What you need to know
AYANEO is a handheld gaming company, headquartered in China, that has been around since 2020.
Earlier today, Qualcomm Technologies announced its newest Snapdragon G Series processors that can provide a more powerful Android gaming handheld experience.
The AYANEO Pocket S was announced today and will feature the Qualcomm Snapdragon G Series gaming platform.
As part of Gamescom 2023, the gaming handheld company, AYANEO, announced its latest "top-tier flagship" device today, the AYANEO Pocket S. This reveal follows Qualcomm Technologies' announcement for the new Snapdragon G Series, a line of system-on-a-chip (SoC) ranging in power between three offerings, with the G3x Gen 2 being the most powerful one by far. The new AYANEO Pocket S will utilize the Snapdragon G3x Gen 2, making it the first Android gaming handheld that the company has created. Its other offerings tend to run on Windows operating systems.
More handheld gaming
"AYANEO CEO Arthur stated, "We have always been committed to crafting the most authentic gaming handhelds for gamers worldwide through innovative concepts and cutting-edge technology. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. holds extensive technical expertise in graphics processing and the mobile gaming realm. It's an honor for us to collaborate with Qualcomm Technologies, leveraging the exceptional performance brought forth by the new Snapdragon G3x Gen2 gaming platform, to create a flagship gaming handheld product that redefines conventional understanding. Moving forward, we will continue to deepen our partnership with Qualcomm Technologies, exploring further cutting-edge technologies, and continuously innovating to break new ground in the gaming handheld experience."
AYANEO's website has a rather sparse landing page for the "New Product S", but more details for the handheld are bound to be made available online in the near future. There is no exact release date or pricing details yet, but the company did say in a press release that the Pocket S will launch sometime in December of this year.
Windows Central's take
I had the opportunity to do our AYANEO 2S review earlier this year and was pretty impressed with the overall design of the handheld. However, that device ran Windows 11, and could basically function like a small gaming computer. This is part of what makes it so expensive — far more expensive, in fact, than its ASUS ROG Ally competitor. It's very possible that changing to the mobile Android operating system and integrating the latest Snapdragon G Series might help reduce the costs of the next AYANEO while still providing it with a great deal of power for local mobile gaming and cloud gaming.
The one big worry I have with AYANEO is how frequently and fast the company tends to produce gaming handhelds. Granted, these devices have ranged in power and performance, but the fact that they can become outdated and obsolete by their manufacturer so quickly doesn't really give them lasting power. It would give me more cause to trust in the company's products if it could last longer on one launch without getting a newer iteration. You can see good examples of this with the Steam Deck or the Nintendo Switch, the first of which hasn't gotten an updated version yet, and the second of which basically just offers tiers of the same product that don't cannibalize each other.
Still, the fact that this is the first AYANEO Android gaming handheld means that it is going to be a test of sorts to see if the market is more interested in an AYANEO with an Android OS over one with a Windows OS. If you look at any stats, you'll see that mobile gaming is definitely far more predominant than PC or console gaming. However, it is also accessible on widely available devices — our phones — which makes the need for dedicated Android gaming handhelds less likely.
We've already seen other Android gaming handhelds such as the Razer Edge and Logitech G Cloud come and go without really making that big of a splash (despite being impressive devices). Unless AYANEO can provide something truly unique and compelling, it doesn't seem like the Pocket S will fair much better.