For the first time since the existence of the ROG line, Asus is adding variations to its gaming-oriented model. The Rog Phone 5s Pro takes the design and features of the ROG Phone 5 Pro, and integrates the Snapdragon 888+ for more power.
Last spring, Asus unveiled its new range of smartphones dedicated to gamers, the ROG Phone 5. A new model available in three versions ("classic", Pro and Ultimate), of which we tested the first variant. We also tested the Ultimate version, an extreme model with 18GB of RAM and a monochrome display on the back. From these three smartphones came the 5s and 5s Pro versions, the second being the one tested in this article.
This model is just as "extreme" as the ROG Phone 5 Ultimate, since it has almost the same technical specifications. The only real difference is the integration of a Snapdragon 888+ instead of the Snapdragon 888 found in the previous ROG Phone 5. Like the Ultimate model, this new version will be launched at $1299, a price equivalent to that of the competition's big guns.
Ergonomics and design
Between the first three ROG Phone 5s released in spring and this 5s Pro model, there is almost no difference in style. However, we must point out that the model tested here is more like the Pro version of the ROG Phone 5, than the classic version.
Thus, it's hard to miss the small screen located in the middle of the back. On this 5s Pro edition, it is located in the same place as on the Pro variant, and thus offers color. This small Oled screen allows you to display data related to the battery and its state of charge, but also allows you to show small animations quite nice. It goes without saying that the whole thing remains very gadgety, but that makes its charm.
For the rest, the dimensions are more or less the same. The 5s Pro version is 0.4 mm thinner, but the rest does not change. Same thing with the weight since the smartphone keeps its 238 g on the scale.
The screen of the ROG Phone 5 simply delighted us. Before the iPhone 13 Pro Max and 13 Pro, the OLED screen of the gaming smartphone was the best we saw under our probes. Fortunately for us, Asus has not changed anything and this ROG Phone 5s Pro benefits from an excellent quality display. The 144Hz refresh rate has also been kept for the most enthusiastic mobile gamers. To know everything about this display, you can refer to the ROG Phone 5 test below.
This new version of the ROG Phone 5 integrates the Snapdragon 888+, an evolution of the Snapdragon 888. On the 5s Pro version, the gain in power is undeniable and can be measured especially on the video game. Especially since, as with the ROG Phone 5 Ultimate, our test model has 18 GB of RAM.
It gets an overall index of 127, thus sticking to the ROG Phone 5 "classic" and Ultimate when in performance mode. RAM management is excellent and the smartphone is obviously among the fastest on the market. When we put the ROG Phone 5s Pro in X mode (the performance mode), the index rises to 148 thanks to a much more controlled management of the game part.
Thus, while it displays 86 fps on average in normal mode, the mobile reaches 110 fps on average with the X mode. This puts it just behind the Zenfone 8 from the same manufacturer. At the very least, the smartphone never falls below 68 fps, so it's very comfortable playing the titles on the PlayStore, but also for streaming and even emulation.
With such results, this new ROG Phone 5s Pro is easily on par with a Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro. Note that by switching the screen to 144 Hz, it is possible to enjoy better performance than by default. Unfortunately, this refresh rate is incompatible with X mode. It will be up to you to decide what you prefer.
Reusing the chassis, shell and design of the ROG Phone 5 Pro, the ROG Phone 5s Pro also ends up with the same photo modules. Asus has retained the 64-megapixel wide-angle lens, the 13-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens and the 5-megapixel macro module. The photo capabilities do not change, as well as the software processing applied. Asus offers a rather natural rendering to its shots, but the competition is tough in this area, and we must admit that some smartphones like the Pixel 6 and even the recent iPhone have managed to set a new standard. You can find our evaluation of the ROG Phone 5's photo capabilities below.
As with all Asus gaming models since the ROG Phone 3, the ROG Phone 5s Pro packs a massive 6000 mAh battery. A large capacity that allows this new model to hold the charge for 17 h 28 min - about 2 h less than the ROG Phone 5. A slight drop that we can attribute to the Snapdragon 888+, a little more energy consuming than its predecessor. When it comes to charging, the smartphone can still count on its 65W block, which allows it to be charged in about 50 minutes.
Our sustainability score allows us to determine the sustainability of the smartphone for both the consumer and the environment. It is based on the repairability index, durability criteria (protection index, standard connectors, warranty period and updates...) and an evaluation of CSR policies (Corporate Social Responsibility). You can find all the details of the analysis in our article presenting the sustainability score. The table summarizing the sub-scores of its reparability index is available here.
This new Asus ROG Phone 5s Pro does not revolutionize the models unveiled earlier in 2021. The smartphone essentially offers increased power for those who want to get one of the most powerful models on the market. Apart from its gaming capabilities, it is a good smartphone, which will satisfy you, no matter what task is required.