Round Up Of Current And Forthcoming Handhelds

Let’s have a look at some forthcoming and currently available handhelds on the market. This post will (briefly) cover some of the new machines I’ve already posted about and will also include a couple that have yet to get a mention here.

Non Android

Let’s face it, Android is not the perfect platform for a handheld. For a machine focussed on emulation, homebrew and ports a lightweight and minimal front end can be a better solution. Currently there are 3 machines available in this category.

Joyou A320+


joyoua320plus

This handheld undeservedly received quite a lot of hype on the dingoonity boards over the past couple of months. Allegedly formed from old staff of Dingoo Digital, the team at Joysinica have released a handheld named the Joyou A320+. Unfortunately it looks like nothing more than an attempted cash in on the A320’s good name. The handheld runs UCOS-II as an operating system just like the original Dingoo Digital A320 did. However this time they’ve opted for a chip from Actions Semiconductors instead of Ingenic, so an OpenDingux port or even any significant software improvements from the community are pretty unlikely. Reports on performance seem mixed – Jutley and Ruffnuts were the earliest adopters and seem pretty pleased with the way it works, however other buyers seem less impressed. If you’re considering this machine I would recommend reading this thread in full first, and then casting your eye over the other handhelds available in the Non Android category.

Manufacturer website
Retailer website

GCW Zero

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

I’m sure you’re familiar with this machine already, indeed I did cover it briefly in another article on this blog. If you’re looking for a true successor to the Dingoo A320 then this is the closest you’ll get currently, but be aware that the console is in its infancy and many of the emulators or ROMs you’d like to play are probably still in beta stages. Having said that, this machine’s Linux OS is fully open source and there is an active, talented and enthusiastic community of developers working on it all the time. The first batch of Special Edition machines had problems with the dpad and some of the buttons, but we are assured that this has been fixed and replacement parts are being shipped out to those affected. I decided to sell my unit instead of waiting for the replacements, but it’s likely I’ll buy another in a few months once the teething problems have been fully ironed out.

This console has a dedicated sub-forum at Dingoonity where you can find all the info you could ever need.

Manufacturer website
R
etailer websites – Dragonbox / Ithic

OpenPandora

pandora

Available in various incarnations for a few years now, the OpenPandora is the most expensive of the non Android machines – but is technically also the most advanced. Running a distribution of Linux called Angstrom this console has a varied and mature library of software available. The developer community is still active and the forums are still buzzing, so if your pockets are heavy with cash and you like the idea of a machine for tinkering as well as gaming then this one might be for you.

Retailer websites – Dragonbox / Ithic

Android

There are so many of these being manufactured I’d be here all day listing them all, so instead I’ll concentrate on the ones running off the latest quad core SoCs. The machines in this category are all powered by either a RockChip RK3188, MediaTek MT6589, Nvidia Tegra 4 or an AllWinner A31/A31S.

Nvidia Shield

nvidia-shield_2

If you want the newest, most powerful, and possibly the ugliest then your decision is already made. The Nvidia Shield began shipping a few weeks ago and sets a new benchmark in portable gaming prowess. Unfortunately if you’re outside of the US then getting hold of one might pose a problem unless you’re happy to use eBay or similar. The Shield is the first device to use Nvidia’s new flagship SoC, the Tegra 4 and compared to the next most powerful chip found in an Android handheld (RK3188), you can see that it beats it into a bloody pulp.

tegra-4-vs-rk3188-benchmark

 

Nvidia just released the full source code for this device allowing for hackers and tinkerers to do pretty much anything with it that they want. Check this article over on Liliputing for more info. JXD, are you listening?

Manufacturer website
Retailer website

JXD S7800

jxds7800

I’ve already covered JXD’s latest 7 incher in a few other posts, and Willgoo are currently accepting pre-orders for both the Model A and the Model B. The Model B is the one everyone will be going for as it is slightly more powerful than the Model A and houses a chip recently made favourable to modders. RockChip recently made available some Linux source code for this SoC and so it is not beyond the realms of possibility that we’ll be seeing some serious improvements over the stock software supplied by JXD, if the right developers can be pursuaded to get on board. Due to begin shipping in September, Willgoo are the ones supplying us westerners with this machine.

