Gaming telephones have come a really good distance from its origins within the likes of the Nokia N-Gage, the very first gaming-focused telephone. Today, maybe probably the most well-known gaming smartphone line is in fact the Asus ROG Telephone collection of smartphones. It definitely helped that Asus has a historical past of constructing efficiency elements for the PC gaming scene, making the swap to cellular for his or her ROG model simple sufficient.
We’re now six generations into the ROG Telephone collection—they skipped the ROG Telephone 4, however refreshed the ROG Telephone 5 collection with the ROG Telephone 5s—however they continue to be principally a smartphone for a distinct segment demographic. Cell players know and love the ROG Telephone model certain, however for the typical consumer, the ROG Telephone isn’t usually on their shortlist of gadgets. Of us in search of a flagship smartphone would like your typical choices just like the iPhone 13 or the Galaxy S22 earlier than a gaming smartphone.
However I urge to vary: I do suppose the ROG Telephone 6 and ROG Telephone 6 Professional are gaming smartphones that ordinary customers ought to at the very least placed on their shortlist.
You may inform it’s a ‘gaming’ smartphone
Look, I like video games as a lot as the subsequent gamer, and sure, my very own gaming PC has RGB lights in it too. However I used to be by no means actually a fan of RGB lights on my smartphone, like it’s on the ROG Telephone 6. Besides as a result of we’ve the ROG Telephone 6 Professional reasonably than the non-Professional mannequin, it doesn’t have RGB lights on the again. As a substitute, like most gaming setups, the ROG Telephone 6 Professional has a *cough* “dual-screen” setup, with the RGB ROG emblem changed with a tiny ROG Imaginative and prescient PMOLED show.
I’m going to be trustworthy right here and simply say that I’m not an enormous fan of the gaudy design right here. I like my telephone designs easy and smooth. The ROG Telephone 6 Professional collection although comes with a cyberpunk-meets-gamer aesthetic, which inserts the ROG persona like a glove however is simply too edgy for even me to love it. Its second show on the again will mild up if you activate the show, and you’ll customise it to point out off different issues too like time or notifications, however it comes off as a gimmick to me greater than anything.
On prime of that, it is a enormous smartphone, however you in all probability already knew that. Weighing in at 239g, and measuring 173 x 77 x 10.4mm, it dwarves even the Samsung Galaxy S22 Extremely and Apple iPhone 13 Professional Max, each of which I’ve beforehand nitpicked about being slightly too chunky prior to now. You’re additionally going to need to take care of a a lot bigger and extra pronounced digicam bump on the rear in comparison with its predecessor. On the very least, construct high quality feels good, and whereas it doesn’t really feel premium it does really feel strong and durable. Corning Gorilla Glass Victus on the entrance and Gorilla Glass 3 on the rear are good additions for scratch resistance too, although I have to say the IPX4 ranking actually isn’t a lot, even when Asus tried to promote it because the ‘world’s first splash resistant gaming telephone’.
However in fact, there’s motive behind the scale of the ROG Telephone 6 Professional; it’s not meant to be the smooth, minimalist compact smartphone no. As a substitute, it’s all about efficiency, and when speaking efficiency larger is all the time higher…. proper?
This child goes as much as eleven
After I first took the Galaxy S22 Extremely for a spin some time again, there was a little bit of a slight disappointment with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, attributable to underwhelming efficiency and a few thermal points too. Nicely, I’m joyful to see that with the ROG Telephone 6 Professional packing the improved, TSMC-made Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 along with an absurd 18GB of LPDDR5 RAM, efficiency appears to be slightly higher however thermals are a lot, significantly better.
First up, some fast benchmark numbers. In Geekbench 5, the ROG Telephone 6 Professional scores a really spectacular single core rating of 1277 and a multi core rating of 4,070. That beats the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1-powered Lenovo Legion Y90 on the Geekbench charts by fairly a mile, which received a single core rating of 1,186 and a multi core rating of three,471. The ROG Telephone 6 Professional wasn’t performed but although, because it has a secret trick known as X-Mode. Basically, you possibly can activate the X-Mode profile within the telephone’s settings for extra energy, in comparison with the balanced Dynamic setting. Utilizing X-Mode pushes its benchmark scores even greater, to 1,312 and 4,120 in single core and multi core respectively.
In fact, it’s not all about artificial benchmarks. In actual world conditions, the ROG Telephone 6 Professional hardly breaks a sweat in on a regular basis utilization, preserving issues working easily on a regular basis when texting, working, searching the net and streaming movies, generally all on the identical time. There’s little to no fear about any efficiency throttling when you’re simply utilizing it as a daily ol’ smartphone.
