We have had the ASUS ROG Phone II for the last while for testing. You can read how ASUS monster phone has done here.
We have had the powerful gaming phone from ASUS for testing for more than a month, and are now ready with the monster phone verdict. It is clearly something other than the traditional everyday smartphone, but how does it work in practice?
Also read: ASUS shows which mobile games support 120fps
ROG Phone II is trying to be more than just a smartphone, but has ASUS made the right choices, or does the phone simply become too specific in its expression? I try to answer that here:
- Large, nice screen
- 120 Hz refresh rate
- Stereo speakers with powerful, clear sound
- 6,000 mAh battery
- Quick charge
- 3.5 mm jack connector
- No IP certification
- No wire charging
- No matter the eye-catcher
- Stays warm during longer gaming sessions
- Uses relatively high battery in "X mode"
- Camera under medium
- No Android 10 yet
Design and first impression
My first impression of the packaging was that it was clearly designed for the gaming segment. It gets a bit Star Wars-like with the cylinder-like packaging. The only thing missing is a lousy artificial haze when you pick up the phone, so the phrase had been completed. I imagine it is difficult to implement liquid nitrogen, or the like, in a cardboard box, so we are satisfied with the current version.
The phone, for me, is bold but severely exaggerated. It is perfectly fine that one does not always live by the slogan "less is more", which ROG II certainly does not. It is very "robot-ish" in its expression, which is probably the best way I can describe the design. The logo bagp lights up in the best gaming style, but can be turned off happily. It's fun at first, but at some point I also just want to use the phone as it is … namely a phone. It does not always match the changing RGB light in all kinds of neon shades.
First impression is thus a large phone with no eye-catching spare.
Click to open the photo gallery:
Looking into the engine compartment, the ASUS ROG Phone II is a muscle bundle of dimensions. It is also clearly visible in all the benchmark tests I have taken. Here, the phone simply backs up all other models with its 12 GB RAM, Snapdragon 855+ and Adreno 640. There is simply no one up on the side of the ROG Phone II.
For everyday use it is far too violent. There is no need for all that memory if you just have a fairly normal usage – but ROG Phone II is not intended for those who "just" have a regular consumption. It is intended for those who can really spend many hours playing on the mobile. Here, I'm not talking about your mom who just discovered Candy Crush, and therefore hasn't released her in iPhone 8 for four days. No, I'm talking about those who stream long gaming sessions of Call of Duty Mobile or Asphalt 9, ie the heavy games in class.
With the built-in gaming console, and "Game Genie", ASUS has shaped to create the perfect platform for serious smartphone gamers. Opportunities to record and stream his game are something the younger generation loves. The ability to broadcast its game directly via Twitch or YouTube is a must if a producer is really trying to meet the gamer segment, which ASUS is doing very well here.
I have played for hours on Asphalt 9 and Call of Duty Mobile, and I have never experienced problems from ROG Phone II. On the other hand, I also feel that even for the big mobile games, the phone is more powerful than necessary. I am not opposed to the phone, but rather want the game makers to take it and launch games that really exploit the potential. As it looks right now, ASUS ROG Phone II is miles ahead of the games it chews through with ease.
Specifications on the ASUS ROG Phone II
|Ml and vgt||170.99 x 77.6 x 9.48mm
19.5: 9 1080 x2340
Corning Gorilla Glass 6
|Camera||48MP f1.79 SONY IMX586
13MP, 125 ̊ ultra-wide angle, F2.4
Front24MP, f / 2.2
|software||Android 9 Pie
|Other things||DTS: X stereo speakers
Fingerprints in the screen
Additional USB-C in the side
Like every other phone trying to reach young people, ASUS ROG Phone II also has a camera. There is almost nothing to say about it, because it does not turn on or off. The phone, of course, does not address bald "Content Creators", as Zenfone 6 does. But considering that the sensors should be the same as in the entertaining Flip Camera on Zenfone 6, then the camera is below average.
I suppose, of course, there is not much focus on the camera software in ROG Phone II, which is clearly evident in use. However, it is not so bad that the camera is decidedly bad – has shaped to get quite excellent pictures in both daylight and in the evening. The camera in ROG Phone II has just some of the classic annoyances, among other things, it is almost impossible to take pictures of moving subjects. Those kind of annoying moments just cause you to not really bother taking pictures. In my time with ROG Phone II, I have mostly left photography for my wife and her Huawei Mate 20 Pro, as Rog Phone II is just too weak in that discipline.
Below are two examples of night mode vs. normal image.
The article continues under the gallery …
Click to open the photo gallery:
ROG Phone II Essentials
The reason I call the next section for "Essentials" is that we need to take a look at the things that differentiate ROG Phone II from other smartphones.
First and foremost, there are the famed AirTriggers who are a bit of a genius on the part of ASUS. They require some adjustment before they work, but then they are almost indispensable. The whole concept is that the phone frame is touch sensitive. This means that you can emulate trigger buttons that we know from consoles in the form of R2 and L2 on PlayStation, or RT and LT on Xbox. The AirTriggers offer a huge advantage o shooting games where they can now act as a firing key and aim, or in car games where they can act as a gas pedal and brake. However, AirTriggers can be programmed for any function, so there is plenty of opportunity to get a little creative with its control settings.
