The ROG Phone 2 is here and the king of gaming phones is back. And we’ve got some serious upgrades that would leave you speechless. Let’s have a look!
Note – All image credits in this news story go to ASUS
Price & Where To Buy
The ROG Phone 2 is releasing on September 30th in many markets including the USA, India, and Europe. The base variants are launching first with the ‘ultimate’ higher end variants arriving later.
In India the ROG Phone 2 will start at 37,999 INR and this variant will 8GB RAM and 128GB Storage. There’s going to be a 12GB RAM and 512GB Storage variant as well that includes a gaming accessory and will launch at 59,999 INR. The phone is available to buy on Flipkart.
In the USA, there’s a $899 USD variant with 8GB RAM and 512GB Storage, but we’re not sure about the availability of the Ultimate Edition. Buy the phone here from ASUS’s website.
For Europe, TechAdvisor reports the phone will cost 899 EUR for the model with 8GB RAM and 512GB Storage, with the higher end variant having 12GB RAM and 1TB Storage costing 1199 EUR. Buy the phone here if you’re from UK, other retailers will start selling it soon too.
A monstrous 120Hz OLED Display
The ROG Phone 2 has a big, monstrous 6.59-inch Display. This display has an OLED Panel and on top of that it has a refresh rate of 120Hz – I’ll explain what means in a second. The previous ROG Phone had a 90Hz OLED Display which I preferred to the Razer Phone 120Hz IPS Display (made by IGZO) as it just had better display quality and that extra smoothness wasn’t worth it. The next Razer Phone improved on this with a brighter, more vivid IPS display, but the ROG Phone was still a better display.
The resolution is 2430×1080, so it’s 1080p class panel with 391 PPI. It’s a relatively sharp panel but not as sharp as phones like the OnePlus 7 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro, and Galaxy S10+ which all have 1440p class panels with 500+ PPI. ASUS has focused on putting a higher refresh rate display (almost double than most other phones!) over a higher resolution display. Nonetheless, this display is plenty sharp – it’s almost 400PPI, it’s just that those other phones will have noticeably sharper displays. This display also supports HDR10 and has a DCI-P3 108% Coverage.
The ROG Phone 2 has the best display on any gaming phone
The new ROG Phone 2 one-ups every single gaming phone on the market, and its also one of the best smartphone displays you can find. The panel is OLED so you get all the perks – lively colours, a great contrast ratio with deep blacks, you know it. The best thing about this display is the fact that it’s a 120Hz Display. A higher refresh rate means the display can refresh more every second, in simple terms it’s just more smooth.
Having a higher refresh rate display on this gaming phone means everything (apps, supported games, even just scrolling) would look & feel smoother than ever. The ROG Phone 2 has a 120Hz Display, so it’s even faster than the 90Hz on the OnePlus 7 Pro and the previous ROG Phone. If you’re wondering if it’s a noticeable improvement, it really is! And for the games that support this high refresh rate, it’s going to be a really smooth experience.
The display also has a 240Hz Touch Samping Rate with a 49ms Touch Latency which is more responsive compared to other flagship phones, according to ASUS. I think it’s clear at this point how ASUS has built a display that would be highly beneficial to gamers.
The Armoury Crate App allows changing the global refresh rate to 60Hz, 90Hz, or 120Hz. On my previous story covering the rumours of the ROG Phone 2, I debated whether ASUS would be using an OLED or IPS Panel for this phone. The first ROG Phone had a 90Hz OLED Display and the trade-off was well worth it with vivid colours & deeper contrast levels compared to the Razer Phone’s 120Hz Display.
Many rumours said that the next ROG Phone would have a 120Hz Display as well, and to beat the OnePlus 7 Pro’s 90Hz OLED Display, it did need to have something special up its sleeves. And ASUS did indeed deliver – the ROG Phone 2 has a first of its kind 120Hz OLED Display.
Powerful performance with the Snapdragon 855 Plus and UFS 3.0 Storage
Oh boy. There’s quite a lot to say about the ROG Phone 2 in terms of performance. For starters, it’s the first smartphone to feature the Snapdragon 855 Plus – an enhanced variant of the Snapdragon 855 with a higher clock speed and overclocked GPU. Over the standard Snapdragon 855 present in most Android Flagships, the ROG Phone 2 will have a 4% and 15% better graphics rendering performance, as per Qualcomm.The previous ROG Phone also featured a slightly overclocked Snapdragon 845.
