The ASUS ROG Phone 6D Ultimate is the latest gaming phone to come out in 2022. Unlike the previous model though, the 6D has some nifty features that make for great improvements. Let’s take a look at what’s new with this device.
Unboxing the Phone
Unlike the ROG Phone 5, the new packaging is a return to the signature trapezoid-like shape of previous iterations. This time, however, the box slides out instead of unfolding it. From here, you can find the phone, the case and eject pin underneath. There’s also the charger with the male-to-male USB-C cable, and the AeroActive Cooler 6 cooling fan.
The phone itself is huge, at 6.78 inches, same as the last model. The top and bottom bezels are a bit thick since they house the top and bottom speakers. After all, it’s made to be used in landscape mode just like its predecessors.
What I like about the ROG phones is that they have no annoying cutout camera. Just pure screen with nothing in between to ruin the viewing experience.
As usual, the phone has the left-side USB-C port for its external cooling fan attachment. There’s also no rubber stopper on the port this time, just in case new users will be wondering what happened to it.
Some of the features from the ROG Phone 5 still carry over to its successor, like the dual SIM tray on the bottom left, which is still double-sided. This means you have to install your SIM cards contact-side up. There’s no hybrid SD Card/SIM configuration for this phone as always, but with 512 GB worth of space on this model, that’s not even an issue.
The bottom part still has the main USB-C port for charging and the 3.5mm headphone jack. It’s good to note that unlike most smartphones that position the jack on the bottom left, the ROG Phone 6D Ultimate has it on the bottom right similar to its predecessor. At the very least, it won’t get in the way of holding the phone in landscape mode, even when operating the AirTriggers.
The right side of the phone retains the same design as well, with the volume and power keys in the middle. The ultrasonic AirTriggers are in the same position as always. These act as extra left and right shoulder buttons to bind game controls to.
As for the cameras, the front-facing one is a 12-megapixel Sony IMX663, while the rear uses a triple camera array. This setup features a 50-megapixel Sony IMX766, a 13-megapixel ultrawide, a 5-megapixel macro and the LED flash.
On the back, we have 2 new features on this model. First is the AeroActive Portal, which is an air intake exclusive to the 6D Ultimate.
The port opens and allows the air from the cooling fan to directly cool the internals. It’s a huge departure from the previous models since they mostly had either internal cooling chambers or thermal exhaust ports.
The second new feature is the PMOLED display, which acts like a notification panel when the phone is facing down. You can customize this display in the Armory Crate App to show notifications for incoming calls and other messages, though of course, this won’t show if you have the external cooling fan installed.
The charging block is pretty much the same appearance-wise. It still has that same male-to-male USB-C cable which plugs into the phone’s ports and an ROG laptop’s USB-C port if you have one.
You also get a plastic case with the package. It’s a simple plastic-like material that’s slightly flexible, but also firm to the tap.
Last but not the least, we have the latest AeroActive Cooler 6. The core function and design are still there, but it has new improvements over the previous models.
The fan still has that USB-C connector that clips to the left side of the phone and another port for plugging in the charger. The stand looks a little fragile, but the cooling fan can hold the phone without using it. The phone can tip over if you tap too hard on the screen though.
Sadly, there’s no 3.5mm headphone jack on the cooling fan this time, but at least the one on the phone is positioned away from your palm when you hold it in landscape mode.
For this particular model, the cooler’s lock features an extending slider with a push button. There are also 4 additional buttons that you can map to different game functions.
Setting up the phone
Setting up the phone is simple enough. The UI practically holds your hand through the whole process, almost like how mobile gacha games do their tutorials. The menu icons on the navigation menu are a lot bigger this time around but it’s nothing too overwhelming.
The Armory Crate app is still there, but with new additions like speed settings for the AeroActive Cooler and display options for the PMOLED display.
One thing I’d like to point out though is that the navigation buttons aren’t present at the start. Instead, the ROG Phone 6 UI uses gesture navigation, where you have to swipe the screen to switch to different apps.
If you’re a long-time android user like me and still prefer the old back, home and recent apps buttons, just configure them in the settings and you’re all good to go.
The Technical Specs
Display: 6.78-inch HDR10+ Samsung AMOLED, 2448×1080 (395ppi), 720 Hz touch sampling rate
Refresh Rate: 165 Hz
OS: Android 12 with ROG UI and Zen UI
CPU: 3.2 GHz MediaTek Dimensity 9000+ Mobile Platform
RAM: 16 GB
Storage: 512 GB
Battery: Dual 3,000 mAh Li-Ion (6,000 mAh total)
Front Camera: 12-megapixel Sony IMX663
Rear Cameras: 50-megapixel Sony IMX766, 13-megapixel ultrawide, 5-megapixel macro
Ports: USB-C (x2), 3.5mm headphone jack
SIM Card Tray: Dual SIM, no SD Card
Colors Available: Space Gray
The ROG Phone 6D Ultimate boasts impressive specs across the board. It’s an interesting choice that the phone uses a MediaTek Dimensity chipset this time around, but it’s got decent ratings nonetheless for both 3DMark and GeekBench.
