Games Reviews

Razer Phone 2 vs Asus ROG Phone

Razer Phone 2
Razer versus Asus. It’s the story of two pc producers which in the future stated, “let’s make a phone.” Whereas Asus made that call fairly a while in the past, it solely just lately launched its first gaming telephone – the ROG Phone. Though the Razer Phone 2 is Razer’s second such system, it’s however a sophomore dealing with Asus’ ROG Phone, as the corporate has years of cellular and desktop expertise behind it.

Asus has carried out properly refining its handsets through the years, however Razer’s needed to adapt fast – overhauling a pair key misses from final yr. We’ve seen the brand new child on the block overtake the veterans earlier than; is that this Razer’s breakthrough second?

Design

The Razer Phone 2 and ROG Phone are clearly reduce from totally different design cloths in comparison with hottest telephones. Whereas the Razer sports activities a boxy, rectangular aesthetic with sizable bezels on the prime and backside for stereo audio system, cameras, and mics, the ROG manages to tug off a extra edge-to-edge design with its display, stereo audio system, and digital camera configuration. The ROG’s reddish copper speaker grilles additionally assist to offer it some flare whereas the rounded corners evoke a extra conventional design language.
The rounded glass again additionally makes the ROG really feel extra like telephones we’ve held earlier than, however the look is in contrast to something we’ve beforehand seen. The RGB-lit emblem and ornamental copper vents mix with the angular cutouts for the digital camera, flash, and fingerprint sensor to create a telephone that really appears prefer it’s a part of a gaming PC lineup.

The Razer Phone 2 – nonetheless extremely evocative of the Nextbit Robin from which its design was appropriated – opts for a extra discreet look with its fingerprint sensor tucked away contained in the side-mounted energy button, and its glass again, which seems like a strong slab of obsidian, interrupted solely by the RGB-lit Chroma emblem and center-mounted dual-camera bump. The Razer’s backlit emblem may also mild up based mostly on the colour of apps you’ve acquired notifications from – blue for Outlook, purple for Gmail, and so forth – one thing the ROG lacks.

Asus’ ROG telephone, being the primary of its variety for the corporate, seems extra unique in its appears, in addition to its performance because of gamer-centric additions like a secondary, proprietary port comprised of two USB-C ports for attaching one of many many ROG Phone equipment or charging the ROG whereas gaming. That is additional highlighted by the inclusion of 1 such accent – an RGB-lit cooling fan – within the field with it.

All that apart, these two telephones have very comparable weights and dimensions, although the Razer seems greater as a consequence of its boxy design. The Razer Phone 2 additionally meets the IP67 normal for mud and water resistance whereas the ROG Phone exceeds this with IP68.

As all the time, magnificence is within the eye of the beholder and there’s benefit to each design approaches, however to the unfamiliar observer, the ROG clearly screams gaming, whereas the Razer Phone simply screams “I’m something else!” Which of those is preferable, naturally, is as much as you.

Show

The shows on these two gaming telephones reveal additional divergence. Spec-wise we now have the ROG’s 2160 x 1080 px, AMOLED show with a max refresh fee of 90Hz versus the Razer Phone’s 2560 x 1440 px, IGZO LCD which reaches the ever-smooth 120Hz refresh fee.
That final half concerning the refresh price may need some apprehensive, so we gained’t mince phrases. The distinction between 90Hz on the ROG and 120Hz on the Razer is noticeable, and for some, this can be the rationale they favor the Razer Phone 2 over the ROG. We wouldn’t say it’s a full-out, game-winner for the Razer Phone, although.

Gaming at 90Hz is a smoother expertise on the ROG than most some other non-gaming telephone, on account of their decrease refresh charges. 120Hz on the Razer is smoother although, and for extended gaming, this distinction in consolation can have an considerable influence on eye fatigue, particularly throughout fast-paced video games.

The distinction in decision can also be obvious with the Razer Phone 2’s show wanting only a bit sharper.

Whereas the ROG’s AMOLED show portrays punchy colours and deeper, inky blacks, the Razer Phone 2’s IGZO LCD proved to have extra correct colours. The truth is, the Razer Phone’s show is likely one of the most correct we have seen on a telephone. In relation to tweaking the show to your liking, although, the ROG simply takes the cake providing a couple of presets in addition to guide controls for shade, saturation, and sharpness, versus the Razer’s easy triplet of presets. The variations between these three display modes (pure, boosted, and vivid) are virtually imperceptible on the Razer, which is sweet for shade accuracy, as each one among which is very correct, however dangerous for selection and customization.

Nonetheless, the ROG isn’t woefully inaccurate in its punchier colour presentation, so this will come right down to choice as nicely, however we discovered that the Razer Phone’s extremely correct colours, combined with the extra fluid 120Hz refresh price finally made the Razer Phone 2 extra nice to take a look at and recreation on.

