This New Handheld Might Be the Best Way To Play 3D Mobile Games Like Genshin Impact

Forget your phone, dedicated handhelds with physical joysticks and buttons are better for mobile gaming.

The Ayaneo Pocket S handheld running the Android game Honkai: Star Rail
Screenshot: Ayaneo

Ayaneo just announced another new handheld, the Pocket S powered by Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon G3x Gen 2 chipset, and I absolutely want it. Say what you want about Ayaneo pumping out handheld after handheld, but the boutique gaming brand sure knows how to serve a growing community of enthusiasts.

Dropping fresh on Ayaneo’s Discord this morning, we have the below video showing off the Pocket S. It’s just an engineering model for now, which means the hardware is not final and features are still being fine-tuned, but damn it does it look ready to go.

The horizontal-shaped handheld resembles more of a Nintendo Switch Lite than a Steam Deck with its rounded corners and diagonal joystick layout. (There are no detachable controllers, though.)

The Pocket S has a “borderless” screen just like the Ayaneo 2; no bezel to distract from the pixels. It makes for a super clean design, but the downside might be repairability. Damage the screen on the Pocket S and you might be looking at a costly replacement for the entire fascia. That’s assuming there are even replacement displays available for purchase. Its custom design might limit homemade repairs.

The borderless display looks pretty sweet.

Screenshot: Ayaneo

Ayaneo hasn’t shared a full tech specs list, but the Snapdragon G3x Gen 2 chip is enough to clue us in on what kind of performance to expect. According to Qualcomm, the chipset has an 8-core Kryo CPU and an Adreno A32 GPU that are capable of running games at FHD+ resolution at up to 144 frames per second. The video above only shows one demanding 3D game — Honkai: Star Railrunning on the Pocket S; it seems to operate well. The chipset also comes with Wi-Fi 7 for download speeds of up to 5.8Gbps.

The cooling system on the Pocket S is supposed to be really good.

Screenshot: Ayaneo

Ayaneo says the Pocket S “conceals a robust X86-level cooling system” that it claims helps with playing 3D games. Indeed you can see a sizable vent located at the top.

In the teaser video, we can presume there will be black and white versions available. Button configurations are pretty standard: two joysticks, a D-pad, ABXY buttons, and three buttons at the top of each side (L/R B, L/R T, and L/R C). Sandwiched between the volume rocker and the RC button appears to be a fingerprint reader. There’s also a microSD card slot located on the right of the handheld.

More Info Needed

Unsurprisingly, Ayaneo hasn’t shared any information on pricing or when the Pocket S will launch. We don’t know key specs like the screen size, resolution, and battery life.

We’ll also have to wait to see how well other kinds of 3D games run on the Pocket S. The fact that the handheld can Honkai: Star Rail really smoothly is a good sign that it’s more than capable enough to run the most demanding 3D mobile games. Between this, the Ayaneo Slide and the GameBoy-inspired Pocket DMG, it’s truly a great time to get a handheld (or three).

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