ASUS ROG Phone 6 Diablo Immortal Edition review - "A high performing phone catering for a niche within a niche"

The Asus ROG Phone lineup has always targeted a certain niche. A high-powered gaming phone won't appeal to every avid mobile gamer, particularly since the latest iPhone or Samsung Galaxy provide an enjoyable experience. But there's still a market for these devices, and with the Asus ROG Phone 6 Diablo Immortal Edition, the company hopes to appeal to fans of Blizzard's action RPG.

While I'm not sure what the Venn diagram for Diablo fans and ardent mobile gaming fans looks like, it's a cool-looking phone, regardless. So long as you're into the unabashedly gamer aesthetic, that is. The phone back sports a red and black motif of the titular demon that looks awesome. Depending on how the light reflects on the surface, it can either look glossy or matte. It's a neat touch, and I'm not ashamed to say I spent far longer than you'd expect tilting it back and forth.

Surprisingly easy on the eye

Beyond the motif, the back also sports a Diablo Immortal logo that lights up when the phone is in use. Why does it do that when you won't be looking at the back of the phone? Honestly, I have no idea, and this highlights the main issues I have with these fancy-edition phones. While the back looks cool, how long will you spend staring at it? After the initial excitement, I popped the ROG Phone 6 into its case and never turned it over again. It wasn't until writing this review I remembered how great it looks.

It's a similar story with its special sounds. Asus has included several Diablo-inspired audio cues for when the phone is charging on your hit the power button, such as a swipe of a sword. It's a cute addition, but I assume most people keep their phone on vibrate only these days, so that's another inclusion that will either go unnoticed or quickly become forgotten.

Outside of its Diablo stylings, though, there's plenty to universally like about the phone's design. For starters, ASUS, unlike near enough every other phone manufacturer out there, recognises that some of us still appreciate the inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack. They've also included an additional charging point on the side of the phone, meaning you can charge the phone while playing landscape-oriented games without having an irritating wire hanging out the side. It's a cute addition and shows how much thought ASUS has put into designing a gaming phone.

Like its predecessors, the ROG Phone 6 includes Asus' AirTrigger System, specifically the sixth iteration, and they work well. If you're unfamiliar with the feature, it is essentially two panels in the corners of the phone. They can recognise taps, long presses, swipes, and slides, making them extremely versatile. So, for example, if you're playing Call of Duty Mobile, you can map aiming and shooting to a left and right tap, leaving your thumbs free to handle movement and the camera. To do this, you swipe diagonally from the top left-hand corner and use the Game Genie overlay to map the controls to suit your preferences.

I'd also argue its usefulness extends beyond making you more competitive in multiplayer games. The touch screen on this phone is wonderfully responsive, but some mobile games look fantastic, such as Genshin Impact and Sky: Children of the Light. So, it's a shame most of the screen becomes covered by our fingers as we play. With the AirTriggers, this is a thing of the past, letting you enjoy more games in all their unobscured glory. And that's something you'll definitely want to witness on the ROG Phone 6.

Armed with a 165Hz/1ms Samsung AMOLED 6.78 inch screen, the ROG Phone 6 has a magnificent display that will see you revisiting all your favourite games to see how much better they look. They won't just look pretty, either. Everything runs at a buttery smooth framerate, even on the highest graphics setting. It certainly served as a reminder that I desperately need to upgrade my ancient Google Pixel 3a. I'm no longer sure I can go back.

Fantastic display and performance

The stellar performance is provided by the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, a higher-clocked version of the 8 Gen 1. An understandable concern with these powerful chipsets is whether they'll stay cool after lengthy gaming sessions. For the most part, it does. I spent hours upon hours playing the excellent Vampire Survivors without any issues, something you can expect to be true for games that aren't hugely intensive. However, while the GameCool6 Cooling System generally does an admirable job, the phone does get quite hot when playing more graphically intensive titles, like Genshin Impact. Of course, you can mitigate this by lowering the settings, but that somewhat defeats the point of using a powerful device.

It probably won't surprise you to learn that all of this power results in quite a bulky phone. The ASUS ROG Phone 6 Diablo Immortal Edition isn't entirely unwieldy, but it's close. At 239 grams, it's roughly the same as the iPhone 14 Pro Max. For some people, this isn't an issue. But for me personally, once a phone tips the scales at more than 200 grams, it's no longer comfortable to carry around in my pocket.

ASUS ROG Phone 6 Diablo Immortal Edition review - "A high performing phone catering for a niche within a niche"

That takes away nothing from what ASUS has created here—a high-performance gaming phone with a stellar display and responsive touch screen. The AirTriggers are a fantastic, versatile inclusion that enables you to enjoy games your way. My only issue is - Who's going to buy this specific version? At £1099.99, the ROG Phone 6 is £200 more expensive than the regular version and the same price as the Pro edition. It's already an expensive phone fulfilling a niche. Although aesthetically awesome, with its Diablo Immortal warpaint, it feels even more so.
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