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Asus’ new ROG Phone 5 Ultimate has 18GB of RAM and a rear-facing OLED screen

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It’ll cost about $1,580 when it launches in May, but less expensive models will come first

Asus ROG Phone 5 Ultimate

Asus is going big with its latest gaming phones. The ROG Phone 5 lineup will start shipping this month across the globe, costing 799 euros (around $950) for the base configuration with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of fast UFS 3.1 storage. Every configuration has a 6.78-inch FHD+ OLED screen with a 144Hz refresh rate and a 300Hz touch sampling rate. Also, the headphone jack has made a comeback after being absent from the ROG Phone 3, this time with a quad DAC in tow for hi-res audio. (In case you’re wondering where the ROG Phone 4 went, Asus skipped over the number four, like OnePlus did, due to its similarities with the word “death” in some Asian languages.)

The most notable changes from the last generation are exclusive to some even more expensive configurations, the ROG Phone 5 Pro and Ultimate (which I published a review of) that release in April for 1,199 euros (approximately $1,420) and in May for 1,299 euros (about $1,583), respectively. Both of these models have double the storage and more RAM (starting at 16GB in the Pro and going all the way up to 18GB in the Ultimate); come in limited edition colors; and have two additional ultrasonic touch sensors than the standard model, located near where your ring fingers might rest while holding the phone in landscape mode. You’ll also get a case and a clip-on AeroActive Cooler 5 fan attachment with purchase with either the Pro or Ultimate phone (which adds two more buttons attached to the fan.)

Asus ROG Phone 5 Ultimate

The new Asus gaming phones aren’t huge departures from their predecessors, though the hardware and software are more refined. I reviewed the ROG Phone 5 Ultimate, and while it delivers on its promises to be a spec and feature juggernaut in some clever ways, paying $1,580 for it seems steep. Even the $950 base configuration isn’t what I’d consider affordable.

The Ultimate and Pro include “ROG Vision,” a feature that pushes premade or custom text or graphics to its rear-facing OLED screen. It’s a spin on Asus’ “Anime Matrix” effect used in the Zephyrus G14 gaming laptop, allowing you to personalize your phone if you want. The standard ROG Phone 5 simply has a backlit ROG logo, which some might find to be just enough pizazz.

I go into all of the features in the review. But if you’re just passing by and want to know all about the specs, I’ve attached a handy table just for you.

Asus ROG Phone 5 lineup specs

Comparison ROG Phone 5 Ultimate ROG Phone 5 Pro ROG Phone 5
Comparison ROG Phone 5 Ultimate ROG Phone 5 Pro ROG Phone 5
Colors Matte white Glossy black Phantom black or Storm white
Price 1,299 Euros (approx. $1,583) 1,199 Euros (approx. $1,420) Starts at 799 Euros (approx. $950)
Processor Snapdragon 888 * *
OS Android 11 with ROG UI * *
Display 6.78-inch 2448 x 1080 OLED with 144Hz refresh rate * *
Storage 512GB UFS 3.1 * 256GB UFS 3.1
Extra touch sensors Yes * No
Rear-facing cameras 64-megapixel with F/1.8 aperture, 13-megapixel 125-degree ultra-wide with F/2.4 aperture, and a 5-megapixel macro lens with F/2.0 * *
Front-facing camera 24-megapixel with F/2.45 aperture * *
ROG Vision support Yes, monochromatic Yes, color No
Battery 6,000mAh * *
Included charger 65W * *
Dimensions 172.8 x 77.2 x 10.29 mm * *
Weight 238 grams * *
Connectivity LTE and sub-6GHz 5G on AT&T and T-Mobile, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2 * *
Included accessories AeroActive Cooler 5, Aero case * No cooler included
* represents the same spec as the Ultimate

Photography by Cameron Faulkner / The Verge