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Asus ROG Phone 7 Review: Even Faster Gaming Phone For the Same Price
May 10, 2023 Andrew Cheng

The Asus ROG Phone 7 isn’t remarkably different from the ROG Phone 6. While it does feature a sleeker-looking design with a dual tone finish, it still has largely the same aesthetics. But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, given that the gaming phone maintains the same RM3,599 starting price as last year’s model.

While the ROG Phone 7 doesn’t see any major design overhaul, it sees quite a bit of change under the hood. Thanks to the faster Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, longer battery life, and a brighter AMOLED display, the ROG Phone 7 is certainly an improvement over its predecessor.

Essentially, it is a better, more powerful gaming phone for the same amount of money, though it still has its fair share of shortcoming.

What It Is

Display6.78-inch FHD+ AMOLED (2448 x 1080), 165Hz
ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 3.19GHz octa-core
GPUAdreno 740
RAM12/16GB
Storage256/512GB, non-expandable
Camera (rear)50MP f/1.9, PDAF
13MP f/2.2 (ultra-wide)
5MP f/2.0 (macro)
Camera (front)32MP f/2.5
Battery
6,000mAh with 65W fast charging
Dimensions173 x 77 x 10.3 mm
Weight
239g
OSAndroid 13
Connectivity5G
LTE
NFC
Bluetooth 5.3
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax/be (2.4/5/6GHz)
USB Type-C
3.5mm headphone jack
PriceRM3,599 (12GB + 256GB), RM4,299 (16GB + 512GB)

The ROG Phone 7 is offered in two variants: the 12GB + 256GB model costs RM3,599, while the 16GB + 512GB configuration – which I am reviewing here – goes for RM4,299. It’s worth noting that this price tag is actually RM100 less than the ROG Phone 6 with similar RAM and storage capacities at launch. Very interesting.

Anyway, hardware wise, there’s no denying that the ROG Phone 7 is a flagship-tier gaming phone through and through. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 can provide excellent gaming performance, the 165Hz AMOLED display is fast and vibrant, and while the 6,000mAh battery is unchanged from its predecessor, it can actually provide better battery life; more on this later.

The Good Stuff

Given that this is a gaming-centric phone, let’s talk about the performance of the ROG Phone 7 first. Needless to say, it’s a fast, very responsive device. I can seamlessly switch between different apps without losing a beat, and it can run even the most demanding games – including Genshin Impact and Honkai: Star Rail – at maxed out graphics settings quite well.

There’s no denying that the ROG Phone 7 is one of the best Android phones to get now if you’re an avid mobile gamer, though I’d argue that the iPhone 14 (or even the iPhone 13) series still offer better raw performance. But then again, not many phones offer the practicality of the ROG Phone 7’s capacitive shoulder buttons, which are still intuitive to use.

Next, we have the 6.78-inch 1080p AMOLED display of the ROG Phone 7. This being an AMOLED panel, it has all the typical traits of the screen technology, including vibrant, punchy colours; wide viewing angles; and most importantly, deep, pitch blacks. Whether I’m gaming or streaming a show, this AMOLED display makes it an enjoyable experience.

The 165Hz refresh rate of the ROG Phone 7 is worth a mention too. Compared to a 120Hz screen typically found on today’s flagship phones, this 165Hz panel is noticeably smoother, though only when I’m comparing them side by side. Nonetheless, there is definitely tangible difference.

And then there’s the excellent battery life of the ROG Phone 7. Throughout the review period, the phone almost never ran out of juice in my typical day of use, which involves a ton of web browsing, content consumption, and of course, gaming. As you can see above, even with seven hours of screen on time, the phone still has 20% battery left – that’s notably better than the ROG Phone 6’s battery life.

Last but not least is the overall design of the ROG Phone 7. I really like the dual tone finish on the back of this Phantom Black model 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,” as Asus puts it.

Compared to the ROG Phone 6, this is certainly a better-looking phone, in my opinion.

The Bad Stuff

At a glance, the camera setup of the Asus ROG Phone 7 is unchanged. It still features a triple camera system with a 50MP primary shooter, a 13MP ultra-wide angle lens, and a 5MP macro sensor. But after putting the camera through its paces, I’m surprised that the gaming phone can actually take better shots over last year’s model.

This is especially evident in more challenging lighting situations. The ROG Phone 7’s 50MP primary camera can finally get the right level of exposure, and the image quality of the 13MP ultra-wide angle shooter is actually quite good…for the most part. As much as I appreciate the improved camera performance, the colour reproduction of both sensors could be better, as you can see below.

On top of that, the ROG Phone 7’s camera feels sluggish in low light conditions, negatively impacting the shooting experience. Because of this, I don’t quite trust the camera to capture the shots I want in every situation. Granted, this is a gaming-centric phone, so camera performance is (likely) not the main focus in its product development.

My last qualm with the ROG Phone 7 is its sheer size. Measuring 173mm tall with a 10.3mm profile, it is taller and chunkier than, say, the (already sizeable) Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. Yes, Asus does make good use of the extra thickness by putting in a large battery into the phone, but that also makes it difficult to put the phone into my pocket sometimes.

Is It Worth It?

For avid mobile gamers that want excellent gaming performance – without going the iPhone route – the Asus ROG Phone 7 is absolutely worth it. Retailing at RM3,599, it doesn’t exactly offer the best value proposition, but that’s the price you have to pay for a high-end gaming phone like this.

While I do wish the ROG Phone 7 had better camera performance with a more streamlined, less chunky design, there is no denying that it is a capable flagship-tier phone that aims to offer the best gaming experience on the go. In this regard, the ROG Phone 7 accomplishes its mission.

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