The AYA Neo Pocket Air is a handheld gaming system with a 5.5 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel AMOLED display, built-in game controllers, and a MediaTek Dimensity 1200 processor.

It’s also the first Android-powered system from AYA, a company that’s best known for shipping handheld Windows computers built for gaming. First unveiled in January, it’s now available for pre-order for $279 and up through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, with rewards expected to begin shipping later this month.

While the starting price is the early bird reward level for an entry-level model with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, the company is offering three different configurations:

Early Bird PriceIGG PriceRetail Price
6GB / 128GB$279$299$319
8GB / 256GB$329$379$429
12GB / 512GB$399$459$519

Each version of handheld has the same 1080p AMOLED display with 404 pixels per inch, LPDDR5 memory, UFS 3.1 storage, a 7,350 mAh battery, a 6-axis gyroscope, dual 6-axis linear motor, and vibration motor.

Ports include a 3.5mm audio jack, microSD card reader, full-function USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C and a second USB-C port that can only be used for charging.

Wireless capabilities include support for WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, and 4G LTE, and the handheld has a fingerprint sensor integrated in the power button, hall sensor joysticks and hall trigger shoulder buttons along with dual microphones, but no camera. There’s a fan for active cooling.

The AYA Neo Pocket Air measures 224 x 89.5 x 17mm (8.8″ x 3.5″ x 0.67″) and weighs 380 grams (13.4 ounces).

At the heart of the system is MediaTek’s Dimensity 1200 processor, which is a 6nm chip that features:

  • 1 x Cortex-A78 CPU cores @ 3 GHz
  • 3 x Cortex-A78 CPU cores @ 2.6 GHz
  • 4 x Cortex-A55 CPU cores @ 2 GHz
  • Mali-G77 MC9 graphics

If you were hoping for something more powerful than that, AYA has also recently announced a higher-performance Android handheld called the AYA Neo Pocket S. That upcoming model features a Qualcomm Snapdragon G3x Gen 2 processor, which is a new chip designed specifically for handheld gaming devices.

AYA says it’s an Android handheld with an”x86-level” cooling system with a large fan and support for three fan speed presets to let you flip between different cooling profiles.

The AYA Neo Pocket Air will ship with Android 12, but it also includes an AYA Home launcher and AYA Space app for managing games and settings.

There’s also a new “Cloud Game Database” feature that identifies games installed on your device and downloads matching cover arts, descriptions, and other content that can be displayed in the launcher.

AYA is hardly the first company to launch a gaming handheld powered by Android. But it is one of the first companies to do so that has a track record in the Windows handheld space.

Whether that’s enough to help the Pocket Air stand out in a crowded field remains to be seen.

via AYA Neo and @AYANEO__

This article was first published July 5, 2023 and most recently updated August 30, 2023.

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  1. I’m excited about this now. That SOC I’d somewhere between a Snapdragon 865 and 888 in terms of performance.

    This will outperform the AYN Odin. And the Hall effect sticks and triggers are a nice addition.

    This checks all my boxes for a handheld. I hope it’s priced reasonably.

    1. With many high end emulators, like Yuzu for Android, being optimised for Adreno GPUs, I wouldn’t be exactly excited about yet another Mali device.

      1. Yuzu had an update about 2-3 weeks ago which fixed Mali support. I just took a look on youtube, and it looks like Dimensity 1200 devices are playing many games on Yuzu at a steady 30fps.

        I found some examples of Skyline playing the latest Pokemon games at a solid 30fps.

        Personally, I’m not interested in emulating Switch. I have a Switch, and it gets much better battery life than anything that could emulate it.

        I’m mostly interested in the AYA Neo Pocket Air for Dreamcast, Gamecube, and PS2. If I can play Dreamcast and Gamecube upscaled to at least 720p I’ll be happy.

      1. QSD 855: 2.8+2.4+1.8
        QSD 778: 2.5+2.4+1.8
        QSD 782G: 2.7+2.4+1.8
        QSD 870: 3.0+2.5+1.8
        QSD 888: 2.8+2.4+1.8
        QC 8g1: 3.0+2.5+1.8
        QC 7g2+: 2.9+2.5+1.8
        QC 8g2: 3.2+2.8+2.0

        D820: 2.6+2.0
        D1000c: 2.1+2.0
        D1000+: 2.6+2.0
        D1300: 3.0+2.6+2.0
        D8000: 2.8+2.0
        D8200: 3.1+3.0+2.0
        D9000: 3.1+2.9+1.8
        D9200: 3.3+3.0+2.0

        I don’t know, based on its specs it should be much faster. Unless there’s some special-sauce or tweaks that Qualcomm adds to the Stock Cores. Then there are the drivers as well. Maybe best to check their benchmarks instead.

