Overdrive Gaming with the ROG Phone 2

As its tagline literally says, the ROG Phone 2 is designed to deliver the ultimate mobile gaming experience right in the palm of your hands. In this review, we are going to talk about why the ROG Phone 2 is the best gaming smartphone of its time.

 

FULL SPECIFICATIONS

ROG Phone 2 Full Specifications
Display 6.59-inch 19.5:9 (2340 x 1080) 120Hz AMOLED HDR Display
600nits
Delta E < 1, DCI-P3 support and 500,000:1 contrast ratio
Corning Gorilla Glass 6
Processor 2.96GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus, 7nm 64-bit Octa-core processor
GPU Qualcomm Adreno 640
Memory LPDDR4X 12GB RAM
Storage UFS 3.0 512GB Storage
SD Card Yes
Camera Sony IMX586 48MP + 13MP Main Rear Camera
13MP, 125° Ultrawide Secondary Rear Camera
24 MP Front Camera
UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) @ 30 / 60 fps
Operating System Android 9.0 out of the box (with ROG UI)
Fingerprint Sensor In-display Fingerprint
Face Unlock Yes
Size 151mm x 71.8mm x 7.9
Weight 168g
Battery 6000 mAh with up to 30W Quick Charge 4.0 and PD 3.0 Charging support
LED Aura RGB Lighting Support
I/O USB 3.1 Type-C
3.5mm Audio Jack

 

DESIGN

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Nothing much has changed with today’s ROG Phone 2 design, it just became bigger but it’s still as flashy and gamer-oriented as its predecessor. The only Noticeable change is the Holographic accent lines at the back and the less obtrusive ROG Aerodynamic System. It is still made up of metallic frame with glass back panel where the beautiful customizable RGB-lit ROG logo sits.

Moving to the front is a 2430 x 1080 (19.5:9) Full view display with very thin bezels on both ends. This is a smart move from ASUS as it helps avoid unwanted touch on the edges of the screen while gaming. This is our main problem when we had the Galaxy Note 10 wherein the screen is so wide that our palm keeps on touching the edges, making unwanted movements in-game. We hope ASUS will retain this bezels for the rest of its ROG Phone line. The 24MP front facing camera and speakers can be found here as well.

On the sides of the ROG Phone 2 comes the volume rocker and the power button. When held in landscape mode, you can use two additional keys which are called Air Triggers. These triggers are sensors thqt are responsive to touch and can be mapped using Game Genie. This is very useful when playing FPS Games such Call of Duty mobile or PUBG mobile. Additionally, while still in landscape mode, you can use the secondary port at the bottom for charging or when docking the Aeroactive Cooler 2.

At the bottom is the primary charging port where you can plug the included 30W ROG Phone 2 power brick. Also, luckily we can enjoy the glory of the 3.5mm jack when playing games as well as when listening to our favorite music.

Several noise cancellation mic are scattered on the sides of the phone to help reduce the noise when in call or when in team play.

 

DISPLAY

We really loved the enormous 6.59 inch and 120Hz refresh rate AMOLED display of the ROG Phone 2 compared to its predecessor. Not to mention it has 240Hz touch refresh rate which makes the phone even more responsive. Sounds overkill but here we are, playing games at 120fps on a mobile device! It wouldn’t be surprising if ASUS will have 144Hz on their ROG Phone 3 (hopefully)!

Additionally, the colors on the ROG Phone 2’s display appears to be more calibrated as it displays 64x more colors than other smartphones. The only downside here is that the recurring issue of AMOLED displays when used for long period of time. Who would want to see a static image being left on the screen of their Php 49,995 gaming smartphone because of AMOLED burn? Yes, it is inevitable if you are the type of gamer who would use a smartphone to grind on games for a long period of time. We’ve seen posts of similar stories from end-users who already had their screen burn just two or three weeks after getting their unit.

 

GAMING PERFORMANCE

The ROG Phone 2 is equipped with the most powerful chipset yet, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus processor (overclocked) which runs up to 2.96GHz. Paired to this is the Qualcomm Adreno 640 GPU that brings the best graphics to your games. With all these processing power, the ROG Phone 2 obviously heats up when playing for a long period of time. The good thing about this is that we haven’t experienced any thermal throttling when we were testing the phone. Still we suggest using the bundled Aeroactive Cooler 2 especially on graphic intensive games to avoid stressing the because of too much heat.

We’ve tested the ROG Phone 2 with several games but we will only highlight two newly released mobile games that are really graphic intensive.

Black Desert Mobile

We’ve tried this before with the ROG Phone and it was able to run the game at maximum of 55fps in high graphics settings. This time, the ROG Phone 2 was able to run it at maximum 60fps in ultra high settings. This looks like a small upgrade but it only shows how powerful the ROG Phone series are. If you are not familiar with Black Desert Mobile, it is just one of those PC games that was successfully ported to mobile devices. It has the best graphics, variety of classes, skill effects, animations, as well as content a mobile game can offer to its players. It is also one of the games with sophisticated graphics but is perfectly optimized even for devices with outdated specs. Of course the ROG Phone 2 was able to run it smoothly without any problem.

The ROG Phone 2 is also one of the smartphones where the Ultra Graphics Settings of this game is readily available. Unfortunately for the ROG Phone 2 Tencent version, it is not the case as we’ve seen several complaints about it in a certain ROG Phone group. That’s a bummer, as you supposedly paid for the best gaming smartphone but rather get compromised.

Call of Duty Mobile

This is were you can fully utilize the Air Triggers. It gave us the advantage to the game as the ROG Phone 2 allowed us to map the shoot and iron sight button as if it is an L1 and R1 buttons of a Console controller. This allowed us to move and pan our camera freely while also shooting down our enemies.

 

BENCHMARK RESULTS

Here are the benchmark results of the ROG Phone 2 in different usage scenario. The result on the left shows the ROG Phone 2 in normal usage without the using X-mode and with the Aeroactive Cooler 2 attached. You can see that the scores increased when we attached the Aeroactive Cooler 2 on the right screenshot. The difference in the device temperature is also shown at the bottom part of the screenshot.

 

Here we have activated X-mode where the scores slightly increased to 497,147. Lastly, we’ve activated X-mode and attached the Aeroactive Cooler 2 but there is only slight changes in the score as well as a slightly cooler device temperature.

 

VERDICT

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The ROG Phone 2 is without a doubt the smartphone that each mobile gamer would dream of having. No wonder fans are so eager to have it that they bought the Tencent Version for a cheaper price even though this could mean sacrificing a bit of processing power and most importantly, their local warranty.

If you are a heavy gamer, the ROG Phone 2 is definitely the best gaming smartphone for you. Of course it also has its wide range arsenal of accessories which unfortunately we haven’t had the chance to review but we assure that it will bring your gaming experience to a whole new level.

The ROG Phone 2 is currently available for Php 49,995 for the 12GB RAM / 512 GB ROM. While the 12GB RAM / 1TB ROM or the Ultimate Edition will be available soon this November priced at Php 59,995.

Post Author: Patrick

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