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ASUS ROG Phone 2 Hands-On

ASUS ROG has finally launched the ROG Phone 2, the successor to its last year’s gaming smartphone, the ROG Phone. Fortunately, we got the first-hand experience on this gaming beast. How is it different from its predecessor in terms of design and specs? Find out below!

Right off the bat, you’ll immediately see the visual difference in terms of the design of both the predecessor and successor. At the front, the ROG Phone 2 has a less aggressive top and bottom orange-colored accents that houses the stereo speakers.

Its bezels have also become slightly thinner as well. At the back, you’ll see a much cooler cybernetic design as compared to the first ROG Phone’s claw-like layout. Overall, the ROG Phone 2 looks more premium and more aesthetically pleasing so props to ROG for that.

For starters, it comes with a 6.59-inch FHD+ AMOLED display that now has a 120Hz refresh rate with a 1ms response time. It’s great that they upgraded it from the previous 90Hz which means that people will see a far smoother movement especially when it comes to playing shooter games. As mentioned earlier, it has two front-firing stereo speakers at the top and the bottom while the 24MP selfie shooter can be found at the top right corner of the phone. Covering the whole screen, except for the stereo speakers, is a Corning Gorilla Glass 6 protection which is pretty neat.

At the top, you’ll only see a noise-canceling microphone.

Down at the bottom is a USB Type-C port along with the main microphone and 3.5mm audio port. I like that ROG maintained the earphone port given that this flagship smartphone is dedicated for gaming purposes.

On the left is another port meant for ROG’s HyperCharge technology which can be found on the first ROG Phone as well. You’ll also see on the far right side the tray that houses Dual-SIM slots with a hybrid setup.


Looking on the right is the usual power button – volume rocker pairing. It feels clicky and tactile which are two welcomed characteristics when it comes to buttons.

Flip on its back and you’ll see the dual 48MP + 13MP dual rear cameras, similar to the ASUS ZenFone 6 that the company launched a few months back. At the middle, you’ll see the iconic RGB-lit logo. What’s new here is that the lines at the back are also RGB-powered which feels and looks great.

The ROG Phone 2 is also equipped with an in-display fingerprint scanner, allowing the device to have an up to date biometric security. It also has face unlock capability, something that should be a standard for flagship smartphones, even with gaming phones, by now.

Powering the ROG Phone 2 is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ which has a faster clock speed than the regular SD855, 12GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage. With these kinds of specs, it’s a no-brainer that this device will definitely execute tasks such as multitasking, social media browsing, video streaming, heavy graphics gaming, file transferring, and resource-hungry apps. Not only that, but you also get a 512GB storage so you can store any type of files that you want like videos, music, games, photos, movies, and even documents.

Did I forget to mention that it has a 6,000mAh battery? Well, it’s a 2,000mAh upgrade from last year’s ROG Phone so you’ll know that ASUS means business with this gaming smartphone. Overall, the ROG Phone 2 is heavier and thicker than its predecessor but it feels solid and premium regardless. My main beef here is that its glossy glass back panel is still a fingerprint and smudge magnet.

So far, I’m excited and I can’t wait to test out the ROG Phone 2’s full capability especially when it comes to gaming. I’m also interested in the new accessories that ASUS will launch along with this gaming beast so be sure to stay tuned for that!

ASUS ROG Phone 2 specs:

  • 6.59-inch FHD+ (2340 x 1080) 19.5:9 AMOLED display
  • HDR support
  • 120Hz refresh rate, 1 ms response time
  • Corning Gorilla Glass 6
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ 2.96GHz octa-core
  • Adreno 640 GPU
  • 12GB RAM
  • 512GB storage
  • 48MP F1.79 IMX586 + 13MP 125-degree ultra-wide dual rear camera
  • 24MP front camera
  • 4G LTE
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac
  • GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Beidou
  • 3x USB Type-C ports (bottom, sides)
  • AirTriggers 2.0
  • Front-facing stereo speakers
  • ARCore support
  • 3.5mm audio port
  • In-display fingerprint scanner
  • Face Unlock
  • ROG UI/ZENUI (Android 9 Pie)
  • 6,000mAh battery w/ 30W ROG HyperCharge technology, Qualcomm QuickCharge 4.0

Vaughn is your go-to person when it comes to comparing gadgets especially smartphones. He's also a gamer by heart and the "Hackerman" of the team.

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