Interface and Performance

Each the Asus ROG Phone and Razer Phone 2 ship with Android eight.1 on-board and their respective producer software program taste added to the combination.

Nova Launcher and Cortex App

The Razer Phone’s implementation errs extra on the aspect of inventory Android, using Nova Prime Launcher as the primary UI with a number of inexperienced icons and apps, in addition to the Razer-made Cortex app. That is the place you’ll discover your recreation library together with a tab for Recreation Booster and one other providing 120Hz video games to obtain, amongst others.

Tweaking efficiency by means of Recreation Booster is fairly easy; you’ll be able to both customise the efficiency settings for every app manually or for all of them directly by way of mode choice. This provides two modes – energy saving and efficiency – whereas the customized mode affords you the power to vary the decision, clock velocity, body fee, and anti-aliasing preferences on every particular person app. This could both be achieved by way of a five-step slider with “more battery” and “higher performance” at opposing ends, or by choosing these values individually.

There’s fairly some vary within the choices for every of those values – processor speeds can go as little as 1.36 GHz and as excessive as 2.eight GHz, whereas minimal body charges attain 40 fps with 120 fps being the utmost – and the close to seven-hour distinction in projected battery life between the “power save” and “performance” modes mirror that.

ROG UI and Recreation Middle App

The ROG Phone’s UI, like its design comes off as extra customized and distinctive. Asus has years of ZenUI’s progress and refinement driving most of the extra customized experiences you’ll discover in ROG UI just like the deeper settings menu, ZenMotion gestures, and system cleanup app, as an example. Plus, the neon-sign-like iconography and darker aesthetic simply seems to be cooler too. Nailing a UX that appears gamer-oriented with out being too cheesy or plain is one other instance of Asus’ a lot deeper background within the telephone recreation.
The ROG’s Recreation Middle app presents a number of, extra gaming-specific options in addition to a high-performance setting referred to as “X-Mode.” Very similar to the Razer Phone, Asus permits you to customise body fee, processor velocity, and anti-aliasing preferences on an app-by-app foundation, however X-Mode can maintain the ROG acting at its highest for all processes. The processor velocity and body price can’t go fairly as little as the Razer Phone 2 can (2.09 GHz and 60 fps on the ROG Phone, respectively) and determination can’t be modified per app, however we’d be prepared to guess that the majority players will discover this degree of tweaking adequate, particularly contemplating different options the ROG telephone packs.

Recreation Genie and Air Triggers

In contrast to the Razer Phone 2, the ROG Phone has a gaming dashboard dubbed Recreation Genie which is accessible throughout gameplay and never solely gives a fast shortcut to efficiency tweaks, but in addition app integrations for quick and straightforward recreation streaming, macro creation, and Air Set off setup. Macros are mapped to gestures you need to draw on the display, very similar to ZenMotion, however Air Triggers make the most of their very own hardware element – further, touch-sensitive buttons.

These touch-sensitive areas are on the proper aspect of the telephone, leaving your index fingers inside tapping distance when holding the ROG Phone in a panorama place. Recreation Genie permits you to map these two buttons to particular features in every recreation by dropping digital buttons over the on-screen ones; every distinctive configuration is saved for every recreation.

The implementation isn’t good – the touch-sensitive areas can be simpler to succeed in on the again of the telephone, quite than the aspect – however an addition like this may be very welcome on the Razer Phone 2, and the straightforward button-mapping is one thing we deeply want we had with the Razer Phone’s equipment, which we’ll contact on in a bit.

The wide selection of efficiency management on the Razer Phone 2 is well-implemented and straightforward to make use of, however the ROG Phone has this, in addition to a extra mature, better-looking UI with extra gaming-oriented options. This ROG handily beats the Razer Phone 2 on this class.

Processor, Reminiscence, and Efficiency

The internals could also be as shut because it will get between these two telephones, however even right here there’s some notable variations.

Each run on pepped up variations of the newest Snapdragon 845 flagship processor, however the ROG is only a bit peppier on paper, maxing out at 2.96 GHz as oppose to the Razer’s 2.eight. Eight gigs of RAM accompany the SD845 on each of those units, however the subsequent huge distinction is available in storage. We love the ROG’s beginning capability of 128 GB with the subsequent step up being 512 GB, so the shortage of a Micro SD card slot is not that massive of a deal. The Razer Phone 2, then again, comes solely in a 64 GB capability however permits for microSD card enlargement as much as 1 TB.

In day-to-day use, it’ll be subsequent to inconceivable to note any of those variations; each telephones are exceptionally snappy and smooth. Skipping round from app to app and performing the requisite duties of a every day driver present these two to be greater than succesful, as anticipated.

Gaming and Thermal Efficiency

So, who’s the king the place it actually counts? It’s truly a reasonably shut name.

