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Do you even need a gaming phone when handsets like the iPhone 13 Pro Max or Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra are such capable pocket powerhouses? Asus thinks so, and the ROG Phone 6 is its latest attempt at giving you a smartphone by daylight, and handheld console by neon lights of your RGB-lit den.
If you’re not a gamer, then the ROG Phone 6 isn’t for you. It’s that simple. Starting with its design, this phone looks like it could transform into a tiny robot and take over the world; you’ll probably either love it or hate it. We love it.
Both the ROG Phone 6 and 6 Pro get a color screen around the back, a feature that was previously reserved for the Pro version. Also new, the ROG Phone 6 is available in both black and white – the latter looking particularly sleek when matched with the new selection of off-white accessories.
Given that the phone also sounds good and lasts a full day without a midday charge – thanks to its huge 6000mAh battery – it’s safe to say our general impression of the ROG Phone 6 has been an excellent one. That said, it isn’t perfect.
NETWORK Technology GSM / CDMA / HSPA / LTE / 5G 2G bands GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 – SIM 1 & SIM 2 CDMA 800 3G bands HSDPA 800 / 850 / 900 / 1700(AWS) / 1900 / 2100 – Version A, Version C HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1700(AWS) / 1900 / 2100 – Version B 4G bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 32, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 48, 66, 71, – Version A 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 18, 19, 20, 26, 28, 32, 34, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 48 – Version B 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 18, 19, 26, 28, 34, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 48 – Version C 5G bands 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 18, 20, 25, 26, 28, 38, 40, 41, 48, 66, 71, 77, 78, 79 SA/NSA/Sub6 – Version A 1, 3, 7, 8, 20, 28, 38, 40, 41, 77, 78, 79 SA/NSA/Sub6 – Version B 1, 3, 5, 8, 28, 41, 77, 78, 79 SA/NSA/Sub6 – Version C Speed HSPA 42.2/5.76 Mbps, LTE-A (6CA) Cat20 2024/210 Mbps, 5G LAUNCH Announced 2022, July 05 Status Available. Released 2022, July 13 BODY Dimensions 173 x 77 x 10.3 mm (6.81 x 3.03 x 0.41 in) Weight 239 g (8.43 oz) Build Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus), glass back (Gorilla Glass 3), aluminum frame SIM Dual SIM (Nano-SIM, dual stand-by) IPX4 water resistant
Illuminated RGB logo (on the back)
Pressure sensitive zones (Gaming triggers)
DISPLAY Type AMOLED, 1B colors, 165Hz, HDR10+, 800 nits (typ), 1200 nits (peak) Size 6.78 inches, 109.5 cm2 (~82.2% screen-to-body ratio) Resolution 1080 x 2448 pixels (~395 ppi density) Protection Corning Gorilla Glass Victus PLATFORM OS Android 12 Chipset Qualcomm SM8475 Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 (4 nm) CPU Octa-core (1×3.19 GHz Cortex-X2 & 3×2.75 GHz Cortex-A710 & 4×1.80 GHz Cortex-A510) GPU Adreno 730 MEMORY Card slot No Internal 128GB 8GB RAM, 128GB 12GB RAM, 256GB 12GB RAM, 512GB 16GB RAM UFS 3.1
NTFS support for external storage
MAIN CAMERA Triple 50 MP, f/1.9, (wide), 1/1.56″, 1.0µm, PDAF
13 MP, f/2.2, (ultrawide)
5 MP, (macro)
Features LED flash, HDR, panorama Video 8K@24fps, 4K@30/60/120fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps, 720p@480fps; gyro-EIS SELFIE CAMERA Single 12 MP, 28mm (wide) Features Panorama, HDR Video 1080p@30fps SOUND Loudspeaker Yes, with stereo speakers (2 amplifiers) 3.5mm jack Yes 32-bit/384kHz audio COMMS WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e, tri-band, Wi-Fi Direct Bluetooth 5.2, A2DP, LE, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive Positioning GPS (L1+L5), GLONASS (L1), BDS (B1I+B1c+B2a), GALILEO (E1+E5a), QZSS (L1+L5), NavIC (L5) NFC Yes Radio No USB USB Type-C 3.1 (side), USB Type-C 2.0 (bottom), accessory connector, USB On-The-Go FEATURES Sensors Fingerprint (under display, optical), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass BATTERY Type Li-Po 6000 mAh, non-removable Charging 65W wired, PD3.0, QC5, 100% in 42 min (advertised)
10W reverse wired
MISC Colors Phantom Black, Storm White Models AI2201_C, AI2201_F, AI2201-1A030EU Price $ 594.00 / € 1,099.00 / £ 904.99 / C$ 2,249.00
While gaming phone cameras are usually mediocre to bad, the ROG Phone 6‘s is just good enough. This phone is pricey, so it’s natural for us to expect a little more – possibly OIS on the main lens, a bit of telephoto reach or a wide/macro camera with autofocus.
