Premium and Well-rounded, comes with a plethora of gaming focused accessories from a brand that has been known to be the choice of champions.
Amidst the early wave of gaming smartphones, the first ROG phone out-shined the competition. Stacks of power, a decent camera, front speakers, left and right touch triggers that worked, fleet of accessories. All led to a device that’s a quad-turbocharged handheld console with cellular capabilities.
With the second iteration, Asus’ ROG division has employed its full prowess to leap further with the ROG Phone II. Uncompromising would be the apt word to define the device per se.
The ROG Phone II is the world’s first phone to use the 7nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ chipset. The plus version is not a new chip but a faster binned version of the earlier with 4.2% faster CPU performance and 15% faster GPU performance. Rest of the specs like core configuration and DSPs remain unchanged.
It can go up to 12 GB of LPDDR4X RAM with a whopping 1TB of internal storage (with newly announced Ultimate edition) for hoarding the libraries of games. On the standard front you get the 512GB maxed out uber fast UFS 3.0 storage.
All this hardware is backed up by the monstrous 6000 mAh battery that has the claimed fastest charging on the market, the HyperCharge tech, delivering 4000 mAh in just 58 min.
Running Android 9 with Asus’ Zen UI ROG Edition on top, game and app support is set to be nothing short of excellent out of the box and with Armoury Crate app, you are the true master of this gaming device.
Cameras and Sound:
The camera module is borrowed from the Asus’ Zenfone 6. Carrying over the same 48 MP primary sensor (Sony IMX586) with a secondary 13 MP shooter with ultrawide lens. The front camera is a 24 MP tuned for live streaming if that’s your thing because It also comes with 4 noise cancelling microphones. Did I mention it also comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack to plug in your favourite gaming headsets. If not, then the loud front firing stereo speakers are more than enough for the need.
Screen and Design:
Thicker and heavier than the OG R-OG phone (lol). The new device weighs in at 240g and a whole cm thicker, because of the larger battery of course. The side mounted USB-C port is a boon for easy charging while gaming.
Screen size as also grown, to 6.59”. Still FullHD+ in resolution and AMOLED in nature. It’s also faster now, supporting up to 120 Hz of smooth 120fps buttery game framerate and a brisk 1ms grey-grey response time, sadly not many mobile games take advantage of these features, but the menu scroll is satisfying enough for now. However, the touch registry rate is an even faster 240 Hz, so lag won’t be an excuse if you get a headshot killed in PUBG. Speaking of lag, the modem is tuned for Cat 20 speeds and you can get up to 1.2 GB/s on 4G LTE downloads.
Game-centric quirks and features:
Finally, the section we all are most enthusiastic about, the game features.
We’ll start of with the Air triggers which act like Left and Right trigger buttons on a traditional handheld console but now are upgraded with lower latency rate, faster haptic response and comes with sliding gestures input. The two vibration motors (first in the world) present in the phone are present in top and bottom of the device to provide a left and right vibration feedback when held in landscape mode.
It supports a new Kunai gamepad which packs some serious Nintendo Switch-factor. Comprised of left and right detachable portions, just like the Switch controller, these can slide onto a centerpiece to form a joystick or latch on to either side of the ROG Phone (with a compatible case) to give it joy-con wings. Hook that set-up to the ROG Phone 2 clam shell second-screen case, and Asus has created a cross between a Nintendo Switch, 3DS and a Decepticon.
The older HDMI dock accessories would be backward compatible with the new device but any accessory that will require dimensional accuracy to work would simply not cut it.
The utmost necessary accessory in one’s perspective would be the clip-on fan, and it should be because with great power comes great heating and like its predecessor the ROG Phone II uses tree PC gaming class cooling mechanisms to get rid of the heat.
Vapour camber cooling and copper heat pipes coupled with active fan to let only the heat of the gameplay get you.
And how can you forget the epic RGB backlit ROG logo on the back that totally screams ‘gaming’ and ‘awesomeness’ in whole of RGB spectrum
Pricing for the ROG Phone II starts at 990 USD and elevates up to 1320 USD for the ultimate edition with 1TB storage. The looks, pricing and dimensions of this device is not for the masses. Gaming in fact has been very recently considered to be a mainstream trend, and like with evert other gaming device, we could hope for the more game centric features pave their way into the more mainstream market but until then, the ROG Phone II stay at the top of the food chain for the smartphone gaming scene. Maybe followed by the Razer Phone 2 or the more affordable Xiaomi Black Shark 2, the new ROG Phone clearly sets itself apart from the rest.