While it is questionable if gaming phones are necessary, it sure isn’t stopping companies from launching them and packing them full with specs. This is the new ASUS ROG Phone II and it might be the highest spec phone out.
While the original ROG Phone was already pretty impressive spec-wise, the second version here just adds even more on top of that.
Now, ASUS gave a few of us some time last week with the new ROG Phone II so I figured I’d try and do a complete walkthrough on it for you guys.
If you’re not familiar, a complete walkthrough on this channel is where I try and go through every feature I can on a new device so you guys are better prepared should you be interested in actually buying one.
With that said, there’s a lot to go through, so let’s get started with the styling.
At a quick glance, you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference between the new ROG Phone and the older model, but they are definitely different.
We do still have the usual ROG flashy look with a glossy back, but there is a bit more of a rainbow effect now to the lines on the back compared to the original. The device is now taller, slightly wider, and thinner than its predecessor.
We were told during our briefing that a lot of the feedback they received was that gamers wanted a larger phone with a larger screen and they figure out that the max-width they could do was about 78mm. This was enough to make it easier to play games while in landscape mode but also still comfortable to use in portrait orientation, as well.
Now, because of that width limitation, they made the device taller and the screen is now a 19.5:9 aspect ratio 6.59″ display. That display is still an AMOLED display (partially for the bright colors and contrast it can produce but also, ASUS says, because of the <1 millisecond response time).
In addition to now being proper HDR 10-bit (which means better contrast, more color gamut, etc.) panel, it’s also now a 120hz panel instead of the original ROG Phone’s 90hz. This means that any games or apps that support 120hz can show you 120 frames each second to make for smoother motion and less blur.
Besides the refresh rate, ASUS says they also added 240hz touch sampling and optimized the kernel and Android framework to get touch latency down to 49ms (which they’re claiming is the lowest in the market right now).
Moving around the device, we have our volume rocker and power buttons on the right side as well as a return of the AirTriggers.
These two areas end up being on the top of the device when using it in landscape and allow you to put virtual buttons on the screen that you can then initiate a tap with when touching the triggers (this means that it works with any game out there). ASUS has also upgraded them to be more responsive (after feedback they received about the original ones they said) and they are capable of detecting a finger resting on them, have dual vibrations to make them feel more like physical buttons, and can now detect a sliding action which can be customized for use in certain games, as well (think use it to move your view around instead of the joystick in a first-person shooter, etc.).
On the left, we still have the side-mounted USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C port that everyone loved about the original ROG Phone that allows you to use the phone in landscape and charge it without it getting in the way of your hands while playing a game. It also allows you to use accessories (there are some new ones too, by the way, but we’ll get to those in a bit).
On the bottom, we have our other USB Type-C port (that is USB 2.0).
On the top, we have nothing.
On the back, we have the new dual-camera setup.
If you are familiar with the Zenfone 6, it’s the same setup. We have a 48MP quad-Bayer Sony IMX586 sensor with 1.6-micron pixels (when used in it’s default 12MP configuration) and an aperture of f1.79. That main sensor is paired with a secondary 13MP 125-degree wide-angle camera used for ultra-wide shots and we have a dual-LED flash.
We also have a 24MP front-facing camera that has been positioned at the top right so that when held in landscape it isn’t blocked by your hand for those that might want to play a game and live stream at the same time.
Now, since the model we were able to use had unfinished software on it, I couldn’t do photo samples, benchmarks, etc., so subscribe to the channel and ding the bell next to the word subscribe to be notified when my real-world test video with all of that and more goes live (after I receive a proper review unit).
Below that rear camera, we have our ROG logo that is, obviously, RGB enabled and can be customized in the ASUS Armor Crate app (that we’ll dive into further in a sec).
Along those same lines, we also have an NFC enabled case accessory that notifies the phone when it’s been added to the back of the device and can adjust the theme, etc. Also, the second flash for the camera is then used to light up the logo on the case (which is kinda clever).
The device is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus which is a slightly higher spec version of the Snapdragon 855 we’re used to seeing in our usual suspects of flagship phones, but ASUS has even overclocked it just a bit higher.
The processor clock speed is set to 2.96Ghz vs the usual 2.85ghz and the Adreno 640 GPU is clocked 15% higher to 675mhz instead of 585.
The Snapdragon is paired with 12GBs of LPDDR4X RAM and a 512GB UFS-3 storage.
For battery, the device has an impressive 6000mah battery that is ROG Hypercharge capable which they mentioned can charge from 0 to 4000mah (which they pointed out is more than most phones even have) in just 58 mins.
For connectivity, we have 802.11ad also known as WiGig, which is line-of-sight short-range Wifi in the 60Ghz range that is capable of 6gbps as long as you’re pretty close to it. The idea here is that you can use this short range, ultra-fast connection and the ASUS WiGig dock accessory (that came out with the original ROG Phone) to, say, stream a game to the TV with less lag so you can control it properly.
Speaking of, we have a few new accessories, as well. We have a TwinView Dock II that is now lighter, has better weight distribution, a 5000mah battery, cooling fan, and a 120hz display that you can put the phone into to have two screens (some games support this, some don’t).
We also have a Kunai accessory named for the small Japanese knives of the same name that it resembles. This essentially turns the form factor of the ROG Phone 2 into that of the Nintendo Switch with two joysticks, one on either side.
You can also slide them out and put them in a controller-type contraption to use it, again, like a Nintendo Switch in docked mode. You can even combine it with the new TwinView Dock II to get the two screens and controllers.
Finally, for software, it’s running Android 9 with ASUS’s ROG UI on top and comes with an app called Armory Crate (that was on the original ROG phone, as well) that can now be used as a game launcher as well as adjust settings like controls, the AirTriggers, RGB, fans, and give profiles for specific games, etc.
There is also a Game Genie app that can be summoned by swiping in from off the screen on the left (it used to be on the right but ASUS moved it after feedback from users saying it interfered with some controls in games on that side). This then allows you to control your notifications, see your phone’s system info, create macros for your game, record your game or even set up live streaming, etc.
Now, again, this is all pre-release software so these apps and the different included apps can change and probably will with each market.
Lastly, they showed us a theme that can remove the gamer looking one pre-installed to make the phone look more like stock Android which I appreciate. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to use it as it wasn’t ready at the time of filming.
And there you go a complete walkthrough on the ASUS ROG Phone II. Let me know what you guys think of it in the comments below and what you think of gaming phones in general–do any of you guys actually use them?
Sign up for my weekly email newsletter for more videos, tips, tricks, and more and as always, thanks for reading.