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Asus ROG Phone 6: Everything we know and what we want to see (Updated July 4)
Update, July 4, 2022 (12:07 PM ET): We’ve updated our Asus ROG Phone 6 rumor hub below with some more leaked images and a few other details.
Original article: In the world of gaming phones, few can compare with Asus’ ROG Phone series. In 2022, we are expecting to see the Asus ROG Phone 6 blow away the competition once again. But what will it bring to the table — and when? We’ve rounded up all the credible rumors related to the 2022 ROG Phone series. Further down, we’ve also listed out a few things we hope to see Asus change this time around.
When will the Asus ROG Phone 6 release date be?
- Asus ROG Phone — October 2018
- Asus ROG Phone 2 — September 2019
- Asus ROG Phone 3 — October 2020
- Asus ROG Phone 5 — May 2021
On June 1, 2022, Asus confirmed both the name of the ROG Phone 6 and its launch date. Asus will launch the phone on July 5, 2022, at 8:00 AM ET. The company posted a countdown timer on its ROG Phone 6 mini-site, of which we’ve captured a screenshot above.
Keep in mind that July 5 will likely be a simple announcement. The day Asian customers would be able to actually buy the phone could be weeks or even months later. Likewise, Western buyers will probably need to wait even longer, as Asus usually spreads the launch out over time, with the US being one of the last places to get the phone. Above is a general guide as to when previous main series models hit North America, which is typically three or four months after the Eastern launch.
What specs and features will the Asus ROG Phone 6 have?
Asus’ gaming phones have a very “gamer” aesthetic to them. We don’t expect to see that change this year. Also, the phones tend to have some of the best specs sheets in the industry, which we also don’t expect to change.
We would expect the ROG Phone 6 to come with some of the same design elements as last year’s model. That would include a rear display, a headphone jack, two USB-C ports (one on the bottom and one on the side), and Air Triggers.
Early regulatory filing and leaks have pointed to a familiar design for the ROG Phone 6. Thanks to a leaked set of renders from Evan Blass as well as some more from WinFuture, we now know that Asus has moved the rear display panel to the edge of the smartphone, making it easier to see while gaming. We also got our first glimpse at the ROG Phone’s 6 cooler accessory, which seems to have grown in size compared to last year.
Specs and features
We already know the Asus ROG Phone 6 will come with the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 as its processor. Asus claims this would be the first gaming phone with the chip, although that remains to be seen. Either way, the phone should be a powerhouse with that chip under the hood, and it should face significantly fewer overheating problems when compared to the regular Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.
We can also expect, via WinFuture, two versions of the phone. The Pro model should have 18GB of RAM and 512GB of internal storage. Meanwhile, the vanilla version should have plenty of choices, with 8, 12, 16, or 18GB of RAM and 128, 256, or 512GB of storage.
It’s also safe to expect at least a 144Hz OLED display with an FHD+ resolution, a 6,000mAh battery, and Wi-Fi 6E connectivity. A recent regulatory filing appears to confirm the ROG Phone 6 would also have the same 65W wired charging speed as the previous generation.
Camera specs are a little more up in the air since photography is not really the prime focus of a gaming phone. However, Asus could have some surprises for us in that regard. We’ll need to wait and see.
What will the Asus ROG Phone 6 price be?
Asus refreshed the ROG Phone 5 series in the second half of 2021. Launching under the ROG Phone 5S banner, the prices for those phones were as follows:
- Asus ROG Phone 5S — $1,099
- Asus ROG Phone 5S Pro — $1,299
Judging from those prices, Asus could drop the ROG Phone 6 series at similar price points, though the base ROG Phone 5 was available for as low as $699 in some markets. We don’t know anything for certain yet, but expect the most common models to sit close to the ~$1,000 mark.
Also, don’t forget that Asus usually launches a maxed-out Ultimate version of its ROG Phones. This would almost certainly land at $1,499 or more, judging from past releases.
Asus ROG Phone 6: What we want to see
With the Asus ROG Phone 6, we certainly want to see Asus continue to provide the excellent audio, long battery life, and gaming software that make the series what it is. But, of course, there are a few tweaks and improvements we’d love to get next time around. So here’s our wish list for what we want to see from the upcoming ROG Phone 6.