Neither the Razer Phone 2 nor ROG Phone will allow you to down in with their gaming efficiency. We all the time had fast load occasions and smooth, stutter-free gameplay.

That stated, the Razer Phone’s display all the time appeared smoother, with much less jitter in video games – even once we capped the refresh fee at 90Hz to match the ROG Phone. It appears Razer’s show formulation really delivers leads to consolation and efficiency. The ROG is on no account exhausting on the eyes for gaming – it’s extra snug than most any telephone with a 60 Hz refresh fee – however the Razer Phone 2 seems and feels higher instantly whenever you begin gaming, and particularly as your session wears on.

On the subject of battery life and thermal efficiency, they’re fairly evenly matched, however the ROG Phone appears a bit higher at maintaining its cool. Each make the most of Vapor Chamber cooling and neither acquired scorching sufficient to trigger any discomfort or fear throughout our testing, even in some extended, intensive periods. Checking the temperatures, although, we discovered the Razer Phone 2 to persistently be anyplace from 5 to 10 levels hotter after longer periods, regardless of having virtually equivalent battery discharge charges throughout the identical durations. We wouldn’t say this can be a distinction you’ll be able to really feel together with your arms although, as they each can heat up however keep inside an inexpensive vary.

Equipment

Gaming on telephones has made leaps and bounds in turning into an expertise individuals – many individuals, the truth is – can deeply take pleasure in. Many issues wanted to occur to assist this alongside, however there are nonetheless a couple of features that would use some assist. Asus is nicely conscious of this and has tackled a superb quantity of those shortcomings in cellular gaming with numerous equipment for the ROG Phone.
Asus provides six totally different ROG Phone-specific peripherals that assist the ROG in gaming longer, cooler, extra comfortably, and in additional versatile, but acquainted methods – considered one of which even comes within the field with the telephone. That is compared to the Razer Phone 2 which solely has one accent for gaming, bought individually.

Out of the ROG’s six equipment, 4 are several types of docking stations with the next emphases.

Cellular Desktop Dock ($229.99) – a dock providing four USB-A ports, Gigabit LAN, HDMI out, Show out, a microphone, three.5mm headphone jack, Micro-USB, and an SD card slot. This primarily makes the ROG Phone a mini desktop pc.

Skilled Dock ($119.99) – a dongle which provides HDMI, two USB-A ports, and Gigabit LAN to your ROG Phone. This brings the desktop expertise with a couple of much less ports, and some much less dollars spent

Twinview Dock ($399.99) – a clamshell system consisting of a second, Android-powered display with two extra audio system, a further 6,000 mAh battery, and a spot to mount the ROG Phone. This provides the ROG a little bit of the Nintendo DS expertise, however developer help is severely missing for interactive content material, like controls or maps, on the second display. As an alternative, the second display features extra like one other Android telephone.

WiGig Show Dock ($329.99) – an excellent low-latency wi-fi dock for mirroring the ROG’s display on a bigger one. Paired with the Gamevice controller, the ROG shows its Nintendo Change-like versatility.

The ROG’s Gamevice Controller ($89.99) and Aeroactive cooling fan (free with the telephone) spherical out the six, bringing online game console controls and funky, environment friendly gaming, respectively. To recap, the ROG’s equipment can bolster battery life, cool the telephone, hook up with massive screens, convert the telephone to an I/O-filled desktop pc, and add console-like controls.

What say you, Razer?

Simply the console controller bit? Very properly. Whereas we love the ergonomics and lots of button functionalities on the $150 Raiju Cellular controller, it falls brief in a single key space – compatibility. For probably the most half, Asus’ Gamevice controller and the Raiju are suitable with the identical video games, a pair hundred or so, however most huge titles are lacking from this listing.

That is the place Asus’ Air Set off software program actually exhibits its value. The identical drag-and-drop key mapping for on-screen controls discovered within the ROG’s “Air Triggers” menu allows the Gamevice controller to map its controls on any recreation. Within the biz they name that a recreation changer.

We will safely say that the ROG wins this spherical decisively.

Connectivity

In fact, you’ll discover requisite options like dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.zero on each of those units, however the Razer Phone 2 edges out the ROG right here with wi-fi charging, and compatibility with all 4 main U.S. carriers. The ROG isn’t suitable with Verizon or Dash, and charging currents don’t move by way of the again of this telephone.

Digital camera

Asus has impressed us with the cameras on various of their current units – the ROG included. Right here we now have a dual-camera setup that pairs a 12 MP common lens with an eight MP wide-angle. EIS is used on each, however no optical picture stabilization is included.

Razer’s overhauled the Razer Phone 2’s cameras just about totally from the unique Razer Phone in each hardware and software program. This yr we now have two center-mounted, 12 MP cameras. The primary digital camera makes use of a wider-angled lens and the secondary shooter a telephoto one. Optical stabilization is current on the primary digital camera.