In video games in the meantime, the knob goes as much as eleven with the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 in a position to deal with the video games I threw at it, be it less complicated titles like Hearthstone and Magic the Gathering: Enviornment, to quick paced shooters like Apex Legends Cell in addition to racing video games like GRID: Autosport. I might crank the graphics settings to the utmost normally and it’ll deal with it simply nice, although Apex Legends did see occasional FPS drops to 40 at instances. However once more, for probably the most half it’ll run simply nice, with a sure caveat.
See, Asus additionally offered us with their new AeroActive Cooler 6 along with the ROG Telephone 6 Professional, and I’ve to say, with it hooked up it really works like a allure. Temperatures by no means actually break previous the 40°C mark and saved efficiency good and spiffy. The AeroActive Cooler 6 additionally doesn’t want any exterior energy to work, as a substitute plugging into the secondary USB-C port on the aspect of the telephone and sapping juice from there. There’s three settings with the AeroActive Cooler 6, Cooling, Frosty and Frozen. The primary simply has a fan spinning, whereas Frosty makes use of a thermoelectric Peltier module to chill the ROG Telephone 6 Professional. Frozen in the meantime is just out there when the telephone is plugged in, and ramps up the cooling much more.
Usually talking, I didn’t actually see a necessity to truly use the AeroActive Cooler 6 for a fast spherical of MTGA or two; temps by no means rose to any worrying diploma. Nevertheless, it turns into rather more helpful when enjoying useful resource intensive video games like Apex Legends for an extended session. With out it, temperatures often would spike a lot greater, and generally results in small drops in FPS numbers. The AeroActive Cooler 6 additionally has a reasonably cool occasion trick of including 4 bodily triggers that may be assigned to sure actions in video games.
Nevertheless, I seldom used it, as a substitute preferring to make use of the Air Triggers on the aspect of the gadget, that are mainly contact delicate areas the place shoulder buttons could be on a gamepad. They work simply nice, and I’m not too bothered by an absence of a built-in bodily button as different cellular players within the workplace are. I did discover having to arrange the AirTriggers slightly troublesome although. There’s gyroscopic management too, however I didn’t prefer it as I discover nice controls when aiming not simple with it. After I do wish to use bodily buttons, I can simply use the ROG Kunai 3 Gamepad which may also be configured with the ROG Telephone 6 to develop into a Nintendo Change-like handheld console.
I don’t actually just like the Kunai 3 Gamepad in that configuration although, because the rails holding the joysticks aren’t very safe and feels prefer it might break if I by accident put an excessive amount of pressure on it. The buttons themselves are first rate sufficient, however the triggers have been fairly mushy and felt low-cost in comparison with an actual Xbox controller. When you have been planning to get both the AeroActive Cooler 6 or the Kunai 3 Gamepad, you’re significantly better off with the cooler because it not solely retains the ROG Telephone 6 Professional working cooler for longer, however gives the aforementioned 4 bodily buttons too.
As for battery life, the Asus ROG Telephone 6 Professional has a 6,000mAh battery, which mixed with the extra environment friendly Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 results in some very spectacular battery life. In my common utilization with about 60% brightness and 6 to seven hours of display screen time, I managed to get a day and a half of use, and I in all probability might have eeked out as much as two days of battery life if I tweaked the settings and used the telephone much less. Nevertheless, utilizing the upper efficiency modes will drain your battery life, particularly with the AeroActive Cooler 6 hooked up. I misplaced about 20% of battery after about 45 minutes of GRID: Autosport, utilizing each the cooler and the gamepad in a Change-style setup and with the efficiency mode set to the very best.
Poor long run software program assist
As for software program, the ROG Telephone 6 Professional comes with Android 12 out of the field, and you’ll select to both have the extra standard Zen UI or the extra gamer-focused ROG UI. Being an ROG smartphone, I felt it was extra acceptable to run with ROG UI in order that’s what I went with. No matter which one you find yourself utilizing, you’ll nonetheless be greeted with a principally inventory Android expertise right here, although you do get some pre-installed apps in addition to Asus’ suite of gaming instruments similar to Armoury Crate and Recreation Genie, the previous of which helps you to configure your video games, settings, setups, profiles and extra whereas the latter acts as an overlay for settings when you’re in-game.
They’re really a reasonably strong suite of instruments to have round, permitting me to change between modes and arrange macros in sport for Air Triggers and the like, in addition to monitor temps, CPU and GPU utilization in addition to the present FPS. If there’s one factor to complain about them although is that it took some time to truly determine how one can use it, with a UI that may get slightly overwhelming the primary time you boot it up.
Nevertheless, the largest criticism I’ve concerning the software program on the ROG Telephone 6 Professional although is the virtually pathetic assist Asus are guaranteeing right here. In a time the place rivals similar to Samsung are in a position to provide as much as 4 main Android OS upgrades and as much as 5 years of safety patches as nicely for his or her flagship smartphones, it’s fairly a disgrace to see Asus solely guaranteeing at the very least two main Android OS upgrades and two years of safety updates on the ROG Telephone 6 Professional. Heck, even the midrange Telephone (1) is getting at the very least three main Android OS upgrades from Nothing, they usually’re tiny in comparison with the tech large that’s Asus.
