ROG Phone 5 Ultimate Review: Changing The Game

Asus is ready to greet that new world with a new smartphone one that lets us take the escape is it whimsy of gaming on the go and you know even though, I’m not really a gamer I am really taken with the ROG phone 5 now, if your first reaction upon hearing that there was another republic of gamers phone coming outwaited a minute do gaming phones even make sense. It’s a good question but I find it’s often asked for the wrong reasons.


I’m talking about specs and yes the fact is that ram bonuses notwithstanding the ROG phone essentially duplicates. The important components of many mainstream flagships means that your Galaxy s21 ultra is just as capable as this specialty smartphone at running most mobile games but as I often say about the spec sheet it’s not even half the story for me a gaming phone lives or dies on two points one it has to make the experience of mobile gaming more enjoyable than other phones do and do. if possible it should transmute the feeling I get while gaming into something physical.


I know that’s a little but let me show you how the ROG phone 5 starts doing that exact thing right out of the box of the three models in this generation. Asus sent me two for review and I chose to focus on one the ultimate edition pop open the magnetic clamshell box and you’re treated to what I thought was just a beautiful a themed wallpaper, but launch the setup process and you’ll find it’s actually an augmented reality graphic novel that welcomes you into the phone with an animated story. that’s followed by a registration session that makes the process of creating a user account a lot more fun by giving you a choice of several heads-up displays which you can map to your profile picture and the entire time there’s a bit of music playing under everything. it recalls the loading songs of a flight simulator or the atmospheric tunes that used to play when setting up older versions of windows on any other phone I’d be looking for the skip button but here these little touches are absolutely perfect for setting the tone a big part of selling. What are the best speakers? I’ve heard on a smartphone on all versions of the ROG phone five the speakers use symmetrical front-firing drivers that are incredibly loud and clear and there’s also a little bit of noise cancellation on each channel.

ROG Phone 5 Black and White
ROG Phone 5 Black and White

Which has the effect of adding tremendous space to the sound you get a very clear delineation between left and right channels here it’s honestly so effective. it’s a little bit disorienting all this means that while Asus has brought back the headphone jack two of them actually if you prefer to play out loud you’re gonna love it that second three and a half millimeter jack is located on an accessory that’s been with the ROG phone from the beginning yep it’s a clip-on fan. This comes in the box with the pro and ultimate versions of the phone and promises to preserve your high frame rates during extended gameplay by literally blowing cool air onto the portion of the gorilla glass 3 backplate directly over the processor at speeds. you can control manually or leave to the phone to decide.


I can’t say how effective it is I mean the phone didn’t show any signs of struggling with the games I chose to test it call of duty mobile gentian impact and the world of warships blitz but I did prefer to play with the cooler attached because well it did cool off my fingers the phone casing definitely does get hot and more important along with the fan comes a handy kickstand and two physical triggers that you can map to any on-screen control you want those extra controls are crucial for me and i think for a lot of people who grew up gaming before touch screens were a thing you know it’s just so much more satisfying to play with physical controls and even if you don’t clip on the cooler you’ve got extra buttons any way ultrasonic touch sensors called air triggers on the top edge can now be divided into two buttons a piece and the ultimate and pro editions. Get an extra set of touch strips on the back for your middle fingers to feel outré member there’s no game compatibility needed for any of this it’s literally just assigning those finger taps to virtual buttons that you can put anywhere on the screen in any game so without adding any accessories at all. you have six off screen buttons to use for whatever you want and they can tell the difference between taps and swipes for even more granular control they also work for a few non-gaming functions like bringing back the squeeze gesture for Google  assistant and if that’s still not enough inputs for you and you’re willing to drop some extra dough you can snap up the kunai 3 gamepad which gives you big satisfying buttons d-pads and joy sticks on a set of controllers that can be used in several modes many of which recall the nine ten do switch which is a good thing and all of this is controlled through a piece of software called game genie which is available during game play with a simple swipe from the left speaking of accessories you do get a charger in the box in this case a 65watt brick whose cable plugs into the bottom or the side of the phone where an extra USB C-Port doubles as HDMI out so you can game on bigger screens that charger took my review device from dead to 47 in 15 minutes and it filled the battery completely in 54 minutes that’s quite a feat given the monster6000 milliamp hour power pack in here and because fast charging tends to be tough on battery chemistry. There are special charging modes to allow you to replenish more slowly overnight while you’re sleeping so you can prolong the battery’s overall life now huge though it is if you’re doing any gaming at all the phone needs every bit of that power reserve to keep you chugging.

