Asus Rog Phone 2 | Gaming Review
This model beats them all in the mobile gaming category
Smartphones kept upping the game until autumn 2019 when Asus ROG Phone 2 and iPhone 11 came out in September. Now, the two are still at the helm of the Flagship fleet in early 2020 and are both on par with each other, as numerous tests done between the two have shown that none is the wiser. With that said, Asus ROG Phone 2 is, as we all know, built with mobile gaming in mind, and the company made sure that everything they did, every accessory they dished out, and every tweak made later, ensured their role as captain of the gaming Flagship fleet.
Is Asus ROG Phone 2 still the best?
AsusTek Computer Inc. is a veteran company in the computer hardware electronics field. They were founded in Taiwan over thirty years ago, in April 1989. Starting with desktop computers, the company has since spread its manufacturing to laptops, netbooks, networking equipment, WIFI Routers, monitors, motherboards, optical gear, graphics cards, and of course mobile phones. However, what is also important is that they are an original equipment manufacturer, which means they produce their accessories for their gadgets, which gives them an uncanny advantage in the market.
Asus ROG Phone 2 ZS660KL specifications at a glance:
- Starts as low as $590 bucks currently (new)
- 6.59 inches display screen
- 120Hz Refresh rate (240Hz touch-sensing)
- 1080 x 2340p 19.5:9 aspect ratio
- Qualcomm SM8150 Snapdragon 855+
- Octa-core Kryo CPU
- 128/256/512/1TB Storage
- 8/12GB of RAM
- 48MP + 13MP main camera
- 2160p video
- 24MP selfie cam
- 6000 mAh battery
- Quick Charge 4.0 (fast battery charging 30W)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ROG Phone II BUILD
This phone is designed out of this world…
Right off the bat, Asus ROG Phone 2 is designed out of this world. In these times when all phones look alike and it is hard to tell the difference, Asus went all out and made a beauty. It comes in a futuristic box and even the experience of un-boxing it is something to savor. The Smartphone itself also follows the same futuristic lines, with the well-known Republic of Gamers logo displayed at the back.
It is a heavy unit built with a Gorilla Glass 6 front and a Gorilla Glass 3 backsides, and a heavy-duty aluminum frame. It weighs 240g, which is almost 50g heavier than Apple iPhone 11, or 20%. Both speakers are facing front, and are tucked in at the bottom and the top edge of the display, which is very important for gaming, as we will see later.
The backside holds the unmistakable Asus ROG logo, which is glowing in their recognizable style. There is also a vent for a copper finish to cool the inside, and a two-camera setup. The bottom side has the 3.5mm headphone jack and the type-C charging port, which is off to the side and not placed at the center of the bottom edge. The dimensions of the device are 171 x 77.6 x 9.5 mm (6.73 x 3.06 x 0.37 in).
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ROG Phone II DISPLAY
An immersive mobile gaming experience…
The screen to body ration is 80.3% here, and Asus has taken precautions to ensure its AMOLED touchscreen is well-placed, with no notches and things in the way. The front cam is in a separate section on the top-front side. It features a 1080p screen capability, but what it makes it mobile gaming-oriented is its 120Hz refresh rate and 240Hz touch-sensing rate, with is just incredible. Now, the first question about the 120Hz refresh rate would be “Does it drain the battery fast?”, but once you realize it is a 6000mAh powered phone, you just stop doubting right then and there.
The other standard stuff is also ensured, like the HDR10, Corning Gorilla Glass 6 protection, and the full size of the display screen is 6.59 inches, which is 106.6 cm². The graphics are provided by the Qualcomm Adreno 640 GPU, which is incredible, and between the Bluelight filter, Color LED Notifications, and the Multi-touch support, you will just love it. It has a 1ms response time and 2.5D curved glass screen design, to ensure an immersive mobile gaming experience. The fingerprint scanner is also under the display.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ROG Phone II SOUND
Incredibly clear sound delivery…
What will immediately delight any user is that Asus ROG Phone 2 has an incredibly wide array of sound modes, which are all provided by the cleverly placed dual speakers, which are both facing front. This enables mobile gaming without covering one or both of the speakers with your hands as you hold the device, which happens almost with all other Smartphones, and it also enables incredibly clear sound delivery. The software offers several volume modes, like the Smart volume, Outdoor volume, AudioWizard, shortcuts to prevent ringing, and many more.
AudioWizard enables the user to customize audio performance, equalizer and set up everything just the way you like it. The sound is really loud, and it beats iPhone 11, OnePlus 7 Pro, and many other flagships in sound clarity, loudness, and quality, and it is mostly thanks to the speaker’s positions. Also, the 3.5mm headphone jack is always a welcomed addition, which is included at this device’s follow-up accessories as well.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ROG Phone II CAMERA
Not the best Smartphone camera setup…
The main camera consists of the dual 48MP wide and 13MP ultrawide lenses, capable of capturing panorama, HDR, and performing incredible other stunts. Both the wide and the standard angles capture very clear details, are nice towards the lighting, and compare well with many other flagship Smartphone cameras. With that said, it is not the best camera setup, as Smartphones like iPhone 11 and Samsung Galaxy Note 10 series both beat it, but it’s a gaming phone so that is not the focus.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ROG Phone II PROCESSOR
More powerful than most desktop computers…
It’s a gaming phone, so its focus is on the core power and CPU speed. The Qualcomm SM8150 Snapdragon 855+ chipset is there to please. Now, the “+” may not seem like much, but it makes the difference regarding the response times and supporting the Asus ROG Phone 2 120Hz capability.
