You can play mobile games on just about any modern smartphone. But for the past few years a handful of companies have been vying to give you the best gaming experience on mobile devices with a combination of bleeding edge specs and features you didn’t know you needed at the time like high screen refresh rates, extra USB ports, high-performance speakers, and active cooling.
Some of those features eventually found their way to mainstream phones. Others have not.
The new Asus ROG Phone 5 has an aesthetic that screams gaming hardware, and some features like the RGB LED light matrix on the back of some models is unlikely to show up in mainstream phones anytime soon. But others, like the support for up to 18GB of RAM on select models? History suggests it’s just a matter of time.
All three versions of the phone have a 6.78 inch, 2448 x 1080 pixel AMOLED display with support for 60 Hz, 120 Hz, and 144 Hz screen refresh rates. And all three models are powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor paired with LPDDR5 memory and UFS 3.1 storage.
The phones all have in-display fingerprint readers, stereo front-facing speakers, two USB-C ports, a headphone jack, and three rear cameras. They all have touch-sensitive AirTrigger buttons on the sides of the phone, and
As you’d expect, the Pro and Ultimate models have some extra features – in addition to supporting more memory and storage than the standard ROG Phone 5, they have capacitive “Rear Touch” buttons on the back of the phone that give you a couple of extra buttons for interacting with games. And while the ROG Phone 5 has an RGB LED light matrix that can display the Asus Republic of Gamers (ROG) logo, the Pro and Ultimate versions have small PMOLED “ROG Vision” displays on the back of the phone that can display graphics or notifications.
Here’s a run-down of some key specs for the new Asus ROG Phone 5 family:
|ROG Phone 5||ROG Phone 5 Pro||ROG Phone 5 Ultimate|
2448 x 1080 pixels
|CPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon 888|
|Cameras||64MP Sony IMX686 primary|
|Audio||Stereo front-facing speakers|
Cirrus Logic CS35l45 mono AMP
ESS Sabre 92380AC Pro quad DAC
4 x mics with noise reduction
3.5mm headphone jack w/up to 384 kHz 32-bit output
|USB||1 x USB 3.1 Type-C (side)|
1 x USB 2.0 Type-C (bottom)
GPS & GLONASS
|Buttons||AirTrigger 5 (ultrasonic)||AirTrigger 5 (ultrasonic)|
2 x capacitive rear touch
|AirTrigger 5 (ultrasonic)|
2 x capacitive rear touch
|Rear display||RGB LED light matrix||Rear Vision PMOLED||Rear Vision PMOLED|
|Security||In-display fingerprint sensor|
|Dimensions||173 x 77 x 9.9mm|
|Glossy black||Matte white|
|Starting Price||€799 (~$950)||€1199 (~$1425)||€1299 (~$1543)|
Like earlier Asus ROG Phone models, the new phones are all compatible with a range of optional accessories, including:
- AeroActive Cooler 5.0 clip-on fan
- ROG Kunai 3 gamepad clip-on game controller
- ROG Gaming Clip for attaching the phone to third-party controllers (including Xbox and PlayStation controllers)
- Asus ROG Lighting Armor case with its own LED light matrix that can match the colors of the phone’s rear display
- Professional Dock plugs into a USB-C port and gives you HDMI and Ethernet ports, two USB 3.0 Type-A ports, and a USB-C port
Interestingly Asus says some older accessories including the previous-gen Mobile Desktop Dock and TwinView Dock (for dual display setups) are not compatible with the new Asus ROG Phone 5 series smartphones.
If you want to know whether the ROG Phone 5 is worth the relatively steep asking price, reviews are starting to roll in. Here are a few to get you started: