2019 has been the year of the OnePlus 7. In the first half of the year, it was all about the OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 7 Pro and now perhaps so, more muted, it’s increasingly about the OnePlus 7T and the OnePlus 7T Pro. The name of the brand has already been referenced by me 5 times in two sentences, so you can imagine. These phones have been that good, it is as simple as that if you’re interested in Android smartphones. So, it is going to be very surprising for anyone to read that I claim that the Asus ROG Phone 2 is a phone that’s better than it. But here we are — a phone which has been designed with the gamer in mind is perhaps a better phone. For sure it doesn’t win this war definitively, but the very fact that we are having this conversation is laud-worthy.
- This phone is all about performance. Be it the liquid cooling tech and heat vents which have been conceived to make sure this phone is at full tilt all the time or be it its cutting edge Snapdragon 855+ processor and 8GB RAM which sing like Enya giving you the best gaming and multitasking performance that you can imagine on an Android smartphone in 2019. It even has clean software which is close to stock Android which means it’s pleasant software-wise. Yes, by that, I mean it is palpably faster than the OnePlus 7T and OnePlus 7T Pro which also come with similar armaments.
- This phone is a multimedia powerhouse. You get a massive 6.59-inch 2K OLED screen which has a peak refresh rate of 120Hz which can be manually adjusted to 90Hz and 60Hz. It also has a peak touch response rate of 240Hz. As far smartphone screens go, they don’t get more fluid than the Asus ROG Phone 2, even the OnePlus 7T which makes this not only superlative for gaming but just normal use too.
- If you watch a lot of videos, then it is just not then screen that matters but also the quality of audio that comes from the speakers. And boy, the dual-speakers on this device are loud and clear. They are loudest speakers I’ve tested on a smartphone which manage to rival the MacBook Air in terms of loudness. This phone can be your portable boombox.
- Usually, when a smartphone has a high-refresh-rate panel, then the battery life is the first thing that’s compromised. Not on the Asus ROG Phone 2. South of the iPhone 11 Pro Max, this phone has the best battery life of any flagship smartphone. It’s humongous 6,000mAh battery offers true 2-day battery life with heavy use and 120Hz refresh rate and on top of that, you even get 18W fast charging in the package.
- You get dual cameras on the back in an age of triple camera systems. Many phones like the OnePlus 7T hype the rear camera systems a lot but if you’re looking for something that nails the basics, then you’ve got a winner in the dual-camera system on the ROG Phone 2. Generally, this phone takes better photos in both low light and night time, including the night mode and its ultra-wide camera doesn’t warp as much as the OnePlus. It also comes with a better selfie camera that can do better bokeh shots.
- In a sea of phones that look the same, this phone looks different. It belongs in outpace with a slick design that incarnates heat vents, superb haptics, gaming focussed hardware for air triggers and even a glowing light on the back while offering niceties like even a headphone jack and a massive battery. It will grab your attention and it hulking size will mean that you’ll never forget its presence.
- This is a huge phone and it looks totally wacky. This may not be to the liking of many people. It may be too big for some, some people may dislike its huge bezels on its chin and for sure, its rather gamer-centric looks may be frowned upon in the boardroom.
- For gaming fanatics, no matter what Asus does, this legitimately is not the best phone. That’s the iPhone 11, hell even the iPhone XR is better. Asus has no control over this. Apple’s software is better for gaming with frameworks like metal and the App Store, coupled with its custom silicon on the iPhone which is two years faster than anything that’s there on Android.
- The ecosystem of accessories that Asus has for the ROG phone 2 is stupendously expensive. And these accessories aren’t even as good as third party accessories which are gaming focussed thirty you can get for the iPhone which further dilutes its gaming credentials.
- While there are some impressive stats supporting the display, visually this isn’t the most vivid OLED screen I’ve seen on a smartphone. There are better screens which include the LG G8 ThinkQ, OnePlus 7T and even a cheaper phone like the Xiaomi K20 Pro.
Simply put, at Rs 37,999, this phone represents incredible value for not only people who love gaming on the go but people who are looking for a super-fast phone that delivers great battery life, good cameras and is great for watching movies and music videos on the go. There isn’t a better value proposition if you like Android over iOS. Hell, even if you like iOS, you may like this phone better. And for sure if you love Android, this in more ways than one, outshines the best all-around Android phone of the year — the OnePlus 7T Pro. Strange but true!