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This article was published on March 10, 2021

The Asus ROG Phone 5 begs for gamers’ attention with beefy specs and nifty tricks

The Asus ROG Phone 5 begs for gamers’ attention with beefy specs and nifty tricks
Ivan Mehta
Story by

Ivan Mehta

Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh." Ivan covers Big Tech, India, policy, AI, security, platforms, and apps for TNW. That's one heck of a mixed bag. He likes to say "Bleh."

Asus’s ROG phone series has improved steadily over the years. Apart from packing monster specs, the company tries to add nifty features every year to the phone so gamers can get the best value out of it.

This year’s device, the ROG Phone 5, is no different. In addition to the ROG Phone 5, Asus is also launching a Pro and an Ultimate version that has some extra functions and different design elements than the base model.

Looking at the specsheets and features, I would want to say, come for the specs and stay for the goodies. But I’ll leave that judgment to my colleague Abhimanyu, who is reviewing the device.

He’ll dissipate every aspect of the phone, so I’m here to talk about just a few features that caught my eye. But first, the phone’s beefy specifications:


  • Screen: 6.78-inch fullHD AMOLED display
  • Refresh rate: 144Hz; 300Hz touch sampling rate
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 clocked at 2.85GHz
  • RAM: 8GB/12GB/16GB(Pro)/18GB(Ultimate)
  • Internal storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB(Pro and Ultimate) (UFS 3.1 type storage for faster processing of applications and data)
  • Rear camera: 64-megapixel main sensor with f/1.8 aperture + 13-megapixel ultrawide sensor with f/2/4 aperture + 5-megapixel macro camera with f/2.0 aperture
  • Front camera: 24-megapixel sensor with f/2.45 aperture
  • Battery: 6,000 mAh; 30W fast charging
  • Audio: Dual 7-magnet Linear 12x16mm front-facing speakers + Sabre ES9280AC Pro with HyperStream II Quad DAC (to power digital to analog audio conversion) + 3.5mm audio jack + Quad microphones with OZO Noise Reduction Technology
  • Extra sensors: Ultrasonic sensors for AirTrigger 5 and grip press detection + two touch sensors on the back cover (Pro and Ultimate)
  • Software: Android 11 with ROG UI

If we skip the obvious aspects of screen, battery, and processor, one of the eye-catching aspects of this year’s ROG phones is audio. I love front-facing speakers and Asus has included dual 7-magnet 12x16mm speakers with this device. This could be great for watching videos as well as from immersive gaming experiences.

Plus, to power the 3.5 mm headphone jack, the company has included a Sabre-powered Quad DAC (digital-to-analog) converter and a headphone amplifier for more clear and powerful sound. Asus says you could play audio files at 24-bit depth and 196Hz sample rate. Plus, the phone supports high-quality wireless audio standards such as aptX HD, aptX adaptive, and LDAC.

Asus ROG Phone 5 Ultimate edition

There’s also haptic audio that will simulate events such as gunfire not just through sound but also vibrations.

Then there are ROG Phone’s signature AirTriggers, which are ultrasonic pressure points on the body of the phone that could be used as controls in the game. If you’re buying the Pro or the Ultimate model, you’ll get two extra pressure points on the back of the phone. You can activate up to 14 touch points on the screen through various gestures.

The phone also supports HyperFusion network technology to simultaneously connect to WiFi and mobile data, and choose the network with the best speed for seamless gaming. For charging, it has a side-mounted USB-C port, so you could charge the phone while gaming without hindrance.

The ROG Phone 5 packs a lot more stuff including a special Game Genie to access a ton of controls during gameplay. But I won’t spill all the beans and will make you wait for our review on Plugged.

The device is available in Europe starting this month for  €799. The pro model will go on sale for  €1,199 next month, while the Ultimate edition will be available in May for  €1,299. In India, the ROG phone 5 starts at ₹49,999 ($685), and it’ll be available for purchase in April.

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