You may remember our recent trip to Valencia to see the all-new Asus ZenFone 6. It’s a great phone for the money and the flip over camera works very well indeed.
Now there’s another, with Asus Republic of Gamers (ROG) unveiling their ROG Phone II. This has a world’s first thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus CPU and also the world’s first 120Hz/1ms AMOLED display. Sounds impressive, right? But you’re going to want to play for as long as possible. Thankfully this is easy via the monster 6000mAh battery inside.
That 855 Plus CPU is clocked at up to 2.96GHz and comes with a 675MHz Adreno 640 GPU. You get Android Pie with the new ROG UI and there’s a massive 12GB of RAM plus either 128GB or 512GB of UFS 3.0 flash storage. It weighs 240 g and has that 6.59″ AMOLED 2340×1080 resolution screen with up to 120Hz refresh rate. It comes with 240Hz touch sampling, 1ms response time, 108% DCI-P3 color gamut, 10,000:1 contrast ratio and HDR support. Short version? It’s a very, very good screen.
The usual high-end spes come as part of the deal – Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C charging (more on that in a bit), dual-band WiFi, GPS, an in-display fingerprint sensor and a clever noise caneling microphone setup.
Camera-wise there’s a couple of cameras on the back – a Sony IMX586 48 megapixel unit with a f/1.79 lens and an ultrawide 13 megapixel camera with a 125-degree field of view.
Back to the battery then, and that monster 6000mAh long-life battery also gets 30W ROG HyperCharge for non-stop gaming power and lightning-quick charging. This means that you get shorter, safer charge times (up to 66% charged in just 58 minutes). You can also charge other phones via the USB-C socket – Asus have added two ports so that the cable doesn’t get in the way when you change orientation, which is a really nice touch. The side port can move data at up to 10Gbps using USB 3.1 Gen 2, and it can output 4K video using DisplayPort 1.4.
Long gameplay with a super-charged ad long-life battery sounds good, but you’ll be wanting to keep things cool. For that to happen, this gamer-centric phone has an uprated GameCool II 3D vapour-chamber cooling system. It’ll deliver cool hands and full-speed performance for even longer. So, whether you’re playing large locally-installed games like Fortnite, online casino games like gametwist, or streamed gaming like Hatch, it’ll absolutely fly along. If the on-board cooling isn’t enough and you want to use the phone in really demanding tempearatures, Asus sell a “ROG AeroActive Cooler II”, which is basically a clip-on fan. Yes. A clip-on fan for your smartphone. This can reduce surface temperatures as much as 3.5 degrees Celsius. this is one serious piece of kit.
Even if high ambient temperature isn’t a concern for you, the airflow from the AeroActive Cooler II feels nice on sweaty palms as in-game action reaches a fever pitch. Dry skin means you can keep a surer grip on the ROG Phone II as you charge toward victory.
The AeroActive Cooler II plugs into the landscape accessory connector, but it doesn’t get in the way of charging or audio. We thoughtfully include USB Type-C and audio passthrough jacks to let you keep cool and stay in the game all at once.
There’s amazing sound too, with dual surround vibration and front-facing stereo speakers. In addition, they’ll be providing a range of modular accessories. A TwinView Dock II has immersive dual-screen gaming, and the multi-configuration ROG Kunai Gamepad delivers ultimate console-like gaming experience.
The phone itself has a matte black metal band as the main core and Corning Gorilla Glass 6 sandwiched on the front and back of the phone. There’s rounded edges to help with hand-holding. It has an almost normal and professional appearance when the screen is off with just a couple of small copper accents to add some design flair. Around back is where things really start looking different, with some subtle holographic inlays to accentuate the angular openings for the twin camera system. This is also where you’ll find a copper vent for the massive cooling system hidden inside the device.
In addition, there’s an aura-powered RGB LED logo inlaid in the back glass so that you can show others that you have a very special phone indeed. It can be illuminated with an on-board app called “Armoury Crate”, where you can make the logo glow with many of the lighting effects.
Like many new phones, the fingerprint sensor is now on the screen itself. The biometric is embedded there so there’s no additional fingerprint sensor. However, unlike a lot of new phones, it DOES have a 3.5mm audio port. Asus tell me that they’ve “conserved (a) critically endangered species: a dedicated 3.5mm headphone jack. You’re welcome”. Nice.
If you want one, it’ll be available from the Asus e-Shop here in the UK but a release date is yet to be confirmed.