As with the first ROG Phone, there is a sea of accessories also available for ROG Phone II. However, I have not had the opportunity to test it, so I only comment on the enhancements that actually came with my device. In addition to the questionable cover, the packaging contained the pointed little fan that can be mounted on the back of the phone via the USB-C port on the side. It is primarily intended for horizontal use, and is actually just annoyingly annoying at games where the phone is held vertically. In addition, I have my doubts about how much it actually does. According to ASUS, it can lower the back surface temperature by about 6-7 degrees, the back vent can lower the temperature by 2.5 degrees, and the chipset can lower the temperature by about 3 , 3-3.9 degrees. That doesn't sound like the wild, and I still think the phone got hotter at longer games. Therefore, I quickly dropped the outer garment, and I suspect it just to be indifferent, flowing eyes.
The last "essentials" are the "built-in cooler" on the back – that is, the small grate that emits heat from the phone – and the USB-C port on the side. First and foremost is the one passive ring once vs if you ask me. It serves absolutely no formula for the performance of the phone, and in fact only makes the phone more susceptible to water and dust. I'm aware that "gamers" don't come out that much, but without any documented security, ASUS wouldn't have had to make an extra phone call. In my world it is an ommer. As a result, I would say that the extra USB port on the side is both crazy and brilliant. It is so nice that you can leave without interrupting the cable, on the other hand it is another weak point when we talk liquid and dust.
Display, sound and power consumption
The big screen of the ASUS ROG Phone II is nothing short of amazing. At some point I came to realize that the screen is bigger on ROG Phone II than on OnePlus 7 Pro – that is not the case. However, it is significantly larger when sitting with it, perhaps because of the two beams at the bottom and top, and because it is not curved in the sides.
The display provides brightness up to 600 nits, which is more than ample in the dark autumn and winter weather. In addition, the 120 Hz are definitely among the phone's greatest benefits. Everything's fluid, not just games that support high refresh rates, but also something as simple as navigating the phone's menu. Next to a "normal" screen, the difference is clear, and even next to the 90 Hz provided by the OnePlus top models, the ROG Phone II is superior.
The combination between the monitor and the big stereo speakers is exceptional. It all works perfectly together, like a small handheld multimedia center. If you spend many hours watching movies, series and games on your phone, then ASUS ROG Phone II should definitely be in your watch.
The package also comes with considerable power consumption. I have had the phone in the charger several times daily, despite the large 6,000 mAh battery. Of course, it is a bit awkward if there is no outlet nearby, but charging is so fast that it has rarely been a hassle for me.
The external clothing is actually more disruptive than it benefits. In turn, it is excellent as a foot.
Even though I have Oister running on the network of 3, I have had no problems with ROG Phone II. Even in the new Metroring, which is built of solid, network-killing concrete, I have shaped the signal. All calls are made as lubricated, and the sound clearly goes through both ways.
We are often asked for SAR values. That is why, of course, I also consulted at ASUS, which comes with this really nice explanation:
"The SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) figures are a value that measures how much energy your body absorbs from radiologists, and we have a law in Europe that a maximum of 2 Watts / kg can occur. That is, the SAR value itself does not say Something specific about signal quality, but is used to regulate how much radiation we get from our phones.The conclusion that is created by the fact that SAR is equivalent to poor signal quality comes from the rationalization that if more energy is used with the antenna quality also But that figure just tells us that more energy is being spent to get the signal – or that it's a bigger modem. "
For those who are still interested in the SAR values, we can tell that they can be found in the manuals of each phone, and at ROG Phone II the most valuable values are:
1.13 W / Kg (Head)
1.19 W / Kg (Body)
The ROG Phone II has an additional USB-C port in the side.
The final judgment
ASUS ROG Phone II is an impressive phone, however, has its special features. We might as well call a spade a spade here, and say that the phone is aimed at a narrow segment. If you need a powerful everyday phone, there are many cheaper alternatives that often offer better camera or protection from dirt and liquids.
If you sit in return and spend many hours playing mobile games, or you might also want to take advantage of the possibility of controller and TV connection, then you should look at ROG Phone II.
The price is a bit high in my opinion. For DKK 7,000 you can find many alternatives. For example, the OnePlus 7T Pro for 5,699 kroner – smaller battery, "only" 90 Hz screen, but with far better camera and newer software. It is therefore difficult to argue with ROG Phone II, unless you really go into gaming.
All things considered, I've fallen in love with Rog Phone II anyway. If you ignore silly things, such as the "clothes grill" and the accompanying fan, then the phone is well designed and unique in use. In its class, I think the phone is the absolute best – it would altogether score 6 stars as a clean and good gaming phone.
Unfortunately, everything is not about gaming, and as an everyday phone I'm less excited about ROG Phone II. It is simply too expensive when you look at the alternatives. Beware, you get a lot of "gaming" for the money – you just don't quite get that much smartphone, if you can say it that way.
I need a better camera and I need some IP certification. There could also be faster updates so I could test my wireless controller, which is possible with Android 10.
In spite of all this, the ASUS ROG Phone II is an excellent package, and an interesting addition for those who want something different from the regular smartphone. That's why ROG Phone II also ends up with 5 stars. Had it been cheaper, or offered more for the money, we probably would have ended in a top grade.