ASUS has announced a trio of gaming phones, with the ROG Phone 5, ROG Phone 5 Pro and ROG Phone 5 Ultimate hitting the market in the coming months.
In terms of specs and design, ASUS have kicked things up a notch with the company looking to take lessons learned from three generations of ROG phones and deliver the best gaming experience.
The ROG 5 series is the successor to the ROG 3 which launched last year, and I hear you asking ‘Where is the ROG 4?’ The answer is the similarity of the Chinese word for four to the word death, and so we have the ROG 5.
ASUS has launched the ROG Phone 5 in two colours: Phantom Black and Storm White. The ROG Phone 5 Ultimate will only come in Storm White, while the ROG Phone 5 Pro only comes in Phantom Black.
The gaming focused phones are powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 mobile platform, and include other high-end specs and design enhancements aimed at improving the mobile gaming experience.
Paired with the SD888, the ROG Phone 5 Pro and ROG Phone 5 will include up to 16 GB LPDDR5 RAM while the ROG Phone 5 Ultimate will include a whopping 18GB of RAM. ASUS will include 512GB of storage for both the ROG Phone 5 Pro and ROG Phone 5 Ultimate, while the ROG Phone 5 will come with 256GB of storage.
Obviously display is important with a gaming phone and the ROG 5 uses a 6.78-inch Samsung-built 144 Hz/1 ms AMOLED HDR10+ certified display covered in Corning Gorilla Glass Victus. The panel also includes a 300 Hz touch sampling rate and offers ultra-low 24.3 ms touch latency for fast touch response in games.
While ASUS is concentrating on the gaming experience for their ROG phones, the phones still include a triple rear camera offering a 64 MP Main sensor, 13 MP sensor with 125° ultrawide-angle lens and a 5 MP Macro camera. The phone also includes a 24MP front-facing camera for selfies and face recognition.
The phones will support LTE/5GHz mobile service and include WiFi 6e with ASUS ‘HyperFusion’ that can automatically connect to the fastest of those connections. It also includes link aggregation to combine both for faster speeds.
The full gamut of GPS is included, as is NFC for tap & pay. There’s Bluetooth 5.2 for connecting peripherals like headphones, though there’s also a 3.5 mm headphone jack for connecting wired headphones and ASUS has included a ‘hi-fi-grade ESS DAC for lossless audio processing’.
The phones have a massive 6,000mAh battery with a 65W HyperCharge adapter included in the box.
ASUS has included some clever designs for the battery for better thermal performance – basically so the phone doesn’t get hot. The battery has been split in two and there’s also a 3D vapour chamber and graphite sheets to enhance cooling – but if that’s not enough, there’s an optional Aeroactive Cooler 5 accessory that can stick to the rear of the phone and wick off heat up to 10°C.
The ROG Phone 5 includes fast charging with up to a 4,400mAh charge in 30 mins, or full in an hour.
There’s a heap of smart management functions including options to set upper limits and charging behaviours to reduce stress on the battery which will lead to longer life.
As with previous generations the phone includes a side-mounted USB-C port so you can continue gaming more comfortably in landscape. The phone also has a pass-through mode which allows you to power the phone bypassing the battery and reducing any potential stress on the battery.
A key differentiator for the ROG Phone 5 Pro and ROG Phone 5 Ultimate is the addition of the rear matrix display. The ROG Vision display can show ‘customisable animations in response to a variety of system and in-game events’.
ASUS will be launching the ROG Phone 5 Pro with a colour ROG Vision display, while ROG Phone 5 Ultimate has a monochrome version in keeping with its position as a super-limited edition design in a solid matte white finish.
ASUS has included a number of new gaming focused features on the ROG Phone 5 series including an update to the new AirTrigger 5 control system.
ASUS’ AirTrigger system allows the phone to be interacted with in a number of new ways including both tilt and touch sensitive controls.
Using the tilt controls, players can utilise up to 10 different motions
The ROG Phone 5 includes touch sensitive buttons on the rear bringing L2/R2 gaming buttons to the phone – these buttons also support the new Dual Partition mode which further lets you split each ultrasonic shoulder button into 2 giving you up to 4 buttons.
All-in-all, players can utilise up to 18 different controls comprising the four Ultra-sonic buttons, 10 motion controls, two rear controls and two additional controls on the AeroActive 5 cooler accessory if they choose to use it.
An updated ‘gaming mode’ powered by an app called Armoury Crate will be included on the ROG Phone 5, letting players tune their gaming experience.
Gaming modes have been around for a while but ASUS has taken it to another level with theirs. You can do all the usual things like control notifications, but also includes more tweaks to control performance parameters of the CPU/GPU, as well as the touch sensitivity settings and display refresh rate.
Obviously with any gaming phone accessories are important, and alongside the AeroActive 5 cooler you’ll also be able to grab an ROG Clip for ROG Phone 5 that connects to the Stadia controller, Xbox One and PS4 Dual-Shock 4 controllers or a number of cases including an Aero Case to match the phone and the Lighting Armour Case which offers a larger light up logo to support the Aura lighting system.
ASUS Australia has confirmed that all three models of the ASUS ROG Phone 5 will be launching in Australia ‘from April’.
We don’t have details on pricing, configurations for the ROG Phone 5 or exact launch dates for each model as yet but we’ll definitely be keeping an eye out. If you are interested in comparative pricing, ASUS has announced European pricing for the phones:
<td>ROG Phone 5</td>
<td>ROG Phone 5 Pro</td>
<td>ROG Phone 5 Ultimate</td>
<td>18GB/512GB – 1299€</td>