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Asus ROG Phone 5s delivers a power-packed punch

It is among the best gaming smartphones you can buy at the moment

Mathures Paul | Published 16.02.22, 02:46 AM
Asus ROG Phone 5s is a gaming champ.

Asus ROG Phone 5s is a gaming champ.

Pictures: The Telegraph

There is a phone in town which can also take pictures, facilitate calls and allows the user to browse the Internet. It’s not just a phone… it’s a spec monster that redefines what a gaming phone should be. There’s no two ways about it — Asus ROG Phone 5s is among the best gaming smartphones you can buy at the moment. If you were to ask what the ‘s’ stands for in ‘5s’, for us that would be splendid.

Booming audio, crystal-clear display

Here, camera is secondary. It’s about display, power, gaming and audio. Asus hasn’t cut corners. There are thin bezels on top and the bottom, ensuring there is something to grip on to while playing games while holding the device horizontally. The screen surface has been deliberately kept flat to eliminate all chances of accidental touches and it makes typing easy and quick. The only issue one can find with the design is the glossy rear panel which makes this one a slippery eel that can be tackled by slapping on the plastic case that’s included in the box.

Buttons and ports are in plenty. There are two USB-C ports — one on the bottom edge and the other on the left, covered by a rubber seal and is placed next to a connector to add accessories like an optional external cooling fan. The review unit that we have doesn’t have the optional cooling fan, so we can’t tell you much about it.

In terms of display, almost everything that makes it to a flagship device is here, making it perfect for content consumption — games or movies. The 6.78-inch full-HD+ AMOLED display has a refresh rate of up to 144Hz. You can either leave it in auto mode or choose from 60Hz, 120Hz and 144Hz. We obviously went with the highest without worrying about the battery. The display doesn’t oversaturate colours and browsing through display settings allow users to set a colour profile other than what comes out of the box.

One area where the phone beats competition is audio, which is a big part of gaming. The phone features stereo front-facing speakers — one at the top and the other at the bottom. That’s one of the upsides of ASUS not using skinny bezels. It’s not just about enjoying audio that’s loud; there is great stereo separation. It is not a lifeless speaker and it immerses especially when holding the phone in landscape. There is a 3.5mm port to use the best wired headphones. And there is support for high-res audio formats.

Though the phone is not about camera, pictures come out sharp

Though the phone is not about camera, pictures come out sharp

All. That. Power.

Helping in the performance department is the Armoury Crate, which will take care of all your gaming needs, be it working with the RGB illuminated ROG logo on the rear panel or tweaking performance settings — X-Mode, Dynamic or Ultra Durable and Advanced. Needless to say, there are Air Triggers to take gaming to a new level. Delve into the Air Trigger settings to play around with motion control and ultrasonic button settings. Asus has indeed been refining the Armoury Crate game launcher and you can squeeze more performance from the phone.

Powering the phone is Snapdragon 888+, which is among the fastest processors you can have on an Android phone. Comparing it with upcoming processors will only make a difference in benchmark scores but not performance. It’s a beast of a processor that offers sustained performance. Even after playing for hours, the device may appear slightly warm to the touch but nothing more. If you are in the market for a powerful phone, this is it. Once you are in the midst of action, the response is snappy. Rounding off the performance department is the great haptic feedback on the phone,.

Don’t ask about the camera set-up because it’s more than enough for a gaming phone. The main 64MP snapper is joined by a 13MP ultra-wide and the results are good. The colour and light processing of the ultra-wide is acceptable and images are usable for social media. Battery life? It will see you through the day with light gaming. Further, the battery shouldn’t deteriorate too much even with long-term usage.

Should you buy it?

Here’s the dilemma. For casual Cloud gaming, the phone is an overkill but when it comes to the gaming community, the phone has few rivals.

Of course, there are some comfortable controller set-ups for iPhone and Android but ROG Phone 5s is an investment gamers will appreciate.

It’s a phone that has more power than many laptops, and if you’re serious about mobile gaming, the Asus ROG Phone 5s delivers a power-packed punch. And it’s future-ready.

At a glance

The rear panel has the trademark RGB illuminated ROG logo

The rear panel has the trademark RGB illuminated ROG logo

Device: Asus ROG Phone 5s

Price: 8GB /128GB will be available at Rs 49,999, 12GB/256GB will be available at Rs 57,999 and the ROG Phone 5s Pro 18GB/512GB will be available at Rs 79,999

High notes

• Excellent design for a gaming phone

• Blazing fast

• Doesn’t heat up

Muffled notes

• Rear panel is slippery

Last updated on 16.02.22, 02:46 AM
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