ROG Phone 5s Pro
+ Beautiful AMOLED display
- Heats up more quickly
+ Powerful chipset
+ Smart battery features
+ Excellent audio
+ Extra rear touch sensor
+ AeroActive Cooler 5 included
When we heard that ROG will be releasing the latest ROG Phone 5s series, we were dying to try out the new gaming phones especially the Pro edition that features an insane Snapdragon 888+ processor along with a whopping 18 GB of RAM. So today, we'll be testing out the ROG Phone 5s Pro. Without further ado, let's dive in!
Unboxing and First Impressions
The ROG Phone 5s Pro comes in the usual hexagonal shape box, and opening up the box, you will be greeted by the familiar AR comic on both halves of the fold-out panels. The phone and the AeroActive Cooler are attached on either side of the box. Underneath the plastic plates holding the phone and the cooler are the accessories and its charger along with a corresponding USB-C to USB-C cable. You’ll also get a stylish cover included in the box.
Different from the standard 5s version with a pixelised ROG logo, this one sports a dazzling rear matrix PMOLED display called ROG Vision, which can show neon-like animations for scenarios like X-mode, Screen-on, Incoming calls, and more. You can also choose to customise the display in Armoury Crate for show off. After all, who wouldn’t want to flex a bit if they own a ROG phone.
Apart from the usual power button and volume rocker on the side, we have a 3.5 mm headphone jack so you can still plug in your wired headphone even without the need for the AeroActive Cooler 5. Also, you will get two USB-C charging ports on this device. One is located at the bottom while the other is located next to the AeroActive Cooler port mounted on the left side. The purpose of this second charging port is specially added so the charging cable won’t be a pest when you’re gaming in landscape mode. The same concept goes for the headphone jack on the AeroActive Cooler 5. Both side ports are covered with a pogo pin to protect them from dust.
The ROG Phone 5s Pro only comes in Phantom Black unlike the new ROG Phone 5s which has another colour option: Storm White. Overall, the device stands out with a futuristic design with its black opera aesthetics.
It features a 6.78-inch HDR10+ display using the Samsung E4 AMOLED panel with a 144 Hz refresh rate and 360 Hz of touch sampling rate. You can adjust the refresh rate from as low as the standard 60 Hz up to as high as 144 Hz depending on what you’re using the phone for. You can also enable the auto feature so the device will automatically adjust the refresh rate based on the tasks you’re performing. This unit boasts the lowest latency in the world with only 24 ms touch latency and 18 ms side latency.
As expected of a ROG phone, the vibrant screen covers a wide 111% of the DCI-P3 colour gamut with Delta E<1 accuracy. It is said to be 23% brighter than its predecessor and has only 5 nits of minimum brightness. ROG has also improved the eye protection system on this unit with DC Dimming 2.0 support as well as SGS Eye Care 6.5% and SGS Seamless Pro certifications.
The ROG Phone 5s Pro is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888+ chipset and Qualcomm Adreno 660 graphics, paired with a whopping 18 GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 512 GB of UFS 3.1 storage. It’s even more powerful than the laptop that I’m using to write this review right now. Sobs.
With such power, it’s only justifiable for me to test out this unit with heavy games like Genshin Impact. I tried the game on medium settings at 60 FPS at Dynamic Mode with the phone’s brightness set to 70%. I started the game with the phone’s temperature at 30°C and it heated up to 45°C within 10 minutes. After another 10 minutes, the temperature rose to 49°C. After 20 minutes of gameplay, the battery dropped by 7%.
While the sides are still tolerable, I feel uncomfortable touching the center of the phone. You’d know by now why ROG is so generous to include the cooler in the box after the phone unleashes the performance of its chipset. After attaching the AeroActive Cooler 5, temperatures quickly drop by 7°C. For long sessions of gaming, I’d definitely recommend you to position the cooler fan on the back of the phone to its port if you don’t want to burn your fingers.
