ROG Phone 5s ROG Phone 5s


ASUS ROG Phone 5s Pro: Ultimate gaming experience



I’ve always wondered what the big deal is with high end gaming smartphones. I mean, you basically just need a capable phone to play the games you want, right? Which means a top-tier smartphone would practically give the same gaming experience you’d get from a gaming phone.

Or so I thought.

My whole perception of gaming phones turned upside down right after trying the new ASUS ROG Phone 5s Pro. If you’re seriously into gaming, better fasten your seat belts. ROG ramps up our mobile gaming experience onto a whole new level with this one.

Interactive Sneak Peek 

ROG Phone 5s

Upon initial setup of the ROG Phone 5s Pro, you already know it’s a different experience. ROG takes us on a ride where we are introduced with the capabilities of the phone through a brief interactive show.

ROG Phone 5s

You’ll see the Akira box it came with come to life through the lens of the phone camera. Asking us to shake, press triggers, point the camera and other maneuvers to acquaint us with the phone. 

Gamer aesthetic 

ROG Phone 5s



The design of the whole device is pure gamer vibe all the way. With red accents, edgy patterns and the ROG Vision screen in the middle. The frame is made of metal material and it genuinely feels like you’re holding something expensive.

While I do prefer my phones to be a little smaller, the ROG Phone 5s Pro’s size feels perfect for gaming. Measuring 6.8 inches on its length, there’s enough room for your fingers and everything lands on the right spots making controls easily accessible while playing.

ROG Phone 5s

Also available on the Phone 5s Pro are two USB-C ports. A USB-C 3.1 on the side and 2.0 at the bottom. This gives us freedom for charging or accessory attachments and to choose whichever orientation we feel comfortable with. ROG also included a 3.5mm port at the bottom for those who prefer truly lag free audio with their gaming experience.

ROG Phone 5s

A phone case is also included in the package which kind of looks like an armor for the phone while attached. It has all necessary cut outs keeping everything easily accessible while still managing to do its job of protecting the phone from accidental bumps.

ROG Vision 

ROG Phone 5s

The ROG Vision display at the back looks very cool and futuristic. It displays the ROG animation when using the phone, charging animation when plugged in, game mode animation when gaming and incoming call animation for calls. I would have preferred if it had more useful things to display though, since it also feels like it doesn’t have much legit functionality.

Display and responsiveness at its finest 

As we would also expect from a gaming focused device, this also has a very high refresh rate display. A 6.78-inch, AMOLED display running with an abundance of hertz at 144Hz refresh rate and 360Hz touch sampling rate. And while it sounds a lot, I honestly could barely tell the difference from 120Hz to 144Hz. But at least it’s an available option for people who would really want the highest settings. It also has 800 nits of brightness, making outdoor visibility a non-issue. 

You’ll also notice the relatively thick top and bottom bezel. This might be because that is where the speakers are located which we’ll also tackle further into this review.

Maxed out Performance 

ROG Phone 5s

The Snapdragon 888+ was among the fastest chipsets that was released in 2021, and that’s what’s running this device. Along with 18GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 512GB of internal storage. So it’s no surprise that every game we run on this wouldn’t be a problem.

According to the GameGenie console, Call of Duty: Mobile ran at a mostly stable 60FPS at very high settings. That’s really good performance considering I wasn’t on X-Mode or its performance mode yet.

ROG Phone 5s

Bumping to X-Mode, Genshin Impact on the ROG Phone 5s Pro ran great at very high settings and 60 FPS. This is the first time I’ve maxed everything on Genshin Impact on a mobile device that ran this smoothly.

So despite being a generation older chipset to the newly released Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, there’s no shortage of power from the 888+ on this device.

Thermals with the AeroActive Cooler 5

ROG Phone 5s

While the temperatures shown on the device didn’t indicate that it was running hot, the phone itself felt hot to my hands. The power button in particular felt shockingly hot while playing Genshin Impact. This is where the AeroActive Cooler comes in. It is the included fan attachment which snaps on at the back of the phone for added cooling.

Right after I attached the fan, you could immediately see it reducing system temperature. So definitely, keeping it attached is the best way to play on this device to avoid running into thermal issues.

