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ROG 2: The old Gaming King

It’s not a long ago I got my hands-on this beauty. I loved it, embraced it and reviewed it too. But the thing with phones is, that they do not stay like new forever; cache, apps, battery wear and a lot of other things happens which in turn takes a toll on the performance! And this very device was released with a purpose of giving unmatched mobile gaming experience. Let’s see how this “Best Gaming Phone” is doing its thing.

If you’re here, you probably know this beast already and what it is having under the hood. But here are the spec highlights at a glance.

I’ve had this beast for 3 months now. And one thing you instantly feel is that this is a hefty glass sandwich and all I can think of from this is how easy Gyroscope control have become because of this. This thing feels good in hand, thanks to the matte finish sides. It is slippery indeed but wrapping your palms around this feels natural which makes the grip quiet comfy.

Placement of ports and buttons are at par. It is easy to access the power and volume buttons even with one hand. There is a secondary type C port to help us with charging while we are gaming and some flashing stuff. There are quad mics here and while you’re gaming, at least 2 would be available as they have been positioned such that all of them don’t get blocked while holding it with two hands. The headphone jack thou, could’ve been placed at a better position; it sometimes bothers me while I try to rest my index finger on the air trigger, but after awhile you get used to it. Besides, I don’t use air triggers in my games so it is not an issue for me anyway. But in my opinion, placing the jack on the left top side would’ve been a better idea. There’s one vent at the back and the position is as such that your hands won’t cover it naturally but you might end up hitting it accidently and it gets pretty hot so you might wanna watch out. Speakers are facing towards you so there’s no way you can block them even while you’re holding the thing in landscape mode. Also, sound output is commendable here; this is some true stereo effect and not a gimmick. Mostly, I was not able to tell which one is the main speaker and which one is the earpiece. The size thou is not same but the stereo effect is great however. Infact you can actually ditch the headphones and rely on these speakers; good bass, loud enough and the stereo I’ve been talking about makes it just fine to be used without headphones.

Moreover, having a 1080p panel is not at all bad. In-fact it is very color accurate and gaming inter-phase looks exquisite. During most of my usage, I didn’t really feel the brightness is low for bright scenarios. It just gets the job done! Touch latency is very less here; almost zero. This truly is flagship level and it aces the experience since now we have that edge over the opponent who might have the same reaction time as us.

The software is as good as the hardware.

There is an “X Mode” which raises the bars for performance and supposed to make the gaming better.

In the game gallery here, we can track how many hours we’ve spent on a particular game; plus we are able to customize the game profile from the refresh rate to the CPU clock speed.

And if you have the variant with Aero Cooler, then further options like fan voltage unlock. The default setting are good enough thou but we might need a customized setting for some specific titles like PUBG. As soon as you launch a title, either from the app or the launcher, it turns off notification, blocks calls and locks screen brightness by default. These options can be customized based on your need. Moreover we can slide from left and there are a lot of shortcuts like screen recording, going live, fps monitor etc. These toggles work almost always but there’s this thing with call blocking; when you receive a call, you get an ugly stutter. Also, it just cancels the call instead of muting it which happens in DND. You can always turn on DND but I wish this worked like this too. And one major bug, that it doesn’t block calls from third party apps like WhatsApp and Duo which can literally ruin a crucial moment. But other than that, there are no major bugs with the app.

The performance really is paramount here. We have a long list of games which support the high refresh rate and not a lot of devices are there to take its benefit at 120 FPS.

Even one of the most resource intensive title “Game of Peace” runs at 120 FPS. In turn, we get some heat which itself is not a lot considering how much we are pushing the device. The device stay's at a constant 45 degC, even at long sessions of 2-3 hours. Battery consumption increases fairly when you boost the FPS 100% but that’s not an issue since we are rocking a huge battery here. At 60FPS, the drain was about 8% per classic match which increased to 12-14% per match at 120 FPS. Occasionally, the frames would drop and go as low as 100 FPS. So, running at 90 frapes turned out constant and best for me with thermals under 43 and battery drain under 10% per match. Gaming feels very smooth and other players at 60 or lower FPS felt a little slow to me tbh.

