In the last few years, gaming smartphones have been increasingly popular, with nearly all major phone manufacturers launching devices in an attempt to capture a larger share of the market. Asus, on the other hand, has arguably stood out above all others in this category.
With a flagship chipset, a big responsive 144Hz display, stunning performance, and a massive battery, Asus’ latest gaming-centric phone, Asus ROG Phone 5s have the potential to entice pro-mobile gamers. However, it’s not a phone that the typical smartphone user would wish to buy. So, should you invest your money in ASUS’ latest offering? Let’s find out.
The Asus ROG Phone 5s is available in India for Rs. 49,999 for the model with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. You can also buy a variant with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage for Rs. 57,999. The ROG Phone 5s comes in two glossy colours: Phantom Black and Storm White. The Asus ROG Phone 5s will be available on Flipkart from February 18.
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The latest Asus ROG Phone 5s brings the following items inside the box:
- USB Power Adapter (30W)
- Type C to Type C Cable
- Documentation (User Guide, Warranty Card)
- Sim Ejector Pin
- Hard case
Before we talk in detail about the Asus ROG Phone 5s, let’s see what the on-paper specs look like:
- Display: 6.78 inches AMOLED
- Chipset: Snapdragon 888 Plus
- RAM & ROM: 8GB RAM 128GB Storage, 12GB RAM 256GB Storage
- Software: Android v11
- Rear camera: 64MP + 13MP + 5MP
- Selfie camera: 24 MP
- Battery: 6000 mAh
- Weight: 238 grams
- Dimensions: 172.8 x 77.2 x 9.8 mm
If the Asus ROG Phone 5s appears familiar, it’s because it’s nearly similar to its predecessor, the ROG Phone 5. The 5S is somewhat slimmer than the 5, according to the spec sheet, but putting them side by side, you’ll never see the difference.
Despite the fact that the design hasn’t changed significantly, it’s still worth praising the craftsmanship’s fineness. The phone is made of aluminium and glass and has tapered edges for a comfortable grip. The device has capacitive Air Triggers, a large display, dual speakers, dual USB-C connections, and a Quad DAC-powered audio jack, just like the predecessor.
It’s a big phone, to be honest, but the compact machine’s basic design makes it easy to play games all day. The glossy texture of the glass rear is the only element that goes against this size. It makes it a slippery fish, requiring the use of the supplied hard plastic case. The haptics is excellent, and the vibrations are solid. Asus ROG Phone 5s features squeeze, swipe gestures, and an in-display fingerprint sensor that is quite accurate and responsive, just like the previous model.
Gorilla Glass Victus is used on the front panel, while Gorilla Glass 3 is used on the back. The phone’s top and bottom bezels are thick which will help to reduce accidental taps during gaming sessions while also making the device comfortable to use in landscape mode.
The volume control and power button, both of which have a red accent, are located on the right side of the phone. The power button sits almost in the middle of the edge, making it easier for those with small hands to access the button. The smartphone has a secondary USB port on the left, a POGO pin connection for accessories, and that’s about it. The phone’s primary microphone, headphone jack, and primary USB Type-C port are all located at the bottom. At 238 grams, this thing is big and heavy. Regardless of what Asus claims, you should have big hands to properly use the ROG Phone 5s.
On the front, Asus ROG Phone 5s offers a large 6.78-inch OLED display having a high resolution of 2448 x 1080p, a 144Hz refresh rate, a 1ms response time, with Corning Gorilla Glass Victus protection. The large display is HDR10+ ready. The big, colourful display is really responsive and fluid. Gamers that enjoy fast-paced games will have a great time using this gaming smartphone. It’s one of the sharpest and brightest displays on the market, with a peak brightness of 1200 nits and a usual brightness of 800 nits, as well as refresh rates of up to 144Hz. This time, the company has also included support for a 360Hz touch sampling rate, which is among the best we’ve seen on any phone.
The AMOLED panel on Asus ROG Phone 5s provides dark blacks, high contrast, and vibrant colours in regard to picture quality. Simply put, it’s a stunning display to see. With a 20:4:9 aspect ratio, the screen is taller than standard, and enjoying games or streaming HDR 10+ content is a pleasure. Asus has not only chosen one of the best displays available, but it has also gone above and beyond to improve it. Now t hat’s rare.
You may criticise it for launching a flagship smartphone in 2022 with those large thick bezels, but they serve a purpose. They allow you to rest your hands comfortably without causing any accidental touches, which is something that gamers who spend countless hours striving to get chicken dinners will appreciate.
The Asus ROG Phone 5s is backed by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Plus chipset. This is a 5nm Qualcomm chip, and the performance is as expected. Without a doubt, the Snapdragon 888+ is a powerful flagship-grade processor that delivers excellent performance. This is a great gaming smartphone with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage. It’s no surprise that it can handle practically anything you throw at it. During our testing, jumping between apps, browsing multiple tabs on the internet, and taking photos showed no lag. All of this can be handled by the smartphone without taking a breath.
We tested various graphic demanding games on the Asus ROG Phone 5s, including COD: Mobile, BGMI, Genshin Impact, and Asphalt 9. The ROG Phone 5s delivers 60 fps smooth gaming in Asphalt 9, and you may enjoy seamless gameplay for a long duration of time in Genshin Impact. During my time with Call of Duty: Mobile, the Air Triggers were quite responsive to touch. You can change their arrangement to control what action is executed when you tap the trigger. One thing we’ll mention is that the smartphone could get a bit warm over long gaming sessions, which is expected.
