Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro review: competition-crushing super phone

Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro

MSRP $1,075.00

“The Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro is astonishingly powerful and smartly designed throughout, able to appeal to gamers who wish to play harder and higher, for longer.”


  • Immensely powerful
  • Versatile shoulder buttons
  • Clean, fast software
  • Vibrant and massive screen
  • Great sounding audio
  • Kunai 3 gamepad accessory


  • Big and heavy
  • Lacks wide appeal
  • Average camera

The Asus ROG Phone range has long been the king of gaming phones. It has often pulverized the competition through a mixture of immense performance, well-considered gaming features, cool design, and punctiliously considered accessories. Add the Republic of Gamers (ROG) branding, and the remaining can do nothing except cower in fear.

The ROG Phone 6 and ROG Phone 6 Pro are the most recent from Asus, and we’ve been living with the Pro version for several weeks now. Is it one other in the road of competition-crushing winners?

Two versions

Asus has made two versions of the ROG Phone 6, the usual ROG Phone 6 and the more powerful ROG Phone 6 Pro. The ROG Phone 6 Pro has been tested for this review, but there are only just a few differences between them. As standard, it has 18GB RAM (yes, really) and 512GB of space for storing, while the conventional ROG Phone 6 is available in two flavors: a 12GB/256GB model and a 16GB/512GB model.

The Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro seen from the back.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The ROG Phone 6 Pro only is available in the gorgeous pearl-effect Storm White color seen in our photos, plus it has a color OLED “ROG Vision” screen on the back of the phone, moderately than a straightforward RGB dot matrix-style display on the conventional ROG Phone 6 (which only is available in black). Otherwise, the specification is similar throughout, right all the way down to compatibility with Asus’ range of accessories.

You’ll pay probably the most for the ROG Phone 6 Pro, and while it’s unlikely you’ll ever really want (and even notice) the difference between 12GB, 16GB, and 18GB of RAM, getting as much internal storage as you may afford is all the time of profit. Nonetheless, the ROG Phone 6 and 6 Pro each have space for a microSD card slot, too. It really leaves the colour ROG Vision screen and special white finish as motivation to purchase it over the conventional version.

It’ll be all the way down to you and your budget whether you’re thinking that it’s price it, but neither make the phone any more functional than the cheaper model.


The ROG Phone 6 Pro is a gaming smartphone and doesn’t hide the actual fact in any respect. It’s taller than a Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra and is even thicker and heavier at 10.3mm and 239 grams. Make no mistake, when you’re going to hold the ROG Phone 6 Pro around all day, it takes effort. It’ll weigh you down in your pocket, and take up numerous space in your bag. Its size and weight mean you’ll have to make compromises over using a thinner, lighter smartphone.

The Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro's screen.Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The front is all screen, while on the back — on the Pro model, at the least — you get the 2-inch OLED ROG Vision screen. With X Mode lively, you may set the screen to point out different animations, like showing the words “Game Start!” once you, well, start playing a game. Outside of those times, it shows once you’ve got a call coming in, notification icons, when the phone is charging, and so forth. It’s as gimmicky as gimmicks get, but I don’t hate it. It’s precisely the form of madness I need on a gaming phone. On the ROG Phone 6 Pro, the “Dare to Play” logo above the screen also lights up when X Mode is lively.

Daring and brash, the ROG Phone 6 isn’t for shrinking violets. Its size and weight are commensurate with its ability, though, and that’s where your willingness to compromise might want to are available during any deliberations on whether to purchase it or not. No, it’s not going to vanish in your pocket, and when you drop it, there’s an entire lot of heft behind it able to crack the screen. But when you’re serious about playing mobile games on an incredibly capable machine, it’s price putting up with all this.

Screen and performance

The ROG Phone 6 has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor and a 6.78-inch AMOLED screen custom-made for the phone by Samsung — complete with a dynamic 165Hz refresh rate and a powerful 720Hz touch sampling rate. We’ve been reviewing the Pro model, so have been having fun with 18GB of RAM, too. The ROG Phone 6 Pro’s screen is a beauty — fast, colourful, and really shiny — and the facility delivered by the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is immense. Asus has also engineered a powerful smart internal cooling system to be certain the phone doesn’t get too hot, even when playing top games for hours. It’s every bit a real flagship smartphone.

The side of the Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro's shoulder buttons.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro's camera module.

Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

During normal use, you’ll likely never want any more power than it provides, and even come near pushing it hard. It effortlessly shrugs off regular phone tasks, holds 4G/5G/Wi-Fi signals with no problem, and the screen reacts immediately to your touch. The fingerprint sensor under the screen is great, and there’s a similarly speedy face unlock system. Plus, the brand new 130Hz haptic motor is delicate and precise. It could be a gaming phone, but it surely’s also a ridiculously capable on a regular basis phone.

