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ASUS ROG Phone 2 first impressions: a gorgeous gaming beast

Last year, when ASUS‘s gaming subsidiary, ROG decided to enter the smartphone arena, it had everyone sitting on the edge of their seats. And with a signature ROG design, loaded internals, stunning display and more, the ASUS ROG Phone didn’t disappoint. The gaming brand is now all set to launch the second-generation ROG Phone 2 globally on July 23rd. We managed to get our hands on the upcoming phone at an exclusive pre-launch briefing, and here’s an early preview of what’s coming.

At first glance, the ASUS ROG Phone 2 looked very similar to its predecessor. However, upon closer inspection, several changes stand out. For starters, the back panel is completely glossy except for an asymmetric metal strip on the right edge. This time around ASUS has used rainbow trimming all over the back panel to complement the RGB ROG logo in the centre. While the dual-camera setup looks the same, this time around it’s accompanied by dual-LED flash. Moreover, there is only one sleek venting outlet on the back this time, unlike two massive ones on the first-generation ROG Phone. All other ports and buttons are similar to the ROG Phone including the dual USB Type-C ports on the side. The ROG Phone 2 is also the first phone to feature a dual vibrating motor for better haptic feedback.

ASUS is also offering a boatload of accessories for the ROG 2 including Nintendo Switch Joy-Con like controllers that fit on either side of the phone, an AeroActive Cooler II fan accessory, controller pad, dual-screen accessory and more. There is also a Switch like docking station, which lets you connect the ROG 2 to your TV set.

Another element missing from the ASUS ROG 2 is the angular fingerprint scanner that we saw on the back of the previous ROG Phone. Instead, the company has equipped the latest offering with an in-display fingerprint scanner. As for the display itself, it measures 6.59-inches and offers full HD+ screen resolution with HDR10 support. However, the major upgrade here has to be the 120Hz refresh rate, which is a step up from the 90Hz on the ASUS ROG and first of its kind in the world at the moment. There are still bezels all around the 19.5:9 screen but this time around they are slimmer. The orange front-firing speakers have also been retained on the next ROG phone.

As for the performance, ASUS announced that the ROG Phone 2 will feature the newest Snapdragon 855 Plus SoC backed by Adreno 640 GPU making it the first smartphone to feature it. The company had revealed that the phone will be offered in two configurations of 8GB RAM + 128GB storage and 12GB RAM + 512GB storage. Powering the gaming smartphone will be a massive 6,000mAh battery with Qualcomm’s Quick Charge 4.0 that goes up to 30W. In the imaging department, the phone will flaunt a 48MP f/1.79 Sony IMX 586 sensor accompanied by a 13MP wide-angle lens on the back. And a 24MP camera on the front for selfies and live streaming games. We will put the performance and imaging prowess of the ASUS ROG 2 to test in our detailed review.

With its powerful chipset and 120Hz display, the ROG Phone 2 already looks promising. It remains to be seen how aggressively the brand prices the latest offering, which will either kill or seal the deal.

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