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ASUS ROG Phone 6 Pro – gamer’s delight (smartphone review) | #itsecurity | #infosec | #hacking | #aihp


The ASUS ROG Phone 6 Pro is a 2022 gaming powerhouse smartphone par excellence. With the latest Qualcomm SD8+ Gen 1, 6.78″ 165Hz AMOLED, a huge 18GB LPDDR5 RAM, 512GB UFS 3.1 storage, a massive 6000mAh battery/65W charger and a range of gaming accessories, it is hard to beat.

There is a standard version with 16GB RAM and a LED light back (the Pro has a PMOLED light strip) – otherwise, they are the same device.

Now regular readers know we are not a gaming publication, so this is a typical smartphone review where we put it through over 70 tests to see how it performs under the games-oriented, tattooed ‘Dare to Play’ bonnet.

This is one spectacular performer and regardless of its game cred, it is a phone that has a good shot at the best flagship of 2022.

ASUS ROG Phone 6 Model AI2201, Dual Sim Model AI2201

Website Product Page and PDF Manual
Price Pro: $1999 plus accessories as required. Phantom Black and Storm White Standard: $1799 – Phantom Black
From* CE/IT retailers but mainly JB Hi-Fi
Warranty 1-year ACL
Country of Origin China
About Asustek Computer is a Taiwanese company that produces motherboards, graphics cards, optical drives, PDAs, computer monitors, notebook computers, servers, networking products, mobile phones, computer cases, computer components, and computer cooling systems.
More CyberShack ASUS news and reviews

* Grey market – no Australian warranty, and 5G may not work here

We strongly advise you to buy a genuine model with Australian firmware. It is easy to identify the Australian version – under Settings, System, and Regulatory Labels, there is an Australian RCM C-tick mark. It also uses unique Australian 5G sub-6Ghz and 5G low-band frequencies, requiring local activation first.

Do not buy the ASUS ROG Phone 6D versions (MediaTek Dimensity 9or+) or any other RAM/Storage sizes.

Deep-Dive review format

It is now in two parts – a summary and a separate 300+ line database-driven spec, including over 70 tests to back up the findings. It also helps us compare different phones and features.

We use Fail (below expectations), Pass (meets expectations) and Exceed (surpasses expectations or is the class leader) against many of the items below. We occasionally give a Pass(able) rating that is not as good as it should be and a Pass ‘+’ rating to show it is good but does not quite make it to Exceed.

You can click on most images for an enlargement.

What is the ASUS ROG Phone 6 Pro?

Basic specs include

  • Qualcomm SD8+ Gen 1 CPU and Adreno 730 GPU
  • Qualcomm X65 4/5G modem
  • 6.78″ 20.4:9, 2448 x 1080, Adaptive 165Hz, 1ms, Samsung AMOLED and Gorilla Glass Victus and under-glass fingerprint sensor
  • 18GB LPDDR5
  • 512GB UFS 3.1 (no MicroSD)
  • 173 x 77x 10.4 mm x 239g
  • 50MP Sony IMX766 + 13MP Ultra-wide Omnivision OB13B + 8MP (cropped to 5MP) Macro OmniVision OV8856 for up to 8K/24fps recording (4K with HDR10+) and 3-axis Gyro EIS
  • 12MP Sony IMX663 selfie
  • Speakers: hidden under the screen, forward-up-firing top and bottom Dirac HD, 5-magnet stereo speakers that form Left and Right in landscape mode. Dual CS34L45 amps, Qualcomm WD9385 Hi-Res DAC
  • Three mics with noise cancelling
  • 3.5mm 4-pole headphone/mic port
  • Wi-Fi 6E AX, BT 5.2 (SBC, AAC, aptX/Adaptive/Lossless), Dual GPS, NFC
  • Dual SIM slot
  • 2 x 3000mAh (equivalent 6000mAh) battery, 65W dual channel charger, QC 5.0, and PD charge capable
  • Android 12

Let’s get the gaming out of the way first.

What is X-mode?

X-Mode is a device status console allowing you to switch between X-Mode (games), Dynamic (Daily use and used for all tests) and Ultra-durable (battery life). It shows CPU/GPU temperature and speed. It controls the rear RGB LED (standard) or OLED panel system lighting, the AeroActive Cooler, Game by Game settings, AirTriggers and more. It is very much like ASUS Armoury Crate in OCs.

