What we want to see from the next-gen gaming phone

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Asus unveiled its ROG Phone 5 smartphone at MWC 2021, so we’re probably rapidly closing in on the launch of the Asus ROG Phone 6. Designed for gamers, the ROG Phone 3 and 5 have been reviewed quite well here on Android Authority, both as brilliant gaming handsets and solid feature phones. The current-gen Asus ROG Phone 5 won our coveted Editor’s Choice award, in part for its gaming-oriented features as well as its excellent hardware choices, from powerful front-firing speakers to fast charging.

We certainly want to see Asus continue to deliver the great sound, long battery life, and gaming software that make the series what it is. But, of course, there are some tweaks and improvements that we would like to see next time. So here’s our wishlist for what we want to see from the next Asus ROG Phone 6.

Improved cooling solutions

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The Asus ROG series of phones are all about gaming performance, and while we certainly have no complaints in that regard, its latest phone can get a little warm 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 bulky to use on the go and isn’t the cheapest accessory, priced at around $45. This accessory would also be better if the extra buttons were easier to reach, so maybe a redesign is in order to make the cooler a bit more ergonomic? Also, going back to bundling the cooler with all models next time wouldn’t hurt either.

See also: Asus unloads tons of ROG gear at its Rise of Gamers event at CES 2022

Alternatively, it would be great if the ROG Phone 6 came with an improved passive cooling system to improve temperatures without the need for accessories. To be fair to the ROG Phone, Asus already includes charging bypass mode and Wi-Fi optimizations designed to lower temperatures while gaming and extend battery life. More of these cool ideas would continue to separate the phone from the competition.

An even better set of cameras

Product photo Asus ROG Phone 5 of the triple camera through the included case

Ryan-Thomas Shaw/Android Authority

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 keep up not the rhythm of the main snapper. Ultrawide results, in particular, could be quite poor, with noticeable distortion. A more robust comprehensive imaging package would certainly improve the overall flagship credentials of the ROG Phone 6.

Likewise, the gimmicky 5MP macro camera could be done away with entirely. It really doesn’t offer much use, but adds to the BOM. Replacing it with a telephoto zoom would offer a lot more flexibility, matching the capabilities of other phones in the ROG series price range. A more Smartphone-like package for Snapdragon Insiders, Qualcomm’s ROG Phone 5-based phone, might do the trick – but hopefully without the bugs and hefty price tag.

A more robust all-round camera array would bolster the phone’s flagship credentials.

We’re not going to demand peak image quality – gaming is still this handset’s main focus after all. But a more competitive and comprehensive set of cameras would certainly make the phone a better long-term investment for gamers and general users.

Sleek features

Asus ROG Phone 5 product image of in-screen fingerprint scanner

Ryan-Thomas Shaw/Android Authority

The Asus ROG Phone 5 isn’t IP rated, doesn’t have wireless charging, and we described the in-screen fingerprint scanner as unreliable at best. It’s a shame because we’ve come to expect these features from high-end smartphones that cost $1,000.

With the gaming formula already at a standstill, Asus can afford to work on some features that would improve the more general use of the phone. Wireless charging is a great feature for recharging the battery throughout the day, while a top-notch fingerprint scanner takes the frustration out of unlocking the phone. Likewise, a better selfie camera, IP rating, lower weight, or even expandable storage add value, especially at Asus’ higher prices. We’d settle for two on the wishlist as a decent upgrade to the existing formula.

Read more: Asus ROG Phone 5 Review — King of the Hill

Addressing them would perfectly complement the already excellent stereo speakers, haptic feedback and capacitive air triggers that make the ROG series a great gaming phone.

Fewer models and variants

Asus ROG Phone 5 Ultimate Edition time on the back screen

Ryan-Thomas Shaw/Android Authority

Asus sold five ROG Phone 5 models at launch – three different memory variants of the standard model, as well as Pro and Ultra variants. Throw in a few ROG Phone 5S models that sported an upgraded Snapdragon 888 Plus processor and there were seven different options to choose from at various times throughout 2021. I’d say that’s easily three or four too many and the range would benefit from a simplified portfolio.

For starters, I’d skip the 128GB storage option. That’s not really enough for a decent game and media collection these days anyway. Likewise, 18GB of RAM in the Ultra model is overkill and probably doesn’t need to exist 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. The price of that small secondary screen is obviously a factor here, but it’s such a unique aspect of the ROG’s design that it should now probably be in or out of all models in the future.

No phone needs to launch with five different variants.

I’d simplify the lineup to three models, with RAM, storage, and maybe camera configurations as key dividers. This will make it much easier for consumers to understand the differences and should still allow Asus to hit prices above and below the $1000 mark without compromising the phone’s key gaming purpose.

Asus’ ROG Phone 5 is a great gaming package with only a few minor flaws, so we have high hopes for the next-gen model. A little more attention to some of the finer details would surely make the Asus ROG Phone 6 a smash hit.

What do you want to see most from the Asus ROG Phone 6? Vote in our poll and let us know in the comments below.

What do you want to see most from the Asus ROG Phone 6?

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