Asus ROG Phone has dominated the gaming phone segment. Over the years, Asus has managed to refine its products and each new iteration has advocated for the company’s gaming masthead. While the brand continues its efforts to bring the perfect phone for mobile gamers, the Asus ROG Phone series is setting a benchmark in this segment. With the new year approaching, Asus has once again refreshed its lineup in India with the new ROG Phone 5s series.
Starting at Rs 49,999, the new ROG Phone 5S has a lot to offer which is yet another reason for excitement for gamers who want a console-like experience in a pocket computer. The ROG Phone 5 is based on the basic model with an ‘S’, however, some incrementals the company has implemented that differentiate the product from the vanilla version. With the ramped-up specs, unique design, classy internals, the ROG Phone 5s can be taken as one of the best gaming phones in the market. But there are some factors that you need to consider before making a final buying decision. Here is our review.
As we said, the Asus ROG Phone 5S is based on the vanilla ROG Phone 5S. The dimensions, glossy rear panel, ROG RGB logo, all aspects (except the small screen) clearly show the reflection of the ROG Phone 5. Although the design hasn’t changed much, it’s still worth celebrating the finesse in craftsmanship. The phone is made of aluminum and glass with tapered edges and provides good grip. Similar to the original iteration, the device gets capacitive air trigger, a larger display, stereo speakers, dual USB-C ports, quad DAC-powered audio jack.
With the aesthetics carried over from the previous generation, the ROG Phone 5S once again brings to the fore a great gaming experience. It’s a huge phone, no doubt, but the compact machine’s minimalist design makes it convenient to throttle games round the clock. The haptics are over the top, and the vibrations feel solid. Like the standard model, the phone gets squeeze, swipe input and an in-display fingerprint scanner which is quite fit and responsive.
Moving on to the front, Asus has implemented a gorgeous 144Hz AMOLED display. The wide panel is HDR10+ compatible. The large, vibrant display is super responsive and fluid. Gamers who are engrossed in fast-paced titles are sure to have a good time with this gaming device. The 144Hz panel is suitable for graphic-intensive games. Touch sampling rate, response time is fast, display felt immersive even while streaming content on OTT platforms. The UI offers a bunch of options to tweak the display settings to your liking, such as the calibration menu, different color modes, to name a few.
performance and audio
The ROG Phone 5 was a gaming beast, and the new phone under the 5S title delivers an equally powerful performance. Every game loads processes as quickly and rapidly as a beetle. As we mentioned earlier, the haptics feel solid, and the air triggers help to make the best of it. Be it BGMI, Call of Duty: Mobile, or Real Racing 3, the phone achieves everything without any hiccups. The only reason we encountered was the rear panel heating up during long gaming sessions. Although it felt a bit cold initially, but after about 15 minutes of gaming, the device got quite hot. The Aero Active is the cooler accessory that’s meant to keep the temperature down, however, so we didn’t get the luxury of trying it out.
For day-to-day tasks, switching between apps, surfing multiple tabs on the browser, and taking snaps didn’t show any lag during our testing. Overall, the new ROG Phone 5S is one of the fastest phones on the market right now. Even the benchmark scores affect the phone’s stellar title.
The dual speakers further enhance performance, courtesy of GameFX and Dirac HD Sound. The stereo speakers deliver a balanced output and enhance the overall experience, be it playing videos or games at a decent volume with good stereo separation. The integrated microphones also provide good sound quality.
However, nothing has changed on the software front. While we expected the new iteration to come loaded with Android 12 OS, Asus has kept it neutral by topping the previous mobile OS with a proprietary ROG UI skin layer. Those who have used Phone 5 will hardly find any difference. The new kids on the block can check out our previous review to get the details about ROG Software. There’s a distinctive gaming theme and a traditional skin that aligns with stock Android.
Armory Crate, dedicated to gaming, lists games that support higher refresh rates and optimize the software and hardware experience. You can also adjust the air triggers. Game Genie acts as a quick toggle that helps in customizing game settings. We had fun playing BGMI with the capacitive buttons, especially the split button which gave us an edge with some quick kills. Another advantage is the Scout mode which makes it easier to spot enemies in FPS titles. Suffice to say, the UI is flexible, and you get myriad options to tune as per your usage.
While this is a gaming-focused smartphone, Asus has embedded a nice tray of sensors that can shoot pretty decent shots in broad daylight. The primary camera manages to take detailed shots in good lighting conditions. We noticed a slight change in the color tone to yellow in some photos.
However, the cameras managed to render natural colors with good clarity and good depth of field. Low-light performance was decent, though focusing struggled a bit and images looked flat, especially with the ultra-wide lens. Moving on, the selfie camera captured respectable selfies, provided there was enough light around the subject.
Like the cosmetic resemblance, the new ROG Phone 5S has the same battery capacity as the older sibling. Split 3,000mAh cells are placed on either side of the CPU, and Asus claims a system to lower the temperature while charging the battery. For real-life performance, we got around 10-11 hours of backup with mixed usage. Casual/light use can easily give you a day’s worth of use. The phone comes bundled with a 65W adapter that boosts the battery to around 55 percent in 30 minutes. The device also supports Power Delivery 3.0 and Quick Charge 5.
The gaming phone segment still occupies a small share in the Indian smartphone market. While many major brands are sweating their palms to bring gaming-focused phones in various price ranges, Asus’s ROG breed still takes the sweet spot. The ROG Phone 5s continues the legacy with its great specs. Though it is targeted as a gaming phone, it is a good all-rounder that offers a perfect combination of playing games and enjoying content. If you are a fan of hardcore mobile gaming then the new ROG Phone 5S will be well suited to the bill. However, for those who already have the ROG Phone 5, we’d recommend upgrading to the Pro version if they want to mix something fresh on the back.
Asus ROG Phone 5s after review: A professional gaming beast in town first appeared on BGR India.