ROG TwinView Dock Review – Double Displays for your ROG Phone
+ Gives you dual screen for multi-tasking
+ 6000 mAh battery prolongs your gaming hours
+ Trigger buttons are located pretty comfortably
- Would've been cool to have a hard case to carry it at least
- I don't see the need for the SD Card slot on the ROG TwinView Dock
- Tempered-glass screen protector is not possible
- Only one game supports the twin view at the time of writing
- Screen downclocks to 60Hz when docked
- Game genie doesn't work when docked
The ROG Phone packs plenty of punch, being a gaming smartphone. In fact, it’s powerful enough to run two applications concurrently for the serious gamer. A typical scenario would be running a game while having Discord in the background for your voice communications and either Facebook or Twitch running separately to stream the game live. On a smartphone, this can be a pretty taxing setup, not meant for the average phone. Thing is, we’re not talking about a typical smartphone here. We’re talking about the ROG Phone and that’s exactly what you are able to do with the ROG TwinView Dock – seamlessly.
Unboxing the ROG TwinView Dock
The box is pretty neat and unlike the past accessories that we have reviewed, the ROG TwinView Dock is actually branded with Republic of Gamers rather than ASUS. The packaging is also significantly different from the ones that you have seen so far in the past accessories. The ROG TwinView Dock was made specially for the ROG Phone and not for any other smartphone. That’s for sure.
That’s all in the packaging really. The ROG TwinView Dock itself and a user guide. No extra cables, no chargers, no carrying case, nothing else. I was a little disappointed when I unboxed this rather expensive accessory. Given the fact that its carrying the ROG emblem, I expected more. At the very least, a hard case designed for carrying it around would have been excellent here.
The ROG TwinView Dock has a rather symmetrical facade that gives it a unique look. The lid has a Mayan design that functions as vents to dissipate heat underneath it using a fan that blows air inwards. The hexagonal opening on the right is where the ROG Phone’s camera will be positioned once the device is docked. The ROG emblem would lit in RGB and can be controlled using the Gamecenter app in the ROG Phone. The lock button prevents from the accidentally expanding the lid.
There are two large amber buttons that function as shoulder triggers and can be customized from the Game Genie overlay. Taking a close look in between the shoulder triggers, you can spot an SD Card slot and a USB Type-C charging port. I honestly don’t see why there was a need for the SD Card slot here considering that you can’t really install games on it. Unlike the MicroSD card slot on the Nvidia Shield first gen as the whole unit was the device itself and not just an accessory.
On the player facing side, there is a 3.5mm audio socket to connect the earphone. The Mayan design around the socket is pretty elegant touch. At the top of the closed lid, there is also a volume rocker to adjust the volume.
Before we dive inside the ROG TwinView Dock, a quick look at the bottom of the hardware unveils rubber feet that double as screw protectors. The ballast-like chambers on the side provide holding grip which is rather essential for an accessory this huge.
Turning the lid open, you are introduced to the second display that looks identical to that on the ROG Phone. At the top of this display, sits a power button that turns the whole unit on or off. On the sides of the screen are two amber colored speakers that now totals up the speakers to 4 units. You bet, the sound is going to be impressive on this thing! There is also a status LED on the screen near the left speaker that shows the charging status of the battery underneath. Oh, I forgot to tell? The ROG TwinView Dock has a 6000 mAh battery under the hood to keep the ROG Phone going on long gaming sessions.
The lid lifts upwards to allow the housing of the ROG Phone that snaps perfectly on the dock, fully utilizing the side-charging socket. Once the lid is closed, you can lock it with the button on the lid to ensure it doesn’t accidentally slides open when you are carrying it around.
|Display||6″ (2160 x 1080) AMOLED, ASUS Tru2Life Technology, Capacitive Touch Screen, 10 points multi-touch with glove support|
|Speakers||Additional dual-speakers with Qualcomm smart amplifier|
|Haptic Vibrator||2 x Haptic Vibrators|
|Input Option||1 x USB 3.0 Type-C
1 x 3.5mm audio socket
1 x SDCard slot (supports SDXC UHS-I)
2 x shoulder trigger buttons
1 x Power button
1 x volume rocker
|Lighting||AURA RGB ROG emblem
Docking the ROG Phone is pretty easy and the fitting is perfect, making it rather easy to insert and taking out the ROG Phone. When docked, you get a little boot effect on the second display that initialized the contact between the ROG Phone and the ROG TwinView Dock.
