Asus ROG Phone 7 | Ultimate Guide

With the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate, Asus is launching an extravagant gaming smartphone whose features are clearly aimed at gamers. But those who often demand maximum performance from their smartphone might also like it because only Asus can run the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 at its maximum all the time.

Asus has released a larger day-one patch for the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate in preparation for the market launch. The update fixes problems with the loading and lighting of the AeroActive Cooler and should improve the system stability of the external cooler.

Fixed an issue for the AirTriggers that could cause them to become unresponsive in games. There is also a new gesture for the AirTrigger with “Press and Hold” to remove notifications.

The AirTriggers also receive numerous presets for games such as Genshin Impact, Diablo: Immortal, Call of Duty Mobile, PUBG Mobile, Torchlight: Infinite, Brawl Stars, Guardian Tales, and Arena of Valor. Macros have also been stored for Genshin Impact, Diablo: Immortal, Torchlight: Infinite, Guardian Tales, and Arena of Valor.

Asus calls for at least 999 euros

Asus is again launching two versions of the ROG Phone 7: the ROG Phone 7 and the tested ROG Phone 7 Ultimate, which is also listed below. The ROG Phone 7 starts at 999 euros with 12 GB RAM and 256 GB storage, and the version with 16 GB and 512 GB is 1,199 euros.

The ROG Phone 7 Ultimate with 16 GB and 512 GB, including a cooler and a correspondingly adapted housing, costs 1,399 euros and is therefore 100 euros more than the ROG Phone 6 Pro (test) last year.

ROG Phone 7 Ultimate comes with maximum equipment

The chassis of the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate is only equipped with the AeroActive Portal 7. This is an opening in the case that is automatically opened by the smartphone whenever the AeroActive Cooler 7 included in the Ultimate model is connected.

This allows the external cooling solution to blow cold air directly into the smartphone and over the front and display. The AeroActive Portal first appeared on the ROG Phone 6D Ultimate, which runs on the MediaTek Dimensity 9000+ (benchmark).

The small OLED display on the back

In addition, only the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate has an additional OLED display on the back, on which customizable graphics can be displayed, for example for incoming calls or games. The normal ROG Phone 7, on the other hand, has a ROG logo illuminated in RGB colors on the back.

ROG Phone 7 Ultimate specs

It features the aforementioned rear display that screams “I’m a gaming phone! Asus isn’t holding back on who the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate is aimed at. Starting with the packaging, continuing with the extravagant spaceship design, the color “Storm White” and the countless lettering on the device, and ending with the accessories and the software functions:

The ROG Phone 7 Ultimate embodies everything that the decision-makers at Asus consider important for the target group of gamers. This will certainly not appeal to every user, but Asus obviously does not want to appeal to every user with this smartphone.

In this respect, the polarizing design was by no means wrongly chosen. After all, if a manufacturer is already devoting itself to a niche, why not do it right away with 200 percent?

Despite this orientation, with the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate, you get a high-quality mobile device that is very well manufactured, leaves a stable impression, and offers features such as an aluminum frame or Gorilla Glass 3 on the back and Gorilla Glass Victus on the front – features, how do they just expect from a high-end There is even an IP54 certification.

so there is protection against dust and splashing water, although submersion is not possible.

Asus offers all kinds of connections

If you value a lot of ports on a smartphone and have recently been rather disappointed with other manufacturers, the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate is the right choice. For example, there is still a 3.5 mm jack on the underside, and two Cirrus Logic CS35L45 are responsible for the audio output.

Right next to it is one of the two USB-C interfaces, which is only designed as USB-C 2.0 with support for Qualcomm Quick Charge 3.0 and USB-PD 3.0. However, USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 including DisplayPort 1.4, Quick Charge 3.0, 5.0, and USB-PD 3.0 is also available on the side of the smartphone.

In the SIM compartment, which is also mounted on the side, there is space for two nano-SIMs for dual-SIM operation. A memory expansion using a MicroSD card, however, is not provided.

AirTrigger for 14 additional touchpoints

Not recognizable at first glance are the AirTriggers on the side of the power button, which are ultrasonic sensor buttons that act as shoulder buttons in games, for example. But that’s not all, because, in connection with the AirTriggers, up to 14 additional touch points can be defined on the display, which can be triggered using various key combinations, as explained in the pictures below.

