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[Review] The New Ultimate Gaming Phone - ROG Phone 7 Ultimate


Pros

Cons

+ Best of the best performance

- Heats up a lot without AeroActive Cooler

+ Futuristic design

- Decent camera system

+ Widely customizable with Armoury Crate

- Heavy

ROG Phone 7 Ultimate

Price: RM 4999


The ROG Phone 7 series is an unrivaled gaming phone for hardcore gamers. Though you might think about why is it good to buy a costly smartphone just for mobile gaming. Everybody has a different passion for gaming and I believe there are hardcore gamers who pursue the ultimate gaming experience in every platform. Here's what you need to know about the strongest gaming phones - ROG Phone 7 Ultimate.


 

Design


The ROG Phone 7 Ultimate doesn't change much in terms of appearance but improves significantly in hardware upgrades. As usual, the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate only comes in Storm White color tone. The Storm White color appears to be more futuristic with its matte material cover which looks pretty much like a space station.


The dimensions of the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate are 173mm x 77mm x10.3mm (L x W x H). It also comes with an aluminum frame which boosts the overall appearance and gripping of the gaming phone.


Besides that, you will also find the Ultrasonic AirTrigger on both edges of the frame which is customizable from the Armoury Crate.


What's more, the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate comes with an AeroActive Portal at the side of the power button which will automatically open up when attached to the AeroActive Cooler 7 fan to allow a constant flow of cool air onto the vapor chamber to efficiently dispels heats.


The LED indicator which is known as the ROG Vision remains at the same spot as its previous generation Phone 6 Pro. This 2-inch OLED display showcases different animations according to the system events on the phone.


For instance, when your screen is on, it will display the ROG logo at the back; or when your phone is charging, the battery indicator will be shown on the tiny display.

(Charging / Playing Game / X Mode)


 

Display


It is indeed that the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate goes all out on this generation by delivering a massive viewing experience on the device with its 6.81-inch Samsung AMOLED display that supports HDR10+ for an adaptive refresh rate.


Speaking of the refresh rates, they can be adjusted in the phone settings as well as from X mode, ranging from 60 Hz to 165 Hz.

(Refresh rate can be adjusted while in-game via X Mode)


As the lead gaming phone, the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate does manage to deliver the best visual effect thanks to its Delta-E < 1 color accuracy to make the color portrayed on the screen way more realistic and vibrant.


However, as a standard smartphone user, I felt that the thick bezels from the top to bottom affect the overall aesthetics of the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate. It would be better if ROG could offer a bezel-less screen for the best visual experience.


 

Camera


The ROG Phone 7 Ultimate is equipped with a 50MP Main Camera, a 13MP Ultrawide Camera, and a 5MP Macro Camera.


It might not be as impressive in contrast to the other flagships that focus on camera performance, you can still use it as your daily drive to capture every picture in most situations.


And for night photography, the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate might be running short in this segment due to its gaming-centric design. It only comes with a standard night mode on the camera feature, meaning you will not get any fancy shots of the moon.


As you can see, the pictures appear to be losing out on some of the details when it comes to a dim environment. The best advice is to remain stable and avoid zooming too much while taking night photography to achieve a sharper image.


 

Performance


Undoubtedly, the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate is powered by the best Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 mobile platform processor with up to 3.2 GHz, flanked by 16GB RAM and 512GB of UFS4.0 storage space to store literally every game you play on the device.


To achieve the top result in terms of performance, min min will be running the AnTuTu Benchmark v9.5.2 with X Mode enabled. As a result, the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate scores a total of 1,310,244, resulting in a higher spot compared to the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra from our review article.


Aside from that, we will not skip the Wild Life Stress Test on this ultimate gaming phone. The ROG Phone 7 Ultimate will be running on X Mode+ and Frozen Mode on for the AeroActive Cooler 7 during the entire test. As you can see, the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate scores a total of 13,433 with a frame rate between 56 to 100 FPS.

(ROG Phone 7 Ultimate Wild Life Stress Test)

The ROG Phone 7 Ultimate is about 3000 scores ahead compared to its predecessor ROG Phone 6 Pro, proving that the Phone 7 Ultimate gets significant upgrades in terms of processing power.

(ROG Phone 6 Pro Wild Life Stress Test)


In addition, we will be playing Honkai: Star Rail on the highest setting with X mode on for an hour to find out whether it overheats or stutters in-game (which is not likely gonna happen) starting from 10:41 PM at 100% battery health.


