What you need to know
- ASUS has introduced the ROG Phone 6D and ROG Phone 6D Ultimate, its first gaming phones with MediaTek hardware.
- Both phones feature the MediaTek Dimensity 9000+ and go up to 3.35GHz for the Cortex X2 core.
- The ROG Phone 6D Ultimate has a new internal cooling system with a hinge that facilitates airflow into the chassis.
- There's also a limited-edition version of the ROG Phone 6D with Batman accouterments.
When ASUS introduced the ROG Phone 6 series a few months ago, there was a notable omission — we didn't get an Ultimate variant. The Taiwanese manufacturer is fixing that problem by unveiling two new models in the series: ROG Phone 6D and the ROG Phone 6D Ultimate.
These phones are meant to slot in alongside the existing ROG Phone 6 Pro and the standard Phone 6, and they have the distinction of being the first gaming phones from ASUS to be powered by MediaTek hardware. ASUS has exclusively used Qualcomm designs for its gaming phones, but with the Phone 6D and the 6D Ultimate, it went with the Dimensity 9000+.
ASUS says it did so to provide better choice to its customers, but there's a caveat: the ROG Phone 6D series will not be debuting in North America. The phones are coming to the U.K. and other global markets in the coming weeks, but they're not coming to the U.S. or Canada. This is likely to do with the 5G modem situation with MediaTek, so in that region, the ROG Phone 6 series is the default option.
While the main differentiator for the ROG Phone 6D is the switch to the Dimensity 9000+, the Phone 6D Ultimate gets an additional feature in the form of a slotted hinge that opens to facilitate better airflow inside the chassis. Dubbed the AeroActive Portal, this hinge works in conjunction with the AeroActive Cooler — ASUS is bundling it with the Ultimate edition — to manage thermals better. Head to my Phone 6D Ultimate preview post to see how it works in action.
Other than that, both devices are identical to their ROG Phone 6 siblings. ASUS isn't changing the design language or altering the rest of the hardware, with both phones featuring a large 6.78-inch Samsung AMOLED panel that goes up to 165Hz, dual speakers with a 3.5mm jack, side-mounted USB-C port, and a massive 6000mAh battery with 65W USB PD charging.
An interesting new addition is the ROG Phone 6 Batman Edition. The device has a new RGB logo at the back stylized after the Batman emblem, and there are custom backgrounds and icon styles. ASUS is also bundling a host of accessories, including an interesting Bat-Signal projector, unique case, and a hard-shell case for carrying the device and the accessories:
"The phone has a special finish that, when it catches the light, mimics a cloudy night sky penetrated by a searchlight. The special Aura RGB illuminated logo is an outline image of the instantly recognizable Bat emblem, and the Batman theme continues throughout the interface, with its exclusive themed live wallpapers, icon styles, animations, sound effects and more."
"A unique set of matching accessories includes a USB-C-powered Bat-Signal searchlight mini-projector that can project one of two versions of the famous Bat-Signal onto nearby surfaces; a Batman Aero Case with a special finish and a hidden 'Easter egg' image; and a specially hard-shell case for safekeeping of the ROG Phone 6 Batman Edition and its accessories."
The ROG Phone 6 Batman Edition will be available with the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 in North America and the Dimensity 9000+ in other markets, and other than the design changes, it is identical to the ROG Phone 6/6D. ASUS hasn't announced what the device will cost in North America, but the MediaTek-based version will debut for €1199 ($1,197).
The standard ROG Phone 6D will be available for £799 ($910) in the U.K., with a launch slated in the coming weeks. The ROG Phone 6D Ultimate will debut for £1,199 ($1,367) in the country, and as mentioned earlier, it includes the AeroActive Cooler.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.