The screen is gorgeous. The adaptive refresh rate shifts between the bottom 60Hz setting through to its 165Hz maximum to take advantage of the battery while ensuring what’s on the screen is displayed at its smoothest rate. Playing games or watching videos, it’s filled with vibrance and color, with excellent contrast and a high level of brightness. I actually have had no problem using it outside in the daylight. It’s a beautiful screen, but after I put it alongside the ROG Phone 5’s 144Hz screen, I struggled to see any difference between them.

It’s rare that speakers and sound on a phone are anything greater than average, however the ROG Phone 6 is a step beyond. The audio is actually great. The phone uses two 12 x 16mm drivers with tuning by Dirac (an organization Asus also paired with on the ROG Phone 5). Sound is vibrant and full of life, and the soundstage (yes, there really is one) is fastidiously managed to offer outstanding stereo separation once you view the phone head-on. There’s even an EQ, a 3.5mm headphone jack, Snapdragon Sound, AptX Adaptive, and AptX Lossless for an all-around stellar audio experience.


The ROG Phone 6 Pro is made for demanding, dedicated, and seriously committed mobile gamers to play their favorite games. In the event you don’t play games, the phone isn’t really for you. I’ve spent three weeks playing games on the ROG Phone 6 Pro and still don’t feel like I’ve scratched the surface of what it will possibly really do.

The Asus ROG Phone 6's Game Genie mode.Game Genie mode Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

In a single two-hour session, I played an hour of Diablo Immortal, and half-hour each of Asphalt 9: Legends and Dariusburst. Diablo Immortal plays at 60 fps, as does Asphalt 9: Legends. With all of the graphics options turned as much as the utmost, the phone only became barely warm to the touch. The updated, three-tier cooling system contained in the ROG Phone 6 Pro — larger graphite sheets, a latest thermal compound to fill spaces where air would normally get trapped, and an even bigger vapor chamber — kept it from getting too hot in any respect times.

In Diablo Immortal, I used the shoulder-mounted AirTriggers. These act as mappable touch-sensitive buttons primarily to be used in games, but could be used for general phone functions like calling Google Assistant. In games, they really can boost your performance. For instance, in Diablo Immortal, using them could make you more deadly, as you should utilize a couple of weapon without delay. The haptic feedback is so effective that using them looks like pressing an actual, physical button. The software makes it easy to set the shoulder buttons up, but the quantity of customization — there are nine different gesture control options, including tap, slide, dual-partition, and tap-and-swipe systems — borders on feature overload.

Holding the Photo taken with the Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro with the AeroCooler Active 6.AeroActive Cooler 6 Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Playing Daruisburst all through caused the phone no problem in any respect, and Asphalt 9: Legends was super smooth and really fast. Playing any game on a high-spec phone all the time seems to make them more exciting, since you’re never faraway from the motion by graphical glitches or frame rate drops. The ROG Phone 6’s glorious screen, shoulder controls, heat management, and tactile haptics enhances enjoyment even further.

I switched between the phone’s performance-boosting X Mode and Dynamic mode, which balances performance and battery life, but couldn’t see any obvious differences between the 2. A two-hour gaming session takes around 20% of the battery, a figure that has remained regular over the past three weeks of using the ROG Phone 6 Pro.

The Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro with the Kunai 3 controller attached.Kunai 3 Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

It doesn’t matter what games you play, all of them look and perform at their best on the ROG Phone 6 Pro. Nonetheless, in case your idea of gaming in your phone is just a few laps in Asphalt, a little bit of Wordle, and Pokémon Go on the weekend if you’ve gotten time, the ROG Phone 6 Pro is absolute overkill. Unless you play the largest, most power-hungry games — Genshin Impact, Diablo Immortal, or Fortnite, for instance — often and for prolonged periods of time, you won’t notice much difference between it and some other high-specification phone remodeled the past couple of years.


You possibly can augment the ROG Phone 6 Pro’s gaming ability with two accessories, the Kunai Controller 3 and the AeroActive Cooler 6, and each are purchased individually from the phone.

Asus ROG Phone 6 AeroActive Cooler 3 with its stand.

AeroActive Cooler 6 Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Asus ROG Phone 6 with the AeroActive Cooler 3 from the side.

AeroActive Cooler 6 Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Asus ROG Phone 6 and AeroActive Cooler 3 from the side,

AeroActive Cooler 6 Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Asus ROG Phone 6 with AeroActive Cooler 3 lit up.

