Asus’s second ROG gaming phone, the new ROG Phone II, is a serious spec bump compared to its predecessor, more than a design revolution.
Starting from the display, the ROG Phone II comes with a 6.59-inch 1080p OLED panel with an integrated fingerprint sensor, support for 10-bit HDR, and a Razer Phone 2-matching refresh rate of 120Hz. The touch sampling rate 240Hz, and Asus claims its touch latency of 49ms is the lowest of any phone. You can choose whether to run stock Android or Asus’ ROG UI as part of the phone’s setup process.
The smartphone is powered by a Snapdragon 855 Plus processor, which is Qualcomm’s new gaming-focused SoC that provides 15 percent faster GPU performance and higher peak clock speeds on the CPU. Asus says its cooling system, including a vapor chamber and vents, will prevent throttling of the 855 Plus’ peak speeds. The ROG Phone II also has 12GB of RAM, up to 512GB of storage, a 48-megapixel camera, and a 6,000mAh battery that the company says should be good for more than 7 hours of PUBG with the screen set to 60Hz. Another first here is the integration of two vibration motors, which will make gaming a tad more immersive, according to Asus.
Asus is also updating the gaming accessories range for the new device. There are new versions of the dual-screen TwinView dock and the clip-on AeroActive Cooler fan alongside a new gamepad attachment called the Kunai, with two split controllers that can be attached to the side of the phone or slid into a separate joypad-shaped grip. You can clip the two controllers together via a holder, in which you can toggle between Bluetooth, USB and 2.4GHz RF connection to control the phone. If you're on the go, you can attach the controllers to the phone via a bumper, and you can even take the ultimate form by mounting this setup onto the new TwinView Dock II.
ASUS' new dual-screen TwinView Dock mounts on the bottom side, geatures a touchscreen and uses the same 120Hz AMOLED panel as the phone, though the built-in battery has been downgraded from 6,000mAh to 5,000mAh.
The dock also packs a cooling fan, RGB lights, volume keys, a USB-C port and a headphone jack, but ASUS has removed the old SD card slot, extra speakers, trigger buttons and haptic vibrators here.
ASUS announced three major titles -- Asphalt 9, Shadowgun War Games and Rockman X Dive -- that will come with optimizations as well as exclusive content tailored for the ROG Phone II. These optimizations are mostly to do with boosted frame rate, fine-tuned haptic vibration, Kunai Gamepad support and TwinView Dock II support.
The bundled ROG HyperCharge adapter pumps in 30W of power using just a regular USB-C-to-USB-C cable, and while it takes about two hours to fully charge the phone, it can already reach 4,000mAh in just 58 minutes, which should already last you a day.
As for photography, the ROG Phone II features the same set of cameras as the ZenFone 6, so you get a 48-megapixel f/1.79 main camera (up to 4K 60fps for video) plus a 13-megapixel 125-degree ultra-wide camera. For selfies and livestreams, you'll be relying on a separate 24-megapixel front camera.
Shoulder triggers have become a standard feature among gaming phones and ASUS' updated "AirTriggers" have a faster haptic response rate on the ROG Phone II. In addition, you can now apply sliding gestures here to map more on-screen actions.
Audio has also been upgraded, with the device to coma with four microphones for better noise cancellation. The front-facing stereo speakers are also louder, thus making their DTS: X Ultra surround sound effect more immersive.
Asus expects the ROG Phone II to be priced not higher than the original model, which started at $899. Chinese release details will be revealed soon in partnership with Tencent, while the global model will launch in the first week of September.