Asus ROG Cellphone 2 overview: The power to change your recreation


Asus ROG Cellphone 2 overview: The power to change your recreation

“The massively extremely efficient Asus ROG Cellphone 2 will attraction hardcore gamers, or anyone who wants raw effectivity.”

Beautiful 120Hz AMOLED show display

Prolonged-lasting 6,000mAh battery

Unimaginable processor effectivity

Huge collection of tools

Smart for video video games

Design won’t attraction to everyone

No water resistance

Space of curiosity viewers attraction

Asus isn’t having fun with spherical with the ROG Cellphone 2. It’s a important gaming cellphone, heaving with power and effectivity, with additional add-on components than a model new vehicle. For the obsessive, Asus will even promote you an infinite ROG-branded (Republic of Avid avid gamers) suitcase with the cellphone and a mountain of apparatus.

Nonetheless, as an alternative of solely specializing in gamers, Asus thinks three groups of people are going to lust after the ROG Cellphone 2. Followers of the ROG mannequin who play video video games for not lower than six hours per week; hardcore gamers having fun with for 16 hours or additional per week; and tech followers who wants a pleasant, extremely efficient cellphone and wishes to be a part of a rising group. Nonetheless can Asus acquire the just about not potential and make a specialist cellphone that appeals to the less-committed tech lover? The reply is bound — in case you could get earlier the design.

Made ya look

Asus has retained the placing, explicit particular person look of the distinctive ROG Cellphone for the sequel, with just some alterations that make it barely additional visually attention-grabbing. The offset fingerprint sensor has been away from the once more and adjusted by an in-display sensor, and the fake vents on the once more have moreover been taken away, making strategy for a single, smaller, and purposeful vent. Reflective, angled traces give the once more a sci-fi look, and it’s all slashes and cuts as an alternative of curves and minimalism.

asus rog phone 2 review backAndy Boxall/DigitalTrends

The cellphone is a loud-and-proud Republic of Avid avid gamers system, correct proper all the way down to the RGB-lit ROG emblem on the once more. I prefer it. It stands out, it doesn’t seem like every totally different cellphone on sale, and the matte finish is shiny, trendy, and surprisingly proof towards fingerprints. The copper accent on the working vent, the multi-color reflective highlights, and the RGB emblem give it precise character. I understand the ROG Cellphone 2’s design acquired’t be for everyone, and some will give it some thought too “gamer-y,” nonetheless recuperate from this and embrace the design, and likewise you’ll private a cellphone that acquired’t be mistaken for another.

It’s truly giant, and at 240 grams it’s heavy too. The physique’s well-balanced, so it’s not awkward to hold, nonetheless you positively understand it’s in your bag or pocket. The RGB-lit emblem must be manually activated and I just like the respiratory affect it makes as a result of it cycles by utterly totally different colors. Weirdly, it doesn’t change off whenever you may need Do Not Disturb mode enabled, and that’s annoying as a result of it lights up a darkish room. The side buttons are easy to seek out and press, although the off-center USB Form-C charging port is hard to look out at midnight, not like standard ports which may be centrally mounted.

You get a 3.5mm headphone jack, and on the left-hand side of the cellphone is a second charging port, made for when you preserve the cellphone in panorama orientation so the cable doesn’t intervene with gameplay. It’s lined over with a rubber grommet that’s decided to be misplaced the second you’re taking it off, as a result of it’s not linked to the cellphone the least bit. Moreover, the instructions let you realize to solely use considered one of many twin USB connectors under the grommet, apart from it’s not clear on the cellphone itself, and I can not at all remember which one it’s with out going once more to confirm.

The copper accent on the working vent, the multi-color reflective highlights, and the RGB emblem give it precise character.

Bezels on the prime and bottom of the cellphone suggest there’s no notch, nonetheless as an alternative, current home for some great-sounding stereo audio system. There are people who dislike the shift to notched and bezel-less designs, and the ROG Cellphone 2 is the antidote to them.

