The fast ROG Phone 2 is Asus' new giant-sized mobile gaming monster

 digitaltrends.com  07/22/2019 09:10:32  4  Andy Boxall
Asus ROG Phone 2
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Asus has announced a sequel to the ROG Phone (that stands for Republic of Gamers, for those new to the company’s gaming brand) called the ROG Phone 2, and it’s a massively powerful, giant-sized mobile gaming monster. The phone is due to launch in China on July 23, and the rest of the world from early September.

We’ve already tried the phone out and you can read our first impressions here, or continue below to find all the juicy specs and tech details.

Design

Asus ROG Phone 2
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Asus hasn’t changed the design much from the first ROG Phone. The body is made of glass — shiny for the China model, and a matte finish for the international phones — and has a flat 6.59-inch AMOLED screen on the front, with bezels above and below for the stereo speakers. An in-display fingerprint sensor takes care of security, there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack, a side-mounted USB Type-C charging port, and a crazy RGB-lit logo on the back. The ROG Phone 2 is heavy at 240 grams, and quite thick at 9.4mm too.

You can augment the design with a variety of accessories. The Kunai gamepad makes the ROG Phone 2 look a bit like a Nintendo Switch, with two joypads attaching to either end of the phone, or together to make a Bluetooth-linked gamepad. The TwinView Dock 2 adds a second 120Hz screen and a 5000mAh extra battery for a dual-screen gaming device, and the AeroActive Cooler 2 is a clip-on fan to reduce device temperatures by 5-degrees.

The list continues with several cases, and several dock systems to make the ROG Phone 2 the heart of a gaming system in your living room or home office. Asus will even sell you a travel suitcase stuffed with all these accessories, the phone itself, and a special carry bag.

Specification

Asus ROG Phone 2
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Asus has improved on the 90Hz screen on the first ROG Phone — and the one on the OnePlus 7 Pro — and has fitted a 120Hz AMOLED screen on the ROG Phone 2, putting it a step above the 120Hz LCD screen on the Razer Phone 2. The 6.59-inch screen has a 2340 x 1080 pixel resolution, is tweaked at the factory to provide the most accurate colors possible, and has 240Hz touch sampling for low touch latency.

The firstROG Phone stood out for its use of a binned Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, which provided more power than a regular Snapdragon 845. The ROG Phone 2 has the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus processor, offering a 4% CPU boost, a 15% GPU boost, and an improved clock speed of 2.96GHz. A 3D vapor chamber, vents on the body, and even a clip-on fan keep the phone cool when it’s working hard. It has 12GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage space, with UFS3.0 technology for fast app launches.

Asus has fitted four 802.11ad Wi-Fi antennas to help maintain a strong connection even when holding the phone in landscape, four microphones with noise cancellation, plus dual stereo speakers with DTS:X Ultra. Powering everything is a massive 6,000mAh battery with 30-watt fast charging, which is performed using either the wide-mounted connector, or one on the bottom of the phone.

While games are the reason for the ROG Phone 2’s existence, Asus has fitted the same, very capable dual-lens rear camera from the Zenfone 6, to make sure it can take good photos too. The main lens has 48-megapixels, and the 125-degree wide-angle has 13 megapixels. A 24-megapixel selfie camera is on the front. For the software, Asus has also turned to the Zenfone 6, and will use the same almost stock version on the ROG Phone 2. The Chinese version will have more stylized software similar to the first ROG Phone.

Launch and release date

Asus has revealed the ROG Phone 2, and it will launch it in China on July 23, where it will be co-branded with internet company Tencent. The international launch will come at the beginning of September, and the phone will launch in the U.S., the U.K., and other regions. The price has not been announced yet.

Gaming partnerships

Asus ROG Phone 2
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Asus has partnered with several developers for the ROG Phone 2’s launch, adding in some special content to some of the world’s favorite games. ROG Phone 2 owners playing Asphalt 9 will get a special ROG-branded Porsche 911 car, and the game takes advantage of the phone’s new vibration technology, can be played on the TwinView Dock 2, and will have a higher frame rate.

Shadowgun Legends players will get an ROG avatar with ROG armor, an XP boost, ROG guns, and access to special events. The game runs at 120Hz, and can be played on the Kunai controllers and the TwinView Dock 2. Finally, Rockman X Dive can also be played on these two accessories and runs at 120Hz, while players get a special ROG gun and ROG wallpaper. Asus will launch the ROG Phone 2 in China with Tencent, where the phone will be co-branded, and likely come with various pre-installed titles.

