The ROG Phone 5 levels up the mobile gaming experience

Articles: Smartphones
Mar 13, 2021 Written by:Jeff Kampman

Not to boast, but we know a thing or two about gaming phones. After all, we created the first true gaming handset with the ROG Phone, and we’ve been refining the concept ever since with the ROG Phone II and ROG Phone 3. Now it’s time to level up again with the ROG Phone 5. Across three expressions of ROG DNA, the ROG Phone 5’s powerful hardware, fluid display, and versatile peripheral ecosystem work to enable championship-class mobile gaming experiences. Outside, a distinctive design draws inspiration from games old and new for a subtle yet immediately identifiable look.  


The ROG Phone 5’s style incorporates elements of the 8-bit aesthetic we debuted with the AniMe Matrix Display on the lid of the ROG Zephyrus G14. Contrasting swaths of pixelated blocks and diagonal lines on the lower half of the rear glass serve as an eye-catching backdrop for a retro-inspired interpretation of the ROG logo, and dual-zone Aura RGB backlighting leaves no doubt as to your allegiance. Available in configurations spanning 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and 16GB paired with 256GB, there’s an ROG Phone 5 for every mobile gamer.  


Phones are some of the most personal computing devices that we use today, and the ROG Phone 5 Pro is a springboard for personal expression through technology. The new ROG Vision rear display is a full-color canvas that can display status updates, notifications, and even custom graphics of your own creation. The interplay of hard edges and curves on the back of the phone complements a subtle ROG logo for an intriguing appearance. In addition to the signature AirTrigger ultrasonic shoulder buttons available across the ROG Phone 5 lineup, the ROG Phone 5 Pro adds a second pair of touch-sensitive zones on the rear of the device to further expand dedicated gaming control capabilities on the go. 16GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage stand ready for anything mobile gaming enthusiasts can throw at the ROG Phone 5 Pro. 


The ROG Phone 5 Ultimate stands at the peak of mobile gaming and style. We outfit it with a massive 18GB of RAM for the most demanding mobile gamers and multitaskers. A matte white finish with bold blue and deep gray accents on the SIM tray, power button, and camera module subtly announce your position at the summit of mobile gaming to the world. Unique graphics and inlays draw the eye to the exclusive monochrome ROG Vision display and the pair of touch-sensitive zones on the back cover. 512GB of internal storage makes plenty of room for your games, media, music, and more.  

As a love letter to our most ardent fans, ROG Phone 5 Ultimate devices in select regions will include a limited-edition presentation box featuring several unique ROG keepsakes to commemorate this unparalleled expression of mobile gaming power. Contact your local ASUS representative for more information about this limited release in your country.  


No matter which ROG Phone 5 you choose, you'll get elite mobile gaming performance thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Mobile Platform. Produced on a leading 5nm silicon process with the latest Kryo 680 high-performance CPU cores and Adreno 660 GPU, the Snapdragon 888 stands at the forefront of Android performance. This chip also integrates a Snapdragon X60 modem for swift and reliable 5G connectivity on the go, and FastConnect 6900 technology brings next-generation WiFi 6E support along for the ride. Choose a 5G mobile carrier and pair the ROG Phone 5 with the ROG Rapture GT-AXE11000 WiFi 6E router at home, and you'll have access to the fastest and lowest-latency gaming connectivity wherever you are.  

We know that choosing the best mobile platform is only the starting point for making a great gaming phone. For the best mobile gaming experience, a phone needs to be able to sustain that performance over time. That sustained performance comes from great cooling. And unlike larger laptop and desktop computers with active fans, phones normally need to dissipate that heat passively—a huge challenge for any gaming device.  


Our engineers rose to that challenge and rebuilt the ROG Phone 5's cooling system from the ground up. The new cooling design starts with a massive aluminum inner frame and a new split-cell battery design that allows us to position the system board in the dead center of the device. This position ensures even heat distribution throughout the metal frame and into the surrounding copper vapor chambers and graphite sheets. It also minimizes the formation of hot spots under gamers' hands while they're holding the ROG Phone 5 in landscape mode.  


