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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  • Kishoreshack - Monday, July 22, 2019 - link

    These big manufacturers were trying to convince us
    How we shouldn't care about headphone jack
    Reply
  • Devo2007 - Monday, July 22, 2019 - link

    Given we're still waiting for the Zenfone 6 in North America, I'll be surprised if the ROG Phone II launches in September. Reply
  • eastcoast_pete - Monday, July 22, 2019 - link

    Thanks Andrei! Question: In addition to more RAM, has ASUS given any information on the speed of the memory bus? I suspect that the graphics performance of these high-end Adrenos (and other high-end mobile graphics units) is starting to be limited by memory speed. Any comments are appreciated! Reply
  • Andrei Frumusanu - Monday, July 22, 2019 - link

    It'll be the same as on the regular S855 / 4x16b @ 2093MHz. Reply
  • PeachNCream - Monday, July 22, 2019 - link

    I'm mainly interested in the docking capabilities. The phone itself is nice, but the PC replacement abilities that can be gained from an effective docking station for access to common computer interface devices and a larger monitor are the sorts of things that I want to see more widely available. Reply
  • SpartanJet - Monday, July 22, 2019 - link

    Wow! Imagine how many micro transactions per second this thing can pull. But seriously gaming on adroid phones isnt a thing as about 99% of the games are toxic money grabs. Reply
  • PeachNCream - Monday, July 22, 2019 - link

    I do a lot more gaming on my phone than I do on a PC or console. There are certainly a fair number of micro transaction-supported games out there and a much larger number of ad-supported games as well, but knowing that, I generally stick to titles that are paid for once and have no in-game purchases or advertising. After all, without paying for a gaming PC, I can redistribute a comparably huge amount of entertainment budget at phone games, still come out ahead in the money department, and my games can easily come along with me as I go places. Reply
  • SpartanJet - Monday, July 22, 2019 - link

    I'd be very interested in the titles of the games you play. Reply
  • PeachNCream - Monday, July 22, 2019 - link

    Oh sure! I have the Stellaren series, Space Traders Elite, Space Trader (the palm os port), Random Adventure Roguelike, Kittens Game, and NEO Scavenger installed on my phone at the moment. I have a couple of emulators for the Game Boy and Game Boy Advance. Reply
  • s.yu - Sunday, July 28, 2019 - link

    I go the same route, I've had a pretty big collection but haven't had much time to play recently...
    Republique, Sky Force Reloaded(completely playable w/o IAP) Banner Saga, Zen Bound, XCOM, Death Road to Canada, etc.
    Reply

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