Gaming smartphones have seemingly taken a backseat lately after having their time in the limelight for the past two years or so. ASUS, however, doesn’t seem fazed at all and is, in fact, trying to flood the market with even more models than one can possibly imagine. Just months after the ROG Phone 5 and ROG Phone 5 Ultimate debuted, it is launching a slight refresh of the line that has little improvement except for the new ROG Phone 5s Pro.
The ROG Phone 5 series is already powerful for a gaming smartphone, so there’s not really much that needed to be improved urgently. Still, ASUS probably thought about giving its gaming phones the best there is, which probably puts current owners of the ROG Phone 5 at a bit of a loss. Fortunately, the improvements are almost so marginal to be noteworthy.
In a nutshell, the core upgrade for both ROG Phone 5s and 5s Pro is the Snapdragon 888+, which is a rather slim improvement over the “normal” triple-8 processor. Gamers might actually appreciate the 360Hz display response rate upgrade more since that will directly affect gaming. Other than that, the ROG Phone 5s and 5s Pro are pretty much similar to the ROG Phone 5 and 5 Ultimate, respectively.
The ROG Phone 5s Pro, however, does get one notable change. Instead of the black and white rear screen of its Ultimate counterpart, it now has a small color OLED panel. Of course, it’s still mostly used for displaying fancy animated notifications, so don’t expect much from its out-of-the-box experience.
The ASUS ROG Phone 5s comes in a variety of configuration options for RAM and storage, but the ASUS ROG Phone 5s Pro is only available as a top-of-the-line 18GB RAM and 512GB storage model. It does also come with a rather steep price tag of 37,990 NTD (around $1,370), but at least includes the $70 AeroActive Cooler 5 accessory. No word yet on global availability.