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ROG Phone II: The best gaming smartphone from Asus just got a whole lot better

Asus has finally unveiled the ROG Phone II and this is their ultimate gaming smartphone that succeeds last year’s ROG Phone. This is also the first smartphone to run on the latest high-performance Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ processor.

Upfront, the ROG Phone II comes with a larger 6.59″ Full HD+ AMOLED display which is significantly larger than the last year’s model and it feels taller due to its 19.5:9 aspect ratio. It also pushes a higher 120Hz refresh rate and it supports 10-bit HDR. For better durability, the front is protected with Corning’s Gorilla Glass 6.

Under the hood, it runs on a Snapdragon 855+ that’s clocked at a higher 2.96GHz for its CPU while the Adreno 640 GPU is running at 675MHz. The device can be configured with up to 12GB of LPDDR4X RAM and up to 512GB of UFS 3.0 internal storage.

To keep things cool, Asus has introduced a GameCool II system which consists of a 3D vapour chamber, heat sink and additional vents for better heat dissipation. With the AeroActive Cooler II attached, the device can run at maximum performance with no throttling.

In terms of appearance, it retains the same design language as the original ROG Phone. The new model has no physical rear-mounted fingerprint sensor as the device now gets an optical-based in-display unit.

The new ROG Phone also retains dual-front-facing stereo speakers and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Also retained is a side-mounted USB-C port which makes it practical to play games in landscape mode while charging at the same time.

For taking pictures, the device features a similar dual-camera setup as the ZenFone 6. It has a 48MP main camera with Sony’s IMX 586 sensor and a secondary 13MP ultra-wide-angle camera that has a wide 125-degree field of view. In front, the device gets a 24MP selfie shooter. According to Asus, they have placed the front camera at an optimal position for landscape mode, which is ideal for live streaming.

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Asus has also made some improvements for its AirTriggers. The new AirTriggers II now offers improved vibration latency which is reduced from 63ms to 20ms. It can also support both finger-resting trigger as well as a new sliding gesture.

Serious gamers will be happy to know that the ROG Phone II now gets a huge 6,000mAh battery which supports both QuickCharge 4 as well as PD 3.0 charging protocols. With the bundled 30W ROG HyperCharge power brick, you can get 4,000mAh worth of power in just 58 minutes. Because of this large battery capacity, the ROG Phone II weighs 240grams, which is 40 grams more than the original ROG Phone. However, it still respectably slim with a thickness of 9.5mm.

Out of the box, it runs on Android 9.0 Pie with ROG UI skin on top. If you prefer a stock-like experience, you can always switch to ZenUI Classic which offers a similar experience as the ZenFone 6. Similar to the original ROG Phone, you can squeeze the device to enable X-mode for an optimised experience for gaming.

As usual, Asus continues to offer an array of accessories to maximise your mobile gaming experience. Apart from the new AeroActive Cooler and casing, the Taiwanese brand has also introduced a new Kunai Gamepad controllers that are similar to Nintendo’s Switch Joy-Cons. This can be utilised in both gamepad or handheld mode.

There’s also a new Twinview Dock II which provides a secondary display. The new version is lighter and the weight feels more balanced in the hands. It comes with a built-in 5,000mAh battery which is slightly smaller than the previous Twinview Dock that came with a 6,000mAh battery. To keep things cool, the dock also comes with a built-in cooling fan. If you need more physical controls, you can pair the Twinview Dock with the Kunai Gamepad controllers.

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At the moment, Asus Malaysia hasn’t revealed the availability and pricing for the ROG Phone II but we reckon it could be priced at least RM4,000 for its top-spec model. As a reference, the current ROG Phone was launched at RM3,499 for the 8GB RAM + 128GB storage model and RM3,999 for the 8GB RAM + 512GB storage version.

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Alexander Wong