After its global debut in 2021, Asus launched the ROG Phone 5s and ROG Phone 5s Pro in India this February. The smartphone comes with a good-quality display, excellent speakers, and a solid gaming performance to give a quick summary. Other aspects of the device, such as the camera and battery life, are on par with other price models.
This review will cover all the aspects of the device and explain everything more straightforwardly so that even someone who is not a gamer can understand the knits and stitches of the Asus ROG Phone 5s. How good is the gaming performance? Should a regular user invest in the smartphone? Keep reading to find out.
The Asus ROG Phone 5s comes with a large 6.78-inch display that supports up to 144Hz refresh rate. Users can lock the refresh rate of the smartphone to 60 Hz, 120Hz, or 144Hz. There is an option to set it at ‘Auto’, which detects the type of content being viewed on-screen and adjusts the refresh rate accordingly. The AMOLED display has a touch sampling rate of 360Hz, a response time of 1ms and a touch latency of 24ms. While regular users might not be able to figure out the difference, gamers will cherish the device for these display characteristics. Since the screen can go up to 1200 nits, outdoor usage would not be an issue.
Solid and consistent performance seems to be the forte of Asus ROG Phone 5s. The credit goes to the octa-core Snapdragon 888 Plus with a maximum clock speed of 2.95GHz. The processor is built on 5nm fabrication technology, which means it consumes lesser power while computing the same number of calculations compared to chipsets built on 7nm or 8nm technology. The processor is accompanied by the Adreno 660 with a maximum clock speed of 840MHz. The 8/128GB model showed no lag in day-to-day tasks. There were no frame drops while using the smartphone at a higher refresh rate.
The Asus ROG Phone 5s performs well on benchmark applications, which are a great way to test a smartphone’s specifications. Upon running the Antutu benchmark application on the device, it scores a maximum of 7,79,154 points and a minimum of 7,63,450 over five different tests. Upon running another popular benchmarking application called Geekbench, the device scores between 1,117 to 1,071 on the single-core test and 3,480 to 3,102 on the multi-core test. Both the scores are decent and put the Asus ROG Phone 5s among the top-performing flagship smartphones.
This is the most crucial device aspect as the Taiwanese company places the ROG series of devices as dedicated gaming machines. While the smartphone’s benchmark scores are already mentioned above, the availability of graphics settings in the popular battle royal game called Battlegrounds Mobile India is considered the benchmark of the gaming performance of a smartphone. The Asus ROG Phone 5s can run BGMI in 90fps at the ‘Smooth’ graphics setting. The ‘Balanced, HD and HDR’ are available to play in the ‘Extreme’ frame rate. On these settings, the game runs smoothly, and there are no lags whatsoever.
Owing to Snapdragon 888 Plus’ high gaming performance, players can also run the game in ‘Ultra HD’ settings up to ‘Ultra’ frame rate. However, most players like to run their game at a lower graphic setting, at a higher frame rate. While the smartphone can sustain high-performance levels for an extended period, it tends to get a little warm during long hours of gaming. Those who wish to purchase the device specifically for gaming can also buy the cooling fan. While the smartphone’s battery is discussed at length in another section, the smartphone has a large 6,000 mAh battery that can easily last for hours of heavy gaming. Additionally, the smartphone has two dedicated modes for increasing the performance called X mode and X Mode Plus.
The Asus ROG Phone 5s performs decently in the camera department as a gaming smartphone. The device has a triple rear camera setup with the Sony IMX686 as the primary sensor. To enable the 64MP mode, users have to go into the Settings menu on the camera app: the secondary lenses, i.e. a 13MP ultrawide and the 5MP macro, click decent images in well-lit environments. The pictures clicked with the primary lens in broad daylight are excellent, with balanced shadows and highlights. Even indoors, the primary sensor of the smartphone does a decent job of capturing details in subjects. Owing to its high resolution, digitally cropping into the frame two times does not deplete the image quality.
Users can record videos in up to 8K resolution with the smartphone, 4K (30/60fps) and FHD (30/60fps). The audio recorded with the videos is punchy, clear and crisp. While recording videos, the camera can smoothly shift its focus from subjects located in the foreground to distant subjects. Recording videos with the ultrawide lens is also an option. However, the only downside to the camera system of the smartphone seems to be videos recorded with the front-facing camera, which is a 24MP sensor. Although, it provides a wide field of view for clicking selfies from a hand’s distance to accommodate multiple people in the frame.
As far as connectivity is concerned, the Asus ROG Phone 5s was able to pick cellular network in the remotest areas of a building. It also supports 5G connectivity, Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth v5.2 and Qualcomm’s low latency aptX Adaptive technology. The smartphone also features NFC and Wi-Fi Direct.
Promising battery life is one of the things that makes the Asus ROG Phone 5s a complete gaming smartphone. The smartphone can easily last for up to two days upon moderate usage. With regular web browsing, watching content, attending video calls and recording casual videos for social media, the smartphone can clear a day with about 20% battery. Upon hardcore gaming, the 6,000 mAh battery of the Asus ROG Phone 5s can last for hours.
Although the smartphone supports 65W fast charging, it comes with a 30W charger in the box. Asus has divided the battery in the Asus ROG Phone 5s into two halves of 3,000mAh units, which keeps temperate under control and is suitable for the battery in prolonged usage. While charging speed is quick enough, the lack of wireless charging is a bummer.
The Asus Rog Phone 5s comes with dual-firing front speakers and some of the best speakers on a smartphone, including the doubly priced iPhones.The speakers are not only loud, but they also produce crisp audio with an adequate amount of bass and provide stereo separation. At their peak volume, they can quickly fill a room. Asus has used the Cirrus Logic amplifier for producing louder sound without minimal distortion. Then the smartphone features Dual Ultrasonic AirTrigger built within its chassis at the extreme right and left corner when holding the smartphone in a horizontal orientation. Gamers can also setup up motion controls on the device.
In a world where all the smartphone manufacturers are focusing on creating models with large screens, bigger batteries, and robust performance, the Asus ROG Phone 5s are ideal for gamers and regular users. Although it has a slight gaming bulk to it and has thin bezels at the top and the bottom, multiple aspects make up for it. For instance, those who love to consume content on their smartphone will love the AMOLED display and dual-speaker setup on the Asus ROG Phone 5s.
For those who need their smartphone’s battery life to be decent, the Asus ROG Phone 5s can make it up to two days. For those who want a gaming smartphone, there is no need to mention that the Asus ROG Phone 5s is among the few readily available models and provides top-notch performance. It is crucial to note that the Asus ROG Phone 5s should receive software updates for at least a couple of years, so it should easily last for another two to three years. While writing this review, the smartphone is available on Flipkart for Rs. 49,999 for the variant with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage.
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