After 30 minutes of gaming sessions without the AeroActive Cooler 7 fan, the device heats up intensively especially on the aluminum frames, with 84% battery health remaining. The phone starts to heat up a lot for about 30 minutes of intense mobile gaming until it is uncomfortable to hold onto.


Therefore, I installed the AeroActive Cooler 7 fan in Frosty mode and played for another 30 minutes until 11:41 PM, topping it to an hour of mobile gaming with 65% battery remaining. Surprisingly, the Cooler 7 fan is able to lower the temperature to a comfortable level for around 4 minutes thanks to its world-leading thermal technology - AeroActive Portal.


Next, the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate packs a massive 6000 mAh battery capacity that supports a 65W HyperCharge USB PD charger, juicing up the device from 31% to 100% in 43 minutes. On top of that, it even features a Bypass Charging technology that pauses charging while gaming to prevent damaging the battery lifespan of the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate.


Armoury Crate


If you're a gamer, you should be familiar with the Armoury Crate software. It is a dedicated software for ROG devices and there's no exception on the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate. You will be mostly going in and out on this software to customize the RGB lighting effect on the ROG Vision and also the AeroActive Cooler 7.


Moreover, it also displays informative stats including the CPU and GPU temperatures as well as current memory available on the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate. You can choose between X Mode for maximum performance for gaming, Dynamic Mode optimized for daily use, and Ultra Durable Mode to lengthen the battery health.


There's also a "hidden" mode called X Mode+ that is only active when you use the AeroActive Cooler 7 for unlimited power. It would have a higher power consumption, so you'll need to plug in the charger after playing for a long period.


For instance, the Armoury Crate does provide additional features like X Sense, X Capture, and Background Mode. For whatever reason, the X Sense is like the “Porofessor” an overlay app for LoL, it will pop-up important information in-game such as Abyssal Dragon Buff appear, Dark Lord Slayer Buff appear, and more. But it currently only supports “Garena Arena of Valor,” it will be available in the future for other MOBA games as the X Sense is still in Beta.


As for the X Capture, it automatically records highlight moments like the Kill clip, Death Clip, and Victory Moment, similar to the NVIDIA Instant Replay on the PC. Thus, you can share any of your epic moments with your friend thanks to the X Capture.

※ X Capture now only supports Garena Arena of Valor


At last, the Background Mode allows you to have certain games to “AFK” in the background while you playing other games. Like said, having Clash of Clans running in the background so the others can’t raid you because you’re “online” is quite overpowered. And when you don’t need it, you can turn off the game from the notifications bar.


Accessories - AeroActive Cooler 7


The AeroActive Cooler 7 is an exclusive companion to have for the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate. It features a new thermoelectric AI cooling system to keep the CPU cool to prevent game lag. Not only that, but the cooler also comes with a built-in subwoofer to deliver an immersive gaming experience without the necessity of plugging in the earphone.


Furthermore, the Cooler 7 sport a similar design to its predecessor, with four ergonomic physical buttons at the back that offer console-like control like the Steam Deck. In contrast to the buttons on the AeroActive Cooler 6, the ergonomic buttons on the AeroActive Cooler 7 are more comfortable when resting your fingers on it due to the removal of the recess that “forcing” your finger placement.

(AeroActive Cooler 7 / AeroActive Cooler 6)


The Cooler 7 now has a larger Aura RGB lighting area around the fans, making it another stylish accessory you could add to your collection~


The bottom of the cooler is equipped with a 3.5 mm headphone jack and a USB-C port so you can play and charge conveniently. Also, the flexible kickstand at the bottom of the Cooler 7 to support your ROG Phone 7 Ultimate to stand on flat surfaces.


On the other hand, the AeroActive Cooler 7 features a total of 4 cooling modes such as Smart, Cool, Frosty, and Frozen. The Cool mode uses only the fans to deliver cool airflow to the CPU whilst the Frosty mode uses both fans and thermoelectric cooling. And for maximum cooling, you will need to connect to a charger to use the Frozen mode due to the power consumption limitation in the system.


 

Buy or no buy?


In fact, the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate has top-of-the-line specs, highly customizable software, a vast battery that supports a PD charger to bypass charging, and more than you could ever get from a gaming phone.


It definitely overkills if you mainly use the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate for hardcore mobile gaming. In spite of that, I think that investing in your PC setup with the cost will be more worthwhile as most mobile games are created to pass the time and may not require such “heavy” requirements in order to play.


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