The phone automatically enters into landscape mode allowing every operation to be done in this mode. Even the launcher and the lock screen runs in landscape mode, so that’s a very nice touch ASUS has added here. The first nuisance that you would discover?
If you are using fingerprint as your preferred security means, you’re out of luck here. You will be forced to insert the PIN or password because the fingerprint sensor is hidden behind the lid. Its not a major deal breaker, but it gets annoying entering the PIN everytime you want to turn on the device. I could suggest having a dedicated fingerprint sensor on the ROG TwinView Dock as well that works with ROG Phone, but such implementation can be rather complex.
The firmware update is handled by the phone when it’s docked. This only appears for the ROG TwinView Dock when you insert the phone in the dock itself and not part of the OTA package.
Since the clearance between the display and the phone is very tight, it is highly recommended not to use a tempered glass on it. If protection is your concern, you should opt for the thin layer type screen protector, otherwise, you will not be able to shut the unit and the stress between the displays may result in some serious damage.
The ROG TwinView Dock is heavy. Together with the phone, it weighs a whopping 626g which is not the best for mobile gaming. In fact, prolonged hours can see your wrists pretty tired if you’re not resting it in a comfortable position. Speaking of weights, the ROG TwinView Dock has a rather weird balance too when the phone is mounted.
This is the maximum you can open the lid before the unit topples over. That’s because the docked phone’s weight doesn’t do justice to the overall setup. In all honesty, this is not a comfortable viewing position and you would want to lift open the lid slightly more until you find the absolutely perfect holding position. This is not much of a bummer either because the ROG TwinView Dock was designed to be held in palms when playing anyway. That is IF you consider gaming. The ROG TwinView Dock makes an awesome accessories for many other purposes like watching movies while chatting with your friends in which the angle plays a very important role.
The ROG TwinView Dock has one main purpose and that is to provide two screens instead of one for the ROG Phone. The gist here is to have the capabilities of running two apps concurrently. Then again, when ASUS announced the ROG TwinView Dock for the first time, they showcased how the ROG Phone can take advantage of the dual displays to split one game into two screens, providing a much immersive experience. At the time of writing this article, only ONE game supported this function and that’s the Asphalt 9 which shows the actual game on one screen, and the map on the other. Even Garena’s Free Fire, which is the official game of ROG Phone doesn’t support this feature yet, so this is a major downer for the ROG TwinView Dock.
So ultimately, the ROG TwinView Dock is more of a dual display accessory more than the dreams that ASUS showed us when they first launched it. Of course, depending on how many more games get supported, it might be a game changer. Especially since dual display with foldable screens will be a new trend soon. Developers that jump ship in time might just be thankful they made the plunge, but until then, I find myself a bit hard to fall in love with the ROG TwinView Dock.
This is another downside of using the ROG TwinView Dock. When it’s docked, the Game Genie is disabled. This means, your macros, and all the shebang that made ROG Phone awesome is not available when using the ROG TwinView Dock. Your display is also downclocked to 60Hz and you can’t bump it higher until you undock the device. In my usage, even my game profiles would occasionally reset when using the ROG TwinView Dock. These are what made the ROG Phone and I had high hopes for these to work with the ROG TwinView Dock so not having them is a huge loss.
As far as the battery is concerned, there’s no denying that the ROG TwinView Dock’s 6000 mAh battery is a huge advantage. Looking at the pattern above, it also seems like the Ai charging somehow plays its part in deciding when to sip the phone’s battery and when to use the one in the dock.
I tried, I really tried to love the ROG TwinView Dock. But let me be honest here. With all the fun I was having with other accessories, as much as I waited impatiently for this one, it failed to impress my enthusiasm. In a nutshell, I can conclude that the ROG TwinView Dock is more of a power bank with an additional display because I don’t see what else would I be doing with it otherwise. The dual screen game experience that was promised is missing. The Game Genie stops working. The display gets down-clocked. The whole thing is not well balanced and is heavy overall. The ROG Phone is probably one of the best devices of 2018 but the ROG TwinView Dock brings it down rather than up mostly. To think that you have to pay RM999 for this?