Gaming

The ASUS ROG Phone 2: A Worthy Upgrade?

Some time ago ASUS decided that it was time to get into the “gaming smartphone” market, a space which until then, was mostly dominated by the Razer Phone. ASUS introduced the ROG Phone, named after its own line of gaming-equipped laptops. And like its PC counterparts, it offered beefed-up specs to ensure a powerful gaming experience.

Fast forward to July 2019, and ASUS has now unveiled the ROG Phone 2, the sequel to its premium gaming phone brand. Is it a better buy than the first-generation ROG Phone though? Let’s find out!

Build and Display

Just like its predecessor, the ROG Phone 2 features the same glass and metal sandwich design, albeit with a more aggressive styling on the back, which really lets you know that this isn’t your average smartphone. Compared to the first-generation ROG Phone however, the design seems a bit toned down, striking a pleasant balance between minimalist and game-y. It still retains the glowing ROG logo on the back though, which adds a nice accent to an otherwise dark-colored design. The phone overall is a bit taller than the older phone due to the larger 6.59-inch display. On the back, you get a dual-camera set up with a 48MP primary module and a 13MP ultra wide angle lens at the back.

Photo credit: asus.com

The display is one of the biggest highlights of the phone, as it features a 120 Hz AMOLED screen. This basically means a wonderfully smooth screen viewing experience, especially when browsing or transitioning between apps, menus, and even in-game visuals. The AMOLED display also means you get very deep blacks and rich contrast and color reproduction.

It’s also nice to know that the phone still comes with a 3.5 mm jack, which in my opinion should nonetheless remain a standard feature on phones of all price ranges.

Internal Specs

ASUS really means business this time as it has equipped the phone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ chipset, 12 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage. This would actually be more than enough to accommodate all your games and media, and you’ll be able to use the phone for extended periods as it comes packed with a large 6000 mAh battery.

The ROG Phone 2 is clearly a high-performance device and definitely lives up to the hype of “gaming phone”.

Photo credit: asus.com

Software

The ROG Phone features Android Pie, and more interestingly will let you switch between two UI modes. The first-gen ROG phone came with a rather heavily-skinned version of Android which – let’s be honest – can either make or break the experience for you. Fortunately, ASUS has seen it fit to let users choose between its ROG UI, and a more traditional stock Android UI. This is a feature which we hope more Android OEMS start adopting, so very big kudos to ASUS for including it in this device.


More Topic: A Brief History of Gaming Phones


Should You Get It?

Well, if you’re after a powerful phone that can offer you fluid and seamless performance – and really aren’t bothered by outrageous build designs, then we’d recommend that you add the ASUS ROG Phone 2 to your list of options.

It features powerful specs, a slick display, and a large battery to match.

We still have to wait for a US release date though, but once it arrives, it should be a must-buy for power users or even just the average user looking for a new and powerful experience.

About the author

Mike Viray

A writer with a fondness for consumer tech, Mike is also a music lover, and an avid gamer as well. He and his wife are big fans of Mario Kart.

26 Comments

Click here to post a comment

  • Very nice review and well written. I think the AMOLED screen sounds nice. You are right I worked in a display company once and those screens do give you a really smooth viewing experience with deep blacks. It looks nice in the photos. Is there an option to pre-order?

    Also the breath of the wild sequel in your list of Articles at the bottom caught my eyes so I checked that out too. Nice article on that. Do you have something about the new Pokemon that’s coming out? I’m always looking for more information about that.

    • Thanks for checking us out! We still have to update our content with regards to the new Pokemon game, so do keep it tuned here!

      As for the ROG 2, I don’t think they’ve opened up pre-orders in the US (they already have with China and certain SEA regions though).

  • Hi Mike 

    Thanks a lot for introducing us with the latest version of Asus Rog Phone 2.  This phone is really looking attractive and smart. The storage capabilities of the really surprised me. But at the time  I am also very upset that the phone is not in market yet. I hope when  it will come we will be informed through your another heartbreaking post like this. 

    I will share this post with my friends and family. Thanks again. 

  • Hello, Mike.  Thanks for this review.  12 G ram, 512 G storage?  I’m not a phone geek but that sounds huge!

    I’m not a gamer either but I sure would like to have extra space for all the apps I like and this sounds like it has so much I would never run out.  My current phone didn’t come with much space to download apps so now, every time new updates come along I have to uninstall apps to make room for those updates.  It would be nice to have a phone where I wouldn’t run out of space.

    Just a quick question. I have always been confused about Storage and Ram.  Could you explain a little about that?

    I really like the android system because of its ease of use.  I think they did a better job of making it user-friendly than Apple.  Do you have an opinion on that?

