My ROG Phone 5 Review – Gaming Overkill!?
So is there really any point in buying something like the rog phone five, a big flashy overclocked gaming phone? When any other flagship phone, like the galaxy s21, which is powered by the same snapdragon 8 chip can play the same games well yeah. I think so. I’Ve been using the og phone 5 for the last couple of weeks and it’s incredible. It really is. It is, without a doubt, the ultimate gaming phone that doesn’t mean it’s perfect, but if you’re, an enthusiast or even a pro gamer you’re gon na have to buy one of these. With a huge 6.78 inch, 144 hertz screen the snapdragon triple eight up to 16. Gigs of fast ram and a massive six thousand million power battery the specs alone are insane, but what really makes this stand out, for me at least. Are the air triggers i’m telling you you can’t, go back to regular on screen buttons after you’ve tried this plus the range of accessories, including the new rog aerocool 5, which just slots in beside the second usb c port on the side? Not only helps keep the phone cooler for longer gaming sessions, i mean you’re literally sticking a cooling fan on the back of the phone, but it also gives you an extra two buttons you can assign. I would definitely recommend picking one of these up. If you do go for an rg phone five – and it is the only way to unlock the x mode plus option which actually overclocks the chip, so the hardware is impressive, but it’s.
Also, the software we get android 11, which can be as close to stock or heavily rog customized, as you’d like, and this new performance manager in the armory creek gives you a ridiculous amount of settings and options to tinker with clock, speeds, frame rates, fans, game profiles, Literally everything you could want is here or if, on the flip side, it all looks way too much, then you can just stick with the preset modes and maybe leave it on dynamic and then just never worry about it. It’S, not just the armory crate. That gives you this over the top customization in the regular phone settings under the display options. You even get these animation speed settings which are usually hidden within the phone’s developer options. I like to drop these down to 0.5 times to make everything feel a little bit. Snappier not that this phone really needs it, and the crazy thing is it’s, not even that expensive. The orig phone 5 starts from 800 euros and you get 8 gigs of ram with 128 storage. This guy, with 16 gigs of ram and 256 storage, will save back a thousand euros but that’s not bad at all. Although bear in mind all the accessories, including the aerocool fan, will cost you extra and if you’re wondering didn’t, we just have the rog phone. Three. Last year, what happened to the four well in chinese culture? The number four has some superstitious connotations with death so uh they just like to avoid that.
So we’ve jumped right ahead to the phone five speaking of last year’s rog phone, three. What kind of upgrades are we getting with the five? Well, the headline is the upgrade from the a65 plus to the triple 8 chip, which is about 10 to 15 faster. We also now get a 16 gig of ram option up from 12 plus they’ve improved the cooling both of the phone and also the new aeroactive cooler and software wise they’ve added this new performance manager in the armory crate. The screen is also slightly bigger. Now at 6.78 inches but we’re, getting the same 144 hertz, full hd, plus amoled panel, and also the same one millisecond response time, although the touch sampling rate is now 300hz stopped from 270, but you’d be hard pressed to notice. We also get the latest gorilla glass. Victus on the front and the slightly older gorilla glass 3 on the back. One downside, though, of the screen is that it’s, not an ltpo panel, like you, might get on the galaxy s21 range, so unlike the samsung, which can actually adapt its refresh rate between, i think 10 and 120 hertz so based on what you’re doing it can change It and therefore save your battery with this. You can choose between 90, 120 or 144 and on auto mode it will switch based on what the app needs but that’s about it. It doesn’t dynamically go all the way down if you are on a sort of static screen to save battery, although the always on display is set to 30 hertz we’re, also getting the exact same six thousand million power battery, which is still huge but crucially it’s.
Actually, now split into two three thousand million power cells and also supports much faster 65 watt charging up from 30 watts. Last year, they’ve also improved the dual front facing speakers. They sound absolutely incredible actually and your hands don’t cover them up, which is nice plus. You have this three and a half mil headphone jack that supports high res audio. Also, the inner nerd in me was quite excited uh when they confirmed that this does support the latest wi fi 6e, although you will need a compatible, router or router for it and, of course, we’re getting sub 6 5g support with this as well. So if you’ve seen or used one of the rg phones before then this cyber punky design will be pretty familiar to you, this time, we’re getting it in storm white or phantom black, like i have here, the bezels are relatively chunky, but that does make it a Little bit more comfortable to hold plus it leaves room for the bigger front firing speakers and also an led notification light plus we’re getting an optical in screen fingerprint reader around the back there’s. This glossy curved glass body it’s completely smooth but with a textured, look underneath refined, yes, subtle, not so much with this giant rog all seeing eye on the back that lights up, although it can now display two colors at the same time for a gradient look jump Into the armory crate and there’s eight different lighting schemes and a full rgb color wheel, it is kind of silly i mean when you’re actually using the phone.
