ASUS ROG Phone 6 review – An incredible smartphone that handles gaming

Premium smartphones can be rather boring when you stop to think about it.

Each year manufacturers talk up incremental improvements to a product they have already perfected. The most exciting space then is in the mid-range where manufacturers have to compete on features as well as price to attract customers who aren’t prone to replacing their handset every year. The trouble here is that mid-range smartphones tend to make buyers choose the features they want.

If only there was a manufacturer who could make the premium tier exciting again.

Enter, the ASUS ROG Phone 6. This beast of a smartphone is packing specs that look more like a handheld gaming console than a handset and while it may talk up its gaming prowess, don’t be fooled, ASUS has created an incredible smartphone here.

Let’s get into why we think R22 999 is a song for this handset.

Spec sheet

For the chipset ASUS selected the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen1, which sports an octa-core CPU running at 3.2GHz, an Adreno 730 GPU and 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM.

This smartphone really looks more like an entry-level notebook from 2017 that could handle light gaming and that’s precisely what it does, and well.

You know it’s a gaming phone because it has lighting.

The display can hit a maximum refresh rate of 165Hz and there are other clever software features we’ll touch on in a moment.

Of course we had to run benchmarks to get an idea of the ROG Phone 6’s performance. In GeekBench 5 we scored 3 618 in the Multicore test and 1 304 in the Single Core test. We did encounter an oddity in 3D Mark’s Wildlife Extreme and Sling Shot benchmarks.

In Sling Shot the ROG Phone 6 maxed out the score and told us to instead download Wildlife Extreme. We did that and the benchmark could never actually finish a run.

Finally in PC Mark’s Work Bench, we scored 17 471.

To sum up, whether you’re browsing the web, editing a document or video, the ROG Phone 6 performs incredible well.

Given our gaming benchmarks failed we had to play some games. We played Subway Surfers to quantify a low impact game and Call of Duty Mobile to test the handset a bit more. While the ROG Phone 6 didn’t even notice Subway Surfers was running, you could feel it working a bit harder on Call of Duty Mobile. This is not to say the handset was strained as it wasn’t, in fact it never became uncomfortably warm, nor felt like it was strained.

We also streamed God of War 2018 from Steam to the handset and it was a good enough experience despite our home network not being up to the task.

What about other stuff like using the handset for day-to-day activities?

On that front, the ROG Phone 6 is more than able to serve your need to scroll social media, snap photos and answer emails.

Powering things along is a 6 000mAh battery that doesn’t seem to give up. Even when it does eventually give up the ghost two days after a charge, you can be back up to 100 percent charge in 45 minutes. Most amazing, however, is Hyper Charge which charged the phone up for zero to 25 percent in just 10 minutes. It’s actually quite incredible to behold though we do wonder how this will affect the battery over the long term.

A secondary charging port is located in the middle of the handset.


The one sore point of the ROG Phone 6 is the camera. It’s not terrible, but it’s not great either, especially as you get up close to your subject.

The main shooter has a 50MP sensor while 13MP and 5MP snappers are on backing vocals.

We’ve included a gallery of photos taken with the ROG Phone 6 below. We’re not disappointed save for the “macro” shots that one can pull off with this handset. They look a bit grainy and lack the definition we can see in the other shots. Overall, it’s okay for most things, just make sure you have a steady hand.

Software and sundry

For the software experience ASUS has opted for a pure Android option with one or two tweaks. For example, there are no soft buttons and instead you will need to swipe left, right, or up to go back a menu, to the home screen and to open task view. It takes a bit of getting used to, but if you’ve been using smartphones from Chinese manufacturers you’ll be familiar with the gestures.

Speaking of gestures, AirTriggers are a nice feature that make navigating your phone and in games a joy. Ultrasonic sensors allow you to make use of a series of gestures to trigger certain things. For instance we had Spotify set to launch on a double tap.

The star of the show, however, and it’s placed right in the middle of the main screen, is the Armoury Crate software.

This is ASUS’ unified RGB and hardware control software. Here you can choose which profile you want to run on your smartphone:

  • X Mode – For gaming and other demanding tasks. Battery life is not prioritised while performance is. Rear lighting can be activated and the display’s high refresh mode is enabled.
  • Dynamic – As the name implies, this is a dynamic mode where battery life is favoured but performance can be ramped up as it is needed.
  • Ultra Durable – This is effectively battery saver with a huge priority placed on sipping battery power.

For most of our review period we had the phone locked on X Mode as we wanted to abuse the thing. The good news is that we still managed two days of battery life with X Mode enabled.

Something else we really want to mention is how good the sound is on this smartphone.

We’re used to overly saturated bass or not enough bass resulting in a tinny sound from most smartphones. The ROG Phone 6, however, is glorious with ample lows and highs to make for a really great listening experience. Seriously, TikTok and YouTube content won’t feel the same coming out of our current smartphone.

In addition you get a headphone jack and a charger comes bundled in the box.

While we don’t especially like the trace line design on the rear, the bundled cover does an okay job of hiding the gamer DNA of this handset. The LED ROG logo is a bit of a sore spot for us as it’s a bit on the pointless side but thankfully you can keep it off for the most part and toggle it on when you want to show off.

Charging port and a headphone jack in 2022. Believe the hype.


It should come as no surprise that ASUS’ smartphone making chops are on full display here. However, we weren’t expecting this smartphone to be this good.

Frankly, whenever we see the word “gaming” or “gamer” added to a product we worry that it’s a mask for shoddy performance hidden behind RGB lighting and harsh angular designs.

Thankfully, ASUS has taking gaming to mean “high performance” and that’s exactly what the ROG Phone 6 is.

The camera could use some work but with mobile gaming as big as it is and cloud gaming becoming more pervasive, a phone like this is going to become more popular in the coming years.

While it’s not perfect, the ROG Phone 6 has decent specifications, a monstrous battery and it’s incredibly well priced at R22 999.

We can easily recommend the ASUS ROG Phone 6, so much so that we’re eyeing one ourselves.

The ASUS ROG Phone 6 was sent to Hypertext for the purpose of a review by ASUS South Africa. The handset has been returned to ASUS South Africa.


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