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Review of the Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro

Review of the Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro

It’s regular hardware, and then there’s game hardware. The Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro falls right into the latter camp. It holds nothing back, beating down advanced specs and a sumptuous design at every turn. A smartphone that is this grandiose comes with a price to match, and weighs in at € 1,299 (which can land it anywhere from $ 1300 to over $ 1500 when it finally falls in the US). So let’s take a look at what you get for your money when you could get one iPhone 13 Pro or Galaxy S22 Ultra for less.

Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro – Pictures

Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro – Design and Features

One man’s gaudy is another man’s gorgeous, and the Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro is not going to fit everyone aesthetically. It is large and bold, and highlights the power button, dual SIM card drawer, the main camera at the back and various lines on the back with an ice-cold metallic blue. The back of the phone is made to look technical, and has a small logo that says “DARE TO PLAY” that can glow red. The pro version of this phone I tested also has a small color screen that is about half an inch high and two inches wide to display fun little effects, display small alert icons or display battery charging details.

On the front, the ROG Phone 6 has a monstrous 6.78-inch AMOLED screen that is flanked at the top and bottom by thicker frames than I’m used to seeing from $ 1000 + phones. These frames provide space for a selfie camera that does not cut into the screen, and a pair of matching speakers. A fingerprint scanner is located below the screen, as we have seen from many newer Android flagships, and it is quite quick to unlock the phone.

The screen is large, bright and sharp with a resolution of 2448 x 1080. Asus also pushes it fast with a refresh rate of 165Hz, much faster than you find on most phones and still faster than we have seen flagships go lately. The monitor also supports a 720Hz touch sampling rate for enhanced response. The phone can automatically adjust the refresh rate as needed, helping it conserve battery power when these 165Hz speeds are not required.

However, there is not much need to be conservative with the battery, as there are a couple of 3000 mAh batteries (a total of 6000 mAh) and can be charged in 42 minutes with 65W charging using the included HyperCharge power adapter. However, to accommodate additional hardware to manage cooling on the ROG Phone 6, Asus had to forgo wireless charging. The company included two USB-C ports for charging, with one on the bottom and one on the left side. Both ports also support direct charging, which allows the phone to turn off wired power, avoiding strain and unnecessary heat for the battery.

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Another victim of gambling is durability. Although the front screen is covered by powerful Gorilla Glass Victus, the back of the phone feels like plastic, and the entire device only gets an IPX4 rating for water resistance. It’s just good for a little splash of water. Meanwhile, flagship phones from Apple and Samsung can spend extended periods completely immersed in water with their IP68 rated protection. Of course, these flagships both lack the 3.5mm combo connector that Asus has kept around for this phone.

In the right gaming mode, the ROG Phone 6 also includes shoulder buttons. They are touch-sensitive notes on the right edge of the phone, each with “ROG” engraved.

With all that Asus packs, it’s surprising that the phone weighs only 239 grams – just one gram lighter than the iPhone 13 Pro Max. Still, the phone feels unmanageable and is tough to handle with one hand. Asus includes a slim case that at least makes it a little easier to hold on to.

While not part of the package, it’s also worth noting that the ROG Phone 6 line supports a handful of accessories from Asus, including a Nintendo Switch-like controller cover (which felt a bit flimsy) and a Peltier cooling accessory with extra buttons and a stand on it.

Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro – Software

ROG Phone 6 and 6 Pro comes with Android 12 with ROG UI and Zen UI. Apart from the pre-installed Armory Crate app, Game Genie overlay and X-mode for game performance, there is little in the way of extra fluff added to the operating system. It feels a lot like driving a Pixel 6, except with a more annoying icon pack. Asus will offer two OS updates and two years of security updates, which is not good since it launches on Android 12, which will be updated soon.

