ASUS ROG Phone 5 Long Term Review: From a Non-Gamer’s Perspective

I work in the gaming industry, and I’m a long-time gamer. Over the years, I’ve owned many different gaming devices, but never have I seen anything quite like the ASUS ROG Phone. The ROG Phone is the first phone in the world to have a graphics processing unit (GPU) that is based on Nvidia’s new Turing architecture. ASUS has done a phenomenal job with this phone, creating a well-built device that feels premium and is extremely fast.

I have been a gamer since I was five years old, and yet I was still blown away by the ASUS ROG Phone 5. With its unique design and features, and the incredible performance it provided, ASUS ROG Phone 5 is the phone you should buy, no matter if you are a gamer or not.

Over the last 6 months we have been using the ASUS ROG Phone 5 for everyday use. At the time of writing this, we have been using the phone well over 200 days. For the most part, our usage has been for work. We have been using the phone for calls, texting, email, and a little bit of social media use. We have not used the phone for gaming, although we would love to. We started with the phone the day it came out and have not…

I went – the ROG Phone 3 isn’t even that old – when ASUS went about announcing the new ROG Phone far too early. But they did it, they announced the successor earlier, and not only that, it came in two different variants – the regular ROG Phone 5, which we are reviewing here, and the Pro variant, which is still on pre-order in Malaysia, but we are going to talk about the ROG Phone 5 and tell you that you don’t need anything more than the ROG Phone 5 to have a good gaming phone experience.

The Goods

Display Enhancement

Physically, the ROG Phone 5 isn’t any different from its predecessor with the same curves and honestly, with a lot of the same design language going on except for one or two like back which now comes in white which we have here and a love we personally dig and reminds us of the Zephyrus G14 in white. But on the front where the display seems to be the same, actually gets a slight spec bump.

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The display now has a peak nit brightness of 1200 nits, which is insanely bright when compared to the 650 with the ROG Phone 3, a slightly higher pixels per inch, now covered in a better Gorilla Glass Victus for that tough build, and finally, as always, the phone has a higher refresh rate than any other phone we know of. To be honest, these aren’t simply gamer features; if you’re anything like me and don’t play games on your phone, you’ll love this phone just as much as I did. Sure, the display seems to be uninteresting. However, whether you watch a program on Netflix or Prime Video, you get a decent color experience, and if you don’t like the colors right out of the box, you can adjust them in the Splendid mode to your liking.

Good day, Headphone Jack.

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To be honest, this is a surprising comeback, and the surprise doesn’t stop with the ROG Phone 5, it also extends to the Zenfone 8. (not the Zenfone 8 Flip, btw). The phone’s return of the headphone port just goes to show and confirm that removing it in the ROG Phone 3 was a huge error – there is a workaround in the box where you can keep the AeroActive cooler on all the time, but it does add that additional weight. However, knowing that a Headphone jack is really on the phone rather than an attachment is a huge comfort, and it makes consumers very pleased.

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Personally, I didn’t like not having a headphone jack on the ROG Phone 3, and it didn’t seem like a huge issue since it had two USB C ports and I could always use a 3.5mm USB C Dongle to connect my wired headphones while charging the phone. So, I’m not sure how you feel about that, but yes. Since the AeroActive cooler is no longer included, I suppose they decided to simply incorporate the headphone jack. ¯ (ツ) /¯

Better Charging and Battery Standards

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With a new 6000mAh battery that comes in a dual-battery design, the ROG Phone 5 battery standards have been enhanced. If you open the backup, you’ll find two 3000mAh batteries instead of one 6000mAh battery. This battery can be charged using a 65-Watt HyperCharge Adapter, which quickly charges the battery. One thing that deserves praise is how ASUS takes battery care seriously on their phones, and this one is no exception, with features like the ability to extend the battery charging time and stretch it over the night to prevent the battery from being damaged in the long term.