Clear show display

The ROG Cellphone 2 has a really giant 6.59-inch, 10-bit HDR AMOLED show display with a 120Hz refresh cost. Technically, it’s switchable between 60Hz, 90Hz, and 120Hz, nonetheless I’ve left it set at 120Hz with out noticing excessive battery draw or incompatibility with apps. Why did I depart it set to this? On account of 120Hz is a visual pleasure and a complete revolution in smartphone visuals.

asus rog phone 2 review frontAndy Boxall/DigitalTrends

That’s an iPhone diploma of smoothness (positive, I do know iPhones have a 60Hz refresh cost). The scrolling is so slick, irrespective of which app you’re using and even when it’s merely navigating Android’s menus — it’s nice. What does this suggest to you? It lessens fatigue, makes the experience additional pleasurable, and supplies the cellphone a additional polished experience. Smoothness isn’t about processing velocity proper right here, it’s in regards to the show display’s refresh cost.

The show display will also be calibrated throughout the manufacturing unit to level out basically probably the most right colors and makes use of 10-bit HDR for 1073.74 million colors, as an alternative of an Eight-bit SDR with 16.77 million colors. This suggests you see what the developer or content material materials creator wants you to see, and further particulars are revealed throughout the darker, shadowy areas too.

The fingerprint sensor on the show display is fast and succesful — additional so than the one on the Samsung Galaxy Phrase 10 Plus, in my experience — nonetheless the face unlock system is considerably sooner, and likewise you hardly get to the fingerprint sensor in time sooner than the cellphone has unlocked itself. You presumably can set this so that you just don’t should swipe up on the show display too.

Gaming and effectivity

Gaming is why you’ll need to buy the Asus ROG Cellphone 2. Each half about it’s geared in path of it, so what’s gaming like? Bloody wise. My game-of-choice is Danmaku Limitless 2, an beautiful shoot-em-up that depends upon with the power to steer clear of a lot of streams of bullets. I progressed earlier than odd, misplaced additional lives than odd, and liked having fun with additional because of the ROG Cellphone 2’s large effectivity.

asus rog phone 2 review kunai controllerAsus ROG Cellphone 2 and the Kunai controller accent Andy Boxall/DigitalTrends

Danmaku Limitless performs at 60 frames per second (fps), nonetheless you could nonetheless see the excellence compared with lesser screens on account of the ROG Cellphone 2’s show display refreshes at 120Hz. Nonetheless, good though this and totally different non-120fps video video games look, when you play a recreation with full help, it actually is next-level stuff. Bullet Hell Monday helps 120fps and performs so fantastically, you just about can’t think about you’re looking at a cellphone show display. Asphalt 9: Legends is tuned to play successfully on the ROG Cellphone 2, helps its tools, and is great.

I used X Mode, the game-tuning mode that ensures all the power from the Snapdragon 855 Plus goes to working the game all by way of to verify the most effective effectivity. What variations did all of it make? I’ll additional efficiently steer clear of the bullet onslaught; I may even see each little factor; there have been no stutters; and utterly no slow-down. I moreover felt the similar having fun with Hitman: Sniper, the place precision will also be essential to success. Flip off X Mode and revert to 60Hz, and there’s a noticeable distinction in gameplay. Video video games are a lot much less pleasant to play when the hardwire isn’t working at its optimum diploma.

Each recreation you play will likely be customized too, correct proper all the way down to setting the show display refresh cost individually, the notification alert frequency, CPU power, and even show display response time and call sensitivity. Having fun with on the ROG Cellphone 2 and the specialist hardware makes you a better participant too, one factor that Asus’s private evaluation backs up. The show display has a 1ms contact response time and a 49ms contact latency velocity, so that you just fireside sooner than totally different avid gamers, as an illustration. We’re talking about milliseconds, nonetheless that will make the excellence in aggressive play.

asus rog phone 2 review twinview dockAsus ROG Cellphone 2 and the TwinView Dock 2 accent Andy Boxall/DigitalTrends

The Air Triggers have been vastly improved over the first ROG Cellphone. Located throughout the prime left and correct of the cellphone’s physique in panorama orientation, they’re usually configured to activate utterly totally different touchscreen options. They’re environment friendly hardware-esque buttons, and the haptics have been sped as a lot as activate when you faucet them and supplies an environment friendly “button” actually really feel too.

