The new Asus ROG Phone II has been announced and in true Asus/gamer fashion it is wonderfully over the top. While similar to the affordable but fantastic Black Shark 2, the Asus ROG Phone 2 is also a very different beast. So how do the new phones compare?
Pricing has not been revealed for the Asus ROG Phone II, but one thing is for sure, it won’t be cheap. The original phone was £799 putting it roughly on par with other premium flagships likes the Huawei P30 Pro.
Some publications are reporting it will be roughly the same price as last years model. I think it is going to come in more expensive, it has a sizable upgrade with a specification that could easily justify more than £800. I would bet £900-1000
In comparison, the Black Shark 2 is based around the Xiaomi Mi 9 and is priced as such, being £480 or about half the price of the Black Shark 2.
So does the Asus ROG Phone 2 justify double the cost?
Asus has gone all out with this phone and it is an absolute beast, which in turn, also makes it an absolute unit.
Weighing in at nearly 1/4KG this 240g phone is 35g more than the Black Shar 2 and 40g more than its predecessor.
This is partly due to its massive 6.59-inch screen giving it dimensions of 171 x 77.6 x 9.5 mm – dwarfing the Black Shark 2 with its 6.39-inch screen and 163.6 x 75 x 8.8 mm.
Then the display, Asus again set a new standard for gaming displays. The AMOLED screen runs at 1080 x 2340 pixels which is the same as the Black Shark but they have upgraded the refresh rate to 120 Hz up from the 90Hz of last year and doubling the 60Hz of the Black Shark. It has 240 Hz touch-sensing which is also used on the Black Shark.
Qualcomm has upgraded their Snapdragon 855 to a new plus model promising 4.2% improvement in CPU and 15% improvement in GPU performances. It is worth noting that a Black Shark 2 Pro is launching in China on the 30th of July – so it will be interesting to see how the phones compare then.
Memory and storage are equally monstrous with 256GB/12GB as a base then also a 512 GB. The £479 model of the Black Shark has 128GB and 8GB though for £559 it goes up to 256GB and 12GB.
The cameras are arguably equally matched and depends on what you prefer. The ROG Phone has a 48 MP lens with a 13MP ultrawide secondary lens. Whereas the Black Shark 2 has the same main lens but uses a 12 MP telephoto lens giving 2x optical zoom. Personally, I’d take ultrawide over 2x zoom.
With the phone being nearly 1cm thick there was no excuse not to include a 3.5mm headphone jack on the new Asus phone, this also comes with DTS Headphone X. Sadly the Black Shark 2 lacks ones.
Lastly, and I think possibly the best feature is the 6000 mAh battery, that’s a 50% increase since last year and more than double compared to phones like the Google Pixel 3! Thankfully there is 30W fast charging, vs 27W of the Black Shark 2. Then there is even Power bank/Reverse charging 10W
The Black Shark 2 has a few accessories, but not many, the main one is the Black Shark 2 Pro Kit which turns your phone into a switch-like gaming console.
Last years ROG phone had a ridiculous number of accessories, and this trend continues.
