ASUS ROG Phone 4 or 5 design could have some big changes

Samsung kicked off 2021 with the powerhouse that is the Galaxy S21 Ultra but, truth be told, it still doesn't represent the pinnacle of smartphone performance. To see those, you'd have to look towards high-end gaming smartphones that try to push mobile hardware to their limits without burning your hands or your house down. We might not have long to wait as there might be not one but two such gaming smartphones coming in a month or two, including one from ASUS that seems to be mixing things up a bit.

ROG, the beloved Republic of Gamers brand, took to Chinese microblogging site Weibo to tease a new phone coming soon. Of course, the brand only makes one smartphone, the ROG Phone, and this is clearly a teaser for an early launch of its next-gen mobile gaming device.

More than just the revelation that it is coming sooner rather than later this year, the teaser also hints at what could be a major design change on the front. Although it may just be an inaccurate render, it hints that ASUS ROG will be aiming for a nearly bezel-free screen, something that hasn't exactly been a priority for gaming smartphones. How that will fare, especially considering the ergonomic and durability consequences of the change, we'll have to see later on, presuming it is the real deal.

An alleged live photo of the next ASUS ROG phone also hints at major changes on the back and side, like the relocation of the ROG logo to the bottom left and a wide white strip in the middle that could be the LED coloring. Gone is the "air vent" that has been a staple of the series from day 1. There red button for activating game mode has also seemingly been relocated further down where it might get in the way of the brand's much-touted "Air Triggers" functionality.

Of course, there's also a chance that this photo is a fake, which throws all theories out the window. Curiously, the photo also has a "05" in the middle, suggesting the phone will be called the ROG Phone 5. Given how most Chinese manufacturers skip the unlucky "4", this is actually a possibility as well.