ASUS ROG Phone II Test: Sweet Overkill - Mash Viral
When you hear the term "gaming phone", what are the first associations that come to your mind? Excessive material specifications? Multicolored LEDs? Support for sophisticated gaming accessories, perhaps? The Asus ROG Phone II comes with all this, topped the package with a ridiculously large battery and a large screen operating at a frequency of 120 Hz. For those unfamiliar with the brand, ROG stands for "Republic of The players ". This is a range of equipment specifically designed for gaming - computers, monitors, peripherals and everything in between. As its name suggests, the ROG Phone II is the second generation Asus gaming smartphone. I spent two weeks with him to see how he stabilized.
In the box:
- Asus ROG Phone II
- Personalized protection case
- 30W wall adapter with USB-C port
- USB-C to USB-C cable
- AeroActive Cooler with footrest and two spare rubber plugs
- SIM card eject tool
- User manual and warranty information
The Asus ROG Phone II is clearly an enthusiastic phone. Just like its predecessor, it looks like it came out of a technocratic sci-fi movie - and it's a look you'll like or not. Some of my friends really liked it when I showed it to them, while others found his design a little exaggerated.
What everyone pointed out is that the ROG Phone II is super bulky. Indeed, this is one of the biggest and heavier phones we've reviewed and it barely fits in the normal pockets.
At the bottom of the Asus ROG Phone II, you'll find a 3.5mm headphone jack and a USB-C port for charging. On the side, under a rubber cap, is a special port used to connect accessories such as the AeroActive cooler - a direct-on fan that actively cools the phone. On the front, we find a pair of speakers producing a clear and powerful stereo sound.
An optical fingerprint reader is built into the phone screen. It works, but it is not as reliable as traditional fingerprint readers, which we all too often say recently.
The ROG logo on the back will light up and gently wipe through different colors, provided the high performance X-Mode is enabled. It can also serve as a beacon or pulsation to the rhythm of the music being played - nice features but also annoying, in my opinion. The option to enable these features is in the preloaded Armory Crate app. There is also a dedicated LED notification light on the front.
Unfortunately, the ASUS ROG Phone II has no water resistance rating, unlike other high-end phones. What it offers is a protection in the form of a free plastic frame case in the box.
At 6.6 inches, the Asus ROG Phone II offers one of the largest screens on a phone today. It's an OLED panel with a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels. Of course, the numbers do not look impressive, but the choice to stay with "just" a 1080p screen could be to allow the games to run at higher frame rates. There are no notches or cutouts that nibble the space on the screen - which the players would appreciate.
They would also appreciate the refresh rate of 120 Hz display. The vast majority of smartphones currently operate at 60 Hz, which is perfect for virtually all users, but an even higher refresh rate makes the movements more fluids and can display rates greater than 60 frames per second. This is a feature that is lacking in many popular high-end phones, including the latest iPhone and Samsung Galaxy models.
However, a higher refresh rate of the screen consumes a little more battery time, so there are also options at 90Hz and 60Hz. You can also configure the refresh rate setting of the screen for each game - which makes sense because not all games can take advantage of a refresh rate of 120Hz.
Asus also notes that the display on the ROG Phone II has a sampling rate of 240Hz - the number of times per second that the screen checks the touch input, basically. This is a feature intended to improve the tactile response.
A disadvantage that I must point out is that the screen is not very dark in the dark. Even with minimal brightness, the screen makes me very tired when I play or watch YouTube videos before bedtime. Outdoor visibility is usually quite good, even if some angles of light are strangling it.
View measurements and quality
Software and interface
The Asus ROG Phone II uses Android 9.0 Pie and you can choose between three different interfaces. Two of them, on the theme of the ROG brand, are bright and showy, while the third, with a classic theme, is uncluttered and discreet.
Regardless of the interface you choose, you'll have access to features such as a dark theme, Google's digital wellness, a permanent display, a screen recorder and a d & # 39; Phone calls. By default, the phone presents you with classic buttons on the screen for navigation, but you can replace them with Android navigation gestures or by Asus' own gesture navigation approach. The latter uses a swipe on one of the sides for the back, a bottom sweep for the home and a gesture of dragging down to view the recent apps.
Armory Crate is an application preloaded by Asus where your game collection is organized. This is also where you access game settings and advanced performance. For example, you can choose the refresh rate at which a game runs, set whether to give priority to the performance or battery life, to make sure the game is running smoothly. activate the antialising and edit the input controls.
