Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro: $1,300 Phone Maxes Out Everything but the Camera

    The Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro is a $1,300 gaming telephone behemoth. Released final summer time, the telephone justifies its excessive value with extra premium specs that provide extra energy and magnificence than the common telephone. This consists of the telephone’s 6.78-inch OLED show with a 165Hz refresh price, a 6,000mAh battery and a colourful second LED show on the again that provides a dynamic look to the rear of the telephone.I’ve been utilizing the Phone 6 Pro for the previous couple of months — testing it each as a gaming gadget and as an on a regular basis telephone. While I largely get pleasure from utilizing the Phone 6 Pro, a number of the selections Asus made for players don’t essentially profit a mainstream telephone consumer. There are some design quirks, and the digital camera is not as spectacular appropriately for such an costly gadget. It’s additionally lacking wi-fi charging, which is probably not a necessity however is taken into account frequent on most telephones. 

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    Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro: A Gaming Phone With Lots of Style


    But if you happen to can solid apart these shortcomings, the Phone 6 Pro has a lot of options that might find yourself on a future iPhone or Galaxy gadget. Asus additionally succeeds at catering to those that wish to get probably the most out of their telephone as a gaming gadget. The Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro has a rear LED show that lights up with varied animations and notification icons.
    Mike Sorrentino/CNET
    A futuristic design highlighted by a rear LED showThe Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro’s design makes an announcement. My evaluate unit is a satellite-like white colour that is adorned with blue accents and a black line that diagonally traces round its LED show. That rear show jogs my memory of the notification LED that I used to see on BlackBerry telephones, however advanced into one thing extra like the duvet display on a Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4. The show reveals icons for notifications, a Game Start animation (for while you begin a sport in fact), a battery indicator and different animations that you just customise inside the telephone’s settings. A static LED that outlines the phrases “Ready to Play” can be on the again of the gadget to actually emphasize that this can be a gaming telephone. The colour of that textual content could be personalized from inside the menus.I might like to see different telephones experiment with extra inventive colours and designs like Asus. The midrange Nothing Phone 1 is already doing one thing comparable with its Glyph LED design. For now, the closest most mainstream telephones get to customization is while you throw on a pores and skin or case.Yet one other design alternative to put the telephone’s front-facing digital camera in a bezel above the telephone’s show is smart with a view to present an uninterrupted display, however that alternative is a reasonably dated concept for a telephone this costly. This makes the telephone a little bit bit taller than the show, which harks again to older designs like 2018’s Samsung Galaxy S9. Gaming telephone rival RedMagic now makes use of an under-display front-facing digital camera, beginning with its 7S Pro, however picture high quality remains to be a piece in progress on telephones giving {that a} attempt. The Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro has a 6.78-inch display, and chooses to place the front-facing digital camera inside a bezel above the show.
    Mike Sorrentino/CNET
    Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro’s display animates and reacts quickAs one would anticipate with an costly telephone, the Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro’s 6.78-inch OLED appeared nice it doesn’t matter what kind of content material I used to be viewing. By default, it makes use of an automated refresh price that modifications relying on what you are utilizing. After turning on the setting that retains it at 165Hz always, I used to be in a position to get pleasure from extraordinarily clean scrolling, gaming animations and studying. While Marvel Snap maxes at 60 frames per second, the cardboard sport appeared to animate particularly nicely with all of its graphics settings turned on. The identical goes for rapidly leaping out and in of Gameloft’s Modern Combat 5 and Warner Bros.’ Mortal Kombat — the latter of which natively helps the 165Hz refresh price.The display additionally has a 720Hz contact sampling price, or how rapidly the display reacts to faucets and scrolls for video games. In my expertise, that is notably helpful for first-person shooters and combating video games.This is not the primary time I’ve seen a 165Hz refresh price or a 720Hz contact sampling price; final yr’s $629 RedMagic 7 telephone additionally consists of these options. But options like these are beginning to make their means into extra mainstream gadgets at decrease costs. Motorola’s $500 Edge telephone from final summer time, as an example, has a show with a 144Hz refresh price. I’m anticipating these larger body charges to proceed reaching mainstream telephones and maybe pushing even larger on gaming telephones, a development that we’re additionally seeing on some televisions and pc screens.The 720Hz price remains to be largely discovered on gaming telephones, however the Samsung Galaxy S23 does have a 240Hz contact sampling price that’s greater than sufficient exterior the aggressive gaming area.Two front-facing audio system are positioned across the show, which is particularly helpful because it’s much less possible that your fingers will cowl them whereas taking part in video games. Plus, the telephone has a wired headphone jack, making it one of many only a few telephones to nonetheless embrace the port. Having the choice makes a variety of sense, because it permits for hardwiring into the telephone for audio whereas utilizing the USB-C port for charging. A second USB-C port on the telephone can be obtainable for equipment.Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro has one of many greatest batteries I’ve seenThe Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro packs one of many largest batteries I’ve seen on a telephone, with a 6,000mAh capability. The closest we have in any other case seen in available telephones just like the Galaxy S23 Ultra is 5,000mAh. Even after I cranked up the refresh price to 165Hz and turned on the telephone’s always-on show, I made it by a complete day or two with a single cost pretty simply. I didn’t run all of CNET’s battery benchmarks on the Phone 6 Pro, however between the massive capability and assist for 65W quick charging, getting the telephone by a day is not a difficulty.Additional battery life could be very prone to make its means into extra mainstream telephones finally, however at present sooner charging already is on the market in telephones just like the OnePlus 11 5G. That telephone gives 100W charging within the UK and 80W charging within the US.Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro’s 18GB of RAM is overkillThe telephone additionally consists of 512GB of area alongside a daft 18GB of LPDDR5 RAM. Multitasking is a breeze, because it’s in a position to deal with a number of apps on the identical time with out lagging in any respect if I swapped rapidly between them. Games themselves load rapidly too, thanks partially to the now previous-gen Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor. Hopping right into a sport, texting, after which launching an internet site earlier than returning to the sport is straightforward and quick. Whenever I take advantage of a gaming telephone just like the Phone 6 Pro, having this a lot RAM alongside a quick processor permits me to enter a sport’s settings menu and crank up each graphics setting attainable, with little fear that it may damage the efficiency of the title. It’s value noting that 2023 mainstream telephones just like the Galaxy S23 and gaming telephones just like the RedMagic 8 Pro are together with the brand new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, each of which arrived after the ROG Phone 6 Pro.The great amount of RAM can be one of many areas the place the telephone’s excessive value is sort of apparent. It is frequent for telephones just like the iPhone 14 Pro or the Galaxy S23 Plus to incorporate a 512GB storage tier on the $1,300 value vary, however incorporating 18GB of RAM could be very uncommon. By comparability, that is extra RAM than most computer systems at the same value vary embrace.That mentioned, the sheer quantity of RAM included within the telephone does present that whereas the Phone 6 Pro spares no expense on specs that assist it run quick. It as a substitute cuts corners on images, which runs fairly counter to what we usually see on the mainstream aspect of the telephone business.Gaming focus comes on the expense of the camerasWhen it involves the telephone’s cameras, photographs are usually a weak level regardless of the inclusion of a 50-megapixel principal digital camera, a 13-megapixel ultrawide digital camera and a 5-megapixel macro digital camera. Beef pho noodle bowl photograph captured on the Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro.
    Mike Sorrentino/CNET
    I took photographs in a number of indoor settings, together with throughout a tour of Samsung’s just lately reopened 837 retailer in New York and through a nighttime ice skating session. Ice skating photograph taken on the Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro.
    Sean Keane/CNET
    The photographs are good, however they are not $1,300 telephone good.
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    See all photographs