Asus mentioned that other partnerships and collaborations may be announced in the future.

Updated on July 22, 2019: Added in all official launch details for the ROG Phone 2.

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Page 2

5g capable phones manufacturers header getty
Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images

Who doesn’t want faster access to the internet when out and about? The next generation of mobile internet, 5G — short for “fifth generation” — is on the way, and it’s bringing exceptional data download and upload speeds with it.

But there’s still a long way to go until 5G is as ubiquitous as the widely available 4G, and we’re still taking our first baby steps into a faster future. Whether you think we need 5G or not, we’re seeing more and more manufacturers picking up the new standard — and the first commercially available 5G phones are out now. Here is every phone that supports 5G, and a whole bunch of rumors about some that might.

We saw an awful lot of 5G phones at MWC 2019, so check out those stories for more information on the next generation of mobile tech.

Apple

There is absolutely no doubt Apple will pick up 5G eventually, the only question is “when?” At the moment, the whispers indicate that the iPhone giant won’t be looking to release a 5G iPhone until 2020 — so expect 5G capabilities on the iPhone XIS, or whatever numerically nightmarish name Apple adopts.

This is no surprise, really. Apple can be slow to adopt new technology, just look at how long it took for it to adopt wireless charging and water-resistance. That’s not because Apple is lazy — far from it. Instead, Apple will likely only include the standard once it’s sure it works well and is not a waste of time. Being in a dominant market position, Apple can afford to wait.

Apple phones rumored to support 5G

Google

There haven’t been any rumors from Google about a 5G update for the Pixel range but it’s early days yet. If Google sticks to its usual schedule, we won’t be seeing the Pixel 4 until October 2019.

The Pixel 4 range will likely include the Snapdragon 855, a chip that’s capable of supporting 5G connections, so 2019’s Pixel 4 range may support 5G, but we won’t be surprised if it doesn’t. We’ll keep this updated as more details emerge.

HMD Global (Nokia)

Like a few other manufacturers, there has been no word on when Nokia handsets will support 5G. However, Nokia has been very active in helping to build up 5G infrastructure and is involved with the city of Tokyo to provide 5G networks in time for the 2020 Olympics. In July 2018, T-Mobile also announced it was working with Nokia to help build a U.S. 5G network. Nokia could also make $3.50 for every single 5G phone released, thanks to its work on the standard.

While HMD Global, the manufacturer of Nokia branded phones, hasn’t yet let rumors slip that it’s working on a 5G phone, we can’t imagine it will be too long before we hear about one.

Honor

While Honor will likely be working closely with sister company Huawei, that hasn’t halted its ambition to beat its bigger sibling to the finish line in launching a phone with 5G support. While Honor was originally intending to be the first phone company to release a full 5G phone, it has pushed its schedule back to the second half of 2019.

At the moment, it’s likely any 5G phone will be a flagship-level device. We’ll keep you updated as news rolls in.

Honor phones rumored to support 5G

HTC

There’s been little on HTC’s 5G plans, but the latest rumors say we’ll be seeing a 5G HTC smartphone in the second half of 2019 at the earliest. We’ve no idea which phone this would be, though the HTC U13 would be the obvious pick. HTC was confirmed to be one of the companies working with Qualcomm to bring 5G support to 2019 handsets, and you can expect HTC to implement the tech well.

While we still haven’t seen a 5G phone from HTC yet, it has released a 5G hub your phone can use to connect to a 5G network.

Huawei

Huawei has made no secret of its ambitions for 5G, and first spoke about a handset with 5G support in February 2018. Back then, 2019 was the target date for release, and Huawei has hit that with the release of the folding, 5G-capable Huawei Mate X. As previously mentioned, including both of 2019’s biggest trends — 5G and folding phones — in a single device is a huge coup for Huawei, and may pay dividends for the Chinese company.

Huawei phones that support 5G

LG

LG was hot out of the gate, and teamed up with Sprint to deliver the LG V50 ThinQ in early 2019, becoming one of the first 5G devices to hit the market. In fact, LG was so keen to get in on the 5G trend that it pushed the V50 ThinQ out a lot earlier than expected, with the phone landing on 20 June. With the V-range more usually being a fall release, that’s quite the jump.

