The Mobile Gaming King is Dead


While the theory of significant gaming on a smartphone used to be as soon as scoffed at, the massive features in cell functionality imply that is now a viable possibility – and lots of manufacturers are designing gaming-specific telephones to eek probably the most out of the facility on be offering.

Asus’ ROG Phone has been one of the vital longstanding entries within the budding marketplace, steadily with the most efficient gaming revel in round, however it kind of feels Asus would possibly’ve were given too happy with its newest top-end access, the Asus ROG Phone 5S Pro. 

Admittedly, the timing of the ROG Phone 5S Pro wasn’t perfect. Designed as a mid-cycle refresh to the ROG Phone 5, the upgraded smartphone sports activities Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888+ 5G at its middle.

While that is a succesful chipset, it used to be made redundant through the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 launched a few months later. It provides key functionality upgrades, and it is the go-to chip for gaming telephones in 2022, which means the ROG Phone 5S Pro is now not the quickest smartphone round.

In truth, key competitors from the likes of Red Magic beat the ROG Phone 5S Pro in benchmarks, and at part the cost too.  

With that during thoughts, is the ultra-premium ROG Phone 5S Pro value purchasing in 2022? Well… 

Design & construct

  • Gamer aesthetic
  • Large, cumbersome construct
  • ROG Vision seems to be cool, however doesn’t upload a lot

The Asus ROG Phone 5S Pro is a gaming phone thru and thru, and you’ll be able to inform that simply by taking a look at it. An understated, refined smartphone this is no longer.

The total glance is similar to the ROG Phone 5, with the similar aggressively angular strains and oblong digital camera module that scream ‘gamer’ once you have a look at it. That’s made much more obtrusive with the ‘ROG Vision’ rear color matrix show, which presentations a variety of animations as you utilize the phone.

Previously unique to the limited-edition ROG Phone 5 Ultimate, the PMOLED show has made the leap to the 5S Pro. It can be utilized to signify incoming calls, notifications and fee state – to hand in the event you put the phone face-down – however it doesn’t in reality show notifications just like the secondary show at the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3.

It seems to be cool at a look and provides to the entire gaming vibe, however it’s necessarily slightly of a gimmick that simplest the ones round you are going to recognize.

With the entire high-end internals, massive battery and bespoke cooling machine on be offering, it will have to come as no wonder that the ROG Phone 5S Pro is hefty. It measures in at a not-insubstantial 9.9mm thick, and it weighs in at 238g, making different gaming telephones just like the 215g, 9.5mm-thick Red Magic 7 glance reasonably svelte through comparability.

It’s no longer essentially a dealbreaker, with curved edges serving to the smartphone sit down conveniently within the hand, however it’s no longer one of the vital slimline smartphones round.  

The phone sports activities a USB-C port each on its backside and left facet, permitting you to make use of the phone horizontally (like when enjoying video games) and fee the phone with out the cable entering into the best way. It’s no longer a brand new function, however it’s one nicely value praising because it’s nonetheless distinctive amongst Asus’ gaming choices.

If the all-black ROG Phone 5S Pro photographed right here isn’t for your style, you’ll be able to go for a matte white end in more than a few areas world wide – despite the fact that neither provides any roughly legit water or mud score, so stay that during thoughts in the event you fancy a gaming consultation within the rain.

The high-end gaming revel in

  • Great 144Hz show, however no longer the most efficient round
  • Built-in touch-sensitive triggers
  • A large roster of non-compulsory gaming equipment

Of direction, the ROG Phone 5S Pro, like the remainder of the ROG Phone circle of relatives, is considering gaming – and there’s a lot of {hardware} and device on be offering to push that have to the restrict.

The centrepiece is the show; despite the fact that it’s virtually utterly just like that of the ROG Phone 5 vary, the 6.78in FHD+ AMOLED show seems to be completely shocking.

The gamer-centric 144Hz refresh charge is accounted for, offering rapid body charge gameplay in supported video games – of which there is a rising quantity – that no longer simplest seems to be slick, however can give you the edge in aggressive shooters like Call of Duty Mobile.

That’s advanced through the 360Hz contact pattern charge, up 60Hz in comparison to its predecessor, for sooner contact enter and thus, sooner reaction occasions in video games. It’s value noting that it’s nonetheless a a long way cry from the 960Hz of the Red Magic 7 Pro, and it’s significantly less expensive than Asus’ possibility too.

