ROG Phone 5 Ultimate Review: The Most Ridiculous Custom!

Published on March 14, 2021
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This is what happens when you get to the limits of what any normal person would want in a phone and then just blow right past [Music] it hey what’s up mkbhd here this is the rog phone 5 ultimate edition so there is no rg phone 4 for the same reason there was no one plus 4 4 is an unlucky number in some parts of asia so we’ve skipped right to five and this phone is every bit as ridiculous as it looks it’s kind of funny they’ve actually sort of been toning down the gamer phone aesthetic over the years but they have not been toning down how ridiculous the actual phone is so gaming phones when they were starting out were never supposed to be reasonable you know they’re huge phones with pretty striking designs rgb lights and the absolute bleeding edge maximum specs available and so the rog phone has been at the forefront of that for a while and this new one definitely takes it even further so first of all it’s still got all the same big number fundamentals from before it is a massive phone it’s got a gigantic 6.8 inch display 144hz ammo led a snapdragon triple eight which while it’s not a plus version like they typically launch the phone with it is absolutely the latest and greatest right now still has a massive 6000 milliamp hour battery half a terabyte of ufs 3.1 and still has a huge pair of stereo front-facing speakers that get louder than any other phone i’ve tested in a long time but now on top of all that there’s a lot of new there’s a surprising amount of upgrades actually first of all you’ve probably noticed this back it’s a matte white kind of a pearl like finish with blue accents it’s not the grippiest thing in the world but it does reject fingerprints really well and overall the looks not too crazy it’s still unmistakably an rog phone with those slanted lines and they just love printing text all over the phone so republic of gamer’s logo the number five for rog phone five the quad bear camera text and at the top it says for those who dare for some reason they love that text but i do think the sim card tray in blue is a super nice touch and while the huge white phone still does stand out i do feel like the whole gamer phone aesthetic is maturing a little bit from just like rainbow puke now right in the middle and you might have caught that there is still a little bit of a glossy piece right there and you might be wondering what that is that is another screen on the back of this phone so it’s called rog vision so there’s this little inch and a half black and white screen that can display different kinds of information the settings for it here are in asus’s armory crate app instead of in the settings app but once you dive in here you can turn the screen on and off and then choose what the screen lights up for so you can see it lights up when the phone’s screen is on it lights up when the phone is charging it even lights up when you receive a phone call and then for each of these scenarios you can actually go in and customize the exact animations that play in each scenario to the point where you can actually create new animations and import images that you want to use and make new animations for yourself it’s crazy now this is how i got the mkbhd text animation here playing on the back of my phone anytime my screen is on it’s even orientation sensitive i know it’s it’s extra there’s no other phone that does this and that’s probably for reason but hey if you’re gonna go niche you might as well go all the way down the customization rabbit hole and asus has like really committed to something unique here so okay there’s no doubt they’ve leveled up the aesthetics it definitely still looks like a gamer phone but asus didn’t just stop at the aesthetics so that’s 6 000 milliamp hour battery i mentioned the one that won it the smartphone award for battery last year it’s upgraded that to a fast charging system inside thanks to two things this really beefy heavy 65 watt charging brake that comes in the box and the new dual battery system inside so it’s actually now a pair of 3000 milliamp hour batteries that charge in parallel so this is the same concept that oneplus was using with the 8t two smaller batteries in parallel charge faster than one huge one so now it’s a massive best-in-class battery that also charges really fast roughly zero to seventy-five percent in around half an hour which is plenty now that’s already great that’s already i get a day and a half of completely carefree use out of this phone at 144 hertz which is crazy and if you want to take it easy set it to auto mode those numbers start to get kind of ridiculous at 60 hertz it’s easily two days but the other thing to think about with a fast charging system like this is you still want to think about battery health long term and that’s also something asus is thinking about so they’ve built in a bunch of different battery charging adjustments to address that so there’s now steady charging which charges slower for better battery health there’s scheduled charging so you can reduce the time that the battery is full and not in use so basically it slow charges overnight and then finishes up to 100 when it’s time to get up and you can set that to finish