If you're serious about playing mobile games on the go, the Asus ROG Phone 7, like previous iterations, is the gaming phone to get. The latest version sees the usual incremental upgrades, and is largely similar to last year's model. The downsides of the older models — bulky, decent but average cameras, lack of IP67 water and dust resistance — are still present. But in return, you'll get the best mobile gaming experience on a smartphone.
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor with 16GB system memory and 512GB storage
- 6.78-inch AMOLED screen (2,448 x 1,080 pixels, 165Hz)
- 50MP main camera, 13MP ultra-wide camera and 5MP macro camera
- 6000mAh battery
My first impression: Asus phoned it in for the ROG Phone 7. It's a reasonable take because the ROG Phone 7 practically sports the same chassis and display as its predecessor. I mean, just look at the ROG Phone 7 and the ROG Phone 6 in the photo below. Except for the ROG Phone 7's new two-tone design, nothing appears to have changed. The same triple rear cameras, the physical buttons, headphone jack, and the USB-C ports are in the same locations as before. The haptics remain excellent. More importantly, you still get those ultrasonic shoulder buttons (AirTriggers) that make these phones such great gaming devices. Even the weight (a hefty 239g) is identical. But if you think about it, Asus is constrained by the fact that the ROG Phone 7 must be compatible with older gaming accessories designed for past ROG Phones.
There's one small change. There are now pogo pins next to the USB-C port on the left side of the RPG Phone 7. They are used by the built-in subwoofer in the new AeroActive Cooler 7 (S$179). This external cooler accessory is included with the higher-end ROG Phone 7 Ultimate (S$1,899). I didn't manage to test it, but Asus says the AeroActive 7's subwoofer improves the overall bass by 77%. Under the hood, there are plenty of upgrades, albeit ones that may not matter to most consumers. For instance, the ROG Phone 7 supports Wi-Fi 7, which is launching in a year or two. The phone is also IP54 dust and splash resistant compared with IPX4 previously. The front camera now packs more pixels (32MP, up from 12MP). The excellent 6.78-inch AMOLED screen has a higher peak brightness, though the refresh rate still tops out at 165Hz.
But since the ROG Phone 7 is all about gaming performance, the most important upgrade here is its Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. This flagship Qualcomm chip, produced 5,517 (Multi-Core score) in Geekbench 6 compared with 4,951 (ROG Phone 6). But the iPhone 14 Plus is slightly faster (5,746). But unlike the iPhone, the ROG Phone 7 breezed through the demanding 3DMark Wild Life Extreme Stress Test with near-perfect results. Performance levels barely dipped throughout the stress test, while the temperature peaked at 47 degrees Celsius, similar to the ROG Phone 6 (48 degrees). And this is without the cooling fan accessory. In other words, the ROG Phone 7 doesn't disappoint here.
Like its predecessor, the Asus ROG Phone 7 can last a couple of days of light use — if you're not gaming. It also has 65W fast charging, which is a necessity given its massive 6,000mAh battery. In our video-loop playback test, the phone managed 22hr 38min, which is slightly better than last year's model. One last thing: The ROG Phone 7 costs S$100 more than the previous version. But if you're looking to change to a new phone for mobile gaming, the Asus' ROG Phone 7 should be at the top of your list. ROG Phone 6 owners, though, do not need to upgrade. Get it now from Lazada, Shopee, and Amazon SG.
Note: Review unit provided by Asus.
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