A ‘gaming’ smartphone would possibly appear to be a really thrilling proposition for fanatics, however how can a producer get the common smartphone purchaser to really feel the identical method? Asus launched the primary ROG Cellphone (Overview) final yr, and whereas it was a great product, the excessive value of almost Rs. 70,000 on the time meant that you just actually wanted to be a die-hard gaming addict to even think about it over an iPhone, Google Pixel, or Samsung Galaxy gadget. That is precisely what Asus needs to vary with the ROG Cellphone 2.

Whereas Asus has taken its time to launch this cellphone in India, we’ve seen different corporations attempt to break into this area of interest section all through this yr. We now have the Black Shark 2 (Overview) which has a pressure-sensitive show, and the Nubia Purple Magic 3 (Overview), which boasts of an inside cooling fan, to contemplate as options as gaming smartphones. Nevertheless, Asus hasn’t left any stone unturned for its follow-up, packing it with just about each function one may consider. The icing on the cake is unquestionably the value. The ROG Cellphone 2 begins at Rs. 37,999 in India, which is nice not just for gaming fanatics but additionally for anybody who’s searching for a robust flagship on a price range.

So, must you be contemplating the Asus ROG Cellphone 2 over, say, the brand new OnePlus 7T (Overview) on the similar value? And should you aren’t a gamer, does the ROG Cellphone 2 nonetheless make sense? Let’s discover out.

Asus ROG Cellphone 2 design

The Asus ROG Cellphone 2 continues to sport an industrial look, identical to the primary model, however it’s kind of extra tame this time round. The uncovered air vent on the again is smaller and extra discreet; the orange highlights for the stereo audio system on the entrance look extra delicate; and the darker end makes it look much more stealthy. There’s nonetheless no mistaking this for an strange smartphone although, particularly when that ROG brand on the again lights up.

The scale ROG Cellphone 2 is each greater and heavier than its predecessor, making it one of many heaviest telephones we have held shortly. It is very thick at 9.48mm and weighs a whopping 240g. The burden is not an enormous problem when utilizing it within the panorama orientation with each arms, however regular one-handed utilization will get fatiguing rapidly.

Asus has swapped the rear capacitive fingerprint sensor for an in-display one. Authentication works properly however we discovered that we needed to relaxation our finger there just a little longer than ordinary earlier than this works. It is not as fast as a number of the different in-display sensors we have used, just like the one on the OnePlus 7T (Overview). Face recognition is rather a lot faster and works at odd angles too. The facility and quantity buttons are positioned low on the suitable aspect of the cellphone and have good suggestions.

Asus ROG Phone 2 fingerprint ndtv AsusThe in-display fingerprint sensor on the Asus ROG Cellphone 2 is not the quickest however success price is sweet

 

The left aspect has a further USB Kind-C port, together with a customized port beside it for equipment. This Kind-C port helps USB 3.1 (Gen2) customary, together with video output upto 4K decision and Fast Cost 4.0, and it may be used for charging if you’re gaming in panorama mode. The Kind-C port on the backside helps USB 3.Zero velocity and in addition helps quick charging. The three.5mm headphone socket is positioned on the acute proper on the backside, so wired headphones will not get in the way in which if you’re gaming.

The 6.59-inch AMOLED show has a full-HD+ decision however what’s spectacular is that it has a 120Hz refresh price. It additionally helps 10-bit HDR and is claimed to be color correct with a Delta E common of lower than 1. The max brightness is 600nits and there is Corning Gorilla Glass 6 for defense. The show has thick bezels on the highest and backside, but it surely does not make the cellphone look ugly. The earpiece and the underside speaker are forward-facing, for a greater stereo impact. The twin Nano-SIM tray is positioned on the left aspect, however there is not any slot for increasing storage.

The ROG Cellphone 2 additionally options the second model of Asus’s AirTrigger system, or shoulder buttons on the suitable aspect. Asus says the algorithm has been reworked, so now you can relaxation your fingers on them with out activating them. There is a new twin vibration system current too. The cellphone additionally makes use of a 3D vapour chamber system for cooling. In response to Asus, a complete of 4 Wi-Fi antennas and microphones have been positioned at strategic factors across the cellphone, which ought to present optimum sign efficiency irrespective of the way you maintain it.