It’s masses shiny, perfect for gaming in out of doors areas, with a claimed most of 800cd/m2 in shiny stipulations with automated brightness, and that cranks as much as 1,200cd/m2 when gazing HDR content material. The show doesn’t relatively succeed in as lofty heights with auto-brightness disabled, cranking as much as 467cd/m2 at maximum all over trying out, however it’s nonetheless greater than shiny sufficient for many environments.

Display apart, there’s different gaming-related tech on be offering. There’s a stealthy pressure-sensitive house on the backside of the phone, which when squeezed turns on the phone’s X-Mode for high-performance gaming, and there are touch-triggers fixed onto the best facet of the phone too.

The fixed triggers aren’t bodily buttons that come out just like the Black Shark 4 Pro, however quite contact/pressure-sensitive spaces that paintings in a similar fashion. The triggers do paintings through default in a lot of shooters – with all supported video games indexed throughout the ROG Armory device – and supply extra of a console-esque revel in.

That’s additional advanced through non-compulsory equipment just like the ROG Kunai 3 controller, providing complete compatibility with a roster of cell titles, and the bundled AeroActive Cooler 5 to stay functionality sustained over lengthy sessions. It additionally has further triggers or even a kickstand integrated – to hand, proper?

While the ROG Phone 5S Pro would possibly no longer have the most efficient show, the more than a few tech, equipment and device tweaks make it one of the vital complete cell gaming reports in 2022.

Specs & functionality

  • Snapdragon 888+ can’t compete with 8 Gen 1
  • Not as rapid as 2022 competitors
  • Still provides a super gaming revel in

One of the important thing variations between the ROG Phone 5 and the 5S Pro is the chipset, carrying Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888+ 5G. It does be offering a small spice up in comparison to the common Snapdragon 888 present in its predecessor, with the principle functionality core clocked at 3GHz quite than 2.84GHz, however it’s no longer a game-changing improve.

Essentially, in the event you’ve were given the ROG Phone 5, there’s no genuine explanation why to get the ROG Phone 5S Pro.

The different elephant within the room is the creation of the more recent Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, launched months after the ROG Phone 5S Pro and located in new key competitors just like the Red Magic 7 and Red Magic 7 Pro.

While the ROG Phone 5S Pro’s whopping 18GB of LPDDR5 RAM method it’s nonetheless an overly succesful beast, there are less expensive gaming telephones that may fit – and even beat – Asus’ gaming phone in 2022.

That’s sponsored up through our benchmark effects, with the ROG Phone 5S Pro turning in equivalent effects to the usual ROG Phone 5, and in maximum exams, it’s trailing at the back of key competitors just like the Red Magic 7 and its Pro sibling.

Of direction, in real-world use, the ROG Phone 5S Pro is about as snappy as you’ll be able to get, with a easy responsive revel in with out a visual lag or stutter in any app.

As you’d be expecting from a gaming phone, it’s in a position to take care of even probably the most graphically complex video games on Android with out breaking a sweat – particularly when kicked into X Mode.

You’ll want to use the bundled AeroActive Cooler 5 to stay functionality strong over lengthy gaming periods in X Mode, particularly when enjoying titles like Call of Duty Mobile and Genshin Impact on excessive graphics settings, however with further triggers and a stand constructed into the cooler, it’s no longer a foul factor.

Elsewhere, you’ll discover a whopping 512GB of UFS 3.1 garage as usual – which roughly makes up for the loss of an SD card slot – and it comes with the newest and biggest connectivity together with 5G, Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2.

In phrases of device, you’ll get Android 11 (with Android 12 at the method, however no phrase on Android 13) with Asus’ gaming-focused ROG UI overlayed.

Battery lifestyles

  • 6000mAh battery is one of the vital greatest round
  • 65W charging, however simplest get a 30W charger in-box
  • Battery conveniently lasts all-day

The Asus ROG Phone 5S Pro has one of the vital greatest capability batteries in a smartphone to this point, carrying a whopping 6,000mAh battery cut up throughout two 3,000mAh cells that supply exceptional on a regular basis battery lifestyles.  

I discovered that it’d conveniently closing two days with common use – tweeting, surfing Instagram, scrolling thru TikTookay and enjoying the occasional sport – and even if hammering the battery, I wasn’t frightened about working out of battery earlier than I were given house.

That does trade slightly while you sport within the phone’s X-Mode – working all parts at peak velocity takes extra energy, in any case – however I nonetheless squeezed a forged few hours of top of the range gaming out of it earlier than it wanted a top-up.

The just right information is that, with a side-mounted USB-C cable in addition to the usual one on the backside of the phone, you’ll be able to fee the ROG Phone 5S Pro as you play with out the cable entering into the best way.

