Asus ROG Phone 6 review: True premium gaming phone

The Asus ROG Phone series caters to the niche gaming segment. The latest ROG Phone 6 comes with refined design language and internally too, it comes packed with well upgraded specifications over the predecessor.

I used the device for close to a week and here’re my thoughts on the premium gaming smartphone.

Design, build quality, and display

Asus ROG Phone 6 has a unique and one of the best visually appealing design languages for smartphones in the industry.

The phantom black model looks stunning in the sunlight and value-added features on the back, make it even more pretty for gamers. It boasts a Dual RGB LED display with the signature ROG (Republic of Gamers) Fearless Eye dot-matrix logo and supports colour-gradient appearance using two different colors simultaneously. Users can also customise the lighting with numerous colours and several preset mood-lighting schemes.

Asus ROG Phone 6. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Also, it boasts not one but two Type-C ports, another unique feature among the phones. The second port in the middle (in the landscape mode) comes handy while plugging accessories such as AeroActive Cooler 6 to reduce the heat while playing graphics-rich games or battery packs to make the phone last longer.

Also, it is one of the very few handsets to boast a 3.5mm audio jack, which again helps users be able to put on their favourite wired headphones to get the lag-ness audio sync while playing battle royale or shooter or adventure action-like genre video games.

It also features IPX4 water-resistant certification, which means the device can sustain accidental water splashes. Also, the company offers a good quality thin case, which comes with thick cushions at the four edges, to ensure the phone can survive accidental falls. Also, it does not add too much weight to the phone and also thickness. Yes, the phone is big for an average user, but the case offers more grip for the fingers to hold onto the phone.

Asus ROG Phone 6 with case. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

And, the case has open spaces around the edge to ensure the ultrasonic sensors for AirTrigger 6 can take press inputs from the fingers while playing the games.

Asus ROG Phone 6 sports a 6.78-inch full HD+ (2448 × 1080p) OLED display with Pixelworks i6 processor. The screen support for 165Hz refresh rate, 720Hz touch sampling rate, and peak brightness up to 1,200nits. The screen is protected by a 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass Victus shield.

Browsing and reading content on the big screen is a smooth experience, even better while playing games.

It also features an in-display fingerprint sensor and works fine as advertised. It is quick to respond to the finger impression and unlock the screen with less false rejection rate.

ROG Phone 6 is powered by a 4nm class Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, which is currently the most powerful chipset we see in all premium Android phones. Yes, Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 was unveiled just a week ago, but the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 will be able to ensure the phone performs and respond fast, meeting user expectations for a long.
The chipset can clock peak CPU speed up to 3.2Ghz and is backed by Adreno next-gen GPU.

Asus ROG Phone 6’s performance score on Geekbench app (screengrab)

Also, the ROG Phone 6 boasts proprietary GameCool 6 cooling system that includes 360-degree CPU cooling technology, a 30 per cent larger vapor chamber and 85 per cent larger graphite sheets 6, along with a centred-CPU design to increase heat dissipation from the core.

Asus ROG Phone 6 offers tips on how to make use of the device. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

During the review period too, the Asus phone did an excellent job in terms of thermal performance, the best I have seen so far this year.

Asus ROG Phone 6 comes with an AirTrigger sensor. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Combined with the new performance manager in Armoury Crate, the ROG Phone 6 series allows gamers to tune performance settings for different games, giving them a competitive edge in any gaming scenario.

Armoury Crate feature on Asus ROG Phone 6. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Also, during the setting up of the phone, Asus has done a good job by offering tips on how to make the best use of gaming-centric features such as Air Trigger sensors around the edge and also Armoury Crate to have the best gaming experience. I had a great time playing Asphalt 9: Legend and I loved the haptic engine feedback whenever I hit the Nitro to boost the speed of the car during the race, the vibration feel makes it so more enthralling gaming experience.

Asphalt 9: Legend game on Asus ROG Phone 6. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Though it runs year old Android 12, you won’t miss much as the Android 13 has no major improvement over the predecessor. The ROG UI on the Phone is easy to get hang of it in a few hours of usage.

As far as the battery life is concerned, it comes with two 3,000mAh cells, a total of 6,000mAh capacity. It can last up to two days under normal usage. If you are an extreme user and play games for several hours a day, this phone will still be able to easily run for a whole day without any anxiety about the device dying out before dinner time at home.

Also, it comes with a 65W charger and the device took a little over an hour to fully charge from zero to reach 100 percent. In 40 minutes, it can reach 65 per cent mark.

The new Asus phone features a triple camera module– the main 50MP (1/1.56-inch Sony IMX766 sensor, 1μm pixel size, f/1.9) with 13MP 125-degree ultra-wide camera (f/2.4) and a 5MP macro sensor (f/2.0).

Asus ROG Phone 6’s camera sample. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

The ROG Phone 6’s camera shines best in natural light conditions. The photo quality is very good outdoors and my main subjects’ flowers look vibrant with rich colors. Yes, the photos are a bit warmer than what we see through our eyes. But, having said that, the images are really good and worth sharing on social media platforms.

Asus ROG Phone 6’s camera sample. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

The portrait mode too is up to the mark. As you can see in the sample photo, the camera does a fine job of creating a depth-of-field effect between the subject at the front and the background. Also, the edge around the flower bud stem is well-defined too.

Asus ROG Phone 6’s camera sample with portrait mode. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Asus ROG Phone 6’s camera sample with night mode on. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

As far as the night mode is concerned, ROG Phone 6’s camera manages to keep the essence of the night sky’s darkness. Unlike others, it does not blow up the frame with too much light and ends up creating a photo with a twilight vibe.

Asus ROG Phone 6’s camera sample with the night mode on. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

With an ultra-wide angle, the phone does a fine job of accommodating a wide area. Most phones in a bid to cover more area within the frame, end up bending structures and end up looking too artificial. Here, the ROG Phone 6 doesn’t falter in this aspect.

Asus ROG Phone 6’s camera sample. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

It supports up to 8K video recording at 30 fps (frames per second), 4K at 60fps, slow-motion 4K at 120 fps, 1080p at 240fps and 720p at 480 fps.

Asus ROG Phone 6’s camera sample. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

The video quality is decent, on par with most of the premium phones in the market.

Asus ROG Phone 6’s camera sample. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

On the front, the ROG Phone 6 houses a 12MP (Sony IMX663 sensor). It takes pretty good selfies outdoors with natural sunlight. Even indoors, the images are decent at best.

Asus ROG Phone 6’s camera sample. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

Final thoughts
If I have to describe the Asus ROG Phone 6 in two words are — ‘Gamer’s delight’. It has a unique and tailor-made design for gamers and internally too, it has everything to deliver an immersive smooth playing experience. Also, the value-added Air Trigger feature makes it even more enthralling.

Asus ROG Phone 6. Credit: DH Photo/KVN Rohit

And, it has one of the best thermal performances compared to any phone I have reviewed this year so far. Even the battery life is excellent.

Overall, ROG Phone 6 is a complete package of a gaming phone.

In India, Asus ROG Phone 6 will be available in two colours– phantom black and storm white– for Rs 71,999 (12GB RAM + 256GB storage).

Besides e-commerce websites, Asus for the first time is bringing the premium gaming phone to Vijay Sales.

The company is also setting up experience demo zones at the Vijay Sales showroom to offer prospective customers a first-hand experience of using, and playing games, and help them make an informed decision to buy it.

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