ROG Phone 5s

It also isn’t very audible unless of course you place it right next to your ear, which isn’t the way we would be playing anyway.

At first I thought having it attached would make my hands feel restricted but I didn’t actually perceive it that way. It felt more like an extension with added buttons and a kickstand.

Ultrasonic Sensors and Haptic Feedback goodness

ROG Phone 5s

What I enjoyed the most on this device is the use of the Ultrasonic sensors. These are the assignable touch or swipe enabled sensors designed for additional controls. When mapped properly, it considerably changes the dynamics of how you play games.

ROG Phone 5s

In Call of Duty: Mobile for example, I mapped the fire key on the right shoulder and reload on the left while the rear touch sensors mapped with a grenade. It almost felt like I was playing like how I would on a console like a Nintendo Switch.

With freedom to use my thumbs for running and aiming it almost feels like you’re cheating. Combine this with haptic feedback, the subtle vibrations bring even more immersion to the tension that’s happening inside the battlefield.

Get in sync with the ROG Community  

For those familiar with ASUS ROG or TUF series laptops, the Armoury Crate is the console where we can monitor and configure the performance and other aspects of the device. This is also present on the ASUS ROG Phone 5s Pro. You can access the fan speed and AirTrigger settings, monitor CPU and GPU temperatures or adjust performance for more efficient operations.

And like the PC version, we also gain access to the ROG community through the Connect feature. This is like an ROG enthusiasts social media platform where interaction with other ROG owners take place.

Immersive gaming audio 

ROG Phone 5s

To further enhance the gaming experience, dual front firing speakers are what’s booming this phone. The first time I heard how games sound on this device was another impressive experience for me. The crashes, the gun sounds and everything else sounded so alive. Music playback has a considerable amount of thickness that I even compared it with the sound coming from the Xiaomi Pad 5.

ROG Phone 5s

Surprisingly, the ROG Phone 5s Pro sounded a tad better in some aspects. That’s saying a lot since the Pad 5 is a tablet loaded with four speakers which I also praised in another review. 

Great cameras for a gaming phone 

Equipped with a 64MP main camera, 13MP ultrawide, 5MP macro and a 24MP selfie camera, this also takes pretty decent photos. I’d say flagship level or right in between one and an upper midrange. After all, this does have the Sony IMX686 sensor seen in other flagships.

We don’t get a lot of creative photo modes but there is a pro-video mode and a night mode that takes really clean and vibrant photos.


Get juiced up in under an hour

ROG Phone 5s

The ROG Phone 5s Pro gets its charge via its 65W charger. For a device with a 6,000mAh battery, I managed to get 25 percent of charge by just leaving it for ten minutes. That I think is also pretty commendable. Ten percent to full only took around 50 minutes.

Though 6,000mAh may sound like a lot for a phone, I found that it does run out pretty quickly. It gets me through a whole day of use running mostly on mobile data connection but comparing it to budget phones with the same capacity, this isn’t as robust.

Is the ASUS ROG Phone 5s Pro your GadgetMatch?


ROG Phone 5s

From the moment you open the box, the all out gamer vibe, the buttery smooth gaming experience, amazing audio and visuals and the added control with the Ultrasonic sensors, the ASUS ROG Phone 5s Pro is all about the experience. 

No, gaming phones still aren’t for everyone, and thermals and battery life could still do better. But for gamers, I can’t see how you can resist not having this.

Plus you’ll get people looking at you as they see the back of your phone displaying some animations which makes you feel super cool.

ROG Phone 5s

If you’re into that, then by all means, the ROG Phone 5s Pro surely ticks most of the right boxes and more.

The ASUS ROG Phone 5s Pro with 18GB LPDDR5 RAM and 512GB storage is currently available for PhP 59,995 / SG$ 1,799.


NVIDIA develops an AI for NPCs

Talk to NPCs naturally



The expansive world of RPGs has a persistent problem: wooden dialogue. Because games in the genre often take so long to develop, dialogue often gets the hardest cuts in quality. AI, in all its emerging features, plans to ease up production issues by automatic NPC dialogue for developers. Unveiled during Computex 2023, NVIDIA has unveiled its latest engine to ease up this process.

