Asus ROG Phone 2 – Everything for Gaming26. October 2019
The design of the ROG Phone 2 is clearly different from any other smartphone in the market. It certainly looks very similar to the first version of the ROG Phone. The designers really went crazy.
A real eye-catcher
The camera module already has an unusual shape. There are lines that run across the back, shimmering in different colors in the light, and the cooling module is an eye-catcher.
That is made of plastic, while the rest of the back is made of glass. A special accent here is the copper-colored opening. Incidentally, the cooling is not just an eye-catcher, but also works very well, cooling down the phone with gaming.
On the back, you can not miss the Republic of Gamers logo. This is in normal operation white or silver shimmering. But if you activate the X-mode to play games, it starts to rotate through different colors. So if the ROG Phone 2 was not an eye-catcher for you before, then it should be now!
Overall, the phone is pretty chunky and with 240 grams, it is definitely not light. A 19.5: 9 aspect ratio and then forehead and chin, above and below the screen ensure that this is a very elongated smartphone. For a gaming smartphone, however, the main orientation will be horizontal, and then that does not bother so much.
But there is a good reason for the borders above and below the screen. Because the ROG Phone 2 has very good front-facing speakers that provide for really great sound. This is true when playing games, listening to music or watching movies.
But if you prefer to use headphones there is a headphone jack build in.
The screen is a 6.59 inch 120 Hz AMOLED. Other manufacturers start to implement more and more 90 Hz screens, with the ROG Phone 2 you get even 120 Hz. This makes sure that you can scroll smoothly, but it also works in supported games. And anyone who has ever played on a screen with more than the standard 60 Hz knows the difference.
The screens resolution is FHD + and both colors and black levels are, like with most AMOLED, very good. And even if you move the smartphone while playing, there are no problems with viewing angles.
Everything for Gaming
The front-facing speakers and the 120 Hz screen are clearly parts for a great gaming smartphone. So that you can get even more out of your games, there are also air triggers here. These are, in effect, shoulder buttons that can replace touches for certain areas on the screen. You can set the positions of the air triggers touches for each game individually and put specific actions just on these shoulder buttons. This covers the screen less, resulting in an even better gaming experience.
Every activation of the Air-Trigger triggers a very good vibration motor. As you know it from gaming controllers of the various game consoles, feedback with vibration is an important part of the gaming experience. The vibration motor in the ROG Phone 2 definitely contributes positively to this.
The remaining specs are also a guarantee for a good gaming experience. You get a Snapdragon 855 Plus with an Adreno 640. There are two variants for 8 or 12 GB of RAM. The internal memory ranges from 128 to 512 GB and this is by the way to fast UFS 3.0 memory, which is not expandable.
Space for two SIM cards can also be found on the ROG Phone 2.
That is a huge battery
So that the smartphone withstands longer gaming sessions, there is a 6000 mAh battery. And that brings you easily through two days, even if you play a game every now and then. The battery life has impressed me very much.
Although you can not charge the ROG Phone 2 wirelessly, it supports up to 30 W fast charging. However, only an 18 W charger is included. You also have to get used to the somewhat unusual position of the USB-C port. But there are two USB-C ports that can be used for charging. While playing it can be quite annoying to use the normal port and therefore there is another port on the left side, which then no longer bothers you while playing in landscape mode.
This is a double port and only the black port may be used for charging. Together, these ports make the connection option for accessories, such as an extra fan or gaming controller.
Oh and there are cameras
For those who do not just want to use the ROG Phone 2 for gaming, there are also two cameras on the back. It is 48 MP camera and a 13 MP wide-angle camera. The cameras are also sufficient for the occasional snapshot. The colors and the dynamic range are not bad and the portrait mode makes every effort to get nice bokeh. So the leaves in this photo turn in portrait mode into a really nice bokeh, which looks like many little lights are in the background.
Of course, you can also find NFC, Bluetooth 5 and WiFi 5 in the ROG Phone 2.
The front camera can also be handy, because you can also stream directly from the ROG Phone 2 to YouTube or Twitch. The quality of the 24 MP camera certainly is enough for that, but about the selfies, I’m not very excited.
Android 9 with gaming mode
It runs Android 9 and I like the adjustments Asus made. It still seems very tidy and the gaming mode actually offers additional value. You also get a global ROM with Google Play and Google services, even with an import from China.
Secure Unlocking of the ROG Phone 2 happens with the under-screen fingerprint sensor, which causes failed attempts a little too often for my taste. But if you scan your fingers several times, you can lower the failure rate significantly. This optical fingerprint sensor is definitely not one of the best on the market.
What you do not get however is Band 20 for LTE reception. Asus offers in Europe an elite edition, but that’s the variant with 12 GB of RAM and 512 GB of internal memory for around 900 €, which then also comes with Band 20. But if you want another variant, you have to resort to an import from China, where the Band 20 is missing.
My thoughts on the ROG Phone 2
My test device, which was provided to me by TradingShenzhen, with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of internal memory is more than enough for gaming. This variant you get for just 487 € and for real gamers is definitely worth a recommendation.