LG phones confirmed to support 5G

Motorola/Lenovo

Motorola is in something of a unique position on this list because not only has it already released multiple phones with 5G capabilities, it’s also updating previous phones with 5G connectivity through a special Moto Mod. The Moto Z4 and Moto Z3 use Motorola’s Moto Mod attachment to add a 5G power pack accessory onto the back of the phone, making it possible to access 5G networks. The Moto Z2 Force, a 2017 flagship, will also get access to 5G through the mod after its Android Pie update — but only Verizon models will get that update.

The 5G Moto Mod wasn’t ready for launch earlier, but it’s finally available for from Verizon, having been released to match the switching on of Verizon’s 5G network.

Motorola was technically the first company to release a 5G phone, but its modular nature means most people didn’t really count it as the first 5G phone released. But it does mean Motorola has shown its hand in terms of 5G, and we can definitely expect to see even more 5G connectivity hitting Motorola phones in 2019 and beyond. While Motorola already has the most phones with 5G access, don’t expect it to slow down any time soon — expect a Motorola phone with built-in 5G to arrive eventually.

Motorola phones that support 5G

OnePlus

After some conflicting reports, the existence of a 5G-enabled OnePlus phone has been confirmed. Like many other manufacturers, OnePlus’ first 5G phone is a specific variant of one of its flagships. In this case, it’s a OnePlus 7 Pro equipped with a 5G modem.

Rumors that the OnePlus 7 Pro 5G would be more expensive have turned out to be true, with the 5G phone costing a hefty 69 British pounds a month (about $87) for 30GB of data, and 50 pounds up front (about $63). That’s a pretty hefty slice of cash, even if the phone does come with 256GB of storage space and 8GB of RAM. It’s also only available in the U.K. and Finland at the moment, and there’s no sign of it in the U.S. yet. Still, Andy Boxall spent some time with it in London, and you can check out his in-depth thoughts.

OnePlus phones that support 5G

Oppo

Oppo made waves by claiming an Oppo phone was the first to access a 5G network. According to a claim made by Oppo global vice president Brian Shen, the connection was made on a pre-commercially available phone based on the Oppo R15 design, although we hear Oppo may be retiring the R series, so its 5G device is unlikely to be an R branded one. Oppo also claims to have held a WeChat video call using 5G.

Oppo took to MWC 2019 to proclaim it was working on adding 5G to a model of the Oppo Find X. However, there’s since been no word on when this phone is to be released. But Oppo hasn’t been resting on its laurels — the Oppo Reno 5G was released in the U.K. on June 7.

Oppo phones that support 5G

Oppo phones rumored to support 5G

Samsung

Samsung is the largest mobile manufacturer in the world, and it would be silly to expect it to sit back and ignore the 5G bandwagon. Despite saying the S10 wouldn’t be Samsung’s first 5G device earlier in 2019, the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G has been launched as Samsung’s first 5G phone. It’s a beast of a device, with a 6.7-inch Dynamic AMOLED display and powerful specs. If it ever returns from its design issues, the Samsung Galaxy Fold will also support 5G.

Samsung may also launch another 5G phone with AT&T later in 2019, and this phone will supposedly support the sub-6GHz spectrum, which will lead to broader 5G coverage. With Samsung’s new focus on its midrange phones, one of those could also be in line to receive a 5G variant some time down the line. It’s an exciting new future, and it’s just getting started.

Samsung phones that support 5G

Samsung phones rumored to support 5G

  • Later 2019 Samsung 5G smartphone for AT&T
  • Potential non-S10 5G phone

Sony

There has been next to nothing on the 5G front from Sony, so we have no idea when a 5G Xperia smartphone might be released. However, Sony is on Qualcomm’s list of 5G partners, so you might see one in 2019.

Xiaomi

Chinese juggernaut Xiaomi laid its cards on the table earlier than most, announcing a 5G-capable model of its Mi Mix 3 was in the works. Xiaomi took to MWC 2019 to reveal the phone and released it in May 2019, making it one of the first companies to release a 5G phone.

Xiaomi phones that support 5G

ZTE

News from late 2018 said ZTE had to delay its first 5G phone until late 2019, so it was a surprise to see ZTE drop the Axon 10 Pro 5G into the ring at MWC 2019. It’s a true flagship phone with the Snapdragon 855 and various A.I.-powered systems inside. The Axon 10 Pro 5G released in Europe and China in May 2019. ZTE’s sub-brand Nubia also announced a 5G phone recently: The Nubia X. It’s unknown when this will launch, but it’s likely to be released in China first.

ZTE phones that support 5G

Updated July 24, 2019: Huawei’s Mate 20 X 5G is expected soon.

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