Why wait for Nintendo Switch 2 – this Android handheld is a high-spec powerhouse

The Ayaneo Pocket S is available to pre-order now

Ayaneo Pocket S (close up)
(Image credit: Ayaneo)
Quick Summary

Available to pre-order now, the Ayaneo Pocket S is a sleek Android gaming handheld that comes with Qualcomm's most powerful chipset.

It starts at £320 / $399 for a 1080p model, with a 1440p variants also available from £352 / $439.

Ayaneo is not one to rest on its laurels. The Chinese games device manufacturer has a plethora of handhelds in its lineup already, with more on their way. It has also recently added a couple of neat, small desktop PCs to the range. However, there's something else coming soon that is arguably even more exciting.

And its specifications could even rival the Nintendo Switch 2.

The Ayaneo Pocket S is an Android gaming handheld with a 6-inch 1440p "borderless" IPS display, CNC metal middle frame, in-built vibration, and a 6,000mAh battery that supports fast charging.

It is powered by Qualcomm's latest gaming chipset, the Snapdragon G3x Gen 2 with Adreno A32 graphics, and it can be spec'ed up to 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage. There's a microSD card slot on all variants too, for expansion.

Ayaneo Pocket S

(Image credit: Ayaneo)

A 1080p version is also  listed on Indiegogo – the brand's favourite presale platform – which means you can pre-order one from £320 (28% off the full price when it's released fully in June).

The flagship version, with the improved resolution and 1TB of storage, will set you back £528 right now. You can expect to pay £640 on its full release.

Ayaneo Pocket S

(Image credit: Ayaneo)

As with other Ayaneo handhelds, the Pocket S will come with the company's own system layer, which sits on top of the Android OS in this case. However, the versions of AYAHome and AYASpace that will come pre-installed have been upgraded to make it simpler for you to find and play your games.

As an Android handheld, it is naturally compatible with all Android games – there's an "invisible" key mapping function included to adapt controller options, too. You'll also be able to play cloud games through services like Xbox Cloud Gaming and Nvidia GeForce Now. And, with the PlayStation app installed, you could use it like a PlayStation Portal to stream your local PS5 games to play remotely (even on your travels).

Then there's the ability to install your own Android-based emulators to use it as a powerful retro gaming device. We're certainly excited to see what's capable on that front. We don't see any reason why it can't emulate most PSP games, for example.

Ayaneo Pocket S

(Image credit: Ayaneo)

The rise of the games handheld has been rapid, with the likes of the Steam Deck, ASUS ROG Ally and Lenovo Legion Go proving very popular today. Then, of course, there's the Nintendo Switch which effectively started the ball rolling.

Now, with a Nintendo Switch 2 on the horizon, it seems there are plenty of other powerful alternatives being released and we heartily approve.

The Ayaneo Pocket S certainly looks the business and could end up being the slimmest portable on the market. Yes, you can use your own Android phone and a controller like the Backbone One, but there's something special about having an all-in-one so sleekly designed.

We'll find out for sure when we get to test one in the coming weeks.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.