Improved cooling solutions
The Asus ROG Phone series is all about gaming performance, and while we certainly don’t have any complaints in that regard, its latest phone can become a little warm during extended play. It’s not enough to make the phone uncomfortable to hold, but you can certainly feel the heat after 15 to 20 minutes.
Asus usually bundles or sells its Aero Active cooler accessory for this very purpose. Thanks to leaks, we’ve already seen a newly-designed module is on the way. Unfortunately, it looks like this one is much bigger than the previous iteration. Hopefully, this results in better thermals without too much of a cost in usability.
See also: The best phone charging accessories
Alternatively, it would be great if the ROG Phone 6 came with an improved passive cooling system to improve temperatures without the need for accessories. To be fair to the ROG Phone, Asus already includes a charging bypass mode and Wi-Fi optimizations designed to lower temperatures while gaming and prolong battery longevity. More of these neat ideas would continue to separate the phone from the competition.
An even better camera package
We liked the ROG Phone 5, in part, because it offers a solid main camera, especially for a gaming smartphone. However, the picture quality from the ultrawide lens and macro camera doesn’t keep pace with the primary snapper. Results from the ultrawide, in particular, could be quite poor, with noticeable distortion. A more robust all-around imaging package would certainly improve the ROG Phone 6’s general flagship credentials.
Similarly, the gimmicky 5MP macro camera could be removed entirely. It really doesn’t offer much in the way of utility but does add up on the bill of materials. Swapping this out for a telephoto zoom lens would offer much more flexibility, matching the capabilities of other phones in the ROG series’ price bracket. A package that more closely resembles the Smartphone for Snapdragon Insiders, Qualcomm’s phone based on the ROG Phone 5, might do the trick — although hopefully without the bugs and expensive price tag.
A more robust all-round camera package would boost the phone's flagship credentials.
We’re not going to demand industry-leading image quality — gaming is still this handset’s primary focus after all. But a more competitive and well-rounded camera package would certainly make the phone a better long-term investment for gamers and general users alike.
Features with finesse
The Asus ROG Phone 5 isn’t IP rated, doesn’t have wireless charging, and we described the in-display fingerprint scanner as unreliable at best. It’s a shame because we’ve come to expect these features from high-end smartphones that command $1,000 price tags.
With the gaming formula already down to a tee, Asus can afford to work on some features that would improve the phone’s more general use. Wireless charging is a great feature for topping up the battery throughout the day, while a best-in-class fingerprint scanner removes frustration when unlocking the phone. Likewise, a better selfie camera, an IP rating, lower weight, or even expandable storage all add value, especially at Asus’ higher price points. We’d settle for two out of the wish list as a decent improvement on the existing formula.
Our verdict: Asus ROG Phone 5 review
Addressing these would perfectly complement the already excellent stereo speakers, haptic feedback, and capacitive Air Triggers that make the ROG series such an excellent gaming phone.
Fewer models and variants
Asus sold five ROG Phone 5 models at launch — three different memory variants of the standard model, as well as the Pro and Ultimate variants. Throw in a couple of the ROG Phone 5S models that sported an upgraded Snapdragon 888 Plus processor and there were seven different options to pick from at various points throughout 2021. I’d say that’s easily three or four too many and the range would benefit from a simplified portfolio.
For starters, I’d drop the 128GB storage option. That’s not really enough for a decent game and media collection these days anyway. Likewise, 18GB RAM in the Ultimate model is overkill and probably doesn’t need to exist either, other than for bragging rights. It also seems a little silly that there are different rear display options for the standard, Pro, and Ultimate variants. The price of that little secondary display is obviously a factor here, but it’s such a unique aspect of the ROG’s design that it should probably now be in or out of all the models going forward.
No phone needs to launch with five different variants.
I’d simplify the range down to three models, with RAM, storage, and perhaps camera configurations as the key separators. That’ll make it much easier for consumers to understand the differences, and should still allow Asus to reach price points above and below the $1,000 mark without compromising on the key gaming focus of the phone.
Continued reading: The best gaming laptops you can buy right now
What do you most want to see from the Asus ROG Phone 6? Vote in our poll and let us know in the comments below.