The Asus ROG Phone 6 is the best gaming smartphone available, but if you want to make the most of it — and make games even more enjoyable to play — Asus has a pair of accessories to tempt you. Both the new Asus AeroActive Cooler 6 and the updated Kunai 3 gamepad perform very different functions. Is either worthwhile?
The Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro was recently released, and it’s one of the best phones I’ve ever used. It has pretty much everything thrown into a single device, and it was released alongside a set of pretty incredible peripherals. The Asus AeroActive Cooler 6, for example, uses a built-in fan to cool the phone. When externally powered, Asus claims that the phone can be cooled by up to 25°C, though most users will not require anything close to that level of cooling.
But what exactly is the AeroActive Cooler 6 for? It serves two functions for long gaming sessions. First, it cools down your phone to prevent thermal throttling, allowing you to play longer. First, it cools down your phone to prevent thermal throttling, allowing you to play for as long as you need. The second reason is that it makes the phone more comfortable to hold for longer periods of time because there is less heat to transfer to the phone’s edges. It also has buttons on the back that can be mapped to touch inputs in your games if you want to use it, so it’s more than just a cool accessory.
What exactly are the ROG Phone 6 Accessories?
The AeroCooler Active 6 is an external fan for the ROG Phone 6 and ROG Phone 6 Pro, but unlike previous models, it also has four physical buttons on the case that can be assigned to game controls. It also has a kickstand to keep the phone upright and an RGB light array inside. It connects to the ROG Phone 6 via the side-mounted USB Type-C port, and there’s a pass-through port for charging or powering the phone. It’s worth noting that the new cooler is only compatible with the ROG Phone 6, and previous AeroCooler accessories will not work with it.
There are three cooling modes available. The fan alone is used for basic cooling, Frosty mode increases the intensity and draws power from the phone, and Frozen mode requires the AeroActive Cooler 6 to be plugged into a power source. According to Asus, it can lower surface temperatures by up to 25 degrees Celsius and is best suited to people who play intensive games for more than an hour at a time.
The Kunai 3 gamepad included with the ROG Phone 6 is identical to the Kunai 3 controller included with the ROG Phone 5, but it now comes in a new Moonlight White color. The modular control system is similar to Nintendo’s Switch Joy-Con controller.
It consists of two controller sections, a central charging section, a separate grip, and a skeleton frame designed specifically for the ROG Phone 6. When used alone, it connects to the phone via Bluetooth, and when the controllers are connected to either side of the skeleton frame, it connects via USB.
On the Kunai 3, there are 10 mappable buttons and analog triggers spread across the front and back of the controllers, two joysticks, and various menu buttons. On the left controller, there’s even an RGB strip light. It comes with a small carry case that’s ideal for “Mobility Mode,” which eliminates the need for the wireless controller’s grip section.
Features & Cooling Capabilities
The Asus AeroActive Cooler 6 has a few features that set it apart from the competition. To begin, there are four cooling modes, the last of which is inaccessible unless the phone is charging. The reason for this is that each cooling mode consumes more energy, so cooling your phone drains it faster. Because the side USB-C port cannot supply enough power to support the “frozen” cooling mode, the phone must be plugged in at the same time. This must be done via the cooler’s port, as the phone will not allow you to switch to “frozen” mode if you connect the cooler via the side port and then charge via the ROG Phone 6’s bottom port.
In addition, the cooler has a small stand built into the charging port that can be flipped open to allow the phone to stand. It’s a little flimsy — it’s come off a couple of times and I’ve had to click it back in. Despite this, the obvious primary job of the Asus AeroActive Cooler 6 is to keep the phone cool and prevent thermal throttling, so how does it fare? Our testing revealed that it works quite well. Furthermore, the cooler includes RGB lights that can be controlled via the phone’s Armoury Crate app. You can make it match the Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro wallpapers if you want, or just tweak it however you want.
Asus AeroActive Cooler 6 Gaming
First and foremost, this cooler is clearly aimed primarily at gamers. It’s clear what Asus was going for with its aesthetic (along with the overall ROG aesthetic) and the trigger buttons on the back that can be mapped to touch inputs. We tested it in both Genshin Impact and AetherSX2 while emulating The Simpsons: Hit & Run, and the results were fantastic.
We were able to play Genshin Impact for over 30 minutes at 60 frames per second with the cooler turned on, something that this phone struggled to do without it. Without the cooler, the temperature around the phone was around 37° C towards the sides where your fingers rest, while the SoC was closer to 45° C.
We tested The Simpsons’ Hit & Run with and without the cooler. After half an hour without the cooler, the phone reached 43°C. This temperature is still acceptable, but the phone is hot to the touch and may become uncomfortable over time. We found that when we attached the cooler and used it in “frosty” mode (the second-highest mode and the highest you can use it at when not connected to power), the temperature fluctuated around 36°C/37°C at its peak. Finally, when connected to power, bypass charging mode was enabled, and the cooler was set to “frozen,” the phone moved between 31°C and 35°C.