I was handed the Asus ROG Phone 2 the day I returned to my office in Noida from Mumbai. I was tired and in no shape (or desire) to put this phone through its paces. However, the moment I switched it ON and saw that super bright 120Hz display, it immediately uplifted my mood.
So, I have spent well over a week with this phone and I am very much impressed with it. The overall aesthetic of ASUS ROG Phone 2 might look “gamer-centric,” which they are, but there’s more to it than meets the eye.
Hence, without wasting any time, here’s my review of the Asus ROG Phone 2.
ASUS ROG Phone 2: The 120Hz Screen Will Spoil You
The ASUS ROG Phone 2 comes with a 6.59 inch 120Hz AMOLED screen, which has a maximum brightness of 626 nits. All of this means that ASUS ROG Phone 2 is very bright.
To give you an example, if you turn the brightness all the way up, even then, you can easily see the screen under direct sunlight while wearing thick sunglasses.
The 120Hz refresh rate feels so good that it makes 90Hz feel like a big downgrade. I used the 120Hz on ASUS ROG Phone 2 and the 90Hz on One Plus 7T back to back and the latter felt quite slow.
The phone isn’t as wide as it is tall so you can hold it in your hand with relative ease. However, you’d struggle a bit while reaching the top but that’s the price you pay for such a huge screen.
A tall phone has its downsides, for one, you can’t keep this phone in your shorts. It easily fits in most skinny jeans, provided the pocket is deep enough.
Everything from scrolling through apps to bringing down notifications, the 120Hz makes it all feel as smooth as “leaves slowly falling down on a pile of snow.” A major difference noticeable while using 120Hz is when you scroll Facebook or Instagram really fast, you won’t see words becoming blurry, which is often the case on a low refresh rate screen.
The colour accuracy of the screen is another really great thing. I won’t be going by the numbers here but the colors look really good. It’s not as good as Samsung Galaxy S10+ but it is still really good. I’d rate the color accuracy to be somewhere at the level of the One Plus 7 Pro.
So kudos to ASUS ROG Phone 2 for giving us this gem.
The 6,000 mAh Battery And The Rear Vents
Moving onto the next best thing on the phone — the 6,000mAh battery. It is so powerful that the phone lasted two whole days with it. The moment I was handed the phone the battery was around 80% and after one day it only came down to 39%, with heavy usage.
So the only way you can kill this phone’s battery in one day is by keeping it at 120Hz and maximum brightness, all day long. Which is what I have been doing for a few days now.
The AMOLED screen on this phone is quite thin which enabled ASUS to put such a big battery inside it. What also helps is the fact that the phone is really tall and even the chin and the notch, despite being big in size, never ruin your experience in any way.
The weight of this phone is on the heavier side at 240g. It is heavier than the last performance phone I tested, the One Plus 7 Pro.
Despite having such a huge battery, the cooling on the Asus ROG Phone 2 works very well. The phone only gets slightly warm even on high usage while fast-charging. It has a layer of copper under its screen which also houses a vapor chamber.
There’s also an additional sheet of copper below the 6,000 mAh battery, which helps in keeping things cool. The vent on the backside of the phone is only for passive cooling, meaning any extra heat emerging from the battery, escapes through this vent on its own. Overall, the ASUS ROG Phone 2 performs within an acceptable temperature and maintains that performance throughout its operation.
The Gaming Performance
In terms of specs, the ASUS ROG Phone 2 comes with 8GB of RAM, 128 gigs of storage and a Snapdragon 855+. It is an overclocked version of the Snapdragon 855 and features faster GPU and CPU performance.
There’s nothing that the phone can’t handle, be it any game or application, they all run flawlessly on ASUS ROG Phone 2.
I tested the Call of Duty Mobile on ASUS ROG Phone 2 and the game ran smoothly in ultra settings. The new “Air-Triggers” is among the highlighting features of this new smartphone and I am happy to tell you that they work quite nicely.
Almost everything about “Air-triggers” is customizable. You can choose the level of force required to press them and you can adjust their position to the required function on your screen.
You can use the “Air-Triggers” by swiping from the opposite side of the navigation bar and accessing the Game Genie menu. Inside the menu, click on “Air Triggers” to turn them on, a blue and a red box will appear.
Click on both of those boxes and select Tap. You can choose to activate either one or both of the air triggers using this function. After that, simply long-press on either of the Air Trigger cursors and drag it over to the function you want to activate.
I also tested the photo editing app Snapseed and the several video editing apps and all of them worked perfectly.
Cameras And Other Features
The ASUS ROG Phone 2 has a total of three cameras, a 24 MP front-facing selfie camera and a 48 MP main camera along with a 13 MP wide-angle lens. Now, the front and the main rear camera work fine. They produce decent picture quality and are good enough for everyday use.
The selfies from the camera are good as long as you don’t use the photo lens. The blurring effect here is very aggressive and makes the object look like a cut out from the rest of the background.
This camera can also take some really good close up shots which is quite nice. The rear camera works fine as long as you keep the HDR on auto. Otherwise, the colors produced in photos look kind of washed out.
The ultrawide camera is straight-up garbage though. It lags, even in a properly lit room and taking photos with it is quite a challenge.
So the overall camera score for ASUS ROG Phone 2 is easily above average. I didn’t find any major issues with it excluding the wide-angle lens. In the day to day use, the camera is more than enough.
The phone can also shoot up to 4K 60FPS videos with ease and stabilization on offer is also adequate.
The speakers are another great feature on this phone. The audio is super loud on this phone. Even if you’re someplace crowded the volume of the speakers on ASUS ROG Phone 2 is loud enough. That too without switching to outdoor mode.
Needless to say, it is, quite literally, a blast to watch movies or YouTube videos on this device.
ASUS ROG Phone 2 Verdict
ASUS ROG Phone 2 offers killer value. At a price of Rs. 37,999 the ROG Phone 2 is the perfect device for media consumption and playing games.
The phone’s 6,000 mAh battery, superfast processor and an amazing 120Hz AMOLED display enable the ASUS ROG Phone 2 to deliver an incredible smartphone gaming experience.