In addition, the ROG Phone 7 “Press & Lift” is new, so the triggered actions for pressing the AirTrigger and lifting the finger can differ. Aiming via the smartphone’s gyroscope is also new. A crosshair can also be added as an overlay in games that normally do not display a crosshair.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 with known structure

Asus uses the latest chip from Qualcomm for the ROG Phone 7 (Ultimate): the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. Unlike Samsung, which received an adapted version of the chip for the Galaxy S23 series, which has a higher clock for the Prime core and the GPU, Asus has to be content with the standard model, which all other manufacturers also have access to.

That means: 1x Cortex-X3, 2x Cortex-A715, 2x Cortex-A710 and 3x Cortex-A510R paired with Adreno 740 GPU. However, the ROG Phone 7 has its tricks up its sleeve, with the help of which the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 still offers more performance than the devices of the competition, especially under continuous load.

The chip doesn’t make a gaming smartphone yet

The crux of practically all gaming smartphones is that all Android providers cook with the same ingredients – be it the chips from Qualcomm, MediaTek, or Samsung. And why shouldn’t an iPhone 14 Pro also be a gaming smartphone when the A16 Bionic also offers a lot of performance?

The providers of smartphones explicitly aimed at gamers, therefore, have to look for other solutions, such as a striking design or, as with the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate, sophisticated cooling.

Elaborately designed cooling

Similar to the ROG Phone 6 Pro, Asus again relies on an internal structure that is more like a tablet. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 sits in the center of the smartphone, with the two batteries on the left and right, which together provide 6,000 mAh.

Two PCBs are installed in the ROG Phone 7, which are divided into the primary mainboard with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and another board for the RF components and are connected to each other via an interposer.

Asus fills the air gap between the two boards with around 3.3 g of boron nitride heat-conducting paste since air is extremely poor at transferring heat. A revised Rapid Cycle Vapor Chamber should provide further improvements in heat dissipation, the heat dissipation of which has been improved by 110 percent according to Asus. New return channels and a Y-shaped capillary structure within the heat pipe with a radius of 0.7 mm improve thermal effectiveness by 168 percent.

The overall construction is mounted with two newly designed graphite sheets above the vapor chamber on the display side and below the PCB with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 in the housing. The AeroActive Cooler 7 with access to the AeroActive Portal 7 sits on top of this and brings fresh air into and around the case.

ROG Phone 7 Ultimate benchmark

And now? Was all this effort worth it or is there more marketing than useful measures in the concept? On the contrary: The ROG Phone 7 Ultimate consistently achieves very high performance, which remains almost free of thermal throttling, even without the external cooler. No other smartphone tested by the editors to date delivers such high performance over the long term.

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy has more peak performance

However, the peak performance of the smartphone first shows that Asus can only deliver the maximum performance with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, which other manufacturers also deliver with the same processor.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra (test) is occasionally slightly faster because the overclocked For-Galaxy version of the chip has marginal advantages in peak single-core CPU performance and on the GPU side. But with 16 GB of LPDDR5X and 512 GB of the very fast UFS 4.0, Asus occasionally squeezes ahead of Samsung in terms of peak performance.

The ROG Phone 7 Ultimate shines under constant load

Under constant load, the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate shows how well the cooling concept developed by Asus works and how long the highest performance can be maintained: practically always.

ComputerBase has put the smartphone through the stress tests several times and two additional benchmarks with an even stronger load added, but the smartphone didn’t stagger. The 3DMark Wild Life Unlimited Stress Test shows how the Galaxy S23 Ultra initially performs better than the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate due to the slightly higher clocked Adreno 740 GPU with 719 instead of 680 MHz but then improves as the test progresses had to admit defeat, although it once again reached the starting level at the end.

The ROG Phone 7 Ultimate, on the other hand, marches through the test unimpressed with almost always the same result. The temperature of the smartphone determined by the benchmark was between 25 and 28 °C. In GFXBench Manhattan in the 1080p offscreen resolution using OpenGL ES 3.1.

The ROG Phone 7 Ultimate draws a similarly stable picture and not only ends up in front of the Galaxy S23 Ultra from the start but also produces a deviation of only 2 FPS in the test, which in this case is less than 1 percent.

