ASUS ROG Phone 5 Hands-on
A year after the release of the ROG Phone 3, ASUS ROG is at it again with the ROG Phone 5, which is part of a series that includes the ROG Phone 5 Pro and ROG Phone 5 Ultimate. For a base model, it packs powerful specs like a 6.78-inch 144Hz AMOLED screen, Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, up to 16GB of RAM, up to 256GB of storage, and a massive 6,000mAh battery. If you’re eyeing this phone as your next flagship, check out our initial thoughts below.
One of the main goals of a gaming smartphone is to provide users a “gaming” experience that is not usually found in a typical flagship smartphone. ASUS ROG took it up a notch with the ROG Phone 5 as even the package itself is offering something extra for those unboxing it for the first time.
A short comic strip lines the inside of the package. By itself, it’s already a nice touch, but they actually trigger AR animations to welcome you to your new device. We’ll show this to you in our unboxing video.
The box contains the ROG Phone 5 unit, the protective case, 65W charger, braided USB-C cable, a fancy SIM tray ejector pin, and some stickers. The Aero ActiveCooler 5 is placed in a separate package.
The ROG Phone 5 comes in two colors — Phantom Black and Storm White. Given the screen size, it’s a pretty tall device at 172.8mm and chunky at 10.3mm. It’s relatively narrow, though, at 77.3mm with curved back edges, so you’ll still be able to grip it properly. It’s hefty at 238g, which is understandable given the materials and battery size.
As expected, it’s a premium device, clad in Gorilla Glass Victus on the front, Gorilla Glass 3 at the back, and a metal frame. Even though these are tough materials, glass can still break or shatter, while metal can still be nicked or scuffed if you drop it from a significant height, so make sure to use the case included in the package.
The 6.78-inch FHD+ AMOLED screen dominates the front of the device. Above it is the 24MP selfie camera and LED indicator. There are noticeable bezels at the top and bottom but thin enough to provide an immersive 82% screen-to-body ratio. For audio, we have stereo speakers at the top and bottom.
Looking on the right, we have the volume and power/lock buttons. These are placed near the center of the frame for easy reachability. Also found here are the two touch-sensitive shoulder buttons.
On the left, hidden by a removable rubber covering, are the USB-C charging port and metal contacts for the AeroActive Cooler 5. By the bottom is the nano-SIM card tray.
It’s worth noting that the lower left and right sides of the frame are pressure-sensitive, so you can activate or deactivate X-Mode by simply squeezing it.
Up top, we have a microphone and a pair of antenna bands, while down at the bottom are the USB-C charging port, 3.5mm audio port, and another pair of antenna bands.
At the back, we have the protruding triple-camera module that houses the 64MP main, 13MP ultra-wide, and 5MP macro. Also found here are the LED flash and a microphone.
The rear part is where the design improvements over its predecessor are more noticeable. Under the glass are metallic accents, with some dotted designs and diagonal lines to make it more interesting to look at. Yes, RGB lighting is still present and can be observed in the dotted ROG logo and can be customized using the Armoury Crate app.
Powering the ROG Phone 5 is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G CPU and Adreno 660 GPU. The unit we have has 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. Software-wise, it’s running on a heavily skinned UI based on Android 11. We ran AnTuTu, and we got a score of 730,465, which is an impressive score.
AeroActive Cooler 5
The AeroActive Cooler, which is a key accessory to the ROG Phone line, also got upgrades. Its design is now different and comes with paddle-style buttons for additional controls during gameplay and a built-in kickstand for when you’re spectating or watching movies. The ROG logo also received an RGB treatment.
It no longer uses a spring-loaded clamp to attach to the ROG Phone 5 and instead clips in place. The AeroActive Cooler 5 draws power from the ROG Phone 5 via the metal contacts, while the fan speed can be adjusted in the Armoury Crate. It also provides access to the USB-C port and an additional 3.5mm audio port.
The ROG Phone 5 is yet to be priced in the Philippines. But we’ll know soon enough when it launches next month. Stay tuned for our full review.
ASUS ROG Phone 5 specs:
6.78-inch (2448 x 1080) 144Hz Samsung AMOLED display
HDR10+ certified, 300Hz touch sampling rate
Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G CPU
Qualcomm Adreno 660 GPU
8GB, 12GB, 16GB LPDDR5 RAM
128GB, 256GB UFS 3.1 storage
Triple rear cameras:
• 64MP Sony IMX686 (main)
• 13MP (ultra-wide)
• 5MP (macro)
24MP front camera
GPS, Glonass, Galileo, BeiDou, QZSS, NavlC
Fingerprint scanner (In-display)
Dual front-facing speakers by Dirac technologies
7-magnet stereo speaker with Cirrus Logic amplifier
3.5 mm headphone jack
ROG UI (Android 11)
6,000mAh battery w/ 65W HyperCharge
173 x 77 x 9.9mm
Phantom Black, Storm White