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Asus’ ROG Phone II is the most spec-heavy gaming phone yet

The Verge logo The Verge 22/7/2019 Sam Byford
a screenshot of a cellphone: The ROG Phone I. © Photo by Vlad Savov / The Verge The ROG Phone I.

Asus’s first ROG gaming phone was one of the most maximalist takes on the concept to date, so it’s only appropriate that the company follow up with a new model to stay on the bleeding edge. The ROG Phone II sounds like a spec bump more than a design revolution — Asus hasn’t provided official press images of the device yet, which is why there’s a picture of the original model above — but as spec bumps go, it’s a pretty hefty one.

First off, the display has received a major upgrade. It’s a 6.59-inch 1080p OLED panel with an integrated fingerprint sensor, support for 10-bit HDR, and a Razer Phone 2-matching refresh rate of 120Hz. The touch sampling rate is twice that, at 240Hz, and Asus claims its touch latency of 49ms is the lowest of any phone. You can choose whether to run stock Android or Asus’ ROG UI as part of the phone’s setup process.

Behind the screen there’s a Snapdragon 855 Plus processor, which is Qualcomm’s new gaming-focused SoC that provides 15 percent faster GPU performance and higher peak clock speeds on the CPU. Asus says its cooling system, including a vapor chamber and vents, will prevent throttling of the 855 Plus’ peak speeds. The ROG Phone II also has 12GB of RAM, up to 512GB of storage, a 48-megapixel camera, and a 6,000mAh battery that the company says should be good for more than 7 hours of PUBG with the screen set to 60Hz.

The original ROG Phone’s most eye-catching feature was its suite of gaming accessories, and Asus is updating the range for the new device. There are tweaked versions of the dual-screen TwinView dock and the clip-on AeroActive Cooler fan alongside a new gamepad attachment called the Kunai that looks extremely Nintendo Switch-inspired, with two split controllers that can be attached to the side of the phone or slid into a separate joypad-shaped grip.

Asus isn’t announcing a price for the ROG Phone II yet, but tells The Verge to expect it to come in at a similar level to the original, which started at $899. Chinese release details will be revealed tomorrow in partnership with Tencent, while the global model will launch in the first week of September. The Chinese variant will have a glossy back panel as opposed to the worldwide model’s matte black finish.

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