The ROG Phone 2. It looks a lot like the ROG Phone 1. [credit:
Asus is still trying to make gaming phones a thing with the release of the Asus ROG (Republic of Gamers) Phone II. Just like last year, this is a high-end smartphone with a hyper-aggressive “gamer” design and a light-up back logo, but there are also genuinely impressive specs here that you won’t find on any other smartphone right now.
The Asus Republic of Gamers Phone II is the first device to launch with Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon 855 Plus SoC. This 855 “Plus” is a mid-cycle upgrade for the Snapdragon 855 with higher clock speeds for the CPU and GPU. The SoC’s single “Prime” CPU core gets bumped from 2.84GHz to 2.96GHz, while the GPU gets a 15% boost from 585MHz to 672MHz.
You’re going to need that extra horsepower since the ROG Phone II has a 6.59-inch, 2340×1080 OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, which is up from 90Hz last year. This is one of the fastest displays you can get on a smartphone, alongside the 120Hz display on the Razer Phone 2, though that is an LCD. The 90Hz display on the OnePlus 7 Pro turned out to be one of the phone’s best features even when you weren’t gaming, thanks to the faster, smoother UI animations it enabled. I expect faster displays to show up in a ton more smartphones phones next year.