The Asus ROG Phone 2, the successor to the gaming-centric ROG Phone from last year, is here. The first iteration was as great a gaming phone as it was a regular handset, but the ROG Phone 2 is bigger and packs in more power than ever.
It’s not just the ROG Phone 2 itself either, as the smartphone comes with a bunch of cool accessories aimed exactly at enhancing the gaming experience by a huge margin over rival handsets such as the Razer Phone 2 or Red Magic 3.
Display and Design
The Decepticon-looking design returns on the ROG Phone 2 flush with Asus’ aerodynamic system. The frame is made of stainless steel with Gorilla Glass 3 on the back.
Underneath the glass back, circuit-like lines run along the body of the phone, which shine in diverse colors of the spectrum as light falls on them. The ROG Phone 2 is on the heavier side, weighing in at around 240g with a maximum thickness of 9.78mm.
The right edge of the phone is home to Air Trigger II, which are two touch-sensitive areas that act as shoulder buttons.
Overall the Asus ROG Phone 2 design is improved over its predecessor and it does have a premium look and finish. The heft is definitely not favorable for daily use, but as a hand-held gaming device, it’s a trade-off you’ll likely be able to accept.
With a 6.59-inch AMOLED display boasting a Full HD+ (2340 x 1080 pixels) resolution, the ROG Phone 2 provides more play area than the original ROG Phone.
The refresh rate of the display has been jerked up to 120Hz (from 90Hz) with a one millisecond response time and 240Hz touch response time – the first smartphone to feature this.
The screen can reproduce up to 108% of the DCI-P3 color gamut and is also 10bit HDR certified, which means your games should look great.
The on-paper specs interpret into a high-end screen to play games on as the higher refresh rate makes for a superior viewing experience that’s as good for gaming as it is for content consumption.
The front has noticeable bezels around the screen, which gives it a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. Asus believes that a full-screen display brings in uninvited touch inputs along the edges, so the bezels provide a space to rest fingers without them interfering with the action on-screen.
Another benefit of the top and bottom bezels is that they provide space for dual-stereo speakers and four noise-canceling mics. As for the fingerprint scanner, the sensor is housed under the display.
A week or so before the launch, Asus revealed the ROG Phone 2 would feature the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset clocked at 2.96GHz. The octa-core CPU paired with the Adreno 640 GPU is supported by up to 12GB of RAM and 128GB/512GB of UFS3.0 storage.
The new Snapdragon 855 Plus SoC is 15% faster when it comes to CPU performance and graphics rendering along with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Elite Gaming suite. So, you can expect a decent increment in the gaming performance of the phone.
Then again, there aren’t many games out there in the market that can fully benefit from this sheer raw power this phone packs.
Games like PUBG Mobile which recently went live with HDR mode for high-end phones are locked at 60fps and therefore cannot fully utilize the power at hand. Asus is working with developers to possibly support the high refresh rate of the ROG Phone 2, but we don’t know how long that’s going to take.
Asus has focused a lot on the thermal management system of the ROG Phone 2 which includes a vapour cooling chamber, heat degeneracy plate, and vents.
Other than that, the phone runs on Android 9.0 Pie-based ROG UI, which is the company’s gaming-centric theme. The RGB lighting can be controlled via ROG Aura Sync app that comes pre-loaded on the phone along with the Armoury Crate control app. The app monitors the real-time performance of the processor and battery.
Asus ROG Phone 2 features a massive 6,000mAh battery which supports 30W fast charging in addition to a secondary side Type-C port with fast charging and display port support.
The phone can charge up to 4,000mAh in 58 minutes, and Asus claims that it can run PUBG Mobile for 7.1 hours at 60fps.
Asus seems to have left no stone unturned as the ROG Phone 2 has a dual-camera setup on the back.
It consists of a primary 48MP camera that uses IMX586 sensor and a 13MP secondary ultra-wide camera with 125-degree field-of-view. On the front, there’s a 24MP selfie camera.
As the ROG Phone 2 comes with the same camera setup that we saw on its Asus 6Z. We expect a similar if not better performance from the cameras. However, we’ll try out the camera on the phone when it comes in for the full review.