The smartphone continues to put itself forward as a serious form of gaming device and Asus is back with the second generation of it Republic of Gamers handset. Here’s everything there is to know about the Asus ROG Phone 2, including the price and how to buy one - or read our hands-on review to find out what we think of the phone.
The gaming smartphone market is a competitive one, not only amongst Chinese manufacturers trying to cash in on the popularity of mobile eSports titles like PUBG Mobile, but well-established brands like Razer and Asus too. The ROG Phone 2 takes what worked well on the original and makes various improvements, too - read our ROG Phone comparison to find out how we think the two phones stack up against each other.
When will the Asus ROG Phone 2 be released?
The ROG Phone 2 is now officially coming to Europe, and the good news is that it's coming soon. You can pre-order the phone today, and it will apparently officially go on sale in 'mid-September'. That's for the regular version - there's a slightly longer wait for the upgraded 'Ultimate' model, which is currently set to arrive some time in Q4 - i.e. October-December 2019.
If you want to upgrade right now, take a look at our selection of the best gaming phones for inspiration.
How much will the ROG Phone 2 cost?
As expected, the ROG Phone 2 is coming in at the same price as the first model: €899. We're still waiting for UK and US pricing to be confirmed, but we expect it to cost £799/$899, just like the first ROG Phone.
That's for the regular model. If you want to jump up to the Ultimate, which gets you 1TB of storage, a matte black finish, and faster 2Gbps connectivity, it'll cost you €1199.
In China the ROG Phone 2 costs 5,999 yuan (~$873), which is the exact same price the original ROG Phone retailed for. There is also a cheaper model supported by game publisher Tencent, but we'd be very surprised if that edition of the phone ever hit western shores.
What upgrades will the Asus ROG Phone 2 offer?
Before the phone was announced Asus confirmed that the phone will be the first to use Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 Plus Mobile Platform. This is essentially a suped up version of the processor that is already in a lot of smartphones. Asus said Kryo 485 CPU will run at up to 2.96GHz, while the Adreno 640 GPU is clocked 15% faster than the current 855.
There will be 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage in the regular model, with a whopping 1TB in the pricier Ultimate edition.
The display is bigger at 6.59in and boosts the refresh rate to 120Hz to match the Razer Phone 2 - and you can choose 60- or 90Hz if needed. There's a 1ms response time and the touch input is rated at 240Hz. The screen has a 1080 x 2340 resolution (19.5:9 aspect ratio) and supports 10bit HDR.
Do some hardcore gaming for a while and the components will get hot so Asus has a vapor chamber and vents that lead the heat out. There's also a second generation AeroActive Cooler II in the box. The fan clips to the phone and is four times quieter than the first model - it also doubles as a kickstand.
You don't want the phone to die after a couple of hours like a gaming laptop, so Asus has increased the battery size 50% to 6000mAh. It promises 7 hours of non-stop PUBG action. Then charges quickly with 30W ROG HyperCharge using a standard 3A cable with Quick Charge 4.0 support too.
Asus has also thought about things like Wi-Fi antenna placement to keep latency to a minimum - with four different antennae dotted around the phone and optimise for landscape use.
The AirTriggers remain and have been improved so you can rest your fingers on them. Two vibration motors are better than before with a lower 20ms latency.
When it comes to audio, the ROG Phone 2 has stereo speakers that support DTS:X Ultra which Asus says are 2.5x louder than the speakers on the original. There's also a 3.5mm headphone jack and four microphones around the chassis to ensure clear audio no matter which way you're holding the phone.
The phone is about gaming but you'll still want to take photos and video. So there's a 48Mp main lens flanked by a 13Mp sensor with 125° ultra wide-angle lens - the exact same set up as the Asus ZenFone 6. There's no flip-up mechanism like the ZenFone 6 but the front has a 24Mp selfie camera.
Of course, with all these specs on-board it's not the most slender of smartphones weighing in a whopping 240g and measuring almost 1cm thick.
This wouldn't be an Asus ROG Phone without some accessories so you'll be able to get various attachments. One is the ROG Kunai Gamepad which sort of turns the handset into a Nintendo Switch with controls at either end. The controllers can also be attached together to make a wireless controller.
In addition to the Kunai there's the TwinView Dock II, which turns the ROG Phone 2 into a clamshell type device like a Nintendo DS. The second screen is also 120Hz and there's a 5000mAh battery to give you even more hours of gaming.
There's also various docks including the WiGig wireless display dock, Pro Dock or the Mobile Desktop Dock.