Asus ROG Phone 2 case ndtv AsusThe Aero Case comes bundled within the field of each variants

 

The bottom mannequin of the ROG Cellphone 2, which we’ve, ships with an 18W charger, Kind-C cable, SIM eject software, and the Aero Case. The latter is extra of a bumper case, as solely the highest and backside parts have good plastic reinforcements whereas the remainder of the physique has massive cutouts for the rear vent and brand. Asus says that this case was designed in an effort to use the AeroActive Cooler with out taking it off. This cooler is an elective accent however should you purchase the 512GB variant, it comes bundled. The highest-end model, which prices a whopping Rs. 59,999, additionally will get you a 30W charger within the field.

You can even get different equipment for the ROG Cellphone 2, with costs starting from Rs. 1,999 all the way in which as much as Rs. 19,999.

Asus ROG Cellphone 2 specs and software program

In response to Asus, the ROG Cellphone 2 has been constructed utilizing a number of the finest elements obtainable available in the market, together with a particular speed-binned Snapdragon 855+ SoC, LPDDR4X RAM, and UFS 3.Zero storage. The cellphone is on the market in two RAM and storage variants — one with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage (Rs. 37,999) and the opposite with 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage (Rs. 59,999). There is a massive leap going to the higher-end variant, and even with the additional equipment, that value appears method too excessive.

You additionally get dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5, NFC, FM radio, the same old number of sensors, satellite tv for pc navigation methods, and USB-OTG. The ROG Cellphone 2 helps high-resolution audio via the three.5mm headphone jack, with the flexibility to decode 192kHz/24-bit information. Nevertheless, this cellphone does miss some flagship-level options comparable to an IP ranking for water resistance and wi-fi charging.

Asus ROG Phone 2 side vent ndtv AsusThe Asus ROG Cellphone 2 has a vent on the again for air circulation

 

Similar to the primary ROG cellphone, Asus has put lots of work into the software program this time round too. You get Android 9 Pie with the August safety patch and a customized pores and skin. For the ROG Cellphone 2, you’ll be able to select a extra vanilla Android theme throughout the setup course of, as a substitute of the default ROG theme. The latter does look cool and you’ve got a selection between a darkish and lightweight model of it. Plus, if you allow X Mode, which is Asus’s efficiency mode, the wallpaper and highlights across the icons get aggressive purple accents. For those who’re not a fan of this, there’s all the time the traditional theme to fall again upon.

Asus ROG Phone 2 UI AsusThe ROG UI might be swapped for a inventory Android look, in case it is not your factor

 

By way of put in apps, there is not a lot bloatware. There’s an Asus Knowledge Switch app for shifting knowledge out of your previous cellphone to the ROG Cellphone 2, and the Armoury Crate app, which is the place you configure lighting results for the emblem; monitor the temperatures of the CPU and GPU; set the pressure degree for the AirTriggers, and so forth. Android 9’s Digital Wellbeing suite can be current.

There’s extra customisation available within the cellphone’s Settings app. AudioWizard allows you to select totally different sound presets. There’s an ‘Outside’ mode which boosts quantity by sacrificing a little bit of sound high quality. You may manually select between 60Hz, 90Hz, and 120Hz refresh charges for the display screen, however you’ll be able to’t swap between these dynamically primarily based on the exercise being carried out.

Show colors might be tweaked; there’s an always-on show mode; and you’ll select what icons you need within the standing bar. The latter function may be very useful as you’ll be able to have icons for issues like NFC, X Mode, the refresh price, and so forth, within the standing bar so you’ll be able to see what’s enabled with out having to test the toggles within the notification shade.

Asus ROG Phone 2 air triggers AsusThe Asus ROG Cellphone 2’s particular options are extremely customisable

 

The ‘Superior’ menu within the Settings app has a tonne extra choices to tweak. Cellular Supervisor allows you to clear RAM, handle knowledge utilization, and scan for viruses, and Recreation Genie is a really helpful toolbar which might be accessed from inside a recreation for configuring the AirTriggers, dwell streaming on YouTube, Twitch, and so forth. There are numerous contact and movement gestures, display screen recording, and a one-handed mode. The AirTriggers menu allows you to add ‘squeeze’ gestures for the underside set off, which may launch an motion or an app with a brief or an extended squeeze.

Asus ROG Cellphone 2 efficiency and battery life

The ROG Cellphone 2’s mammoth measurement and weight are just a little arduous to get used to. As we talked about earlier than, it is not an issue if you’re holding the cellphone with two arms for gaming, however for many different use instances, it will get fatiguing in a short time. Nevertheless, should you’re somebody who does not thoughts massive, heavy telephones then you definitely’ll most likely prefer it. The glass again is just a little slippery however the bundled case makes it simpler to carry this cellphone with one hand. The addition of a notification LED close to the earpiece is a pleasant contact.