Game Genie

It looks like the HUD on a spacecraft to match the sci-fi and futuristic style.

Edge Tool

A slide shortcut lets you quickly open floating windows and apps and move the edge screen.

What is X-Haptic?

It is a high-end X-axis linear motor for a more immersive gaming experience via up to 130Hz vibration frequency.

Ultrasonic buttons landscape top left and right

They are not so much buttons as tap or slide.

Gyroscope aiming

Press and hold the ultrasonic button to control the viewing area by moving or tilting the phone. It is for MOBA games and shooter games.

Dual USB

The bottom port is USB-C 2.0 480Mbps for data and 65W charging. It docks with the Kunai 3 Gamepad.

The side USB-C is 3.2 Gen 1 5Gbps and supports alt DP for audio/video/data and 65W charging. It docks with the AeroActive cooler that has a passthrough USB-C port.

Snapdragon Elite Gaming features

You can read more here, but it means the SD8+ Gen 1 has smoother gaming, faster refresh, higher touch rates, HDR Fast Blend,  10-b-t 1.07 billion colours, Rec.2020 colour gamut, Game Colour Plus 2.0 (boosts colour, saturation, sharpness and detail on 8-bit colour games), VRR shading (rendering primary game content at full resolution and ancillary content at lower resolutions) and more.

What accessories?

The AeroActive Cooler 6,  $179 is a USB-C-powered external fan featuring a thermally conductive pad, a copper plate, a Peltier element (solid-state Thermoelectric cooling), cooling fins, a centrifugal fan, and an “AI Controlled” humidity sensor. It can lower surface temperature by up to 25°.

It connects to the side USB-C 2.0 port (landscape mode_ and acts as a non-adjustable kickstand. There are four customisable AirTrigger buttons. Included is a bumper case for added protection. It has customisable RGB lighting zones and features four software-controlled cooling configurations.

  • Smart monitors thermals and engages the fan and the Peltier element depending on the phone’s temperature
  • Cool only uses the fan using 0.7 watts.
  • Frosty uses both the fan and the Peltier element, using 4 watts.
  • Frozen both the fan and the Peltier element but requires external USB-C power using 7 watts.

The ASUS ROG 6 Glass Screen protect, $59 is a Mohs hardness scale 9H (10 is diamond) with a fingerprint-resistant coating.

The Kunai 3 Gamepad Black or White $199 offers a practically zero-latency console games experience. It has three modes

  • Handheld clipping onto both sides – power from the phone
  • All-in-one – power from external USB-C
  • Mobility – ditto

Back to the review

First Impression – Pass+

It is a big phone at 173 x 77x 10.4 mm x 239g but no worse than a Samsung S22 Ultra. The front is mostly screen with a top and bottom chin to allow for the top selfie camera hole and the games console to slip over it. I like the hidden speakers under the top and bottom of the glass.

The rear is typical gaming cred – tats (I call them that) adorn the Gorilla Glass Victus panel. There is a tri-camera/LED flash bae Pro a 50 x 7mm OLED son the Pro screen for lighting effects (LED screen on the standard).

The unique features are dual USB-C ports, left and right ultrasonic buttons/sliders and a 3.5mm headphone/mic port.

If you like big phones, this is for you.

Screen 165Hz capable – a delight – Exceed

It is a 2448 x 1080, 396ppi, 20.4:9, 1ms, 10-bit 1.07 billion colours, HDR10+, 165Hz refresh capable Samsung AMOLED.

The refresh rate is set by X-Mode and ranges through 60/90/120/144/165Hz. The 165Hz is more about bragging rights and most of the time sits at 60/120Hz until specific games use higher rates. But it also means higher touch rates up to 720Hz/23ms latency – very responsive.

Modes include Optimal, Natural, Cinematic, Standard, Customised, and Colour temp slider. Delta E is <1 (4 is considered excellent) so this is exceptional.

It plays HDR10+ content and has L1 Widevine 1080p HDR content for Netflix et al., streaming. Brightness is excellent so it is great for daylight use.

It is the kind of screen that we should see on Samsung Galaxy S22 variants that stick to outmoded 8-bit, 16.7m colours.