PUBG as of now doesn’t support high refresh rate on 855+ officially but it is a heavy title anyway. Running it at 60 frames is a breeze. There are no hiccups except for some really steamy situations at Bootcamp. It maintains a good 58+ FPS all the time with some server lags which only a good connection can minimize. Here, maxing out the game doesn’t compromise the FPS in return. The thermals stay very low here. It stays under 41 degC with maxed out and screen recording (720p) turned on. There are some stutters here and there when the screen recording is on, but that’s fine. The performance is excellent in my opinion. Even the battery drain is very low. 8-10% per match depending on the graphic setting. One can easily extract 5hr+ on a full match from this one.

Asphalt 9 was released not a long ago and currently is one of the greatest looking and resource intense title. But it’s not so tough on our big guy! We were able to get an average of 50 FPS for a 1 Hr. session. There were almost no stutter; it was mostly smooth and with those speakers it felt so immersive. I enjoyed playing this a lot because the graphics and the weather effects were done exceptionally good by the asphalt team. The thermals were somewhat high but on comparing with other devices, they were low actually. Temperatures didn’t cross 45 degC unlike other flagships where it would even cross 50 degC. Also, the battery drain wasn’t an alien thing. So, this one is also easily managed here.

Mortal Kombat! A vintage video game title which made a debut recently in mobile gaming universe is one of my favorite past time things. It’s easy and looks so beautiful with those models with amazing definition and details! Here we only have to swipe and slide with correct timing; so the high refresh rate and low latency gives us a big big leap. Fist that 120 FPS just makes everything as smooth as molten butter. And secondly, the low latency touch response makes you feel like you’re literally flying and playing against someone who’s a practice bot! They feel so slow sometimes that you would want to intentionally slow down your own response time to make them feel good. I faced zero issues with the performance and it was constantly at 120 FPS. The battery consumption was also not too high and the thermals were also under 45 degC. It feels as if they were made for each other.

Call of Duty also jumped into the battle of mobile gaming early last year and man it was awesome. The graphics, the dynamics, gun details and classic COD modes. They just aced these even on the mobile version. And all these look so beautiful on the ROG! COD brings much more advanced and detailed graphics on the table; the last gen SoC couldn’t handle it smoothly at 60 FPS but current gen can and this ROG can max it out. The gameplay is very smooth here and graphics are very beautiful! During my sessions I don’t remember having hiccups in the Multiplayer mode. Battle royale mode suffers with some frame drops sometimes but that’s okay. Zombie mode also stay smooth throughout, giving an amazing fun gameplay. The battery drain however was a little less and so were the thermals. Maybe because of better optimization.

These titles are a true benchmark of great gaming performance on this device. One can’t really judge the real-world gaming performance based on the chipset and the AnTuTu scores; it has a lot to do with heat, battery and accessibility as well which we just saw.

The device has two pressure sensitive triggers on which multiple gestures can be mapped which sounds really good! This feature will give payers an edge as triggers are pressure sensitive so one can rest their hands on them and can use it as a physical buttons. This reduces reaction time and gives an edge in scenarios like sniping and close combat fights; where you win or lose and it just depends on your reaction time.

Heat dissipation and thermal throttling is the weakness of a lot of high-end device; but the tables turn here as we see one of the largest copper pipe on this phone which keeps the screens and the chip-set cool. Lesser the temperature on the chip-set, better the performance; and so is the case here. It effectively transfer the heat generated outside through the vent. One can literally feel the heat radiating through the vent during the long sessions. The vent itself gets very hot and so does the surrounding area. The frame quickly conducts the heat and gets a little warm as well; but nothing abnormal or extreme. The phone gets warm but the internals are considerably cooler; especially the battery which helps reduce the battery wear and enables us to charge the device while our sessions. The power supplied is reduced (obviously); and with the 18 W charger the device either doesn’t charge (doesn’t drain either) or it charges very slowly which again helps reduce the battery wear over time. Also, it should be noted that we are able to game with charging on without any hindrance; thanks to secondary port and flawless heat dissipation.

Though, you might not wanna charge while gaming since it is a humongous battery and it easily last 4-6 hours even on the titles like PUBG, Mortal Kombat etc. The addition of this huge battery is a paradise for gamer as nobody likes to charge in-between a session; and this enables that for us.

So, we looked at all the aspects which benefit a gamer. And In my opinion, this device is indeed a beast and is future proof with so much thought put into it's construct.

Thank-you for reading. You are awesome!!

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