The CPU is an octa-core Kryo goodness (1×2.96 GHz Kryo 485 & 3×2.42 GHz Kryo 485 & 4×1.78 GHz Kryo 485) and paired with some cool signature Asus ROG UI features they’ve integrated to work regardless of the Android 9.0 (Pie), it will blow you away. Asus ROG Phone 2 gets its incredible power with its gaming optimization features because it allows the core to work in overclocked mode all the time. With the ventilation and the cooling system, and the customizations this Smartphone is more powerful than most desktop computers, easily.
Gaming Mode – at all times, whether you are in a game or the home screen or wherever, you can pull-in the Game Genie options slide which offers customization options, available on the go. You can control brightness, turn alerts and calls ON/OFF, check FPS, check the core temperature, set up dozens of other parameters, Speed Up the device, and utilize the X Mode.
The Speed Up Device feature will immediately optimize the Asus ROG Phone 2 and release additional memory for usage and you can automatically turn Screen Recording and link it with your YouTube, Twitch, or other Live streaming accounts (with your choice of resolution and audio sources). You can set up your preferences for each different mobile game you play, which includes the display, performance, audio, temperature control, CPU usage, refresh rate, anti-aliasing, and the X Mode.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ROG Phone II BATTERY
It can last nearly 8 hours of gaming session…
This would not be a good gaming Smartphone, without enough power capacity to run all these crazy specs. And, that is why Asus implemented the Non-removable Li-Po 6000 mAh battery, so to eliminate the standard battery life problems. They’ve also supplemented this with the fast battery charging at 30W (Quick Charge 4.0) and the Power bank/Reverse charging at 10W.
According to online sources and tests, the fully charged Asus ROG Phone 2 battery gives a full two days of uptime. That’s counting in the 120Hz panel and all the other features, without optimizations. Optimizations can even prolong this. The draining test done with video playback showed a 5% battery expenditure for a 1-hour run, meaning you get 1 hour of video playback for 5% of the battery life, meaning you can play videos for 20 full hours.
How much battery is spent for 1 hour of gaming?
1 hour of camera usage (one hour of recording time) spent 20% of battery life, meaning you get 5 hours of recording time in total. A 1-hour YouTube video playback spends about 28% of battery life. Now, as far as the gaming goes, this naturally depends on the game, but a 1-hour PUBG session has spent around 30% of the battery life. All in all, Asus ROG Phone 2 can last nearly 8 hours with various videos, games, and activities. The charging time test with the provided power cord showed an over 50% charge for 1 hour, and the whole 100% in about 2 hours.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ROG Phone II PRICE
One of the best offers for your money’s worth…
When it came out, in September 2019, the lowest price for Asus ROG Phone 2 was around $900 bucks. One version of the device, with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, can be found online on Amazon for as low as $550 bucks, not counting the shipping and import fees. This is in new condition, so, not counting the additional accessories you may want to purchase, this is currently one of the best offers for your money’s worth. A unified online Price/quality ratio score for Asus ROG Phone 2 is around 9 out of 10.
- Twin Dock II
- ROG Kunai Gamepad
- Aeroactive Cooler II
- Aero Case
- Mobile Desktop Dock
GAMING OVERLORD FROM ASUS
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GET ROG PHONE 2 NOW
Currently comes under $600 which is an incredible value for such a “low” price
- Version with 12GB of RAM is stronger than most PC nowadays
- Snapdragon 855+
- 120Hz screen refresh rate
- 6000 mAh battery
- Numerous gaming tweaks
- A wide arrange of fancy accessories
- Very sturdy and durable built
- Cleverly placed front-facing speakers
- Up to 1TB storage capacity
- 6.59 inches display screen size
- Charging may take a while, around 2 hours for a full 100% battery
- A little heavy to hold and carry inside a pocket
- Carrying all these accessories with you while you travel, for instance, may prove an undertaking
- There are several flagship Smartphones with a better camera setup, which is not that important for gaming
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ROG Phone II VERDICT
This bad boy still reigns supreme…
Yes! Asus ROG Phone 2 still reigns supreme, and it will likely stay that way until their Phone 3. This model beats them all in the mobile gaming category, for sure. Looking at the specs alone, it is an incredible Smartphone you can get for as low as $650 currently. But, when you look behind the scenes and see all the tweaks Asus has provided, you can feel the care and effort they’ve invested in building this king of gaming Smartphones. Looking at the build, hardware, software, accessories, and everything, this phone reigns supreme!
All images are taken from Asus ROG Phone 2 Official Website
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