Hi there, welcome, step into my time machine. Let’s go back a couple of years to when we first started hearing about this new company Ayn and their Odin handheld. In the midst of a retro handheld market still saturated in 3326 handhelds barely able to handle N64 or PSP. A time when the Android handheld market was just taking some of its first steps away from simply being phones attached to Xbox controllers. In comes this new kid to revolutionize everything with their new Snapdragon 845 powered handheld, boasting a slick Switch-lite inspired design, a nice big battery, and a beautiful 6 inch screen to top it off.
Sure enough, they pulled it off, bringing spectacular specs to the market for a relatively affordable price. It wasn’t without its issues, however, some of which still rest in the minds of early backers to this day. From shoulder button manufacturing issues that required replacement kits to be shipped out, analog sticks that erred too far onto the recessed side of the fence, to an incredibly long and agonizing shipping cycle, there were a lot of growing pains for Ayn to go through. Despite all of this, for a period of time it seemed like everyone in the community either had or wanted an Odin, it was definitely the hottest device around for a while.
Now Ayn is back at the plate, ready to knock out another home run with their follow-up to that famed Odin, simply called the Odin 2. Review units are hitting the hands of our reviewers and the first impressions could not be more promising. It would seem that Ayn has been learning during this time. Bringing lessons learned from their sister company Retroid, who has been busy releasing a plethora of budget-minded Android handhelds, as well as the lessons they learned from their own Windows detour with the Loki. The Loki said bigger handles are more comfortable, and the Odin 2 followed suit. The Retroid Pocket 2S said we can do analog sticks better than just Switch clones, and the Odin 2 followed suit. Complaints about the face buttons, the shoulders, and even how sometimes the triggers didn’t want to press in fully on the original Odin, all of these seem to be taken into account and developed upon. Better shoulders, lighter smoother triggers, more rounded and responsive face buttons. Ayn took what worked and fixed what didn’t, and made one of the best handhelds on the market even better.
The real kicker here, however, is the powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip being released with this device. When the original Odin launched, the 845 was powerful but was also already an older chip. Now Ayn seems to have the star power to demand the latest flagship out of Qualcomm’s arsenal, and they’re pulling this off at an incredible starting price of just around $300 for the base model. What this means in simple terms is that the only real thing holding back emulation on the Odin 2 at this point will be software. As the emulators for some of the difficult devices, like 3DS, PS2, Vita, and Switch, begin to mature and develop further, this device is surely set to have the kind of hardware oomph necessary to handle all of your emulation desires, insofar as Android is capable anyway.
That’s enough praise out of me, though, I’m sure you’d like to see this thing in action. So make sure to check out the following videos from Retro Handhelds and our partner reviewers on Youtube. If you enjoy these first impressions make sure to tune in for more from Retro Handhelds, Retro Game Corps, and Joey’s Retro Handhelds as we’re surely going to be adding more Odin 2 content in the coming days.
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