charging depending on when your scheduled alarm is that is dope and you can also manually set a charging upper limit to just straight up limit your max charge to 80 or 90 and then on top of that there’s something called bypass mode which is such it’s such a gamer specific thing but when you’re in this mode you plug in the phone let’s say you’re gaming it bypasses charging the battery and just puts the power straight into the system so that you’re not heating up the battery as you’re charging because you’re not charging and you’re not cycling the battery so it’s just going straight into the actual system who would have thought it’s a great idea so i’m clearly very impressed with the battery as you can probably tell but there’s more first of all they brought the headphone jack back is this the first phone that i’ve seen that’s ditched the headphone jack with one year’s upgrade and then brought it back the next year i think so i think so they moved it from the phone in the rog phone 3 to the fan accessory through usb last year now it’s back in the phone and not only is the headphone jack back but there’s a dac behind it and there’s a whole audio wizard built into the software that lets you drag 10 different frequency response sliders and change the audio in a crazy way like that’s just that’s approaching too much customization at this point it’s awesome they’ve also technically leveled up the performance and the specs of the phone here too so imagine all the highest end specs possible that can fit in the phone snapdragon 8 chip check half a terabyte of the fastest ufs 3.1 storage check 18 gigs of ram on this highest end version check 144hz maximum refresh rate on the display with a 300 hertz touch sample rate check this is about as consistently smooth of a phone as you’ll get to see like 18 gigs of ram in a phone is this some kind of joke like clearly i’m not the biggest gamer i don’t really play games on my phone like that so i’m playing games to test this and it’s obviously very responsive but the performance difference between this and something like a galaxy s 21 something with maybe 12 gigs of ram to be fair is pretty small so this is like i mentioned at the beginning the rog phone 5 ultimate edition which is the highest end in a new lineup of phones which i’ll get to in a minute but this has 18 gigs and then the rest of the lineup gets up to 16 gigs so i feel like they added the extra two gigs of ram for this phone just for i mean it’s gaming it’s bragging rights yes it’s technically better but i feel like they just want to be able to say they had the most ram in any phone which they can say now which is kind of sad because you can’t actually pin apps into ram like you can on like samsung and oneplus phones would be nice to add on a phone like this right now one thing you probably didn’t expect to be so good about a gaming phone is the cameras because they’re usually pretty bad so this is an area where i was actually pleasantly surprised by rog phone five it has some decent cameras it’s a triple camera set back here a 64 megapixel primary 13 megapixel ultra wide and a 5 megapixel macro camera and i wasn’t expecting much like i said but the more photos i took with this primary camera the more impressed i was this thing makes some nice detailed pretty confident and contrasty photos it’s the style that reminds me of the pixel it’s not quite pixel level but it reminds me a lot of the zenfone also by asus which did win the blind smartphone camera test we did last year so this phone did a really good job maybe just a tiny bit aggressive with the hdr sometimes and i’ve noticed it’s a little bit slow to focus on closer up objects so you can miss focus a bit but it’s better than i expected from a gaming phone the ultra wide is definitely weaker and softer per usual and the macro it works but the minimum focus distance isn’t as close as i’d expected from a macro and the selfie camera is wildly inconsistent with exposure so it’s fine but you know even in the same room with back to back selfies i could get like totally different shots like i know you’re probably not getting this phone just for the cameras but it’s it’s nice that it’s not super disappointing so that’s i would give it like a b minus in the grand world of smartphone cameras it’s a b minus it’s not bad the reason you would buy a phone like this is because of the power you get in the palm of your hands and the ridiculous level of customization possible you saw the audio customization behind the headphone jack you already saw the display on the back of this phone acting like a notification led on steroids even though this phone already has a notification led but then there’s also these performance profiles and the armory crate that let you quickly flip over into a gaming mode or an everyday use mode or a battery saver mode and then all the custom settings that go with it and there’s even the custom buttons did you even remember the custom buttons on this phone it’s kind of a big deal there’s a pair of the shoulder triggers called air triggers that are mappable and in addition there’s a second set of back buttons and from my experience they’re not as sensitive but they do work by just kind of sliding your finger over them honestly i don’t even know what games i would play that are serious enough to