It turns out there was a fire causing all that smoke: After months of rumors, Asus today confirmed that it's planning to release the ROG Phone II, its second-generation gaming phone built around the new Snapdragon 855 Plus that Qualcomm called its "most advanced mobile platform to date."
Asus released the original ROG Phone (one might say the OG ROG Phone) in October 2018. The device attempted to appeal to gamers with Adreno graphics, a 90Hz display, and numerous accessories meant to make playing games on a smartphone more comfortable. DigiTimes reported in April that Asus planned to release the ROG Phone's successor in 3Q19, with TechRadar saying in June that the device would be announced sometime this month.
Now the ROG Phone II has finally been confirmed. Asus didn't offer many details about the device, however, with the promise that "full details and specifications of this exciting new gaming phone will be announced in the coming weeks." We suspect the announcement was made today because Asus wanted to be the first smartphone maker to reveal a product based on the Snapdragon 855 Plus, which Qualcomm officially announced this morning.
Qualcomm said the Snapdragon 855 Plus was designed to "deliver leading experiences in multi-gigabit 5G, gaming, AI and XR." The new platform features a Qualcomm Kryo 485 CPU with a clock speed up to 2.96GHz, a Qualcomm Adreno 640 GPU said to offer up to 15% better performance than its predecessor, and the new Snapdragon X50 5G modem that works alongside the Snapdragon X24 LTE 4G modem to offer support for next-gen wireless.
Snapdragon 855 Plus also updates the not-at-all-humbly named Snapdragon Elite Gaming Experience with "Game Jank Reducer, Game Fast Loader, Game AntiCheat Extensions, and more." (At least Qualcomm's can't be accused of making the software's purpose unclear.) The Snapdragon 855 Plus' full specs can be found here.
Asus said in its announcement that "with this high-performance foundation complementing a raft of exciting new features and enhancements, ROG Phone II is once again poised to take the world of mobile gaming by storm," but otherwise the company didn't reveal anything Qualcomm hadn't. Apparently the company needs a few weeks to kindle the flame, so to speak, before it's ready to properly reveal the ROG Phone II.