ASUS ROG Phone 6 Pro review
Asus has a very limited presence in the mobile space as a whole. So when a new model comes out once or twice a year, it’s an occasion – especially when it is a Republic of Gamers phone. It’s that time of year again, and now the new ROG Phone 6 is a reality.
Despite its extremely limited lineup as a whole, Asus tends to overcomplicate the different variants of the ROG Phone. Last year the ROG Phone 5 was quickly succeeded by the ROG Phone 5s mostly due to timing around Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888+ chipset. The situation was complicated further by introducing Pro and Ultimate skews to the mix and some regional market differences in specs.
This time around, it appears Asus and Qualcomm managed to coordinate a bit better. The ROG Phone 6 is coming out slightly past its due date but has the latest and greatest Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 under the hood. Hopefully, this means no “s” variants in a couple of months, and as an added bonus, this makes the ROG Phone 6 more interesting for us since it is one of the first production devices with the chip to come by the office.
Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro specs at a glance:
- Body: 173.0 x 77.0 x10.3 mm, 239g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus), glass back (Gorilla Glass 3), aluminum frame; IPX4 water resistant, PMOLED display (on the back), Pressure sensitive zones (Gaming triggers).
- Display: 6.78″ AMOLED, 1B colors, 165Hz, HDR10+, 800 nits (typ), 1200 nits (peak), 1080x2448px resolution, 20.4:9 aspect ratio, 395ppi.
- Chipset: Qualcomm SM8450 Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 (4 nm): Octa-core (1×3.19 GHz Cortex-X2 & 3×2.75 GHz Cortex-A710 & 4×1.80 GHz Cortex-A510); Adreno 730.
- Memory: Up to 512GB 18GB RAM; UFS 3.1, NTFS support for external storage.
- OS/Software: Android 12.
- Rear camera: Wide (main): 50 MP, f/1.9, PDAF; Ultra wide angle: 13 MP, f/2.2; Macro: 5 MP, f/2.0.
- Front camera: 12 MP (wide).
- Video capture: Rear camera: 8K@24fps, 4K@30/60/120fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps, 720p@480fps; gyro-EIS; Front camera: 1080p@30fps.
- Battery: 6000mAh; Fast charging 65W, Reverse charging 10W, Power Delivery 3.0, Quick Charge 5.
- Misc: Fingerprint reader (under display, optical); NFC; 3.5mm jack; stereo speakers (2 amplifiers).
What we have for review at the office is actually the ROG Phone 6 Pro. As far as we can understand, the current lineup consists of a Pro and a vanilla ROG Phone 6, which share almost all of their internal specs, except maximum RAM. The vanilla tops out at 16GB of RAM while the Pro gets 18GB. Both use the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 and are otherwise nearly identical in terms of features. Well, sans the slightly different back design with the ROG Vision secondary display, which is reserved for the Pro.
Left to right: ROG Phone 3 • ROG Phone 5 Pro • ROG Phone 6 Pro
The ROG Phone 6 and 6 Pro come with dual Nano-SIM slots. Asus reps also confirmed that there would be potential differences market to market, which you do have to check with your local store. These are likely to mostly be limited to memory configurations, but we can’t rule out some color options popping up here and there differently.
As far as we currently know, the ROG Phone 6 will be available in either Phantom Black or the frosted Storm While finish. Whereas the Pro will only be available in white, like the one, we have.
Asus previously had white reserved for its Ultimate skew but decided to make it widely available this year due to fan interest in the color. Last but not least, concerning models and configurations, we believe both the vanilla and Pro models are going global this year.
Circling back to the ROG Phone 6 as a whole, just like last year, it represents an iterative rather than a major upgrade over the previous generation. Asus has successfully homed in on the gaming formula, or at least its take on it, and has been tweaking it and keeping it fresh and current for some time now. No fault in that approach since there are few devices out there quite as “tricked out” as the ROG Phone in almost every aspect.
This year, the AeroActive cooler is arguably the bit that has received the most attention and a major overhaul. Now it even sports an active Peltier element for improved cooling. But, we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
Before we really dive into the ROG Phone 6 Pro, let’s start with its retail box contents. In keeping with ROG tradition, it is a real treat. The whole thing is shaped like a trapezoidal prism and features a very nifty slide-out mechanism. Once that is engaged, magnets hold an inner segment of the case closed as a sort of “flap” to cover the cradle that holds the phone itself snugly in place.
The cradle slides out to reveal the bottom compartment, charger, and cable. The HyperCharge charger is an extremely compact and surprisingly light unit with up to 65W of Power Delivery output over a Type-C port. Asus relies on entirely standard PD + PPS to do its fast charging, which is a real treat to see. It is rated for 5V/9V/12V/15V @ up to 3A, 20V @ up to 3.25A and PPS 3.3-11V@3A, 3.3-21V@3.25A for a max of 65W. This versatile charger can easily be used to even power some modern laptops. You also get a nice black braided USB Type-C to Type-C cable in the box.
There is also an Aero Case included with our unit, which according to Asus, should be part of the retail package. Check with your local store for details on that, though.
In case you are wondering, you don’t get the AeroActive cooler in the standard bundle. That needs to be purchased separately and comes with its own compatible case in the box.
The only other thing you get in the retail box is an oddly-shaped plastic card that you have to scan as part of the ROG AR initial activation experience for the phone.