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We all saw this coming. Finally, after months of leaks, one of the most coveted gaming smartphones is finally officially released. The ROG Phone 5 series was announced today by ASUS Republic of Gamers. Yes, you read it right – “series”: ROG Phone 5, ROG Phone 5 Pro, and ROG Phone 5 Ultimate.

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ASUS ROG Phone 5 Series Specifications

 ASUS ROG PHONE 5ASUS ROG PHONE 5 ProASUS ROG PHONE 5 Ultimate
Display2448 x 10802448 x 10802448 x 1080
Dimension173 x 77 x 9.9 mm173 x 77 x 9.9 mm173 x 77 x 9.9 mm
Authentication and SecurityFingerprintFingerprintFingerprint
Front camera24 MP24 MP24 MP
Rear Camera13 MP (125° ultrawide-angle lens), 5 MP (Macro), 64 MP (Main camera Sony® IMX686)13 MP (125° ultrawide-angle lens), 5 MP (Macro), 64 MP (Main camera Sony® IMX686)13 MP (125° ultrawide-angle lens), 5 MP (Macro), 64 MP (Main camera Sony® IMX686)
SoCQualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 (5 nm)Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 (5 nm)Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888 (5 nm)
ProcessorOcta-core (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 680 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 680 & 4×1.80 GHz Kryo 680)Octa-core (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 680 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 680 & 4×1.80 GHz Kryo 680)Octa-core (1×2.84 GHz Kryo 680 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 680 & 4×1.80 GHz Kryo 680)
MemoryUp to 16GB (LPDDR5)Up to 16GB (LPDDR5)18GB (LPDDR5)
StorageUp to 256GBUp to 512GB UFS 3.1Up to 512GB UFS 3.1
Battery6000 mAh6000 mAh6000 mAh
Charging65W HyperCharge65W HyperCharge65W HyperCharge
OSAndroid™ 11 with new ROG UIAndroid™ 11 with new ROG UIAndroid™ 11 with new ROG UI
Network and ConnectivityaptX™ Adaptive, Bluetooth 5.2, GALILEO, GLONASS, GNSS support GPS (L1/L5), NavIC, NavIC (L5), QZSS, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6aptX™ Adaptive, Bluetooth 5.2, GALILEO, GLONASS, GNSS support GPS (L1/L5), NavIC, NavIC (L5), QZSS, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6aptX™ Adaptive, Bluetooth 5.2, GALILEO, GLONASS, GNSS support GPS (L1/L5), NavIC, NavIC (L5), QZSS, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6
Payment ChipNFCNFCNFC
SensorsAccelerometer, Ambient Light Sensor, Compass, Fingerprint (under display, optical), Gyro sensor, Proximity sensor, AirTrigger 5 Control SystemAccelerometer, Ambient Light Sensor, Compass, Fingerprint (under display, optical), Gyro sensor, Proximity sensor, AirTrigger 5 Control System, Hidden rear touch sensors (L2/R2)Accelerometer, Ambient Light Sensor, Compass, Fingerprint (under display, optical), Gyro sensor, Proximity sensor, AirTrigger 5 Control System,Hidden rear touch sensors (L2/R2)
Audio7-magnet stereo speaker with Cirrus Logic amplifier for louder, deeper and less distorted sound effect, Symmetrical dual front-facing speakers powered by Dirac technologies7-magnet stereo speaker with Cirrus Logic amplifier for louder, deeper and less distorted sound effect, Symmetrical dual front-facing speakers powered by Dirac technologies7-magnet stereo speaker with Cirrus Logic amplifier for louder, deeper and less distorted sound effect, Symmetrical dual front-facing speakers powered by Dirac technologies
ColorPhantom Black and Storm WhitePhantom BlackStorm White

Now at its fourth iteration, the ROG Phone 5 is now available in new flavors. If your budget is limited but still want to have a console-level mobile gaming experience, the classic ROG Phone 5 is the right pick for you starting this month. If you want to expand your experience further, then the ROG Phone 5 Pro or ROG Phone 5 Ultimate will be up for grabs starting next month.

