Asus’ gaming sub-brand Republic of Gamers (ROG) just announced its ROG Phone 6 and 6 Pro. Both devices are focused on giving mobile gamers as much performance as possible. But, more importantly, these phones are coming to South Africa.
When they do eventually land here, they will, in all likelihood, be the most powerful gaming phones available to South Africans. Other gaming smartphones from Lenovo and Xiaomi have yet to officially touch SA soil, so ROG claims the crown by default. Still, they’re pretty powerful in their own right.
Cranked up all the way
The ROG Phone 6 series features much of the same design language as the ROG Phone 5 series. So they’re attractive, in an RGB kinda way. Both devices feature some sort of display on the back. On the non-Pro model, expect an RGB logo that supports up to two colours at once. The 6 Pro comes with a customisable secondary display. You can slap in images, animations and text in a few preset scenarios. It isn’t just there to drain the battery. Promise.
It’s a little harder to poke fun at the specs, but that doesn’t mean we won’t try. Both ship with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipsets. It’s arguably the fastest mobile platform for Android currently available. But that alone isn’t going to set the ROG Phone 6 apart from other manufacturers’ devices. That could be the multi-tier ‘Gamecool 6’ cooling system ROG has designed.
You’re getting a special Boron Nitride thermal compound, a 30% larger vapour chamber from the ROG Phone 5 and a new wireless external cooler that attaches to the back of your device. Unfortunately, South African consumers aren’t getting any of the accessories. Just the devices. So it’s hot fingers for us.
It seems like almost every other spec is trying to set a record. The Pro version ships with up to 18GB of LPDDR5 RAM, which is more than some high-end PCs, and 512GB of non-expandable storage.
Pretty pixels pouncing profusely
For visuals, you’re getting a display with enough certifications to hold its own TED Talk. The 6.78in AMOLED display has (mostly) gaming in mind. It’s still pushing a 1080p resolution but very quickly. You can set it to 60Hz, 90Hz, 120Hz, 144Hz or 165Hz steps. According to ROG, you’re also getting an industry-leading 720Hz touch-sampling rate and 23ms touch latency.
Behind all this performance is a 6,000mAh two-cell battery. Charging speeds aren’t anything special. You’re only getting 65W wired charging but ROG has included battery optimisations that should help with playing while charging. And battery longevity. That’s important too.
This is still a smartphone, so there are a few cameras on the back. There’s a 50MP wide sensor with autofocus, a 13MP ultrawide cam and a 5MP macro cam. On the front, there’s a 12MP wide-angle selfie cam. Again, these devices are more for gaming than for taking pictures. Asus’ ROG phones haven’t had the best track record with their cameras. We’re sure they’ll do fine in a pinch but we wouldn’t enter any photography competitions.
We don’t yet know when exactly these will be shipping out. The estimates look like September for now but that could change. We’ll also only know local pricing when they do get here but if European prices are any indication, you better start saving. The ROG Phone 6 with 12GB of RAM and 256GB storage starts at €1,000 (R17,000), the 16GB/512GB option is €1,150 (R19,450) and the ROG Phone 6 Pro with 18GB RAM and 512GB ROM goes for €1,300 (R22,000). You can expect local prices to be higher.