Asus ROG Phone 2 review: A game-changing gaming phone

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Published: October 17, 2019 2:36:11 AM

If you use your phone for ‘normal’ telephonic needs, there are many options in the market. But if you are a gaming enthusiast, or simply want to show off, nothing comes close to this Asus device. And at 6000mAh, it’s got the highest rated battery for any flagship phone in the world

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The ROG Phone II has such a futuristic design that even if you use it in the year 2030, it won’t look out of place, or out of style. Short for Republic of Gamers, ROG was founded by Asus in 2006 for delivering hardware for dedicated gamers. But ROG is more than just hardware; it’s also about the software that supports the most demanding gaming needs. In addition, under ROG, Asus sponsors global gaming events such as PAX and DreamHack.

So, if a phone has been designed for something that is beyond ‘normal’ telephonic needs – such as making and receiving calls, photography or surfing the internet—it has to have a unique design. The ROG Phone II builds on the gamer-centric design of the first-generation ROG Phone – launched last year—and takes gaming performance to previously unheard of levels, thanks to Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus mobile platform (clocked at up to 2.96GHz).

Good graphics make a video game look real, and for this the ROG II has the new Adreno 640 GPU running at up to 675MHz. Gaming usually heats up a device, and for this the ROG II has a 3D vapour-chamber cooling system. Gaming also drains a battery faster, and for this the ROG II has a monster 6000mAh battery (the highest rated for any flagship phone in the world) combined with a 30W fast charger.

If gaming is your favourite pastime—i.e., you’re hooked on to PUBG, Asphalt 9, Free Fire, Fortnite or any of the numerous games – the ROG II will definitely enhance your experience to match the console gaming standards. For example, it’s got a landscape-oriented design incorporating AirTrigger II ultrasonic sensors (these make up for the lack of physical buttons), dual surrounding vibration technology, and powerful front-facing stereo speakers (you can also buy accessories such as the TwinView Dock II for immersive dual-screen gaming, and the multi-configuration ROG Kunai Gamepad for the ultimate console-like gaming experience).

However, even the most avid gamer will also use a phone in a traditional way. So here are the positives and negatives.

Positives: It’s got an exceptionally good battery life, and on regular usage the phone can last more than two days on a single charge. Also, visuals on the screen are at the next level, thanks to the world’s first 120Hz/1ms
Amoled 10-bit HDR display—and therefore watching videos on this large 6.59-inch display is a cinematic experience. In addition, to protect this state-of-the-art display, Asus has covered the ROG II with the super-tough Corning Gorilla Glass 6, so the screen may be resistant to the usual falls.

The main camera is rated at 48 mega-pixels and the secondary camera at 13 mega-pixels (sensor is Sony IMX586), and with an 8x zoom, the photography experience is close to entry-level professional camera standards. The front camera is 24 mega-pixels. Lastly, the 30W fast charger provides about 66% charge (more than a day of regular usage) in about an hour’s time, and so you won’t need to carry a charging cord or a power bank with you.

Negatives: The phone is big, so carrying it in your hand all the time may be a hassle, as is keeping it in tight spaces, like pockets of slim-fit pants or skinny jeans. And because it’s got a 6000mAh battery, it’s on the heavier side (about 240gm), and so using it takes some getting used to.

When the ROG was launched last year, it was steeply priced (Rs 69,999), and so it made buying sense only for sincere gamers. But the ROG II, which is better than ROG, is priced around half of that (Rs 37,999 for the 8GB+128GB model), and thus may make buying sense for gamers as well as those who may not understand much of gaming, or even those who simply want to flaunt their phone. A 12GB+512GB model priced Rs 59,999 will be launched soon.

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