The Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate isn’t for everyone, but gamers will find it a lot of fun… for a price.
|Nice big screen||Expensive!|
|Air Triggers and Game Optimisations are welcome||Cameras should be better at this price|
|Very fast charging with included charger||Hey, where did wireless charging go?|
Buy the Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate on Amazon
Gaming phones are weird critters, very specifically built for a niche of the overall smartphone using crowd. This is exactly the case for gaming laptops too, so it’s no surprise at all to see Asus continuing to leverage its popular ROG (Republic Of Gamers) sub-brand for mobile phones in the Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate.
It’s a big, bold phone at a premium price point, but it’s not for everyone.
There’s been a trend of late for phone manufacturers to opt for really slimline packaging for their smartphones, especially in the premium space.
That’s partly down to the widespread removal of bundled chargers, but also because many of these firms are trying to play up their green credentials by minimising packaging.
This is not the way that Asus has approached the Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate.
Far from it. Here’s the box.
Subtle, isn’t it? But you probably need some sense of scale, so here’s the Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate on top of its box.
That’s a big lad, and it houses a big phone within. The Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate features a 6.78 inch 2448×1080 Samsung AMOLED display with support for up to 165Hz refresh rates and a peak rated brightness of 1,500 nits. It’s big, bold and bright, very much living up to that premium gaming promise of the Asus ROG brand.
However, this isn’t the only screen in play. On the rear there’s a secondary 2 inch “ROG Vision” display that can play animations and show system status events.
It’s not exactly a must-have feature, but it’s very much in line with the way that the Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate wants to promote itself as a gaming device.
Think of it as the RGB lighting rig for the phone, and decide accordingly if it’s right for you. The slightly less expensive Asus ROG Phone 7 eschews it, if you feel like you don’t need it.
The Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate box isn’t just big for the sake of it… mostly. There’s an included 65W PD charger for a start, as well as a simple case, but the star of the show here is the new Aero Cooler bundled at the base of the box. As with prior ROG phones this clips in to the USB-C port on the side of the phone, not the USB-C port on the base, providing cooling, lights, extra buttons and sub-woofer capabilities.
One slight quirk for gamers keen on the Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate is that the base USB port is seriously offset to the left, which may have an impact if you have one of those Android gamepads that uses USB-C connectivity, the odds are pretty good that it’s never going to work. Most of those rely on a centrally mounted USB-C socket, so you’d be stuck with Bluetooth-based Android solutions.
The Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate is IP54 rated for dust and water ingress. That’s below par for a premium phone, but also kind of impressive engineering, given how much of the phone is open to the elements. For its asking price, I’d be wary about taking it out anywhere notably moist, however.
The Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate is a gaming phone, first and foremost. I’ve reviewed previous Asus ROG phones and they’ve all tended to offer rather middling camera performance for their price, because Asus really is putting its money in other areas.
Asus ROG Phone 6D Ultimate (Finder)
That’s still true for the Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate too, despite that Ultimate suffix. At the rear you’re shooting with 50MP primary, 13MP ultrawide and 5MP macro sensors, while the front selfie camera has a 32MP sensor.
The Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate does a generally fair job with what it’s got… but at over $2,000 the absence of any kind of proper telephoto is notable, and not in a good way.
Again, Asus really isn’t pitching this as a camera phone, and if you’re happy with that you won’t get bad photos from the Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate. You’ll just get about the same quality that you could get from a phone about half the price.
Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate Sample Photos
A gaming phone needs serious grunt to compete, and here Asus hasn’t skimped. The Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of fixed storage. That puts it right up against phones like the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra in the Android space. Asus’ secret sauce here is a trick it’s used with prior ROG phones, offering a higher performance mode – at the cost of a little battery life called “X” mode.
In a straight line benchmark sense, the Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate performs well, but not quite best in class, and there’s notably not much detected performance difference having X mode enabled or disabled in Geekbench 6’s CPU test:
It’s much the same story for 3DMark’s Wild Life Extreme Test:
The benchmark comparison is an interesting one, but the reality here for Android gaming is that there’s just nothing that I could find that tripped the Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate up in any significant way.
The inclusion of Air Triggers – touch sensitive sides with haptic feedback that you can map to button inputs in games – makes a big difference to gameplay, as does the 165Hz display in Android games that support it.
As you might expect, serious gameplay does heat the phone up notably, and that’s where the Aero Cooler 7 can come into its own.
The included subwoofers are also nice for gaming or video watching, although I was less enamoured of the buttons. They’re not badly built, but their positioning meant that they were generally tricky to access during games, and I often didn’t bother.
The Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate is a big beast, and that gives Asus a lot of space to pack in batteries. It certainly does that, with a 6,000mAh battery pack to run the whole show.
Again, that’s the same as I saw with the ROG Phone 6D Ultimate, but Asus is basically alone in the market in offering premium Android phones to Australian consumers with battery capacities above 5,000mAh.
That extra power number sounds impressive, but as always, it’s a matter of how well a given phone can actually use that power. To test this out, I first ran the Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate through my standard YouTube battery test. With 6,000mAh battery from fully charged it should romp that kind of light test compared to other phones, right?
Yeah, well… about that. Here’s how it compared:
94% isn’t awful, and it’s typically a sign of phones that can last a full day’s moderate usage in most circumstances. But I’d argue that the Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate isn’t a phone you just buy for the everyday. You buy it because you want premium gaming performance on the go, and preferably for as long as possible. Sustained gaming, as you’d expect, can kill the battery within a day without fail.
Charging is at least reasonably quick via its supplied 65W PD 3.0 charger.
One added bonus here if you have a laptop that can take USB-C power is that the same charger can be used to top up your notebook as well. However, like its predecessor, wireless charging is completely absent.
Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate: Alex’s Verdict
There’s not a huge range of choices in outright “gaming” phones in the Australian marketplace.
It’s a niche, for sure, and the Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate isn’t for everyone. You’ve got to be very passionate about Android gaming specifically for it to make sense. If you’re more on the casual side about that, or want a true premium camera phone, this won’t meet your needs.
However, if you do want a gaming phone with all the trimmings, it’s a very nice option if your wallet can take the strain.
Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate: Pricing and availability
The Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate as tested retails in Australia at $2,099.