ROG Phone 6D Ultimate review: an unlikely hero underneath

Asus ROG Phone 6D Ultimate Intro

When Asus released the ROG Phone 6 back in July, we were very notably missing an “Ultimate” variant — something we were expecting, since last year’s ROG Phone 5 Ultimate. Well lo and behold, it was just another ace up Asus’ sleeve — the Ultimate version is here, and it comes with a twist.

Asus just revealed two new phones — the Asus ROG Phone 6D and ROG Phone 6D Ultimate. What does the D stand for? They are not powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1. Instead, these two beasts have the MediaTek Dimensity 9000+. Ha, what an unexpected turn of events!

So, what’s the deal — who are these phones meant for? Well, it seems Asus will be targeting different markets with the Qualcomm-equipped ROG Phone 6 and the MediaTek-powered ROG Phone 6D. In some markets, there will be overlap and customers will be free to choose the platform they like better.

With all that said, let’s see how the ROG Phone 6D Ultimate holds up under scrutiny!

What’s new about ROG Phone 6D?

  • ROG Phone 6D series comes in exclusive Space Gray color

  • ROG Phone 6D series supports the same AeroActive Cooler 6, released with ROG 6

  • ROG Phone 6D Ultimate comes bundled with the AeroActive Cooler 6

  • ROG Phone 6D Ultimate has AeroActive Portal — a flap opens to offer better cooling

  • Outside design is the same for ROG 6D and ROG 6, all accessories interchangeable

  • Cameras on ROG 6D are the same as on ROG 6

Asus ROG Phone 6D Ultimate Unboxing

The ROG Phone 6D Ultimate comes in a rather generous package — not only does include its 65 W fast charger and a nice, braided cable, it also comes with the AeroActive Cooler 6 in the box. The package itself is too cool to throw away, so you will probably end up keeping the box. Hey, that’ll make resale in the future easy!

Asus ROG Phone 6D Ultimate Specs

An absolute beast

By this point, we are very used to the fact that ROG Phones are overkill with their specs. So, does this surprise us?

The ROG Phone 6D Ultimate comes with the uncompromising 512 GB of UFS 3.1 storage. And if the MediaTek Dimensity 9000+ doesn’t impress you, then maybe this will — the phone has 16 GB of LPDDR5X RAM.

“But the ROG Phone 6 Pro had 18 GB of RAM” is a common argument here. But note that the ROG 6D’s chips are LPDDR5X (instead of LPDDR5) — this new, super-fast RAM module simply doesn’t come with a higher option than 16 GB. So, again, Asus stuck the best hardware it possibly could inside the ROG Phone 6D Ultimate.

Asus ROG Phone 6D Models

The Asus ROG Phone 6D series comes in two flavors — a ROG Phone 6D and a ROG Phone 6D Ultimate (this review).

The respective differences between ROG Phone 6D and ROG Phone 6D Ultimate are:

  • 256 GB vs 512 GB storage

  • RGB logo on back vs ROG Vision mini display on back (for animated logos)

  • Ultimate has AeroActive Portal (explained below)

  • Ultimate comes bundled with AeroActive Cooler 6

Asus ROG Phone 6D Ultimate Design & Colors

Just as we said in our ROG Phone 6 Pro review — Asus has found the shape if wants its phones to be in and it’s sticking with it. The screen size, the slightly accentuated top and bottom bezels, the arched back — if you’ve had a ROG Phone II, you will feel instantly familiar with the ROG Phone 6D Ultimate.

Is this a bad thing? Up for you to decide. We don’t really mind it — ergonomics is not something that you want to experiment with and a gaming phone is all about ergonomics.

The ROG Phone 6D Ultimate is heavy, but since we are so used to its curved back and its soft edges, it’s definitely not hard to wield. Despite the fact that we used it without a case for a couple of weeks, day in and day out.

We did find that the 6D Ultimate’s finish is slightly different from the ROG Phone 6 Pro that we have. The Ultimate’s gray color is covered by a matte glass that is a bit softer than the one over the 6 Pro’s white shell. So, the ROG Phone 6D Ultimate felt a bit more slippery, whereas the ROG Phone 6 Pro feels just a tad easier to hold with a bit more stickiness to it.

That aside, we — again — have a 3.5 mm audio jacks, and a combo of bottom and side-mounted ports for charging, so you can plug in and game without the cable jabbing into your hand. The ultrasonic shoulder buttons are back and feel just the same as before — super responsive and a gamechanger when… gaming.

You will notice that the ROG Phone 6D Ultimate does not have the RGB-lit “Dare to Play” logo on the back. What gives? Well, this is where the Ultimate has an exclusive new feature — it’s actually a mechanical flap, which opens when you connect it to the AeroActive Cooler 6.

The new system is called AeroActive Portal and it delivers 1 liter of cool air per second straight to the phone’s CPU, dissipating heat about 9 times faster than without the Portal. Thanks to that, the AeroActive Cooler 6 can keep the phone at a pleasant 50°F (10°C) while in its default Fan mode. Other ROG Phones need to engage Frozen Mode to achieve the same result, which naturally draws more power.