It hardly gets better than this

Asus hasn’t given up on the phone front, and this time it’s the Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro that we’re going to take a closer look at. I have previously tested both the ROG Phone 5 and 5s Pro, and have been very satisfied with both phones.

Now a new version comes with further updates, and Asus once again promises us a gaming phone that no one else can match. A phone that sells primarily for gaming might scare some, but the previous versions have shown that this is far from a narrow niche phone.

Design

The new ROG Phone 6 Pro is more or less completely identical in size and design to the ROG Phone 5 series. 17.3 x 7.7 cm large, 239 grams and 1 cm thick. It is slightly longer than competing models from other manufacturers, without it being particularly noticeable.

Almost identical to its predecessor.

Gøran Solbakken/Gamer.no

The design itself is probably what differs the most from the others, with a slightly gaudy “gaming” design that I would very much like to see Asus move away from. The 6 Pro has a white and glossy back, with an extra screen we’ve seen previously on the 5s and 5s Pro. This screen is a notch better now, it can show a bit more useful information, but basically it is more or less useless in everyday life. The front of the phone is sleek, with a smart letterbox around the screen that makes it easy to hold. It’s the back that I’m not quite comfortable with.

Beyond this, the phone is similar to its predecessor, with charging ports and connectivity options in exactly the same places. There is still the ability to charge both standing and in landscape mode which is so smart, and being able to connect additional equipment and charge the phone at the same time. This still works great, and I’m just as amazed as last time that other manufacturers haven’t copied Asus here.

The Air Triggers are still in place, and have received a few more functions since the previous generation. They cope with several different movements, and can be used for quite a lot of different things. You can decide and you want to start different apps with a swipe or to squeeze the phone, or if you want to activate something else on. They are more precise and easier to use in games compared to previous phones.

Battery

There are also no big changes when it comes to the battery. The phone still has a 6000 mAh battery divided into two battery cells placed at each end. The standby time is over 100 hours when the phone is in minimal use, while it lasts for approximately two days in varied daily use. This is of course completely dependent on the use. A 1 hour 40 minute movie at 80% screen brightness took 13% battery capacity, as an example.

Not a design everyone will like.

Gøran Solbakken/Gamer.no

Perhaps the most impressive thing about the battery is the charging. From discharged to 50% it took only 16 minutes, which is very impressive. Up to full charge takes 42 minutes, which is significantly faster than other mobiles I have tested.

The charging is thus optimized even a little better on the 6 Pro, as it is noticeably faster, and there is almost a 20 minute difference from discharged to fully charged. But half an hour’s charging is still quite similar on the two models.

Screen

There is a 6.78″ AMOLED screen in the ROG Phone 6 Pro, more or less identical to the previous phone. It has been upgraded slightly to a refresh rate of 165 hertz, which is a notch sharper than the 5s Pro, and most other phones on the market.

The screen has also gained stronger brightness, but still lags a little behind the very best on this particular front. Overall, the screen is very good anyway. It supports HDR10+, and with the smart automatic frame rate adjustment from the phone’s software, it’s a joy to use.

Watching feature films or YouTube runs like clockwork, and daily use is problem-free. The high refresh rate is of course best felt during gaming, but also in daily use it helps ensure that all actions taken on the phone take place without delays.

Fits true to size (for me at least)

Gøran Solbakken/Gamer.no

The touch frequency (how fast the phone detects and processes touches) has been further improved to 720 hertz, compared to 320 hertz on the 5s Pro, and with these numbers we’re starting to approach something akin to zero lag on tap. The phone has a very good, tactile feeling when pressed, which contributes to a particularly flexible and delay-free feeling when in use.

Asus has made a compromise to reach all these numbers, and that is that the resolution is still 2448 x 1080. Many competing models have a higher resolution, but are then weaker in some of the things that the ROG 6 Pro is good at. I haven’t missed the extra pixels, and this is precisely what I think is a good trade-off between performance and resolution on the part of the developer.

Antutu benchmark

Gøran Solbakken/Gamer.no

Performance

Performance is perhaps the most important thing when it comes to a so-called gaming phone, and here Asus impresses greatly. Both the processor and the display unit have been upgraded, and the new Snapdragon 8+ gen 1 delivers a pretty solid performance compared to previous versions. Together with a full 18GB of LPDDR5 memory, it provides a phone that never struggles to solve even the heaviest tasks or games.

All in all, performance increases somewhere between 10-20 percent, somewhat depending on what you test and where. Graphics-intensive games such as Apex Legends, Diablo Immortal or Genshin Impact are run at maximum without significant problems. And with so much memory, you can seamlessly jump between games and other apps without sacrificing performance.

Asus has also improved the cooling in the 6 Pro, which is both, and feels, cooler than its predecessor. None of the games mentioned got the phone over 60 degrees during an hour of play in each game. Both the iPhone and 5s Pro are significantly warmer after shorter gaming sessions than this.

Geekbench

Gøran Solbakken/Gamer.no

If you also throw on the Aero Active cooler that comes with the phone (for a limited time), temperatures drop by 10-15 degrees almost without exception. This sits around the phone in landscape mode, comes with extra buttons you can use in games and cools your hands while gaming. The only downside is that it makes a bit of noise, but that’s almost to be expected from an external fan like this.

All in all, the ROG Phone 6 Pro shows particularly impressive performance figures, while also working excellently in practice. This is the biggest improvement Asus has made to its phones in a long time, and it is noticeable that this is simply a better phone.

Conclusion

The Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro is the best phone I’ve tested from Asus. There is very little to complain about, both in terms of daily use, but especially in terms of gaming.

Software, optimization of gaming profiles and everything that comes with the ROG Phone works as well as before. The design is a bit gaudy for my taste, but the functions are good and you can customize almost anything you want.

The performance has been greatly improved, and is among the very fastest and best you get on phones today. We’re talking up to 20% better performance compared to the previous generation, which is a noticeable step up. In addition to this, it stays cooler than any other phone I’ve tested, even without the Aero Active cooler.

In the middle of the heather.

Gøran Solbakken/Gamer.no

The screen may not have the highest resolution, but in return you get a panel with a refresh rate of 165 hertz and a lightning-fast touchscreen with the best tactile feeling I’ve ever known on an Android phone.

The big minus for many will probably be the camera in the phone, which is where Asus has made the biggest compromise compared to other manufacturers. It’s more than good enough to give you good pictures, but if camera and picture quality is what you’re primarily looking for in a phone, then this isn’t the phone for you.

All in all, the Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro is a superb phone. This time I’m pretty sure they can stand to call this the very best gaming phone on the market, and if you come across a slightly “tacky” design and don’t want the best camera, then this is a very good choice regardless of use.

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