In order to push the smartphone more, the same stress test was carried out with the newer GFXBench Aztec Ruins in high quality in 1440p, whereby the same result was always delivered with a consistent 69 fps in all runs.

In 4K, a 2 percent drop can be provoked

If you want to shake up the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate a bit, you have to bring out the heavy artillery in the form of the 3DMark Wild Life Extreme Stress Test. In contrast to the 3DMark Wild Life Unlimited Stress Test, this one is rendered in 2160p instead of 1440p.

Only with this test was it possible to provoke a minimal “performance drop” and the highest temperatures to date. The performance dropped by 2 percent later in the test, the temperature was between 28 and 48 °C. The ROG Phone 7 Ultimate can also be pushed to the limits. But you have to force this situation and look for a needle in a haystack.

AeroActive Cooler 7 cools smartphones and hands

The included AeroActive Cooler 7 can correct this small drop in performance in no time at all. Once strapped around the smartphone, the cooler with an integrated fan and Peltier element ensure a constant flow of air around the case and into the smartphone via the AeroActive Portal 7, which opens automatically as soon as the cooler is active.

To clean the portal, it can also be opened without the cooler via the Asus Armory Crate app, in which all other gaming settings for the mobile device are also made. The cooler also provides four more buttons, bringing their number to a total of 18 including the AirTrigger.

Of course, the cooler also offers additional RGB lighting. The AeroActive Cooler 7 can be operated with four settings, with “Intelligent” automatically regulating the intensity depending on the load and thus the temperature of the smartphone.

With “Cool” you get a constantly fast airflow, with “Frosty” an even faster one with an active Peltier element, and with “Frozen” an even faster-rotating fan. At this last level, the fan can be described as quite loud.

The strongest mode is only available when a power adapter is connected, although the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate was very picky in this regard and only wanted to work with the USB PD power adapter from Asus – only in relation to this one function.

Cooling modes of the AeroActive Cooler 7

The small descent in the previous stress test can already be eliminated with the “Cool” level and the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate also runs through this benchmark unimpressed.

The 3DMark reports significantly reduced temperatures with a maximum of 42 °C. On the “Frosty” level it was still 40 °C and finally only 38 °C with “Frozen”. The AeroActive Cooler 7 thus delivers a measurable effect, which is greatest on the first level.

A fan blows across the front

Nice side effects of the cooler are the recently reduced temperatures on the front since the current generation of the cooler has a new outlet on the top and thus ensures a slight airflow over the screen, which can be pleasant during longer gaming sessions.

In addition, Asus has given the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate a small subwoofer above the cooler, which, in combination with the two stereo speakers facing the front, ensures a solid soundscape with a comparatively large amount of depth – within the scope of what is possible with a smartphone.

If you play with headphones, you can attach them to the cooler via an additional connection at the bottom, so that no cable protrudes out of the device on the right and potentially interferes there. Different sound profiles can be defined via a Dirac app.

Asus doesn’t skimp on the fast UFS 4.

0 The ROG Phone 7 Ultimate ranWith UFS 4.0 as the internal storage standard, it also achieves a lot of performance elsewhere. ComputerBase was able to benchmark UFS 4.0 for the first time in the Galaxy S23, where the memory scored with a very high sequential read rate, but a comparatively poor sequential write rate.

In the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate with 512 GB, however, the UFS 4.0 is extremely fast across the board and delivers 3.4 GB/s in read, 3.0 GB/s in write, and 450 MB/s and 550 MB/s in random read respectively writing. In contrast to Samsung, you get the full potential of the new technology for around 1,400 euros.

The new OLED display is 30 percent brighter

Asus has also upgraded the screen, which still works with 1,080 × 2,448 pixels on 6.78 inches at up to 165 Hz, but now achieves a significantly higher peak brightness. Users benefit from this, especially in outdoor use and with HDR.

Instead of 784, 1,013 cd/m² was measured with full-screen white (100 percent APL), which corresponds to an increase of 29 percent. With a reduced APL of 20 percent, even 1,401 cd/m² was possible, with only 10 percent APL, 1,480 cd/m² were determined by the measuring device.

