Flagship Android phones are hard for device makers to differentiate. For the most part, they all run the same SoCs from Qualcomm, have similar cameras, displays, and performance. Into that sea of sameness, Asus has announced the ROG Phone II, a huge glass-covered Android slab with a 120-Hz OLED display and Qualcomm’s newest Snapdragon 855+ system-on-a-chip.
The ROG Phone II’s large 6.59″, 2304 x 1080 120-Hz OLED display is the biggest (heh) feature of the phone. Those pixels should be plenty colorful, too, since the display can reproduce 108% of the DCI-P3 color space with a 10,000:1 contrast ratio and a one-millisecond response time. While the OLED panel’s resolution is lower than Samsung’s best on the Galaxy S10 Plus, the ROG Phone’s 386 dpi should be plenty sharp. Asus says the digitizer in the display samples input at 240 Hz, so it should feel quite responsive, as well. Behind the ROG Phone II’s display is an in-screen fingerprint reader, too. The front and back of the phone are covered with Corning Gorilla Glass 6.
Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 855 Plus SoC drives all those pixels. The eight-core Kryo 485-based chip can hit 2.96 GHz on its performance cores and boasts graphics horsepower 15% faster than the ever-so-slightly older Snapdragon 855. Asus paired the 855 Plus with 12 GB of LPDDR4X memory. The ROG Phone II has a 6,000 mAh battery, so it should last a good long while. Asus has endowed the ROG Phone II with either 128 or 512 GB of UFS 3.0 permanent flash storage. Headphone fans will rejoice that the 1/8″ jack has not disappeared from Asus’s latest handset. A USB Type-C port supports both Qualcomm’s latest Quick Charge 4.0 spec for powering up and USB 3.1 Gen 2 for 10 Gbps connections to peripherals or PCs to transfer files.
The camera system has big megapixel numbers, too. A 48-megapixel Sony Exmor IMX586 snapper captures big photos with ideal lighting through a wide f/1.78 aperture lens. When the lights are low, the sensor groups pixels into a 2 x 2 arrangement to produce higher-quality 12-megapixel images. A separate 13-megapixel wide-angle lens can let you get more of a large or up-close subject into the frame. On the front, an overkill 24-megapixel snapper will handle selfie duties and video chat needs.
The Type-C port sits adjacent to a proprietary connector that joins the ROG Phone II to Asus’s docks. That connector also powers the bundled ROG AeroActive Cooler II. Asus says the external cooler can drop surface temperatures by 3.5 degrees so the SoC can stretch its legs. The ROG AeroActive Cooler II has headphone and USB Type-C passthrough, so it doesn’t block charging or wired audio connections.
The external cooler bolsters an internal vapor chamber that can purportedly dissipate 7.5 watts of heat. An external vent on the rear of the phone dissipates that waste energy. The back also houses a programmable RGB LED logo that has a silvery appearance when the LED is off. The Armoury Crate app lets users customize the LED with many of the effects of Asus’s motherboard and graphics cards.
Asus hasn’t discussed availability, supported cellular networks, or pricing yet. The company told The Verge to expect it to launch in September for around the same $899 price as the original.