The AYN Odin line of Android handheld game consoles made a splash when it launched last year through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign thanks to a mix of strong design, decent hardware, and affordable pricing: an entry-level Odin Lite sells for less than $200.

Now the makers of the Odin have announced that over 10 thousand orders have been placed, although not all units have shipped yet. And the company continues to crank out software updates that bring bug fixes and new features.

For example, the latest software update for the AYN Odin Lite (the entry-level model with a MediaTek Dimensity D900 processor and Android 11 software) bring support for making phone calls over a 4G LTE network, as well as a few other tweaks.

And the AYN Odin Pro (with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and Android 10 software) is getting an update within the next week that will make it possible to load custom ROMs on the handheld for a dual-boot experience.

Once the update is installed, users will be able to press the volume up and power buttons at startup to enter a custom recovery that allows you to load another operating system including alternate versions of Android, Linux-based operating systems like Emulec or Batocera, or even Windows.

Those ROMs will be installed on a new user data partition without overwriting the Android software that ships with the AYN Odin Pro.

As a handheld game machine that ships with Android software and the kind of specs you’d find in a 2018 flagship phone, the AYN Odin is a niche device. But it’s received a number of positive reviews since it began shipping earlier this year.

The ability to dual boot an alternate operating system could make it an even more interesting device.

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  1. I’ll absolutely buy one of these when there are stable builds of various Linux-based emulation OS’s. I want one of these, but I’m giving up on Android emulation gaming.

    The business model of paying $5 for someone to port an existing open-source project to Android and ignore major bugs for years is getting annoying.

    I’d rather make donations to open source projects, and run them on a Linux based OS.

    1. Well its your choice if you want to pay.

      Aethersx2 is free and have approval of pcsx2 developer, no need to pay for Daemon, Citra is free, dolphin free, ppsspp free etc. The only shady Emulator remaining is Switch one, but this device is not powerfull enough for switch.

      1. You’re mostly talking about emulators that are new to the scene. Wait a while, and you’re going to see the developers of these free apps disappear, and the app will age out very quickly. They will be replaced by developers who build paid apps instead.

        I mostly play older systems, which have had various apps come and go in the Play Store over the past 10 years. The only consistent trend is that free emulators either don’t last, or they resort to earning money via in-app Ads.

        Even the ones supported by larger open-source projects, such as Dolphin will likely end up getting very intermittent attention. Take the ScummVM android app as an example. It was built by a member of a large open source team that handles all of the ScummVM ports. The app spent several years being ignored (and was non-functional as a result) after that member disappeared, and nobody else on the team wanted to put in the work.