Moreover, the AeroActive Cooler 5 accessory (available separately) features two of its own physical AirTrigger buttons and includes a kickstand. Asus offers a variety of accessories for the ROG Phone 5s that will improve your gaming experience. Then there’s Game Genie, which is the interface that holds all of the key gaming elements. In the game, you can summon the Game Genie by swiping from the top left corner while being in the landscape. Then there’s X-Mode and Armoury Crate, which offers a lot of performance and customization options.
To say the least, we were blown away by this kind of performance, as just a few smartphones in the past have been able to match it. The Asus ROG Phone 5s is indeed one of the best gaming phones available in India right now.
In terms of software, the Asus ROG Phone 5s comes preinstalled with Android 11, however Android 12 would have sounded better. Leaving aside the Android version, the phone offers a smooth user experience, and the theme like stock Android is something I appreciate. This is among the few Android devices available in India that is completely free of bloatware. Furthermore, the OS includes a number of attractive, gamer-focused themes that can be used to enhance the look of the lock screen.
You can also adjust the Air Triggers. There is also Game Genie, which functions as a quick toggle, helps in the optimization of game settings. Another feature is the Scout mode, which makes spotting enemies in FPS games much easier. To put it another way, the UI in Asus ROG Phone 5s is versatile, and you have a variety of options to choose from depending on your needs.
While the cameras aren’t the main attraction here, they are decent. The Asus ROG Phone 5s features a triple rear camera layout with a 64MP primary camera, a 13MP ultra-wide lens, and a 5MP macro lens. The device has a 24MP front-facing camera for selfies.
Under ideal lighting conditions, the primary camera is able to capture detailed photos. We did notice the colour tone moving to a yellow tint in a few images. The primary sensor’s images had a decent dynamic range. The photos from wide-angle shots were nearly identical to those from the primary sensor, apart from slightly shifted colours.
Colours were likewise natural in the portrait shots, but they were a little faded. There was good edge detection with a nice level of blurring in the background. The detailing was also quite good. The details that are crucial in macro photography were present, however, the colours were again drastically different from what things appeared to be in real life. In addition, I had trouble focusing on the subject while taking macro shots.
Photos taken without the night mode turned out to be grainy and lacking in detail at night. However, having night mode enabled, the details and lighting were significantly improved, producing surprising results.
Pixel binning technology is also used in the 24MP selfie camera, which captures 6MP photos. The Asus ROG Phone 5s took decent selfies when there was enough lighting around the subject.
The main camera can capture videos at up to 8K resolution at 30 fps or 4K resolution at 60fps. You also get 4K slow-motion video recording at 120 fps and 720p slow-motion video recording at 480 fps.
The Asus ROG Phone 5s has a 6000mAh battery, which is the same as the ROG Phone 5, and supports fast-charging up to 65W. However, you will receive a 30W charger inside the box, which is a setback. At this price, Asus should be providing a 65W charger, but there appears to be some sort of cost-cutting taking place here. The battery performance on the ROG Phone 5s is great and lasted a long period. In terms of real-world performance, with mixed usage, we got roughly 10-11 hours of backup. Casual/light users can easily expect the battery to last more than a day. The giant 6,000 mAh battery takes about an hour to fully charge the Asus ROG Phone 5s from 0 to 100 per cent, and it can be charged via either of the USB Type-C ports.
You can limit the percentage to which the battery charges in battery settings so that you don’t charge it to 100% every time, which affects battery life. Then there’s the option to disable charging while gaming, which means the charger will only supply power to the system rather than charging the phone, preventing it from turning off. This also helps to keep the temperature in control if you’re gaming while plugged in.
The media performance of Asus ROG Phone 5s is enhanced above most others in terms of audio performance. The phone’s loudspeaker system is a key part of that: it has a stereo front-firing speaker system with one on the top edge and one on the bottom. Each speaker also has its own separate amplifier, making this one of the best smartphone speaker systems available.
Music from video games and movies is loud, but it also has superb stereo separation and a well-managed frequency range. It also immerses the listener in the sound, especially if you hold the device in landscape mode, which gives you a real left and right side experience.
The Asus ROG Phone 5s has two nano-SIM card slots, each of which supports a 5G network. It has 18 5G Bands N1, N2, N3, N5, N7, N8, N12, N20, N25, N28, N38, N40, N41, N66, N71, N77, N78, N79. Similarly, the smartphone supports Wi-Fi 6E as well as Bluetooth 5.2 with Qualcomm aptX compatibility, which allows for high-resolution audio output via wireless headphones.
The smartphone also includes an optical fingerprint sensor embedded in the display. It is responsive and accurate like other optical sensor devices.
The Asus ROG Phone 5s is no doubt a powerful smartphone. It offers one of the best smartphone displays, loads of power, gaming-specific tweaks, and plenty of battery life. If you’re a gamer and the ROG Phone 5s fits in your budget, there’s no reason you shouldn’t buy this beast smartphone over everything else on the market. The ROG Phone 5s is an obvious option because it is not only one of the coolest-looking smartphones on the market, but it is also one of the most powerful smartphones money can buy.
If you already own a ROG Phone 5, you can skip the ROG Phone 5s and not miss out on anything. If you’re looking for your first gaming phone, go ahead and get the Asus ROG Phone 5s; it’ll be well worth your money.