Last month I literally played with the Razer Phone 2, a gaming phone that, as the nickname suggests, was less of a traditional smartphone and more of a mobile gaming device capable of taking calls.
However, the Razer Phone 2 isn’t the only gaming phone on the market.
The folks at ASUS – well known for their gamer-centric Republic of Gamers (ROG) product line – have leveraged their expertise in the field to develop their own gaming phone.
Rightly nicknamed the ROG Phone, the phone has a few tricks up its sleeve to set it apart from the competition, but is that enough to make it a worthy player in the gaming phone arena?
Do you even play, my brother?
While the Razer Phone 2’s aesthetic might still pass for a regular phone, the ROG Phone is decidedly âgamerâ in its design – orange accents surround the two front speakers, while the back of the phone is covered in arbitrary lines that scream “Yes, I really like Mobile legendsâ.
Needless to say, it’s a rather confrontational design – on the one hand, it’s a breath of fresh air, but your mileage will vary depending on how proud you wear that player badge.
Functionally, the fingerprint sensor on the back of the phone looks downright rudimentary compared to phones with built-in sensors like the Huawei P30 and Samsung Galaxy S10, and place the volume and lock buttons on the same. side definitely takes some getting used to. (I lost count of the number of times I accidentally locked my phone while trying to adjust the volume).
These design choices are not without reason, however.
The left side of the phone is reserved for a port that connects to its many accessories (we’ll get to that later), as well as a second USB-C port for easier charging when gaming in landscape mode. The “Aerodynamic System” on the back also functions as a real vent, channeling air to keep the phone cool.
Inside, the ROG Phone sports an overclocked SnapDragon 845 processor, 8GB of DDR4X RAM, and an above-average 4000mAH battery for long gaming sessions. general use, it performs as well as you would expect from a modern smartphone.
Literal game changers
Of course, anyone considering the ROG Phone isn’t buying it for its performance as a smartphone and instead will be concerned about the phone’s mobile gaming capabilities.
Like the Razer Phone 2’s “Game Booster”, ROG has a “Game Center” that lets you create game profiles and monitor specs like temperature, memory, and storage.
Game Center also lets you activate something called âX Mode,â which optimizes the phone for maximum gaming efficiency.
In my experience, X mode provided a performance upgrade, although it also burns battery faster.
Another point of comparison between the two phones is the display – the Razer Phone 2 comes with an LCD screen with a refresh rate of 120Hz, while the ROG Phone has an AMOLED screen with a refresh rate of 90Hz. This means that the ROG Phone’s graphics are slightly less smooth, but have more vivid colors thanks to that AMOLED display.
It’s a good compromise, in my opinion.
Probably the most revolutionary (pun intended) feature of the ROG Phone is what ASUS calls âAir Triggers,â haptic sensors that allow users to squeeze the sides of the phone to use them as shoulder buttons. It’s a smart design choice, and one that I found myself using more than I thought I would.
While the ROG Phone is more than capable of playing on its own, another big selling point is its vast catalog of almost free accessories.
From controller attachments to secondary displays, this is possibly the largest collection of peripherals designed for a single phone.
There are a lot unbox here, so here is a quick overview of each available accessory:
AeroActive cooler (free): Included for free with the phone, the AeroActive Cooler is basically a small fan that provides additional cooling to keep the phone from heating up. It also comes with its own USB-C and 3.5mm ports, which allow you to connect headphones and charge the phone in a much more comfortable position.
Gamevice (S $ 139): Probably the most useful accessory of the bunch, the Gamevice dramatically improves your mobile gaming experience by giving you a full set of physical buttons. From a D-pad to analog sticks and bumper buttons, play PUBG Mobile with it could almost be considered cheating.
TwinView Docking Station (S $ 399): The TwinView Dock gives you a second independent screen that is only limited by your imagination. Want to open a guide and check your Instagram feed while playing a game, or even playing two games at once? Now you can, with an extra 6,000mAh battery for good measure.
WiGig Display Station (S $ 339): If the ROG Phone’s 6-inch screen is too small for you, the WiGig Display Dock lets you wirelessly stream your content to a larger screen. If a wider viewing angle is all you are looking for, then this is the most practical solution.
Mobile docking station (S $ 199): The Mobile Desktop Dock takes âmobileâ out of mobile gaming and is the closest thing to turning the ROG Phone into a real PC. In addition to HDMI and DisplayPort connectivity, you also get four USB 3.1 ports for a mouse and keyboard, and even an Ethernet port for more stable internet connectivity.
Professional dock ($ 139): Yet another display related accessory, the Professional Dock is the smallest of the three. It only has the essentials for connecting a screen, mouse, and keyboard, but its compact size makes it perfect for travelers who need a portable solution.
Personally, I have never been particularly invested in the mobile gaming scene – I prefer to play my games on the go on a dedicated device like the Nintendo Switch, and I never want that because of my battery drain. phone is “an intense round of Clash of the clans “.
If I ever were to get into mobile gaming, however, the ASUS ROG Phone would probably be my weapon of choice. Unique features like the Air trigger put the phone in a class of its own, and the wide selection of accessories meet virtually any gamer need.
One thing to consider, however, is the price of the ROG Phone – at $ 1,598 that’s more expensive than a Huawei P30 Pro or a Samsung S10 +, both of which are S $ 200 cheaper at S $ 1,398 (and we’re not even talking about the rather expensive accessories on top of that).
Objectively speaking, that means you can get a better phone for a lower price, but if mobile gaming is your top priority, it really doesn’t get better than this.
VP Verdict is a series where we try and personally test products, services, modes and applications. Want to suggest something else to try? Leave a comment here or send the suggestion to our Facebook page.