Asus ROG Phone 6 Review: first hand Review
Asus ROG Phone 6 Review, Let's take a look at the Asus ROG Phone 6 specifications, features, and other information that is currently available.
REASONS TO BUY
+ Best-in-class power
+ Impressive battery life
+ Smooth and punchy screen
+ Excellent accessory suite
+ First splash-proof gaming phone
REASONS TO AVOID
- No wireless charging
- Camera lacks OIS or telephoto lens
- Mediocre macro camera
All smartphones can play games, but the Asus ROG Phone 6 under consideration here is a true gaming phone. It has a suite of super-powered-armour-style accessories, powerful graphics and processing power, and fierce styling.
This is not an iPhone 13 Pro Max clone; Asus's ROG Phone series burst onto the scene in late 2018. It's been refreshed once or twice a year since then, with more power and edgier styling than before, but with the same core formula - the latest internals, the highest refresh-rate screen, and a massive beefy battery.
The ROG Phone formula is still going strong in 2022, with all of the latest gaming mod cons and much-needed general updates in imaging and durability. The camera sensor is the same as that found in the excellent Realme GT 2 Pro and OPPO Find X5 Pro. It's also the first IPX4 splash-resistant gaming phone, and it charges quickly.
Also Read: Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus Review
But, with new challengers such as Nubia's Red, Lenovo's Legion, and Xiaomi's Blackshark lines entering the fray, can Asus maintain its top spot in the face of such fierce competition?
ASUS ROG PHONE 6 REVIEW: PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
When you can buy the ROG Phone 6 will depend on where you live, but it has been confirmed for the UK via Asus's online store. The phone will be available in a variety of configurations and price points, beginning with 256GB storage and 12GB RAM (£899) and progressing to 512GB storage and 16GB RAM (£999).
Asus has also announced the ROG Phone 6 Pro, which has nearly identical specs to the standard device but adds an LED light around the back and increases the RAM to 18GB (£1,199).
Check the widget below for the most recent prices in your region as the device becomes available:
The Asus ROG Phone 6 is expected to cost Rs. 71,999 in India. The Asus ROG Phone 6 is expected to be launched on August 10, 2022.
Also Read: Xiaomi Poco F3 Review
ASUS ROG PHONE 6 REVIEW: DESIGN AND ACCESSORIES
We've seen a lot of black phones over the years, especially black ROG Phones, so imagine our surprise when we unboxed the handset and saw a pearlescent matte white phone peeking up at us. It's the first time white has been made available on non-Pro ROG phones.
The back panel of the phone is adorned with glyphs and flourishes reminiscent of sci-fi movie alien mystique. While the phone doesn't look as angry as previous-generation ROG phones, it's clear that this is a smartphone designed for gamers.
The phone also has a ROG Vision screen on the back. Yes, there is a screen on the back of the phone. The ROG Vision OLED is a color display strip that dynamically displays different visuals depending on what you do with the phone. If you charge it, the strip will show the charging progress. When you start a game, the words 'Game Start' illuminate. It also shows you your notifications when the phone is face down. This is a lot, and it is obviously unnecessary. That being said, it's also a lot of fun, capturing attention and feeling well integrated into the overall design.
The vanilla and Pro versions are distinguished by two key design differences. The first difference is that the rear screen, which is at an angle on standard models, is horizontal (when held in landscape) on the 6 Pro. The words 'dare to play' are also backlit on the Pro for added RGB goodness. Because it is the version we tested, it is shown in this review.
In terms of ports and buttons, the ROG Phone 6 has two USB-C ports, one on the bottom and one on the left side of the curved, matte black metal frame. This allows you to charge your phone while playing comfortably or while it's connected to an accessory. Volume, power, and two touch-sensitive shoulder buttons for gaming are all on the right side (screen facing). If you prefer to use the best wired headphones, there is also a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The screen dominates the front of the ROG Phone 6. Above and below are the front-facing 12MP camera and stereo speakers. In addition to the visual flourishes already mentioned, the back has a triple camera system.
Also Read: Honor Magic 4 Pro Review
The ROG Phone 6 is one of the heaviest phones we've tested, weighing 239g. The Honor Magic 4 Pro weighs 215g, which is only surpassed by the iPhone 13 Pro Max, which weighs 240g. Despite its heft and thick 10.3mm depth, the ROG Phone manages to avoid feeling completely inelegant with its curved sides and tall form.
Asus' eccentric gaming accessories have always helped the brand stand out, and there are plenty of add-ons to help the ROG Phone 6 perform better. We tested the new AeroActive Cooler 6 and the updated ROG Kunai 3 Gamepad (pricing on both is pending), and you can also get a clip to connect the phone to a gamepad, a USB-C dock, and a variety of cases to match your style.
