ASUS ROG Phone II Review: A Mobile Gaming And Battery Life Beast

ASUS ROG Phone II: Gaming And Graphics Performance

Next we'll see how the ROG Phone II holds up with GFXBench, which has been one of our standard mobile graphics performance benchmarks for years. In order to ensure display refresh (v-sync) and resolution are not limiting factors, we are comparing off-screen test results here. GFXBench tests OpenGL ES graphics workloads and we're specifically testing GLES 2.0 and 3.0 rendering performance in the following two benchmark modules. 

3D Graphics Benchmarks: 3DMark & GFX Bench
Pushing The Pixels

ASUS ROG Phone II GFXBench T-Rex Offscreen

ASUS ROG Phone II GFXBench Manhattan Offscreen

As expected, the ROG Phone II shoots straight to the top of the charts in GFXBench compared to other Android devices. It's only bested by Apple's iPhone XS Max, which is a staunch performer. Interestingly, enabling X Mode does not yield any advantage here. That's because GFXBench is very much GPU dependent, and X Mode does not tweak the GPU settings. Will the same hold true in 3DMark? Let's have a look.

Futuremark's 3DMark has been a staple 3D graphics benchmark at HotHardware across all mobile and desktop platforms alike. In this case, we were running 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited, which is targeted for mobile devices and also runs at 720p in offscreen mode, so as to take display resolution out of the equation. This test and its 3D graphics engine are also based on the legacy OpenGL ES 2.0 API.

ASUS ROG Phone II 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited

ASUS ROG Phone II 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited FPS

Where it matters most for gaming phone, the ROG Phone II leaves the competition in dust, with the best 3DMark scores across the board. Running in X Mode yields a slight improvement, though either way, the ROG Phone II cruises to easy victories in the Ice Storm Unlimited test.

3DMark Sling Shot is a newer benchmark module that's been added to the 3DMark mobile suite, though we do have a few top-shelf Android phones, the iPhone X, and the new Samsung Galaxy S10+ and LG G8 ThinQ in the mix. Sling Shot is a much more advanced OpenGL ES 3.1 and Metal API-based test that employs more advanced rendering techniques, like volumetric lighting, particle illumination, multiple render targets, instanced rendering, uniform buffers and transform feedback.

3DMark Sling Shot Test
Futuremark 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme Benchmark

In this test we again run it in off-screen mode, so as to remove display resolution differences from the equation and thus can compare cross-platform results more reliably.

ASUS ROG Phone II 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme Unlimited

ASUS ROG Phone II 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme Unlimited FPS

Switching our focus to the Sling Shot Extreme Unlimited test does not rewrite the script—the ROG Phone II again leads the way, and wins this round of testing in convincing fashion. And as we saw in the Ice Storm Unlimited test, it did not matter if we enabled or disabled X Mode. Either way, the ROG Phone II is way ahead of the pack. What's particularly surprising is how much distance there is between the ROG Phone II and OnePlus 7T. This is a strong showing for ASUS and its gaming handset.

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