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 January, following some manufacturing delays.
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.
Update: The red, blue, and green color options have been canceled.
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.
Why get this through crowdfunding when there are so many similar android devices already available in AliExpress, geekbuy etc..
Eh. ARM/Android gaming is largely for pirating console/emulation games. The ARM/Android handheld space is pretty saturated.
Would have been nice if this was another x86 gaming handheld. To me, that space could use more competition.
seems like they will use dimensity 900 series instead of 1000 series.
Not worth it, buy a higher spec refurbished smartphone, with a warranty, then add your own controllers. Every time you upgrade your phone, you then get a game console update.
This AYN Odin is just to make marketing people and affiliates money, IMO.
This is weird because the D1000C is a higher performance chipset than the S845 for both CPU and GPU, yet they are not offering a model with 8G RAM, and they are selling it as the budget option, but if they gave it the RAM and the battery it would be the vastly superior model…?!
as someone below clarified, Mali gpu are inferior to adreno, even if they score higher in benchmarks, Taki udon is testing them in his chanell you can clearly see how superior sd 845 version is. you can also install windows in sd 845 version.
The Dimensity model is the way to go. 7nm and newer CPU cores. And cheaper? Sold!
Depends what you want to do with it. The Snapdragon’s Adreno GPU has had more consistent support for emulators on Android than the Dimensity’s Mali GPU.
For example, Mali GPUs had some bad support issues on Dolphin (Gamecube emulator) for a long time, and I believe they were just recently resolved.
I’ve also personally had better performance in Redream (Dreamcast) using Snapdragon’s Adreno GPU, compared to anything I’ve tested with a Mali GPU
That’s not to say that the Adreno is a better GPU, just that it has been better supported in the past with some specific projects.
Don’t understand why Nintendo sued the owner of an emulator site for 2 million dollars but all these companies totally rip off the idea of the Nintendo switch and not a single damn lawsuit threat they’re not cutting off anyone’s head. Like what in the hell? Why does everyone just rip off Nintendo why not get their own f****** ideas?
I hate to be the one to have to tell you this, but people have been able to play Nintendo ROMs on a laptop hooked up to a TV since before Nintendo made portable game systems designed for that same purpose. Nintendo doesn’t “own” the idea of a portable system to plug into a TV, and calling for them to be able to go after anyone who makes one is literally like asking for someone to monopolize a market, which is laughably naive. This article’s system isn’t even a threat to the Switch or the Ryzen-based competitors, if you can even call them that, given that it’s running a chip meant for mobile games. But, running Linux,or even Windows, on a more capable system is an improvement, not a ripoff, in the case of the Steam Deck or the Neo. You’re just a brand loyalist who doesn’t understand patents, apparently. Competition amongst expensive products isn’t a loss for the consumer. Stop complaining, Nintendo isn’t any in trouble financially over this. Considering it doesn’t even impact you since you’re not going to buy it, it’s hard to grasp what you’re so angry about, anyways.
You also forget the fact that the form of the switch is not copyrighted and cannot be copyrighted you can’t copyright the idea behind how something is built you can copyright the exact product that’s it and beyond that this person is forgetting to mention that the stupid thing can only play the s*** you can get off the Google Play store which is absolute trash it doesn’t play computer games it doesn’t play Nintendo games it plays phone games
So they’re pretty much selling rebadged PS Vitas.
Nintendo copied the Razer Edge, which did the hybrid tablet idea first; it had side detachable controllers and could be docked in what was called “console mode”. Razer created that idea before the Switch. Nintendo also copied the Aikun Morphus X300, which was first publicly shown way back in 2015. The Morphus did the exact same detachable separate joy con idea that could be connected to a tablet, and be docked, etc. Nintendo invented nothing.
Even the Sega Nomad did the hybrid idea before the Switch, and Sega did the horizontal handheld console before Nintendo. Game n Watch doesn’t count as it wasn’t really a console. So Sega did that layout first for a dedicated console before Nintendo.
