Gaming phones are a relatively new thing, but they represent a lucrative segment smartphone makers are trying to tap into. We have already seen phones like Xiaomi’s Black Shark 2 with detachable controllers and the Nubia Red Magic with a built-in cooling fan and more. However, none could match last year’s ASUS ROG phone when it comes to accessories. Now to extend that lead further, the company has released the ASUS Rog Phone II.
ASUS’ new phone aims to offer the ultimate smartphone gaming experience with a 120Hz 10-bit HDR screen, partnerships with game developers and an unmatched collection of accessories. This new phone is more of a spec bump than a design makeover.
This phone is not just for gamers, but for Android power users as well. Users have the option to switch between the game-focused ROG user interface and a near-stock UI. Such a dual nature of the phone is also reflected in its design. For instance, the phone can easily be used with one hand. However, the phone maker has also optimized the experience for landscape use.
The 6.59-inch AMOLED screen offers up to a 120Hz refresh rate with 1 ms latency. The handset also has 60Hz and 90Hz modes available. The touch sampling rate is 240Hz. ASUS claims it has achieved a lower touch latency than the iPhone XS Max at 49 ms, thanks to optimizations in the Android core.
Further, the screen has a resolution of 1,080 x 2,340px (19:5:9 aspect ratio) and supports 10-bit HDR. Moreover, it offers perfect color accuracy. Behind the screen, there is a Snapdragon 855 Plus processor. It is Qualcomm’s new gaming-focused SoC offering 15% better GPU performance and more clock speeds on the CPU.
ASUS’ latest phone is the world’s first smartphone with a 120Hz AMOLED display and the first to come with the Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset. It is also the first phone to feature two vibration motors to enrich your gaming experience.
As far as the cooling system, the phone features a vapor chamber and vents to help prevent throttling of the 855 Plus’ peak speeds. Other specs include 12GB of RAM, up to 512GB of storage and a 48-megapixel camera. The handset is equipped with a 6,000mAh battery, which the company claims can provide over 7 hours of PUBG with a 60Hz screen rate.
Similar to the original ROG hardware, the game launcher in the ASUS Rog Phone II is the Armoury Crate. Moreover, users can customize the settings for each game, such as deciding whether to run 120Hz mode or to enable the high-performance X-mode. Users can also use Game Genie to manage incoming calls, brightness and notifications.
The most attractive feature of the original ROG phone was its suite of gaming accessories, and the new one comes with even better accessories. ASUS has updated its accessories range with the new phone. The ASUS Rog Phone II comes with tweaked versions of the dual-screen TwinView dock and an improved clip-on AeroActive Cooler fan.
ASUS’ new dual-screen TwinView Dock mounts on the bottom side instead of on the top. Such an arrangement improves weight distribution and supports the device’s extra length. Further, the dock features a cooling fan, volume keys, a headphone jack, a USB-C port, and RGB lights. To reduce the weight, the company has removed the extra speakers, old SD card slot, trigger buttons and haptic vibrator. Now most of these functions are handled by the phone itself.
The new AeroActive Cooler II is reportedly four times quieter and can reduce the surface temperature by up to 5 degrees Celsius. Another accessory is the skeletal Aero Case, which one can use to mount the clip-on fan over it.
ASUS released one new attachment as well called the Kunai. This Nintendo Switch-inspired accessory features two split controllers which can be easily attached to the side of the phone or slid into the joypad-shaped grip. Moreover, users can toggle between the Bluetooth, USB and 2.4GHz RF connections to control the phone. These controllers can also be attached to the phone via a bumper and mount the whole setup on the new TwinView Dock II.
As far as games, ASUS has announced three major titles: Rockman X Dive, Shadowgun War Games and Asphalt 9. These games will come with optimizations and content customized for the ROG Phone II. The optimizations include fine-tuned haptic vibration, TwinView Dock II support, boosted frame rate and Kunai Gamepad support.
ASUS has not revealed pricing details. However, the company told The Verge that the handset will have a similar price tag as the original phone, which started at $899. The handset will launch globally in the first week of September, while details for the Chinese launch will be revealed tomorrow.