Since the ROG Phone’s introduction, they have dominated the gaming smartphone segment, offering gamers flagship level mobile gaming experience relative to their price point. In fact, other brands have caught on and started to release their own gaming smartphones at different price points to cater to this niche.
However, lately that line has since been blurred as flagship smartphones now offer great mobile gaming experiences as well, to the point there is little differentiation between them in this generation when it comes to hardware specifications.
It begs the question whether gaming smartphones can offer anything else to set themselves apart.
Enter the ROG Phone 7 series.
ROG Phone 7 Specifications
|Model||ROG Phone 7|
|Dimensions||173 x 77 x 10.3 mm|
|Processor||CPU: Qualcomm SM8550-AB Snapdragon 8 Gen 2|
GPU: Adreno 740
|RAM||12GB / 16GB|
|Storage||256GB / 512GB|
1,000 nits (HBM)
1,500 nits (peak)
1080 x 2448 pixels
|Camera (Front)||32MP, f/2.5|
|Camera (Rear)||Main Camera: 50 MP, f/1.9, 1/1.56″, PDAF|
Ultrawide Camera: 13 MP, f/2.2
Macro Camera: 5 MP, f/2.0
|Operating System||Android 13|
|Battery and Charging||6,000mAh|
65W wired charging
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e/7|
USB Type-C 3.1 (side), DisplayPort 1.4
USB Type-C 2.0 (bottom), OTG
|Biometrics||Under display fingerprint reader|
What’s In The Box?
- ROG Phone 7
- Protective case
- 65W charger
- USB Type-C to Type-C charging cable
- User guide
You can get the ROG Phone 7 in two colour options: Phantom Black and Storm White. It has a distinct gamer-esque design, heavily featuring ROG’s word mark, logo and RGB lighting effects at the back.
For starters, the back comes in a two tone finish, with the top half being in translucent black, and the bottom half featuring a matte finish. You can also find a few easter eggs at the back, such as the GPS coordinates of the ASUS headquarters in Taiwan, and a “For Those Who Dare” slogan. The camera housing has a slight bump, with a red ring prominently surrounding the main camera.
The right side of the phone houses the power buttons, volume rockers, and air triggers. At the bottom, you will find the USB Type-C 2.0 charging port and a 3.5mm audio jack. The side-mounted USB Type-C 3.1 port, SIM tray and accessory connector are located at the left.
Unlike other flagship smartphones that come with QHD+ displays, ROG Phone 7 has opted for a 1080p+ AMOLED panel with an aspect ratio of 20.4:9. While it may seem like a downgrade, there are benefits of using a lower resolution display. For instance, lower resolutions displays are easier to run on the GPU side, allowing for better graphical performance and higher frame rates. Speaking of refresh rate, ASUS has bumped it to 165Hz, which is by far the fastest display in current gen smartphones.
You also get to choose between four colour profiles plus one custom profile. I find Optimal to have slightly more vibrant colours, while natural covers more colour range. Cinematic mode seems to target the DCI-P3 colour space, while Standard is closer to the sRGB space. Either way, all four presets looked great to me, although I find myself leaning towards Cinematic mode.
In terms of real world display performance, the ROG Phone 7’s display is reasonably sharp when playing videos or displaying images. Sunlight legibility is excellent too thanks to its 1,500 nits peak brightness.
While gaming, the screen felt buttery smooth, similar to what you would expect from gaming monitors.
The ROG Phone 7 comes equipped with triple camera system featuring a 50MP main camera with PDAF, 13 MP ultrawide, and a 5 MP macro. From the looks of it, it seemed like the camera system is a carry-over from the ROG Phone 6.
The main camera, while not flagship level, can still capture sharp and detailed photos under good lighting. You have to pay attention to the shutter speed as the camera does not come with OIS.
The ultrawide is competent but not stellar. Sure, it will deliver when you need to take an ultrawide shot, but it won’t blow you away. The same goes to the macro camera, which has a pretty close minimum zoom distance of about 4~5cm, but the result is nothing to shout about.
