The AYN Odin is a handheld game console that resembles like a Nintendo Switch Lite, with a 6 inch, 1080p IPS LCD display surrounded by game controllers and has a starting price under $200.
But under the hood, the Odin has the guts of a flagship Android phone from a few years ago, including support for up to a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage (plus a microSD card reader). First revealed earlier this year with the code-name “Project Valhalla,” the Odin is designed to be an inexpensive handheld gaming device, and it’s expected to begin shipping in November.
The AYN Odin went up for pre-order in August through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign that raised nearly $670 thousand from over 2,000 backers. The Indiegogo campaign ended October 4th, but if you’re willing to pay a little more and wait a little longer, you can still pre-order one through an Indiegogo InDemand campaign, with shipping for those units scheduled to begin in January.
There are three different prices/configurations:
|Odin Base||Odin Pro||Odin Lite|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 845||Qualcomm Snapdragon 845||MediaTek Dimensity D900|
|RAM||4GB LPDDR4x||8GB LPDDR4x||4GB LPDDR4x|
|Storage||64GB UFS 2.1||128GB UFS 2.1||64GB UFS 2.1|
|Battery||5,000 mAh||6,000 mAh||5,000 mAh|
|OS||Android 10||Android 10||Android 11|
|Ships||November, 2021||November, 2021||December, 2021|
Each model has a 5.98 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel touchscreen display with a scratch-resistant Dragontrail hardened glass cover.
And each also has stereo speakers, 3.5mm audio and mini HDMI ports, and support for fast charging, a fan for active cooing. And each supports WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0 wireless connectivity.
The Snapdragon-powered AYN Odin Base and Odin Pro have USB 3.1 Type-C ports, while the AYN Odin Lite version with a Dimensity chip has a USB 3.0 Type-C port instead.
All models should support USB-C Alt DisplayPort mode though, which means that you have two options for connecting an external display. You can use a mini HDMI cable, or you can use an optional docking station like the “Super Dock” that’s available for pre-order for $50 as part of the Odin crowdfunding campaign.
One advantage to the Lite model is that it comes with a newer processor, which may be why it’s the only version of the AYN Odin expected to ship with Android 11.
All three models will feature a custom, game-centric user interface with a game launcher and support for screen mapping features that allow you to assign game actions to physical buttons for titles designed for touchscreens rather than controllers.
The Odin will be available in several different colors, although color options will vary depending on whether you’re getting the Lite model or the Base/Pro versions.
AYN is hardly the only company to release an Android-powered game console. But the Odin is one of the first models that will ship with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 series processor (at least for some models), offering the kind of performance you would expect from a 2017 flagship phone for the price of a budget phone.
The Odin is not a phone though. It doesn’t support cellular capabilities and the game controllers are built-in, which would make holding the device up to your face rather awkward anyway.
Another thing to keep in mind is that while there are thousands of mobile games in the Google Play store that designed for Android, most are made for phones and tablets, which means they have touchscreen-optimized controls, and aren’t necessarily made for devices with physical controls. So you might need to use button-mapping software to play some games.
That said, there are always retro games: A number of emulators for Android allow you to play classic games designed for consoles that are designed for devices with physical controllers. Want a sense of how the Odin handles games? YouTuber Taki Udon has a video of an Odin Lite with a Dimensity D900 processor and Mali-G68 graphics running games through Sony PlayStation 2 and PSP games, as well as Nintendo 64, GameCube, and Wii titles.
The optional Odin Super Dock, which connects to the Odin’s USB-C port, has a full-sized HDMI port for video output, a Gigabit Ethernet port, five USB 3.0 Type-A ports, and a USB Type-C input for charging the Odin while it’s docked. There are also controller interfaces that you can use to connect external gamepads. And the dock even has room inside for a 2.5 inch SATA drive that you can use to store games.
This article was originally published August 17, 2021 and last updated October 6, 2021 with updated pricing and availability details.