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Asus ROG Phone 6 review

Everyone has their own “dream” features they are looking for in a new smartphone. What you like may not resonate with others, and features that seem silly to you might represent something important to someone else. When reviewing the Asus ROG Phone 6, this thought was paramount for me as this isn’t a phone that will appeal to everyone, but will find takers among those who want high-end specs and unique aesthetics only for die-hard mobile gamers will appreciate. Here are my thoughts on the ROG Phone 6 after using it for a week.

Asus ROG Phone 6 price in India: Rs 71,999

Edgy looks but is a little heavier than average phones

Like the ROG Phone 4 and ROG Phone 5, the ROG Phone 6 remains nearly identical in design, barring a few subtle tweaks here and there. Asus is following in the footsteps of Apple and its rivals in the phone world to stick with one design for at least three years, which isn’t a bad thing, but that approach doesn’t always work. The ROG Phone 6 definitely feels heavy when playing games or watching videos. A lot of big phones share the same metal and glass sandwich design, but not all feel as thick and heavy as the ROG Phone 6. Still, the ROG Phone 6 looks a lot better when you’re holding it. The front is mostly a giant screen with a top and bottom chin to allow for the top hole for the selfie camera. I also like the hidden speakers under the top and bottom of the glass.

Asus ROG Phone 6, Asus ROG Phone 6 review, Rog Phone 6, Rog Phone 6 price in India, Rog Phone 6 specs, Rog Phone 6 sale The exciting thing is that the phone is still pocketable, meaning I don’t have to carry the device in a space case like a Steam Deck or Nintendo Switch Lite. (Credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

The back is designed to woo hardcore gaming nerds, which is a far cry from the clean back I’m used to from my iPhone. Over the years I’ve seen Asus gaming laptops evolve a unique gamer aesthetic, and the company has tried to replicate the same with the ROG Phone 6, but in a slightly friendlier way. On the back is a glowing element, a small “Dare to Play” RGB logo, and a tri-camera/LED flash array.

You’ll find additional ultrasonic sensors on the side near where your ring fingers might rest while holding it in landscape mode. And like before, the ROG Phone 6 has two USB Type-C ports – one on the bottom and one on the side (which becomes the bottom when playing in landscape mode).

The phone continues with a 3.5mm headphone jack, a rarity on most flagship phones. But in a gaming phone, I see the point in keeping a headphone jack. The phone is IPX4 certified, which means it’s splashproof. The exciting thing is that the phone is still pocketable, meaning I don’t have to carry the device in a space case like a Steam Deck or Nintendo Switch Lite. In this way, the ROG Phone 6 is a step in the right direction for miniaturizing a handheld console into a phone form factor.

Playing Alto’s Adventure and Apex Legends Mobile on the ROG Phone 6 delivered solid gaming performance. (Credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

165Hz capable screen for smooth gaming

The ROG Phone 6 rocks a 165Hz AMOLED display (6.78 inches at 2448 × 1080) FHD+ resolution. Asus says the ROG Phone 6’s screen can reach up to 800 nits of peak brightness outdoors and up to 1,200 nits of brightness when viewing HDR10 and Dolby Vision video. The display also supports a 720Hz touch sampling rate for improved responsiveness. Samsung’s 165Hz panel (which automatically adjusts via app) is a nice spec to brag about. But I don’t think even hardcore mobile gamers who get the ROG Phone 6 will be able to take advantage of the ridiculous refresh rate. The problem is that there are little-known games that caught my attention that support a 165Hz refresh rate. Most popular games I’ve played are capped at 120Hz, so the 165Hz refresh rate is more of a gimmick, but it’s there nonetheless.

The ROG Phone 6 looks and feels like a premium gaming phone. (Credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

Lightning-fast performance

Before I started using the ROG Phone 6, I knew the purpose of such a big and powerful phone. I intended to use it primarily as a part work and part entertainment device. Asus loaned me the device with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of non-expandable storage. As someone who works in the news business, your primary go-to device is vital. It shouldn’t hang when loading critical apps and the battery should last a long time. The ROG Phone 6 is decent enough for writing and editing articles on the go.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor is a powerful chip, and my own testing confirms that the ROG Phone 6 does indeed live up to Asus’ claims. Performance is incredibly fast and apps open in a snap. Editing photos and videos on the go was a smooth experience. This is a powerful device for listening to podcasts, audio books and consuming videos. I was also quite amazed by the 6,000mAh battery, which lasted a day and a half on a single charge. A 65W HyperCharge plug in the box can charge the phone from 0 percent to 100 percent in around 40 to 45 minutes. However, wireless charging is missing.

The front is mostly a giant screen with a top and bottom chin to allow for the top hole for the selfie camera. (Credit: Anuj Bhatia/Indian Express)

The gaming ninja

I bet many of you are reading this review simply because you want to know how the ROG Phone 6 fared in gaming. Playing Alto’s Adventure and Apex Legends Mobile on the ROG Phone 6 delivered the solid performance I’ve come to expect from a dedicated gaming phone. Yes, even my iPhone 14 can run the same games I just mentioned. But with the ROG Phone 6, I could see the difference in the graphics and improved responsiveness, all thanks to the display that supports a high refresh rate and the two front-facing speakers, which, by the way, are extremely loud and have ample bass.

A big part of playing on the ROG Phone 6 AirTriggers is the phone’s embedded ultrasonic sensors, which can be mapped to emulate physical buttons. AirTriggers come in handy when playing games like Genshin Impact. I’d also like to mention Armory Crate’s game launcher, which in a way tries to mimic the console’s UI. Essentially, you can use it to customize things, e.g. B. what refresh rate you want the screen to run at and how much you want to boost the performance of the processor, graphics chip, RAM, etc. The ROG Phone 6 has so much going for it that I can hardly scratch it during a week.

observations

The ROG Phone 6 ships with Android 12 with ROG UI & Zen UI. I chose ROG UI, a flashier version with a player-centric UI. The thing about ROG UI is that it lacks responsiveness and sometimes it feels like the Armory Crate app, Game Genie overlay and X mode for gaming performance don’t work in harmony. Asus will offer two OS updates and two years of security updates, which doesn’t bode well when gamers like Samsung are already making four generations of OS upgrades.

ROG Phone 6 camera example. (image scaled down for web)
ROG Phone 6 camera example. (image scaled down for web)
ROG Phone 6 camera example. (image scaled down for web)
ROG Phone 6 camera example. (image scaled down for web)
ROG Phone 6 camera example. (image scaled down for web)

On the camera front, the ROG Phone 6 combines three cameras on the back consisting of a 50-megapixel wide-angle, a 13-megapixel ultrawide, and a 5-megapixel macro lens. The camera quality is average. The images aren’t shabby, but they don’t come close to what my iPhone 14 can take. They didn’t produce the crisp photos and lifelike images with accurate colors, but overall there was no question about the consistency of image quality. If you’re just planning to share ROG Phone 6 photos on Instagram or Facebook and sharpness isn’t such a high priority, you won’t be disappointed.

Should you buy the Asus ROG Phone 6?

Asus’ latest ROG Phone 6 is like a super deluxe version of a smartphone. From a hardware perspective, I think Asus nailed the concept of putting a powerful gaming phone in their pocket. There are many good ideas that went into the development of the ROG Phone 6, such as: B. Creating a “mobile gaming” ecosystem through first-party accessories. But here comes the climax, making it hard for Asus to break the formula of creating the most powerful gaming phone that might have worked for certain consumers in the past. After working on six generations of gaming smartphones, the ROG Phone 6 should have looked like a Steam Deck, a device that successfully brought PC gaming into the handheld form factor.

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