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High-powered smartphone with the right thermals

The new ROG Phone 5 series is powered by the latest Snapdragon 888 5G mobile platform. With Snapdragon Elite Gaming features, the ROG Phone 5 receives unlocked benefits that will allow gamers to enjoy playing their mobile games. Note that ROG Phone 5 is not just the only smartphone that is imbued with gaming benefits. Devices with Snapdragon 865, 865+ and 888 innately have these benefits, but ROG Phone 5 makes itself special by integrating a cooling system optimized for the new processor.

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Based on the Antutu’s global page and the test result from ASUS labs, the ROG Phone 5 is the fastest smartphone with 742,776 score. Of course, we’re putting this with a grain of salt until we receive a retail unit that we can freely benchmark.

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Benchmark score of Xiaomi Mi11 and Samsung S21 Ultra were retrieved from Antutu’s global page on Feb 25, 2021. https://www.antutu.com/en/ranking/rank1.htm
** Test result of ROG Phone 5 was provided by ASUS labs.
*** Samsung S21 Ultra is with Exynos 2100 CPU, as being the version on Antutu’s global page

The new chipset is said to be 35% faster in GPU performance and 25% in CPU performance. What better way to show how this translates to real-life setting than showing actual gaming benchmarks. ASUS provided a copy of their benchmark results, which is coincidentally similar to our methodology.

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One of the major difference between ROG Phone 5/5 Pro and ROG Phone 5 Ultimate is RAM configuration. The latter is the world’s first smartphone to use 18GB of LPDDR5 RAM, which greatly impacts gaming performance and multitasking.

The new ROG Phone 5 also has GameCool 5 cooling system that helps the phone dissipate and manage thermals. This ensures that games being played perform at optimized settings regardless if the processor is being cranked up to its limits. This is a welcoming feature for the new iteration. Based on our review of the ROG Phone 3, the highest temperature we got while playing Shadowgun Legends was 65C with the AeroActive Cooler 3. With the new version AeroActive cooler and GameCool 5 technologies on ROG Phone 5, we are expecting the thermals to be better this time around. We’ll see about how this will work and include the result of our tests in our full review. The review product we received from ASUS is an engineering unit so it is not recommended to draw out any conclusions from any benchmark we’ll do with it.

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An ASUS ROG phone, with a display powered by… Samsung!

The new ROG Phone 5 series packs a Samsung AMOLED display. As a gaming smartphone, the expectation is set really high so the pressure for ASUS to make it the best in all aspects is equally high. With this latest series, the display is superior in various aspects: 300 Hz touch-sampling rate, 24.3 ms touch latency, Always-on HDR, Delta-E < 1 color accuracy and E4 panel material. Combine this with a supreme display protection technology – Gorilla Glass Victus -, and you get yourself the best gaming smartphone without zero compromises on display input.

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Based on data provided by ASUS, the ROG Phone 5 is world’s first smartphone with the lowest touch latency in 60Hz, 120Hz and 144Hz refresh rates, making it 65% faster than its competitors.

ROG Vision, a new way of immersion

The ROG Phone is known to have additional ways to play and be immersed with your phone. The previous iterations featured haptic triggers, which expanded ways to play FPS and driving games, and Aura RGB integration. This time, ASUS ROG retained these features and added ROG Vision. Not to be confused with The Vision, the ROG Vision is a small display cutout at the back of the ROG Phone 5 Pro and ROG Phone 5 Ultimate. You get a colored ROG Vision for the former and a special monochrome version on the latter.

The ROG Vision shows notifications, animations, and scenarios like when X Mode is enabled, entering a game, charging the phone, etcetera. Heavily inspired from ROG Anime Matrix on ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14, users can also choose to customize it via Armoury Crate.

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As earlier stated, if you want this specific feature, you will need to get the slightly pricier ROG Phone 5 Pro or ROG Phone 5 Ultimate.