take advantage of these but if you do that’s two more extra buttons on the back of this phone so you don’t have to cover that precious screen real estate with your fingers it’s crazy stuff and on top of all of that like i said it feels like uh like like a sports car that you can also drive on the daily and i say that because zen ui feels pretty close to stock android like they’ve built a lot of the features directly into the settings without turning it into some blinged out over-the-top gamer-y look i mean it can be that when you want it to but if you’re not it’s a very usable daily phone now i’ve said a lot of good things in the past however many minutes this has been so far now if you’re thinking well what’s the catch what are the bad parts of this phone there’s got to be stuff that’s not perfect and there is definitely i would say a bunch of it adds up to feeling a little bit less premium than the highest end phones in this price bracket and maybe that’s because i’ve just used some of the other ones recently but there’s some stuff to note like the vibration motor and the haptics aren’t great at all and in a gaming phone actually i would expect this to be a pretty heavy focus like having great haptics and a gaming phone for immersion sake would feel really cool this is maybe one notch better than the classic old vibration motors of the past it’s nowhere near the best doesn’t feel very precise or tight at all the fingerprint reader is slow like there’s no way around it i guess if i’m sticking with my car analogy that would be like taking a long time to turn on i don’t know it just gets annoying after a while when it is slow to unlock a lot and then the display while it is super responsive we know the 144 hertz is great it’s still slightly below a1 quality like there’s a bit of the telltale rainbowing when you’re off axis and while the max brightness did improve it can’t still get washed out in harsh sun there’s no wireless charging call quality is definitely not that great and the rubber plug on the side usb ports falls out really easily and they definitely know this because they included two extra ones in the box but i’m convinced i’m gonna lose them all and also fun fact we did manage to kill this phone to zero percent battery and when we did it wouldn’t charge back up until we plugged it in the side usb port which asus tells us is the primary usb port asus also tells us that this will be fixed with an upcoming software update so it’s not perfect like there’s there’s definitely stuff that’s quirky about it but the thing is i think the easy complaint about a phone like this is that is a giant clunky form factor with like kind of thick bezels why wouldn’t you go closer to the edge and do a hole punch but on a gaming phone if the idea is to be here all the time and not interrupt your view with a hole punch then having a little extra on the side to hold it and having huge front-facing stereo speakers is a trade-off that i think makes a lot of sense so overall this is a really fun ridiculous phone so now that you’ve made it all the way to the end of this video i’m assuming you have like at least a tiny little bit of interest in buying this right so this phone this rog 5 ultimate edition highest 10 spec is uh 1299 euros there’s a little bit of conversion math depending on where you are in the world but that’s expensive now this ultimate edition includes the phone and also this incredibly extra ar unboxing experience that the phone boots into the first time you set it up it’s pretty cool and there’s a fan accessory and there’s some asus gamery swag like a hat there is like i mentioned though a lineup so this is the ultimate the highest end version 12.99 then there is a rog phone 5 pro for 11.99 and there’s this guy which is just the standard rog phone 5 which starts at 7.99 big difference uh it skips the screen on the back and it doesn’t have the two touch sensitive back buttons and it starts at eight gigs of ram and 128 gigs of storage and so if you’re thinking about getting one the base version i feel like is the most reasonable and then i think when you upgrade for an extra 100 euro that first upgrade is pretty nice double the storage bump up your ram but then this spec right here i think is a little crazy a hundred extra dollars for just four more gigs of ram which i don’t know i feel like that’s not the move but then the price only goes up from here as you upgrade further in the lineup but hey you know what they say you gotta pay to play do they actually say that i don’t know i’m just look i only play among us on my phone i feel like at this point there are people who are more squarely in the target demographic who are thinking about shooter games first person whatever other games you play that require multiple custom buttons this is a phone that’s going to be really fun for that but let me know what you think are you the type to go all out on a crazy customized gaming phone like this with a screen on the back the whole deal let me know in the comments section below also the wallpaper i’ll link below as i always do and yes by the way we do have long sleeve shirts in the merch store shop item it’s good stuff either way that’s been it thanks for watching catch you guys in the next one peace.
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