Only Apple and Samsung currently deliver a little more. Asus once again forgoes a cut-out in the display for the front camera so that the gamer only gets the full screen for the content.

In turn, the bezels are a bit wider than other high-end smartphones, but Asus uses the space for front-facing stereo speakers, the mentioned 32 MP camera that pixel-bins to 8 MP, and a status LED.

6,000 mAh battery delivers long runtimes

The smartphone’s energy supply comes from the 6000 mAh battery mentioned in the construction of the chassis, which Asus distributes in two energy stores of 3000 mAh each on both sides of the smartphone.

The manufacturer had already proven with the ROG Phone 6 Pro that it could achieve very good battery life. The ROG Phone 7 Ultimate seamlessly continues this impression and also convinces with very long runtimes in the test.

In the productive PCMark 3.0, however, the smartphone does not quite reach the runtimes of the predecessor, although 15:25 hours is still a very good value. That’s 9 percent more than the Galaxy S23 Ultra lasted in the same test at a calibrated 200 cd/m², but the ROG Phone 6 Pro had an additional 12 percent longer runtimes.

However, the current model then grabs the predecessor when streaming YouTube via Wi-Fi 5 in the same room with the same brightness. At 25:10 hours, the bottom line is the best value ever determined by ComputerBase. That’s an hour more than Samsung’s previous leader.

65-watt power adapter with USB Power Delivery

While more and more manufacturers, even in the high-end segment, are doing without power adapters in the scope of delivery and only include USB or Lightning cables, Asus continues to deliver the ROG Phone 7 (Ultimate) with a power adapter.

The 65-watt model can fully charge the smartphone within 42 minutes. Asus relies on USB Power Delivery, whereby the power adapter not only has a maximum of 65 watts (20 V/3.25 A) but also outputs 15 watts (5 V/3 A), 27 watts (9 V/3 A), 36 watts (12V/3A) and 45 watts (15V/3A) supported.

In PPS Fast Charging (“Programmable Power Supply”), which can change the voltage and current in real-time by delivering the maximum power based on the charging status of a device, and the 2017 USB-IF to USB-PD 3. 0 Standard was added, the power supply variably supports 3.3 to 11 V at 5 A or 3.3 to 21 V at 3.25 A for a maximum of 65 watts.

The smartphone comes with a comparatively long USB-C cable of 1.8 m, which also scores with high-quality workmanship and woven sheathing, which is normally only known by third-party providers.

Android with two or four years of updates

On the software side, Asus relies on Android 13 with its own ROG UI attachment, which primarily affects the look in areas such as the colors of the menu design or the app icons, but apart from device-specific settings, it corresponds to a regular Android.

If desired, users can choose between this UI and a standard Android, as found on other Asus or Google smartphones.

According to Asus, the ROG Phone will be supplied with new Android main versions for two years from the start of sales and with Android security patches for four years. In view of the price of 1,399 euros for the Ultimate model, the editors believe that this supply is not sufficient, especially for the main versions.

Surprisingly good triple camera

With a gaming smartphone, the camera may not be the direct focus of the purchase, but Asus wants to deliver solid results in this area as well. The manufacturer relies on this rear triple camera whose primary sensor is based on the Sony IMX766, which combines 50 MP at 1/1.56″ and outputs it at 12.5 MP after 4:1 pixel binning.

The same sensor is used for Example in the Nothing Phone (1) (test) used, which can be found in the following image gallery next to the Samsung Galaxy A54 (test) and the Google Pixel 7 (test).

The second lens is an ultra wide-angle camera with 13 MP and a 125-degree field of view, which automatically corrects distortions at the edges of the A third camera is responsible for macro photos with 5 MP.

Although the editors did not necessarily expect particularly good results from the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate given the orientation of the smartphone, the recordings are quite impressive and can compete with the competitors mentioned or even beat them.

Asus delivers high-quality day and night shots across the board, moving more towards a Pixel 7 in level, leaving Samsung and Nothing behind. Clear recordings with good HDR dynamics and neutral colors are on the plus side of the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate, and the performance at night is also impressive with little noise and a great display of even the finest details on buildings or in the sky.

Only the selfie camera is not entirely convincing and produces pictures that lack liveliness.

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