ASUS’s first ROG gaming phone was considered by many as a revolutionary step in the world of gaming phones, so it was highly likely for the company to follow up with a new model to stay competitive in the market. So, here it is – the ASUS ROG Phone 2, which looks more like a spec bump instead of another revolutionary step, especially in terms of design. However, in terms of specifications, it certainly is a better offering.
First off, the ASUS ROG Phone 2 has received a massive upgrade in terms of display. It features a 6.59-inch 1080p OLED panel that supports 10-bit HDR and comes with a refresh rate of 120Hz, meaning its screen refreshes 120 times per second, delivering smoother animations and graphics.
It’s impossible not to be impressed by the levels of engineering that has gone into making the ROG Phone 2 what it is – for instance, just look at the RGB-lit ROG logo on the back. The phone completely stands out and doesn’t look like any other Android phone on the market. It features a glass/metal sandwich design, sports a matte, aluminium frame, and is surprisingly resistant to fingerprints.
Weighing 240 grams, the ROG Phone 2 is heavy compared to other big phones, such as the Galaxy Note 10+, which weighs 196 grams. However, the phone’s body is well-balanced, and it doesn’t feel awkward to hold.
The RGB-lit logo can be activated manually, and I especially like the way it changes colour. The smartphone comes with three USB Type-C ports – one at the bottom and two aligned side by side on its left side. While you can use two of them to charge the phone, the one marked with orange is exclusively for ASUS’s accessories. The phone comes with brand new optional accessories, including the Twin View Dock 2 and ROG Kunai Gamepad.
The ROG Phone 2 sports a big 6.59-inch 10-bit HDR AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate. You can switch the refresh rates of the screen between 60Hz, 90Hz, and 120Hz, but during my test, I used the device at 120H. Why? Because 120Hz is a visual treat and offers an immersive smartphone experience.
Gaming is the only reason for which you would want to buy the Asus ROG Phone 2. And since everything about the phone is tailor-made for it, let’s first talk about its gaming performance. To put it simply, it is just brilliant.
I tested the phone by playing PUBG Mobile Game. Here, the 120Hz refresh rate was really a game-changer. It not only made everything about the game a lot smoother but also helped in manoeuvring your character and controlling the camera. Other graphic-intensive titles such as Asphalt 9 and Dead Trigger 2 also ran wonderfully.
In X Mode, the phone makes sure that all the power from the Snapdragon 855 Plus is used to run the game, which allows for the best gaming performance it can offer. The Air Triggers located on the top left and right of the screen in landscape orientation can be configured to activate different touchscreen functions.
Speaking from a technical perspective, while considering the way the gaming industry is changing, the ASUS ROG Phone 2 is unlikely to pose a problem in keeping up with advancements in mobile graphics in the near future.
Apart from gaming, I also ran a couple for daily productivity tasks on the phone, and it all ran seamlessly. Another interesting thing to note in the device is that you can change the look and feel of the software by choosing between the Zen UI, which is a custom skinned version of Android 9 OS, and ASUS’s ROG UI. While both UIs aren’t much different from each other, it’s the ROG UI that will appeal more to those who like the game-based themes. The ROG UI transforms the bright Zen UI theme into something darker and more aggressive.
Since it’s a gaming-centric phone, the ROG Phone 2 has extraordinary battery life. The 6,000mAh battery easily lasts for two days or more on mixed usage, even when you set it at 120Hz. However, the results would vary if you use it exclusively for gaming. But considering everything, it lasts for a surprisingly long time.
While the ROG Phone 2 is a performance powerhouse, its cameras are its weakest point. The smartphone comes with a dual-lens camera system on its back, comprising a 48MP primary sensor and a 13MP 125-degree wide-angle lens. The image quality is decent in both day and night shots, but the phone falls short on my expectations for a device that costs Rs 37,999.
Night mode adds some additional details, without ruining the shot. However, in terms of camera capabilities, the ROG Phone 2 can’t compete with the OnePlus 7T or even the Google Pixel 3a.
ASUS’s ambitious ROG Phone 2 offers a lot of horsepower, thanks to its high-end specs. The phone’s support for gaming accessories is another of its highlight. Overall, it is really far more capable than any other phone on the market.
If you are committed to gaming, look no further, for it’s the one for you. But, if you want an Android phone with a fast refresh rate and capable specs, you are better off with the OnePlus 7T, which will also cost you less.
Price Rs 37, 999
120Hz refresh rate, battery