Update: February 1, 2021 (12:38 AM ET): We’ve added some more details about the specs of the Asus ROG Phone 5 revealed in a new regulatory listing. Read on for all the latest.
Original article: January 18, 2021 (1:10 PM ET): The Asus ROG Phone series has established itself as the lineup of choice for those wanting the best phone for gaming, and it’s easy to see why. Between the high refresh rate OLED screen, the top-notch horsepower, and those neat shoulder triggers, the device family is one of the best picks for gamers.
We’re expecting Asus to offer a new ROG Phone in 2021. It will have high standards to live up to thanks to the ROG Phone 3, but the upcoming device will likely set a new standard for the range when it launches.
We’re guessing that a launch is coming sooner rather than later thanks to the initial leaks. With that in mind, we thought it would be a good idea to gather all of the major leaks and rumors in one place. Make sure you bookmark this page as we’ll be regularly updating it with the latest credible Asus ROG Phone 5 leaks and rumors.
Name and release date
We figured at first that the upcoming device would be called the ROG Phone 4, given that last year saw the release of the ROG Phone 3. However, Weibo user WhyLab (h/t: MySmartPrice) posted an image in mid-January, showing “05” branding on a supposed device. This suggests that the new handset will be called the ROG Phone 5.
There’s one major reason to expect Asus to skip a number and go to five. It’s because of a Taiwanese/Chinese superstition. The number four is believed to be unlucky, as it sounds similar to the Chinese word for “death.” In fact, Asus wouldn’t be the first OEM to skip the number. OnePlus and Realme also went straight to five for their popular devices.
It would be a change for Asus, as it was quite happy to release the Zenfone 4 series a few years back. Nevertheless, we’re going with the leaks for now and calling it the ROG Phone 5.
As for a ROG Phone 5 release date, the first leaked images and videos have already emerged. This suggests that the phone is undergoing mass production, or that the device in question is an advanced prototype. We’ve also seen a trend towards early flagship launches in 2021, so Asus could be hopping on the bandwagon too.
The ROG Phone 5 is expected to offer a very similar design to the ROG Phone 3, which in turn had a similar design to the ROG Phone 2. Quite possibly the first real-world ROG Phone 5 image via Weibo user WhyLab lends credence to this, as it features that familiar back panel. This image does offer up a few potential tweaks though, such as the aforementioned “05” branding. Check it out below.
However, a video posted on Weibo (embedded below) and spotted by MySmartPrice on January 19 shows a ROG Phone 5 with a tiny secondary display strip on the back. We’ve previously seen displays on the back of phones, such as the Vivo Nex Dual Display Edition.
There’s no word on what to expect from this screen. However, we’re guessing that it’ll be used as a notification ticker and a hub for essential quick-toggle settings (e.g. Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb) at the very least. Knowing gaming brands, we wouldn’t be surprised to see customizable light effects either.
Oddly enough, Asus teased a ROG Phone with what looked like a full-screen design earlier in January. Yet, looking at the video above, it’s clear that the phone has a slim forehead in place to host the selfie camera and other sensors.
A new ROG phone with model number I005DA was also listed on Chinese regulatory website TENAA. However, the images attached in the listing don’t show a secondary display. They do, however, feature a phone with the “05” branding and a triple rear camera system as seen on the real-world images and video pasted above.
Specs and features
The Asus ROG Phone line traditionally adopts the Snapdragon 8xx Plus chipset, owing to both the chip and phone usually launching in the second half of the year. But the recent stream of leaks suggests an earlier release. This likely means the ROG Phone 5 will stick with the Snapdragon 888 processor instead.
Weibo tipster Digital Chat Station on January 16 said the phone would have a Snapdragon 888 chipset as well. He also added that the ROG Phone 5 will pack a 6,000mAh battery capacity and 60W to 65W charging. These battery details were also touted in an NCC certification listing spotted by Twitter leaker Sudhanshu Ambhore as well as the aforementioned TENAA listing. The latter also confirmed that the phone will house a pair of 3,000mAh batteries to make up the full 6,000mAh capacity.
The charging speed would be an improvement over the ROG Phone 3’s 30W wired charging option, which took over 100 minutes to hit full capacity in our experience.
The TENAA certification also confirms that the ROG Phone 5 will carry a 6.78-inch display and come with Android 11 out of the box.
The leaked video and image above also points to a triple rear camera setup with a 64MP primary shooter. For what it’s worth, the ROG Phone 3 packed a 64MP main camera, 13MP ultra-wide snapper, and 5MP macro lens.
We saw the ROG Phone 2 and 3 ship with trigger keys, with two serving as shoulder buttons when in landscape mode. The previously disclosed video and image indeed show a red button on the lower-left edge, suggesting that physical buttons will be a thing.
Asus ROG Phone 5 price and availability
The ROG Phone 3 launched at $999 and €999 in the US and Europe, respectively, while 2019’s ROG Phone 2 retailed for $899/€899, respectively. If Asus follows the trend of price hikes, then we can expect a more expensive ROG Phone 5. Nevertheless, we hope that the brand maintains the current price or even follows Samsung’s lead and comes down a notch.
There’s no word on an official launch date just yet, but the fact that we’re seeing official teasers suggests that Asus will buck the trend of launches in the second half of the year. We think a February or March launch is looking likely as a result.