    Phones are advancing faster than one can keep up with so thanks, you’ve given me some food for thought,

    Wayne

    • Hi Wayne. To answer your question, storage is the available space inside your phone to store apps and media – pictures, videos, ebooks and music. RAM on the other hand is your phone’s memory that enables you to run programs on it. Simply put, the more RAM available, the better chances that your phone will run apps smoothly as it’s not overloaded. too little RAM and your phone will struggle to perform and will occasionally close down other apps to make room.

      I like both Android and iOS. That said though, I prefer Android a bit more, as there’s more options of phones and brands available and you can tinker with your phone to a further extent than you could with an iPhone.

  • This is something gamer kids would opt for. If the first one has been a huge success, then definitely this one too would be quite a hit. With its more advanced software and better specs, I think Asus nailed this one. Too bad it is not yet available. Also, this is the first time I heard that software can be switched into what’s ideal for the user – either ROG UI or ANDROID UI. I totally don’t know the difference and how much it could help with gaming but as we all know, anything flexible with option is far more better than none. My son is a total gamer so I’m gonna show this article to him. He probably doesn’t know about it yet. If it’s not yet available in the US, do you think it will take much longer to be launched in Asia? Thanks for this review!

    • It’s already launched in China, but I’m not sure how long before they launch it in the rest of Asia, and SE asia for that matter. 

      Basically, ROG UI or the stock Android UI is just how the phone software looks when being used. ROG UI is kinda over the top but stock is what “pure Android” is supposed to look like and operate.

  • Hey Mike; excellent write up on the ASUS ROG Phone. The first release was powerful in its own right. I can imagine this one with its high powered battery, Some folks might dear to stick to this phone when they are on the go rather than the ASUS Laptop. 

    I take my ASUS Laptop along with me, but when I get hold of the ASUS ROG as you described its functionality I should not need any other device when I am on the go. 

    Thank you DorcasW

  • Hi Mike, 

    So glad I encountered your post, I’ve heard a few people talk about a gaming phone and I’ve been a bit curious as to how this even works. Not sure it would benefit myself but I know my brothers and nephews would trade in their iPhones for this device! Thank you for the the thorough review on this device, please let us know when this becomes available in the US. 

  • 12GB of Ram and 512GB of storage, talk about wow! It would be perfect for mobile competitions in my area, we have a lot of Mobile Legends and PUBG Mobile tournaments coming along and I feel like my current iPhone 5 is a potato compared to the other player’s phones. I’m considering between Razer’s gaming phone, which one would you think it a better choice?

    • Well I think that the ROG phone is the better all-around package as it also comes with a 3.5mm port, as well as multiple USB c ports and attachable accessories, compared to the Razer phone.

  • I remember seeing the previous version of this phone and dismissing it because it was great as a gaming phone but not much else compared to the competition at the time. Now I can take that back as this looks like it can trade punches with the big boys. Thanks for the read.

  • Okay, so I guess this is not your typical “ladies phone”. But I would still love to get one in the near future. The design, the specifications, the otherwise your typical smartphone functions, the AMOLED screen – just everything about it, in my opinion, is lovely and very solid. 

    I also believe that the first version was a pretty big success, so have my hopes and hype up for this one as well.

    Any updates on the US release date as of now?

    Either way, I appreciate the insights you shared, Mike. Thank you.

    Have a Wonderful Day!

    Rasa

  • Loving the specs. But the overall design for me is one to die for. In that regard, I haven’t seen such a gorgeous phone in quite a while. Or ever really. In that sense, I feel it’s not only very capable, it’s also extremely good looking! I mean, I bet there would be people (and that might somewhat apply to me too) that would get it purely for the looks. Whereas all the capability is basically a sweet addition. Or “a nice side effect” so to say.

    I must also admit I was totally unaware that smartphones are now capable of 12 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage. Pretty sweet.

    Thanks, Mike, see you in another one!

    Matiss

  • A gaming smartphone, well a lot of folks use their phone predominantly for internet use, music and gaming, so this could be a cool gadget.

    Nothing wrong with a toned down solution either, whilst it is nice to have a real fancy phone or play-tool, its functionality and performance is what will drive it.

    Having a spec focus with the device is what a lot of us are looking for, so thank you for driving that.

    Sick backside on it too to boot.

  • Wow, I didn’t know there was such a thing as a gaming phone until now. I am very business oriented but my brother and my kids are working on starting Gaming blogs and YouTube channels and are far more apt to know about these. I did see features like the high memory and storage of this phone and high-end cameras that make my blogging and own YouTube dreams a good fit. What I didn’t see though was where to buy or a price to expect?

  • Thanks Mike for revealing such a beauty,  I’m a lover of good phones with good space and you just brought me a good idea of the next phone spec I’m going to purchase next but unfortunately this Asus rog phone isn’t out yet but please do find a way to notify us when it does, my love for this device has grown stronger. Would be bookmarking this website for more information. Thanks.