The ROG Phone 5 from Asus is undoubtedly one of the best gaming smartphones out there right now. But while it packs the flagship level Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 system-on-chip, it’s technically no longer the best SoC anymore as Qualcomm has since released the Snapdragon 888+. As such, Asus has decided to upgrade the ROG Phone 5 and ROG Phone 5 Pro with it too.
Called the ROG Phone 5S and ROG Phone 5S Pro, they both come with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888+ SoC and now come with up to 18GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. Previously, apart from the older SoC the base model ROG Phone 5 only had up to 16GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, while the ROG Phone 5 Pro doubled the storage to 512GB. The ROG Phone 5S and ROG Phone 5S Pro also get a more response 360Hz touch-sampling rate, up from the 300Hz on the older models.
Other than that, it’s pretty much the same as the original ROG Phone 5 and ROG Phone 5 Pro. The new devices still have a 6.78-inch FHD+ AMOLED display with a 144Hz refresh rate, they still have the triple camera setup on the rear with a 64MP main shooter and they still have the same 6,000mAh battery keeping the lights on. The ROG Phone 5S Pro of course has some extra features like touch sensors and a PMOLED display on the back. The ROG Phone 5S will come in either Storm White or Phantom Black, while the ROG Phone 5S Pro only comes in Phantom Black.
Curiously, there’s no Ultimate version of the ROG Phone 5S lineup. The ROG Phone 5 Ultimate was supposed to be the absolute top tier gaming phone that Asus offered, but compared to the upcoming ROG Phone 5S Pro, it seems to be behind the newer model now. It has the same 18GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, but loses out in the processor department as the ROG Phone 5 Ultimate still uses the Snapdragon 888 SoC.
As for how much of an improvement users will actually see, it’s probably not enough to be noticeable by most. Qualcomm themselves only promised a 5% improvement between the Snapdragon 888 and Snapdragon 888+, with the newer SoC clocked at 3GHz compared to 2.84GHz on the older one. Besides, both SoCs still use the same Adreno 660 GPU to run games.
Pricing and availability
So far, it appears as though the ROG Phone 5S and ROG Phone 5S Pro are only available in Asus’ home of Taiwan for now. The ROG Phone 5S appears to have been priced the same as the original ROG Phone 5 in Taiwan, while the ROG Phone 5S Pro actually costs more than the ROG Phone 5 Ultimate. It should also be noted that Asus are pretty much replacing the original lineup with the new S-series devices as older stock runs out.
ROG Phone 5S, 16GB RAM, 256GB storage— TWD 29,990 (~RM 4,542.98)
ROG Phone 5S, 18GB RAM, 512GB storage— TWD 33,990 (~RM 5,148.91)
ROG Phone 5S Pro, 18GB RAM, 512GB storage— TWD 37,990 (~RM5,754.85)