3 months after AYANEO posted their first video teaser for the Pocket S, handheld enthusiasts across the world tuned in for a late-night stream to learn all they can about their latest handheld – only for them to announce that this was not the last stream, there’d be at least one more in April, and that pricing would be withheld until that date.
The stream was still packed full of new info, though – so allow us to walk you through everything we know about this strangely flat powerhouse!
Mere days after AYN revealed the pricing and preorder time of the Odin 2, AYANEO began teasing a mysterious new device. Showing off a partnership with Qualcomm, and a sleek design – the AYANEO Pocket S had been revealed to us.
Thankfully, the D-pad changed – but the fundamentals haven’t. The Pocket S takes clear inspiration from the mainstream smartphone market in its design, as well as a throwback to the original PS Vita with that glossy front. AYANEO says they’re using a “CNC-forged high-strength lightweight body”, with a matte texture. Very premium indeed.
If the flat, phone/Switch-like design looks uncomfortable to you, AYANEO has you covered, unveiling a grip case to go along with the device.
The Pocket S features a brand new chipset, the Snapdragon G3x Gen 2. AYANEO claims this SoC provides a 30% CPU and 100% GPU performance improvement(!) over the first-gen G3x. Beyond that, the GPU can reach a boost clock of 1 GHz(!!). The device itself can pull a TDP of up to 15W(!!!), which is absolutely astounding for an Android handheld. All of this is backed by an active cooling system, with a ‘large-area VC thermal plate’.
While this all sounds incredibly impressive on paper, early Geekbench testing seems to be a bit lacking compared to what the Odin 2 benched in the same test. Of course, this is all up in the air – unoptimised early software could easily be to blame for this. We’ll have to wait for the device to reach reviewers’ hands before making any definitive judgements.
Great guts need to be backed by a good screen, and AYANEO don’t aim to disappoint in this department either. The Pocket S will sport a “borderless” 6-inch, 1440p screen with 400 nits of max brightness, 100% sRGB coverage, and 120% sRGB color gamut volume.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t look to be an OLED panel – and for those of us currently coping with the Australian summer, 400 nits likely won’t be enough to power through the grizzly sun while you’re waiting at the bus stop. Refresh rate also didn’t come up during this stream either.
According to the China-only pre-order form, RAM will start at 6GB, going all the way up to 16GB. Storage starts at 128GB and goes up to 1TB. They didn’t mention battery capacity today, so we likely won’t know till the next Pocket S stream.
There’s a micro-SD card slot on the side of the device, and we have full analogue hall-effect sticks and triggers, as we’d expect. But most importantly, the sticks have RGB!
As for size, the Pocket S is absolutely tiny compared to the company’s more well-known offerings – here it is next to the AYANEO 2!
And for a more reasonable comparison, here it is next to the Pocket Air and the Switch Lite:
The Pocket S will run AYANEO’s own AYASpace and AYAHome software, a custom skin laid on top of Android 13. We last saw this on AYANEO’s previous Android handheld, the Pocket Air.
AYASpace now has a built-in button mapper, so you’ll be able to play your favourite gacha titles with the inbuilt controls no problem. The infamous performance modes are making a comeback – hopefully without all the bugs this time! – and they have a handy button on the right side of the device which lets you switch between them on the fly. They also showed off their own custom, in-development emulation frontend:
That’s about all we’ve seen so far when it comes to the Pocket S. Preorders apparently opened today in China, for an early-bird price of $225. Their IndieGoGo page is up, but there’s no info on pricing or anything – just a “Coming Soon” page.
The next stream will apparently happen in April, which is still a few months away. For now though, what are your thoughts? Are you hungry for more info? Ready to put down however much money they’ll charge you? Still not happy about their decision to put the D-pad on the bottom? Let us know in the comments, or join our Discord and tell us there!
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