Game Genie is another handy game tool that Asus has integrated. Slide your finger from the left edge of the screen to display the Game Genie menu, which allows you to lock the screen brightness, disable notifications, save your screen or display launch a live feed via Twitch or YouTube. . It also allows you to configure macros and AirTriggers.
The AirTriggers are force-sensitive shoulder buttons located on the right edge of the phone. Pressing one of them will simulate a tapping at a point on the screen that you have chosen. In other words, they act as shortcuts to existing on-screen buttons. I used AirTriggers in PUBG to aim and shoot more accurately and they were so good that I almost had the impression of cheating!
The Asus ROG Phone II is virtually the fastest Android phone yet. It is equipped with an overclocked chip Snapdragon 855+ with 12 GB of RAM. Unsurprisingly, all the games work perfectly: up to 120 fps if the refresh rate of 120 Hz display is enabled! With all this RAM, it is not uncommon to start a game and find that it is still loaded into memory, in the state you left it the day before. There is no microSD card reader on this phone, but with 512 GB or 1 TB of built-in storage, who needs it?
The AeroActive cooler that I have already talked about is an accessory designed to help dissipate heat. This is supposed to cool the phone and help maintain high performance longer, but personally, I could not see any difference in games or performance tests. The phone gets very hot under a heavy load and can sometimes be uncomfortable to hold.
The AeroActive cooler
On the back of the Asus ROG Phone II is a dual-camera configuration consisting of a 48MP main camera and a 13MP super wide-angle secondary camera. The main camera takes 12MP images by default, records 4K videos at a maximum frame rate of 60fps, and has a night mode that improves the quality of dimly lit images, as long as you do not leave the phone still for a few seconds .
Super wide angle camera
Night mode activated
Night mode off
The picture quality is good overall. This is not great, but it is certainly enough for most people. There is an automatic HDR mode that enhances highlights and shadows at the cost of a few moments of processing time. Digital Zooming disables the HDR for any reason. Colors are neutral and generally accurate, but white balance tends to degrade in low light. Surprisingly, the details are a bit blurry if you zoom in on the photo.
The super wide angle lens can be very useful in some situations, but like all other lenses of this type, it introduces some distortion near the edges. It is also less sensitive to light, which is why its dimly lit images are a bit more blurry.
Battery life and charge
6000mAh - this is the charge that can bear the Asus ROG Phone II. To put this figure in context, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ has a battery of 4300 mAh and the OnePlus 7 Pro with a capacity of 4000 mAh. The phone has provided a result of over 14 hours on our custom battery test, making it one of the most durable phones we have tested. This result was obtained with a refresh rate of 60Hz display. At 120Hz, the phone lasted 20 minutes less.
The life of the drums playing could however have been better. Depending on what you play, the phone can lose from 8% to 25% of the charge per hour of play. This is with X-Mode and LED light effects enabled. But if it's used as a normal phone, the ROG Phone II easily lasts 2 days between charges.
The 30W charger supplied with the Asus ROG Phone II charges the phone up to 25W. The other 5W are reserved for the accessories supply. A full charge requires 102 minutes, which is not bad at all considering the battery's capacity. If you just want to give the phone a quick boost, 30 minutes of charging is enough to charge the battery from 0 to 40%.
It is clear that Asus has designed the ROG Phone II with passion and desire to appeal to a growing number of players - people who view the game as a lifestyle, not just as a fun way to spend their free time. And the result is a ridiculous phone - in every sense of the word. It has both the hardware and software you need to dominate your opponents online, while remaining a good Android smartphone as a whole.
Of course, you do not have to be a hardcore player to be interested in an Asus ROG Phone II. It would also be a good choice if you need a phone with a long battery life and a good screen - as long as the weight does not bother you.
The Asus ROG Phone II is currently available for pre-order in the US at a price of $ 900. Indeed, it is an expensive phone, but it costs about as much as most of the equally powerful Android handsets. For roughly the same amount, you should be able to acquire a Galaxy S10 +, a more balanced phone with better cameras and wider compatibility with operators.
Gadget Enthusiast The ASUS ROG Phone 2 is priced at RM3,499/SGD1,144 for the 512GB variant, RM4,499/SGD1,471 for the 1TB variant. It is packaged with a massive 6,000mAh battery, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ processor
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