Asus unveiled its ROG Phone 5 smartphone at MWC 2021, so we’re probably fast closing in on the launch of the Asus ROG Phone 6. Designed for gamers, the ROG Phone 3 and 5 are fairly well reviewed here on Android Authority, both as great gaming handsets and solid feature phones. The current-generation Asus ROG Phone 5 won our coveted Editor’s Choice award, thanks to its gaming-oriented features as well as its excellent hardware options, from powerful front-firing speakers to fast charging.
We definitely want to see Asus continue to deliver great sound, long battery life and gaming software that make this series just as it is. But, of course, there are some changes and improvements that we would like to see next time. So here’s our wish list of what we want to see from the next Asus ROG Phone 6.
better cooling solution
Asus’ ROG series phones are all about gaming performance, and we certainly have no complaints in that regard, but its latest phone can get a bit hot during prolonged gaming. Not enough to make the phone uncomfortable to hold, but you can definitely feel the heat after 15-20 minutes.
Asus bundles its Aero Active cooler accessory with the Pro and Ultra variants, but you’ll have to buy it separately with the regular version. It’s a bit heavy to use on the go and isn’t the cheapest accessory, costing around $45. This accessory would be even better if the extra buttons were easier to reach, so maybe there’s a redesign to make the cooler a little more ergonomic? Plus, going back to bundling the cooler with all models next time won’t hurt either.
Alternatively, it would be great if the ROG Phone 6 comes with an improved passive cooling system to improve the temperature without the need for accessories. To be fair for the ROG Phone, Asus already includes charging bypass mode and Wi-Fi optimizations designed to lower temperatures and extend battery life while gaming. More of these cool ideas will continue to set the phone apart from the competition.
Even better set of cameras
We liked the ROG Phone 5 partly because it offers a solid main camera, especially for a gaming phone. However, image quality from the ultra-wide lens and macro camera doesn’t quite maintain the rhythm of the main snapper. Ultrawide results, in particular, can be quite poor, with noticeable distortion. A more robust comprehensive imaging package will certainly improve the ROG Phone 6’s overall flagship credentials.
Similarly, the gimmicky 5MP macro camera can be completely done away with. It doesn’t really offer much use, but adds to the BOM. Replacing this with a telephoto zoom will provide a lot more flexibility, matching the capabilities of other phones in the ROG series price range. Another smartphone-like package for Snapdragon insiders, Qualcomm’s ROG Phone 5-based phone, might do the trick — though hopefully without the bugs and hefty price tag.
A more robust all-round camera array will cement the phone’s flagship credentials.
We’re not going to demand extreme image quality – gaming is still the main focus of this handset. But a more competitive and comprehensive set of cameras will certainly make the phone a better long-term investment for gamers and general users alike.
The Asus ROG Phone 5 isn’t IP rated, doesn’t have wireless charging, and we found the in-screen fingerprint scanner to be incredible at best. It’s a shame because we expect these features from high-end smartphones that cost $1,000.
With the gaming formula already at a standstill, Asus may be working on some features that will improve on more general usage of the phone. Wireless charging is a great feature to recharge the battery throughout the day, while a great fingerprint scanner takes away the frustration of unlocking the phone. Likewise, a better selfie camera, IP rating, less weight, or even expandable storage add value, especially at Asus’s higher prices. We’ll settle for two on the wishlist as a nice upgrade to the current formula.
Asus sold five ROG Phone 5 models at launch – three different memory variants of the standard model, as well as the Pro and Ultra variants. Some ROG Phone 5S models offer an upgraded Snapdragon 888 Plus processor and have seven different options to choose from at different times during 2021. I’d say it’s easily three or four too many and the range is a simplified department.
For starters, I’ll skip the 128GB storage option. Anyway nowadays it’s not really enough for a good sports and media collection. Likewise, 18GB of RAM in the Ultra model is overkill and probably doesn’t need to be present either, except for bragging rights. It also seems a bit silly that there are different rear display options for the Standard, Pro and Ultra variants.