The ROG Phone 2 also has 8GB/12GB LPDDR4X RAM, plenty of memory. The higher end variant is a bit overkill but the option is there . And there’s plenty of storage too – up to 512GB of UFS 3.0 Storage (faster than conventional UFS 2.1)
The ROG Phone has one of the most lasting batteries ever
The battery’s just flat out beastly on this phone. It’s a 6000mAh battery with support for quick charging, that uses proprietary tech that ASUS calls ROG HyperCharge. They say it takes the charging circuitry outside of the phone in the 30W Charging Brick, which does sound similar to what OnePlus does with its Dash Charge and Warp Charge tech.
The charging stats for this phone is around 66% in 58 minutes according to ASUS, and given the large capacity this phone will take longer to charge. There’s a neat design feature that helps a lot in charging the phone by the way – this phone has multiple Type-C Ports, so you can actually charge this phone from its side rather than the bottom as well. This should be very helpful while gaming and watching movies on your phone!
The ROG Phone 2 lasts impressively long. Here’s what MKBHD has to say in his ROG Phone 2 Review –
“Even at 120Hz all the time, I have never gotten close to killing this phone in a day. On a super heavy day where I had a lot of unplugged navigation and music streaming and I just intentionally never plugged in during the day, I ended the day after 10PM with about 5 hours of screen-on-time and half battery life left. Wow. It’s my dream smartphone battery.”
Marques Brownlee, reviewing the ROG Phone 2
Design, Build, Front Facing Stereo Speakers
The ROG Phone 2 is built with an aluminium frame, front & back glass with the front having Gorilla Glass 6. This phone is just enormous, bigger than most flagships with a 6.73 x 3.06 x 0.37 inches footprint. The Republic of Gamers design language just screams an aggressive gaming design all over this phone. There’s sharp lines, cooling vents and an ROG Logo with RGB Lighting. The included Aero case is a bumper case with cutouts that show off the vanilla design and supports the cooling accessory without the need to take it out.
There’s also sensitive triggers on top of the phone that are basically two extra pressure sensitive spots where your two fingers can rest and you can map this for scoping in, firing, activating nitrous, or anything else as long as there’s support for it. This should be much more ergonomic than playing with four fingers on a phone – believe me I know, I play PUBG Mobile with four fingers and it doesn’t feel very comfortable.
This phone weights 240 grams and is obviously heavy. But it’s actually not that much heavier compared to other flagships. For example, the iPhone 11 Pro Max weighs 226 grams. The OnePlus 7 Pro weights 206 grams. So compared to Apple’s latest flagship iPhone, the ROG Phone 2 is just 7 percent more heavy! This phone has front facing stereo speakers. They’re loud, clear and will pretty much be never obstructed by your hands because they’re front facing.
The ROG Phone 2 comes with an arsenal of gaming accessories. First, the included Aero cover is perfect for protection on the go and the best thing about it is how it preserves the vanilla aesthetics of the phone. Second, there’s an AeroActive Cooler II that is 4 times quieter and keeps the phone cool during intense gaming sessions. Third, there’s a Twin Dock II which you can slot in the ROG Phone 2 which gives you another 120Hz OLED Display along with an extra 5000mAh battery.
And now we come to the camera
The ROG Phone 2 doesn’t have a very good camera. It’s a respectable camera system with a 48+12MP Dual Camera Setup, one of them having an ultrawide. There’s not much to say here – it’s just not a focus, but it’s not an inherently bad camera by any means. With good lighting you’ll be plenty satisfied with shots from the ROG Phone 2. Camera mods (like GCam) could improve the performance though!
The ROG Phone 2 is a game changer for gaming phones and if you’re looking for a spec monster, look no further. It’s got some really impressive specifications – an amazing display, kickass battery life, and powerful performance. Honestly, this phone is also viable for people who aren’t mainstream gamers – it’s a great media consumption device, works well for heavy users, and well if you don’t really care about camera performance and features like wireless charging then this might just be the phone for you!
What do you think about the ROG Phone 2? Is it overkill? Let us know down in the comments.