Is there a place for gaming phones in 2019? ASUS believes so. In fact they’re so bullish about the mobile gaming industry that they’re giving their gaming phone an update. This is our ROG Phone II hands-on.
At first glance, it’s not very different from last year’s model and that’s intentional. Their focus hasn’t been to rework the wheel but to make the original even better.
The phone is now taller, giving it that now popular 19.5: 9 aspect ratio. It’s built tough with a Gorilla Glass 6 display and is intentionally flashy with RGB lighting baked into the logo on its back with ROG’s trademark styling.
Best display on a smartphone today
The flat all screen display is edge-to-edge except for its top and bottom. ASUS said this is a design decision so that gripping the phone doesn’t get in the way of gameplay.
It also leaves room for the dual front firing speakers and a selfie camera. It’s strategically placed so game streamers can play and stream at the same time.
The panel itself is impressive possibly the best we’ve seen on a smartphone today. It’s the world’s first 120Hz AMOLED display on a smartphone with a super fast one millisecond response time.
It not only gives you buttery smooth transitions, but combined with ultra low touch latency, it’s supposedly also going to give you an advantage when pulling the trigger in a head-to-head shooting game. This HDR display is glorious. Colors pop and images are rich and vibrant. It’s my new favorite display and is perfect whether you’re watching videos or playing games.
Baked into the display is a fingerprint scanner which, based on our initial tests, is quick and snappy.
Performance fit for the most competitive gamers
When it launches, the ROG Phone II will also be one of the most powerful smartphones in the market today. Topping early benchmark tests versus other flagships including the Galaxy S10+ from Samsung and the OnePlus 7 Pro.
It’s powered by an updated version of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855 — the 855 Plus which is even faster. Coupled with an updated Adreno 640, it’s promising a 15 percent GPU performance.
A completely souped up model will have 12GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. The phone promises to handle any power intensive game you throw at it with not only fast frame rates but also a commitment to sustained performance across long gaming sessions.
To keep its internals running at optimal condition the phone offers three steps of cooling: First with a 3D Vapor Chamber, second with a built-in heat sink and vents on its back cover, and third via an attachment called the Aero Active Cooler II. With all of these working together, ASUS promises unbeatable performance.
A battery that can handle all that power
So what about battery life? Surely all of this performance power will take a toll on battery life? Nope. The ROG Phone 2 will come with a massive 6000mAh battery. That’s 2000mAh more than most flagships these days.
ASUS is promising 7.1 hours of battery life when playing something like PUBG. What excites me the most is that non-gamers could potentially get two days of more than average use.
The phone also comes with fast charging support built in. A full charge will take one hour and 21 minutes.
More love for gamers
There is much more gamers will love about the new ROG Phone II. ASUS kept the Dual USB-C ports — one on the bottom of the phone and one on its side. This means you can charge the device and continue playing any which way you like.
I also particularly like the improved air triggers that let you control your game by tapping either top side of your phone in landscape mode. Along with an improved vibration motor, the phone feels more like a game controller than ever before.
It’s clear that this isn’t your average phone. It’s one built specifically for gamers. But having said all that ASUS says it’s not just the best gaming phone. It’s a great flagship too!
To ensure the experience is top notch. They gave the ROG Phone II the same impressive camera that’s on the Zenfone 6. Except for its flipping mechanism of course.
A 48MP main camera and a 13MP ultra wide secondary camera. Take a look at some sample photos.
On the front of the phone is a 24MP selfie camera. Here are some selfie samples.
The ROG Phone Ecosystem
Depending on how you like to play, ASUS attempted to cater to every game style with a range of accessories made specifically for the ROG Phone II.
The new Kunai gamepad comes with controllers that snap on to a bumper reminiscent of the Nintendo Switch. You can also attach the controllers to the Kunai Holder and use them as you would a gamepad.
The Twin View Dock from last year has also been updated making it lighter and easier to use. It can also be used in conjunction with the GamePad.
