Gaming

ASUS ROG Phone 5 Series now official

Yes. Series. There’s more than one.

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ROG Phone 5

ASUS ROG just keeps upping the ante on their gaming smartphone. On its fourth iteration, the ROG Phone 5 (yes, it’s the fourth on the series despite the name), is as powerful as ever and now there’s three of them: ROG Phone 5, ROG Phone 5 Pro, and ROG Phone 5 Ultimate. 

The upgrades mostly come in all the places that matter, but there’s also a new feature that takes inspiration from one of their gaming laptops. 😉

Still a specs beast

Let’s start with the things that all three members of the ROG Phone 5 series have in common — they’re all spec monsters. Here’s a quick and easy look at the kind of power and performance they’re packing:

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G processor

Snapdragon Elite Gaming allows for  ultra-smooth play at the highest possible HDR quality levels, with desktop-level capabilities. It also debuts Qualcomm Game Quick Touch that gives up to a 20 percent increase in touch responsiveness and lower latency.

There’s also a 35 percent increase in GPU performance and 25 percent in CPU performance. These are numbers based on ASUS ROG’s tests.

Upgraded GameCool 5 cooling system 

GameCool 5 now has an optimum thermal structure featuring a centered CPU with the battery split into two parts, one located on each side of the CPU. This ensures the heat generated by the CPU is transferred to all the edges and corners of the chassis simultaneously for higher thermal efficiency.

The reshaped 3D vapor chamber and extensive graphite sheets also help to spread the heat evenly across the device to reduce heat build-up in the middle.

The completely revamped AeroActive Cooler 5 now intakes and expels more air directly onto the center of the phone — right where the CPU is –to drop CPU temperature. A little bummer though, as this will no longer come as a default accessory unlike in past models.

Armoury Crate new performance manager 

The X Mode now has multiple system profiles to cater to a variety of settings and performance tuning tools. This lets users put to all of the phone’s RAM to good use. Speaking of RAM, the ROG Phone 5 Ultimate is seriously packing with its 18GB LPDDR5 RAM. Intense.

A performance display

The series has a 6.78” Samsung AMOLED display. For the refresh rate, it’s a whopping 144Hz and has a touch sampling rate of 300Hz. That’s super smooth and ultra-low touch latency.

The screen is also made with the toughest Corning Gorilla Glass Victus. It also has an always-on HDR tech that improves non-HDR visuals.

Battery king

The ROG Phone has always been a long-lasting device. That remains true with the ROG Phone 5. It has a 6,000mAh battery but now, ROG also made a few tweaks so it saves energy when it needs to.

These come in the form of software optimizations that limit the power consumption of inactive apps. ASUS says this gives up to 67 percent of power savings. There’s also charging improvements like a charging upper limit, steady charging, enhanced scheduled charging.

Speaking charging, there’s a bundled 65W HyperCharge adapter. They didn’t provide an estimate on how fast it goes from zero to 100 but 65W should be pretty fast even for a 6,000mAh battery.

ROG Phone 5

New to ROG Phone 5 Pro and Ultimate — ROG Vision

Do you remember the AniMe Matrix on the ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14? The ROG Phone 5 Pro and Ultimate have something like that. It’s called the ROG Vision.

It functions similarly in that it gives another layer of personalization through an extra display at the back of the phone but this one isn’t built with mini-LED lights.

The ROG Phone 5 Pro features a color ROG Vision display, while the ROG Phone 5 Ultimate has a monochrome version.

Even more gaming centric features

ROG put extra care in making sure the ROG Phone 5 gives more control to the user. The AirTrigger 5 now gives the player four distinct ways to interact with the phone. Put the AeroActive Cooler 5 on and you get two extra physical buttons for a close-to-console gaming experience.

It also supports 10 different motion controls. ASUS cites a racing game as a scenario. Gamers can swivel the phone to steer or pull it towards them to brake. It might take a while to get used to but these seem like thoughtful additions.

Pro and Ultimate 

Naturally the Pro and Ultimate versions have more to offer. Both versions of the ROG Phone 5 have hidden rear touch sensors which provide L2/R2-like functions similar to most game controllers.

GameFX audio

Rounding up the gaming experience is the audio. The ROG Phone 5 series now incorporates symmetrical seven-magnet dual speakers for truly balanced stereo sound effects. There’s also a 3.5 mm headphone jack, and a hi-fi-grade ESS DAC for lossless audio processing.

The AudioWizard audio-tuning app has also been completely revamped to optimize sound for different audio styles, including Game, Cinema, and Music settings.

Themes and customization 

Like previous ROG Phones, you get the option to have the gamer-centric UI or the more toned down material design look. ASUS also partnered with some of the most popular game titles for different theme packs to give you more ways to spruce up the ROG Phone 5’s looks.