How in regards to the Snapdragon 855 Plus? Our ROG Cellphone 2 unit has the 2.96GHz chip along with 12GB of RAM and subsequently carried out like a rocket. Not merely any rocket, nonetheless one with explicit rocket fuel to make it go even sooner. Listed below are some benchmarks:

AnTuTu 3D: 396,749
Geekbench 5 CPU: 764 single-core; 2,716 multi-core
3DMark Sling Shot Extreme: 5,395 Vulkan; 6,189 OpenGL

The outcomes are just about equal to the OnePlus 7T, moreover pushed by a Snapdragon 855 Plus processor, which locations it ahead of every totally different Android cellphone we’ve examined, and solely behind the iPhone 11 assortment. Power will not be going to be a precedence.

I’ve little query someone who loves cell gaming will get way more from the cellphone than I’ll.

I solely scratched the ground of what’s attainable with the ROG Cellphone 2 by the use of gaming; it makes me want to play additional and I actually really feel identical to the hardware is making me a better participant. I’ve little query someone who loves cell gaming will get way more from the cellphone than I’ll. That’s sooner than trying out the game controller tools seen proper right here, the Kunai controller and the TwinView Dock 2, for even greater gameplay experiences.

Many people have questioned whether or not or not there’s a need for a gaming cellphone or why anyone would buy one throughout the first place. If I lived and breathed Danmaku Limitless 2, or PUBG, Fortnite, or Asphalt; then the ROG Cellphone 2 is without doubt one of the easiest methods to benefit from having fun with them.

The digicam

By all rights, the digicam on the ROG Cellphone 2 shouldn’t be good. It’s a gaming cellphone with an emphasis on high-tech, so completely corners may have been reduce someplace, like our experience with the Razer Cellphone 2. The digicam hasn’t suffered unduly, and although it may presumably’t pretty maintain with the model new iPhone 11 Skilled or the Huawei Mate 30 Skilled, it does a secure job in most conditions and can most likely be better than enough for a lot of.

The precept lens has 48-megapixels and the ultra-wide lens has 13 megapixels. Publicity and distinction ranges are fairly on sunny and overcast days, whereas Night time time mode supplies a small amount of additional ambiance and component, with out ruining the shot. It may presumably’t compete with the OnePlus 7T (I used the ROG Cellphone 2 back-to-back with the 7T and the iPhone 11 Skilled all through a weekend away), nonetheless the outcomes nonetheless look good equipped it’s not too darkish.

The digicam app is straightforward to utilize, and there’s a slow-motion video mode to try, nonetheless it solely shoots at 240fps in Full HD, plus a wide-angle mode and a 2x zoom too. The selfie digicam has been positioned in such a strategy that it acquired’t get lined by your hand when having fun with in panorama orientation, making live-streaming out of your cellphone attainable. The doorway 24-megapixel digicam takes satisfactory selfies and has a software-driven portrait mode that lags behind the opponents in edge-detection.

Asus ROG Phone 2 Photo Sample

Asus ROG Phone 2 Photo Sample

Asus ROG Cellphone 2 with out Night time time mode
Asus ROG Cellphone 2 with Night time time mode

For a cellphone the place the primary goal to buy won’t be the digicam, the ROG Cellphone 2 does an admirable job, and takes secure images you’ll be comfy to share.

Software program program and battery

Asus found masses with the Zenfone 6, which received right here with a Pixel-like Android experience free of earlier ZenUI bloat and totally different particular person interface atrocities. The ROG Cellphone 2 supplies you the collection of the ROG Cellphone experience — a software program program theme generally known as Darkish Reactor designed want it must be working a Klingon Fowl of Prey’s flight laptop, comparatively than a cellphone — or the cleaner ZenUI seen on the Zenfone 6. I wish to advocate you choose the latter.

asus rog phone 2 review portsAndy Boxall/DigitalTrends

There’s a slide-up app tray, a slide-down notification shade, cute little spherical icons, and all of it feels acquainted, comfortable, and user-friendly. It’s what I would love from software program program on my cellphone. Even the slide-in show display from the left of the homepage is successfully used — it exhibits Google Info tales and the local weather. It’s not solely free of points though — first off, it’s working Android 9 and by no means Android 10, nonetheless arguably the rest of my gripes comes proper all the way down to stuff that might use a bit little bit of refinement. An excellent occasion is the always-on show display panel. You get to determine on the design, and only one has notifications on current, however the numbers don’t change in response to what’s in your cellphone. Mine has talked about 10 SMS for a lot of days, with no exact SMS messages to be taught.