As you’d count on, the ROG Cellphone 2 can be a beast of a performer. The 120Hz refresh price makes scrolling via apps and gameplay (in supported video games) extremely enjoyable and fluid. 90Hz provides a satisfying expertise too, if you wish to save a little bit of energy, however battery life is not actually a priority right here, which we’ll discuss in a bit. Apps load rapidly and multitasking is dealt with very properly. In fact, the principle draw of this cellphone is gaming, and that is hands-down top-of-the-line gadgets — if not one of the best one — for that.

Asus ROG Phone 2 sides ndtv AsusThe 2 Air Triggers have good vibration suggestions and the sensitivity might be adjusted

 

We ran a mixture of heavy video games comparable to PUBG Cellular and Asphalt 9 Legends, together with easier ones together with Rayman Adventures and Mario Kart, all of which ran flawlessly. Even on the 8GB RAM model of this cellphone, we had been capable of swap between any of those video games fairly effortlessly.

Now understand that the again of the cellphone will get fairly heat when gaming, particularly just a few spots close to the side-mounted Kind-C port which get highly regarded. We suggest enjoying with the bundled case, as you do not really feel the warmth as a lot and it provides higher grip. The warmth may probably be higher managed with the AeroCooler II accent, however that may price additional and we did not have one with us to check.

We did not really feel the necessity to use X Mode more often than not, apart from a few situations in PUBG when the framerate started to get mildly uneven. X Mode prevents throttling of the CPU and in addition does not let the velocity drop under 1.3GHz. Remember the fact that this may even drain the battery quicker, so we might counsel not utilizing it until you completely must.

Recreation Genie additionally allows you to allow an overlay in video games to keep watch over the framerate, system temperature, and CPU and GPU utilization in real-time. By means of Armoury Crate, you’ll be able to set a personalized profile for every recreation. As an example, Rayman Adventures helps 120Hz refresh price, so you’ll be able to have the show swap to it when enjoying the sport and return to a decrease refresh price for normal use.

Asus ROG Phone 2 armoury crate AsusThe Asus ROG Cellphone 2’s Armoury Crate app allows you to tweak the settings for each recreation

 

Similar to with the unique ROG Cellphone, we discovered the AirTriggers to be immensely useful in video games comparable to PUBG Cellular. The vibration impact, when they’re triggered, is instantaneous and now you can relaxation your fingers on them and easily apply strain if you really must activate them. This reduces fatigue in your index fingers, since you do not have to maintain them hovering in mid-air. If you are going to be doing this, then it is best to extend the quantity of strain required to activate the triggers, to forestall unintended activation.

Aside from gaming efficiency, the show and audio system are two different highlights of this cellphone. HDR movies look nice — the brightness is mechanically boosted when HDR content material is detected, and it drops again to the extent it was at earlier than if you shut the video. The audio system get actually loud and sound high quality is sweet. The stereo sound is evenly distributed throughout each channels, with first rate bass and a great soundstage. When utilizing Outside Mode, the sound high quality is horrible because it merely cuts the bass and boosts the treble, making every part tinny and shrill.

Battery life is equally spectacular, and never simply due to the huge capability. In our battery loop check, the 6000mAh battery lasted for round 11 hours and 48 minutes with the display screen set to 120Hz, and 14hours and 13 minutes at 60Hz. These numbers won’t look notably spectacular in comparison with these of different telephones which have run for over 20 hours with smaller batteries, however the ROG Cellphone 2 exceeded our expectations in real-world utilization.

Even with the display screen working at 120Hz and lots of digicam, gaming, and social utilization, we nonetheless managed to simply go previous one full day on a single cost. When enjoying heavy 3D video games continuous for 2 hours, with X Mode on more often than not and the refresh price set to 90Hz, the battery degree dropped by round 27 %, leaving us with loads of juice left for an additional two full days of standby time.

Asus ROG Phone 2 screen ndtv AsusThe stereo audio system on the Asus ROG Cellphone 2 get actually loud and high quality is sweet

 

The ROG Cellphone 2 helps a number of quick charging requirements — Qualcomm Fast Cost 4.0/3.Zero and USB Energy Supply 3.0. With the bundled 18W charger, we had been capable of cost the battery as much as 52 % in an hour and it took about two hours to cost it utterly. This might sound just a little slower than the competitors however understand that that is additionally a a lot greater battery than what most others provide on this value vary. With the elective 30W charger (Rs. 1,999), the charging needs to be a lot faster.

