Asus ROG Phone 2 review: everything about the ultimate gaming smartphone
By Niki Jones 2019-08-03 5924 0
Launched after an April fool's joke, the company's first ROG Phone has been critically acclaimed by the media and players. With ROG Phone 2, Asus wants to go further. The numbers speak for themselves. According to a NewZoo report, mobile gaming accounted for 47% of the market in 2018 ($ 63.2 billion). Above all, it is experiencing insolent growth: + 29.1% between 2017 and 2018 (+ 8.3% for the PC and + 4.8% for the consoles).
The icing on the cake, players are not content to play games but are increasingly interested in demanding licenses. A new gaming smartphone makes sense for Asus. Moreover, the brand explains that the owners of the first ROG Phone have shown the potential of this niche. On average, they spend 222.5 dollars a year in games versus 89 dollars for users of other Android smartphones. They also spend on average 42 minutes a day to play, against 16 minutes.
To create his ROG Phone 2, Asus listened to feedback from his community. On paper, this new model is promising with unique technologies on the market and advanced engineering work.
Video tutorial of ROG Phone 2
Technical sheet of the Asus ROG Phone 2
170,99 x 77,6 x 9,48mm
6.59 inches AMOLED Gorilla Glass 6
2340 x 1080 pixels 19.5/9
Rear: 1 sensor 48 MP + 13 MP
ROG UI based on Android 9 Pie
Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus
Yes, under the screen
Resistance to water
Recharge Qi sans fil
At first glance, Asus does not disrupt the codes used for the first ROG Phone. The new kid takes the same lines and the same colors as his big brother. The manufacturer always opts for a glass shell. On the back, we find the photo module, the small ventilation window and the aggressive features of the first version. In the center, the bright ROG logo always catches the eye. The user can totally customize his colors. The absence of a fingerprint sensor on the back represents the biggest aesthetic change: Asus chose to position it at the front, under the screen.
On the bottom edge, the manufacturer includes the USB-C and the 3.5 mm jack. As on the ROG Phone 1, Asus integrates a proprietary port on the left edge. It allows to connect the AeroCool Case 2 (we will come back to it) or to connect the charger when one plays. The user thus benefits from an optimal grip while recharging the battery.
On the right border, the brand incorporates Air Triggers 2, an improved version of its triggers. They have haptic feedback, prolonged support (for gunshots for example) and a sliding system (to change weapon for example).
Finally, the ROG Phone 2 has a new dual surround sound system. During game sessions, vibrations are felt on all four sides of the smartphone (XYZ axes) for better immersion.
The integration of all these technologies, in addition to the imposing battery (we will come back to it), has forced Asus to offer a rather large smartphone. Its size is similar to that of the OnePlus 7 Pro with a width of 7.8 cm and a length of 17.1 cm, necessary to position the front speakers.
120 Hz screen
The ROG Phone 2 incorporates a large 6.59 "AMOLED display in a 19.5: 9, non-notch format. Asus opts for a flat slab, more appreciated by the players. The great originality of the ROG Phone 2 screen lies in its display frequency. Asus outperforms its competitors and opts for a 120 Hz display with a response time of 1 ms.
The manufacturer has also worked on touch latency. The engineers optimized the response time on three levels: the frequency (240 Hz), the kernel, and the optimization of the Android framework. With a score of 49 ms, the response time of the ROG Phone 2 is 44% faster than the competition (87 ms for the Galaxy S10 +, 85 ms for the OnePlus 7 Pro and 75 ms for the iPhone XS Max).
Asus also heals display quality with a Delta E of less than 1. Thanks to the 10-bit HDR technology, the ROG Phone 2 displays 1073.74 million colors. Players can see more details in dark areas. Finally, note that the SDR2HDR technology will allow the ROG Phone 2 to improve the display of games not optimized for its screen.
Top performance thanks to Snapdragon 855 Plus
To meet the requirements of gamers, Asus does not skimp on the means. The ROG Phone 2 is the first smartphone to ship the Snapdragon 855 Plus processor clocked at 2.96 GHz (2.4 GHz for the Snapdragon 855). An Adreno 640 graphics chip clocked at 675 MHz accompanies the processor. It improves the graphics quality by 15% compared to the 585 MHz version. 12 GB of RAM LPDDR4x and 512 GB of UFS 3.0 storagecomplete this arsenal.
To prevent fever, Asus has developed GameCool 2, a unique cooling system on the market . Three heat dissipation systems maintain a suitable temperature:
●liquid cooling with a 3D steam chamber.
●a heat sink and several ventilation grilles.
●AeroActive Cooler II: a supplied accessory dedicated to the cooling of the smartphone. It reduces the temperature by 5 ° C while remaining silent (24 dBA, four times less than the ROG Phone first name).
All these technologies allow the ROG Phone II to ensure excellent performance continuously.
6000 mAh battery
Playing with a smartphone is great, provided it does not give up in the middle after three hours of use. The ROG team is well aware of this and has tackled the problem. A monstrous 6000 mAh battery powers the ROG Phone 2. The brand promises more than 7 hours of continuous battery life on PUBG. For comparison, the OnePlus 7 Pro and the Galaxy S10 + can chain about 5 hours of play.
