The Cooling System of ASUS' ROG Phone 6D Ultimate Is Significantly more Complex.

The Cooling System of ASUS' ROG Phone 6D Ultimate Is Significantly more Complex.

Following the release of the ROG Phone 6 Pro gaming phone, some ardent fans were left wondering what had become of the "Ultimate" edition. ASUS, it turns out, waited more than two months to reveal its "one more thing": the ROG Phone 6D Ultimate.

Except for four differences, it's nearly identical to the 6 Pro: the new "space gray" color, the intriguing choice of the MediaTek Dimensity 9000+ processor (which is what the "D" in "6D" stands for), the switch to faster LPDDR5X RAM, and the new "AeroActive Portal" design for blowing cool air into its internal heat-dissipation fins.

The AeroActive Portal is effectively a door flap that opens when the accompanying AeroActive Cooler 6 is mounted, directing a part of the cold airflow created by the fan – at roughly 1,000cc per second — through a wind tunnel and onto the heatsink, with hot air exiting via the top slot.

The heatsink is, of course, coupled to the generously sized thermal layers covering the logic board and battery cells, in order to transfer heat from the components to the airflow. This is done to assist maintain a high frame rate for a longer amount of time while gaming, as well as to keep the phone pleasant to handle.

According to ASUS, the ROG Phone 6D achieved 36.9°C (98.42°F) after 60 minutes of Perfdog testing on Genshin Impact at 60Hz in air cooling mode, which was 3.4°C lower than the ROG Phone 6 in the same mode. That is, the AeroActive Portal appears to make a significant effect.

Similarly, in "Frosty" and "Frozen" modes (with the Peltier thermoelectric cooling chip activated), and it's worth noting that the AeroActive Cooler 6 is the only Peltier-equipped cooler on the market that doesn't require external power — it just requires it for the more powerful "Frozen" mode.

While the AeroActive Portal is only activated when an AeroActive Cooler 6 is connected, you can temporarily open it in settings for cleaning reasons. The flap is otherwise tightly closed to protect the phone's IPX4 splash resistance. It also incorporates fall detection for automatically retracting the flap, and the stepper motor and zirconium alloy hinge are supposedly good for over 40,000 flips — both of which are based on lessons learned from the Zenfone series' now-retired Flip Camera function.

The 6D Ultimate shares many of the same features as the 6 Pro, including a 165Hz 6.78-inch AMOLED display, 720Hz touch sampling rate, up to 512GB of storage, a 6,000mAh battery, 65W fast charging (42 minutes), Dirac-tuned front-facing stereo speakers, ultrasonic "AirTiggers," and a customizable "ROG Vision" color display on the back.

It also has the same combination of cameras: a 50-megapixel primary camera with a Sony IMX766 sensor, a 13-megapixel ultra-wide camera, and a 5-megapixel macro camera; and a 12-megapixel selfie camera with a Sony IMX663 sensor on the front.

ASUS surprised everyone by switching to MediaTek for its Dimensity 9000+ chipset, which supposedly outperforms the ROG Phone 6's Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 engine. While the Snapdragon flagship chipset has a stronger GPU, the firm claims that the Dimensity's CPU is 10% more powerful (albeit with the same 3.2GHz maximum clock speed), which is more important in most mobile games. The CPU is matched with faster LPDDR5X RAM, however this is the same reason why it is limited to 16GB rather than 18GB here.

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Jessica Vieira
Jessica Vieira
Jessica Vieira is ProductReviews's senior media reporter, covering the intersection of entertainment and technology.