Now we come to the battery. It’s a 6,000mAh cell inside proper right here, and it’s an absolute endurance machine. It’s like having a vast V8 engine in your vehicle — it lazily delivers good gobs of power regularly. With minimal use in path of the tip of my overview interval, the ROG Cellphone 2 wanted to take a seat idle whereas totally different devices purchased some consideration. It luckily stayed linked to Wi-Fi and 4G in my bag, accumulating notifications, and coming out for the odd gameplay session for four secure days. It went from 100% to 30% battery all through that time.

Using it each day as my important cellphone, a day with five-and-a-half hours show display time nonetheless observed 40% remaining at 10 p.m., and with common use, two days won’t be a problem. The massive cell possibly doesn’t reside as a lot as our highest expectations, as given the potential I truly wished two days heavy use at the very least out of the cellphone and it hasn’t achieved that.

Worth, assure, and availability

The Asus ROG Cellphone 2 is obtainable to purchase on Asus’s private website throughout the U.S. for $900, and it comes with a one-year assure.

Our Take

The Asus ROG Cellphone 2 is an unbelievable spec-powerhouse, and easily one of many competent high-performance smartphones of the 12 months. Nonetheless, its design and gaming credentials do suggest hardcore cell gamers could be the solely ones who truly exploit and experience its skills.

Are there any alternate choices?

Gaming telephones aren’t the rarity they as quickly as had been. An infinite base of cell gamers everywhere in the world — PUBG Mobile alone has spherical 50 million each day energetic clients, in response to statistics from June this 12 months — ensures there’s hardware to attract avid gamers. The Razer Cellphone 2 is in the marketplace nonetheless is getting outdated at this degree, plus there’s the Blackshark 2 and the Purple Magic three as successfully, and all embrace choices that may attraction to cell gamers.

That’s good, nonetheless it’s not like totally different flagship telephones are incapable of having fun with video video games. The Samsung Galaxy Phrase 10 Plus is extremely efficient enough to deal with any cell recreation, as is the OnePlus 7 Skilled, which benefits from a 90Hz show display too. Then there’s Apple Arcade and an iPhone 11 Skilled or Skilled Max — a formidable combination with the technical capability to attract many.

Nonetheless, the true menace to the Asus ROG Cellphone 2 comes from the Nintendo Swap Lite. Buy the $150 Kunai controller for the ROG Cellphone 2, which supplies Swap-like joypads each side of the cellphone, and out of the blue the cellphone turns into truly expensive. The $600 OnePlus 7T has the similar amount of power, a 90Hz show display, and a sturdy digicam. Even in case you occur to funds $200 for a Swap Lite, the bundle is cheaper and easily as attention-grabbing to the casual gamer as a result of the ROG Cellphone 2.

How prolonged will it ultimate?

The cellphone has the power and talent to ultimate for not lower than two years if no extra. It doesn’t have water resistance or a really strong physique, so that you just’ll should be barely cautious with it all through that time. Asus has not mentioned when Android 10 will arrive on the cellphone, solely that it’s coming, so persistence will most likely be needed.

Do you must buy one?

Certain, nonetheless offered that you just’re a devoted cell gamer. The Asus ROG Cellphone 2 is the simplest gaming smartphone you can purchase, nonetheless it’s not the simplest all-round smartphone you can purchase. In case you’re an informal gamer, the OnePlus 7T costs a lot much less and offers the similar effectivity. Nonetheless, it merely can’t compete with the ROG Cellphone 2’s hyper-focus, and in case you occur to’re invested in cell video video games — and which suggests hours each day having fun with or livestreaming — and are devoted to enhancing your means — it’ll do each little factor you want and further.

Editors’ Solutions

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