Manufacturer website
Retailer website – Model A / Model B

As usual, if you use the links I provided to make your purchase then I get a few pennies to put towards my unhealthy gadget obsession.

JXD S5800

jxds5800

Unfortunately still in the rumour mill phase, it’s not yet known if this device will ever see the light of day. Essentially it’s a scaled down version of the S7800 featuring an 800×480 5″ screen and will be powered by the RK3188. JXD have renders of the machine, but it’s not yet visible on their website. There are a lot of people hoping this device makes it to market, me included. Let’s wait and see.

Manufacturer website (not featured on the website yet)
Not currently available for pre-order

iReadyGo Much i5

muchi5

Is the brand name iReadyGo or is it Much? Who knows, but what we do know is that if the S5800 never makes it then all is not lost for gamers clamouring for a 5 inch handheld. Recently announced by Willgoo staff on the dingoonity forums, the i5 could be the first handheld to be powered by the MT6589. MediaTek chips are usually only found in China brand smartphones, and there’s a reason it features in this handheld – this 1.2Ghz quad core machine also works as a fully featured smartphone. The MT6589 won’t be as powerful as the RK3188, but should still be capable of emulating anything available in the Play Store and  playing most of the high end games available there too. I’ve never used Android on a MediaTek powered device but I have read that the Android port is very fast and stable, as long as the i5 manufacturers don’t mess it up!

If you check the Chinese website and translate the text from this page, it looks as though something will be happening with regards pre-orders on the 13th of August. I also get the impression from Google’s less than perfect translation that this thing will not be cheap!

Manufacturer website – English / Chinese
Not currently available for pre-order

GPD G5

G5-New D-PAD

Recently brought to our attention is this monstrosity from GPD. If comfortable gaming is your thing then it doesn’t look like you could do much better than an elongated Playstation pad with a screen stuck in the middle. It might look a tad unusual but only as much as the Shield from Nvidia! This one is powered by the RK3188 too, but looks to be a little way away from release date yet as there is still no mention of it on the manufacturer website.

Manufacturer website (not featured on the website yet)
Not currently available for pre-order

Iben L1

iben l1

If 7 inches is your thing and you’re not sold on JXD’s latest, maybe take a look at this AllWinner A31 powered machine from Iben. The L1 been available for a little while now and the consensus is that it’s pretty decent. I’ve covered it briefly before and there are some reviews doing the rounds as well, so head to dingoonity to check out hailrazer’s first impressions and over to the manguiro blog to check out a full featured review (albeit in Spanish, use translate). If you follow the link to the manufacturer website you’ll notice that they have their own forum dedicated to this device too, which is a nice touch.

Manufacturer website
Retailer website

 

And that’s that for now I think. I hope I covered everything relevant but if I forgot something please let me know.

18 Replies to “Round Up Of Current And Forthcoming Handhelds”

  1. Hey, the joyou website says it runs android.

  2. WeRunThisCity says: Reply

    What do you people recommend for someone looking to purchase their first handheld?

    I’ve tried to decide on a handheld for a while now but find myself getting overwhelmed with the saturation of JXD and Yinlips devices. I’ve heard a lot of things on the GCW but then after coming here I’ve discovered even more handhelds I never even knew about.

  3. Any word about the GameMID being a potential competitor among the Android-based handhelds listed? Granted, the JXD s7800b will boast the RK3188 as opposed to the GameMID’s RK3066 so the former’s leniency towards Linux development is advantageous. However, after watching the 1 hour review by lactobacillusprime on the GameMID, I was really impressed by it’s functionality.

    Great list as always obscurehandhelds. This is definitely narrowing down my choices on what I want to invest on in the next couple of months.

