The Asus ROG Phone 5 is set to be the next gaming phone put out by Asus, as the company has now confirmed that it's coming on March 10. There's no Asus ROG Phone 4, and we explain why below.
This then is a follow up to the Asus ROG Phone 3 from 2020. That was a great handset for mobile gamers, but it had a few small issues we'd like to see addressed.
Loads of leaks and rumors have sprung up around the Asus ROG Phone 5, even supposedly leaked launch posters of the handset, so we have a good idea of what to expect. We've collected everything important we've heard so far, and you can read about it all below.
After that, we've also collected a little wish-list of new features or changes for the ROG Phone 5, to make the handset an improvement on its predecessor.
The Asus ROG Phone looks very likely to have 18GB of RAM, which more than you'd expect to see on most gaming laptops. There may be variants with less RAM, but the Geekbench listings suggested 18GB will be an option.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? Asus' next gaming-oriented smartphone
- When is it out? March 10
- How much will it cost? A lot, expect $999 (around £752 / AU$1,500)
Asus ROG Phone 5 price and release date
The Asus ROG Phone 5 is being unveiled on March 10. Asus has confirmed as much, but the date comes as a slight surprise given that the ROG Phone 3 only launched back in July, so we were expecting to have a longer wait.
That said, the ROG Phone 2 launched in September 2019, so the range doesn't have a consistent release pattern.
We haven't heard much in the way of pricing information, but Asus phones have often been the priciest gaming phones out there. The ROG Phone 3 launched at $999 (around £752 / AU$1,500), so perhaps we'll see something similar for the fourth-generation handset.
Why isn't this the Asus ROG Phone 4?
While 'Asus ROG Phone 4' is the natural name for the fourth-generation handset, Asus has now confirmed in a Weibo post that it will actually launch the Asus ROG Phone 5. This revelation follows rumors of the same, so it's no surprise.
While Asus itself hasn't confirmed why it's skipping the number 4, the apparent reason is that in some regions, the number 'four' is considered unlucky, so the company has skipped to five. There's precedent for this in smartphones, as the OnePlus 4 was skipped over too.
News and leaks
If you know gaming phones, you know they often come decked out in RGB lights, and we've heard the Asus ROG Phone 5 is no exception. Judging by leaked photos, though, it could be relatively restrained in this regard.
More live shots of the ROG Phone 5 leaked on Weibo.#asus #rogphone5 pic.twitter.com/ppa7yieO1QJanuary 19, 2021
Filings with Chinese regulators have given us another look at the phone from all angles, and it doesn't appear as though too much is changing from a design point of view. However, is that a dot matrix lighting array we can see on the back of the phone? One that we assume would be very customizable.
Asus Rog phone 5 listed on TENAA certification.◾6.78 inches Amoled display◾6000mAh Battery (dual-cell, 3000×2)◾Android 11 pic.twitter.com/NjTjk8AzKOJanuary 30, 2021
One leak suggests the phone will have a 64MP main camera, which matches its predecessor, but it's possible the device will have an upgraded sensor to take slightly better pictures.
Similar number, different spec; the charging speed will apparently be 65W, which is pretty fast, and a big jump over its predecessor's 30W. This will power up a battery that supposedly has a 6,000mAh capacity, which matches the ROG Phone 3, but trumps most other phones.
Most sources we've linked assume the phone will have a Snapdragon 888 chipset, which is the newest top-end processor from Qualcomm. Indeed, a mystery Asus phone has been spotted on a benchmarking site using that chipset paired with 8GB of RAM.
Two recent benchmarks have also suggested that one model of the ROG Phone 5 may sport either 16GB or even 18GB of RAM.
Finally, a teaser from Asus suggests its next phone will have tiny bezels - this teaser also serves as official confirmation that the company's next gaming phone is on its way.
What we want to see
The Asus ROG Phone 3 was packed with top-end specs, and the leaks make the ROG Phone 5 sound the same. But a phone is more than just a series of parts, and there's more Asus could do to make its phone competitive and worth buying.
1. A lower price
Asus ROG Phones are the most premium gaming phones you can buy in terms of price, costing quite a bit more than rivals from Black Shark, Nubia and others.
Sure, this is partly because Asus goes all-out in the specs department for its phones, but even so they don't outstrip the rivals in any meaningful way, so ROG Phones aren't good value for money when you consider the competition.
If the Asus ROG Phone 5 cost less than its predecessor, it might be more worthy of your money, and a better buy.
2. The ability to use triggers with more games
The Asus ROG Phone 3 was one of several gaming phones to have haptic triggers on the side of the device (on top when gaming in landscape mode), so you can play games in the same way you'd hold a gaming controller.
However these AirTriggers, as they were called, only worked for certain games. Lots of our favorite mobile titles didn't let us use them, which ruined the experience for certain games.
We'd like the Asus ROG Phone 5 to have similar triggers, but with the ability to use them for all mobile games - if third-party gaming controllers let you map buttons, Asus' own games software should let you.
3. Faster charging
30W charging, as in the ROG Phone 3, is fine for if you're using your phone normally, but for a gaming phone you want faster powering so you can keep the battery high when you're playing games for long periods of time.
Therefore we'd like to see the ROG Phone 5 step up the charging a bit, as rumors suggest. 65W as has been rumored would be great, though it wouldn't match the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel's 90W.