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Asus debuted two new gaming phones Tuesday, the ROG Phone 6 and ROG Phone 6 Pro, which feature the newest Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor and a Samsung AMOLED display capable of running at a 165Hz refresh rate. Alongside the phones, the AeroActive Cooling 6 accessory that clips onto the line promises to reduce temperatures by up to 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees F) from the back of the phone, and adds tactile shoulder buttons for gaming.
Both phones also include a 6,000-mAh battery with 65-watt charging, and additional sensors that add gaming controls through the phone's gyroscope as well as along the phone's corners. They each include a 50-megapixel main camera, 13-megapixel ultrawide camera and 5-megapixel macro camera. Both phones also have a 12-megapixel front camera.
The main differences between the standard 6 and the 6 Pro come with its storage and memory options: The 6 starts with 256GB of storage with models that include 8GB and 12GB of RAM, while the 6 Pro includes 512GB of storage and 18GB of RAM. The Pro also has a second display on the back that can show notifications, system information and animations. The 6 instead gets a LED logo that can be customized to light up for different situations.
These are all specs that -- like other gaming phones -- are meant to prioritize power and performance in order to get the most out of Android games. The battery in particular is especially notable and its 6,000-mAH capacity matches last year's Asus ROG Phone 5. That phone has one of the longest battery lives that we've seen on an Android phone, according to CNET's Patrick Holland, and was accomplished through two 3,000-mAh batteries. Last year's phone also had a very fast 144Hz screen though, and this year's even faster 165Hz screen might affect how quickly it burns through a charge.
Having that 165Hz screen should also make animations extremely smooth, especially for games that are capable of supporting that threshold. I found during my review of the RedMagic 7, which also has a 165Hz refresh rate, that only some Android games support that right now since most phones cap out at a 120Hz refresh rate. For most people, 120Hz is plenty smooth enough, but for the gaming crowd this phone is targeted toward, 165Hz does bring out a bit more precision in what you can see.
Release dates aren't yet available, but when they get a US release the ROG Phone 6 will start at $1,000 and the 6 Pro will start at $1,300. The phones for now are set to first arrive in Europe at 999 euros (roughly £860 or AU$1,510) for the 6 and 1,299 euros for the Pro. This puts them well into flagship territory in terms of pricing, and an uptick over last year's ROG Phone 5, which started at 799 euros.
While we would need to wait for a hands-on with the phone in order to check out its Snapdragon chip, this latest processor paired with the higher refresh rate on a Samsung-made display are intriguing as they both could eventually end up in more mainstream phones down the line.
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