Other accessories include the Aero Active Cooler II, Aero Case, and the Lighting Armor Case. Older accessories like the desktop dock, Pro Dock, and the WiGig Display Dock Plus also support this new model.
Is the ROG Phone II your GadgetMatch?
Let me start by saying this phone isn’t for everyone. From the way it looks, to some of its standout feature, these are things that appeal to a very special kind of user.
If you’re the type who is serious about mobile gaming then it definitely is going to be a good investment. If you’re not a gamer but care about things like a great display and ultra long battery life this might be a phone worth considering also.
Representatives from ASUS tell me that once the phone rolls out globally this September there will also be an option to change its interface to the stock-like ZenUI for a more everyday smartphone feel. That’s good news too.
The ROG Phone II launches in China this week. The Global Version is coming first week of September – our review video will drop around the same time.
Lenovo Legion Phone Duel price and availability in the Philippines
Gift for yourself this holiday season?
Lenovo has joined the mobile gaming fray with the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel. You can now grab this gaming smartphone in the Philippines.
It’s powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragong 865 Plus SoC — the best in the business at the moment. It also comes with up to 16GB LPDRR5 RAM and a 512GB UFS 3.1 internal storage. It has a 6.65-inch AMOLED display with 144Hz refresh rate with a 240Hz sampling rate that should bode well for all your mobile gaming needs.
The Legion Phone Duel supports 90W Turbo Power Charging. This can take you from 0 to 50 percent in just 10 minutes and straight up to 100 percent in only half an hour. You can charge the phone on either USB-C ports. Yes, there are two. One in the usual bottom of the phone, the other on its side — a perfect spot for charging while you’re gaming.
Read our Lenovo Legion Phone Duel review for a more comprehensive look at the phone.
Pricing and availability
The Lenovo Legion Phone Duel comes in only two variants. Color, configuration, and pricing are as follows:
- Blazing Blue — (12GB+256GB) — PhP 39,995
- Vengeance Red — (16GB+512GB) — PhP 49,995
Just Dance 2021 coming to next-gen consoles
The latest iteration gets a very special treatment
Ubisoft’s most popular dance simulation game, Just Dance 2021, will make its way to the next generation. It already has its release for modern consoles set on November 12, on the same day as the PlayStation 5. With that in mind, it only makes sense to give it the next-gen touch, as well.
Just Dance 2021 will come with close to 40 new songs with new sets of moves to learn and master through and through. All these songs range from the two decades ago to recent hits from a variety of artists.
This year, artists like Billie Eillish, Dua Lipa, and TWICE make a fruitful return. Also, for the ONCEs playing this game, Ubisoft put in an Alternate Version for TWICE’s “Feel Special” featuring the song’s official choreography! Meanwhile, dance songs like Sean Paul’s “Temperature” and Britney Spears’ “Till the World Ends” get their own set of moves, too! All of these will come to the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S on November 24, 2020.
Ubisoft lays down post-launch plans for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla
Comes with a Season Pass with two major expansions and an exclusive quest
While the game hasn’t been released yet, Ubisoft already has big plans for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla post launch. Set to release on November 10, Valhalla takes you back to England’s Dark Ages as Eivor. The game offers exciting new features as you forge alliances to establish your Viking kingdom.
Now, Ubisoft bares its plans for all of its Assassin’s Creed players a month into picking up Valhalla. This new string of exciting content includes a Season Pass and frequent seasonal content. Through this Season Pass, players will discover new territories and stories surrounding the lore of Valhalla.
The Season Pass comes with two major expansions, the Wrath of the Druids and The Siege of Paris. In The Wrath of the Druids, players unravel the mysteries of ancient Ireland. Most of the worlds here consist of haunted forests and Gaelic kingdoms.
In The Siege of Paris, players relive the most ambitious battle in Viking history. You will take part in a prolonged siege of Frankia through Paris and the River Seine. In the end, what awaits players are secrets to unfold and alliances to forge.
Assassin’s Creed Valhalla will launch on November 10 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. It will also be available for the PlayStation 5 when the console comes out on November 12.
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