The phone also misses out on wireless charging, which is becoming more ubiquitous, and is something of a must in the ROG Phone 6’s price bracket.
Despite those quibbles, the ROG Phone 6 is still the very best gaming phone you can buy. While it costs more than the Poco F4 GT, it’s more powerful and features a richer accessory suite. The Red Magic 7 and 7 Pro are also cheaper alternatives but lack the polish Asus brings to the table.
Asus ROG Phone 6: price and availability
- Starts at £899 (US price TBC)
- Available in three versions
- Regional availability TBC
The Asus ROG Phone price ranges from high to eye-watering, starting at £899 for the standard version with 256GB storage and 12GB RAM. Alternatively, for £999, you can pick up the phone with 512GB storage and 16GB RAM. If you want to spend even more, the Pro version, which also has 512GB storage, but takes the RAM up to 18GB, – and adds an LED light on the back – costs £1,199. US pricing will be confirmed imminently, so we’ll update this as soon as Asus announces it.
This is the same pricing structure we’ve seen from Asus’s ROG Phone line before – charging more than much of the gaming phone competition but delivering a superior user experience. The Red Magic 7 starts at £529, in contrast, and is a great option for anyone who doesn’t mind a few rough edges. That said, Asus offers more storage at the ROG Phone 6’s starting capacity and a much more refined software experience.
We know the phone’s coming to the UK and will be available from Asus’s online store. Other regions and retailers are yet to be confirmed.
- Value score: 4/5
Asus ROG Phone 6: design
- Striking gaming phone look
- Available in two styles
- Excellent accessory support
As far as gaming phones go, the ROG Phone 6 is one of the more elegant options around with its curved, smooth, pearlesque, frosted glass back, and its rounded metal sides. If you close your eyes while holding it, despite being big, it’s still a comfortable, premium smartphone – nothing too standout. Open your eyes though, and you’ll be sucked into a world of RGB lighting, second-screen action, and Stargate-style glyphs.
Measuring 173 x 77 x 10.3mm, the ROG Phone 6 is a tall, relatively narrow thing that’s thicker than most smartphones, but doesn’t quite feel unwieldy. At 239g, it’s one of the heaviest phones on the scene, with the iPhone 13 Pro Max weighing just one gram more at 240g.
The curvy, frosty back and matte sides do make the ROG Phone 6 feel rich and alluring, but it is pretty slippery, so you’ll want to put a case on as soon as you start using it. Luckily, in the box, you get a lightweight, hard plastic shell that protects the corners and adds a little extra grip.
The ROG Phone’s screen is protected by Gorilla Glass Victus, and while the phone doesn’t sport IP68 water or dust resistance, it’s the first gaming phone with IPX4 splash-resistant certification. As for color options, the standard ROG Phone 6 is available in Phantom Black and Storm White, while the 6 Pro is available exclusively in Storm White.
Dotted around the curved metal frame of the ROG Phone 6 are more ports than we’re used to seeing. In addition to the 3.5mm headphone jack – a unicorn by today’s high-end smartphone standards – there’s a second USB port on the side of the phone. This is for accessories, like the dock and fan, but also makes for a comfortable charging option when gaming in landscape orientation.
Asus doesn’t install a pre-fitted screen protector on the phone, but does offer up an official option as a separate purchase. We had no issues with the in-display fingerprint scanner, and also set the phone’s face unlock up to ensure we could get into it quickly.
The most standout design highlight of the ROG Phone 6 is definitely on the back. Sprinkled among a bunch of etchings and visual flourishes – as well as a confident, angular camera bump – is an OLED screen. This is horizontal on the Pro model, pictured above, and pitched at an angle on the standard ROG Phone 6.
More than just a flashy highlight for gamers, Asus adds some utility to the second screen. It can display your notification icons, and battery capacity while charging. Really though, who are we kidding? This thing is totally unnecessary – pure indulgence and we’re more than okay with that.
Asus ROG Phone 6 scorecard
|Design||Love it or hate it, the premium finish and gaming phone highlights make the ROG Phone 6 a standout in its category.||4.5/5|
|Display||While the ROG Phone 6’s screen isn’t the sharpest around, it’s exactly where it needs to be for a gaming phone, and the image quality and brightness are on point.||4.5/5|
|Performance||Asus is the first to market with Qualcomm’s latest processor, which, matched with effective cooling ensures performance, whether gaming or simply using your phone is excellent.||5/5|
|Camera||The ROG Phone’s weakest area is its camera, despite improvements over its predecessor. Nevertheless, the main camera still impresses with good looking photos and videos.||3.5/5|
|Battery||With a bigger battery than the most smartphones and fast charging, it’s little wonder the ROG Phone 6’s battery impressed us. The only thing missing is wireless charging.||5/5|
|Software||Asus has finetuned its gaming software to near-perfection over the years, and the latest iteration is stellar. We also like the dialled back theme that feels more stock.||4.5/5|
|Value||While you can get a better camera phone for less, the ROG Phone 5 is the best gaming phone around, and that helps justify its confident, but not unreasonable price.|