Today ASUS is releasing the successor to last year’s enthusiast-level gaming phone – the ROG Phone. This year’s model features the same DNA that the original model was built on- but this time around ASUS went for bigger and better in every regard, upgrading the new ROG Phone II with some new impressive hardware, creating quite a beast of a phone.

ASUS’s rationale for releasing a gaming-focused phone is that the mobile market is seeing some exceptional annual growth, with mobile accounting for 47% of the total gaming market world-wide, with a healthy growth of 12.8% for mobile and specifically a 14.2% year-on-year growth for smartphone gaming. As such, ASUS sees a large opportunity to carve out a niche in the market in terms of offering a phone that maxes out the mobile gaming experience.

ASUS ROG Phones
  ROG Phone ROG Phone II
SoC Snapdragon 845 (OC)
4x Cortex-A75 @ 2.96GHz
4x Cortex-A55 @ 1.80GHz


Adreno 630 @ MHz
Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ 
1x Cortex-A76 @ 2.96GHz
3x Cortex-A76 @ 2.42GHz
4x Cortex-A55 @ 1.80GHz

Adreno 640 @ 675MHz
DRAM 8 GB LPDDR4X 12 GB LPDDR4X
Storage 128 / 512GB UFS 2.1 128 / 512GB UFS 3.0
Display 6.0" AMOLED
2160 x 1080 (18:9)
90Hz

 
6.59" AMOLED
2340 x 1080 (19.5:9)
120Hz

240Hz Touch
Size Height 158.8 mm 170.99 mm
Width 76.2 mm 77.6 mm
Depth 8.6 mm 9.48 mm
Weight 200 grams 240 grams
Battery Capacity 4000mAh 6000mAh
Wireless Charging -
Rear Cameras
Main 12MP 48MP IMX586
0.8µm pixels (1.6µm 4:1 12MP)
f/1.79
Telephoto - -
Wide 8MP
120° wide-angle
13MP
125° wide-angle
Extra - -
Front Camera 8MP 24MP
I/O USB-C 3.1

3.5mm headphone
Wireless (local) 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 5.0 LE + NFC

802.11ad (Wireless display)
   
Other Features Dual Stereo Speakers

Under-Display Fingerprint Sensor
Dual-SIM Dual nanoSIM
Colours    
Launch Price 128GB $899   ????
512GB $1099 512GB ????

At the heart of the new ROG Phone II is the Snapdragon 855. But this isn’t your regular S855 we’ve seen from other flagships so far this year, but rather a new SKU bin called the Snapdragon 855+. The new variant upgrades the clocks on the CPU and particularly on the GPU. On the CPU side we’re seeing the Prime core being overclocked from 2.84GHz to 2.96GHz, giving a 4% boost in some single-threaded applications, whilst the new GPU sees a larger 15% performance boost being upgraded from 585MHz to 675MHz.

Whilst the new increased GPU performance of the chip brings a new healthy upgrade to the experience, what really makes the new ROG Phone II differ from other devices is ASUS’ new improved thermal dissipation capabilities as well as its sustained performance claims. The company claims that the phone is able to maintain its peak performance significantly better than other smartphones, suffering much less degradations from thermal throttling.

Other internal hardware upgrades includes the upgrade from 8GB LPDDR4X in the original to now 12GB in the ROG Phone II.

ASUS also follows other vendors in terms of adopting the new UFS 3.0 storage standard which promises to double the theoretical peak transfer rates. The ROG Phone II still maintains a maximum of 512GB of storage in this regard.

What’s most impressive about the new device though is its sheer size. This is now a much bigger phone than last year’s original, raising the screen diameter from 6.0” to 6.59”. Although some of the increased diameter is due to the stretching of the aspect ratio from 18:9 to 19.5:9, the overall phone still is much bigger as it gains 12.19mm in height to 170.99mm, 1.4mm in width to 77.6mm and is now 10% thicker at 9.48mm.

The thickness is especially interesting as the new phone now houses a whopping 50% bigger battery, which now reaches 6000mAh. The physical aspect where this is most noticeable in the phone is in its weight which grows from 200g to 240g, marking the new ROG Phone II as quite the heavy unit.

The vastly increased battery capacity is an important feature of the phone as it allows for significantly longer gaming sessions and ASUS promises the phone to last much longer than competing devices when playing high-end games.