Yeah, let’s just let the big boys bully some small manufacturers with their patents cause that’s how market will thrive. /s Besides, I’m old enough to remember the time when every FPS game was called a DOOM clone. Where did it get us with all that “rip offs”? To a new wonderful game genre, so please, next time you’ll want to voice your “I’m totally not Nintendo employee” opinion, think about it once or twice. Have a nice day.
I’d really love a gaming handheld with a Snapdragon 845 (or better), but honestly I don’t want Android. Emulation gaming is not that great on Android. Many emulators on Android are far out of date, and in some cases there are no great emulator choices on Android for a specific system.
There’s far better community support for emulators on Linux, using operating systems like Retropie, Lakka, Recalbox, or Batocera. They’re basically Linux builds that run Emulationstation as a controller-friendly emulator interface.
Hopefully the bootloader is unlocked. If the community gets one of these OS’s running, I’d buy one. Without that, I’m not interested.
Save that $200, then save $200 more, and buy yourself a Steam Deck, just saying.
Steam deck has too small of a battery for its SOC. Most of the gaming handheld PCs clock in ay at least 50WHr. I ain’t spending $400+ for 2 hour gaming device.
If you buy deck for same purpose as odin, retro emulation and some mobile games then that battery will last 8 hours or more.
I think that the Steam Deck will have better optimized hardware, and perhaps doesn’t require as large of a battery as GPD needs.
Then you won’t be buying the Nintendo Switch, because BotW and AAA games on Switch all last <2 hours, no where near the advertised 3-4 hour battery life. It always makes me laugh when people say the Switch has good battery life; you can tell they don’t actually own or have played one.
I would be most interested in the Mediatek variant because it supports AV1 decoding, meaning it would be future proof for cloud gaming (Stadia in particular).
But they lost me at active cooling, and at WiFi 5 only.
Is there still people that think cloud gaming is still a thing? I thought that’s was long dead by now lol. And you’re going to mix it up with wifi? EVEN BETTER.
I’ve been a cloud gamer for like two years… it’s been an interesting journey but I’m pretty happy with paperspace’s solution ATM. I’ve had shadow for most of that time… until they went bankrupt and couldn’t provide the service they were charging for anymore. I don’t like what stadia, xcloud, and nvidia offer… it’s just not for me. I like to own my games and have availability to modding.
Could you explain what you do with Paperspace? I’ve seen a couple of people reference it recently but I’m at a bit of a loss
Sure – it’s very confusing given their site. Like they do a lot -cloud computer for rendering, AI stuff, and complex computational work… and gaming! Their website gets very confusing with all the options and focuses on cloud computing. But for me I use it as a VM for a very good cloud gaming computer w/ Parsec for lower latency (Parsec is free although the free model isn’t advertised). Like you can run paperspace with actually decent latency with just a web browser, but for gaming… Parsec is needed. The downside is it charges per hour… but I don’t have a lot of time to game anyway. Now this is only my first month with them… but being a Shadow refugee with two years. It’s night and day, but in fairness the specs are far beyond what Shadow could offer and there’s a lot of different options. So I chose RTX4000, 30gb ram, 8 core xeon and 256gb -18 days in and it’s about 20 bucks (10 of it is the storage). Even if it’s 40/month, I’ll be happy.
Well let’s see… I could pay $1,000 for a graphics card, and another $1,000 for the rest of a gaming computer, to get a decent gaming experience. But I’m also tied to the desk where the computer is, I have to pay for the electricity that computers consume these days, and also put up with the fan noise.
Or I could pay NVidia my Founder’s $5 per month and play just about everything, with ray-tracing included, at basically a guaranteed 60fps, on my couch on my fanless laptop. Or I could do the same on Stadia (without ray-tracing, sure) with just the basic plan which has no monthly fee.
Gee, difficult decision…
Of course cloud gaming is still a thing.
Okay, if you are a competitive gamer then yes, this doesn’t work very well. I am not a competitive gamer. Most people aren’t.
Thats not a very good comparison. You’re comparing a $1000 GPU to pedestrian-level 60fps gaming (achievable with a $200 used GPU from like 4 years ago).
