2021’s Asus ROG 5 was one impressive beast of a gaming phone, but now the ROG 5s Pro has arrived, quipping “Hold my beer” as it ups the full-on gaming phone ante even more.
Let’s fling a few specs around for starters, because if they don’t impress you then nothing will. 512GB of inbuilt storage – that’s a lot, but others have done it. OK then, how about a whopping 18GB of RAM? Seriously, that’s more than most PCs that are out there. At the ROG 5S Pro’s heart is the Snapdragon 888+ processor, their super-fast (3GHz) overclocked monster with full 5G support. To keep it all running, a beefy 6000 mAh battery gets things done (as does the 65-watt charger) while the operating system is Android 11 – and all weighing in at a surprisingly svelte (considering the phone’s size and features) 238 grams.
That’s just the under the bonnet stuff. The second that the screen fires up for the first time you’ll be forgiven for letting out a “Whoa!” – it looks magnificent. It’s a 6.78-inch, AMOLED (made by Samsung) with HDR that offers a resolution of 2448 x 1080 pixels, and a super-fast response rate. Not only that, where supported by software you can expect an insanely smooth 144Hz refresh rate. Speaking of speedy, even the screen’s touch response out-specs most competition, with under 25Ms latency – that means your games will do what you want -= as long as your fingers and thumbs do.
“Let’s fling a few specs around for starters, because if they don’t impress you then nothing will.”
Turning a phone over usually reveals a big slab of colour with a lens – well, three – popping out. The ROG 5s Pro doesn’t go in for drab, featuring a triple lens array, with some sharp laser-etching and a second screen – “ROG Vision” – that’s basically just there to show off everything from your desktop background and to whether it’s charging, or there’s a call incoming and beyond to things like the logo of what game you’re playing. It isn’t necessary, but it sure passes the cool test with flying colours. Also in this category are anodised red highlights, such as the SIM holder and sides of the power button.
The gaming extras keep on coming. The ROG 5s Pro rocks a pair of mappable “AirTrigger 5” buttons at top and bottom of the righthand side, which, of course, is the top when you’re in landscape mode for serious gaming. Worried that playing those full-on games might cook your phone? Doubtful due to its inbuilt cooling features, but you can always attach the included “AeroActive Cooler 5” external fan, which sits neatly in the middle of the phone out of the way of playing hands, and even offers USB-C passthrough.
Mind you, there are two USB-C ports on the ROG 5s Pro – one on the lefthand side and one on the bottom (when holding it in standard phone mode). There’s also a port for the fan attachment, and what’s this hole…? Yes, it actually sports a 3.5mm socket – a rarity on top-of-the-line phones nowadays.
After firing the ROG 5s Pro up and marvelling at the screen, the sound is the next thing that’ll get you. We’ve heard a lot of phones in our time, all of which tend to fall more to the weedy side. The chunky sound from the ROG 5S Pro is truly superb for such a relatively small unit, with deep bass that’s even able to be felt – it’s like a subwoofer in your hands, but without leaning towards being annoying. Maybe “rubble”, like most modern game controllers feature, would be a better way to describe it. Asus’s Audio Wizard app also allows for sound EQ twiddling, and saving various audio profiles
Setup is as breezy as any other Android device, with all the options that you’d expect such as easy transfer of data from old to new. There’s also a fair bit of custom ROG branding stuff going on, adding flair to the process, including a rather fun AR assault on the packaging that the device ships in, should you not opt to skip through it. Hey, enjoy the process – why rush?
Despite being a phone aimed squarely at the gaming market the ROG 5s Pro packs in a reasonable array of camera ability – not bets in class, but certainly functional enough. The triple system uses Sony 64MP tech for the main, wide-angle camera, while there’s also a 13MP ultra-wide option, along with a 5MP macro camera. For selfies, we’re talking 24MP – and the ability to broadcast in HD.
Yep, it’s games where this phone excels, and beyond the incredible performance specs ROG’s Armory Crate gaming hub app does its bit. From the convenient such as numerous sorting options and setting up that rear screen, to the ability for those who want to dig deep into their CPU and GPU performance to tweak settings manually.
The ROG 5s Pro is the most impressive phone aimed at gamers that we’ve laid our hands on, and certainly delivers on its promise of top-level gaming on the go. The quite remarkable feature set should make gamers and media junkies alike who wish to take the odd snap or video here and there feel that they’re getting some serious bang for their bucks. Plus, it even delivers flawless functionality as a 5G phone!
The Asus ROG 5s Pro 5G in Phantom Black is available now, exclusively at JB Hi-Fi.Buy now at JB Hi-Fi