Of course the new size isn’t the only upgraded aspect of the new screen: ASUS continues to use an AMOLED display, but now further pushes the boundaries in terms of refresh rate by going from 90Hz in the original to a new 120Hz panel. The resolution still remains 1080p with the only upgrade being a few more pixels to fit the stretched the elongated aspect ratio. At this size the resolution might not be the sharpest amongst the competition, but for a gaming-centric smartphone it’ll still provide excellent performance in essentially any games currently available.

ASUS has also improved the touch aspects of the phone: As far as I’m aware, this is the first ever 240Hz touch controller in a smartphone. What this has allowed ASUS to do is vastly improve the touch latency compared to any other smartphone by significant margins, which together with the new 120Hz display panel should result in some excellent fluidity and smoothness.

On the camera side of things, the ROG Phone II seems to adopt the Zenfone 6’s setup which includes the Sony IMX586 48MP camera sensor module as well as a 13MP wide-angle camera. ASUS hasn’t gone into details of the camera but we largely expect it to match the performance of its sibling device. The front camera has also been upgraded from 8MP to 25MP.

Much like on the original ROG Phone, ASUS will be offering a slew of different accessories for the new ROG Phone II. The phone itself comes with an additional connector on the side of the device to which the accessories can connect to, offering similar features and additions as last year’s line-up.

The ROG Phone II launches in China on July 23rd with a glossy back, whilst the worldwide variant will be available in the first week of September in a matte black back. No pricing available as of yet.

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  • Beaver M. - Tuesday, July 23, 2019 - link

    You can "turn off" every notch on an OLED. Looks pretty much like there is no notch at all then. Reply
  • 0iron - Wednesday, July 24, 2019 - link

    Except you can't use it as normal notification bar. With dual sim card, bluetooth, connection speed, alarm, VoLTE, plus bunch of other notification app, you can easily fill up the notification bar. Reply
  • Beaver M. - Friday, July 26, 2019 - link

    Well, bloatware and adware collectors arent really a majority.
    I see what you describe on my fathers phone all the time, because he installs so much crap, its unbelievable.
    Reply
  • willis936 - Monday, July 22, 2019 - link

    If it has "Never Throttling Performance" then why do they sell an "AeroActive Cooler II"? 🤔 Reply
  • BenSkywalker - Monday, July 22, 2019 - link

    Not saying this is the case but, operating at lower temperatures lowers power consumption, the chip runs more efficiently. Again, not saying this is why, but it's the first thing that popped into my head. Reply
  • willis936 - Monday, July 22, 2019 - link

    The first thing that popped into my head was "plastic has low thermal conductivity". Certainly an interesting choice for a performance oriented device. I don't want to say this thing is incompetently designed because all I've seen is their marketing material, but it doesn't give a good feeling at a glance.
    https://www.anandtech.com/show/7984/discussion-on-...
    Reply
  • BenSkywalker - Monday, July 22, 2019 - link

    They claim less throttling then the competition, not saying you are wrong, but it would seem... odd to offer a cooling accessory while touting its resistance to throttling. Reply
  • Mil0 - Monday, July 22, 2019 - link

    Perhaps it has no throttling @21°C, but some throttling once you go a lot above that or have warm/sweaty hands. Reply
  • Dragonstongue - Monday, July 22, 2019 - link

    I guess they really really needed a new version that has a usable graphics section

    "typo am sure"
    Snapdragon 845 (OC)
    4x Cortex-A75 @ 2.96GHz
    4x Cortex-A55 @ 1.80GHz

    Adreno 630 @ MHz

    vs v2

    Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+
    1x Cortex-A76 @ 2.96GHz
    3x Cortex-A76 @ 2.42GHz
    4x Cortex-A55 @ 1.80GHz

    Adreno 640 @ 675MHz

    look at that, apparently ASUS truly is dropping the ball the last while huh?

    LOL

    .........

    Beyond that, this is a proper high end phone spec IMO most importantly is not yet another AAA release using just enough battery life to check a few texts etc (6,000Mah is not massive, but, compared to 95% of the "high end" that seem to use battery size meant for those 5% models (under 4k at this point is stupid, battery are the last thing they should be saving a few pennies on)

    also, no reason AT ALL for all makers to not at least have some offerings that have 3.5mm earjack (not the combined ones that are charger AND .. hate those)
    Reply
  • Kishoreshack - Monday, July 22, 2019 - link

    I think reviewers should make it a big deal
    So other manufacturers should also care about the things together phone has included
    I'm really happy about how asus is progressing in phone market
    Reply

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