  4. The i5 is very successful in china, they’re overwhelmed with pre-orders.

  5. Blahblahblahblbhalbhablha says: Reply

    Out of all these, the 3 best looking for the long-term are GCW Zero, the Nvidia Shield, and the S7800.

    The GCW Zero is going to have good developer support if the kickstarter is anything to go by, and they made a good choice going with Linux instead of Android. The S7800 has a much better price to hardware comparison and two analog sticks, though. The Shield’s has Nvidia behind it (which makes me optimistic), and also has PC game streaming.

  6. Awesome post!

    iReadyGo is the brand name, I’m pretty sure. I heard about them years ago – I don’t know if they’ve actually released stuff that I just didn’t see (likely) or if they are just now releasing something. But either way, that’s pretty cool. Also, I *LOVE* that it is a phone. I’m in the market for a smartphone, actually, I’m going to have to check that out.

    I love the GPD’s bold design. Not everything has too look like a Wii U GamePad or a PSP.

    Personally, I like the way the Shield looks. If I had that kind of playing around money, I’d get it. As you can see from my 5 year old icon, I’ve wanted a Sheild/GPD style handheld for a long time.

  7. Nexus 7 2nd gen with moga pro FTW

    1. I just purchased a nexus 2nd gen. Which moga pro did you use, and how did you mount it on the controller if it doesn’t fit the cell phone dock? (links?)

  8. So no review on the wikipad? I have one. It’s not bad. It’s pretty powerful for a tablet, Tegra 3 with 1G of ram. Cheaper than a Shield and they play all the games from the Tegra store.

    The only issue I have is with the virtual button mapping, there is none yet unlike the JXD devices. The battery life is decent about 7 hours.

    I am curious to see the new jXD devices. 2G of ram and virtual button mapping is quite nice.

    1. obscurehandhelds says: Reply

      Doh! I knew there was something I missed, however I did really only want the latest SoCs and the Shield trumps it with the Tegra 4.

  9. I’m saving for the Nvidia Shield. I think I’ll hold out for Black Friday and see if there’s going to be a further price cut.

  10. So when is the audio lag on Android emulators going to be fixed? Seems hard to consider an Android device with that very noticeable flaw during game play.

    1. I’m playing fpse my Ouya right now and if there is audio latency it’s so slight I can’t notice it.

  11. I’ve seen the “factory” prices of this device (much i5) on aliexpress and it goes about 300$. They’re crazy… I hope willgoo can deliver this for a much lower price. Let us see.. I’ve also seen there the dual core model of the 602 and its price is exactly or even more than the 5110b 2 core which has dev support lol

  12. I’m still dreaming with a new generation with display smaller than 5″. Even these with 4.3″ inches I find not very portable.
    I want something really portable, that could fit in my pocket.. :/

  13. Reserved an S7800 here. I think the screen size and resolution, classic d-pad, and analog sticks make it the better choice. Plus the specs are decent for the price imo. Hopefully it actually functions properly at release lol.

  14. The i5 device is everything I want. A phone, battery replaced easily, and of course, a console. If the mtk 6577 I have is capable of everything (even ds) except psx on opengl smooth, then this quad core will do the job. I can replace my phone and console on my bag for just one device. Just perfect, like the xperia (but I like these controls better, I have a psp go and its not confortable). Those creeps at ireadygo wanted 150€ and 75€ for dhl shipping lol. Go wlligoo

    1. I couldn’t agree more with jamesensor. I went to much3g.com website, and as pre-sale it is 1299 yuan (212 american dollars) + (unknown) shipping. But I still wish for a 5″ IPS screen, even with wifi only. Size is good for carrying and would have a great viewing angle (my G18a gets only like 20 degrees with good quality, and only one optimal viewing position, which is not perpendicular to my viewing angle (something like 10 degrees down – awful looking position).
      All new 7″ androids are coming with IPS, though… too bulky.

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