Asus ROG Phone 5
Asus ROG Phone 5

ROG Phone 5 Ultimate: Screen, Refresh rate & RGB logo

I found it surprisingly easy to blow through the power reserve with my test games which I played at maxed-out settings and with the Amoled screen more often than not cranked to its full 144hz refresh rate and brightness that tops out between 800 and 1200 nits depending on mode in plain English that means this is one of the brightest and one of the fastest screens around covered by gorilla glass with us which should also make it pretty sturdy all of which helps make up for a rare aesthetic compromise in the form of these somewhat stocky bezels about you know what they say if you can’t make one perfect screen just add another yeah on the stock ROG phone 5. you get a simple stippled RGB logo, but the pro and ultimate pack an Oled display called ROG vision complete with animations for things like incoming calls battery charging status or custom text banners and logos.


That you upload yourself just like everything else on this phone it’s pure over kill an extravagance with no real utility other than to look cool and even though its placement means the phone lacks wireless charging I’m fully here for it just be aware that unlike the color panel on the pro the ultimate vision display is monochrome to keep in line with the phone’s a esthetics which I understand but I still think is kind of a bummer also i do wish Asus offered a way to preview messages or other notifications on this screen as it stands now it doesn’t illuminate a tall unless the main display is on which seems like a missed opportunity still to come camera pricing special perks and my final thoughts after a quick word from a sponsor who might just be able to help you afford this thing if you’re thinking of trading in your old phone to help finance the ROG phone five well here’s a company that can help you do that this video is sponsored by which isn’t just another used phone marketplace see when you punch in your old device’s details at it compares buyback prices from over 40mobile tech trade-in companies that means two things one you save a lot of time you’d otherwise have spent cross-shopping and two you’re guaranteed to always get the most cash for your old electronics in fact they’re so serious about that promise that if you find a higher price will pay you double the difference don’t settle for less than your old devices are truly worth hit the link in the description and get the most for your trade-in today.

Asus ROG Phone 5 Ultimate review: Price and availability

 Asus says that camera performance was not a big focus for ROG phone 5 and yeah it shows not in a terrible way the photos are fine the video is stable you get what you expect from a high-end phone but these optics are essentially the same ones from the last ROG phone that means a 64-megapixel primary 13megapixel ultra wide with 125 degree field of view and a 5 megapixel macro all well and good but there’s none of the telephoto magic we’re starting to see on other flag ship phones and certainly none of the crazy camera experimentation I’m going to show you in my next video stay tuned the pictures are competent if a bit blown out passable unless you’re shooting side by side with a pixel 5 especially at night again they’ll probably serve most people fine but i do wish Asus had taken these cameras to the next level and this is probably my one true disappointment with the device the ROG phone five will begin its launch in march with the five pro following in April and the ultimate completing the offering in may region specific pricing will vary but the figures on screen should offer a rough hide a of what you’ll have to pay for the privilege and maybe it’s just because I’ve gotten used to foldable sticker shock but I have to say I think 11.99 euro for the pro and 12.99 for the ultimate are absolutely fair I mean think about everything you get here and in some markets consumers will get even more in the form of a republic of gamers’ swag bag that i showed off on Instagram a while back it doesn’t check all the boxes that militant phone fans might like such as a micro SD slot or a giant telephoto camera and I may not be anywhere near the gamer that the target customer is but folks i know a masterpiece when is one Asus has blended its technical acumen with a clear sense of what its customers want and a heaping helping of fun to make what could have easily been worthless gimmicks into compelling features and it’s packaged and presented with the kind of confidence that comes from having also produced some of the most compelling computing hardware I’ve seen in the past year as well it’s all a far cry from the company I lambasted for its Iphone rip-offs just a few short years ago to Asus i say bravo on a brilliant product and to those who buy it I say good luck have fun i know i did this review was produced following nine days with an ROG phone 5 ultimate review sample provided by Asus which had no editorial input into this content provided no compensation for it and was given no early look at it the opinions contained herein are mine and mine alone but this phone is way too involved for just one review and there are plenty of things I missed so I’ve linked to some of my friends reviews below check them out to learn more until next time thanks for watching and remember to stay safe and mask up when you’re around others as you stay mobile my friends.