Asus’ own software is not very intuitive at times. The split between Armory Crate and Game Genie does not always make sense, and finding the tools for certain things, such as mapping controls for Asus’ various accessories, turned out to be far more difficult and tedious than it should have been, especially the lack of instructions. for some basic things, like mapping the analog sticks. Even LG had a smoother, more intuitive process for the dual-screen attachment offered on a handful of phones. Considering that Asus is on its sixth attempt at a dedicated gaming phone line, I had hoped that things would be more streamlined now.

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Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro – games and performance

Just like everywhere else, the ROG Phone 6 Pro leaves little to be desired when it comes to performance. It packs the Snapdragon 8+ Gen1 chipset – in effect an upgraded version of 8 Gen1 – and backs it up with 18GB of LPDDR5 memory. It is also paired with 512 GB fast UFS 3.1 storage.

In every second of every interaction, the ROG Phone 6 Pro feels like it’s on a cruise. Jumping back and forth between apps is not a problem, as the absurd amount of RAM can contain more than I ever imagined necessary. After bumping around the phone, replying to a text message and playing an entire game in Apex Legends, I still managed to jump back to another game and continue where I left off.

In gaming, the phone also goes hard. In several battles with Apex Legends, it showed no signs of struggling with UltraHD graphics and a high frame rate setting. Even the frame rate increased beyond that, it continued to operate with ease. Despite all the efforts of Asus, it still has to struggle with heat, and even if the phone goes to a little over 100 degrees after a long battle, it is heat that will cause sweaty palms and fingers.

The controls on the phone feel responsive while playing, perhaps in part due to the speed of the phone, but also as a result of the high touch sampling rate. But the shoulder buttons do not feel as good to use as the physical buttons that are presented and ingeniously built into last year’s Black Shark 4.

Speeds in and out of games also get a bonus from fast networking. Wi-Fi 6E is supported, although I could only see Wi-Fi 6 speeds on my home router. The 5G connection is on deck, and although a first test saw that the phone clocked over 700 Mbps on my T-Mobile connection in Chicago, reception and access to high-speed bands proved less reliable. I was often stuck in the slow lane of 4G or even 3G networks in places where I would normally have at least a slow 5G on the Galaxy S20. This, along with the first launch of the ROG Phone 6 Pro taking place outside the US, suggests that it may not be the best radios for US customers.

Although you may be caught looking for a signal, it is not as likely that you will be left begging for battery. The 6000 mAh charge in the ROG Phone 6 Pro is ready for use all day, even with some games jammed. In my testing, I never saw it fall below a third of the capacity at the end of that day, and I would run some gaming, some entertainment and even a small mobile hotspot at that time. A 105-minute movie stream over Wi-Fi with the screen at about 75% brightness and volume through the speakers max up, sucked down only 14% of the battery. And the speakers held up surprisingly well to the sound of the 4th of July fireworks that were constantly being fired. After completely draining the battery, it shot back up to 40% from sitting on the charger for just over 10 minutes, and 20 minutes brought it up to 61%. And admittedly, after 42 minutes, it reached 100% charge, even though it became quite toasty charging so fast.

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Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro – Camera

If Asus could be slacked anywhere, it’s with the cameras. ROG Phone 6 and 6 Pro both include a trio of cameras on the back, and they are really nothing to get excited about.

Here are the cameras ROG Phone 6 Pro packages:

  • 50 MP wide
  • 13 MP Ultrawide
  • 5 MP macro
  • 12 MP Selfie

These cameras produce almost all images that look good when viewed on the phone itself, but fall short when displayed on a larger screen.

Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro – Main camera examples

The main sensor has a decent color and looks very sharp when it is small. But it tends to be noisy, is a bit slow and therefore smears a little in everything but strong daylight, and looks sharpened. Every fault with the main sensor only gets worse with the ultra-wide camera.

Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro – Ultrawide camera tests

The macro camera is almost not worth mentioning, as it produces images that hardly offer anything other than just using the main sensor’s 2x digital zoom.

Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro - Selfie camera preview

Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro – Selfie camera preview

In fact, it is the selfie camera that stands out from the crowd. It avoids sanding, meets the light conditions well, gives natural color and is reasonably sharp.

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