You can’t see it but it’s a bit of fun and who doesn’t love a bit of go faster, rgb in their gaming setup and that’s. The point this whole phone has been designed around gaming and using it in landscape mode, for example. The second usb c port on the side means you can charge it or clip on accessories without anything getting in the way of your hands. In fact, this side port is usb 3.1 gen2, whereas the bottom one is a slower, usb 2. also the front firing speakers, the layout of the quad microphones, and also the slightly offset selfie camera. So your thumbs aren’t, covering it if you’re streaming, it’s all incredibly well designed now these aren’t new, but one of the best parts of the rog phone are the air triggers just swipe in to bring up the game genie then tap on air triggers, and you can Then customize how the two shoulder buttons will interact with your game. You simply drag the left and the right buttons on screen. So then, as you press the air trigger that, then triggers the on screen button and in games like call of duty where you can assign these to looking down the scope or firing or even reloading it’s, so helpful. You can even split each button into a dual partition button, so you then have four shoulder buttons, although this does halve the size of the button, which makes it a little bit trickier to tap.
And if you pair these air triggers with the two extra buttons on the cooler or even the extra rear buttons on the pro and ultimate models of the origin, phone you’ve got so many ways of avoiding the on screen virtual buttons. As for the camera, well, this won’t take long. We get the same 64 megapixel sony, imac, 686 camera as last year, along with a 13 megapixel ultra wide and everyone’s favorite, a 5 megapixel macro, no telephoto lens and using last year’s sensor in the main camera. This is definitely the rg phone’s biggest letdown and again it just feels like an afterthought. Asus spent all of about 30 seconds talking about the camera in their briefing, they do say, it’s slightly improved from last year’s phone and in good light. The photos aren’t bad. Just a bit average really, although we do now get 8k video at 30fps, which is a nice extra, although i’m not sure how often you’d actually use that it’s tricky, i mean i do appreciate that asus are putting all their efforts and resources into making the best Gaming phone possible, but chances are if you’re gon na spend 800 a thousand pounds or euros on this it’s, probably going to be the only phone you have in your pocket, so it is still quite important for the camera to be good and so yeah. I think this is probably the biggest issue i have with the phone, so there’s room for improvement, but the priority here, of course, is performance and importantly, sustained performance thanks to the better cooling of the phone.
This has a whole new thermal structure inside where the hottest components are placed in the middle of the phone and then the reshaped vapor chamber cooler and the graphite sheets help to then spread the heat evenly. But the question is: does any of this really make a difference to performance? Well, here’s the results from a 20 minute, 3dmark wildlife stress test on the left, just look at the s21 ultra’s lowest loop score and also its stability percentage compared to the two rog phone tests. You can see on the graph after loop 9, the s21 throttles, whereas both rog phones give us much better sustained performance, particularly when you’ve got the aeroactive cooler, where we see the highest 89.7 stability it’s so interesting, because the s21 ultra i’m testing has the exact same Snapdragon aaa chip, but just look at that drop in performance by loop 12, which is the purple line between the two phones. The rog, particularly with the fan, maintains a much higher frame rate for longer so that’s 3d mark. But if we test the phones in armor mobile ops, which is quite a demanding game and also supports high refresh rates, while we do see the occasional drop to zero on both during load screens, you can see there’s far fewer drops in frame rate on the rog It’S a much more stable frame rate 98 versus 93 percent and also because it’s, a 144 hertz screen we’re, actually seeing a slightly higher 126 million fps.
So obviously, only a handful of games support higher 120 hours, refresh rates and even fewer 144 to fully take advantage of this screen, but it’s likely more well in the future, particularly esports titles and, on the other end of the spectrum. 60 fps games with ridiculously demanding graphics, like the new gentian impact, also shows off the rg’s ability and, of course, with this six thousand million power battery, i didn’t feel like i had to ration how much i played when i was away from the charger. In fact, two hours of call of duty with maxed out settings at 50 brightness use 28 of the battery, so in real world you can expect up to six hours of intensive gaming on this. All that’s missing really is wireless charging, which is a bit of a shame. Now, if you are wondering what accessories work with the rog phone 5 it’s a bit complicated, we have lost some support for older ones like the mobile desktop dock and also the twin view. Dock 3.. I could see myself using the kunai 3 game pad from time to time, but i think for me the only essential one is the aeroactive cooler 5.. So you bring all that together the sustained performance, the air triggers the active cooler, the super fast and responsive screen. It all adds up to make this an incredible gaming phone, although i am keen to test this versus the upcoming red magic gaming phone as well, so make sure you have subscribed.
So you don’t miss that my only complaint really with this is the camera it’s fine, it’s usable but it’s, not the best. But what do you reckon? Would you be tempted to buy one of these and also, if you are into your mobile gaming, what are you playing at the moment? Let me know in the description below and also if you’ve got any other questions about this at all. I read all your comments. Do let me know, and i’ll do my best to answer them.