Notch haters, right here’s one thing to like
Do you hate notches? Dislike entrance digicam cutouts? The ROG Telephone 6 Professional ought to in all probability be in your shortlist on your subsequent smartphone then, because it comes with a notch-free 6.78-inch, FHD+ AMOLED show, with a ridiculous 165Hz refresh fee, a 720Hz contact sampling fee and a 23ms contact latency, guaranteeing that the display screen can detect any inputs each 1.4ms. It will get fairly shiny too, reaching a peak brightness of 1200nits, with a typical brightness of 800nits.
Due to the sheer measurement of the show coupled with the 1080p decision, it really isn’t as sharp as the opposite huge telephones such because the Galaxy S22 Extremely or iPhone 13 Professional Max, coming in with a pixel density of simply 395ppi. I can kinda see the pixels if I actually attempt to, however realistically if you’re simply scrolling about or enjoying video games, it’s hardly noticeable. The massive measurement and the shortage of a notch or cutout does imply although that it’s a good way to observe content material on the go as there received’t be one thing in the best way.
What the show lacks in sharpness, it makes up for in velocity. The 165Hz refresh fee implies that it’s simply tremendous easy even if you’re utilizing it as a daily smartphone. It’s price mentioning although that I solely received to check out the total 165Hz within the few variety of video games that may really assist that, similar to Hill Climb Racing, Brawl Stars and Stick Struggle, the total record of which you’ll see on the Armoury Crate instrument. The identical web page on Armoury Crate can even let you know which video games can do a most of 144Hz and 120Hz refresh charges too.
One odd factor I seen although was that with out the AeroActive Cooler 6 hooked up, the utmost refresh fee you will get in sport is simply 144Hz, even if you’re on X Mode. To really push that 165Hz refresh fee, you’ll have to get the AeroActive Cooler 6 hooked up and turned on with the ROG Telephone 6 Professional; it appears virtually disingenuous that the total refresh fee of the show may be achieved solely by buying the extra accent that prices an additional RM349.
As for the audio on the ROG Telephone 6 Professional, Asus has performed a bang up job right here. There’s a pair of front-facing stereo audio system with Dirac HD Sound they usually’re excellent certainly, with a large and wealthy sound stage to it. They get loud sufficient to replenish a room, and have a strong quantity of oomph to them too when the bass kicks in. It’s additionally the truth that they’re front-facing that maybe helps them stand out from different flagship smartphones. The sound is hitting you proper the place it counts in a balanced method, reasonably than having one speaker shoot audio from the underside of the smartphone and one other from the earpiece. Additionally, there’s a 3.5mm audio jack which I used to be tremendous joyful to see nonetheless.
One other facet the place I believe Asus have knocked it out of the park with the ROG Telephone 6 Professional is the haptics. In response to Asus, the ROG Telephone 6 collection incorporates a new ‘high-end X-axis vibration motor’, with stronger and deeper rumbles all whereas utilizing much less energy too. It’s not one thing that usually will get marketed by producers as haptics isn’t one thing that customers usually search for on a spec sheet. As such, loads of the bang-for-buck smartphones I’ve beforehand used are likely to have fairly unhealthy haptics, and so I’d usually instantly flip off vibrations throughout the system barring telephone calls.
The ROG Telephone 6 Professional although has such phenomenal feeling haptics and vibrations that I mainly left it as it’s, which is probably the most effective praise I can provide with regards to haptics. You may actually really feel each little bump and shake as you progress and shoot in-game, and even simply the delicate but comfy little vibrations if you kind utilizing the keyboard.
The cameras are… really not unhealthy?
Shifting on to the digicam division, and I’ll admit, virtually instantly I assumed that they weren’t going to be any good. I imply, it’s a gaming smartphone proper? Certainly Asus didn’t trouble with making the cameras that good proper? Even through the press briefing for the launch of the gadget, they solely gave the cameras like, a second of consideration, in comparison with the hours it felt like they took to speak concerning the efficiency of ROG Telephone 6 collection.
The ROG Telephone 6 Professional (together with its non-Professional siblings) comes with a triple rear digicam setup, packing a principal 50MP shooter along with a 13MP ultrawide angle lens and a 5MP macro digicam, in addition to a 12MP selfie digicam up entrance. That principal digicam by the best way is utilizing the identical Sony IMX766 sensor discovered in lots of different top-end smartphones, such because the Realme GT 2 Professional, Xiaomi 12 and the Oppo Discover X5 Professional.