The AeroActive Cooler 6, shown above, is an absolute RGB-flashing beast that clips onto the phone and plugs into the USB-C port. This has three fan power settings as well as a cooling element mode.
The Kunai Gamepad made a bigger difference in our time with the phone. This set of Joy-Con clones can be used as a standalone Bluetooth gamepad or clipped onto a dedicated ROG Phone 6 case for handheld console ergonomics. This versatility (along with Asus' brilliant gaming software) puts the Kunai Gamepad ahead of competitors like the Razr Kishi, even though the d-pad was a little stiff when gaming.
ASUS ROG PHONE 6 REVIEW: DISPLAY
At first glance, the ROG Phone 6 has the same screen as its predecessor, with a 6.78-inch Full HD AMOLED display. However, if you go into the settings, you'll find the option to increase the refresh rate to 165Hz, matching the Red Magic 7.
The touch-sampling rate of the Samsung-made AMOLED panel is also 720Hz, which means you can expect fantastic responsiveness whether gaming, typing, or swiping through sites or feeds.
Also Read: OnePlus Nord 2T Review
The screen is nice and bright in standard mode, peaking at 1200 nits when the adaptive mode is turned on. This means that outdoor viewing is possible even in bright sunlight; however, if you struggle to see what's on-screen, turn on auto brightness - 800 nits is insufficient for the brightest climes.
With a resolution of 2448 x 1080, the phone's screen is far from the sharpest on the block, trailing the iPhone 13 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. However, class-leading sharpness on a gaming phone isn't a big deal because most games output at 1080p anyway. The ROG Phone 6 offers punchy, saturated, and accurate colors with great contrast and a plethora of viewing mode customization options in the settings.
There's more bezel around the screen, especially at the top and bottom, than we're used to seeing on flagship devices these days. This is exacerbated by the fact that the screen is flat, and thus does not feel as special as curved displays like the OnePlus 10 Pro. However, from a gaming standpoint, all of this makes sense, and the ROG Phone 6's design and screen succeed in making it comfortable to game on for hours without accidental mistouches.
ASUS ROG PHONE 6 REVIEW: CAMERAS
While gaming phones have never had cameras that can compete with iPhones or Pixels, the ROG Phone series has always performed admirably. This time around, we get an upgraded main camera, despite a decrease in pixel count.
The main camera on the ROG Phone is a 50-megapixel sensor (Sony IMX766) with an f/1.9 lens. It's surrounded by a 13MP ultra-wide camera and a 5MP macro camera, both of which are carried over from the previous ROG Phone 5.
Asus also includes 8K video recording at up to 24fps, as well as 120fps 4K capture from the main camera, so the video specs are nice and competitive.
When it comes to image and video quality, we're pleased but not blown away.
Photos taken with the ROG Phone 6 have a healthy amount of contrast, but it can be overpowering at times. They're also heavily sharpened, which looks great in some scenes but will appeal to photo purists who prefer a more subtle approach to in-camera processing.
If you're not a photo purist, the ROG Phone 6's new main sensor implementation provides plenty of detail and Instagram-worthy shots.
In low-light situations, the phone's lack of optical image stabilization (OIS) limits its usability. When the light levels fall below a certain threshold, the ROG Phone 6 activates night mode, which, as shown in the samples below, works well at bringing out extra detail. When the lighting is adequate but not ideal, this mode does not automatically activate, and photos may appear soft unless taken with a rock-steady hand.
Also Read: Realme C35 Review
It's great to see the ultra-wide take advantage of Asus' night mode, and the results are better than the ROG Phone 5 despite having the same hardware. It captures a good amount of detail in well-lit scenes, albeit soft on the sides, and the night mode saves it from mediocrity in low-light conditions.
The video capture is also impressive. Despite the lack of OIS, the phone consistently held footage together up to 4K resolution at 60fps. The microphones also capture good sound, and the main camera focuses quickly.
While Asus' ROG Phone 6 isn't the best camera phone, it does have the best camera of any gaming phone we've tested, despite its mediocre macro camera, which should be ignored in all but the brightest scenes in favor of the main camera.
The improved selfie camera, which captures 12MP photos with detail and nuance, is also a pleasant surprise.
ASUS ROG PHONE 6 REVIEW: PERFORMANCE
The ROG Phone 6 shines in gaming and overall performance, and it does so both literally and metaphorically.
