I know. It’s a new year, new decade, and phones with the brand spanking new Snapdragon 865 have already started trickling out. So, it seems quite futile to invest in a phone with last year’s flagship specs (ahem ahem something like the Asus ROG Phone 2) doesn’t it? That’s where your logic is quite flawed my friend. Let me give you 5 reasons why!
At first glance these don’t seem like a big deal, but once you have this set up to work with an FPS of your choosing, the level of control this feature offers with regard to game-play is quite overwhelming. The feature by itself isn’t what blew me away, rather it’s the haptics and vibration motor response on the ROG Phone 2. You’ve probably heard in the tech community that no Android phone does haptics as well as their iPhone counterparts, right? Well, the ROG dethrones the iPhone with its insanely nippy and intuitive input response.
Perhaps what’s most important on a phone for me is the sort of multimedia experience it offers and the ROG Phone 2 nails that with aplomb. The stereo speakers plastered on the front offers some serious wattage and can get seriously LOUD. Well, plenty of phones can get loud of course, but this little miracle has the ability to reproduce sound with an adequate amount of depth. It’s quite hard for me to describe in prose so I’ll indulge in a little bit of relative comparison. Output from this stereo setup is akin to those small Bluetooth speakers you can get from Xiaomi (which is a feat in itself)
This particular factor ties in with the speakers and the Air-Triggers quite beautifully to offer you a rich gaming and multimedia experience. The AMOLED display on this phone (albeit a little cool in terms of color gamut) along with its insane 120 Hz refresh rate (just above the Oneplus 7T) and heightened touch response had me quite rattled when I switched from a 60 Hz OLED on the K20 Pro. Rest assured, the gaming performance is quite pleasurable with this meticulous attention to hardware! Even non-gamers will quite definitively enjoy how the phone blazes through the UX (stock for the most part).
With a ginormous display and a high refresh rate to boot, you’d quite easily assume that the ROG Phone 2 has quite lackluster battery life. WRONG. Even with 120 Hz switched on the phone gets you through an entire day and then some more thanks to the enormous 6000 maH battery they’ve managed to cram in there. You also get the option to tune the refresh rate to a more apt 90 Hz or a simple 60Hz which could miraculously improve your battery life. But seriously, who’s going to take this route after experiencing some slick 120 Hz goodness?
Sure, the Snapdragon 855+ is last year’s chip and the 865 seems all rosy and inviting. Lets ask ourselves quite candidly though. Is the 865 worth the extra cash you’d shell out for a phone that wields it? Not yet!
Let me explain. The 865 doesn’t offer a very significant performance boost over the 855+, everyday use and performance are almost identical. What makes the 865 more alluring however is the fact that maxed out versions of it supports the 5G modem, thereby driving up its cost. With Asian countries having almost non-existent 5G infrastructure that we can take advantage of, the returns you get by investing in a Snapdragon 865 phone this early in the manufacturing cycle is quite laughable. Meanwhile, the capital that Qualcomm requires to manufacture the 855 has greatly reduced, thereby leaving the consumer with an unforeseen advantage in terms of cost.
Though the ROG Phone 2 almost inches towards being a perfect phone (quite definitively why it was the TechQuila phone of the year 2019) it does have one niggle that pulls it back quite considerably; the camera performance. Don’t get me wrong, the ROG’s twin camera set up is by no means a slouch, it’s just that I tend to nitpick with regards to camera performance and this phone falls short relative to other phones in this price range like the OnePlus 7 Pro.
That said, slapping on a GCam port does quite considerably improve the output and photo processing. Crisis averted!
With costs dipping to as low as 35,000 INR for the 128 GB storage variant (during Flipkart sales), the Asus ROG Phone 2 is absolute bang for the buck no matter how you think about it. Unless you’re a smartphone photography aficionado there’s not much to dislike about this stellar offering from Asus.