Asus ROG Cellphone 2 cameras

The rear sensors on the ROG Cellphone 2 are the identical as these on the Asus 6Z (Overview). This cellphone is lacking the laser autofocus sensor, however every part else appears to be similar. The ROG Cellphone 2 additionally will get a 24-megapixel entrance digicam with an f/2.Zero aperture, because it lacks the motorised rear digicam of the 6Z. The primary 48-megapixel digicam makes use of the Sony IMX586 sensor, with an f/1.79 aperture and PDAF, however no optical stabilisation. The second digicam makes use of a wide-angle lens with a 13-megapixel sensor.

The digicam app is sort of feature-rich, providing loads of capturing modes comparable to Movement Monitoring, Professional, and Evening, among the many ordinary others. A toggle inside the viewfinder allows you to swap between the common and wide-angle lens. The latter can be utilized to shoot video, however you’ll be able to’t swap between cameras whereas recording.

Shot utilizing the first digicam on the Asus ROG Cellphone 2 (faucet to see full-sized picture)

 

Shot utilizing the wide-angle digicam on the Asus ROG Cellphone 2 (faucet for full-sized picture)

 

Shut-up shot captured utilizing the Asus ROG Cellphone 2 (faucet for full-sized picture)

 

Shot utilizing Portrait mode on the Asus ROG Cellphone 2 (faucet for full-sized picture)

 

In daylight, the ROG Cellphone 2’s main digicam was fairly succesful and manged good particulars and colors. HDR photographs appeared vivid and putting, with good publicity and white steadiness. The wide-angle digicam captured barely weaker particulars however HDR was dealt with properly and landscapes appeared good, with little to no barrel distortion. Shut-ups appeared good too, with adequate particulars and good colors. The digicam app allows you to modify the extent of background blur in Portrait photographs, however edge detection wasn’t all the time too correct.

Low-light panorama photographs captured utilizing the Asus ROG Cellphone 2 had been a bit grainy, however utilizing Evening mode helped. Particulars had been nonetheless just a little weak and the ensuing photographs had been oversharpened to bit an excessive amount of.

Shut-up low gentle shot captured utilizing the Asus ROG Cellphone 2 (faucet for full-sized picture)

 

Common low gentle shot captured utilizing the Asus ROG Cellphone 2 (faucet for full-sized picture)

 

Shot utilizing ‘Evening’ mode on the Asus ROG Cellphone 2 (faucet for full-sized picture)

 

The selfie digicam captured pretty detailed selfies throughout the day, with good pores and skin tones, however we observed some minor artefacting within the background, and the sides of our face may have been sharper. The display screen flash is sort of efficient in low gentle, offering good illumination. Portrait mode with the entrance digicam is current however the ultimate output appears just a little synthetic.

Asus ROG Cellphone 2 selfie check (faucet for full-sized picture)

 

The standard of video shot in daylight was additionally fairly spectacular. Digital stabilisation labored very properly, even at 4K decision, and particulars and colors had been represented properly. Selfie movies had been additionally stabilised, and the standard was equally good. The cellphone faltered a bit in low gentle, as video was just a little grainy and the digital stabilisation brought about delicate distortion after we moved about.

Verdict

The Asus ROG Cellphone 2 is a stable piece of {hardware} and is unquestionably probably the most polished and spectacular gaming cellphone we have seen to date. It lacks some options comparable to waterproofing and wi-fi charging, however at Rs. 37,999, these issues aren’t massive deal breakers. The upper-end model feels too costly at almost Rs. 60,000 even with the huge bump in storage and the bundled equipment. A value of round Rs. 50,000 would have been extra accessible.

The OnePlus 7T (Overview) is among the important opponents for the bottom variant of the ROG Cellphone 2. It is a stable providing working Android 10, and it has a great set of cameras in addition to a quick 90Hz show. For those who’re not a fan of the burden of the ROG Cellphone 2, the OnePlus 7T can be a great different.

Nevertheless, should you’re searching for a beast of a cellphone, then the Asus ROG Cellphone 2 is among the finest on the market and is priced beginning at underneath Rs. 40,000. Even should you aren’t a gamer, the vivid show and stereo audio system make this a superb multimedia gadget, should you can put up with the majority.

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