Magic Media i5: Handheld Android game console with MTK6589

MediaTek seems to be on a roll. The company’s dual and quad-core chips seem to be powering virtually every new Android smartphone popping up in China these days (although Allwinner and Rockchip seem to be more popular in the tablet and TV box space), and MediaTek’s first 8-core chip is on the way.

But it looks like MediaTek’s chips aren’t just confined to smartphones. Chinese device maker MUCH is launching a new handheld game console called the Magic Media i5, and it’s powered by a MTK6589 quad-core chip.

magic media i5

The Magic Media i5 features a 5 inch, 1280 x 720 pixel IPS display and game control buttons and direction pads built into the sides of the case. It looks a bit like a cross between a Sony PSP and an Archos GamePad.

Under the hood the device has MediaTek’s 1.2 GHz ARM Cortex-A7 chip with PowerVR SGX544MP graphics, 1GB of RAM, and 4GB of storage. It also has  microSD card slot for extra storage space.

The Magic Media i5 runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean, has front and rear cameras, and features a 3550mAh battery. It’s also a 2G and 3G-capable device with dual SIM card slots.

It’s expected to sell for a little over $200 in China.


  • Vcoleiro1

    Still waiting for a RK3188 based Android Handheld.

    • bob

      why not a nvidia shield?

      • Vcoleiro1

        Price, Don’r really wont to spend more than $150. Also, If your going to have a portable that you can’t pocket, then I’d much prefer a 7″- 10″ screen. Plus the tablet form with controls makes more design sense to me, especially for racing games and those generally that use the motion sensors.

    • Jean-Luc Aufranc

      For gaming, I’d take a device with a SoC with PowerVR SGX544 over Mali-400 MP4. For other applications, RK3188 will be a bit faster, but normally not for games, although it depends on the particular games you play.

      • Vcoleiro1
      • Jean-Luc Aufranc

        GPU comparison can be quite tricky, and you can’t just look at the number of cores. Some companies are using a unified core, whereas other separate fragment and vertex cores.

        There’s no actual benchmark in the article provided. I’ve only benchmarked RK3188 (Mali-400MP4) against A31 (PowerVR SGX544MP2), and on the platforms I tried, A31 was much better than RK3188.

        Having said I haven’t tested MT6589 devices myself, so I’m not actually sure how it performs.

      • Vcoleiro1

        If its the single core GPU variant, my understanding is that it probably is slower. But that said, it would also be slower for emulators which commonly make more use of the CPU.

  • ZigBlu

    Since the MTK6589 is an integrated smartphone chipset (includes cpu, and a dual-sim gsm/wcdma modem, bluetooth and wifi), I wonder if this can also be used as a phone. If it can, I’ll take 2 please!

    • crashsuit

      I thought the same thing. Sounds like all it’d need is a functional dialer and you’d be good to go.

  • Michael Thompson

    I absolutely love these Android gaming handhelds but they don’t go for the better hardware and is maddening.

  • Edward

    it has better graphics than the ps vita??

  • Tom

    So this is basically a more powerful Xperia PLAY for less cost … don’t you love progress? For those who don’t believe the MTK6589 is up to the task, you can find videos of this phablet emulating PSX just fine.