? Nicely, in my view, whereas your gaming expertise will stay the identical throughout most high-end flagships, the ROG Cellphone 5 presents a slew of high quality of life adjustments that makes gaming on the telephone all of the extra enjoyable. Take, for example, its Air Triggers which may be mapped to just about any in-game command of your liking. In my case, I had mapped the left set off to imitate the hip-fire command on CoD cellular, and the correct set off to ADS on my enemies. Ergo, not solely did I’ve extra space on the display to view my environment higher, however I discovered my purpose to be extra constant too. What’s extra, very like final yr, you’ll be able to tweak the sensitivity of the Air Triggers, in addition to use slide/swipe-based gestures on the capacitive buttons for enter too.
You may as well invoke the smartphone’s Recreation Genie platform by swiping inwards everytime you’re in a recreation. For the uninitiated, Recreation Genie is an all-encompassing device that’ll allow you to document your gameplay, mute notifications, assign macros, pace up your system and present you real-time GPU and CPU temps, alongside along with your in-game FPS concurrently. Heck, you’ll be able to even put up a customisable crosshair on the centre of your display in video games like CoD Cellular. Consequently, it is possible for you to to purpose higher with long-range weapons like a sniper rifle in CQC conditions the place you don’t have the time to ADS in your enemy.
Then, there’s the side-mounted USB Kind-C port that’ll can help you cost the telephone while gaming with out hampering your grip. You’ll be able to even connect a slew of equipment to the machine, together with the corporate’s ActiveAero Cooler 5 which by the way in which, presents two further inputs that may be additional mapped to any on-screen command. You may as well decide up the corporate’s Kunai 3 gamepad that slaps two mini controllers on both aspect of the handset, akin to the Nintendo Swap. I’d additionally like so as to add that the ROG Cellphone 5 dissipates warmth admirably, which may be accredited to the telephone’s GameCool5 system that employs two graphite sheets to maintain the temps in examine. Put merely, the ROG Cellphone 5 doesn’t essentially run video games higher than the competitors however the expertise in itself is drastically superior in comparison with say, the OnePlus 9, which additionally ships with a Snapdragon 888 processor.
Software program and Battery life
The ASUS ROG Cellphone 5 ships with Android 11 out of the field. The customized pores and skin doesn’t stray too far-off from inventory Android albeit does ship with a plethora of options and utilities, together with a built-in theme retailer, assist for navigation in addition to display on and off gestures and rather more. On the entire, I used to be fairly glad with the software program expertise on the telephone and if something, I might’ve favored to see assist for third-party icon packs. Additionally, ASUS doesn’t have the perfect observe document in the case of software program updates, however I hope the corporate has turned a brand new leaf with its newest handset.
As for the battery life, nicely, the ROG Cellphone 5 is definitely the endurance champ amidst flagships. The handset ships with a 6,000mAh battery (comprising two 3,000mAh cells) that can see you thru the tip of a heavy workday with out breaking a sweat. Throughout my testing, I used to be netting over seven hours of display on time with the telephone and that’s with the show set to 144Hz, which is nuts. What’s extra, the handset fees rapidly too because it comes with a 65W charging brick within the field.
ASUS claims that the digital camera setup on the ROG Cellphone 5 wasn’t all that prime on the corporate’s precedence record and it exhibits. Not solely does the telephone make use of just about the identical digital camera setup because the ROG Cellphone 3, however the photos pale compared to the competitors (fairly actually). Specs-wise, the smartphone comes with a 64MP Sony IMX686 sensor that works alongside a 13MP wide-angle lens with a 125-degree FoV and a 5MP macro sensor. For selfies, the machine will get a 24MP shooter up entrance.
Coming to the standard of the pictures, I observed that the smartphone tends to tone down the colors in any given shot in order to make it seem ‘pure’. Consequently, the blue sky and the luxurious inexperienced leaves in a panorama seem – for the dearth of a greater phrase – washed out. What’s extra, at a better crop, it’s evident that the pictures lack sharpness and correspondingly, bushes or shrubs seem fairly smudged. Now, I’ll admit, the primary sensor is serviceable sufficient and you may get away with some high quality pictures underneath preferrred lighting situations. Nevertheless, the handset is outclassed by the competitors fairly simply, so if you’re planning on getting the ROG Cellphone 5, you may need to avoid photograph walks.
When it comes to low mild, the smartphone managed to output a satisfactory picture with the evening mode enabled, however the pictures had been fairly grainy at a better crop. Additionally, the ROG Cellphone 5 doesn’t deliver out the small print from the shadows or the darker components of the scene all that nicely both. As for the wide-angle sensor, the unit undoubtedly permits consumers to color on a much bigger canvas, although the pictures lack particulars across the edges and there’s noticeable fringing too.
As for selfies, the handset’s 24MP shooter clicks fairly detailed pictures with correct pores and skin tones through the day, nevertheless, you’ll have to depend on the smartphone’s display flash performance to get an honest picture after the solar has set.
The ASUS ROG Cellphone 5 begins at Rs 49,999 and for the value, presents the final word smartphone gaming expertise. Consequently, should you’re the kind to take your cellular gaming critically, you needn’t look any additional than ASUS’ providing. That being stated, the ROG Cellphone 5 comes with its justifiable share of compromises too, and from its sizable kind issue to its sub-par cameras and lack of any type of weather-proofing, the smartphone will make potential consumers second-guess their buy choice.
Now, from the place I stand, I wouldn’t personally purchase the ROG Cellphone 5 as I don’t recreation on my telephone all that always. Don’t get me fallacious – I’m nonetheless all about that fast-phone life however I can obtain the identical efficiency with say, the Samsung Galaxy S20FE 5G (evaluate) which by the way in which, is a extra balanced telephone because it presents a greater digital camera setup, together with wi-fi charging and IP68 certification. That stated, I do know absolutely nicely that the S20FE 5G and even the SD888-toting OnePlus 9 (evaluate) can not maintain a candle to the ROG Cellphone 5’s gaming expertise, which isn’t simply restricted to the in-game FPS or graphics settings, but in addition contains components like a high quality headphone jack and a spacious, responsive display.
Due to this fact, should you think about your self an avid gamer, then you definately’ll really feel proper at residence with the ASUS ROG Cellphone 5. In any other case, you’d be higher off with a OnePlus or a Samsung flagship in the identical value vary.
Editor’s ranking: 3.5 / 5
- Class-leading efficiency
- Spectacular audio setup
- Beautiful show
- Lengthy-lasting battery life
- Massive and heavy
- Sub-par cameras
- No IP ranking or wi-fi charging
Pictures by Raj Rout