It’s been a long time since Powkiddy first teased their powerful upgrade to 2019’s X18. Pre-orders have finally gone live for the Powkiddy X18S with devices due to start shipping in a few days time.
It’s a new era for handheld gaming, and there’s a long list of upcoming machines powered by a host of different SoCs this time. (Check the menu top right on desktop to see them). One of those is the Unisoc Tiger T618, a mid range octa core processor with two fast ARM Cortex A75 cores at up to 2 GHz, and six power efficient ARM Cortex A55 cores at up to 1.8 GHz.
Whilst this chip doesn’t fare too well against the Snapdragon 845 in the upcoming Odin from AYN, it does pack a punch. It’ll allow for very good PSP emulation, with a smattering of GameCube games being playable too.
We’ve known that the X18S was coming for almost a year but it has been delayed multiple times. The chip shortage woes probably played a part in this, but as things begin to ease up we’ll hopefully see a steady influx of new machines in the coming months.
The PowKiddy X18S is one of the first off the block. It’s the natural successor to their black clamshell X18 from 2019. It is built in what looks to be the same shell as its predecessor, albeit with a white and grey colour scheme this time around. The handheld will run Android 11, though some of the earlier promotional material is careful to point out that the Play store won’t be available out of the box.
POWKIDDY X18S SPECS
I am cautiously optimistic about the success of this machine. On paper it does a lot of things right, I love the clamshell form factor and we’re getting a powerful SoC running a current Android version with the X18S.
|SoC||Unisoc Tiger T618|
|CPU||2x A75 @ 2.0GHz / 6x A55 @ 1.8GHz|
|Storage||64GB eMMC + MicroSD|
|WiFi||2.4GHz / 5GHz|
|LCD||5.5" 1280x780 Capacitive IPS|
|Size||152 x 92 x 22.5mm|
|Ports||USB-C, HDMI, 3.5mm, MicroSD|
But the Android build of their previous X18 was a mess, and it took a long time for developers to manage to clean it up. I hope that the delays in releasing this machine may have allowed the factory to optimise the OS for the X18S. We’re just going to have to wait and see.
The PowKiddy X18S ships in the next few days from the official store on AliExpress. With a list price of $172.99 it’s by no means a impulse purchase for a lot of us, but if early reviews are good I might bite. There’s a coupon available at the link below with takes $5 off the list price.