ROG Phone 5s Pro Review

ROG Phone 5s Pro Review

an introduction

Click here for a full and comprehensive review of the ROG Phone 5, on which the ROG Phone 5s Pro is based.

Being named “Best Dog” in a competitive niche like gaming is no small feat. Managing to do this consistently across four generations of smartphones seems almost impossible. However, despite some turmoil along the way and some polarizing decisions in the latest ROG Phone 5, we still think that only Asus can claim this huge feat.

Shrinking as it may be, ROG Phone 5 and its accessory ecosystem, arguably still offer the most comprehensive and feature-rich mobile gaming experience.

Maintaining these credentials naturally requires keeping up with the latest and greatest devices. For better or worse, playing the best possible chips currently out there comes with the territory.

Hence, the ROG Phone 5s and 5s Pro are now hitting the scene with the “lean” Snapdragon 888 being replaced by the Snapdragon 888+ processor, plus a few other changes here and there, which we’ll get to in a bit.

But, why might such a change be “for the worse”? Well, the Snapdragon 888 already has a bad rep of running overheat and draining a lot of power. The Snapdragon 888+ takes it all in and, among other things, raises the maximum core frequency of the Prime Kryo 680 CPU from 2.84GHz to 3.0GHz. With that, it inevitably leads to more heat and more battery drain.

And more heat and battery drain isn’t quite ideal in a system that already has constant battery capacity and even crucially – the same passively closed and cooled setup unchanged.

From left to right: ROG Phone 5, ROG Phone 5 Ultimate, ROG Phone 5s Pro

The main question we’re tasked with answering now is pretty clear – how much, if any, additional performance does the Snapdragon 888+ offer over its vanilla sibling in this Asus-boosted design and what’s much worse, if anything, is heat throttling, heat and potentially battery life. Since ROG Phone 5S also claims some improvements in touch input latency, we also have to test if any other display characteristics have been changed.

what’s new

Let’s break this down because things with the current ROG range are a little confusing. The original ROG Phone 5 lineup includes three models – vanilla comes in 8GB/128GB, 12GB/256GB, and 16GB/256GB configurations depending on the region. The Pro and Ultimate editions add some design changes and more storage-improved versions.

Enter the new vanilla pair ROG Phone 5s. Both devices swap out the Snapdragon 888 for the 888+ and offer upgraded, industry-leading 360Hz touch sampling rates on their screens.

Vanilla ROG Phone 5s is based on the vanilla ROG Phone 5, so it has the RGB logo on the back and skips the PMOLED ROG vision display and additional rear touch inputs that used to be the Pro and Ultimate versions.

This vanilla ROG Phone 5s also comes in the same RAM and storage configurations as its predecessor, up to 16GB/256GB. Oddly enough, it can only be had in Storm White, which was previously the ROG Phone 5 Ultimate exclusive.

Asus ROG Phone 5s Pro specs at a glance:

  • Body: 172.8 x 77.3 x 9.9 mm, 238 grams; front glass (Gorilla Glass Victus), glass back (Gorilla Glass 3), aluminum frame; pressure sensitive areas (game players), touch sensor; ROG Vision monochrome PMOLED display (rear).
  • Screen: 6.78-inch AMOLED, 1B colour, 144Hz, 360Hz touch sampling rate, HDR10+, 800 nits (type), 1200 nits (peak), 1080 x 2448 pixels resolution, 20.4:9 aspect ratio, 395 dots per inch.
  • الرقاقة: Qualcomm SM8350 Snapdragon 888+ 5G (5 nm): Octa-core (1×2.99 GHz Kryo 680 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 680 & 4×1.80 GHz Kryo 680) ؛ ادرينو 660.
  • Memory: 512 GB 18 GB RAM; UFS 3.1.
  • Operating System/Software: Android 11, ROG UI.
  • Rear camera: Wide (main) : 64 MP, f/1.8, 26mm, 1/1.73″, 0.8µm, PDAF; Ultra- wide angle : 13 MP, f/2.4, 11mm, 125°; Macro : 5 Megapixel, f/2.0.
  • Front camera: 24 MP, f / 2.5, 27 mm (width), 0.9 μm.
  • Video capture: Rear camera : 8K@30fps, 4K@30/60/120fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps, 720p@480fps; gyro EIS. Front camera : 1080p @ 30fps.
  • Battery: 6000 mAh. 65W fast charging, 70% in 30 minutes, 100% in 52 minutes (advertised), 10W reverse charging, Power Delivery 3.0, fast charging 5.
  • misc: fingerprint reader (under display, optical); NFC; 3.5 mm jack.

The ROG Phone 5s Pro, which we’ll be reviewing, comes in a top-of-the-line 18GB/512GB configuration, and like its Pro predecessor, it has an additional full-color PMOLED panel on the back as well. As back touch inputs.

The 5s Pro also comes with the AeroActive Cooler 5 accessory in the box, just like its Pro predecessor. In practice, the ROG Phone 5s Pro takes a bit from the ROG Phone 5 Ultimate in terms of features and memory configuration in the current state of the lineup.

As far as we understand, Asus intends to continue selling the available stock of older models, and when that runs out, just keep offering 5s variants going forward.

To reiterate – there are no real design changes to notice with the new pair of ROG Phone 5s. You can consult our full, comprehensive review for information on this end, as well as the supplement ecosystem. You can also check out our hands-on review of the ROG Phone 5s Pro, for a rundown of its familiar package and design.

For the ROG Phone 5s Pro we have in our hands, our work is pretty much cut short for us – a new chipset means new benchmarks, battery life tests and thermal throttling checks. Also, a new or just upgraded board requires a new set of rendering tests. So, let’s dive in.


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