This gaming handheld has a wonderful surprise hidden inside

There's something unexpected about the Sugar Cubes X Jelly

Sugar Cubes X Jelly
(Image credit: Sugar Cubes (via Retro Dodo))

Chinese brand Sugar Cubes is set to have an interesting 2024, as it unveils its second innovative gaming product planned for release this year.

As well as the Small Universe retro handheld with a rotating OLED display, it has announced a second gaming device but with a hidden surprise.

As Retro Dodo points out, the Sugar Cubes X Jelly isn't a handheld in its own right, but a controller casing for the "world's smallest" Android 13 phone.

Made from aluminium and featuring a full set of controls, such as thumbstick, D-pad and all the required buttons, the Jelly opens up so you can insert a Unihertz Jelly Star smartphone.

This handset is available globally for around $200 and measures just 95.1 x 49.6 x 18.7mm. To put that into perspective, the entire phone is smaller than the display on a standard Samsung Galaxy S24.

The Jelly Star's own display is 3-inches, with a resolution of 480 x 854. It comes with a 48-megapixel rear camera and 8-megapixel snapper on the front. And there's a 2,000mAh battery inside, so it should last a fair while between charges.

Perhaps most importantly in this case, the processor is a MediaTek Helio G99 and there is 8GB of RAM on board. This might not be the biggest spec for a phone, but it's very decent when it comes to running emulators and classic games.

Indeed, Retro Dodo suggests that you could pack the tiny Android handset with freely available emulation software and run up to Dreamcast and PlayStation Portable games. It would have absolutely no trouble with SNES, Mega Drive / Genesis, and even PlayStation 1 and Nintendo 64 titles.

So when you fancy a decent retro gaming session, you just pop your phone in the case and away you go. But, unlike some dedicated Android-based equivalents, you also have your smartphone on you for good measure.

We'll keep you informed as this is only at the prototype stage for now, but there are plans to have it available later this year.

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.