Finally, after several official teasers and plenty of leaks throughout, the ASUS ROG Phone 2 is officially unveiled at last. ASUS’ latest gaming smartphone looks… surprisingly similar to its predecessor, except for a boost in size. Surely enough, the similarity would end there and we’re pretty sure ASUS didn’t take a year worth of development just to release an XL/Plus variant of their first full-fledged gaming smartphone.
As mentioned before, the ROG Phone 2 is larger than its sibling as it is equipped with a 6.59-inch FHD+ AMOLED 1,080 x 2,340px resolution display which features 120Hz refresh rate, 240Hz touch sampling rate, 10-bit HDR support, and an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor. Under the hood is the previously announced Snapdragon 855 Plus where it takes pride of being the very first smartphone to feature this. The phone also features a massive 12GB of LPDDR4X RAM, and up to 512GB of internal storage. To withstand hours of general and gaming use, the phone is powered by a monstrous 6,000 mAh battery with 30W ROG HyperCharge support and features internal cooling via vents that lead heat out from its built-in 3D vapour chamber to the phone’s external vent.
Features from the original makes a return on the ROG Phone 2, while providing massive improvements from the former. Its front-facing stereo speakers are now louder and comes with DTS:X Ultra support that simulates multi-channel audio. If blasting audio out loud is not your fancy, then you’ll be thrilled to know that the phone does come with a 3.5mm headphone jack as well. The AirTriggers now feature swiping gestures and are far more ergonomic this time around, as it allows you to rest your fingers on them during idle moments without registering it as an input command. ASUS also brought improvements to the phone’s haptic feedback feature where it now features two vibration motors, one on each side of the phone. With that, the haptic feedback will now provide directional vibrations, and also functions a button press feedback when you engage the phone’s Air Trigger.
While the ASUS ROG Phone II’s main selling point is its gaming capabilities, the company did not hold back on the camera department either. The phone is packed with a dual camera setup consisting of a Sony IMX586 48MP main camera, and a 13MP ultra wide-angle. Housed in the phone’s top bezel is a 24MP selfies camera because one’s got to look good when a Chicken Dinner is claimed.
Next up, of course, is the ROG Phone 2’s abundance of accessories. Like its predecessor, out of the box along with the phone is the new and improved AeroActive Cooler II attachment which is quieter, keeps the phone’s exterior cooler by 5°C lower, and could also act as a kickstand. However, the ultimate companion accessory to go along with the ROG Phone 2 is not the AeroActive Cooler II, but the newly introduced ASUS ROG Kunai Gamepad.
The ROG Kunai Gamepad is actually two halves of a controller attached to a grip, which can be detached and then re-attached to both sides of the ROG Phone 2 to maximise its handheld gaming experience. Wait a minute, this concept sounds awfully familiar. Well, that’s because the Kunai draws a lot of inspiration from Nintendo’s hybrid console, the Nintendo Switch. Like JoyCons, you can remotely play games on the phone wirelessly with both Kunai halves attached to the grip and used as a traditional gamepad.
The ROG Phone 2 and Kunai Gamepad can also be used with the ASUS TwinView Dock II, which adds a second 120Hz touchscreen display, a cooling fan, and an added battery capacity of 5,000mAh. When unused, you can fold the TwinView Dock II ala Nintendo DS/3DS (yes, another Nintendo similarity) to make it more compact for portability and storage. The Kunai Gamepad and TwinView Dock II accessories are sold separately from the main ROG Phone 2 package.
ASUS’ new gaming smartphone is looking to be extremely exciting, and you’re sure as heck that we can’t wait to get our hands on the phone and its accessories for a review. The ROG Phone 2 is set to launch in China first, but no pricing or exact date of availability has been announced so far. We’ll be sure to keep you posted on local availability and pricing as well once ASUS Malaysia releases an official announcement.