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The ROG Phone 5S – Let’s Get Real

I have officially been using the ROG Phone 5S for about a month and change. Somehow, this little game centered device has developed quite the controversy surrounding it especially if you’ve been around the boards / groups which discuss about the device. Most of which, I personally found out, you can manage with simply changing up some settings… and so I’ve come to the conclusion that rather than problematic, the ROG Phone 5S is more “misunderstood” by a fraction of the user base.

The unit I have with me is the 12/256 variant and sometime during testing I did find a bug that I’ve been told could’ve been attributed with the latest OTA delivered firmware at the time… And so following this “official” guide, I locked my ROG Phone 5S into the 2019.149 version, and while there are some things that you would miss from the updated variant because of staying on this version, the stable-r build is certainly very welcome.

This side port is the MAIN USB-C port on the ROG Phone 5S
Not this USB-C port… but the existence of the headphone jack is great for immersive gaming sessions with ZERO latency

I realized, while using the phone, that carrying the “gaming” badge goes so much deeper than the stylistic external treatments that we’ve come to expect from them. And yes, this is me talking about the Armoury Crate which has game suggestions that are grouped according to the refresh rate that they are capable of dishing out and supporting.

The signature ROG red makes its way all around the ROG Phone 5S

This led me to one of the most iconic – and actually quite apt ways of stress testing the device, a game called 1945 Air Force. It is basically an arcade shoot-em-up that has been ported over to mobile and made more interesting and challenging with elements of gacha packed into it. This game makes incredibly good use of the hardware that is on the ROG Phone 5S and because of the more “controlled” environment, it is IMHO one of the better ways to evaluate the performance of the device.

I used to play a variant of this game in an arcade box and you would appreciate joystick controls if this is the title in question and the ROG Phone 5S lets you do that with the Kunai. it frees up the screen so that you get to see all the action unfolding without the on-screen controls OR your very own fingers, disrupting the experience.

At all settings maxed out and X Mode turned on, extended gameplay of 1945 Air Force does heat up the device up to early 40s but its nothing toasty that you’d wanna stop holding the device. With a cooler, bypass charging active, and a case, you wouldn’t even notice it.

Another game that I’d been playing on this device is my long time (5 year and counting) active account on FFBE and during one of the more recent trials, the swift response of the screen to touch definitely directly attributed to my capping the chain properly for maximum damage on the boss and thus the road to Event Rank 1 started. You can see more of the ROG Phone 5S in action here along with some player appreciation pulls.

As a gamer myself, I truly appreciate what the ROG Phone 5S embodies. It pushes you to play and even helps you discover more games that you could be interested in, all neatly tucked away into the Armoury Crate so you’ll know where to go for that gaming fix whenever it hits. The one button X Mode overclock and optimization is integral to that as well.

There’s a decent set of cameras on the ROG Phone 5S but you’ll find that using it is more of a utility than a go-to feature. Moving from one camera to the other on the fly messes up exposure so you’d best not try anything fancy with them

Getting an ROG Phone 5S goes beyond just the smartphone game – it is a gateway to a more immersive experience that allows for better enjoyment and development of skill over the competition. It does so within the boundary of the smartphone itself but it does it even better when it is supported by the ecosystem that was made to maximize the power within it. At Php 42,995 for the base model it’s a price of entry that you would not mind considering the hardware… especially if the objective is to own at competitive mobile gameplay.

About the author

Mark O.

Mark is an architect and artist who endeavors to design most anything that requires a little bit of thought into it.

Although writing is not considered a primary focus, a little too much time can yield many thoughts that are just begging to be written down.

Armed with a trusty array of content creation devices and surrounded with a continuous flux of technology and life, herein lies those that are fortunate enough to have been given presence through a little bit of movement and a whole lot of iterations.

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