When someone is spending $1000 on a GPU, they aren’t gaming at 60fps. They’re buying a $1000 GPU to game at very high FPS at higher resolutions. Like 240fps at 1440p resolution.
60fps gaming is pretty substandard for most people these days. I game on a 200hz monitor, so I try to aim for as close to 200fps as possible. I couldn’t ever go back to gaming at 60fps, so cloud gaming is out of the question for me.
Personally, I want to move to cloud gaming, but it just isn’t at the right level for me yet. They haven’t reached the correct level of performance, and there are no cloud platforms that offer full unrestricted access to run any game that I want.
I don’t want to be left out when my friends all decide to start playing a new game, but I can’t join because that game isn’t available on my cloud platform.
Right now, Cloud gaming is a fantastic choice for casual gamers that don’t have lots of expectations of playing anything outside of the popular retail AAA games.
Hey, so I think you missed my comment as I commiserate with your frustrations and needs. I do hate not owning my games. I use cloud gaming and depending on your tier with paperspace – you can get all that you posted. So I chose RTX4000, 30gb ram, 8 core xeon and 256gb – I’m looking at about 30-40USD/month for it (as paperspace charges monthly).
What about a pocofone and snap on controller? You can get them used and reduce e-waste!
Phone + controller will always be an imperfect janky solution
Not really. It’s a great solution.
I agree with you here, every time I’ve tried it there have always been plenty of hurdles to overcome.
I have a xiaomi mi 8 with a telescopic controller. Literally the only thing wrong with that set up is that the phone doesn’t have enough storage and no sd card slot.
Unfortunately, many modern phones do not support HDMI alt mode for USB-C, thus can’t connect to TVs. Pocophone and Xiaomi phones overall are amongst them.
How’s Android gaming? Is it still mostly emulation and pirating console games?
No, it’s mostly microtransactions and robbery. Emulation is also a waste of time, so you’d better install Retroarch the very moment you get one 🙂
These ARM gaming handhelds are primarily used for console game piracy.
“Official” Android gaming (ie. Google Play store games) is still not great.
Is AYN a new company?
At least in terms of execution on the candy bar form factor, the AYN Odin beats out the GPD XP. GPD made several bad decisions on the XP.
Seems like a decent entry into the large ARM/Android gaming handheld market. Let’s see if ends up being competitive.
Great colours too. Will you be getting a review unit?
Whilst the QSD 845 is an old/outdated SoC I can understand choosing it based on pricing. Especially if it’s refurbished chips. As a reference, it’s about as fast as the midrange QSD 768 chip. Do wished they opted for the 780, that punches above its price point.
The MediaTek option is interesting. It’s definitely better than the QSD, but it lacks the software maturity. I see Custom ROMs aplenty for the QSD version, and little/none for the MediaTek one. It might have a locked bootloader, or simply missing the open-source bits for community developers. And that software support will get more important as time passes.
Now I see why the GPD XP was afraid. This looks like a better choice AND lower price. I guess it all comes down to availability, hopefully it will be adequate and not delayed. People really are looking at these options more skeptically since the launch of the SteamDeck.
I have the LG Velvet 5G from T-Mobile with the D1000C and it is not better than the Snapdragon. There are like 4 versions of the D1000 series and the C is the lowest. It’s basically just a little better than the D800 series.
As for the D1000C, the CPU is better, the GPU is not. The difference is not that big though, what you will get with the Mediatek SoC is longer battery life and less heat as the fab is newer, with the Snapdragon you will get a little more performance and probably better drivers support. It’s just a matter of a choice. As for me, I would really want to test the Mediatek one but as I plan to rip off the android sickness from that device I think Snapdragon is a better choice.
I have the Pixel 3 XL and LG Velvet 5G. The Pixel’s battery swelled, so I got the LG as a cheap replacement. The Pixel 3 XL runs much smoother than the LG. Games, like Asphalt 8 and BDM run fine on the Pixel but stutter on the LG. For gaming and system performance, the SD845 is much better. Maybe LG did a bad job implementing, but from experience the SD845 is MUCH better than the D1000C.
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