Asus ROG Phone 7 Unboxing & Hands-on: The Consistent Android Gaming Phone
April 18, 2023 Andrew Cheng

Over the years, we saw the release of many, many gaming phones, but just as many of them don’t see more than a few iterations. Lenovo, for example, ended its line of Legion-branded gaming phones, and things don’t look particularly great for Black Shark either.

But one gaming phone brand remains consistent over the years: Asus. Initially launched back in 2018, the Taiwanese company’s gaming phones have remained popular in the segment. Of course, the latest Asus ROG Phone 7 and Phone 7 Ultimate look to continue the brand’s dominance in the market, and I received the former for this unboxing and hands-on – and eventual review, of course.

Without further ado, let’s get to it!

The packaging of the standard ROG Phone 7 isn’t quite as elaborate as the Ultimate version. It comes in a regular box – albeit with some neat-looking, “gamery” designs – and underneath the box is the phone itself in a plastic covering.

Naturally, a 65W charger is bundled with the ROG Phone 7 to complement its 65W fast charging capability. Also provided is a plastic case that has cutouts to show the illuminated ROG logo and lighting element on the back of the gaming phone.

Speaking of which, the back panel of the ROG Phone 7 is different depending on the colourway. For this Phantom Black model, there’s a nice dual-tone finish that separates the two halves of the phone. The bottom portion has a matte finish, while the top features a glossy surface with “translucent elements.”

The so-called translucent elements don’t look particularly convincing on the Storm White ROG Phone 7, which has a full matte finish without the glossy portion. Personally, I prefer the aesthetics of the Phantom Black model for this reason, though I do wish it had the Storm White’s non-pixelated ROG logo instead.

Nonetheless, on paper, the ROG Phone 7 brings a few notable upgrades compared to its predecessor. These include a faster Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, a brighter AMOLED display with a fast 165Hz refresh rate, a 32MP selfie camera, and even WiFi 7 support…despite the fact that the standard isn’t even widely used yet.

Anyway, let’s talk about the gaming performance of the ROG Phone 7. As usual, I fire up Genshin Impact to see how the phone handles the demanding mobile game, and unsurprisingly, it can maintain a steady 60fps frame rate will the graphics settings maxed out.

That being said, there are some small stutters as I go around the game’s open world, but for the most part, there’s no denying that Genshin Impact runs great on this phone, courtesy of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip.

Next, we have the 6.78-inch 2448 x 1080 AMOLED display of the ROG Phone 7. It’s a bright screen with punchy, saturated colours, and the high 165Hz refresh rate is noticeably faster (though not by a huge margin) than 120Hz panels found on most modern flagship phones. Suffice to say it’s a great display for both gaming and content consumption.

Battery life has always been a strong suit for Asus’ ROG Phones, so it’s no surprise that the 6,000mAh battery of the ROG Phone 7 continues to deliver long battery life. So far, I’m comfortably getting over seven hours of screen on time with about 15% of battery left.

In fact, compared to last year’s model, it feels like the ROG Phone 7 offers even better battery life.

Last but not least is the camera performance of the ROG Phone 7. While I don’t have a lot of expectations in this regard – given that this is a gaming-centric phone – I’m pleasantly surprised by the image quality of the triple camera system. It’s made up of a 50MP primary shooter, a 13MP ultra-wide angle sensor, and an 8MP macro lens.

Under good lighting, both the 50MP main camera and 13MP ultra-wide sensor can take good-looking shots. Image quality does take a hit in low light conditions, though they still perform relatively well, as you can see in the sample shots below. Rest assured, I will put the camera through its paces in the full review.

As far as first impressions go, the Asus ROG Phone 7 has the makings of a premium, proper gaming smartphone for 2023. Even though there’s no major design changes, it’s quite a bit better than its predecessor in terms of performance, display, and camera capability.

The ROG Phone 7 is set to be launched in Malaysia next month on 10 May, so its local pricing will only be revealed then. Once we know how much it costs on our shores, we can better judge its appeal as a high-end gaming phone.