AeroActive Cooler 6 on the ROG Phone 6 Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The AeroActive Cooler 6 is very large in comparison with previous versions, as a consequence of it now having 4 physical buttons and a latest design with more lights and fins than a custom 50s Chevy. It’s powered by the ROG Phone 6 itself or through its own USB Type-C connection, but this won’t be obligatory unless it’s working at maximum capability. Its fan is powerful enough to even cool your fingers after they’re wrapped across the phone.

This increased size comes at an ergonomic drawback, because it adds further bulk and weight to an already big and heavy phone, in turn upsetting the balance. It does cool the ROG Phone 6 effectively, and the built-in stand is sort of handy, but I’m undecided how long I’d wish to play with the thing stuck to the back of the phone. Plus, only probably the most hardcore players of probably the most complex mobile games will ever feel the necessity to map much more buttons.

The back of the Kunai 3 controller and case attached to the Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro.

Kunai 3 Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Kunai 3 controller's joystick.

Kunai 3 Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The Kunai 3 controller in wireless mode.

Kunai 3 Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Asus ROG Phone 6's Kunai 3 controller shoulder buttons.

Kunai 3 Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The revelation is Asus’s Kunai 3 controller. It looks a bit of like a Nintendo Switch controller and could be used individually or attached to a skeleton case for the phone itself. Playing Diablo Immortal with the Kunai 3 controllers within the case and flanking the screen, the sport absolutely comes alive. Assigning the keys to on-screen controls is a bit fiddly, but when you’re done, the Kunai controller transforms the way in which Diablo Immortal plays. There’s no lag, the joystick is precise, and despite the combined weight of the phone, controllers, and case, it doesn’t develop into fatiguing.

In the event you’re going to get one gaming accessory for the ROG Phone 6, make it the Kunai 3 controller.


The ROG Phone 6 Pro runs Android 12. It comes with the selection of using a standard-looking, Pixel-like themed interface, or Asus’s flashy, sci-fi-inspired “gaming” themed interface. Use the conventional option, and it’s clean and straightforward, while the gaming mode is stuffed with noise and animation. In the event you like that form of thing it’s nice, but I’m very thankful there’s the choice to not use it.

Asus has reworked its Armory Crate game performance optimizer, the Game Genie has latest customization options, and the X Mode is back to make sure games get to make use of all of the phone’s performance. There are a number of modes and settings for gamers to dig into, including the power to set the ROG Phone 6 up in a different way for every game, change what the rear screen shows when playing, and map all the several controls. It takes time to do all this, but when you play one game an awesome deal, and like things a certain way once you do, it’ll repay in the long term.

I’ve used the ROG Phone 6 Pro with Asus’ normal ZenUI interface, because the gaming-focused look is way too overtly stylized and visually over-the-top for my taste. ZenUI is appropriately named, because it’s fuss-free and reliable, and annoyances are rare. The software isn’t overloaded with duplicate or useless apps, there are only a few pre-installed promo apps, and, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, no game app tie-ins attempting to get you to play something you’ve gotten no real interest in.

Armory Crate mode on the Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro.

Armoury Crate mode Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

ROG Vision screen settings on the Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro.

ROG Vision settings Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Ultrasonic shoulder button settings on the Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro.

Shoulder button settings Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

Asus ROG Phone 6 game enhancements

Armory Crate dashboard on the Asus ROG Phone 6 Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

The ROG Phone 6’s important competition comes from Xiaomi and ZTE, under the Black Shark, Poco, and RedMagic brand names, and the heavily modified software installed on each is often considered one of the largest downsides. The ROG Phone 6’s software is more polished, slicker, vastly more mature, and so rather more usable. It’s top-of-the-line points of the phone.


A large 6,000mAh dual-cell battery has been squeezed contained in the ROG Phone 6 and ROG Phone 6 Pro, and it really delivers the products. If you don’t play games, it has enough power for 3 days of use with around two-to-three hours of screen time per day, provided you switch it off overnight. It’s unbeatable on this regard. If you play games, expect the battery to drop by around 20% per hour when you’re playing a demanding game.

There’s no wireless charging, but two wired charging options. There’s a USB Type-C port on the underside of the phone, and one other on the side of the phone. This port has been placed in order that it doesn’t upset the balance of the device when you’re playing and charging in landscape orientation. There’s the choice to only power the phone through this port, moderately than also charge the battery, to make sure temperatures don’t get too high. The identical port also works as an HDMI-out.

Wired charging is rated at 65W, and using the included charger, it takes about 40 to 45 minutes to charge the battery from just a few percent to full, which is superb considering the dimensions of the cell it’s filling with energy.