Overall, the camera is pretty much on par with mid-range smartphones rather than flagships.
The ROG Phone 7 runs on Android 13 with either a stock Android option, or an “ASUS Optimised” mode. Even with ASUS’ skin on, I appreciate the largely stock Android experience, as ASUS only tweaks how certain aspects of the UI behaves, such as audio level controls, lock screen clock placement, and quick settings panel. You can also mix and match between the two, which I think is a nice touch.
The main draw of the phone’s UI is the Armoury Crate app. Not only it can display system info such as processor clock speed and temperatures. You can also access your game library, change performance profiles, and configure the RGB lighting effects at the back.
By default, you get to choose between 4 presets: Ultra Durable, Dynamic and X-Mode. Ultra durable is an efficiency mode to extend battery life, Dynamic adapts to the application it is running, and X-Mode prioritises performance.
The ROG Phone 7 is well equipped in the performance department. It boasts a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset and the base model comes with 12GB of RAM.
|Geekbench 6 CPU Compute||Single Core: 1,894|
Multi Core: 5,501
|Geekbench 6 GPU Compute||OpenCL Score: 8,829|
|3DMark Wild Life||Maxed Out|
|Passmark Work 3.0||20,099|
The benchmark results are promising, showing overall performance on par with current gen flagship smartphones. It does perform better with X-Mode on, scoring higher than even the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.
In real world performance terms, the ROG Phone 7 can breeze through most tasks, including video and image editing. I managed to run it with more than 20 apps in the background with no issues, provided I am not running 20 games at once.
Let’s now focus on the key selling feature of the ROG Phone 7: gaming performance. It excels in gaming performance, making the most out of its fast 165hz display and flagship processor.
I’ve been consistently able to hit high frame for most competitive titles, such as MLBB and PUBG mobile, the touch sampling rate ensures lower latency making input feel snappy, especially when trying to land those pesky headshots.
The Air Triggers also come in handy for first person shooters in particular. I could map it to an on-screen button, freeing my thumbs to perform other tasks. Supported games also come with preset profiles, so that I didn’t have to map them manually.
The ROG Phone 7 comes with twin front firing speakers, designed to face the user. I think this design makes sense considering that gamers tend to hold the sides of the phone horizontally and their palms could block the side firing speakers.
The volume can get quite loud, which is great if you want to be more immersed in your game. Mid-bass response is excellent, while the mids and treble sounded warm. At higher volumes, it tends to muddy up a bit but its still quite useable.
Thermal performance is excellent, even without the AeroActive Cooler 7 which is sold separately. Under prolonged gaming load, it could stay below 50°C for both CPU and GPU.
Another contributor to heat would be battery charging, especially for fast chargers. The ROG Phone 7 has bypass charging, allowing power to directly supply the smartphone to minimise heat generation.
Battery life on the ROG Phone 7 is excellent. I can easily achieve more than two days of battery life with moderate use. If I am more conservative with my battery usage, I could extend the battery life to up to 3 days.
Complimenting the large 6,000mAh battery is the included 65W fast charger, which can recharge the phone in slightly more than an hour.
The ROG Phone 7 delivers on what a gaming smartphone should be: fast gaming performance, intuitive gaming features, and stellar battery life.
However, we have to address the elephant in the flagship smartphone room. In terms of hardware specifications, most flagship smartphones are on par with the ROG Phone 7. For instance, the OnePlus 11 is competing at the same price segment and offers a better camera system.
Hence, I would recommend the ROG Phone 7 if all you care about is gaming performance, and camera quality is just a “good to have” for you. Regardless, the ROG Phone 7 is a compelling gaming smartphone, especially considering the price of RM3,599 for the 12GB + 256GB model, and RM4,299 for the 16GB + 512GB model.
To learn more about the ROG Phone 7, please visit the official product page here.