ASUS ROG Phone 7 series reviewed

We look at the ASUS ROG Phone 7 recently launched, and aimed at gamers in particular.

ASUS ROG Phone 7 series reviewed

First up, out of the box our review team liked the phone. They felt it was easy to boot up, it meshed well with the controller and was all very intuitive to lined up and start using. On one hand you might expect this, because this is the audience that they are aiming for, but, just because this is the goal, it doesn’t mean that it is always so effectively achieved. ASUS really are doubling down on aiming for this particular audience, but they are impressing this audience too.

The phone is expensive, and heavy, so you are clearly getting a lot of phone, for your phone. How significant will either of these be to its potential users? This is a hard one to judge. Our testers liked the phone, but it would be at the high end, to sightly above their usual budget for their own phones. Does this then make it a Christmas wish list desire perhaps? For gaming it did a lot of things very well, and our testers were very positive and enthusiastic about it.

With this in mind it is going to be interesting to see what the wider levels of take up are, but in terms of the gaming experience the verdict seems to be one of being pretty excellent. In terms of the impact on your budget, and for phone telephony, those are other questions, but maybe of less importance if you have a way to acquire this phone.

It’s time to answer all your questions about the ROG ALLY, our first gaming handheld PC.
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— ROG Global (@ASUS_ROG) May 4, 2023

More about ROG

Republic of Gamers (ROG) is an ASUS sub-brand dedicated to creating the world’s best gaming hardware and software. Formed in 2006, ROG offers a complete line of innovative products known for performance and quality, including motherboards, graphics cards, system components, laptops, desktops, monitors, smartphones, audio equipment, routers, peripherals and accessories. ROG participates in and sponsors major international gaming events. ROG gear has been used to set hundreds of overclocking records and it continues to be the preferred choice of gamers and enthusiasts around the world. To become one of those who dare, learn more about ROG at http://rog.asus.com.

The ROG Phone 7 series includes the ROG Phone 7 and ROG Phone 7 Ultimate models and is the latest step in the high-performance evolution of the world’s greatest gaming phone. This futuristically-styled phone — which sports a new two-tone design — combines the game-winning power of the flagship Snapdragon® 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform with the advanced GameCool 7 thermal system and special ROG tuning to deliver a truly breathtaking mobile gaming experience — and impressively low power consumption. The key to this power efficiency is the revolutionary new rapid-cycle vapor chamber design, which increases heat dissipation efficiency by up to 168%, allowing the ROG Phone 7 series to run games at full speed while maintaining low temperatures.

To make ROG Phone 7 a powerful and portable theater, we’ve increased the effective volume of the ROG Phone 7 series‘ speakers by 50%[1] and tuned the system in cooperation with audio specialists Dirac. ROG Phone 7 series now delivers amazing 2.1-channel sound when the new AeroActive Cooler 7 accessory — which houses a powerful subwoofer — is attached.

Additionally, the stunning 165 Hz Samsung AMOLED display’s peak brightness has significantly increased compared to the previous model. And, the ROG Phone 7 series also features the legendary AI-generated in-game effects, customizable AirTrigger haptic buttons, and continuous game-setting updates by the ROG Gaming team that epitomize the core spirit of ROG — to put the player first!

The ROG Phone 7 Ultimate version additionally features the unique ROG Vision matrix display on its rear, and the GameCool 7 thermal system is enhanced with the innovative AeroActive Portal.

No-compromise performance

The mighty ROG Phone 7 series was built without compromises, unleashing the awesome gaming power of the flagship 3.2 GHz Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform, which is 15% faster and 15% more power-efficient than the previous generation. It’s paired with up to 16 GB of 8,533 Mbps LPDDR5X RAM, and a 512 GB UFS 4.0 ROM that’s twice as fast as UFS 3.0. It’s ready for Wi-Fi 7* (802.11be) with Qualcomm® FastConnect 7800, supporting ultra-fast 320 MHz channels and Multi-Link operation, with game-changing latency performance benefits.

Thanks to Snapdragon Elite Gaming, the ROG Phone 7 supports real-time hardware-accelerated ray tracing. This means that for supported games, gamers can enjoy hyper-realistic reflections — particularly on water and metal surfaces — that add a new dimension to the gaming experience.

All this power is enhanced even further by the unrivaled Armoury Crate performance manager, which gives gamers the finest control over performance and tuning settings.