Processor System on a Chip (SoC) – Exceed

It uses the same SoC as the Samsung Galaxy Fold4 and Flip4, but its thermal management design gets so much more performance out of it.

Understand that there are three modes – X-Mode (gamers), Dynamic (typical use) and Ultra Durable (battery). These relate to the screen rate but also to the SoC’s available horsepower. For example:

Geekbench 5 Single-core 844 Battery mode 60Hz
1263 Dynamic Mode 90-120Hz
1312 X-Mode 144-165Hz
Geekbench 5 multi-core 3029 Battery mode
3915 Dynamic Mode
4392 X-Mode
Open CL 3791 Battery Mode
6479 Dynamic Mode
6547 X-Mode
Vulcan 4161 Battery Mode
6755 Dynamic Mode
6864 X-Mode

This power selection is very sensible and should be adopted by other makers. Similarly, it has an optional AeroCooler that guarantees minimal throttling when in a power-hungry game. So, in Dynamic Mode, it throttles by 12% reflecting some of the best thermal management I have seen or ramp it up to X-mode and instal the AeroActive Cooler and it will happily play all day with a maximum 8% throttle. Not that they are in the same class, but the Galaxy Z Fold4/Flip4 using the same SoC throttles 22/38%.

Other impressive features include (Galaxy Z Fold4 in brackets for comparison) the 18GB of LPDDR5X-6400 (12GB LPDDR5-3200) and 512GB (4X larger than standard Galaxy Fold/Flip); 3x fast storage (write speeds) and the big one is USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 5Gbps mountable external storage support at 895/398Mbps (no).

Videographers, power users and gamers – this is the phone for you.

Comms – Wi-Fi 6E and USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 – Exceed

While Wi-Fi 6E is no faster than Wi-Fi 6 (max 6GHz band 2400Mbps) it does mean that the phone gets uncontested use of the 6Ghz band and far higher throughout (with a 6E router). We had excellent 5GHz/6GHz signal strengths to 15/7m – yes, 6E has a shorter transmit distance.

As an added bonus the USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 side port supports alt DP for up to 4K@60Hz out. This is perfect for recording gameplay or watching content on a TV. It also allows the use of a dock/dongle for upstream charge, Ethernet, HDMI, USB etc.

4/5G – Exceed

ASUS does not publish bands, but we understand that it covers every 4G, 5G and 5G low band in Australia e.g., at least 4G: B1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 28, and 40 and 5G: n1 (2100Mhz), 5 (850Mhz), 28 (700Mhz), 40 (2300Mhz), 78 (3500Mhz). Note that the Australian firmware means its IMEI numbers are registered with the carriers and can only be activated here first. Grey Market cannot be activated here.

But there is more – dual SIMs (both can be 5G), dual ringtones, and it finds the four nearest towers at reasonable signal strengths.

It has 7 antennae – 2 each on three sides, and one on the top side landscape. Depending on how you hold it depends on the signal strength.

It is a good city, suburbs phone and OK for regional use where there is good tower coverage.

Battery – 6000mAh Exceed

2 x 3000mAh batteries in parallel (6000mAh) and uses a 65W GaN charger and 5W cable. The charger supports QC 5.0, PD 3.0, and PPS and is backwards compatible so it can charge any USB-C device. Charger

ASUS claims 0-100% in 43 minutes 0 damn we took 47 minutes😂.

Battery life depends on your mode (tested on Dynamic)

  • 1080p video loop 50% brightness/volume, aeroplane mode: 24 hours!
  • PC Mark 3 Battery life: 20 hours and 27 minutes
  • GFX Manhattan batter test: Would not run]
  • GFX T-Rex (gaming): 5.59 hours and a massive 9053 frames
  • Discharge 100-0 at 100% load: 5 hours 11 minutes

The UI also has battery management – steady charging, which lets you control the charging speed, and bypass charging, which stops charging the battery during gaming. This extends battery lifespan.

It is hard to put a battery life on it but X-mode should give 5 hours, Dynamic all day, and Ultra Durable from 2-3 days.

Sound – Exceed

It has two identical 5-magnet super linear speakers (not micro speakers) behind the glass at the top and bottom of the phone I(that’s left and right channels in landscape mode). These are powered by 2 Cirrus Logic CS35L41 each 5.3W/ 1% THD/8-ohm amps. The maximum volume is 90dB (loud).