Monster of High Performance

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If there’s one thing I wouldn’t worry about with the ROG Phone 5, it’s the performance. We’ve observed that the ROG Phone 5 has been receiving better binned CPUs with faster clock speeds installed under the hood since the first iteration, and this one is still as quick as ever. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor is capable of handling whatever task you throw at it. Interestingly, the ROG Phone 5 comes in a variety of RAM configurations ranging from 8GB to 16GB, which we believe is excessive for a smartphone – and during our time reviewing the ROG Phone 5, which we have on hand is the 8GB variant, it performed admirably in comparison to the other higher tier ROG Phones.

Putting aside games, this tiny dog can handle any intensive editing program with ease.

Finally, a superior Ultrasonic Trigger is available.

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The Ultrasonic triggers are something I never used beyond the review period, and that was the case on both the ROG Phone 3 (which I switched off for the on-screen control) and my personal ROG Phone 1 (which was just difficult to get accustomed to). This ROG Phone 5 finally has a superior Ultrasonic Trigger, perhaps the finest one ever. This time around, it has a more sensitive hardware that enables you to program it to tap, allowing you to configure the trigger to only one action or divide the trigger to several buttons (up to 2) through Dual partition buttons, Swipe, and Slide. This applies to both triggers.

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So, inside the same ultrasonic Trigger, you may have anywhere from two to four buttons, and is it responsive? Yes, and it is much superior than its predecessors. Other features include Motion Control, and if you buy the AeroActive Cooler for the ROG Phone 5, the cooler includes two more buttons that you may program to anything you like.

The Most Scrubbed Gaming Phone

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I’ll say it again because it’s true: the ROG Phone 5 is the purest vanilla gaming phone you’ll ever find on the market. The phone runs on a slightly customized version of Android with a few ASUS features to go along with the ROG Phone 5, such as the Armory Crate and a tiny nitty gritty feature in the settings. Nonetheless, it’s one of the cleanest smartphones I’ve used straight away, placing second only to Sony in my list of clean smartphones.

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Yes, you can customize this phone to bring out the Big Gaming Energy – through themes, live wallpaper, the “squeeze” to launch X Mode and animated interface, and gamer icons – but right before you finish setting up for the first time, it will ask you which one you prefer, so users don’t feel like it’s right in their face – which is a smart move. Because, as someone who prefers a professional appearance, I am grateful for this function.

The Inconvenient

The ROG Phone 3 and 5 are almost identical.

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Despite the changes stated above, the ROG Phone 3 and 5 are almost identical. This is for people who are tempted to improve their 3 and jump straight to the 5 (there is no 4 since it is considered unlucky in Chinese). If you’re considering upgrading, here’s why we don’t believe it’s a good idea.

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At the start of this review, we mentioned how it feels the same as the ROG Phone 3 and the upgrades are incremental and that’s exactly the reason why we don’t recommend upgrading. The display upgrades are very incremental, with the refresh rates being the same and most of the other stuff, its still has a 6000mAh battery not split into 3000mah of course but its still a huge battery for you to enjoy, the same amazing speakers both the 3 and 5 excels in every way possible.

Expect little progress in the camera department, and I still believe it shoots decent photos for a gaming phone when compared to companies that plaster a respectable logo or anything claiming to perform better.

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The ROG Phone 3 has a multitude of accessories that are hard to top, and here’s the worst part – if you want to utilize the ROG Phone 5 while still being able to use the ROG Phone 3…

You won’t be able to since previous-generation accessories aren’t compatible with the ROG Phone 5.

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1628686426_113_ASUS-ROG-Phone-5-Long-Term-Review-From-a-Non-GamersROG Phone 5 on top | ROG Phone 3 on the bottom

This one strikes you like a ton of bricks. The reason for this is because the ROG Phone, 2 and 3 have a 2x USB-C interface on the side to take advantage of the accessories – so you could connect it to a desktop dock or do pretty much anything else. However, the ROG Phone 5 replaces one of the side USB-C ports with a POGO Pin-based connection, resulting in a very restricted accessory selection. The ROG Mobile Desktop Dock is no longer accessible, and the TwinView Dock 3 (one of my personal favorites) is no longer available for the ROG Phone 5.