    I do know this can be a “gaming phone” and never a “camera phone,” however I nonetheless anticipated extra from such a dear gadget. Most telephones on this value vary assist extra colours and element, utilizing a mix of a high-quality digital camera and software program to deliver out probably the most of a photograph in quite a lot of conditions. Yet the dearth of focus on this space is comprehensible when contemplating how a rear digital camera hardly ever ever turns into part of most cell phone video games. If digital camera high quality is your concern, contemplate a Galaxy S23 Ultra, Pixel 7 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Max.Asus customizations do not overwhelm AndroidThe Phone 6 Pro, which obtained the replace to Android 13 throughout my time with it, has the correct amount of software program customization choices. The tweaks made by Asus have been noticeable, however did not get in my means when utilizing the gadget.  The telephone defaults to darkish mode, which higher compliments a number of the Asus settings discovered within the firm’s Armoury Crate app. This app permits you to make changes to the LED show and sport efficiency. I admire the separation, as generally a telephone’s settings menu can turn out to be overwhelming with choices from each Android 13 and the gadget maker’s particular choices. I might, nevertheless, admire some shortcuts from the gadget settings menu that deliver you to the Asus app. There have been some events after I wasn’t positive how you can make sure modifications. It wasn’t clear, as an example, how you can modify the rear LED.As far as precise gaming goes, Asus features a Game Genie hub that you would be able to entry whereas taking part in a sport by tracing diagonally from the corners of the display. This brings up a space-themed dashboard with settings for adjusting the gadget’s refresh price, permitting or blocking telephone calls, display recording or adjusting the AirTriggers. These are the shoulder button-like sensors on the telephone that may be personalized for various instructions. Gaming mode choices like these are nice for gaming telephones or different high-end telephones, however I do not anticipate wider adoption: When I reviewed the $228 OnePlus N300, seeing the same gaming mode on that cheaper telephone appeared to present away that it did not have as a lot energy to run video games at larger graphics settings.Asphalt Xtreme on the Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro.
    Mike Sorrentino/CNET
    Asus gives rather a lot, however for a selected gamer viewers The Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro brings a variety of character to an in any other case area of interest and costly gadget. I admire its thrives — particularly the rear LED — and the way the telephone prioritizes gaming and media consumption over all else. Features just like the high-quality show, the rear LED, quick charging, the front-facing audio system and a headphone jack would possible be appreciated by a variety of common telephone customers, too.  But Asus makes compromises in different areas, notably on the subject of the cameras and the dearth of wi-fi charging. While the excessive contact sampling price is beneficial for players, it is not vital sufficient to make me need it in a normal, non-gaming telephone. This is in the end nonetheless a really costly telephone — even for a distinct segment viewers. It’s additionally value remembering that most of the specs could be present in cheaper choices just like the RedMagic, even when it is on the expense of the consumer expertise. But if you happen to actually wish to have 18GB of RAM and a elaborate second display in your smartphone, be ready to pay the $1,300.

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