It has a 3.5mm, 4-pole port for headphones/mic and lots of volume and good left/right separation.

This is an awesome speaker set-up for immersive gaming, movies, or music and its ‘warm and sweet’ (bass/mid boosted, treble recessed) sound signature is the nirvana for most music and movies.

There is sufficient bass to make a thump instead of a whump, mid is extremely clear, but the treble is a tad disappointing. High notes lack a little vitality. I suspect this will be addressed by a future firmware update as the speakers are capable of much more.

Hands-free is good with three mics, some noise cancelling and powerful speakers.

Snapdragon Sound technology and aptX Adaptive codec give high-resolution audio and super low-latency processing Bluetooth headphones. Snapdragon Sound also utilises aptX Lossless technology to retain all of the original content, bit for bit, resulting in music identical to the original recording.

It does not appear to support Dolby Atmos sound which would be an oversight for a gaming rig.

GameFX lets you individually fine-tune the EQ bands for different scenarios effects, such as games, music, or cinema, so you can enjoy the crystal-clear sound effects.

Gamers should be happy -they will hear everything clearly. Music lovers like ‘Warm and Sweet” so they will be happy.

Build – solid and robust – Pass+

It would have rated Exceed except for the IPX4 dust/water resistance rating. It is a solid, well-made, and weighty handset with Gorilla Glass Victus screen protection.

Just a reminder that it comes with a 65W GaN charger that you would otherwise pay about $80 for – take note stingy Samsung.

Android 12 – reasonable but not class-leading update policy – Pass+

It should get Android 13 and 14 as well as two years of quarterly security patches from release (July 2022). We think that policy is a little short for a flagship phone – see What are the official Android OS and Security update policies? (guide). Still, ASUS is quite enthusiastic about releasing firmware updates so we may see a new attitude from it.

You can choose the UI – either the edgy ROG UI or its more subtle Zen UI. Apart from a few icon design aberrations, it is a pretty light touch over Android. ASUS apps include Armory Crate (X-Mode) and Facebook/Instagram/Netflix which are uninstallable. Otherwise, it is pretty much standard Google Android.

Missing – not much

2 years of security patches from release (July 2022) is a little tight.

ASUS ROG Phone 6 Pro camera

We know the OPPO/Sony co-developed IMX766 primary 50MP bins to 12.5MP sensor very well. It is kind of the ‘Goldilocks’ sensor before you start going mad with 100 or even 200MP sensors (that also bin to 12 to 16MP).

The Ultra-wide is a 13MP OmniVision OOV13B and it is really the one that does the zoom and depth work. The Macro is an 8MP (5MP cropped) that is capable of better definition than the typical 2MP sensors used elsewhere.

Technically this is an above-average set-up and on the whole, that is true. But ASUS is not known for its AI camera prowess and relies on the Qualcomm SD8+ Gen 1 SoC for its AI processing. If it wants to conquer the smartphone camera market it needs to invest in its own AI camera tech to the extent that OPPO (the grand master) or Samsung (the apprentice) has.

Camera Summary:

  • 1X Day Primary sensor – Excellent natural colours with a good dynamic range. Great HDR details in the background, shadows, and highlights. Perfect shot.
  • 2X Day Primary sensor – colours are excellent with good dynamic range and excellent HDR.
    The background is getting noisy.
  • 8X Day UW sensor – forget it
  • Ultra-wide: Second sensor: good colour and details, although you can tell it is a different sensor from the primary.
  • Macro: The 8/5MP primary sensor takes excellent shots but as usual – fixed focus at 4cm is important for a clear shot.
  • Indoor office light: Colours are a little washed out, but the dog’s face/ears are deep black
  • Bokeh Depth: The Dogs face is out of focus (yet its paws are not) and the colours are a little washed out
  • Dark <40 lumens: it is really struggling and very noisy, although the monitor screen detail is very good
  • Night Mode: Superb AI with bright colours and good detail.
  • Selfie: The 12MP selfie has natural skin tones and details and a range of filters to enhance any image. Best in a day and office light.
  • Video (we are not video experts): You can shoot at 8K@24fps, but we think the sweet spot is still 1080p@30fps. EIS, HDR10, for excellent, stable video and audio.