As with the previous models, the 6D still sports 512 GB worth of storage space and 16GB RAM. While most games don’t really require that much memory, switching between games and apps without shutting them down is always nice to have for multitasking.
The 6000mAh battery capacity is still there, though as with the ROG Phone 5, the 6D also uses the dual battery setup. Charging is fast as usual with the improved Hypercharge function, which can top up the battery from 0% to full within 45 minutes.
Note: For all games, the graphics settings were left at defaults. The AeroActive Cooler was set to “Frosty” with X-Mode+ on.
Nikke: Goddess of Victory
One of the newest games to come out in 2022 was a Korean shooter game called Nikke. While the game has an interesting concept and a fairly serviceable story, the app itself is notorious for bugs and errors. Not to mention being a huge battery hog.
As unoptimized as this game is, pitting it against the ROG Phone proved little challenge as the temps were stable at 31C to 34C while framerates maintained a consistent 27 to 30 FPS. Playing co-op was smooth too, minus that one disconnect error during a session.
If there’s one game that’s best for testing the AirTriggers and AeroActive Cooler buttons, it’s Genshin Impact (sorry, Call of Duty Mobile!). The ultrasonic buttons on the phone itself were already useful, but the shoulder buttons on the cooler added a second layer of convenience when mapping keybinds to the character’s abilities.
As a Ganyu main, having added physical buttons bound to her bow made gameplay a lot easier. It was almost as if I was back to using a PS4 controller with my laptop again. Having the AeroActive cooler act as a de facto controller helped free my thumbs for aiming and rotating the camera.
Honkai Impact 3
The predecessor of Genshin is no slouch when it comes to combat, as it operates on a faster pace. It is, however, notorious for making lower-spec phones overheat especially in open-world mode. There was no such problem this time, compared to the ROG Phone 5 which spiked to 40C and above during its test run. Temperatures were stable at 36C and framerates were maintained at a near-constant 60 FPS.
Punishing: Grey Raven
If the fast-paced combat of Honkai Impact is your thing, Punishing: Grey Raven is definitely another title to consider. The game mechanics are similar to the former, complete with the ability to switch characters on the fly during combat. Similar to its competitor, the game ran at a near-consistent 60 FPS, while maintaining a stable temperature of 32C during gameplay. It is a bit heavy on the GPU usage, but it’s nothing the phone can’t handle.
Tower of Fantasy
The Genshin-lookalike was another game that takes advantage of the ROG Phone’s screen real estate. While this open-world game never managed to reach 60 FPS, it more or less maintained a 53 to 55 FPS with temperatures at 35C.
Testing the Camera
The one thing about the ROG Phone’s Sony IMX766 camera is that it can definitely detect as much light as possible from the area. It does come in handy for night shots, but there is one weakness: extremely bright images under direct light sources.
If you take pictures of your Figma, Nendoroids, Gunpla or other collectibles with a lightbox, you might have to adjust your light sources and the camera settings on the “Pro” mode to get a clear shot. It’s worth noting that just like most Android phones, the pro mode features several options to adjust the ISO, white balance, subject focus and more. It does take a bit of tweaking with the settings, but the results are worth it once you figure them out.
Putting that aside, the camera performs best under natural lighting and outdoor shots aren’t too bad either. The details look sharper than the ROG Phone 5, even on default settings.
It’s important to note that this is a gaming-focused phone, and you’re paying for quality gaming hardware for its price point. If the camera isn’t an issue for you, then definitely go for it. Otherwise, it might be best to look for other flagship models that have better cameras.
The ROG Phone 6D Ultimate is definitely a beast of a device, both in terms of gaming and battery life. I’m impressed with how the games run, even with how buggy Nikke and Tower of Fantasy were at the time of this writing.
While the camera is a weak point of this phone if you’re doing toy photography, normal shots outside of that are a huge improvement. As I said earlier, if you’re getting this phone, do so for the gaming hardware it’s made for.
With that being said, this is definitely one phone to consider if you’re planning an upgrade and you’re a heavy gamer. The battery life, hardware, RAM and storage are all features that high-end gaming phones should have as standard after all. I’d give this a 4.5 out of 5 for a final rating.
- Solid temperature management
- Solid gaming performance
- Long-lasting battery life
- High RAM capacity allows for smooth multitasking
- Camera is an improvement but still needs work
- UI may take time to get used to
The ASUS ROG Phone 6D Ultimate is now available in the Philippines for the price of PHP 69,995. It comes with a 1-year warranty. Get it today at official ROG Concept stores in SM Megamall, SM North EDSA and SM Mall of Asia or click here to get yours today!