Demanding gamers can take performance even higher with active cooling thanks to the new AeroActive Cooler 5, available as an accessory for the ROG Phone 5 and included in the box with the ROG Phones 5 Pro and Ultimate. This latest version of our trademark active fan clips onto the ROG Phone 5 using the side USB Type C port when you need a cooling boost, and the new internal design places the cooler directly over the system board for more effective heat dissipation. This design allows the AeroActive Cooler 5 to lower CPU temperatures by up to 10° C and surface temperatures by up to 15° C for comfortable gaming over long sessions. 

For this generation, the AeroActive Cooler 5 doesn't just improve cooling performance. It expands gamers' control options thanks to a pair of dedicated hardware buttons that flank the central fan. Gamers can customize these buttons to taste using Armoury Crate. More on that in a moment. 

Cell division

Long battery life while gaming has been a calling card of the ROG Phone since its inception, and to achieve that goal, we’ve used large monolithic batteries in tandem with each new Snapdragon Mobile Platform to deliver all-day gaming on the go.  In a first for the series, the ROG Phone 5 splits its 6000mAh of capacity across a pair of 3000mAh battery packs that flank the centrally mounted system board. This design choice isn’t change for its own sake. It’s part of the holistic design approach that allowed us to place the system board in the center of the device, and that approach didn’t just improve cooling for the Snapdragon 888 Mobile Platform. It also helps us manage the heat generated by the battery during charging and discharging cycles. 


While the ROG Phone 5 is charging, the dual-battery topology and massive internal heatsink allows for more effective heat distribution, lessening the impact of charge-discharge cycles on cell health. While the phone is running on battery, spreading power demands across two cells allows for less heat generation when the device is under heavy gaming loads.  


The dual-cell architecture enables 65W fast charging with the included adapter so you can get back in the game quickly should the battery run low. 30 minutes on our HyperCharge adapter replenishes 73% of the ROG Phone 5’s battery capacity, and a full charge takes only 51 minutes. 

Paired with our own power- and charging-management software utilities, the ROG Phone 5 continues our legacy of class-leading battery life during both gaming and typical usage.  

Winning touch

The ROG Phone 5's AMOLED display panel, produced by industry leader Samsung Display, is one of the fastest mobile gaming screens around. Its 144Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time ensure that your favorite games will look and feel exceedingly fluid, keeping you fully immersed in the action. For a clear view over years of service, the display is covered by a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass Victus to protect your phone against both small scratches in regular use and major damage from drops. In Corning's testing, Gorilla Glass Victus resists damage from drops up to two meters, even onto hard, rough surfaces.  


Because the touch screen is the most typical input method for mobile gaming, the latency introduced by the touch-sensing and processing layer of the screen needs to be as low as possible to ensure swift translation of your inputs into on-screen action. We've relentlessly lowered the end-to-end input latency through hardware and software innovations in each generation of ROG Phone, and the ROG Phone 5 boasts the lowest touch latency yet at just 24.3ms thanks to its 300Hz sensing layer and our continued optimizations.  

The high peak brightness levels, per-pixel brightness control, and incredible contrast ratios of the ROG Phone 5's display are ideally suited for reproducing high-dynamic-range (HDR) content—the future of gaming and film presentation. The ROG Phone 5 can natively play back HDR10+ content when it's available, but we want to let you enjoy the full range of color and brightness available from the AMOLED display at all times. We'll be deploying Pixelworks' Always-on HDR technology in a future OTA update. Pixelworks' technology remaps the vast library of standard-dynamic-range content available today into the wider color space and tonal range enabled by HDR so that all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the show.  

The display doesn’t just look stunning at first glance. It’s comfortable to look at over long gaming sessions. AMOLED technology minimizes exposure to sleep-disrupting, eye-strain-inducing blue light by design, and DC dimming control ensures that you won’t see distracting flicker no matter what brightness level you choose.  

Control points

Beyond the enviably low-latency touch screen, the ROG Phone 5 gives you a wealth of dedicated input options that let you take full control of your mobile gaming experience. Flip the phone into landscape mode, and the ultrasonic AirTriggers on the right edge of the phone fall right under your index fingers. These touch controls support taps for trigger-like inputs or slides and swipes for more granular control. You can map these inputs to your preferred in-game controls using the Armoury Crate utility. 