CyberShack’s view – The ASUS ROG Phone 6 Pro (and 6) is a terrific flagship

This is a mighty phone. It does everything right for consumer use and has a range of accessories for gamers’ use.

Frankly, it is a contender for best glass slab Flagship, but ASUS still needs a few firmware updates for the camera to smooth a few rough edges.

The $1999 ASUS ROG Phone 6 Pro with 18/512GB, a better screen, and a faster processor is more than a match for the Samsung S22 Ultra (this has a better camera and S Pen). The $1799 ASUS ROG Phone 6 (16/512GB) beats the Samsung Galaxy S22+ (256GB) and OPPO Find X5 Pro (256GB with a vastly better camera).

But comparisons are odious – any of these devices would be a pleasure to own. And we have yet to review the Moto Edge 30 Ultra with the same processor.

For sheer ingenuity, three performance modes, and extremely good graphics the ASUS ROG  Phone 6 Pro and Standard get our unreserved buy recommendation.

CyberShack Smartphone comparison v 1.1 (E&OE)

ASUS ROG Phone 6 Pro (and standard)

Brand ASUS
Model ASUS ROG Phone 6 Pro
Model Number AI2201 with Australian RCM C-Tick and firmware
Price Base Std 16/512
Pro 18/512
   Price base Standard $1799
Pro: $1999
AeroActive Cooler $179
Kunai 3 Gamepad $199
ROG Glass screen protector $59
   Price 2
   Price 3
   Price 4
Warranty months 1-year ACL
 Tier Premium flagship gamer oriented
Website Standard vs Pro comparison
From JB Hi-Fi
Country of Manufacture Assume China
Company Asustek Computer is a Taiwanese company that produces motherboards, graphics cards, optical drives, PDAs, computer monitors, notebook computers, servers, networking products, mobile phones, computer cases, computer components, and computer cooling systems.
More CyberShack ASUS news and reviews
Test date 10-17 September 2022
Ambient temp 12-22°
Release Jul-22
Other models not for Australia (Don’t buy) Any other RAM/Storage configuration; must have an RCM C-tick; and colours other than White or Black

Screen

Size 6.7″
Type AMOLED
Flat/ Curve/ 2D/ 3D Flat
Resolution 2448 x 1080
PPI 395
Ratio 20.4:9
Screen to Body % 82.20%
Colours bits 10-bit/1.078 billion colours
Refresh Hz/ adaptive Adaptive only 60/90/120/144/165Hz
Response 120Hz Up to 720Hz/23ms touch response
Nits typical/ test 500 typical (530 tested)
Nits max/ test 800 High brightness mode (850 tested)
1200 Peak (1300 tested)
Contrast Infinite
sRGB 160%
DCI-P3 112%
Rec.2020 or other 100%
Delta E (<4 is excellent) Claim <1 (tested 2.2)
HDR Level HDR 10+
SDR Upscale Yes
Blue light control Yes
PWM if known DC Dimming at 60Hz but higher rates use PWM at 670Hz which should not be noticeable.
Daylight readable Yes
Always on Display Yes
Edge display Yes
Accessibility Android suite
DRM L! Widevine 1080p HDR content
Gaming Designed for gaming with <1ms G-T-G
Screen protection Gorilla Glass Victus
Comment It has a separate Pixelworks i6 processor that intelligently tunes the contrast, sharpness, brightness and colour temperature of the display in real-time based on ambient lighting conditions, content attributes, display characteristics and usage patterns.
This is the perfect screen for gaming and 10-bit colour screens should be standard on premium smartphones (take the hint Samsung).

Processor (Soc)