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The Kunai 3 Gamepad is one attachment that you may utilize with the ROG Phone 5, but keep in mind that you’ll need to get a new bumper for the ROG Phone 5. Every single ROG Phone 5 accessory is offered separately, including the new ROG AeroActive Cooler 5 — which costs about RM 150.

Get the Aeroactive Cooler because it’s hot out there.

ASUS-ROG-Phone-5-Long-Term-Review-From-a-Non-GamersNasi Lemak Tech | Image Source: AeroActive Cooler

Because you’re going to game on it, get the AeroActive Cooler while you’re at it, not because it has additional triggers, but because you’ll need it because the Snapdragon 888 is a hot CPU when it loads up games, and I mean it. We played Asphalt 8, Genshin Impact, to test how hot it might get, and it took approximately 25 minutes. The phone retains VaporChamber Cooling technology, but given that the SD 888 is a strong CPU, you should expect it to run hot.

So, should you get the ROG Phone 5?

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This is a tricky question, but I’ll try to make it as simple as possible – if you’re coming from the original ROG Phone or the ROG Phone 2, or even from another gaming smartphone like the Black Shark, it’s a good upgrade and experience for those coming from other gaming phones, and one to have really because when you realize that a clean vanilla gaming smartphone with essentials is a good upgrade and experience for those who come from other gaming phones, it’s a good upgrade and experience for those

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If you’re coming from the ROG Phone 3, though, don’t bother. You still have one of ASUS’ finest smartphones in your pocket, one that supports a wide range of accessories and is just a great phone – I wouldn’t change it if I still had the ROG Phone 3, which I do.

Conclusion

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The ROG Phone definitely paved the way to what we have today, the gaming smartphone market and rather than throwing things that consumers aren’t going to use, ASUS decided to improve upon generation after generation to this very moment, which is the ROG Phone 5. This is as perfect a gaming smartphone can get. The Gaming phone that’s as perfect a phone YOU can get. I don’t think there’s a reason to get the Ultimate to get the gaming experience, and the fact that this RM 2,999 smartphone gave an enjoyable experience all in all, shows that you can get any variant and still have the best experience possible.

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I’m hoping to see it with the forthcoming ROG Phone at some point in the future. Which raises the issue of whether a new ROG Phone will be released later this year, given that the ROG Phone 5 was released far early than the three-year-old schedule of June? There is already talk of a new ROG Phone 5 successor, codenamed 5S, but we don’t have any details yet, so all we can do is wait and watch what happens. Only time will tell whether this is true.

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After a thorough evaluation, we award the ROG Phone 5 a Gold for being the most improved smartphone generation after generation. Probably the only phone that consistently achieves 9 out of 10 ratings from generation to generation. 

 

I don’t play any video games, so the ASUS ROG Phone 5 is the first smartphone I’ve ever owned. I’ve had the device for over a week now, and I’ve decided to write a short review of the phone and the software to follow up on my initial impressions. I’ll be starting with the design of the phone and the hardware, and then move on to the software.. Read more about asus rog 5 and let us know what you think.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Rog phone good for long term?

The Rog phone is a good long term phone. It has a good battery life, and can last for up to 3 years.

Is Rog 5 Good for non gamers?

Rog 5 is a game that is meant for non-gamers. It has simple mechanics and easy to understand gameplay.

Is Rog phone 5 reliable?

Rog phone 5 is a reliable phone.

Related Tags

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  • asus rog phone 5 ultimate release date
  • asus rog phone 5 pro review
  • asus rog 5

About Vaibhav Sharda

Vaibhav Sharda

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