Asus ROG Phone 2 Review: Best gaming device at a budget?
- The Asus ROG Phone 2 gets a starting price of Rs 37,999 for the 8GB/128GB storage variant in the Indian market
- The company has also launched a number of accessories which users can buy separately
- Asus will sell the 12GB/512GB RAM and storage variant with all accessories and a 30W charger in the box for Rs 59,999
Product Name:Asus ROG Phone 2
These days buying a phone is not a tough decision if you are looking for excellent performance and a reasonable price. Plus if you are someone who is a gaming nut, you can hook up gaming controllers like the DualShock 4 or the Xbox One gamepad via Bluetooth and experience console gaming anywhere.
Having said that, it becomes kind of an overstatement to make when we try to recommend the Asus ROG Phone 2 with its flashy LEDs, gaming-centric design, and oh! Don’t forget the Asus’ gaming ecosystem of accessories which come with the ROG Phone 2.
There are some things which are missing as well – for starters there’s no waterproofing, or wireless charging, or even a telephoto camera for that matter. What you do get is a full blast of gaming-centric configurations like massive RAM, UFS 3.0 storage, Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset, 120Hz OLED and a battery which can punch the Godzilla in the throat.
And we haven’t started on the design yet.
All-in-all the Asus ROG Phone 2 did not cater to what we wanted and just proved to be nothing but a reminder that lower-priced phones are better.
No, it didn’t. We got you there, didn’t we?
Here’s our review of the Earth-stopping gigantic excuse of super-phone – the Asus ROG Phone 2.
- Performance. Duh?
- Battery could power the International Space Station
- The 120Hz OLED display sure got everyone interested
- X-mode (Hell’s to the yeah for the overclocking)
- Dual Type-C ports
- No wireless charging
- No waterproofing
- The design mimics original ROG device
- No telephoto lens
- No accessories included
Asus ROG Phone 2 Review: Looks, build, design, and display
The ROG Phone 2 gets a similar overall design to the first ROG phone with some minor improvements. The fingerprint sensor is now gone, and it has been shifted to the underside of the display. The fake vents which were present for cosmetic purposes have now been changed to a single, smaller, and a functional vent. There are still reflective, angled lines which give the phone a sharp look and of course, multiple-choice questions from curious people as well.
The rear panel also gets the Republic of Gamers (ROG) logo which is a backlit one – meaning you can show off that flashing RGB lights at a party. The rear is glossy because of glass. The rear panel design did strike a chord within the gamer in us, but we do understand the ROG Phone 2 does not look at home in a corporate office or a meeting with your boss where you discuss economics, and numbers, and stuff. But, on the upside, everyone’s going to want to know what the ROG is all about. Keep a ROG 2 manual handy at all times.
The ROG 2 gets a Type-C port with fast charging support, another Type-C port on the side so you can play without the wire getting tangled up in your fingers. This means you cannot blame the charging cable for your abysmal shooting performance in PUBG anymore. The buttons on the sides are sleek, and the build quality is good. Overall, the phone’s build quality feels sturdy and could be used as a brick to silence those who ridicule the ROG 2.
Also, did we mention it’s heavy? The ROG Phone 2 tips the scales at 240 grams but the design is well balanced and makes it easier to grip. There is also something called a headphone jack – a 3.5mm one, which might bring a smile to some while others would be like don’t know absolutely what’s it for.
The front of the ROG 2 looks like any other phone from last year – a screen with upper and lower bezels which are not slim in size and get this – both of them are stereo speakers which provide you that surround sound effect while playing games.
The display is a 120Hz 6.59-inch, 10-bit HDR AMOLED display. The ROG Phone 2 is technically the first phone to get a 120Hz refresh rate display and can be downgraded to 90Hz or 60Hz. The 120Hz option did not drain the battery as much as we thought, so kudos to Asus for this.
The display pops out colours, and the entire UI experience can be summed up in one word – smooth. Plus there’s a fingerprint sensor under the display as well with face unlock. For us, we found the face unlock system a much faster way to open the phone that the fingerprint sensor.
Asus ROG Phone 2 Review: Software and performance
What software? What performance? You already know the answer to this. One word – gaming. The ROG 2 does what it is supposed to. We played PUBG on the highest graphics, and it did not flinch for one moment. However, PUBG Mobile is not optimised to play at 120fps, but we did manage to play Asphalt-Legends which supports 120Hz refresh rate.
There is separate X-Mode which is basically a mode which puts the overclock on the chipset thus increasing performance. X-Mode automatically puts your phone into 120Hz mode. On normal mode – the display goes into a 60Hz mode.