The outcome? Some fairly first rate pictures capabilities for a gaming smartphone, with the ROG Telephone 6 Professional in a position to ship in most eventualities. I’m joyful to say that the images taken are literally not that unhealthy, to me anyhow. I imply certain, it’s no Samsung Galaxy S22 Extremely or Apple iPhone 13 Professional Max, however for a function that’s maybe not designed to be its sturdy level, the ROG Telephone 6 Professional nonetheless managed to carry it’s personal, and is probably going higher than the opposite gaming smartphones round.
Photographs are crisp sufficient, with little noise and don’t have overblown highlights on them. It doesn’t all the time work out brilliantly although—low mild photographs battle slightly, the ultrawide digicam is weaker than the principle digicam and the portrait mode generally will get the bokeh incorrect too. However, it’s nonetheless a surprisingly succesful little shooter, and with most individuals maybe not likely contemplating the cameras’ efficiency when wanting on the ROG Telephone 6 collection, you may simply be stunned by how nicely they end up.
The ROG Telephone 6 Professional is greater than only a gaming smartphone
Coming into this assessment, I had no doubts concerning the ROG Telephone 6 Professional with regards to efficiency and gaming. Nevertheless, what I used to be uncertain about was whether or not it might be smartphone basically, and in that regard I’m really fairly happy with the way it turned out.
It might generally really feel like a little bit of a disgrace that it’s been labelled as a ‘gaming smartphone’, as a result of it’s greater than that. When you’re somebody who might not essentially play loads of video games on the go, however nonetheless need options like an excellent battery, the most effective efficiency and first rate audio system, the ROG Telephone 6 ought to at the very least nonetheless be in your shortlist.
I imply, you possibly can all the time flip off the lighting on the again and tack on a case, plus you can too swap the theme from ROG UI to the sleeker, less complicated and near-stock Zen UI (although sadly restricted to 2 Android OS upgrades). The cameras on it are significantly better than gaming telephones of the previous too, and the display screen whereas not the sharpest remains to be huge and shiny. The haptics on them are additionally among the many finest I’ve ever used on a smartphone. And there’s even a 3.5mm headphone jack!
And but, with all that being stated, I don’t suppose you should purchase it. The ROG Telephone 6 Professional’s best drawback? The ROG Telephone 6.
Let me clarify myself a bit extra right here. Mainly, if you evaluate the ROG Telephone 6 and the ROG Telephone 6 Professional, there’s truthfully nothing vital sufficient to justify getting the ‘Professional’ mannequin. Not like the ‘Professional’ fashions within the iPhone 13 or Pixel 6 collection for instance, the ROG Telephone 6 Professional doesn’t provide extra cameras, a better refresh fee or a much bigger show. As a substitute, the one actual distinction between the 2 siblings within the ROG Telephone 6 collection is actually simply the ROG Imaginative and prescient PMOLED show on the again of the telephone, reasonably than an illuminated ROG emblem in addition to 18GB of RAM reasonably than a restrict of 16GB of RAM.
That truthfully doesn’t make the ROG Telephone 6 Professional extra interesting than the ROG Telephone 6, particularly if you check out how a lot they’re going for:
- ROG Telephone 6, 12GB RAM, 256GB storage – RM3,599
- ROG Telephone 6, 16GB RAM, 512GB storage – RM4,399
- ROG Telephone 6 Professional, 18GB RAM, 512GB storage – RM4,999
Is an extra “show” and two extra gigabytes of RAM actually price an additional RM600? I don’t suppose so. In actual fact, the best choice amongst these three is definitely the bottom mannequin, which for RM3,599 even undercuts the Black Shark 5 Professional, arguably its closest rival within the gaming smartphone scene.
You’re nonetheless getting 12GB of RAM on the bottom mannequin ROG Telephone 6 which is greater than sufficient for maybe even probably the most hardcore of players, and 256GB will seemingly be sufficient when you aren’t planning to put in north of fifty video games right here. In fact, the equipment are bought individually with the AeroActive Cooler 6 priced at RM349 and the ROG Kunai 3 Gamepad costing RM499.
And as for the Black Shark 5 Professional, the one debatable power it has over the ROG Telephone 6 is that it incorporates a pair of retractable bodily buttons on the appropriate aspect of the gadget, which you’ll pop up by way of a pair of switches alongside it. Our colleague Najib even swears by it, preferring it over the Air Triggers on the ROG Telephone 6 collection. Nevertheless, it doesn’t have the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 beneath the hood, as a substitute solely coming with the vanilla Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, and can value you a bit extra too beginning at RM3,699. We’ve in contrast these two gadgets in additional element earlier than already, so when you’re you possibly can click on right here to learn extra.
My level is that, for what it’s definitely worth the ROG Telephone 6 appears to be hitting the entire key factors that many on the market need in a smartphone. To me, it’s not only a good gaming smartphone, however smartphone basically, and one which I believe each cellular players and energy customers might take pleasure in utilizing fairly a bit.