Industry-leading Cameras

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Cameras are usually downplayed when brands market gaming smartphones. This isn’t the case on the ASUS ROG Phone 5 series. You’ll get triple rear camera setup, with a Sony IMX686 sensor for its main camera. Apart from this you’ll also get a powerful 24 MP camera, which is almost at par with current flagship smartphones this year.

Front Camera24 MP
Rear Camera64 MP (Main camera Sony® IMX686) + 13 MP (125° ultrawide-angle lens) + 5 MP (Macro)

Extra Features for Hard Core Mobile Gamers

There are few extra features that the ROG Phone 5 series possesses. The AirTrigger 5 control system has been greatly improved. If you’re getting the ROG Phone 5 Pro and Ultimate, you’ll get additional hidden L2/R2 rear touch sensors at the back panel.

ASUS ROG also announced that the AeroActive Cooler 5 is not included in the package. However, we were informed that it will be based on the region the ROG Phone 5 series will be sold into. In the last 3 years, AeroActive Cooler is included in the retail package of ROG Phone.

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The new AeroActive Cooler 5, apart from the improved airflow (10C lower CPU temperature, 15C lower surface temperature), now features additional Left and Right triggers. This means that if you’re getting the (classic) ROG Phone 5, the new AeroActive Cooler 5 will compensate for the rear touch sensors it lacks. Fortunately, the ROG Phone 5 series has a side-mounted port that can accommodate Type C charging cable, AeroActive Cooler 5 and other accessories.

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Apart from the mentioned features, one of the best improvements to the ROG Phone 5 is its audio system. ROG calls this GameFX audio system, which features symmetrical seven-magnet dual speakers. They also collaborated with Dirac, which helped them tweak and improve the sound quality of the ROG Phone 5 series for better gaming immersion. However, if there’s anything that I like most about in the sound department is the return of the 3.5mm headphone jack. This proves that ASUS ROG listens to their customers, and puts their requests to utmost consideration when making smartphones.

Moreover, other extra features that we’re crazy about are improved haptic audio and scout mode. Scout Mode allows gamers to manually inverse the color for easier targeting. This is somewhat questionable in the eSports scene, and this is the reason why the ROG Phone 5 series has an integrated eSports mode, which lets organizers use allowable tweaks when playing specific games.

Cool Accessories that work best on the ROG Phone 5 Series

ASUS ROG also announced new accessories that will work with the ROG Phone 5. If you own an ROG Phone 3, there will accessories that will still be compatible. Some, however, will not work and fit the upgraded side-mounted port. For starters, there’s a new Aero Case and the Aeroactive Cooler 5 that I talked about earlier. There’s also a new lightning armor case, ROG Cetra II, and ROG Strix Go BT.

Here’s a compatibility chart for your reference:

ROG PHONE 3ROG PHONE 5
AeroActive Cooler 3YX
AeroActive Cooler 5XY
TwinView Dock 3YX
Mobile Desktop DockYX
Kunai Gamepad IIYY (Partial Support)
Kunai 3 GamepadYY (BT and New Bumper)
Professional DockYY
ROG ClipYY

Is it coming to the Philippines?

There are several indications that they are bringing this to the Philippines. The fact that they are running a special ROG Phone 5 -focused tourney with celebrities and streamers in the Philippines, it only means that they have concrete plans to make it available in the Philippines.

ROG Phone 559

As you may have also noticed, ASUS ROG also sent over an engineering unit for us to feature. The company usually does this when they have plans of bringing products to the Philippines. Moreover, since the mobile gaming market is huge, not just in the Philippines, ASUS would exhaust means to ignite interest and sell their fastest and most powerful smartphone worldwide.

Chief Editor at | Website

Giancarlo Viterbo is a Filipino Technology Journalist, blogger and Editor of GadgetPilipinas.net, He is also a Geek, Dad and a Husband. He knows a lot about washing the dishes, doing some errands and following instructions from his boss on his day job. Follow him on twitter: @gianviterbo and @gadgetpilipinas.