If you ask people what the best smartphone is this year, they might easily give name a Samsung Galaxy or an Apple iPhone or maybe even a Huawei Mate. Ask them what the most powerful smartphone is, however, and they might stumble a bit. While those premium phones do offer some of the best specs in the market, one phone tries to outdo them all in that game. Quite appropriately, that’s the ASUS ROG Phone 2 gaming smartphone and JerryRigEverything is testing whether its strength doesn’t just come from within.
Mirroring trends in the gaming PC market, the ROG Phone 2 takes the best of smartphone features and takes it to the next level with a few extra features. The second generation ASUS gaming phone naturally boasts of a Snapdragon 855+ with the largest 12 GB RAM you’ll find in a smartphone. Sadly there’s no storage expansion but the 512 GB or 1 TB might be plenty for some.
To those usual specs, ASUS adds a display with a 120 Hz refresh rate. The Gorilla Glass 6 layer protects that AMOLED panel from all but the hardest materials but, being an OLED screen, won’t recover from burning. The glass back is mostly unbroken save for a small gap for what ASUS says is a copper thermal vent. Whether that is true will require a deeper look from a teardown.
And then there’s JerryRigEverything’s World Famous Bend Test. Given the thickness of the phone, you’d expect it to be an impregnable and unyielding tank. Only partly true, though, since it does flex a bit but not to the point of breaking. It turns out those capacitive “shoulder buttons” and side USB port does introduce a bit of weakness into the device.
The ASUS ROG Phone 2’s true weakness when it comes to durability was mentioned only in passing. It has no water resistance to speak off, especially thanks to that heat vent and open ports. A bit disappointing for a phone that seems built like a tank but, then again, even superheroes have weaknesses.