Asus ROG Phone 2 hands-on: First impression

Asus ROG Phone 2 hands-on: First impression

Since its inception in 2006, Asus subsidiary brand Republic Of Gamers (ROG) has grown big and has a cult following among hardcore PC gamers and in 2018, it took a step further by launching a mobile version dubbed as the ROG phone. 

Asus ROG (1st gen) was a monster of a device with an array of accessories to enhance the gaming experience and the company is bringing the successor with the more refined design language and beefed up internal hardware.

Deccan Herald earlier in the month was invited for the pre-launch ROG Phone 2 product briefing and here's my initial impression of the upcoming Asus gaming-centric mobile.

Display and design:
The new ROG 2 looks refined than the predecessor. Except for the glowing RGB LED brand logo, everything has undergone change. The first-generation model was a bit big and also had a rugged outlook, but the successor is smoother in feel and also compact to hold. It is little taller compared to any phone in the market, but this is a good move, as people usually play games holding the phone horizontally, so the screen is aptly wide to enjoy the immersive gaming experience.

Asphalt 9 series game played on Asus ROG Phone 2; DH Photo/Rohit KVN

Asus ROG Phone 2 sports a 6.59-inch full HD+ (2340x1080p) AMOLED screen with 108% DCI-P3, 100,000: 1 contrast ratio and 19.5:9 aspect ratio. It has an in-screen fingerprint sensor leaving more space for functional display in the front panel.

Also, Asus phone boasts 240Hz response time, 120Hz refresh rate and support HDR 10 content. This means the user is assured of best viewing experience be it watching high-resolution videos on multi-media streaming service apps or while playing graphics-rich gaming titles.

Asus ROG Phone 2's back panel; DH Photo/Rohit KVN

Another notable aspect of the new ROG Phone 2 is that it comes with a metallic frame and Gorilla Glass 6 shield on both the front and back panel. During the product briefing, we were shown the teardown of the phone and I was able to asses the build quality and components and have to say, it was sturdy and premium.

Dimensions: 170.99×77.6×9.78 mm
Weight: 240g

Processor, RAM, and storage:
Asus ROG 2 boasts Snapdragon 855 Plus octa-core, Qualcomm's latest and most powerful processor to date. Its clock speed can reach up to 2.96GHz, fastest for an Android phone in the market. It is backed by Adreno 640 graphics engine and LPDDR4X RAM (up to 12GB) and UFS 3.1-based 128Gb/256GB storage.

Asus ROG Phone 2; DH Photo/Rohit KVN

With such a high-end configuration, it can support any graphics-heavy game available in the market. During the product briefing, Asus ROG 2 was tested on Asphalt 9, PUBG and Shadowgun Legends. It played smoothly and never showed any hint of lag-ness whatsoever.

Also, Asus has claimed to have tied up with several gaming companies including Tencent to offer exclusive gaming titles such as Rockman X Dive and others for Asus ROG Phone 2.
It also boasts dual front-facing stereo speakers with DTS:X Ultra system and AirTrigger shoulder buttons on sides in addition to two vibration motors one each on top and the base. All these features add value to the gaming experience.

As far as the interface is concerned, it runs on Android 9.0 Pie-based ROG UI edition. 

Another notable aspect of Asus ROG Phone 2 is the battery capacity, as it comes with a massive 6,000mAh cell. It is more than enough to offer a full day even if you play games extensively for several hours. 

Asus ROG Phone 2 comes with 6,000mAh battery; DH Photo/Rohit KVN

If used more conservatively, it can easily last more than two days. It supports Type C 3.1-based Qualcomm Charging 4.0 USB port and it will take close to 58 minutes for charging from zero to 66%.


Asus ROG Phone 2 features dual-camera on the back; DH Photo/Rohit KVN

Asus ROG Phone 2 houses dual 48MP+13MP (125-degree wide-angle lens) with HDR, Portrait mode. On the front, it features a 24MP sensor. Both the cameras took pretty decent quality pictures in controlled light condition, but it needs to be tested in outdoors.

Asus ROG Phone 2 with TwinView Dock; DH Photo/Rohit KVN

Initial thoughts:
Going by the hardware and design language, Asus ROG Phone 2 is tailor-made gaming mobile. It ticks all the requirements and I appreciate the company for going an extra mile for offering accessories such as detachable AeroActive Cooler 2 fan for heat dissipation and have to say, there is hardly any noise when it is attached to the phone.

Asus ROG Phone 2 accessories; DH Photo/Rohit KVN

Also, the TwinView Dock and the detachable controllers add value to the gaming experience on the ROG Phone 2.

Asus phone is expected to be officially unveiled this month and hit stores in global regions including India soon. Stay tuned for a full review in coming weeks.

Get the latest news on new launches, gadget reviews, apps and more on personal technology only on DH Tech.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox