ASUS ROG Phone II unveiled with a 120Hz OLED screen, Snapdragon 855 Plus, and 6000mAh battery
Last year, ASUS launched its first gaming smartphone under its Republic of Gamers (ROG) brand. Dubbed the ROG Phone, ASUS’ foray into gaming was also our first taste at a high refresh rate OLED display. With an overclocked Qualcomm Snapdragon 845, 90Hz FHD AMOLED, three USB Type-C ports, ultrasonic pressure-sensitive “Air Trigger” buttons, and a ridiculous clip-on fan accessory, the ROG Phone screamed, “I am a gaming phone.” ASUS’ strategy in 2019 has been focused on catering to power users and gamers, and we’ve already seen what this change in direction means for power users with the company’s ZenFone 6. Now, the Taiwanese brand has just unveiled its next phone for gamers, the ASUS ROG Phone II.
For the past few weeks, ASUS has teased the upcoming ROG Phone II. In collaboration with Tencent, ASUS announced that its new gaming smartphone will have a 120Hz OLED screen, making it the first smartphone with a screen of this caliber. Then, shortly after Qualcomm unveiled the Snapdragon 855 Plus, ASUS said that the ROG Phone II will be the first smartphone with this new chipset. ASUS’ next gaming phone already claimed two firsts before it even launched, but that’s not all it’s got going for it. What ASUS has packed into this gaming phone is, quite frankly, ludicrous.
Photos by Jeff Kampman @ ASUS.
Before we dive into the full specifications, here’s a highlight of what the ROG Phone II offers:
- Display: 120Hz FHD+ AMOLED display
- Refresh rate is set to 60Hz out-of-the-box, but the global refresh rate can be set in Display settings. Although the refresh rate isn’t variable, users can set the refresh rate on a per-app basis in the Armoury Crate app (what used to be called the Control Center.)
- 240Hz touch sampling rate, 49ms touch latency (compared to 87ms on the Samsung Galaxy S10+ and 85ms on the OnePlus 7 Pro according to figures provided by ASUS)
- Optical under-display fingerprint scanner for biometric authentication.
- Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus: GPU overclock to 675MHz, Prime core overclocked to 2.96GHz
- 12GB RAM
- 512GB UFS 3.0 storage
- 3D vapor chamber to maintain performance (reduce throttling) while gaming. The vents on the back are actually real this time.
- Software: Choice of stock Android-like UI (as seen on the ASUS ZenFone 6) or ROG UI during initial setup.
- Battery & Charging: Massive 6000mAh battery with 30W fast-charging
- Extra side-port so you can game comfortably while holding the phone in landscape and charge concurrently.
- ASUS claims you can play PUBG Mobile for about 7.1 hours at 60Hz
- Ultrasonic, pressure-sensitive Air Trigger buttons return. The vibration latency has been reduced by 68% from 63ms to 20ms.
- Audio & Vibration: Dual high-end vibrating motors XYZ axis for surround feel
- ASUS claims the vibration is 3x stronger than on the OnePlus 7 Pro
- Dual front-facing stereo speakers
- 3.5mm headphone jack
- Last year’s accessories return with the addition of a light-up NFC case that adds special themes and wallpapers when attached to the phone.
- AeroActive Cooler II (snap-on fan) lowers the surface temperature up to 5°C.
As a gaming phone, the ASUS ROG Phone II must be able to tackle the most performance-intensive games on Google Play (a list of which can be seen on our recent Honor 20 gaming review). ASUS shared some initial benchmarks with us, and the results are certainly impressive. In 3DMark’s Sling Shot Extreme and Sling Shot Extreme Unlimited (both based on OpenGL ES 3.1), the ROG Phone II scored 6253 and 6939 respectively while the closest competitor, the OnePlus 7 Pro, scored 5579 and 6184 respectively. In CPU Throttling Test, the ROG Phone ran for 30 minutes at the maximum frequency (2.96GHz) with no throttling while the Exynos 9820 and Snapdragon 855 Samsung Galaxy S10+ and OnePlus 7 Pro all exhibited varying degrees of CPU throttling (27%, 17%, and 11% respectively.) Lastly, using GameBench, ASUS says the ROG Phone II maintained 98% fps stability in PUBG Mobile while throwing smoke grenades and Molotov cocktails for 5 minutes in the game’s training mode. In comparison, the OnePlus 7 Pro, Exynos S10+, and Snapdragon S10+ maintained 95%, 85%, and 81% fps stability respectively.
We’ll have to test these claims for ourselves, but there’s no doubt that the ASUS ROG Phone II is probably the most powerful Android smartphone right now. Just take a look at its specifications and how much they’ve improved in just a single generation:
ASUS ROG Phone vs ROG Phone II Specifications
|ASUS ROG Phone||ASUS ROG Phone II|
|Dimensions||158.8 x 76.2 x 8.3mm||170.99 x 77.6 x 9.48mm|
|Body||Aura RGB lighting||Aura RGB lighting|
|Display||6.0-inch 18:9 FHD+ (2160×1080), 90Hz/1ms AMOLED, 108.6% DCI-P3, 10000:1 contrast, Gorilla Glass 6, capacitive touch panel with 10 points multi-touch||6.6-inch 19.5:9 FHD+ (2340×1080), 120Hz/1ms AMOLED, 240Hz touch sampling rate, 108% DCI-P3, 10000:1 contrast, Gorilla Glass 6, dE<1, 10-bit HDR, capacitive touch panel with 10 points multi-touch, SDR2HDR upsampling coming with Worldwide launch|
|CPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 (4 x Kryo 385 @ 2.96GHz + 4 x Kryo 385 @ 1.7GHz)||Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus (1 x Kryo 485 @ 2.96GHz + 3 x Kryo 485 @ 2.42GHz + 4 x Kryo 385 @ 1.8GHz)|
|GPU||Adreno 630||Adreno 640 @ 675MHz|
|RAM||8GB LPDDR4X||12GB LPDDR4X|
|Storage||128/512GB UFS 2.1||512GB UFS 3.0|
|Software||ROG UI (Android 8.1 Oreo-based)|
Google ARCore support
|ROG UI (Android 9 Pie-based) with choice of stock Android-like UI|
Google ARCore support
|Rear Camera(s)||12MP + 8MP (120° FOV)||48MP Sony IMX586 + 13MP (125° FOV)|
|Audio||3.5mm headphone jack, Dual front-facing stereo speakers with DTS:X Ultra, Triple mics with noise-cancellation, Voice wakeup||3.5mm headphone jack, Dual front-facing stereo speakers with DTS:X Ultra, Quad mics with noise-cancellation, Voice wakeup|
|Vibrations||Advanced haptics||Dual high-end vibrating motors XYZ axis for surround feel|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi: Integrated 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ad (5G, 2×2 MIMO); Wi-Fi Direct; 802.11ad for low-latency wireless display|
Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.0
|Wi-Fi: Integrated 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ad (5G, 2×2 MIMO); Wi-Fi Direct; 802.11ad for low-latency wireless display|
Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.0 (EDR + A2DP); Profiles: HFP + A2DP + AVRCP + HID + PAN + OPP
GNSS: GPS(L1+L5), GLONASS, BDS, Galileo(E1+E5a), QZSS(L1+L5)
|Ports||Side: Custom USB-C (USB 3.1 Gen 1/DP 1.4[4K]/fast charging [QC 3.0 + QC 4.0/PD 3.0]/direct charge)|
Bottom: USB-C (USB 2.0/fast charging [QC 3.0/PD 3.0]/direct charge)
|Side: Customized connector (USB 3.1 Gen 2/DP 1.4[4K]/fast charging [QC 3.0 + QC 4.0/PD 3.0]/direct charge) – 30W HyperCharge|
Bottom: Type-C connector (USB 2.0/Fast Charging [QC 3.0/PD 3.0]/direct charge)
|Sensors||Accelerometer, e-compass, proximity sensor, Hall sensor, ambient light sensor, gyroscope, 2 x ultrasonic AirTrigger sensors||Accelerometer, e-compass, proximity sensor, Hall sensor, ambient light sensor, gyroscope, 2 x ultrasonic AirTrigger sensors|
|Biometrics||Physical rear-mounted fingerprint scanner||Optical under-display fingerprint scanner|
Pricing and Availability
The Chinese model goes on sale July 23rd while the worldwide model will be available in the first week of September with a matte black back. We don’t have exact pricing yet until the joint Tencent-ASUS press event tomorrow, but the Chinese pricing doesn’t usually translate exactly into international pricing anyway. Still, we’ll update this post with the Chinese pricing once we have that information.
As for the ASUS ROG Phone II’s accessories, the ones that have been announced include:
- AeroActive Cooler II
- Aero Case
- TwinView Dock II
- ROG Kunai Gamepad
- Mobile Desktop Dock
- Pro Dock
- WiGig Display Dock Plus
- ROG Lighting Armor Case
Since ASUS’ change in leadership, the brand has certainly shown that it understands what power users want. They hit all the right marks when it comes to the hardware of the ASUS ZenFone 6 and now the ASUS ROG Phone II, but they still need to prove they can fine-tune the software experience to satisfy those of us coming from Pixel or OnePlus phones. We’re definitely looking forward to getting our hands on the ASUS ROG Phone II, though, because they’ve shown they’re willing to accept feedback and make tweaks to their software.
Update 1: Taiwanese Pricing Leaked
According to Taiwanese publication Sogi, the ASUS ROG Phone II (12GB RAM/512GB storage) is priced at NTD 26,990 (~$870). It will go on sale in the country starting August 1st. If purchased between August 1st and August 14th, ASUS will throw in the ROG Kunai Gamepad (valued at NTD 3,990 or ~$129) for free. Sogi also reports that the TwinView Dock II costs NTD 6,990 (~$225), the ROG Lighting Armor Case costs NTD 1,490 (~$48), the Mobile Desktop Dock costs NTD 4,990 (~$161), the WiGig Display Dock Plus costs NTD 7,990 (~$257), and the Pro Dock costs NTD 2,990 (~$96).
Update 2: Chinese Pricing
The smartphone is now up for pre-order on JD.com. Sales will begin on July 31st. Although the Chinese prices are never 1:1 with the international prices, the Chinese prices serve as a floor for the international prices. The 12GB RAM and 512GB storage model is priced at CNY 5,999, approximately $872 or Rs. 60,226. There are other models on sale in China, but don’t expect those to become available internationally.