Powering up this gaming beast is a 6000 mAh battery, which comes with a 65 W charger. It is able to charge up to 70% in just 30 minutes and 100% in 52 minutes. Inside, the processor is located in the middle of the chassis, allowing the reshaped vapour chamber and extensive graphite sheets to dissipate heat evenly when you’re gaming in landscape mode. To fast charge a battery with big capacity while ensuring it remains at a cooler temperature and its safety, ROG uses the MMT battery technology and a double-wired split battery design. Simply put, instead of a big chunky 6000 mAh battery, ROG places two 3000 mAh batteries on each side of the PCB to allow for faster charging and lower heat output.
Furthermore, there are battery care features that can help prolong the battery life of the device. If you’re taking a break after gaming or have some work to do, you can enable the Steady Charging function, which charges the phone at a slower and steadier pace to lower the charging temperature. You can also set a custom charging limit at 80% or 90% to prolong up to two times the battery’s lifespan. The Scheduled Charging feature allows you to set the time of charging completion and it will reduce the charging rate accordingly so that it won’t overcharge when you’re away in dreamland.
As for audio, it comes with two front-facing speakers that will let you fully enjoy the sound effects in games as you won’t have to worry about covering them when you’re gaming.
The AirTrigger 5 technology has been improved with more sensors from 7 to 9 for higher accuracy. ROG has also repositioned the controls closer to the edge of the phone, which makes gaming so much easier for people with fat and short fingers like me. On this unit, you will get two new sensors at the rear of the device, coupled with another two extra physical buttons on the AeroActive Cooler 5. For hardcore gamers, each side of the sensors can support dual control, which lets you tap and swipe or slide to trigger different commands.
The AirTrigger 5 function can also be used for non-gaming actions such as screenshot. I’ve enjoyed the ‘squeezing’ gesture at the bottom right trigger as a screenshot shortcut as it’s more convenient especially when I’m on one-hand mode, instead of having to press the volume down + power button.
While cameras are not the most important feature gamers look for on a smartphone, ROG makes sure they can still have some nice photography experience with the ROG Phone 5s. While it’s still not going to beat the flagship killers any time soon, the cameras are enough for you to capture some casual pictures.
1.0x zoom vs 2.0x zoom
Buy or no buy?
For RM4,999, you’ll be getting a super powerful gaming phone with a solid build and stylish exterior. The latest Snapdragon 888+ chipset definitely gives it extra bonus marks in terms of performance, especially for hardcore gamers or esports players.
However, with such a powerful processor, the ROG Phone 5s Pro tends to heat up more quickly, especially during X Mode so it gets a little uncomfortable for long gaming sessions.
The ROG Phone 5s Pro doesn’t offer many changes compared to the last ROG Phone 5 that we reviewed, apart from the new monster chipset, two extra rear AirTrigger sensors, and a few other changes. If you’re a new gamer who is just starting to experience some pro-gaming devices, you can consider going for the ROG Phone 5 or the new ROG Phone 5s, which also comes with the new chipset. But if you’re an avid mobile gamer with enough bucks to spend, the ROG Phone 5s Pro is definitely the best gaming phone in the market now.
ROG is now offering a launching promotion for the new ROG Phone 5 series. From now until 24 October, you will receive a free ROG Strix Go 2.4 worth RM749. Additionally, you can enjoy an RM100 discount if you purchase the ROG Phone 5s and ROG Clip together during this period.
Check out the table below for the full pricing of the ROG Phone 5s series.
Malaysia Retail Price
Colour Variant Available
ROG Phone 5s 8 GB RAM / 128 GB storage
Phantom Black & Storm White
ROG Phone 5s 16 GB RAM / 256 GB storage
Phantom Black & Storm White
ROG Phone 5s Pro 18 GB RAM / 512 GB storage
Here are 5 reasons why you should get the ROG Phone 5s Pro!