ROG Phone 5

Colors, Configurations, and Pricing

ROG Phone 5

  • Phantom Black and Storm White
  • Up to 16GB RAM/ 256GB ROM
  • Starts at EUR 799
  • March 2021

ROG Phone 5 Pro

  • Phantom Black
  • Up to 16GB RAM/ 512GB ROM
  • Starts at EUR 1199
  • April 2021

ROG Phone 5 Ultimate

  • Storm White
  • Up to 18GB RAM/ 512GB ROM
  • Starts at EUR 1299
  • May 2021

E3 2021

Razer unveils its new Raptor 27 gaming monitor

Higher refresh rate, and more RGB to boot

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During Day 3 of E3 2021, Razer kept their announcements simple and straight to the point. Apart from the new laptop and portable charger, the company also unveiled a new iteration of their gaming monitor. If you’re a big fan of RGB setups, the new Razer Raptor 27 might just be the monitor for you.

The new Razer Raptor 27 comes in a similar form factor as its predecessor, with an RGB base at the bottom. Unlike its predecessor, it now comes with a 165Hz refresh rate and a 1ms response rate. For competitive gamers, this is a huge plus to capture higher frame rates without missing a beat. Also, with a 95 percent DCI-P3 color gamut, you can expect more vibrant colors suited for creatives, as well.

Another feature that creatives will also appreciate is that the Razer Raptor 27 is now THX-certified. This means that the 27-inch IPS display will project stunning picture quality according to how creators intended them to. Along with Razer’s Synapse 3 software, you will also be able to control its settings for your preferred viewing experience.

The Razer Raptor 27 will be available early Q3 2021 at US$ 799.99.

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E3 2021

Nintendo announces the arrival of Metroid Dread

After sixteen years of lingering, Samus Aran is back

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Metroid Dread

Nintendo kicked off the final day of E3 2021 with a ton of game releases on deck. Apart from a couple of games getting ports for the Nintendo Switch, there were a handful of new releases to watch out for. One of these is a return to the old days of 2D-style movement and the return of Samus herself in Metroid Dread.

The game serves as the mainline series’ fifth installment, following Metroid Fusion. Although, it suffered through sixteen years of “development hell” since its inception in 2005. Originally, Nintendo planned Metroid Dread for a Nintendo DS release but the technology had its limitations at the time. Now, under both Nintendo and MercurySteam, it will return for the Nintendo Switch nineteen years after Fusion‘s release.

In this game, Samus sets on a mission to uncover a mystery behind the supposedly surviving X Parasites from the events of Fusion. Initally, the Galactic Federation dispatched a unit of E.M.M.I. robots to investigate, but disappeared upon arrival. Samus’ adventure rages on as Metroid Dread will be available on October 8, 2021.

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Gaming

Zelda: Breath of the Wild Sequel trailer breakdown

The trailer has fans guessing

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Remember Breath of the Wild? I don’t know. Just the single most amazing open-world game Nintendo published? Yeah, well, we’re all collectively getting a sequel come 2022 with Nintendo tickling us with their The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 (Not the official title yet, by the way) trailer.

Nothing screams new and improved like a new hair-do. The trailer features Link’s sweet new hairdo, abilities, enemies, and corrupted arm. 

Familiar place, new arms

After a shot of ominous red and black goop and a foreboding shot of Zelda falling, Link sky-dives between clouds into floating islands that look just like the last game’s Skyward Sword Skyloft. The scene cuts to him gliding into the Slyloft-like structure at night and him running on a floating islet at sunset.

A sneak peek into Link’s right arm appears from this falling and gliding sequence. Whereby, the arm is reminiscent of the classic Fullmetal Alchemist mechanical arm but with Sheikah technology.

New skills for familiar targets

Link’s new abilities are closely tied to his corrupted arm. And, Nintendo shows these new abilities off by first showing new targets. In the next scene, Link glides by Bokoblins hanging out in a fort built on top of a Stone Talus. Which, effectively combines two enemies in the previous game, into a hellish moving enemy target.

Nintendo then decides to tease us with a quick look-see of Link’s green-glowing corrupted arm. The scene skips to Link mid-climb with a group of enemies sending a spiky ball his way. He quickly reaches out with his corrupted hand; freezes the ball; and rewinds it back up the hill. All while taking out some Bokoblins along the way.

Sheikah Slate, who’s she?

Link’s new abilities build upon his Breath of the Wild skills. From freezing objects (instead of time) to a quick shot of a flamethrower arm, to swimming through obstacles.

We get an allusion to his new abilities with a drop of water ripple back into a droplet. Whereby the shot is of Link swimming through a stone structure and out the other end. We’ll have to wait to see if the arm augments other powers like Magnet, Remote Bomb, and Cryonis. But, so far, Link looks to be bending objects if not through them.

Nintendo is looking to release the sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild some time in 2022. 

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