Much like other gaming phones we’ve reviewed here at EFTM, the ASUS ROG (Republic of Gamers) Phone II is designed with one thing and one thing alone in mind – being as nerdy as physically possible. From the design of the phone to the colour palette and included cases, there is absolutely nothing subtle or standard about this device. Trust me…
From a technical standpoint, the ROG Phone II is phenomenal specimen. The screen boasts being a stunning 120hz, 1ms 6.6″ display – which as we know means everything to the gamer pushing for performance.
Inside the phone is a whopping 12GB of RAM, a Snapdragon 855 CPU at 2.96GHz. There isn’t any room for external storage, but that shouldn’t be a problem given you’ve got 1TB of internal ready to hold your games.
The main camera is a 48MP, secondary rear camera is 13MP ultra-wide and a 24MP front facing – however I wouldn’t buy this phone if you’re an avid photographer. I wasn’t awfully impressed the quality of the images, although it does the job for a quick snap.
You’ll also note the phone comes with two USB-C charging ports – one on the bottom and one on the side of the phone. An incredibly intuitive design by ASUS that means you can play games while charging your phone comfortably.
The biggest selling point of the ROG Phone II is the ROG Kunai Gamepad Kit. It doesn’t come standard with the phone, rather as a complimenting purchase, but it works as controller that will really give you an edge in competitive mobile play.
Designed as a faux-Nintendo Switch remote, the controller aspect is primarily these two removable components that fit into either the Gamepad for remote play or a case to hold the phone physically in your hand.
Presumably the Gamepad is designed to be used with an external display attached to your phone, because it doesn’t come with a stand of any variety. Which means you either need to lean your phone up awkwardly against something, or otherwise play it from directly above.
Inside the box you’ll also find the AeroActive Cooler II, a fan that makes use of the side USB-C port to keep the phone cool. A neat little addition that while probably not entirely necessary, is nerdy enough to pass muster;
Asphalt 9 is a racing game that came pre-installed on the phone, and makes use of the controller in some capacity – but the most fun comes with First Person Shooter (FPS) games like Fornite. As someone that’s never been awfully good at the game, playing with the Gamepad was one hell of an experience and seriously assisted in getting some kills (please refer to the satisfying image below);
As far as the ASUS ROG Phone II goes as a gaming device, it’s by far and away the best mobile experience I’ve ever had. The question to be asked however is whether or not you can justify the price tag…
I want to make it very clear that this is an exceptional device. However as it’s retailing for a total of $1,699 WITH the Gamepad (which lets face it is the only way you’d purchase the phone), I’m not sure I can personally justify the expense. Don’t let me tell you how to spend your money, but it’s out of the range for what I would consider a reasonable amount for a phone.