Asus ROG Phone 5 review

The ROG Phone 5 packs in Qualcomm’s super-powered Snapdragon 888 plus up to 16GB of DDR5 RAM, so unsurprisingly the ROG Phone 5 is beefier than a barrel of cows. This setup alone ensures smooth running when playing even the most demanding Android titles like Genshin Impact. However, Asus has also added a special X Mode which maxes out the CPU and GPU performance, to keep those frame rates sky high. With this active, VainGlory held a median frame rate of 126FPS through a full match, with pretty much zero fluctuation.

If you’re gaming all afternoon, the phone’s multiple cooling methods (including an enlarged vapor chamber) help to get rid of that pesky hot air in a jiffy. We didn’t notice any throttling during testing, while the central positioning of those main components means the glass surfaces don’t get toasty beneath your fingers.

For greater control over those settings, the ROG Phone 5 serves up an Advanced Mode which allows you to manually fiddle with the CPU & GPU performance, refresh rate and visual settings. And if you want a serious competitive edge, Asus’ fresh Esports Mode can be activated any time to block all notifications, while also disabling any features that aren’t permitted in gaming tournaments, such as the excellent Air Triggers.

Those Triggers are a pair of ‘ultrasonic’ shoulder buttons which can be mapped to perform any action when tapped or stroked. They’re a godsend for games like PUBG, which awkwardly cram a gajillion virtual buttons onto the screen. Not only are these Triggers perfectly responsive with zero latency, but they also offer haptic feedback when touched.

Asus also sells a dedicated ‘Kunai’ gamepad for the ROG Phone 5, which can be attached via a bumper for a console-style experience. If you’re after unbeatable control, this comes highly recommended. No worries if you want to download loads of games, because the ROG Phone 5 offers 256GB of nippy UFS 3.1 storage. Sadly this isn’t expandable via microSD memory cards.

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