The ROG Phone 5 Pro and ROG Phone 5 Ultimate augment the pair of AirTriggers with two more touch-sensitive zones, similar to the paddle buttons on elite gaming controllers, on the back panel of the device. Combined with the hardware buttons available from the included AeroActive Cooler 5, the ROG Phone 5 Pro and ROG Phone 5 Ultimate offer up to 18 control points for you to customize.  


For the most tactile mobile gaming experience, the ROG Phone 5 maintains full support for the versatile Kunai 3 Gamepad. Whether you prefer to deploy this controller in Handheld Mode to enhance the landscape gaming experience, All-in-one mode for a more console-like experience, or in Mobility Mode for a more compact yet still separated controller, the Kunai 3 Gamepad further raises the ROG Phone 5’s gaming prowess. 

Loud and clear

No matter what game you prefer to play on the go, hearing the action clearly is just as important as seeing it. The ROG Phone 5 allows you to listen and game the way you want, whether through its powerful speakers or through its 3.5mm headset jack. We tuned each audio source for a distinctly hi-fi experience.  


The twin stereo speakers on the front of the device use seven-magnet motor technology for precise control of their movement across the frequency range. In addition to the precision inherent in their DNA, we've worked with the digital signal processing experts at Dirac to optimize the output of these speakers so that you can hear games and music loud and clear. A fully revamped version of our AudioWizard software offers four audio profiles tuned for music, movies, and games, and a parametric equalizer lets you take full control of audio output if you prefer.  

Whether you’re communicating with your group, taking calls, or recording video for your community, being heard loud and clear is critical. We use a quad-mic array on the ROG Phone 5 to ensure that your voice comes through in full richness and clarity. 


When it’s time to game or listen to media in private, the 3.5mm jack on the ROG Phone 5 lets you connect your headphones or headset of choice without worrying about battery life, latency, or sync issues between fully wireless earbuds. The hi-fi ESS 9280AC digital-to-analog converter that powers this jack can automatically sense headphone impedance to deliver the right amount of power at all times, no matter what’s plugged in, and it can even support audiophile-grade headphones with impedances up to 1000 Ohms. If you do prefer to cut the cord, the ROG Phone 5 supports Qualcomm aptX Adaptive wireless connectivity for crisp, clear, and low-latency wireless sound when paired with compatible wireless headphones.  

You don’t have to take our word for the ROG Phone 5’s hi-fi credentials. The independent evaluators at DXOMARK gave the ROG Phone 5 a score of 79 in the DXOMARK Audio test—one of the highest scores in the industry. Whether you're listening or speaking, you can be sure that the ROG Phone 5 is reproducing both input and output cleanly and clearly. 

Eagle eyes

We give you all the tools you need to capture and share your best moments with the ROG Phone 5’s camera array. The primary f/1.8 lens directs light onto a flagship Sony IMX686 image sensor with Quad Bayer technology to capture clean and colorful everyday images at 16MP. An available 64MP mode lets you capture stunning high-resolution images, too. The 13MP ultrawide camera is great for capturing stunning vistas or powerful forced perspective shots. Finally, a dedicated macro camera lets you get up close and personal with small subjects. Selfies come courtesy of a 24MP sensor with an available Portrait mode. 

When it’s time to roll camera, the ROG Phone 5 can be used to capture incredibly lifelike 8K video at up to 30 FPS. Fluid 4K video at up to 60 FPS immerses viewers in the action while maintaining stunning detail. And 480FPS high-speed footage at 720p lets you see action too fast for the human eye to catch. 

Level up

The ROG Phone 5 family is ready to serve as your path to the podium in today’s most competitive mobile games and your powerful everyday companion outside of the ring. Whether you choose the ROG Phone 5, ROG Phone 5 Pro, or ROG Phone 5 Ultimate, you’ll be rewarded with the highest-performing, most immersive, and most configurable mobile gaming experience available today.  

For more information regarding pricing and availability of the ROG Phone 5 family in your region, please contact your local ASUS representative.