For the gaming fanatic, there are a number of options which can be used to streamline gaming performance like alter refresh rate one at a time, change notification alert frequency, CPU power, and also change screen reaction time and touch sensitivity. The basket of hardware that the ROG 2 comes with brings a touch response time of 1ms and a touch latency speed of 49ms which means smooth gaming all the way. Haptics is faster this time around, and overall the phone works very smoothly and is powered by the latest Snapdragon 855 Plus which is a 2.09GHz clocked alongside a massive RAM which is at 8GB for the mid version and a full-blown 12GB variant. Power is not a concern here. If you have an app, the ROG Phone 2 will run it.
We can wax lyrical about the performance all day long; however, all-in-all – the phone is just a beast when it comes to running apps or games – daily or with periodic intervals.
Asus ROG Phone 2 Review: Camera
This is something the ROG 2 is not known to be strong in – or at least we assumed. This is a gaming phone, we thought and so could be manufacturers putting out the basic deets for the cameras and instead concentrating on the gaming part.
However, the ROG 2 performs pretty well when it comes to cameras. It is no iPhone 11 Pro or the Huawei P30 Pro, but the camera overall does an excellent job in capturing the right colours when images are taken in a reasonable amount of light.
The camera is a 48-megapixel Sony IMX586 sensor with a Quad Bayer filter with an accompanying sensor of 13-megapixels which is the ultra-wide lens. Day time images looked pretty decent enough with optimum white balance, brilliant colours, and very less noise except in dark areas.
There is a night mode too. The images taken through this mode does not look over-the-top and brings in most of the details unless you decide to start shooting in very low light conditions. This is not something to be compared with the iPhone 11 Pro, or the Galaxy Note 10+, or the OnePlus 7T for that matter. The night modes on these phones get a lot of optimisations, a lot of picture-taking and selecting, or overlapping techniques to increase the output quality. The ROG 2 gets a sensor.
Cameras have never been the strong point of a gaming phone ever, and it looks like it’s going to stay that way. The selfie shooter also takes in good selfies, but the struggle to implement correct edge detection can be seen when shooting from the 24-megapixel shooter. The selfie camera can also be used to record you while gaming lives.
Asus cracked the code with the 6Z with its close to stock Android UI experience which brings in a bloat-free look with its ZenUI. In the ROG 2, there are two UIs – the ZenUI and the ROG UI, which is a new theme accentuating the gaming creds of the phone. The theme is called Dark Reactor, and if you squeeze the lower parts of the frame, the UI will switch from ROG mode to X-mode. With that, you will see the wallpaper transforming into a cooler version and red circular lines on the icon edges.
Like the 6Z, there is an app drawer which can be accessed by swiping up from the bottom part of the display. There’s still Android 9, but we expect the Android 10 to start soon showing up. Asus needs to get the word out on this.
Asus ROG Phone 2 Review: Battery
The battery on the ROG 2 is like the Hemi engine pulling in quadruple-digit torque numbers with no care of what it’s pulling along. The 6000mAh unit quickly breezed through 2 days with regular gameplay sessions and normal daily usages like the Internet, social media, calls, and messages. On the weekends, the ROG 2 would blast off with it, and never we had a problem of the phone conking off in the middle of the day and leaving us stranded. Be it as we use, the ROG 2 always had something left in the battery for us.
Putting the cherry on top, the ROG 2 comes with an 18W fast charging support which saw the battery charge up to 100 per cent from zero in just about 80 minutes which was impressive. Pump up the battery, and off we go to the moon.
Asus ROG Phone 2 Review: Ratings
Asus ROG Phone 2 Review: Price and verdict
The Asus ROG Phone 2 gets a starting price of Rs 37,999 for the 8GB/128GB storage variant in the Indian market. The company has also launched a number of accessories which users can buy separately. Asus will sell the 12GB/512GB RAM and storage variant with all accessories and a 30W charger in the box for Rs 59,999.
So should you buy it?
There are two answers. For someone planning to get the most specced out phone right now, with the added oomph of the battery, and the crazy looks to go with it, and is someone who plays games almost daily – we recommend the ROG Phone 2.
The ROG 2 gets a super sleek 120Hz display, a massive battery, the latest Snapdragon 855 Plus chipset, and a glowing ROG logo at the back. For the base version, you will miss out on the 30W HyperCharger and the cooling fan, but still, you get a beast of a smartphone which can move Jupiter if it wanted.
Having said all that, for those looking for a phone which features a super-quick chipset, a massive RAM and an enormous battery, and a decent camera as well – there are a number of other alternatives out there, and cheaper ones as well. The OnePlus 7T is the latest one and bundles a lot of cool stuff. So is the OnePlus 7 Pro, or the Asus 6Z itself. Gamer or no gamer, we let you decide if you are the one who gets the Asus ROG Phone 2.