And in terms of charging, 65W rapid charging tech gets you untethered relatively briefly, despite the fact that you’ll simplest get a 30W charger within the field, which means slower charging occasions except you’ve were given a extra robust charger to hand.

Camera

  • Good point-and-shoot primary digital camera
  • Basic setup in comparison to in a similar fashion priced competitors
  • Average low-light functionality

YouTuber MKBHD ran a blind smartphone images take a look at again in 2021 to peer, objectively, which smartphone had the most efficient digital camera – and, to the wonder of many, the ROG Phone 5 took the highest spot.

Asus should’ve been so pleased with that outcome that it determined to not contact the digital camera setup for the improve, because the digital camera providing is the very same as that because the ROG Phone 5. It sports activities the ever-popular 64MP Sony IMX686 wide-angle sensor along a 12Mp ultrawide and a 5Mp macro digital camera.

To be truthful to Asus, the principle digital camera is relatively succesful. Sporting a good f/1.8 aperture, it’s nice in well-lit and relatively dim stipulations, taking pictures a lot of element with normally correct colors. It’s nice for point-and-shoot images, with a number of capturing modes to choose between.

Asus ROG Phone 5S Pro camera test

There are discrepancies in high quality between the principle and 12Mp ultrawide, as you may believe, however no longer simply in the case of total high quality. The color palette on be offering is extra washed out than the principle sensor, making it obtrusive at a look which snaps have been fascinated by which lens.

It’s nonetheless to hand for taking broad, expansive photographs with a 125-degree box of view, however pictures are steadily softer and the f/2.4 aperture method it’s no longer as succesful in low-light stipulations.

There’s additionally a 5Mp macro digital camera that I will ensure that no one will use regularly – it’s simply there to bump up the sensor rely.

And herein lies the issue; the ROG Phone 5S Pro is dear at £1100/$1299, and for that worth, you generally tend to get top-quality cameras from competitors like Oppo and Samsung. You don’t even get a telephoto lens – the zoom in-app is purely virtual.

While some die-hard avid gamers might be nice with the compromise, it’s a difficult tablet to swallow with this kind of top class software.

Price

With such lofty specifications it will have to come as no wonder that the ROG Phone 5S Pro is dear, however at £1,099/$1,299 for the 512GB style – the one one to be had – it’s conveniently flagship degree, at once competing with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, iPhone 13 Pro Max and Oppo Find X5 Pro.

The downside is, it’s no longer in reality in pageant with any of the ones fashions, with true flagship telephones providing a lot upper solution presentations, higher digital camera setups and extra to trap shoppers. The ROG Phone 5S Pro’s pageant is in large part the likes of the near-identical £679 Red Magic 7 Pro and inexpensive £489 Black Magic 4 Pro, making it a lot more difficult to justify.

There is so much to like in regards to the ROG Phone 5S Pro, however in terms of worth for cash, it’s no longer the most efficient – particularly while you’ve were given to shop for maximum equipment one at a time. If you might be devoted, the gaming phone is to be had from Asus at once in addition to outlets like Amazon.

For extra inspiration, check out our collection of the most efficient gaming phone.  

Verdict

The ROG Phone 5S Pro is filled with the entire bells and whistles that avid gamers would wish, with relatively first rate (however now not ‘peak’) specifications, a quick, responsive show and a raft of gaming-focused options like touch-sensitive triggers and non-compulsory equipment. There’s additionally an enormous 6,000mAh battery that’ll stay you going for lengthy sessions.

The downside is its worth; it’s method too dear when in comparison to the likes of the Red Magic 7 and Red Magic 7 Pro to be had in 2022, which price virtually part the cost however be offering equivalent – if no longer advanced – functionality, with advanced specifications and sooner presentations too.

It’s a super high-end bit of apparatus, however there are many gaming telephones that’ll come up with extra bang for much less dollar in 2022.

Specs

Asus ROG Phone 5S Pro: Specs

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 888+ 5G
  • 18GB LPDDR5 RAM
  • 512GB UFS 3.1 garage
  • 6.78in FHD+ AMOLED show
  • 144Hz refresh charge, 1ms reaction time, 360Hz contact pattern charge
  • ROG Vision rear matrix color show
  • 6000mAh battery with 65W rapid charging
  • Triple rear digital camera (64Mp primary, 13Mp ultrawide, 5Mp macro)
  • 24Mp front-facing digital camera
  • AirTrigger 5 gaming controls with touch-sensitive triggers
  • Squeeze capability
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • Bluetooth 5.2
  • Android 11



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