It seems like the ROG Phone 3 just arrived, but Asus isn’t resting on its laurels. With rumors starting to pick up, it sounds like a new version of the gaming phone is in the works. And it may not be too far off from arriving in stores.
The Asus ROG Phone 4 may look similar to its predecessors, though it may appear under a different name — the word is, Asus could skip the number 4 with this release and jump straight to the ROG Phone 5. Whatever name the phone features, we’re hoping to see a device that improves upon the ROG Phone 3. While the current model’s a solid gaming phone, there are some areas we’d like to see a new ROG Phone address.
The Android phone competition can be fierce, with heavy-hitters like the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra already starting 2021 off strong. The next ROG Phone will face an uphill battle, as it tries to convince mobile gamers that they need a handset that specifically focuses on gaming. Here’s what we’ve heard about how Asus and the ROG Phone will take on that challenge.
ROG Phone 5 news (Updated Jan. 28)
ROG Phone 5 name: Will it be the ROG Phone 4 or ROG Phone 5?
If Asus were to stick to number phone names, you’d expect the follow-up to the ROG Phone 3 would be the ROG Phone 4. But rumors suggest that might not be the case.
In some cultures, particularly in Asia, the number 4 is unlucky. For that reason, Asus might end up calling its next gaming phone the ROG Phone 5 instead.
Such a move wouldn’t be unprecedented. OnePlus did the same thing in 2017 when it was time to release a follow-up to the OnePlus 3T. Instead of the OnePlus 4, the phone maker went straight to the OnePlus 5.
We’ll need official confirmation from Asus to know exactly which name it’s picking. But to avoid confusion, for this article, we’ll refer to the upcoming release as the ROG Phone 5 in most instances.
ROG Phone 5 release date
We currently don’t have much to go on in regarding when the next ROG Phone will come out. But past release schedules can give us some clue. The ROG Phone 3 was unveiled last July, though it didn’t debut in the U.S. until early October. Could the ROG Phone 5 follow a similar timeline?
Maybe not. A poster for the next ROG phone leaked on the Chinese site Weibo. And while there’s no guidance on a release date, the fact that we’re seeing posters for the ROG Phone now suggests that the upcoming version might arrive earlier than usual.
For now, we’ll stick with a summer announcement followed by a release a few months later, though that’s just a guess at this point.
ROG Phone 5 price
It’s unclear how much the ROG Phone 5 will cost, so we’ll have to once again look at the phone’s predecessor for an idea. The ROG Phone 3 came in at a starting price of $999 for the 12GB variant in the US. While thousand-dollar phones aren’t as uncommon as they used to be, it’s still a hefty price.
We’re guessing that Asus will stay at the $999 mark for the base model ROG Phone 5, but we’ll need to wait for official confirmation from Asus to know for sure.
ROG Phone 5 design
Details about the design are pretty sparse right now, but we expect the ROG Phone 5 will sport a heavy “gamer” aesthetic. Previous models featured RGB lighting and sharp accents that have set them apart as gaming phones.
However, if that poster leak on Weibo is to be believed, Asus might be going for a bezel-less display for the ROG Phone 5. Vague renders don’t tell the whole story and we’re inclined to believe the “bezel-less” design is exaggerated in that poster.
More leaks have appeared recently. A hands-on video for the ROG Phone 4 leaked — the source video is no longer available on Weibo — and it showcases a secondary display on the back of the phone, as well as briefly showing the main screen.
While by no means bezel-less, that screen does appear larger than its predecessor with slimmer top and bottom bezels. If this is the final design of the next ROG Phone, it looks very similar to the ROG Phone 3 that preceded it.
That display is expected to be a 6.6-inch AMOLED panel with a 144Hz refresh rate. The ROG Phone 3 had a 1080p screen, so we think that the ROG Phone 5 will at least match that.
ROG Phone 5 cameras
A leaked image of the ROG Phone 5 shows a “64MP” stamp next to the camera module. The ROG Phone 3 also came with a 64MP camera, though we’d hope that Asus would upgrade the ROG Phone 4’s camera in some regard.
Previous ROG Phones have not come close to the best camera phones. While they’re not designed to take on the likes of Google, Samsung, and Huawei, we’d hope that the ROG Phone 5 will do a better job at taking photos than previous gaming handsets from Asus.
ROG Phone 5 processor and performance
Likely a top-tier gaming phone, we expect that the ROG Phone 5 will come packed to the gills with high-end specs. That would mean the Snapdragon 888, 8GB or 12GB of RAM, and plenty of fast storage.
Indeed, leaked Geekbench and HTML benchmarks a little while ago show an Asus phone that is probably the ROG Phone 5 running a Snapdragon 888 and 8GB of RAM. This mystery phone, which follows the same code name schema (ASUS_I005DA) used by the ROG Phone 3 (ASUS_I003DA), was running Android 11. None of these benchmarks are surprising.
ROG Phone 5 battery
The ROG Phone 3 packed a massive 6,000 mAh battery, so we expect the ROG Phone 5 to do the same. A phone of this caliber needs to have long battery life to be worthwhile as a gaming device, so it would make sense for Asus to use as big of a battery as possible.
A 3C certification listing showed that the device ASUS_I005DA, which we believe to be the ROG Phone 5, had 65W fast charging. Considering that we think the phone will come with a 6,000 mAh battery, having super fast charging to top things off would make a lot of sense, as the battery would take a long time to fill up otherwise.
ROG Phone 5: What we want to see
It’s likely that we’ll start hearing more about the ROG Phone 5 soon, whether that’s through leaks or a more official announcement. Asus likes to generate hype around its device releases, so we expect that things won’t be different this time around as we get closer to the launch of the ROG Phone 5.
We do hope to see some changes from previous ROG Phone models, though.
More competitive pricing: While phones have steadily gotten more expensive in recent years, we’d like to see Asus be more value-conscious with the ROG Phone 5. Sure, it’ll go all out and pack the phone with high-end specs and features, but past ROG Phones have been poor values in comparison to their competitors, like the Galaxy S and Note phones and OnePlus’ devices.
Better camera performance: Though by no means bad, we’d like to see Asus continue to improve the camera performance on the ROG Phone 5 to be up to par with its high-end ZenFone devices. The ROG Phone 3 put out photos that were pretty good in dynamic range and color reproduction, but there was room for improvement. We’re hoping that the ROG Phone 5 also doubles as a capable photography device.
Better cooling: In our review of the ROG Phone 3, we noticed that the phone got really hot when superclocked. Holding a hot phone for a long mobile gaming session isn’t comfortable, so we’re hoping to see Asus improve the cooling solution like other gaming phones have.