Asus only launched the ROG Phone 6 and 6 Pro in July, but the company has decided it’s already time for more gaming phones. The new 6D and 6D Ultimate aren’t pitched as direct successors, but the latter does become the most expensive ROG phone Asus has ever made.
We currently only have UK pricing for the phones. At £799, the regular 6D is the cheapest in the ROG Phone 6 lineup. But the 6D Ultimate is the priciest, costing £1,199.
So, what do these new handsets do differently? As it turns out, there’s a clue in the name. The ‘D’ in this case stands for Dimensity, with both phones powered by MediaTek’s flagship Dimensity 9000+ chipset. It’s a significant change compared to the 6 and 6 Pro, which use the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 from Qualcomm instead. It calls to mind laptop models that have Intel or AMD versions.
Direct comparisons between the two (from the likes of Geekbench 5) suggest performance is roughly similar, although Asus has supposedly overclocked the Dimensity 9000+ to be capable of higher than the advertised 3.35GHz clock speeds. A maximum of 16GB of RAM (compared to 18GB on the 6 Pro) might sound like a downgrade, but it uses the faster DDR5X standard which can’t go higher yet.
There’s another key difference you might have noticed from the photos, but it’s exclusive to the 6D Ultimate. Instead of the RGB lighting on the 6 Pro, Asus has included what it’s calling the AeroActive Portal.
Essentially, this is a small flap which opens when the AeroActive Cooler 6 fan is connected to help improve heat dissipation. It’s specifically designed for longer gaming sessions, where heat can quickly build up and affect performance. Compared to using the fan on its own, Asus says this improves thermal efficiency by up to 20%.
Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry
Durability is an understandable concern, but the AeroActive Portal apparently supports over 40,000 opening and closing cycles. It can also detect when the phone is falling and automatically close, while the IPX4 rating remains – that still only means it’s splash resistant, though.
Asus has included the AeroActive 6 Cooler in the box with the 6D Ultimate, but it’s still sold separately if you opt for the regular 6D. That and the company’s Kunai 3 gamepad are compatible with all ROG Phone 6 handsets.
In other respects, both phones are somewhat unchanged compared to the 6 and 6 Pro. They feature 6.78in, 2440×1080 OLED displays, complete with 165Hz refresh rate and 720Hz touch sampling. The secondary ROG Vision rear screen is only on the Pro and Ultimate models, though.
Cameras aren’t usually a priority on gaming phones, but the 6D and 6D Ultimate still include a triple rear setup, with a 50Mp main sensor joined by 13Mp ultrawide and 5Mp macro lenses. On the front, a 12Mp selfie camera is housed within slim bezels rather than a notch of any kind.
You also still get 6,000mAh of battery capacity, split across two 3,000mAh cells. Battery life was a key strength of the 6 Pro, and the Dimensity 9000+, like the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, makes power efficiency a priority.
The 6D and 6D Ultimate run both Asus’ custom ROG UI and Zen UI skins over Android 12 (each stepping in depending on what you’re doing) with Asus committing to two major OS updates and at least two years of security updates. That suggests they’ll get Android 13 and Android 14 eventually, but nothing after that, which is lagging behind other smartphone manufacturers.
Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry
Both phones are available to pre-order today, ahead of release at the end of October. Hopefully the patchy availability of the regular 6 and 6 Pro will have improved by then, too. All four look set to be among the best gaming phones you can buy, with the 6 Pro already sitting third.