The ROG Phone 2 has a Quick Charge 4.0 quick charging system. The supplied 30W charger (4A cable) saves the equivalent of one day of use (4000 mAh) in 58 minutes. ROG Hypercharge technology delivers the same results with any other standard USB-C cable. Finally, Asus promises a longer life of its battery thanks to its large capacity.
Audio: dtsX Ultra and 3.5 mm jack
The quality of its figure among the key elements of a good immersion during gaming sessions. Asus thus endows the ROG Phone 2 with two stereo speakers positioned on the front. The brand promises a sound 2.5 times more powerful than the first model. The icing on the cake, the smartphone embeds dtsX Ultra compatibility to improve the whole. Finally the 3.5 mm jack is there.
Four noise canceling microphones complete the set to ensure an optimal online gaming or streaming experience. Two of them are on the lower edge, one on the opposite side and one on the right edge to maintain a good quality in landscape mode.
High speed network
Many mobile games require a network connection. To ensure an optimal experience, Asus engineers equipped the ROG Phone 2 with four antennas . In this way, the builder prevents the user from degrading the signal when he covers the edges with his hands. In landscape mode, two antennas are located in the upper corners, one is in the middle of the upper border, the last on the back. This provision allows the ROG Phone 2 to ensure excellent speeds: 286.5 Mb / s against 52.5 Mb / s for competition.
The integration of Wifi 802.11ad improves the connectivity of the smartphone. With a speed of 4.6 Gb / s, a latency of 3ms and less interference (60GHz), the ROG Phone 2 has no equal in the field.
Logiciel: mi-smartphone mi-console
Powered by ROG UI (based on Android Oreo), the ROG Phone 2 is distinguished by its personalized interface in the colors of the "Republic Of Gamers". However, if some want more traditional software, Asus also proposes to use Zen UI, the same software as that of Zenfone 6.
In all cases, the manufacturer integrates Armory Crate , an application dedicated to the game and bringing together many features. Game Lobby displays the game catalog in a carousel. The user can either launch the game or access Game Profiles where he can choose his game preferences: CPU performance optimization, touch sensitivity or image refresh rate.
Game Genie is similar to the Gaming Mode that is found among competitors. In this section, the player can turn off notifications and calls, block the brightness of the screen or display real-time information. Finally, Console allows to optimize the settings of the smartphone as ... game console. The user can choose the color of the logo on the back of the smartphone, customize AirTriggers or optimize graphics performance.
As for consoles, gaming smartphones face the problem of the game catalog. For the launch of the ROG Phone 2, Asus has sealed some partnerships pending the official European launch at IFA Berlin. As we write these lines, three games take advantage of the exclusive features of ROG Phone 2: Asphalt 9, Shadowgun Legends and ROCKMAN x DiVE. However, according to the licenses, the optimizations differ. For example, among these three games Asphalt 9 does not operate the 120 Hz screen. Similarly, not all games support all accessories.
Like the ROG Phone 1, this second iteration is accompanied by a series of accessories improving the gaming experience. In total, there are 8 of which 5 novelties:
●Aero Case: a lightweight shell that protects the most sensitive spots while not hiding the ROG illuminated logo.
●ROG Lighting Armor Case: With an NFC chip, this shell covers the entire smartphone. The theme changes automatically as soon as you insert the ROG Phone 2 into the shell.
●AeroActive Cooler 2: supplied in the box, it cools the system with a fan and can be fixed above the Aero Case shell.
●TwinView Dock 2: This module with a second screen is an improvement of the first version. It incorporates a screen 120 Hz and a battery of 5000 mAh. It benefits from a cure of thinness and a better distribution of the weight.
●ROG Kunai Gamepad: probably the most promising accessory. Inspired by the Nintendo Switch, it integrates two joycons, an adapter that is attached to the smartphone for use comparable to the Switch and a joystick where we fix the joycons as on ... the Switch (so).
The other accessories are : Mobile Desktop Dock, Pro Dock and WiGig Display Dock Plus.
The great originality of the new accessories collection lies in their modularity. The user can create "kill combos that kill" for optimal use. For example, you can set the joycons to the dual-screen module. The multitude of scenarios allows the ROG Phone to act as a home console or even to be used on a PC. It remains to know the prices of these different accessories.
The same camera as the Zenfone 6
The first name ROG Phone did not shine particularly by the quality of its camera. Asus has listened to the feedback from its users and integrates the same dual sensor as that of Zenfone 6. We therefore find a module powered by Quad Bayer technology and composed of:
●a photo sensor SONY IMX 586 of 48 MP (26mm)
●photosites about 1.6 nm and 0.8 nm in 48 ens 12 MP MP
●opening of the lens f / 1.79
●an ultra-wide angle (125 °) 13 MP sensor with distortion correction (11mm)
●double flash LED
●phase detection autofocus (0.03s)
At the front, the brand opts for a sensor of 24 MP with a particular positioning on the right of the loudspeaker. Asus explains that this area is ideal for players who want to stream their sessions since the sensor is never clogged by hands.
Price and release date of the ROG Phone 2
The ROG Phone 2 will be announced on July 23 in China. The official launch will take place at IFA Berlin during the brand's press conference.
During this event, the manufacturer will communicate the price of its smartphone gaming. As an indication, Asus launched its first ROG Phone in 2018 at a price of 899 dollars.
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