More and more gaming phones have entered the consumer market ever since the arrival of the first ROG Phone. Now in its second incarnation, can the ROG Phone II exceed what its predecessor started?
The ROG Phone II is almost an exact copy of its predecessor, albeit a bit larger. The ROG Phone II has 6.59-inch AMOLED display capable of HDR10 and up to 120Hz refresh rate.
The display and back are covered by Corning’s Gorilla Glass 6 while the sides are made of aluminum for rigidity and grip.
Not much is happening on the top side of the phone except some microphone holes, but on the left side is the extra USB-C port dedicated for the extra accessories. At the right are the volume and power buttons and the Air Trigger II capacitive buttons. On the bottom is the USB-C port for charging and the 3.5 mm audio jack. At the back is the dual camera set-up, the RGB logo, and the great-looking exhaust port.
Hardware is where the ROG Phone II shines. It runs Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855+ mated with an Adreno 640 GPU. This combo gives the phone its gaming prowess. Pair that with a massive 12GB of RAM and 512 GB of internal storage, you’ll have a monster of a device even if you’re not into gaming.
Another impressive upgrade Asus equipped on the new ROG Phone is the cameras. The ROG Phone II has a dual-camera setup at the back but now the main shooter is a 48-megapixel camera with a Sony IMX568 sensor. The secondary camera is a 13-megapixel ultrawide lens capable of 125-degree ultraview. The front camera also got an upgrade to a 24-megapixel selfie shooter.
You’ll never have any downtime with this phone, courtesy of its monstrous 6000 mAh battery capable of up to 60W fast charging. Another great hardware addition is two front-facing speakers which can easily fill up a small room.
User Experience: 5/5
Let me start things off by listing the things that I didn’t like about the phone. None. Now that’s done let me tell you that the ROG Phone II is a gaming phone done right.
During the month I spent with the phone, it served as my daily driver and personal gaming console. The ROG Phone II performs as advertised. When gaming, I always forgot that it was a phone rather than a console with its performance.
The 120 Hz screen and Air Triggers were a great help in playing games. Honestly, I can’t play Call of Duty Mobile the same way after experiencing it on the ROG Phone II. Not all games are optimized to use the 120 Hz refresh rate though. The Air Triggers are a huge quality of life upgrade and I hope more phones implement a version of it soon.
The great thing about Asus’ gaming devices is the added software, and the Armoury Crate app on the ROG Phone II continues that tradition. Like its computer counterpart, the Armoury crate lets users set the status of the phone and tweak clocking speeds and temperature control with the included Aero Active Cooler fan.
I found myself having almost zero downtime with this phone. The 60W Hypercharging was amazing, charging the 6000 mAh battery in just over an hour. As for battery life, it lasted me two days with minimal use and a whole day in the max setting, 120Hz refresh rate, max brightness, and a fair amount of gaming time.
Camera performance is not a strong suit in gaming phones. The ROG Phone II punches above its class and has a decent camera. The quality is not flagship level but the pictures were decent.
If I want to nitpick, there are surely things that Asus could improve upon on the next generation of the ROG Phone. There’s the screen, for instance—the next generation could have at least a Super AMOLED screen. The camera could see an upgrade to at least a triple camera setup with an additional telephoto lens. Other than those the phone was a joy to use.
Overall, Asus has truly outdone themselves and has built a phone that is worth every cent you might want to spend on it. The ROG Phone II retails at PHP 49,990 which is at par with most flagship smartphones. But If you’re an avid mobile gamer and in the market for a new phone, then you’ll definitely want to buy this phone as soon as possible.
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+
- GPU: Adreno 640
- Display: 6.59-inch AMOLED with Gorilla Glass 6, up to 120 Hz refresh rate, DCI-P3 108 %, HDR10
- OS: Android 9.0, ROG UI and ZEN UI
- RAM: 12 GB
- Internal Storage: 512 GB UFS.
- Camera: Main: 48-megapixel f/1.8 Sony IMX568, Ultrawide: 13-megapixel f/2.4, Front: 24-megapixel f/2.4
- Battery: 6000 mAh
- Connections: Bluetooth 5.0, WiFi, NFC, USB 3.1 Type-C
- Features: Indisplay Fingerprint scanner, Air Triggers
- Dimension: 171 x 77.6 x 9.5 mm
- Weight: 240 g
- Great processor and GPU combo
- Massive memory
- Accessories galore
- Air Triggers
- A bit large to put in a small pocket
- Could have had a better camera
- Display is not in Super AMOLED
It’s a looker that has decent camera performance for the segment, at the cost of a little extra cash.
Reviewed by Gabriel Pe
Also published in December 2019-January 2020 Issue