Called the Avatar Cloud Engine, the new technology works much like today’s advanced chatbots but in a gaming context. Players can talk to NPCs naturally as if with a human being. The NPC will generate corresponding dialogue to respond to the user.

NVIDIA demonstrated the new technology through a scene reminiscent of a Cyberpunk 2077 cutscene. Set in a futuristic ramen shop, the main character asks the shop owner, Jin, about the state of the restaurant. Jin responds, “I am worried about the crime around here. It’s gotten bad lately. My ramen shop got caught in the crossfire.” After which, the shop owner directs the player to a local crime boss as the root of the violence.

For an AI-created response, the dialogue does seem impressive. However, one can easily tell that it is artificial. Despite how realistic the voice sounds like, it still seems as if it was spoken by a robot.

Regardless, it’s apparent that we’re headed towards an interesting future. Of course, it will take some time before the new technology makes its way to modern games.

SEE ALSO: MediaTek confirms partnership with NVIDIA

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MSI partners with Mercedes-AMG for new gaming notebook

It’s the Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG



The popularity of Netflix’s Drive to Survive has propelled the world of Formula 1 and motorsports to new heights. Now, it’s all too possible to rep your favorite racing team through new merchandise and tie-ups. If you’re also a gamer, the circuit where speed matters is lending its prowess to an industry where speed also matters. MSI is tying up with Mercedes-AMG for a new “luxury gaming experience.”


Unveiled today, the MSI Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG Motorsport is a marvel of speed. Much like its automotive namesake, the notebook blazes past the competition with a 13th-generation Intel Core i9-13900H processor — 14 cores clocked at 5.4GHz.

The MSI Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG comes with up to the latest NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 Laptop GPU, up to two slots of 64GB RAM, and two slots of M.2 SSD internal storage. The 16-inch UHD+ screen boasts 60Hz refresh rate and a 16:10 ratio. Finally, it comes with a sizable 99.9Whr battery.

For glitz and glamor, the notebook comes with a per-key RGB SteelSeries keyboard. The device’s chassis exudes the premium touch of Mercedes-AMG. Shining in Selenite Gray, the design comes with subtle red accents to signify the device’s commitment to performance.

With limited availability, the MSI Stealth 16 Mercedes-AMG comes bundled with goodies for the Mercedes fan. Besides the stylized notebook, the package can ship with a premium color box, postcards, a mouse, a mousepad, a cable tie, a pouch, and a USB drive.

SEE ALSO: MSI Summit E16 Flip review: Creator on the go

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Genshin Impact’s card game is getting a tournament

Over US$ 270,000 at stake



Genius Invokation TCG

Genshin Impact will launch the first international Genius Invokation TCG Tournament Series, called “Astra Carnival: The Prince Cup”.

Set to commence in the latter half of 2023, players from multiple nations and regions across the globe are welcome to join the fun and competitive journey which involves six regional championships, several invitational tournaments, and over US$ 270,000 in prizes.

Last December, Genshin Impact introduced Genius Invokation TCG, a card game which combines its element-based combat system with strategy development, with players competing with NPCs are against each other with their collection of cards.

The most recent version 3.7 update also added over 60 new cards and two game modes to the gameplay.

Now, advanced players can join the Prince Cup which consists of six regional tournaments between June to September and three cross-regional invitationals in June, August, and December.

Here’s the finals date for each tournament schedule:

  • The Prince Cup Korea: June 11
  • The Prince Cup Europe: June 16
  • The Prince Cup North America: June 17
  • The Prince Cup Invitational S1: June 18
  • The Prince Cup Japan: July 16
  • The Prince Cup Invitational S2: August 13
  • The Prince Cup Latin America: September 3
  • The Prince Cup SEA/HK/MO/TW: September 17
  • The Prince Cup Invitational S3: December

In each regional, top candidates from the “Cat’s Tail Gathering” community tournaments and wildcard competitions will compete for the regional championship.

Players who advance to the quarterfinals will compete on-site. There will be a live broadcast on the official AstraCarnival Twitter, YouTube, Twitch, and TikTok channels.

Top regional candidates and top community tournament candidates may also get invited to the invitationals for exhibition games in front of an international audience.

More info here.

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