Asus has announced two new devices in its gaming-focused Republic of Gamers phone line, the ROG Phone 6 and the ROG Phone 6 Pro. They are gamer phones for gamers who enjoy gaming, and the upgraded screens look quite impressive.
Both models have Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor and come with up to 512GB of storage. They have 6.78-inch OLED screens, the same size as the previous ROG Phone 5S, but their 165 Hz refresh rates and 720 Hz touch sampling rates are both substantial improvements over the last model. They have 6,000 mAh batteries, the same as previous models, and an improved three-camera setup. The Phone 6 starts at €999 and the 6 Pro at €1,299 – they’ll launch in the UK and Europe first, with Asus saying they’ll be coming to the US, India and elsewhere later.
The ROG Phone 6 comes in black and white and the 6 Pro only in white. The biggest difference between the two models is the second OLED screen on the back of the 6 Pro, which looks pretty cool but isn’t very practical overall. You can also get a little more RAM on the Pro model – the Phone 6 comes in at 16GB of storage, but the Pro goes up to 18GB. Suffice it to say that the regular Phone 6 model will probably be enough for most people.
Asus is clearly trying to build a phone that you could also use as your everyday device; the company has been slowly refining the ROG Phone’s design over the past few models so that it doesn’t become a “gamer phone!” screams. pretty loud. But this is still a gamer phone. For example, much of the phone’s design is about optimizing cooling, and the phrase “we’ve developed a unique 360-degree CPU cooling technology” was certainly uttered during the product’s announcement stream. (The vapor chamber is now 30% bigger!) Asus has even updated the Aeroactive Cooler accessory, which is really just a giant clip-on fan that doubles as a simple controller for playing games.
The phone’s specs are as impressive as ever, especially the display’s refresh and response rates. But as usual with ROG phones, the question is: for what? You don’t need 18 GB of RAM to play even the most complex games on Android. Asus also has a somewhat spotty history of timely software updates, promising only two years of Android and security updates for these devices. For the price, you can probably find a device to do most phone things better. And even if cloud gaming brings more powerful games to your smartphone, you just don’t need that much power on the device to make them work properly. The ROG Phone 6 is a cool device, but it still doesn’t seem very practical.