Gaming Phones Battle: Asus ROG Phone 2 vs One Plus 7 Pro vs Xiaomi Black Shark 2

In 1999, digital gaming was merely an odd hobby. In 2019, everyone is a gamer.

You may not believe this, but the number of gamers worldwide hit 2.2B. That’s more than a quarter of the world’s population, and almost 70% of all people who own a smartphone (number of which has already reached 3.3B.)

The point is, mobile gaming is an entry-level of gaming. Nothing in this world is simpler than downloading a game on your phone. No Steam account is needed, no extra money spent on consoles, just steady access to the internet and that’s it. The popularity of mobile games of all kinds is on the rise, resulting in a 10% growth in mobile engagement per year. And what’s more, resulting in the emergence of smartphones tailored specifically for mobile gaming.

A little bit of history: Actually, gaming phones have been known since 2003, when Nokia released a weird device called N-Gage. It resembled Game Boy Advance and had a very unusual keyboard layout. Here is how it looked like:

Other notable examples were Sony Xperia Play, a so-called “PlayStation phone”, and Acer Predator 6, an often overlooked inspiration for the acclaimed Asus ROG Phone.

And today, we will talk about the second version of Asus ROG Phone with an eye out for two of its rivals: One Plus 7 Pro and Xiaomi Black Shark 2.


  1. Do You Need an Android Gaming Phone?

  2. Specs Comparison Table

  3. Performance

  4. Display

  5. Storage

  6. Battery

  7. Unique Features

  8. Design

  9. OS

  10. Price

  11. Summary: PROS & CONS

Do You Need an Android Gaming Phone?

Choosing the best gaming phone for you, whatever it’s Asus Rog Phone 2, One Plus 7 Pro or Xiaomi Black Shark 2, you need to make sure you really need such a powerful device. Most people who play games are casual gamers. This means that they mostly play simple games and do it spontaneously. A person who plays Candy Crush Saga while commuting is a typical casual gamer.

On the other hand, there are graphic intensive games that require sophisticated hardware to be launched with ultra-high settings. One of the most popular games — PUBG mobile — requires at least 4GB RAM and Snapdragon 660 to be played without any lags.

Other demanding games for mobile are Asphalt 9 Legends, Modern Combat 5: Blackout, and Gangstar Vegas. And just in case you are not a fan of switching phones each year, expect that you’ll need 6GB+ RAM to launch upcoming hits with max graphics settings.

However, there are specific games that won’t improve regardless of the smartphone you buy. One of these categories is web-based games that are so convenient to play on a desktop. They are usually undemanding in terms of specs but may cause a lot of hassle when launched on the mobile.

You need to go through several redirects, wait until the game will adjust to your screen and finally load. The load time usually depends not on your device, but on the speed of your internet connection, and even more, on the quality of the game adaptation for mobile browsers.

Luckily for gamers, some of these games are available as apps. But not all of them. Great examples of games that are usually unavailable are online casino slots. There are thousands of slots on the market, but only some such as Novomatic’s Book of Ra are available to play for free as an app.

Another category covers simple lightweight games like 2048, Sand Balls, or Solitaire. Even the well-known hit Candy Crush Saga can be run on phones with just 512MB RAM. Actually, it will launch on the age-old iPhone 3GS, the mobile device that was around back when Android was not in charge of the mobile market yet.

Thus, if you play games just casually, you don’t need a gaming phone at all. But if you’re a fan of heavy and demanding titles that eat up 4GB RAM and play them on a daily basis, gaming phones of 2019 are exactly what you need. That’s for sure.

So which one to pick today: Asus ROG Phone 2, One Plus 7 Pro, or Xiaomi Black Shark 2? Let’s figure this out.

Specs Comparison Table Asus ROG Phone 2One Plus 7 Pro Xiaomi Black Shark 2 Dimensions and weight171 x 77.6 x 9.5 mm, 240 grams162.60 x 75.90 x 8.80 mm, 206 grams163.61 x 75.01 x 8.77mm, 205 gramsProcessorSnapdragon 855 Plus, octa-core 2.96 GHzSnapdragon 855, octa-core 2.8 GHzSnapdragon 855, octa-core 2.8 GHzRAM8 GB or 12 GB6 GB or 12 GB6 GB or 12 GBDisplay 6.59 inches, 1080 x 2340p (Full HD), 391 ppi, AMOLED6.67 inches, 1440 x 3120 pixels, 516 ppi, Fluid AMOLED6.39 inches, 1080 x 2340p (Full HD), 403 ppi, AMOLEDStorage128 GB, 512 GB128 GB, 256 GB128 GB, 256 GBBatteryLi-Polymer 6000 mAhLi-ion 4000 mAhLi-ion 4000 mAhCamera Dual 48 + 13 MP f/1.8 and f/2.4 rear camera. 24 MP f/2.2 front cameraTriple 48 MP + 8 MP + 16 MP f/1.6, f/2.4, and f/2.2 rear camera. 16 MP f/2.0 front cameraDual 48MP + 12 MP f/1.75 and f 2.2 rear camera. 20 MP f/2.2 front cameraOSAndroid 9 Pie, ROG UIAndroid 9 Pie, OxygenOS 9.5.11Android 9 Pie, Joy UIAdditional Retains 3.5 mm audio jack, vapor-chamber cooling system, 90Hz display, side-mounted portUltra quick charging, 90Hz display, pop-up selfie camera, UFS 3.0 read/write speedLiquid cooling technology, ludicrous performance booster, gaming light, gamer studio application, vibration sense

Performance

As for specs, One Plus and Black Shark are comparable: both feature 6 GB RAM and Snapdragon 855 processor. Asus has a bit more powerful hardware with 8 GB and Snapdragon 855 Plus under the hood. All smartphones are available in 12 GB RAM versions as well.

There are some well-known performance benchmarks to give you a better idea of Asus ROG Phone 2 vs. Xiaomi Black Shark 2 vs. One Plus 7 Pro performance.

Points scored
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 (onscreen)