It looks like Asus is preparing to launch an ‘S’ version of its excellent gaming phone, the ROG Phone 5.

The retailer AliExpress is having a pre-sale of a handset called the Asus ROG Phone 5S – a phone that notably hasn’t been announced by the company. That said, the only visible upgrade in specs – a move to the improved Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Plus SoC over the original vanilla 888 – is something that Asus had expressed an interest in in the past.

As XDA Developers notes, when the Snapdragon 888 Plus chip was unveiled in June, Asus’ general manager of smartphone business, Bryan Chang, was one of the names endorsing it. “By utilising the latest Snapdragon 888 Plus 5G Mobile Platform in the ROG Phone, we ensure its overall performance is taken to the next level,” Chang was quoted as saying at the time.

Otherwise, the few listed specs look identical. AliExpress lists two versions of the handset: one with 16GB RAM and 256GB of storage, and the other with 18GB RAM and 512GB of storage. Both include the same 6000mAh battery with 65W charging, and although it’s not mentioned, it would be hugely surprising if the phone didn’t feature the same 144Hz screen as the original.

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The cheaper 256GB model comes in at £1187.26 for us, while the 512GB version is listed at £1484.26, which is a big markup on the original handset which started out at £699 in the UK (albeit for a version with 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage). An estimated delivery is listed as September 27.

In our Asus ROG Phone 5 review, our reviewer Basil Kronfli rather liked the phone, praising its screen, high specs and long-lasting battery. “If you can hack its size and styling, and want a fantastic portable media player and gaming device, you’ll be hard-pushed to find more for less,” he wrote.

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