Brand/ Model Qualcomm SD8+ Gen 1
nm 4nm
Cores 1 x 3.19GHz + 3 x 2.75GHz + 4 x 1.80GHz
Modem X65
AI TOPS 27
Geekbench 5 Single-core 844 Battery mode 60Hz
1263 Dynamic Mode 120Hz
1312 X-Mode 144-165Hz
Geekbench 5 multi-core 3029 Battery mode
3915 Dynamic Mode
4392 X-Mode
Like So far ahead of any other Soc
GPU Adreno 730
GPU Test
Open CL 3791 Battery Mode
6479 Dynamic Mode
6547 X-Mode
Like So far ahead of any GPU
Vulcan 4161 Battery Mode
6755 Dynamic Mode
6864 X-Mode
RAM/ type 18GB LPDDR5X dual channel 2 x 3200Mhz = 6400Mhz
Storage/ free/ type 512GB UFS 3.1
micro-SD No
CPDT internal seq. Read MBps 1230
CPDT internal seq. write MBps 627
CPDT microSD read/ write MBps N/A
CPDT external (mountable?) MBps NTFS support and mountable for live storage
Bottom USB-C 2.0 (480Mbps) 38/31 – about max for 60Mbps half-duplex
Side USB-C 3.2 Gen 1 (5Gbps/625MBps full-duplex) 895/398 – wonderful!
Comment X-Mode pushes it to the limit where most of our testing was on Dynamic mode. We ran some X-Mode tests on mains power, but the differences were negligible – you get full power on battery.
Throttle test On battery – no cover/on power with AeroCooler’ frozen’
Max GIPS (power/battery) 366,491/364,186
Average GIPS 338,637/345,248
Minimum GIPS 290993/327,029
% Throttle 12/8%
CPU Temp 62°
Comment The SoC is centrally mounted and the AeroCooler makes quite a difference.

Comms

Wi-Fi Type/ model Wi-Fi 6E AX
Test 2m -dBm/ Mbps 5GHz -30/2401, 6GHz -36/2401
Test 5m 5GHz -44/2401, 6GHz -44/2401 and 6GHz -66/1152
Test 10m 5GHz -49/2410 and 15m -60/1441
BT Type 5.2
GPS single/ dual Dual
USB type Bottom USB-C 2.0 and Side USB-C 3.1 Gen 1
ALT DP/ DeX/ Ready For USB-C screen mirror over USB-C to UBS-C and USB-C to HDMI cable
NFC Yes
Ultra-wide-band No
Sensors
   Accelerometer Yes combo
   Gyro Yes combo
   e-Compass Yes
   Barometer
   Gravity
   Pedometer
   Ambient light Yes
   Hall sensor
   Proximity Yes
   Other Ultrasonic Edge buttons and many sensor features are handled by the SoC
Comment Excellent 5GHz Wi-Fi signal strength.
Wi-Fi 6E 6GHz effective to 5-7m
Added bonus of USB-C 3.1 Gen 1 side port for alt DP for up to 4K@60Hz  out. Perfect for recording gameplay or watching content on a TV. Also allows it to use a dock/dongle for upstream charge, Ethernet, HDMI, USB etc.

LTE and 5G

SIM Dual Sim
   Active Only one active at a time
Ring tone single/ dual Dual
VoLTE Carrier Dependent
Wi-Fi calling Carrier Dependent
4G Bands Not published but we are assured it supports the full suite of global bands
5G sub-6Ghz Not published but we are assured it supports the full suite of Australian 5G and low-bands
mmWave
Test Boost Mobile/ Telstra
   UL/ DL/ mS 35/33.3/41mS – good
   Tower 1 -dBm/ fW or pW -87/1-3pW – good
   Tower 2 -92/500-1000fW – good
   Tower 3 -94/200-500fW – good
   Tower 4 -106/100fW to unusable
Comment It has 7 antennae (2 each on three sides), and one top side landscape. Depending on how you hold it depends on the signal strength. It is a good city, suburbs phone and OK for regional use where there is good tower coverage.

Battery

mAh 6000mAh (2 x 3,000 in parallel)
Charger/ type/ supplied 5V/3A/15W, 9V/3A/27W, 12V/3A/36W, 15V/3A/45W, 20V/3.25A/65W
PPS 3.3-11V/5A and 3.3-21V/3.25A
You can use any USB-C PD charger 65W or greater with a 5W charge cable
 PD/ QC level PD 3.0 or QC 5.0
Qi/ wattage N/A
Reverse Qi or cable NA
Test (60Hz or adaptive screen) All Dynamic mode 120Hz
   Charge % 30mins 40%
   Charge 0-100% 47 minutes
   Charge Qi/ W No
   Charge 5V/ 2A 5V/3A 1 hour 44 minutes
   Video loop 50%/ aeroplane 24 hours
   PC Mark 3 battery 20 hours and 27 minutes
   GFX Bench Manhattan battery Out-of-memory error
   GFX Bench T-Rex 335.5 minutes (5.59 hours) 9053 frames
   Drain 100-0% full load screen on 5 hours 11 minutes
   Watt full load X-mode 850-1000mA
   Watt idle Screen on X-mode 200-250mA
   Estimate loss at max refresh Hard to say. If you were running everything at 144/165Hz then expect a 20-30% penalty
   Estimate typical use X-mode – around 3-5 hours use but that is on battery at full power.
Dynamic typical use 15-20 hours
Ultra battery – 2-3 days
Comment This has decent gamer battery life but a killer typical use life.

