I’m back, back again, back with a new phone review. It’s a change! I will be reviewing the Asus ROG Phone II. It is here that I would like to put out the disclaimer that I am, in no way, a gamer. The only game I ‘passionately’ play is Pokemon Go.

Upon realising that the ASUS ROG Phone II is designed with mobile gaming in mind, I prepared for the review. I downloaded and learned how to play Call of Duty: Mobile in a week. It was, eye-opening, to say the least.

What is the ASUS ROG Phone II?

For noobs like me, who has never heard of this phone, the ASUS Republic of Gamers (ROG) line is designed and innovated with the gamers in mind.

The Asus ROG Phone II claims to be “the next step in the evolution of mobile gaming”. As you scroll through the information made available for this phone, you will quickly realize the whole purpose of this phone is to enhance and make gaming experience on mobile the best there is.

All the technology that they have innovated and placed in the ROG Phone II is with this specific demographic in mind. Does that mean those non-gamers like me should give this a hard pass?

Read on to find out.

The Deets

For those interested in buying this phone, be ready to handover almost SGD$1.6k of your money. According to the hardwarezone article, the ASUS ROG Phone II is only available through their webstore or from these following stores and websites:

  • Best Denki
  • Gain City
  • Challenger
  • Courts
  • Atrix
  • Gamepro
  • ASUS Online Store
  • LAZADA
  • Qoo10
  • Shopee
  • Hachi.tech

The exact price of the phone? SGD$1,598.

Sis. Almost. Swallowed. Her. Tongue. Moving on to the specs of the phone.

Dimensions: 170.99 x 77.6 x 9.48

Weight: 240g

Screen Size: 6.59″

CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus Mobile Platform Octa-Core Processor

RAM: 12GB

Storage: 1TB

Camera: Main rear camera ( Sony flagship IMX586 48MP image sensor) + Second Rear Camera ( 13MP, 125° ultrawide camera) + Front Camera (24MP)

Battery: 6000 mAh

One of the things that stands out is the battery of the ASUS ROG Phone II. Sis was shooketh when she saw the battery and memory capacity. I might not have reviewed many phones but I am aware that not many phone batteries actually carry a battery of that capacity. ASUS ain’t playin’ y’all.

First Impressions

I decided to do something different for this review. I busted out my camera 360 and recorded a video of me unboxing the ASUS ROG Phone II. The quality is meh but it’s a change.

Asthetic-wise, the box that the ASUS ROG Phone II comes in is extremely cool and unique. It’s a hexagonal-shape although the sides are not equal. You pull out the box up and the components are all in notches by the side.

In the first video, you could see that the phone slid out of the notch easily. To be perfectly honest, I had trouble trying to pry the phone out. Sis had no idea how to get it out and had to do numerous takes.

However, the moment I managed to hold it in my hand, I could feel the weight of the phone. It’s not very heavy but if you are used to having a lighter phone like mine (Samsung Galaxy S9+), you will feel the weight initially. It’s also bigger in size – think Samsung Galaxy Note 10+.

Again, the ROG Phone II blows their competition away with its aesthetic. Peep the back design of the phone.

Cool, right? Think it can’t get any cooler? Think again.
I mean, look at the colors!

You might think that the back design is just that. But, girl, hold up. According to Asus’s website, the ASUS ROG Phone II logo can be lighted up. There are four (!!) lighting schemes such as static, breathing, strobing or color cycling. You can even trigger the effects for incoming calls, notifications etc so even if it’s on silent (aka no vibration for me), you can still notice the lighting effects to alert you to check your phone. 100 points given to the ASUS ROG Phone II for innovation!

Let’s finally move on to what we are all here for…

The Performance

Before I start on my impression of playing Pokemon Go and Call of Duty: Mobile on it, here’s the results of the tests ran on it:

This is the initial results from 3DMark.

However, there was a pop-up when I opened the application which prompted me to switch it on. Here’s a screenshot of it:

The X Mode

Based on reading the article here, the X Mode offers the users a variety of ways they can enhance the phone. While I might not really understand how to use the X Mode, I did switch it on and ran the 3DMark test again. Here’s the result with X Mode switched on:

With the X Mode turned on.

As you can see, with the X Mode turned on, both overall score were boosted significantly. Can I say that there is any significant improvements when I played the games with the X Mode either switched on or off? No, unfortunately there was no significant differences that I was able to pinpoint.

Moving on to the PCMark results.

These are the results with the X Mode turned off. The results with the X Mode turned on?

Again, as you can see, the results from the benchmark tests are significantly boosted. However, as I refer back to the article, this X Mode does improve the ROG Phone II significantly.

It does not try to game the system by simply improving for the benchmark tests. The user does have full control over the phone. Those who are tech-savvy may appreciate knowing this knowledge. For casual users like me, I simply appreciate knowing that by turning on the X Mode, I am optimizing my phone to it’s higher than usual potential.

Unfortunately, no matter how many times I tried running the battery tests, it would get interrupted halfway mysteriously. No, but seriously. I left it running overnight and when I woke up it would say, “please don’t use while benchmark is running”. Hmm. Sis ain’t gonna say what’s on my mind but, yooooo…

Anyway, before moving on to gameplay, I took a picture using the wide-angled function in night mode, size 16 by 3:

I will be honest; I am not very impressed by the quality of the picture that came out. It’s a little too grainy for my liking and has too much of a fluorescent cast on it.

The Gameplay

Before I start, here’s a 2minute screen recording of me playing Call of Duty: Mobile. Practice VS AI.

As I was playing the game, I actually do appreciate the wide screen the phone has and the clarity of the visuals. The loading of game also seems to be faster as compared to my usual phone and the revives too.

The sound effects and the vibrations from the effects makes the playing more immersive for me. One thing I noticed is that I have the habit of leaning forward towards my phone, while playing, which often leads to my neck feeling sore after playing a few rounds of the game. With the bigger screen, I don’t feel the need to move closer towards the phone.

My phone also tends to feel slightly hot, but not in a dangerous kind of way but definitely a signal for me to stop playing. But not with the ASUS ROG Phone II. I can play for 30 minutes to 45 minutes straight and the phone still feels cool in my hand.

The Bottom Line

Do I like this phone? Yes. It’s a definite yes. I honestly considered switching to this phone since my contract is ending soon. For one thing, while I’m disappointed with the quality of the pictures that it took, I am not holding it as a con against the ASUS ROG Phone II.

The whole purpose of the phone was literally to enhance your mobile gaming experience, which it truly did. In addition to the excellent gameplay, the design of the phone is simply one of a kind and screams aesthetic-goals.

However, will I get this phone? No. The fact that this phone is not offered at a subsided rate with our current range of telcos bummed me out, greatly. I simply cannot justify to myself paying a lump sum of close to SGD$1.6k for a phone. I simply, cannot.

If you’re a hard-core gamer that simply needs a phone, this will definitely satisfy you. ASUS definitely knew what they were doing when they came up with this phone.

TL;DR

ASUS came out with their second edition of pure gaming phone, ROG Phone II.

The Good:

  • The performance.
  • The looks.
  • Very intuitive to use.

The Bad:

  • Not for a casual user.
  • Payment of a lump sum is a definite turn-off.

Seriously though ASUS, you’re opening this user to the possibility of switching to one of your phones. Any recommendations of ASUS phones that I should try? (;

Occasional Writer for The Technovore. Usually go by Ms Siti in my daily life.

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Occasional Writer for The Technovore. Usually go by Ms Siti in my daily life.