The phone features the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset, which means it has more power than any other Android phone right now. The version we tested also has 18GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, but those are just the tip of the pearlescent Storm White iceberg.
Starting with the hardware, Asus rearranged things so that the processor isn't near the phone's edge. When under stress, you may notice that your current phone gets hot around the camera, which is where the brains are usually located. However, in order to keep things cool, Asus has moved the processor to the center.
This also moves the warmest point away from your hands (and the metal frame). After a few minutes of gaming, phones like the Xiaomi 12 Pro became extremely hot. The ROG Phone 6, on the other hand, is much better at keeping its cool - and that's without any fan accessories.
Asus has also made other thoughtful additions to manage heat. Charging phones generally causes them to heat up, but you can configure the ROG Phone 6 to draw only enough power to keep it alive, so you don't have to worry about an empty battery or heat interfering with your handheld gaming.
In most cases, gaming on the phone is an absolute delight. While many of the older games we play have 4:3 aspect ratios and appear squished on the ROG Phone 6 with thick black borders, optimized mobile games like Genshin Impact and Trials of Mana look fantastic.
Asus' gaming portal, Game Genie, does an excellent job of giving you control over your accessories, spoon-feeding you games that can take advantage of the 165Hz display, and adding more in-game options than any other gaming tool on the market.
Asus also includes a WiFi/cellular aggregator feature, which allows it to use multiple WiFi networks as well as a 5G signal to achieve the fastest data speeds possible. This is invaluable when streaming games like Ghostrunner on Nvidia's GeForce Now, making it the best phone for cloud gaming we've tested.
This time around, the phone's L and R touch triggers have also been improved. They support taps, swipes left and right, and can even be horizontally partitioned to act as two inputs, such as L1 and L2. Do you require additional information? Shake the phone and use the gyroscope, and if you have a controller, you can map it to your game using Asus' Game Genie software.
Biometric security is provided by a responsive under-display fingerprint scanner and basic face recognition using the front camera.
Also Read: Realme GT 2 Pro Review
The ROG Phone 6 is loud, with speakers on either side of the screen, and delivers impressive sound separation for a phone, with iPhone-beating volume, even if it can't compete with Apple's Pro Max line in terms of rounded, balanced depth.
The out-of-the-box interface is inevitably gamer-focused, as it runs Android 12 with Asus' ZenUI on top. There are a lot of fun, rich themes with cyberpunk or anime-like styling; you can also dial back the va-va-voom and switch to a more stock take on Android if you want. When the LED lights around the back are turned off and the phone is placed in a case, the ROG phone can be transformed from a gaming phone to a regular phone in an instant.
In terms of benchmarks, the ROG Phone 6 outperforms the competition, with everything from storage read and write speeds to graphics outperforming every other Android phone on 3D Mark, Geekbench, and PC Mark benchmarking apps.
ASUS ROG PHONE 6 REVIEW: BATTERY AND CHARGING
Asus' ROG Phone 6 has one of the largest batteries on the market, with a 6,000mAh capacity. For Android phones, the standard capacity is now 4,500-5,000mAh.
While there is no wireless charging, the ROG Phone 6 charges quickly with 65W charging, going from 0% to 100% in about 45 minutes.
How long the battery lasts is entirely dependent on how you spend your day. If you use the ROG Phone 6 as a phone, it will last for a long time, draining only 80% after about 16 hours with the screen on. This is Oppo Find X5-level durability at its finest.
Unsurprisingly, gaming and the phone's high-performance X-Mode drain the battery faster, and if you use a fan or the Kunai Gamepad with the clip-on case, expect significant reductions. Nonetheless, the ROG Phone 6 never let us down, making it from morning to night with more than 30% of the battery remaining on all but the heaviest testing and gaming days.
Also Read: Oppo Find X5 Pro Review
ASUS ROG PHONE 6 REVIEW: VERDICT
The ROG Phone 6 may not be the best phone in 2022, but it is the best gaming phone we've tested. While the competition is fierce, the alternatives lack the refinement that Asus provides.
You could argue that Asus has taken a conservative approach. The ROG Phone 6 looks identical to the ROG Phone 5 and 5s from the front, and we'd like to see Asus shake things up even more. However, the phone does the job better and with a wider range of accessories than competitors such as the Red Magic 7 and Poco F4 GT.
Could the ROG Phone 6 be better? Absolutely. We would have preferred wireless charging, optical image stabilization (OIS) on the main camera, and better secondary cameras. However, its gaming enhancements are standout and unique, so this may not matter to its target audience.
So, despite its niche and high price, the ROG Phone 6 manages a nearly flawless victory over the gaming phone competition.