News Highlights: The ROG Phone 5 could have a dot matrix on the back for Aura Lighting.
The ROG Phone from ASUS is the ultimate gaming phone. It has the most powerful chipset in an Android phone, shoulder buttons, an uninterrupted display, an active cooling attachment, and RGB lighting. The ROG logo that lights up on the back has not changed in 3 generations of ROG Phones that ASUS released, but it looks like the Taiwanese brand will shake things up with the next phone in the series: the ROG Phone 5. (We don’t know exactly what it will be called, but there’s a chance ASUS won’t market it as the ROG Phone 4 given the popularity of the superstition about tetraphobia in East Asian countries.)
Earlier this month, ASUS posted a teaser on its Weibo page hinting at the next ROG Phone launch upcoming. Given the ROG Phone 3 launched in July 2020, the launch of the ROG Phone 5 seems to be happening a little earlier than expected. However, many devices will be released earlier than usual this year, so this is not too surprising. Soon after, ASUS teased the ROG Phone 5, a photo and later a short hands-on video of the alleged device were posted on Weibo. The leaked image and video gave us a first look at the phone’s small secondary display on the back. This small screen appears to support showing game alerts and incoming call notifications.
Now, one list published on the Chinese certification site TENAA shows us the ROG Phone 5 in more detail. On the back we see the number “05” (suggesting that this is indeed the ROG Phone “5”), “REPUBLIC OF GAMERS”, “EST. 2006” (the year the brand was founded), and “TENCENT GAMES.” ASUS has typically offered a modified version of its ROG smartphones in China in partnership with Tencent Games, so we’re probably looking at the Tencent version of the device here, the Tencent model typically compromises on a few internal hardware components to save costs, but the overall design should be comparable to the international model.
We can also see on the back that the area at the bottom left is a dot matrix used for the phone’s Aura Lighting feature. The back image submitted to TENAA shows the ROG logo illuminated, but the lighting can probably be adjusted in the phone’s software. The dot-matrix design on the back of ROG Phone 5 reminds me of the Lightning Armor case that ASUS offers for the ROG Phone 3.
Apart from the aforementioned changes to the rear design, we don’t see many other design changes. The cameras look the same, the dual front-facing speakers are still there, the selfie camera on the right is still there, the display still doesn’t seem to have a notch or hole punch, and the ports still seem to be in the same location . The cover of the SIM card holder has a neat red color, but we’re not sure if that’s an exclusive design change from Tencent.
Not much else is known about the ROG Phone 5. According to the rest of the certification list (H / T @_the_tech_guy), the device has a 6.78-inch OLED display, a dual-cell battery design (2x 3000 mAh batteries), runs on Android 11 and measures 172,834 x 77,252 x 10.29 mm in dimensions. A previous list of certifications revealed that the device supports 65W wired fast charging. We expect it to feature Qualcomm’s flagship Snapdragon 888, ample amounts of RAM and storage, and other flagship-tier hardware.
The ROG Phone 3 was our favorite gaming phone of 2020. With competition from newcomers to the field such as Lenovo and soon Redmi, the ROG Phone 5 will have to debut with exclusive game features that justify its likely high price tag.