Asus is reportedly working on a Snapdragon 888+ powered ROG Phone 5s
Asus' magnum opus, the ROG Phone 5, has been around for only a few months. Despite that, Asus has plans to launch a mid-cycle refresh for the gaming smartphone called the ROG Phone 5s. The information comes from a relatively obscure Twitter user @bhuvnesh_bagri, but it seems to be verified by @chunvn8888, a more reputable figure.
According to Bhavesh, the Asus ROG Phone 5s will pack a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888+ SoC coupled with up to 18GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. It is expected to reuse the ROG Phone 5's 144Hz OLED panel and 6,000mAh battery that supports 65W fast charging. Its camera specs are unknown at this point, but they will likely remain the same. Bhavesh rounds things off by stating that Asus will unveil the ROG Phone 5s on August 16.
Our review called the ROG Phone 5 the 'king of gaming smartphones' due to its impressive spec sheet and performance, so it'll be interesting to see what improvements its successor has in store for us. The prospect of a new Snapdragon 888 Plus-powered gaming phone is quite exciting. However, we should treat the information with a heavy dose of scepticism for several reasons.
For starters, there is no reason for Asus to cannibalize its own flagship offering, more so when it caters to a niche portion of the market. The performance difference between the Snapdragon 888 and Snapdragon 888+ is not enough to justify the launch of an entirely new smartphone. Furthermore, Qualcomm is neck deep in Snapdragon 888/888+ orders already, so Asus will have a hard time sourcing silicon for the ROG Phone 5s.
Second, the Asus ROG Phone 5s is yet to show up on any major benchmarking website. More often than not, unreleased smartphones tend to show up on Geekbench, AnTuTu and other databases weeks, if not months, ahead of launch. A high-end gaming smartphone running a new Qualcomm chipset would definitely have made quite a noticeable blip on the radar.
Lastly, Asus had been very tight-lipped about the ROG Phone 5s. While OEMs don't usually comment on unreleased products, we often see teasers about what's to come on social media. There has been virtually no mention of the ROG Phone 5s anywhere. A high-profile launch is usually preceded by some fanfare. Even the unofficial channels have been relatively quiet about the putative ROG Phone 5 successor.