The ones that have been announced include:
- AeroActive Cooler II
- Aero Case
- TwinView Dock II
- ROG Kunai Gamepad
- Mobile Desktop Dock
- Pro Dock
- WiGig Display Dock Plus
- ROG Lighting Armor Case
|Asus ROG Phone II||Black Shark 2||Asus ROG Phone ZS600KL|
|Status||Coming soon. Exp. release 2019, August||Available. Released 2019, March||Available. Released 2018, October|
|Dimensions||171 x 77.6 x 9.5 mm (6.73 x 3.06 x 0.37 in)||163.6 x 75 x 8.8 mm (6.44 x 2.95 x 0.35 in)||158.8 x 76.2 x 8.3 mm (6.25 x 3.00 x 0.33 in)|
|Weight||240 g (8.47 oz)||205 g (7.23 oz)||200 g (7.05 oz)|
|Build||Front glass (Gorilla Glass 6), back glass, aluminum frame||Front glass, aluminum body||Front glass (Gorilla Glass 6) /back glass (Gorilla Glass 5) & aluminum frame|
|SIM||Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)||Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)||Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by)|
|3 Ultrasonic pressure sensitive zones|
|Type||AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors||AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors||AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors|
|Size||6.59 inches, 106.6 cm2 (~80.3% screen-to-body ratio)||6.39 inches, 100.2 cm2 (~81.7% screen-to-body ratio)||6.0 inches, 92.9 cm2 (~76.8% screen-to-body ratio)|
|Resolution||1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~391 ppi density)||1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~403 ppi density)||1080 x 2160 pixels, 18:9 ratio (~402 ppi density)|
|Protection||Corning Gorilla Glass 6||Corning Gorilla Glass 6|
|DCI-P3 108%||DCI-P3 100%||DCI-P3 108.6%|
|120 Hz||240 Hz touch-sensing||90 Hz|
|240 Hz touch-sensing||Always-on display|
|OS||Android 9.0 (Pie), ROG UI||Android 9.0 (Pie)||Android 8.1 (Oreo), planned upgrade to Android 9.0 (Pie); ROG Gaming X UI|
|Chipset||Qualcomm SDM855 Snapdragon 855 Plus (7 nm)||Qualcomm SDM855 Snapdragon 855 (7 nm)||Qualcomm SDM845 Snapdragon 845 (10 nm)|
|CPU||Octa-core (1x2.96 GHz Kryo 485 & 3x2.42 GHz Kryo 485 & 4x1.8 GHz Kryo 485)||Octa-core (1x2.84 GHz Kryo 485 & 3x2.41 GHz Kryo 485 & 4x1.78 GHz Kryo 485)||Octa-core (4x2.96 GHz Kryo 385 Gold & 4x1.7 GHz Kryo 385 Silver)|
|GPU||Adreno 640 (700 MHz)||640||Adreno 630|
|Internal||256/512 GB, 12 GB RAM||256 GB, 8/12 GB RAM, 128 GB, 6/8 GB RAM||128/512 GB, 8 GB RAM|
|Rear Camera||48 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/2", 0.8µm, PDAF/Laser AF||48 MP, f/1.8, (wide), 1/2", 0.8µm, PDAF||12 MP, f/1.8, 24mm (wide), 1/2.55", 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, 4-axis OIS|
|13 MP, f/2.4, 11mm (ultrawide)||12 MP, f/2.2, (telephoto), 1.0µm, PDAF, 2x optical zoom||8 MP, 12mm (ultrawide), no AF|
|Features||Dual-LED flash, HDR, auto panorama (motorized rotation)||LED flash, HDR, panorama||LED flash, panorama, HDR|
|Video||2160p@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, 720p@480fps; gyro-EIS (except @240/480fps)||2160p@30fps, 1080p@30fps, 720p@120fps||2160p@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, (3-axis gyro-EIS)|
|Front Camera||24MP, f/2.2||20 MP, f/2.0, 0.9µm||8 MP, f/2.0, 24mm (wide)|
|Features||Panorama, HDR||HDR||Panorama, HDR|
|Loudspeaker||Yes, with stereo speakers||Yes, with stereo speakers||Yes, with stereo speakers|
|24-bit/192kHz audio||Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic||24-bit/192kHz audio|
|Active noise cancellation with dedicated mics||DTS Headphone X|
|DTS Headphone X||Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic|
|WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ad, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ad, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot|
|Bluetooth||5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX HD||5.0, A2DP, aptX HD, LE||5.0, A2DP, LE, aptX HD|
|GPS||Yes, with dual-band A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, QZSS||Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS||Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, QZSS|
|USB||3.1, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector; accessory connector||2.0, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector||3.1, Type-C 1.0 reversible connector; accessory connector|
|Sensors||Fingerprint (under display), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass||Fingerprint (under display), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass||Fingerprint (rear-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass|
|Non-removable Li-Po 6000 mAh battery||Non-removable Li-Ion 4000 mAh battery||Non-removable Li-Ion 4000 mAh battery|
|Charging||Fast battery charging 30W (Quick Charge 4.0)||Fast battery charging 27W||Fast battery charging 30W (Quick Charge 4+)|
|Power bank/Reverse charging 10W|
|Colors||Black||Black, Silver, Blue||Black|