Gaming smartphones have become a great thing, even if almost all high-end smartphones are well capable of running these games anyway. This subset of the mobile market promises additional features to elevate the gaming experience, such as additional invisible buttons for additional controls or small cooling fans for better thermal management. Almost all of them come with distinctive gaming device designs as opposed to the more discreet look of typical smartphones. All of these funky designs and features, of course, are meant to entice gamers, but none of them come for free. Sometimes the price is quite literal, given the cost of these gaming smartphones. However, for one of these feature phones, the price also comes in the way you might not least expect it, especially if you accidentally sit on the phone or bend disproportionately.
To be fair, ASUS’ Republic of Gamers, or ROG, should be commended for introducing one of the most powerful smartphones this year as well as one of the most exciting gaming phones to date. The white ROG Phone 6 Pro, in particular, offers a unique and new aesthetic that makes it look like it’s been straight out of the sci-fi movie set. The company’s attention to detail is certainly commendable too, from the massive and intriguing packaging to the engraved text on the rear glass urging the stand to “join the republic.”
There are also some touches that might really appeal to gamers, like the small LCD screen on the back which can be used to display logos and animations, not to mention notifications. There is also a second USB-C port on the side of the phone, which allows the user to play games while the phone is charging without the cable getting in the way. The latter is quite new, although it was also present in the ROG Phone 5. Unfortunately, the similarities between the two generations of gaming phones do not end there.
JerryRigEverything YouTube channel JerryRigEverything’s typical torture test started off well enough that the phone performed well when it came to scratching and burning the phone. Admittedly, this second test is now only for fun and tradition, but the scratch test inspires confidence that your playing partner will survive your pocket or bag unscathed. Unfortunately, it may not survive water splashes in the sink due to its meager IPX4 rating for dust and water resistance.
Unfortunately, things take a nosedive right away during the bend test. Just like its predecessor, the ASUS ROG Phone 6 Pro easily bent in half, indicating that there may not have been a significant improvement in its structural integrity. The back glass is completely cracked, although the small screen still works ridiculously. The home screen is bent beyond repair and no longer works either. It still requires a thorough investigation with the ripping, but the most likely reason is the phone’s separate design and placement of the second USB-C port.
While it’s highly unlikely that you would try to bend the phone the way a YouTuber did, accidents do happen from time to time. It’s certainly not reassuring that a $1,300 phone like the ROG Phone 6 Pro might be so vulnerable, especially when you think it’s not properly waterproof either. This does not bode well for the long-term sustainability of the phone as damages could mean easily getting rid of a broken phone. The ROG Phone 6 Pro may look like it’s from the future, but it certainly hasn’t made any headway in its durability and sustainability.