Asus AeroActive Cooler 6 Review: A must-have for serious gamers
The Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro launched recently, and it’s one of the best phones that I’ve ever used. It has pretty much everything and the kitchen sink thrown into a single device, and it launched alongside a set of pretty incredible peripherals. One such peripheral is the Asus AeroActive Cooler 6, which cools the phone via a built-in fan. In the most extreme conditions when externally powered, Asus says that the phone can be cooled by up to 25°C, though most users won’t need anywhere near that kind of cooling capability.
But what’s the point of the AeroActive Cooler 6? For long gaming sessions, its purpose is two-fold. First, it cools down your phone to prevent it from thermal throttling, extending your game session for as long as you need it. The second reason is that it makes the phone more comfortable to hold for longer periods of time, as there won’t be as much heat to transfer to the edges of the phone. It has buttons on the back too that you can bind to touch inputs in your games if you want to use it, so it’s not just a cooler attachment.
About this review: I received the Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro from Asus on the 17th of June, 2022 alongside the AeroActive Cooler 6. My colleague, Aamir Siddiqui, also received the device from Asus, along with the cooler. While the company provided us with review units, it did not have any input into the contents of this review.
Features and Cooling Capabilities
The Asus AeroActive Cooler 6 has a few features up its sleeves that make it unique. For starters, there are four cooling modes, though the last one is inaccessible unless the phone is charging. The reason for this is that each cooling mode uses more energy, so while you’re cooling your phone you’re draining your phone faster. The side USB-C port isn’t able to provide enough power to support the “frozen” cooling mode, so the phone needs to be plugged in at the same time. This plugging in needs to happen through the cooler’s port, since the phone won’t let you switch to “frozen” if you connect the cooler on the side port and then charge through the ROG Phone 6’s bottom port.
As well, the cooler has a little stand built at the charging port that can be flipped open to let the phone stand up. It is a bit flimsy — I’ve had it come off a couple of times and had to click it back in. Despite all of that, the Asus AeroActive Cooler 6’s obvious primary job is to keep the phone cool and prevent thermal throttling, so how does it fare? As it turns out, quite well from our testing.
What’s more, the cooler even has RGB lights built-in too that can be configured from the phone’s Armoury Crate app. You can make it match the Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro wallpapers if you’d like, or just tune it whatever other way you want.
First and foremost, this cooler is obviously primarily aimed at gamers. Between its aesthetic (alongside the overall ROG aesthetic) and the trigger buttons on the back that can be mapped to touch inputs, it’s clear what Asus was going for here. We tested it both in Genshin Impact and when emulating The Simpsons: Hit & Run via AetherSX2, and received phenomenal results.
With the cooler enabled, we were able to consistently play Genshin Impact for over half an hour at basically 60 FPS, something that this phone barely struggled to achieve without the cooler. Without the cooler, the temperature measured around the phone was around 37° C towards the sides where your fingers rest, while the SoC was hitting more towards 45°C.
As for The Simpson’s Hit & Run, we tested both with and without the cooler. Without the cooler, the phone reached 43°C after half an hour. This temperature is still fine, but the phone is hot to the touch and might be uncomfortable over longer periods of time. Attaching the cooler and using it in “frosty” mode (the second-highest mode, and the highest you can use it at when not connected to power), we found the temperature fluctuated around 36°C/37°C at its peak. Finally, when connected to power with bypass charging mode enabled and the cooler in “frozen” mode, the phone would move up and down between 31°C and 35°C.
No matter what, these are pretty impressive results for intensive gaming sessions. Even using it in its second-highest mode, it’ll keep your phone much cooler than it otherwise would have been without the cooler, protecting your phone’s internals from overheating and ensuring that the chipset can consistently maintain high clock speeds.
CPU Throttling Test
CPU Throttling Test is a freely available app on the Google Play Store, and it repeats a simple multithreaded test in C for as short as 15 minutes. We increased the length of time to 30 minutes. The app charts the score over time so you can see when the phone starts throttling. The score is measured in GIPS — or billion operations per second. It’s essentially a test that can measure the sustained performance of a chipset. While the phone does heat up, it’s not unbearably hot and is perfectly usable even at the hottest that it achieved.
With the AeroActive Cooler attached, I noticed as well that the Asus ROG Phone 6 Pro did perform better than you would expect. It achieved a maximum of 377 GIPs, whereas, without the cooler, the maximum it achieved was 341 GIPS. That’s nearly a 10% increase in maximum performance, and the average was also similarly higher with the cooler attached. It’s not a necessity, but it’s clear you’ll definitely have some benefits when using the cooler on your phone.
The AeroActive Cooler 6 isn’t for everyone
It’s not all good for the Asus AeroActive Cooler 6 though, and there are a few things that I wish it had. For starters, it would make total sense to both extend the length of the cooler just a little bit, and to exhaust air out the top and bottom instead of at the sides. The buttons on the back can be harder to reach when playing games since the ROG Phone 6 is a long phone, and hot air being expelled over your fingers is an uncomfortable experience during longer sessions.
Again, too, there’s the issue of the stand. It’s a flimsy stand that only allows for one viewing angle, and it’s just a little bit wider than 90° on a table. It’s pretty impractical. It might have made more sense to have a stiffer hinge but located on the opposite side to the hinge’s current position at the bottom, and get more movement in there.
Finally, while I understand it’s an Asus peripheral, I would absolutely love it if it were more “universal”. Many people could get use out of something like this, though to even make proper contact with the phone it needs to be shaped to it. There are some competitors (like the Razer Phone Cooler Chroma or the GameSir X3), but the first is just a cooler, and the second is a full-fledged controller. Both of those also need external power, whereas this cooler can be powered by your phone. I understand the logistical difficulty in making a one-size fits all solution, but it’s such a good peripheral that I feel like I can be picky a bit and hope for it to come to other devices, too!
Should you buy the Asus AeroActive Cooler 6?
Asus also plans to launch one of these coolers for the Asus ROG Phone 5 and 5s, so if you have one of those devices and really want a cooler for your phone, then you can hold off and wait. It’ll make use of the pogo pins on the back of the phone, though the company hasn’t said when it intends on launching it just yet.
If you’re looking to cool your ROG Phone 6 on the go for long gaming sessions, then you can’t go wrong with the Asus AeroActive Cooler 6. I love it, and it’s been a fantastic addition so that I can play games without worrying about burning my hands off or damaging my phone from the heat while ensuring that performance stays at full pelt. It’ll come to the U.S. market at a later date, but you’ll soon be able to purchase it in Europe for €89.99.