Asus AeroActive Cooler 6 vs Kunai 3: Which should you buy? | Digital Trends

    The Asus ROG Phone 6 is one of the best smartphone made particularly for gaming you will get, however for those who’re actually eager to profit from it — and make video games much more satisfying to play — then Asus has a pair of equipment to tempt you. The new Asus AeroActive Cooler 6 joins an up to date model of the Kunai 3 gamepad, and each carry out fairly completely different duties. Are both value getting?
    What are these ROG Phone 6 equipment?
    The AeroCooler Active 6 is an exterior fan for the ROG Phone 6 and ROG Phone 6 Pro, however in contrast to some earlier variations, it additionally has 4 bodily buttons on the case — able to be mapped to controls in a sport. Additionally, it has a kickstand to carry the cellphone upright, plus an RGB mild array inside. It attaches to the ROG Phone 6 by means of the side-mounted USB Type-C port, and there’s a pass-through port so it may well nonetheless be used to cost or energy the cellphone. It’s value noting the most recent cooler is just for the ROG Phone 6, and former AeroCooler equipment received’t work with it.
    Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
    There are three cooling modes. Basic cooling takes place utilizing the fan solely, Frosty mode will increase the depth and takes energy from the cellphone, whereas the highest Frozen mode requires the AeroActive Cooler 6 to be plugged into an influence supply. Asus says it has the flexibility to scale back floor temperatures by as much as 25 levels centigrade and is greatest suited to individuals who play intensive video games for greater than an hour at a time.
    The Kunai 3 gamepad launched with the ROG Phone 6 is similar because the Kunai 3 controller launched with the ROG Phone 5, however this time it’s accessible in a brand new Moonlight White colour. The modular controller system is paying homage to Nintendo’s Joy-Con controller for the Switch. It’s made up of two controller elements, a central charging part, a separate grip, and a skeleton body made for the ROG Phone 6. It connects to the cellphone with Bluetooth when used by itself, or through USB when the controllers are linked to both aspect of the skeleton body.
    Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
    There are 10 mappable buttons and analog triggers unfold over the back and front of the controllers, two joysticks, and numerous menu buttons on the Kunai 3. There’s even an RGB strip mild on the left controller. It comes with a small carry case that’s appropriate for “Mobility Mode,” the place you forgo utilizing the grip part on the wi-fi controller.
    AeroActive Cooler 6
    Fitting the AeroActive Cooler 6 to the ROG Phone 6 is simple. You pop the highest of the fan by urgent a button, slot it into the side-mounted USB Type-C port, and push the highest part again right down to lock all of it in place. It ought to begin routinely, and its choices are introduced underneath the notification shade. Here, you may flip it on or off, change the RGB lighting mode, and choose the extent of cooling required. However, the AeroActive Cooler 6 is clever and displays the machine’s temperature, prepared to regulate the quantity of cooling required.
    Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
    It’s fairly a beast on the again of the ROG Phone 6, rising the load of the already heavy cellphone to 360 grams, all of which is slung out over the again. It upsets the stability of the cellphone, however worse is that the bodily buttons aren’t all that reachable. It makes them not very comfy to press as a result of they’re set very near the middle of the cellphone after which prolonged out by a few centimeters. Unless you could have fairly giant arms, the buttons shall be awkward. I far most popular utilizing the ROG Phone 6’s shoulder buttons when extra buttons had been required in a sport.
    In Smart mode, the fan does generate some noise, but it surely’s simply ignored. Plug within the ROG Phone 6’s charger to activate the bottom Frozen setting, and together with the velocity and cooling improve comes much more noise. It’s not deafening, but it surely’s significantly extra noticeable.

    If the buttons aren’t actually a promoting level, the cooling had higher actually do its job nicely. To discover out, I ran 3DMark’s Wild Life Extreme Stress Test, which places the cellphone by means of its paces for 20 minutes. First, I attempted this on a unadorned ROG Phone 6 Pro with X Mode lively, then ran the identical take a look at with the AeroActive Cooler 6 fitted. The take a look at is right as a result of the app offers machine temperature knowledge on the finish.
    Without the extra fan, the ROG Phone 6 Pro obtained highly regarded, and when it had accomplished the take a look at, the temperature vary had jumped from 33 levels centigrade to 52 levels centigrade. Furthermore, it lowered the battery from 57% to 43% through the take a look at. After turning the cellphone off and letting it calm down, the take a look at was repeated, this time with the AeroActive Cooler 6 connected in Smart mode and linked to the charger in case it required the power-intensive Frozen mode.
    The temperature vary went from 32 levels to 48 levels, and the decrease most made a substantial distinction to the battery consumption, which fell from 42% to 39%. Looking on the stress take a look at itself — which consists of 4 repeated sections — one of the best rating with out the cooler was 2773, and the bottom was 2543. With the AeroActive Cooler connected, the cellphone recorded a high rating of 2818 and a lowest of 2571.