To keep pace with the fastest action, the ROG Phone 7 series uses a 165 Hz Samsung AMOLED display with a 720 Hz touch-sampling rate and a Delta E <1 color accuracy for superb visuals. We’ve also increased the brightness to 1,500 nits for easier viewing outside. The superb visuals are tuned in collaboration with leading visual-processing company Pixelworks® for world-beating color accuracy. It’s a display without compare.

Additionally, the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate features ROG Vision, a unique matrix color display on the rear of the phone that exemplifies the daring innovation behind the ROG brand. This creative feature can showcase awesome animations triggered by system events, such as charging status, incoming calls, X Mode activation, and more. Gamers can even create their own personalized animations, further enhancing the uniqueness of the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate. With ROG Vision, gamers can express their true style and embrace the full potential of this cutting-edge technology.

No-compromise power efficiency

To minimize power consumption without compromising performance, the ROG Phone 7 series leverages the 15% improvement in power efficiency offered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform, enhanced with the best ever GameCool 7 thermal system to cool the CPU from all directions. This uses a three-pronged approach. For short sessions, the Boron Nitride (BN) thermal compound on one side of the CPU reduces throttling. Mid-length sessions are taken care of by the bigger vapor chamber and graphite sheets on the other side of the CPU. Lastly, for marathon sessions the AeroActive Cooler 7 — with its fan positioned right over the CPU module — kicks into play for AI-powered active cooling, featuring a Peltier element for extra cooling performance.

In the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate, cooling is enhanced even further with the world-leading AeroActive Portal. This air inlet activates automatically when the AeroActive Cooler is attached, directing a constant flow of cool air from the cooler onto the cooling fins of the vapor chamber. This efficiently dispels the heat generated by the SoC, leading to a notable boost in both gaming performance and battery endurance. When the AeroActive Portal is activated, the phone‘s thermal efficiency can increase by up to 20%.

The new rapid-cycle vapor chamber in the ROG Phone 7 has been completely redesigned – it’s bigger and uses new technology inside. Instead of the usual pillar-shaped structures, it uses special trident-shaped wick columns on the long edges of the chamber to improve efficiency. Additionally, there are six liquid-return channels that act as highways for water to flow back to the SoC ready for the next thermal cycle. The thermally-efficient graphite sheets in the ROG Phone 7 have also been made bigger and have been reshaped to maximize heat transfer from the mainboard and RF board.

Finally, the AeroActive Cooler 7 features not only an improved fan with more blades for higher back pressure, but also a built-in thermoelectric Peltier cooler for maximum cooling power. The revolutionary DualCool design ensures that while the rear of the phone is cooled by the Peltier cooler, cooling air is also directed across the phone‘s screen for maximum cooling efficiency.

No-compromise gaming

Mobile gamers have never experienced phones that sound as good as the ROG Phone 7 series. The twin front-firing 12 x 16 mm speakers — with 50% more effective volume than previously — are aided by the five-magnet, super-linear 13 x 38 mm sub-woofer in the AeroActive 7 cooler, which enhances bass volume by 77% for unbeatable 2.1 sound in games or movies when the cooler is attached. Fine-tuning in cooperation with the audio experts at Dirac ensures unrivaled sound quality.

From its 3.5 mm headphone jack to its Dirac Virtuo For Headphone theater-like spatial sound, the ROG Phone 7 series has all the technology for all the sound. Snapdragon Sound technology support enables super-low-latency high-fidelity Bluetooth® audio, so whatever the user’s listening choice, their ears will thank them for the ROG Phone 7.

New software features enhance the gaming experience even further. X Sense helps gamers to detect key onscreen events, such as when an important new item appears on the map or an enemy is approaching, with a pop-up notification. And if a gamer dispenses with multiple rivals in a single manoeuvre, X Sense adds visual effects to add to the celebration. X Capture is an AI tool that automatically records memorable moments in the battle, such as vanquishing an enemy or wining the match.

The renowned AirTrigger ultrasonic controls give gamers unrivaled fingertip control over their games for a console-like experience. They support a wide range of gestures, including Dual Action, Press and Lift, and Gyroscope Aiming. There are also 10 motion controls and an X-axis linear motor that provides powerful haptic feedback, taking gamers into the heart of the action. It also enables the superb Vibration Mapping feature, which enhances the touch experience by providing adjustable haptic feedback for virtual on-screen buttons.

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