ROG Phone 7 Ultimate Review – Overkillin’ It

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The Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate is a powerhouse gaming phone that boasts impressive performance, cutting-edge features, and stunning visual elements. Priced at £1,199/€1,399, it aims to offer a truly immersive gaming experience that will leave a lasting impression. However, one question remains: does it truly justify its steep price tag?

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The Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate is available now for £1,199.99 via ASUS.

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Setting itself apart from the standard ROG Phone 7, the Ultimate version introduces some unique elements, such as a rear notification screen panel and enhanced cooling capabilities through the AeroActive Portal. The phone itself is a fair size, sporting a gorgeous 6.78-inch AMOLED screen that aims to maximize the mobile gaming experience.

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Although some phones like the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra boast a slightly larger display, the display on the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate still manages to stand out from that crowd, thanks to its minimal bezels at the top and bottom. This allows players to avoid any interruptions while gaming, as does the absence of a front-facing hole-punch camera, which instead sits within the very narrow bezel along the top of the screen.

Also read: Asus ROG Ally VS Steam Deck: Comparing the Flagship Handhelds

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The AMOLED screen on the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate delivers stunning visuals, with vibrant colors and excellent brightness. Asus claims a peak brightness of 1500 nits, ensuring visibility even under bright sunlight. The phone also covers 150.89% of the sRGB gamut, resulting in accurate colors for games and videos. During my testing, the display proved highly competent, capturing the bright flash of grenades and showcasing intricate details of in-game weapon designs.

The phone comes equipped with some useful features you would expect like a volume switcher and a power button, however it also packs some things you may not expect like a headphone jack. It also supports Bluetooth 5.3 and Wi-Fi 7, ensuring cutting-edge connectivity. While the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate has an IP54 rating, which provides some protection against water splashes, it falls short of full waterproofing.

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The ROG Phone 7 Ultimate along with the regular ROG Phone 7.
The ROG Phone 7 Ultimate along with the regular ROG Phone 7.

The ROG Phone 7 Ultimate’s overall build quality is pretty outstanding. It sports a two-tone design, with a white back adorned with the ROG branding and subtle blue accents on the power button, camera lens, and SIM tray. In terms of connectivity, the phone features two USB-C ports, one on the bottom and one on the side of the device.

This may seem like somewhat unconventional in terms of placement, however it allows for users to simultaneously charge the phone while holding it horizontally and gaming. This clever design also allows for compatibility with external accessories like the AeroActive Cooler without compromising charging capabilities.

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Also read: Asus Zenbook Pro Duo 14 OLED Pro Review – Dual-Screen Dynamism

The device also comes with some exclusive features intended to further enhance the gaming experience. The AeroActive Portal is a rear panel that automatically opens to improve airflow during high internal temperatures, and seems like a pretty valuable addition when it comes to keeping system temperatures down.

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It helps alleviate concerns about overheating during intense gaming sessions, providing a 20% boost in thermal efficiency. Asus has also made improvements to the phone’s interior cooling system, including a rapid-cycle vapor chamber. During my testing, the phone never reached worrisome temperatures even during prolonged sessions in more demanding games like Call of Duty Mobile.

The rest of this review will be littered with pictures of my dog. Partly to show off the camera on the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate and partly just because of how damn cute he is.
The rest of this review will be littered with pictures of my dog. Partly to show off the camera on the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate and partly just because of how damn cute he is.

Another interesting feature of the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate is the AirTrigger haptic controls. These virtual triggers sit above and below the power and volume buttons on the side of the phone and allow users to map in-game actions to them, simulating the feeling of traditional physical triggers found on gamepads.

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Although it seemed odd initially, I ended up really appreciating these triggers. They greatly improve ergonomics when it comes to holding the phone horizontally and they provide a competitive edge in games like Call of Duty Mobile, where I configured the right trigger to shoot and the left trigger to crouch.

Also read: Razer Blackshark V2 Pro Headset Review – A Worthy Successor

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The front-firing twin speakers are another standout aspect of this phone, capable of delivering a truly impressive audio experience for a mobile device. The ROG Phone 7 Ultimate provides 50% more volume than its predecessor, offering a weighty sound quality and deep bass that truly enhances immersion when gaming. The ROG Phone 7 Ultimate’s speakers are the best I have encountered on a smartphone to date, they could even be considered as a suitable alternative to an external speaker.

Unfortunately, it is often the case with gaming phones that the camera is subpar. Sadly the ROG Phone 7 Ultimate’s camera is no different. While it features the same trio of lenses found in the preceding Asus ROG Phone 6 models; a 50MP main sensor, 13MP ultra-wide, and 5MP macro, the camera’s overall performance fails to compete with other smartphones in its price range.

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The camera isn't great in low-lighting.
The camera isn’t great in low-lighting.

Although the main sensor is capable of capturing some bold and vibrant colors, it falls short when it comes to detail when compared to devices like the Galaxy S23 Ultra and its 200MP sensor. The ultra-wide camera in particular sacrifices detail for a wider field of view, resulting in a compromise in image quality.

The ROG Phone 7 Ultimate is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, one of the most powerful chips available for an Android handset. With an octa-core processor and peak frequency speeds of 3.2GHz, it offers an exceptional gaming experience. On top of this impressive performance, Asus’s elaborate inbuilt cooling system ensures sustained high performance over long gaming sessions.

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Also read: ROG Ally Review – All Show and No Go

The phone’s battery life is outstanding, thanks to the massive 6000mAh capacity. The phone easily lasts through a typical day and even approaches an entire second day of use. During my testing, the battery level only ever dropped to 54% after a full day of heavy usage, including streaming an hour of Netflix, a couple of hours of gaming, and some extensive social media scrolling.

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It took until around 7pm the following day for the battery to completely drain. Charging is also impressively fast, thanks to the included 65W HyperCharge adapter. In just 40 minutes, the phone’s battery can be fully replenished, with a 15-minute charge providing an impressive 46% recharge, which is a pretty exceptional feat considering the phone’s large battery capacity.

Looking at Rocky's fur in this photo shows the lack of detail in this camera.
Looking at Rocky’s fur in this photo shows the lack of detail in this camera.

The ROG Phone 7 Ultimate also includes several battery care features that help maintain optimal performance over time. Features like Steady Charging slow down the charging pace to prevent battery wear, and users can schedule charging times or set charging limits. These thoughtful features contribute to the device’s overall longevity.

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In conclusion, the Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate lives up to its name as the ultimate gaming phone. It boasts top-of-the-line specifications, a superb display, a battery capable of handling intensive gaming sessions, and a plethora of customizable software settings. However, it does come with a high price tag comparable to the most expensive smartphones from Apple and Samsung.

Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate – 9/10

9 Out of 10

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The Asus ROG Phone 7 Ultimate was provided to FandomWire for review by ASUS.

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Written by Daniel Boyd

Dan is one of FandomWire's Gaming Content Leads and Editors. Along with Luke Addison, he is one of the site's two Lead Video Game Critics and Content Co-ordinators. He is a 28-year-old writer from Glasgow. He graduated from university with an honours degree in 3D Animation, before pivoting to pursue his love for critical writing. He has also written freelance pieces for other sites such as Game Rant, WhatCulture Gaming, KeenGamer.com and The Big Glasgow Comic Page. He loves movies, video games and comic books.