So, what’s Razer’s extra simplistic, revamped digital camera capable of do in comparison with the refined and feature-rich ROG?

Picture High quality

Each of those handsets are able to taking okay-looking, correct photographs with little effort. Most of the time, these are the outcomes we acquired, however there are areas through which each would typically falter. It was truly a bit peculiar, because it appeared that most of the Razer Phone’s misses have been hits for the ROG and vice versa, virtually as if they really have been fated to someday meet for battle.

In brighter lighting conditions, the Razer’s digital camera would typically wash colours out a noticeable bit greater than the ROG. Over-sharpening may be recognized in pictures the place the ROG had no such challenge. In dynamic low-light, although, the Razer Phone 2 sometimes grabbed extra particulars than the ROG, which could possibly be susceptible to smoothing and blur. These nitpicks apart, most footage you’re taking with both of those telephones will come out ok. No “for a gaming phone” qualification needed.

These two telephones actually made us work to decide on a victor. In the long run, we’re going to should name this one a draw as, for probably the most half, they each shoot pleasing photographs however once in a while reveal their particular weaknesses.

Video

Video high quality on these two can also be fairly comparable. Each seize as much as 4K decision at 30 fps, however whereas the Razer’s OIS helps smooth issues out a bit, each might be susceptible to extra jittery motion than we’d wish to see. Very similar to in images, the Razer Phone can wash colours out a bit, too. The Razer additionally data quieter audio than the ROG, and Asus’ gadget picks up extra mild in darker scenes. It’s one other shut one right here, however we’ll give the sting to Asus by a hair.

Name High quality

Calls on each telephones confirmed no obvious points. The earpieces on these are greater than enough and the speakerphones are fairly highly effective on each. The Razer Phone 2 does sound barely much less tinny than the ROG’s, although.

Media

As gaming telephones, the ROG and Razer Phone can be fairly disappointing and not using a robust media prowess. Fortunately, they each have loud, full-sounding twin audio system firing proper at your face which simply immerse you in video games, music, movies, or in any other case. The ROG does sound a tad tinnier than the Razer, although.
Each deal properly with spatial sounds on these twin audio system and each supply in-depth controls to tweak EQ – the Razer’s courtesy of Dolby and Asus’ from its proprietary Audio Wizard app.

The ROG telephone has a three.5mm headphone jack in each the telephone and the included Aeroactive Cooler accent, however the Razer Phone has no such port, bundling a USB-C to three.5mm adapter within the field.

Battery Life

Asus and Razer went with giant, four,000 mAh batteries in these telephones however which makes probably the most of it?
In our use, mild, heavy, and even idle, we discovered the Razer Phone to be extra environment friendly with its battery use however by a reasonably small margin. After placing the 2 telephones by means of their highest- and lowest-power use instances (and every thing in between) we often discovered the Razer Phone to be one or two battery proportion factors larger than the ROG, which may add up. We additionally noticed this slight benefit in our customized drain check, the place the Razer Phone 2 lasted about 30 minutes longer, however we wouldn’t say that both of those telephones are juice sippers.

Each units are QuickCharge four.zero licensed, however the Razer Phone 2 juiced up from zero to 100 in about 2 hours – 30 minutes longer than the ROG took.

Conclusion

We should say, as cellular followers, it’s a fantastic day when we now have two nice telephones to match towards each other, and a fair higher day once they’re gaming telephones. Not so way back, the thought of a “gaming phone” conjured up nothing however excessive expectations and the inevitable failure to satisfy them. We will fortunately and truthfully say that neither of those telephones failed us in any method.
It’s an in depth race between these two – we will’t deny that. Efficiency, battery life, and the cameras on these two telephones are neck and neck, so the large choice might come right down to just some gaming options.

For the ROG Phone, the most important promoting level for players is the a number of equipment which deliver enjoyable and performance and may really rework the gaming expertise – particularly with a controller that may map to any recreation – an enormous benefit for the ROG.

However, the Razer Phone 2’s buttery 120 Hz refresh price on an already lovely show makes us really feel proper at residence gaming for hours on the Razer Phone 2.

As all the time, choice is vital, and it doesn’t look like you’ll be able to go incorrect with both telephone, so for now we’ll revel within the glory of simply having a selection between such succesful gaming telephones.

Execs

  • Distinctive show – shiny, sharp, correct colours, and the stunning 120 Hz refresh fee
  • Much less eye pressure and fatigue throughout lengthy durations of gaming
  • Barely fuller sounding audio system
  • LED emblem on again doubles as notification mild

Execs

  • Nice choice of equipment that increase and enhance the gaming expertise
  • Gamevice Controller accent might be mapped to any recreation
  • Bigger on-board storage capacities
  • Extra distinctive, refined UI
  • Useful in-game dashboard for macros, Air Triggers, streaming, and extra

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