The Asus ROG Phone II is finally here, and it is the most powerful Android smartphone yet; until more devices ship with Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 855+ chipset, of course. That’s right, the ROG Phone II is the first smartphone to come with the new “built for gaming” SoC.
Beyond that, other specifications of the new gaming smartphone are very impressive too, including an absolutely monstrous 6,000mAh battery and a fast 120Hz AMOLED display.
Turns out, the earlier TENAA listing of the ROG Phone II wasn’t particularly accurate, citing “only” a 5,800mAh battery. Thanks to the extremely generous 6,000mAh cell, you can expect to do a lot of gaming on this smartphone without needing to charge it in between gaming sessions.
In fact, Asus claims that the phone can run PUBG Mobile at 60Hz for over seven hours. Needless to say, battery life of the ROG Phone II outside of gaming should be phenomenal too. We reckon it can comfortably provide up to two days of usage, unless you’re doing a ton of gaming. If you need to quickly charge the phone, you’ll be happy to know that it comes with Asus’ HyperCharge 30W fast charging technology.
However, the large battery capacity does make this a heavy device: it weighs a whopping 240g. It’s also thicker than most smartphones in the market now, measuring 9.5mm thick.
As expected, the ROG Phone II features a 120Hz display: it’s a 6.59-inch 2340 x 1080 AMOLED HDR-capable panel, so it should be a high quality screen. This being an AMOLED panel, you will get deep blacks, vibrant colours, and excellent viewing angles.
Of course, this wouldn’t be a display worthy of a gaming smartphone if it doesn’t have more underneath the surface. Not only does it have a 120Hz refresh rate, the touch sampling rate is increased to 240Hz – this lowers the touch latency down to only 49ms. According to Asus, this is the lowest latency of any phone in the market now.
Oh, there is also a fingerprint sensor under the display. Naturally, it’s an optical unit, similar to other sensors in most smartphones now.
When it comes to performance, the ROG Phone II’s Snapdragon 855+ chipset really makes it the fastest Android phone yet; it’s the first device to ship with that SoC, after all. With an overclocked CPU and GPU, you can expect up to 15% increase in gaming performance.
Cooling is equally important to help the Snapdragon 855+ sustain its peak performance, and Asus has a number of hardware to let the SoC run at its full potential. The ROG Phone II’s cooling system of a vapour chamber and vents can supposedly prevent throttling of the 855+, and if that’s not enough, there’s also the new AeroActive Cooler II fan that clips on to the phone for extra cooling.
There are a couple of other accessories for the gaming smartphone too. The TwinView Dock II, for one, gives you an extra 120Hz screen at the top and an additional 5,000mAh battery for even longer gaming sessions. There’s also the ROG Kunai Gamepad, which looks to be heavily inspired by the Nintendo Switch.
Other specifications of the ROG Phone II include 12GB of RAM, up to 512GB of internal storage (non-expandable, unfortunately), AirTriggers, like the ones found on the original model – they’re basically ultrasonic shoulder buttons – and of course, a 3.5mm headphone jack.
In the camera department, the ROG Phone II isn’t particularly impressive. Considering the fact that it’s a gaming-centric smartphone, this is not all that surprising. On the back, it has a dual camera system made up of a 48MP f/1.8 primary sensor and a 13MP f/2.4 wide angle shooter. The front-facing camera, on the other hand, has a 24MP f/2.2 sensor.
In the software side of things, Asus is actually offering the option to choose which version of Android you’d like to run on the ROG Phone II in the setup process. You can either go with the Taiwanese company’s ROG UI, or a stock version of Android 9.0 Pie.
In a market where most phone makers want users to use their take on Android, Asus’ decision to let its users choose the software experience based on their personal preferences is a breath of fresh air. This is an especially attractive feature for those who prefer the clean, no-nonsense nature of stock Android.
The Asus ROG Phone II does not have an official price tag yet, but it will supposedly be priced similarly to its predecessor. To put this into context, the original ROG Phone retailed at RM3,499 and RM3,999 for the 128GB and 512GB models respectively. As for availability, the new phone is expected to be launched worldwide in the first week of September 2019, and we were told beforehand that the gaming phone will be coming to Malaysia.
Interestingly, there will be two versions of the ROG Phone II: the China-only model will have a glossy back, while the global version will come with a sleeker matte finish. It’s not known yet if there are any other differences beyond aesthetics.
(Image credit: Amanz)