Contained in the angular, barely raised camera module on the back of the ROG Phone 6 Pro is a 50-megapixel Sony IMX766 camera, a 13MP wide-angle camera, and a 5MP macro camera. Only the Sony sensor is latest. Otherwise, the cameras are similar to those fitted to the ROG Phone 5. Remember, this isn’t out to tackle the Galaxy S22 Ultra or the iPhone 13 Pro, so there’s no periscope zoom or fancy video modes, but it surely’s still reasonable to expect it to take solid photos. Thankfully, that’s exactly what you get with the ROG Phone 6 Pro.

It’s easy to choose the ROG Phone 6 Pro’s photos apart. There’s visible noise, colours are sometimes too saturated, skies can appear muddy when the exposure gets it unsuitable, and it’s no good once you attempt to take photos close-up to introduce some interesting background blur. Nonetheless, the photos are perfectly acceptable when you’re just taking them for fun, the Night mode has a very good level of detail and maintains colours nicely, plus the selfie camera is sharp and natural.

Price and availability

The Asus ROG Phone 6 will come to the U.S. but sooner or later later in 2022, with no fixed release date available yet. Within the U.K. and Europe, the phone is on the market to pre-order now. There are three models:

12GB RAM/256GB ROG Phone 6: 899 British kilos or around $1,076.

16GB RAM/512GB ROG Phone 6: 999 British kilos or around $1,195.

18GB RAM/512GB ROG Phone 6 Pro: 1,099 British kilos or around $1,315.

Expect the ultimate U.S. prices to be lower than the conversions above, with a possible starting price of $999, based on the unique cost of the ROG Phone 5.

Our take

There isn’t a higher gaming phone available today. The ROG Phone 6 Pro is astonishingly capable, and Asus’s knowledge of what makes an awesome gaming device shines through in every aspect, from the stunning screen and expertly tuned shoulder buttons, to the side-mounted USB port, the uprated cooling system, and the sensible Kunai 3 gamepad accessory.

But at the identical time, Asus hasn’t overlooked the ROG Phone 6 Pro still needing to work as a standard phone. The software is usable for on a regular basis tasks, the camera is appropriate, and the basic smartphone features like long battery life, plus good call and connectivity performance, are all there too.

What the ROG Phone 6 Pro isn’t is an enormous step forward over the ROG Phone 5 or ROG Phone 5S, and neither is it a jack-of-all-trades like other expensive flagship phones. Yes, it really works as a standard phone, but you’ll need to put up with its size, weight, and flashy design. It comes with the territory for gamers but is less palatable when you only play games casually. This isn’t a criticism or a downside, though. The ROG Phone 6 knows what it’s and can appeal mostly to its target market, who will probably be delighted to own and use this ultra-powerful gaming super phone.

Is there a greater alternative?

There are numerous dedicated gaming phones available, but none have the backing of a renowned gaming brand like Asus’s Republic of Gamers. The Black Shark 5 Pro is on the market within the U.S. but doesn’t share the identical high specification or software. The Black Shark brand is a spin-off from Xiaomi and is analogous to the Poco F4 GT, one other gaming phone spin-off from Xiaomi. The RedMagic 7 Pro or recent 7S Pro is one other possibility, and its flashy styling may appeal to some, but again, the software can’t quite match the ROG Phone 6.

If gaming is high in your list of things to do together with your phone, but you furthermore mght need an awesome camera and for it to be a bit of more subtle in its design, then don’t dismiss the most effective mainstream flagship hardware. They might not have shoulder buttons, second screens, or advanced cooling systems, but they still play games thoroughly indeed. Take a have a look at the Apple iPhone 13 Pro Max, or the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, that are two of the best all-rounders you may buy.

In the event you own the ROG Phone 5, specifically the Ultimate version, there’s nothing here that ought to make you rush to upgrade. In the event you checked out the ROG Phone 5 and decided not to purchase it, it’s unlikely the ROG Phone 6 will do anything to vary your mind.

How long will it last?

The ROG Phone 6 is the primary ROG Phone to have a level of water resistance. It has an IPX4 rating, which implies it’s protected against splashing water. It’s not comparable to the IP68 rating you get on a Galaxy S22 Ultra or Apple iPhone 13 Pro. You’ll be nice within the rain, but you won’t wish to drop it in the tub. The phone is heavy and comprised of glass, so a case is really helpful when you’re vulnerable to dropping your phones.

Asus guarantees two major Android version updates will arrive on the phone, and it’s going to also receive three years of software updates. That is average but lower than you’d get from a Samsung phone, which provides 4 years of major updates and five years of security updates.

Must you buy it?

Yes. The Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro is probably the most powerful smartphone available in the meanwhile, and the final word expression of your love of mobile gaming.

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