Sound

Speakers Top and bottom (portrait)  Left and Right (Landscape) 12x16mm 5-magnet super linear speakers
Tuning Dirac
AMP 2x Cirrus Logic CS35L45 with 15V boost
Dolby Atmos decode Not sure
Hi-Res Yes
3.5mm Yes
BT Codecs AC, SBC, aptX, aptX HD, aptX Adaptive, aptX TWS+ audio, LDAC
Multipoint Yes
Dolby Atmos (DA) We would be surprised if it did not be we cannot find any Dolby Atmos settings and our DA test tracks were no better than stereo.
EQ AudioWizard App has Dynamic, Music, Cinema, Game pre-sets and an EQ.
GameFX for individual tuning to games
Mics Three with noise cancelling
Test dB – all on EQ flat DA off
   Volume max 90
   Media (music) 85
   Ring 80
   Alarm 80
   Notifications 78
   Earpiece 55
   Hands-free Good hands-free with three mics  (top, bottom, and top side landscape). The volume is adequate and voice is clear.
   BT headphones Excellent volume and left/right separation.

Sound quality

Deep Bass 20-40Hz Nil
Middle Bass 40-100Hz Building quite steeply
High Bass 100-200Hz Building to 200Hz
Low Mid 200-400Hz Still building slowly
Mid 400-1000Hz Flat
High-Mid 1-2kHz Flat
Low Treble 2-4kHz Flat
Mid Treble 4-6kHz A slight decline then flat
High Treble 6-10kHz Linear decline to 10kHz
Dog Whistle 10-20kHz Linear decline to 20kHz
Sound Signature type Technically it is warm and sweet  (bass/mid boosted, treble recessed) – the nirvana for most music and movies.
There is sufficient bass to make a thump instead of a whump, mids are extremely clear but the treble is a tad disappointing. High notes can lack vitality. I suspect this will be addressed by a future firmware update as the speakers are capable of much more.
   Soundstage It is pretty well the width of the phone and there is no spatial sound with DA content.
Comment Gamers should be happy – you will hear everything clearly. Music lovers like ‘Warm and Sweet” so they will be happy.

Build

Size (H X W X D) 173 x 77x 10.4 mm
Weight grams 239
Front glass Gorilla Glass Victus
Rear material Gorilla Glass 3
Frame Alloy
IP rating IPX4
Colours White or Black back and frame
Pen/ Stylus support No
In the box
   Charger 65W GaN QC 5.0 charge PD 3.0
   USB cable 5W USB-C to USB-C cable
   Buds No
   Bumper cover Yes
Comment Very useful to have the charger that is also excellent for other use as it covers PPD and PD charging

OS

Android 12L for large screens and foldables
Security patch date 1-Aug-22
UI ROG UI or Zen interfaces
OS upgrade policy 2 upgrades
Security patch policy 2 years
Bloatware Not so much bloatware as ASUS relevant gaming Apps.
Comment ASUS should consider a longer OS and update policy.
Security
Fingerprint sensor location/ type Under glass 10/10 test
Face ID 2D face ID

