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Asus ROG Phone II first impressions: Ultrasonic triggers & gesture controls are the highlights

For keeping the ROG II running cool, Asus has given it a three-layer cooling system.

, ET Bureau|
Jul 22, 2019, 06.21 PM IST
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Agencies
ROG 3
The Asus ROG stood out from the crowd thanks to its unique futuristic looks and the ROG II continues with a similar design.
Asus India got the first mover advantage last year when they became the first ones to launch a gaming dedicated smartphone – Asus ROG. This was followed by a number of brands launching their gaming smartphone in India such as Nubia and Black Shark. Now, Asus has announced the successor to their gaming phone and its called the Asus ROG Phone II. We got to spend some time with this upcoming smartphone: read on for our first impressions.

Hardware
ROG II is the first phone to be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus processor that runs at 2.96Ghz. Moreover, its Adreno 640 GPU runs at 675Hz which is 15% faster than the Snapdragon 855. It has 8GB DDR4X RAM and 128GB internal storage (non-expandable). Asus has opted for UFS 3.0 storage making this the second phone after OnePlus 7 range to use this fast storage. The phone is also the first to come with a massive 6,000mAh battery which would ensure uninterrupted gaming for long hours. Also, the phone supports 30W fast charging called ROG HyperCharge. What we liked about HyperCharge is that it does not require any special charger or cable – Asus says ROG II will charge at full speed with any QuickCharge 4.0 charger and 3A cable.

Design
The Asus ROG stood out from the crowd thanks to its unique futuristic looks and the ROG II continues with a similar design. It still gets a metal body with accented edges and a big backlit ROG logo in the center while on the right side it has vents for heat dissipation. The phone also offers a bottom Type-C port as well as a connector port on the left side for charger and other accessories – this is one of the features we loved on the ROG phone as well. You also get the shoulder ultrasonic buttons which can be customized by the user – another feature that is helpful in gaming. However, at 240 grams, the phone does feel a bit on the heavier side – a big reason for this would be the large 6,000mAh battery. Other impressive features include dual front firing speakers with DTX-X ultra-support, 3.5mm audio jack and quad microphones for noise cancellation.

ROG 31
ROG Phone II runs Android 9.0 with customized user interface that has various handy tweaks.


Cooling
For keeping the ROG II running cool, Asus has given it a three-layer cooling system. You have a vapor chamber, a heat sink and vents for heat dissipation on the back cover. Plus, there is an improved Aero active cooler accessory also available for the phone. The Aero Active Cooler II is now 4x quieter with improved airflow design and can bring down the temperature of the phone by 5 degrees.

Display
It comes with a 6.59-inch amoled display with HDR 10-bit support and is protected by Gorilla Glass 6. Like the ROG phone, this one also has thick bezels on top and bottom sans any notch. The resolution is 2340 x 1080 pixels with 10,000:1 contrast and 108% DCI-P3 coverage. What makes the phone’s screen stand out is its 120Hz refresh rate combined with 1ms ultrafast pixel response time. The screen also does SDR to HDR conversion on the go which makes it great for consuming multimedia content too. The screen instantly impresses with its vivid colours and deep blacks. Asus says the screen has 240Hz touch response for fast and accurate input which is handy during gaming.

Software
ROG Phone II runs Android 9.0 with customized user interface that has various handy tweaks. For gamers, there is a dedicated icon for Armoury Crate – this the same name of software that runs on Asus ROG laptops as well. When your launch it, you can see details about your phone’s temperature as well as choose game profiles, customize air trigger buttons and manage hardware for performance. You also get access to Game Genie from within the Armoury Crate where you can manage incoming notifications and lock brightness level during gaming.

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Other Interesting Feature
The ROG II is loaded with features on all fronts. In the camera department, you get a dual rear camera setup – 48MP + 13MP. The 48MP is an IMX 586 sensor while the 13MP is an ultra-wide sensor. You will get plethora of shooting modes to play around with but the phone lacks optical image stabilization. On the front is a 24MP camera for selfie lovers. We couldn’t test the cameras as the software was not finalized on our demo units. Some other interesting things include improved ultrasonic triggers with fast vibration latency, dual vibration motor and gesture controls for added functionality. The phone also has 4 x WiFi antennas for improved and stable connectivity. Last but not the least, you get an in-display fingerprint scanner on the phone.
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Asus ROG Phone II review: A gaming beast at Rs 37,999

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