      2. Here’s the hierarchy of Android Chipsets I could muster:

        95 = QC 8g2, MTK d9200+,
        85 = MTK d9200, QC 8g1+, QC 7g2+, MTK d9000+, MTK d9000,
        80 = Tensor G3, MTK d8100, MTK d8000, MTK d1300, MTK d1200,
        75 = QC 8g1, QSD 888+, QSD 888, Exynos 2200, Exynos 2100, Tensor G2, Exynos 1080, MTK d1100, Tensor G1
        70 = QSD 870, QSD 865+, QSD 865, MTK d1000+, MTK d1000, Kirin 9000, Exynos 990,
        65 = QC 7g1, QSD 782G, QSD 780, QSD 778,
        60 = QSD 860, QSD 855+, QSD 855, Kirin 990, Kirin 985, Kirin 980, MTK d820, MTK d800, QC 6g1,
        55 = Unisoc T770, Unisoc T760, Exynos 9825, Exynos 9820, QSD 845
        50 = MTK d1080, MTK d1050, Exynos 1280, QC 4g1
        45 = Unisoc T740, Unisoc T710, QSD 695, QSD 768, QSD 750, QSD 690, QSD 765, QSD 835, Exynos 980, Exynos 880,
        40 = MTK d920, MTK d900, MTK d930, Kirin 820, Kirin 810, Helio G99, QSD 720, QSD 732, QSD 730, QSD 712, QSD 710,
        35 = MTK d810, MTK d700, MTK 720, QSD 821, QSD 670, QSD 480, QSD 660, QSD 678, QSD 675,
        30 = Helio G96, Helio G95, Helio G90,
        25 = Unisoc T700, Unisoc T618, Unisoc T616, Unisoc T612, QSD 820, QSD 680, QSD 636, QSD 665, QSD 662, Unisoc T610, Unisoc T606, Helio P95, Helio P90, Helio G88, Helio G85, Helio G80, Helio G70, Helio P65, QSD 460, QSD 632,
        20 = Helio P70, Helio P60, Unisoc T310

        …this is based on specs and all the information I could find. The general structure should be correct. Some minor changes could be made depending on other factors like device size, cooling, software, drivers, etc etc. The direct way would be to run them through a benchmark, but something that is representative.

        Best approach that comes to mind is a Geekbench 5 cold-run for the Single-Core value, next run Geekbench 5 throttle-run for the Multi-Thread value, then 3DMark Aztec* throttle-run for the GPU value, and lastly to take readings of Platform Power (watts) that stresses the chipsets other co-processors, radios, and functions. Then scoring each four tests at 25% weighing and arranging the chipsets from best to worst. But I don’t need to understate how big of a task this is, considering how many chipsets (106 in total) there are, and the time required to run those four tests, not to mention needing to acquire all the devices in the first-place. All things considered, the above list is probably your best bet at this snapshot in time.

        *High Settings 1440p Offscreen.

    2. Just be weary of no-name manufacturers. Just my advice. Especially those from China or those doing funding campaigns. I’d rather get the Asus then any of the other options.

      Just my 2 cents. It’s your money and if you want to take the risk, that’s on you. But I still advise staying away from this little known brands and going through official channels.

      1. I’d like to agree, but that would unfortunately mean that you’d have no options for something with this level of specs.

        And among no-name Chinese brands, AYA is one of the more reputable ones. They’ve handled warranty claims that I’ve seen in the community, and they’ve released some upgrade parts for existing owners too, like a speaker upgrade kit.

        The only complaint I have about them is how they announced the AYA Neo Air Plus below $300, and then ended up releasing it at $545.

        1. Agreed.
          The biggest issues with this unit are:
          – right stick too low, should be higher for ergonomics
          – lacks microHDMI output
          – using OLED screen, future burn-in issues
          – device too large, doesn’t fit into pockets
          – active cooling is useless/annoying at this scale
          – price is too expensive during and after pre-order crowdfunding

          …with particular to the size, something around the 180mm x 80mm x 15mm is most ideal. That would make it just large enough to fit into most pockets, be comfortable, yet offering the maximum size for bigger screen, buttons, ergonomics. This really is an underserved market ready for the taking by any dedicated company. The likes of desktop-like consoles is saturated, and also the portable space too, but no-one is aiming for the pocketable space.

          1. I agree with your point about OLED.

            Also, it’s an unnecessary feature when you consider that the goal is to emulate systems that output colour using an extremely small palette, on displays with an extremely small colour gamut.

            I also agree about the active cooling. I hope that this can be disabled, as I would only want to use it if I was really pushing the hardware.