ROG Phone 2 Review: A Powerful Phone For Gamers
Asus recently upgraded its gaming phone with the launch of ROG Phone 2. This phone comes with an aggressive price tag to compete well against the competition. This phone has everything people look for in a flagship phone but also has additional features for gamers. In case you are looking to buy this phone, you shouldn’t muss our ROG Phone 2 Review to know everything about it.
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ROG Phone 2 Review
ROG Phone 2 comes with a design that will surely attract gamers. It has been designed to keep gaming in mind, so Asus has added game-centric options. The front has a large display with a bit of bezel at the top and bottom side of the display. It has also front-firing stereo speakers. So, you won’t block speakers while playing the game.
Asus has also included “Air Triggers” on the right side. So, when you hold the phone in the landscape for gaming, you can use Air Triggers for additional controls in gaming. These Air Triggers work good and offer feedback, so you know it is working.
Along with Air Triggers, It also has the volume rockers and a power button on the right side. The base side has a headphone jack and USB C port for charging.
The left side has dual USB-C ports for attaching several ROG accessories. These ports have a rubber dust-cap that can be easily lost. One of these ports can also be used to charge the phone while holding it in landscape mode. So, you can charge the phone without affecting your gameplay.
It has a curved glass at the back with a light-up ROG logo and a camera. It has a dual-camera setup at the top left side of the back. The right side of the back has heat-dissipating vent There are also a few laser-etched lines that add to the overall effect.
Both front and back have a layer of Gorilla Glass 6. You also get a minimal case in the box that protects the side without hiding the RGB lighting. The phone weighs 240g and that is due to a large battery and thermal management system. It is also very thick at 9.48mm.
ROG Phone 2 comes with a large 6.59-inch Full HD+ display with a 120Hz refresh rate. Thanks to the OLED panel, this display is amazing and offers a good gaming experience. The display performs well and impresses in most of the conditions. This display is bright enough to perform well in board daylight under direct sunlight. You also get wide viewing angles. The screen shows the most accurate colors and HDR videos look great. It shows more detail in the darker and shadowy areas. The 120Hz refresh rate makes the display fluid and more responsive for good gaming. There’s no notch or hole, so you get distraction-free gaming. You can switch to 60Hzor 90Hz if you want. The lower refresh rate will improve battery life.
You also get an option to change screen color mode. You can enable or disable systemwide dark mode and Always-on panel.
ROG Phone 2 comes with Android 9 Pie with both ROG UI and Zen UI options. That means you get near-stock Android experience. The phone feels cleaner and less cluttered. You can either use ROG UI to have a gaming phone feel or Zen UI for a normal phone feel similar to what we found in Asus 6Z.
There’s also an Armoury Crate app that lets you set custom rules for individual games. It has Hardocre Tuning mode where you can lock in max frequencies for each core, customize the sound, RGB lighting and more. Game Genie is a popup that triggers when you launch the game to give you access to several options. You can use it to customize Air Triggers for in-game actions. All these things have been added for gamers. If you don’t care about any of these, you can ignore these services.
ROG Phone 2 is powerful with octa-core Snapdragon 855 Plus Soc and Adreno 640 GPU. This is the best setup one can find in a smartphone to date. The phone comes with 8GB and 12GB RAM options, but I tested the 8GB RAM variant. This phone is a performance beast with no issues at all. This phone remains smooth in day to day tasks and under heavy load. Due to the 120Hz screen, it feels much smoother.
The gaming experience on this phone is really impressive. All games are playable at high settings. Each game you play can be customized using the Xmode. The screen has a 1ms touch response that makes the difference in competitive play. Air Triggers give additional controls in gaming. Someone who loves high-end mobile gaming will surely love this phone.
While playing the game, you can swipe from the left side to the right to open Game Genie. Here you get quick options to lock brightness, see fps, configure Air Triggers, speed up the device, record game or go live.
Benchmark results are high. Have a look here.
The phone comes with 128GB of storage that is more than enough. There’s no microSD card slot, but that shouldn’t be a problem. It has speedy UFS 3.0 storage.
The phone has a dual-camera setup where it has a 48-megapixel IMX586 sensor in the primary camera and a 13-megapixel ultrawide camera. This is the same camera setup we saw in Asus 6Z. The phone has 24 megapixels front camera for selfies and for live streaming yourself while gaming.
The camera app offers lots of camera modes like Auto, Portrait, Pro, Night and a neat Motion Tracking mode.
Good thing is that the company has not ignored the camera even while the primary focus was to give a performance for gaming. The camera setup of ROG Phone 2 is capable of capturing good shots in daylight. Photos come with a good dynamic range and natural colors. The camera also works fine in low light.
Here are a few samples of the ultra-wide-angle camera along with the same scene from the regular camera, so you get an idea of how much extra space you can cover using the wide-angle camera.
Portrait mode works well and it captures decent shots with blurred background. Edge detection is good but it struggles a bit in low light. You can adjust the blur level anytime later.
The selfie camera performs well and captures decent photos. I am impressed with the color accuracy and details it captures. It also has a software-driven portrait mode that has good edge detection.
You can record up to 60fps at 4K videos and stabilization works across all video resolutions. There’s also no crop-factor when switching up video resolutions. I found good details and colors. You can shoot videos from both the cameras, but you cannot switch cameras while recording. It also features four noise-canceling microphones, so it records really good audio. Selfie videos were also good in quality and stabilized.
The phone has a good audio experience, but I don’t call it the best. Stereo speakers are well placed to offer good sound. Speakers are loud enough to watch videos and play games without needing an earphone. The phone has a headphone jack for wired audio that performs well. You also get a good experience while wireless music streaming.
The phone has an under-display fingerprint sensor that is accurate and fast. There’s also a face unlock feature that works fine and is fast.
The company has added four Wi-Fi antennae to the phone for good connectivity all the time. It has Dual 4G VoLTEm Bluetooth 5, USB Type-C and NFC connectivity.
The phone packs a large 6,000mAh battery, something gamers will surely love. The battery lasts for a full day under heavy usage. If you use it as a normal smartphone and don’t play many games, you will certainly get more than 2 days of battery backup on a single charge.
The phone supports Quick Charge 4.0 30W charging that takes the battery from 0 to 100% in just 110 minutes. Impressive. If you think this is slow, you can buy the optional 30W charger for faster charging.
ROG Phone 2 is a gaming phone but it has been priced aggressively without many compromises. So, a person who needs a good phone with a flagship-level of performance can also buy it. The phone comes with a smoothest screen around, a big battery, powerful performance, and capable cameras. You may miss the telephoto camera that is available in similarly priced OnePlus 7T but that’s the only thing you may miss.
ROG Phone 2 is the best gaming phone available in the Indian market right now and is also an overall good phone to consider. If you are thinking to buy it, there’s no reason to reconsider your decision.
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ROG Phone 2
"If you want the best performance, don't look elsewhere."
- Good display
- Powerful performance
- Solid battery
- Good camera
- Bloat-free software
- Lack of IP ratings
- Heavy and bulky
- Design 80%
- Display 90%
- Performance 90%
- Gaming 90%
- Camera 75%
- Audio 80%
- Battery 90%
- Value for money 90%