The ROG Phone II is the best gaming smartphone to own this year, if you are highly invested in the world of mobile gaming. The phone gives a lot of undue advantage to gamers, but to really make the best of this offering from Asus, you need to buy the accessories which will shoot up the costs. Long story short, the ROG Phone II is a mobile gaming console first, a flagship smartphone after.
For a phone to be a gaming phone, the bare minimum is for it to offer the most powerful hardware there is. The Asus ROG Phone II packs with the fastest processor available for Android phones — The Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+. In fact, it's the first phone to use the SoC that Qualcomm made especially for gaming. Paired with up to 12GB RAM and UFS 3.0 storage up to 1TB globally.
Inside, the phone is cooled by a vapour chamber cooling system and another fan-based Aero Active Cooler sold separately. Then there's side-mounted USB-C port for charging, headphone jack, front-facing speakers which are astonishingly loud, and a vivid 6.59-inch 10bit AMOLED panel with 120Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time and 49ms touch latency, all with Gorilla Glass 6 protection on top. Also, did we mention there's a whopping 6,000mAh battery inside? Yeah, that.
This mobile is best when it is used with the accessories. Asus offers seven different accessories to enhance your gameplay. This includes a gamepad, a mobile desktop dock, a TwinView Dock, a cooler, and an armoured case.
Out of them, the mobile desktop dock is the most over-the-top accessory. It actually let gamers play PUBG Mobile with other mobile players, but with a keyboard and a mouse. It's easy to guess who won that round! Is it an undue advantage? Is it cheating? Well, that's debatable.
To charge 6,000mAh powered beast, it comes with a 30W charger out of the box. On top of that, it supports USB PD 3.0 and QC 4.0, so any other brick supporting these standards will do the trick. It takes around 90 minutes to fully charge the phone.
The camera is where the ROG Phone II comes back to its smartphone roots. Like most high-end phones in 2019, the ROG Phone II rocks a 48MP dual camera. Asus has used the Sony IMX586 48MP sensor with an f/1.8 aperture lens along with a 13MP ultra-wide camera with f/2.4 aperture lens. On the front, you get a 24MP shooter for streaming and selfies. The primary camera is stabilised using gyroscope-based EIS but there's no OIS. There's a dedicated night mode that works with both the primary and ultra-wide lens and a pro mode that lets you control the camera parameters before shooting.
But there are some downsides to using the phone as a daily driver. For one, you will need a large pocket to carry the phone around which is common if you are a male. But not quite for a female gamer. It's also not water and dust resistant which means more careful handling and the glass panel at the back might not survive a drop considering the weight of the device.
Now, if you are seriously into gaming on a smartphone, this is the best you can get. The performance, features and the design will appeal to a hard-core gamer. If you're a casual gamer, there's no point in buying this.