ASUS ROG Phone 6 Pro and standard camera

Rear Primary Wide
  MP 50MP bins to 12.5MP
   Sensor Sony IMX766. It is a jointly developed OPPO/Sony sensor now found in 191 smartphones including OPPO Reno8/Pro and Find X5/Pro. It is kind of the flagship ‘Goldilocks’ sensor capturing more light, improved colours, sharpness and shooting in low light conditions.
   Focus PDAF
   f-stop 1.9
   um 1 bins to 2
  FOV° (stated/ actual) 73.1-85.6
   Stabilisation 3-axis gyro EIS is Qualcomm’s term for electronic image stabilisation that crops to a fixed horizon.
   Zoom 4x digital
Rear 2 Ultra-wide
   MP 13MP
   Sensor Omnivision OV13B
   Focus Fixed
   f-stop 2.2
   um 1.12
  FOV (stated/ actual) 95.3-107.9
   Stabilisation 3-axis gyro EIS is Qualcomm term for electronic image stabilisation
   Zoom 4x digital
Rear 3 Macro
   MP 5MP (cropped from 8MP)
   Sensor OmniVision OV8856
   Focus Fixed
   f-stop 2
   um 1.12
  FOV (stated/ actual) 72.2-84.7
   Stabilisation 3-axis gyro EIS is Qualcomm term for electronic image stabilisation
   Zoom 4x digital
   Video max 8K@24fps primary sensor no HDR or stabilisation
4K has HDR10+
1080p has EIS
4K@30fps ultra-wide
 
   Flash Yes
   Auto-HDR HDR10+ recording at 4K or below
Features Not disclosed
   QR code reader Yes
   Night mode Yes

 Front Camera

Front Selfie
  MP 12MP
   Sensor Sony IMX633
   Focus Fixed
   f-stop 2.45
   um 1.22
  FOV (stated/ actual) 66.7-78.8
   Stabilisation No
   Flash Screen Fill
   Zoom 4x digital
   Video max 4K@30
    Features Not disclosed
Overall Comments • 1X Day Primary sensor – Excellent natural colours with a good dynamic range. Great HDR details in the background, shadows, and highlights. Perfect shot.
• 2X Day Primary sensor – colours are excellent with good dynamic range and excellent HDR.
The background is getting noisy.
• 8X Day UW sensor – forget it
• Ultra-wide: Second sensor: good colour and details, although you can tell it is a different sensor from the primary.
• Macro: The 8/5MP primary sensor takes excellent shots but as usual – fixed focus at 4cm is important for a clear shot.
• Indoor office light: Colours are a little washed out but the dog’s face/ears are deep black
• Bokeh Depth: The Dogs face is out of focus (yet its paws are not) and the colours are a little washed out
• Dark <40 lumens: it is really struggling and very noisy, although the monitor screen detail is very good
• Night Mode: Superb AI with bright colours and good detail.
• Selfie: The 12MP selfie has natural skin tones and details and a range of filters to enhance any image. Best in a day and office light.
• Video (we are not video experts): You can shoot at 8K@24fps, but we think the sweet spot is still 1080p@30fps. EIS, HDR10, for excellent, stable video and audio.

Ratings explained

Features 9.5
It has a full set of features that you expect at this price. The speakers, 10-bit screen,  X-mode, 18/512GB and options set it apart.
Value 9.5
There are no better performing, more fully featured glass slabs
Performance 9.5
It gains points for almost no throttling, tonnes of memory and storage, above average  Wi-Fi and phone reception strength.
Ease of Use 8
It is heavy and quite large – not much more than a Galaxy S22 Ultra. But its lower IP rating and limited upgrade/security patch policy lose some points.
Design 9
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and gamers will love it
Rating out of 10 9.1
Final Comment ASUS has nailed the ROG 6 Pro (and Standard) to the extent that gamers will love it and power users should consider it if only for mountable storage and full USB-C implementation. It is the best performer yet. Yes, I would buy one as a daily drive!

ASUS ROG Phone 6 Pro, ASUS ROG Phone 6 Pro, ASUS ROG Phone 6 Pro

ASUS ROG Phone 6 Pro and ROG Phone 6 (Standard)

Pro $1999 and Standard $1799

ASUS ROG Phone 6 Pro

Pros

  • 10-bit, 1.07 billion, amazing colour accurate AMOLED screen
  • Terrific thermal management gets the most out of the SoC
  • Battery life is excellent and 65W GaN charger inbox
  • Above average camera that could use a little more work
  • 18/512GB RAM/Storage plus NFTS/Fat/exFat mountable storage and full USB-C 3l1 Gen 1 implementation

Cons

  • 2 OS upgrades and 2 years of security patches are not class-leading
  • Needs Dolby Atmos support
  • Camera AI is not as well developed as OPPO or Samsung

 

 

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