    3DMark take a look at with out AeroActive Cooler 6 Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

    3DMark take a look at with AeroActive Cooler 6 Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

    Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

    There’s an apparent efficiency distinction with the AeroActive Cooler 6 fitted, but it surely’s not large, and it was solely actually evident when the cellphone was underneath a really excessive stage of load. The AeroActive Cooler 6 is for these individuals who will play extraordinarily power-intensive video games for lengthy intervals of time when it would help with extra efficiency and decrease battery drain. If you solely play easy video games for lower than 30 minutes, you in all probability received’t get a lot profit from the AeroActive Cooler 6.
    Kunai 3 Gamepad
    If the button placement on the AeroActive Cooler 6 is awkward, the button placement on the Kunai 3 gamepad is nearly good, and its design clearly comes from a workforce that understands gaming and related ergonomics. Not solely that, as a result of there are three other ways to make use of the Kunai 3, its versatility makes it appropriate for extra folks. If you don’t discover touchscreens responsive or pure sufficient for severe gaming, that is the gadget for you.
    Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
    Using the Kunai 3 in handheld mode, the place the controllers are connected to the skeleton body, is my private choice. On paper, it’s fairly heavy at 376 grams, however as a result of most of that weight is the cellphone within the center, the stability is superb. You’re free to carry it comfortably and nonetheless use all the various buttons and the 2 joysticks. I discover the sticks to be simply the appropriate peak and to have the correct quantity of motion, too. Mapping the buttons is easy — a swipe within the high left of the display to point out the Game Genie possibility checklist — and it’s straightforward to save lots of your settings for future use.
    The buttons don’t have an enormous quantity of really feel, although, and the rear-mounted and shoulder buttons are clicky and never particularly tactile. They are undoubtedly not as pleasing to make use of as a gaming console controller or the Nintendo Switch Lite. Overall portability can be an issue. The skeleton body doesn’t actually double as a case, so that you received’t need to hold it in your cellphone. And if you wish to use the grip when the controllers are in wi-fi mode, it doesn’t match within the equipped case. The case is only for the wi-fi controllers, the charging dock, and a USB cable.
    In wi-fi mode, the controller feels fairly small if you don’t maintain it with the separate grip, however with it connected, the controller may be very nicely sized and nonetheless very mild at 198 grams. Connecting with Bluetooth is slightly fiddly as you must maintain down the Home button on the controller for a set time frame, however do it for too lengthy, and the controller switches off. I’ve performed Diablo Immortal a number of occasions utilizing the wi-fi controller and haven’t discovered latency to be a difficulty.

    The Kunai 3 controller makes video games extra enjoyable. It’s the accent to purchase for those who’re into video games, however not into gaming to the purpose the place the AeroActive Cooler 6 is smart, in that you simply play quite a bit however not competitively. It matches the ROG Phone 6 completely, it’s nicely made, and feels fairly sturdy, too. Do take into account the kind of video games you play earlier than shopping for it, although, because it’s greatest suited to video games with a number of touchscreen controls and a requirement to make use of an onscreen digital joystick. You received’t get a lot profit for those who largely play less complicated video games.
    Which one to purchase?
    The Kunai 3 provides one other dimension to the ROG Phone 6, turning it right into a extra usable, extra ergonomic, and extra enjoyable gaming machine. The AeroCooler Active 6 improves the ROG Phone 6’s efficiency when taking part in graphically intensive video games for lengthy intervals of time in a single go. They do pair up properly for those who solely intend to make use of the Kunai 3’s wi-fi mode, when the AeroCooler Active 6’s kickstand is available in very helpful to maintain the cellphone upright in entrance of you. But the 2 can’t be used collectively when the skeleton case is connected to the cellphone.
    There’s additionally a distinction in value. The AeroActive Cooler 6 prices 79 British kilos or 90 euros, whereas the Kunai 3 is 106 kilos or 120 euros. Prices for the U.S. launch haven’t been introduced but, however these costs convert over to about $95 for the fan and about $126 for the controller.
    Ultimately, the Kunai 3 has far wider enchantment, and extra folks will get enjoyment from it. Comparatively, the AeroActive Cooler 6 is much extra area of interest and aimed toward hardcore cell players, however for those who suppose you want an extra fan, there’s nothing else fairly prefer it.

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