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ROG Phone 5: Asus is only partially able to tame the Snapdragon 888

Asus ROG Phone 5
Asus ROG Phone 5
Not only does Qualcomm's Snapdragon 888 have a reputation for being extremely fast, but also for being very hot. Asus has already demonstrated that it can cool its smartphones excellently in the past, but the new chip poses a challenge even for the gaming king.

The review of the Xiaomi Mi 11 already demonstrated in an impressive way that the Snapdragon 888 means business, and some benchmarks were aborted early due to overheating. The Oppo Find X3 Pro does a better job, but the SoC's high performance can't be maintained constantly under prolonged load, and it temporarily drops to the level of a Snapdragon 750G.

However, more can be expected from a gaming smartphone, and the Asus ROG Phone 5 delivers. Nevertheless, it can't achieve a constant performance without the optional AeroCooler 5 plug-in fan, either. The fluctuations are only minimal with the fan, though. Therefore, restrictions are not to be expected in simple games. That being said, the GFXBench battery test revealed another side of the story.

In this case, the Manhattan test (OpenGL ES 3.0) of the benchmark package is run 30 times in a row, and the frame rates are logged alongside the battery runtimes. It's not yet possible to determine how stable the SoC remains in this stress test, because the app crashes when retrieving the results. However, touching the smartphone for the first time after the test results in a minor scare. The inspection with the infrared thermometer shows a high temperature of up to 51.6 °C (~125 °F) for the aluminum frame of the ROG Phone 5. That's too high! And this can surely be reproduced when playing demanding titles, not to mention in the summer.

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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > Reviews > ROG Phone 5: Asus is only partially able to tame the Snapdragon 888
Daniel Schmidt, 2021-04-17 (Update: 2021-04-15)