The Nintendo Switch has proven that handheld game machines have not been totally subsumed by smartphones. Valve is planning to release the Steam Deck, although the timeline has been pushed back. Not to be outdone, Razer is prepping the release of a Qualcomm-powered gaming handheld known as the Snapdragon G3X Handheld Developer Kit. As the name implies, this device will be aimed at developers, but it could lead to a new generation of Android-powered game machines.
The device in question was leaked to VideoCardz, so we don’t have an official launch date or info on availability. As a developer device, support will probably be limited, but Qualcomm has a good track record of making its developer hardware available for purchase generally. Presumably, Razer would like the chance to sell units as well. However, it’s also possible this device will only exist in small numbers.
We do know from the leak that the handheld will have the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, which is a next-gen ARM chip Qualcomm will most likely announce in the coming weeks. That system-on-a-chip will reportedly have 20 percent improved CPU performance and a 30 percent power efficiency boost. The GPU is supposed to be 30 percent faster and 25 percent more efficient. Being inside a large handheld device like the Razer unit also means it can have a more robust cooling solution for better overall performance.
The leak does not include the display size, but it looks at least as large as the Switch OLED, which has a 7-inch screen. VideoCardz reports that the display is OLED and has a 120Hz refresh rate with HDR support. Powering it all is a 6,000mAh battery, which is substantially larger than most smartphones. Since this device exists to show off the best of Qualcomm’s new chip, it’ll have support for 5G (sub6 and mmWave), Wi-Fi 6E, and Bluetooth 5.2.
Razer doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to supporting its hardware. Remember the Razer Phone? The Forge Android TV box that never got Netflix support? There are few Android games that warrant a device this powerful, but perhaps Qualcomm could help coax developers to create new content if the Snapdragon G3X Handheld Developer Kit evolves beyond a developer tool. There are also some hints it’ll be pushed as an ideal way to experience cloud gaming platforms like Stadia and Game Pass.
Qualcomm is currently hosting its annual Snapdragon Summit, so we might get details on the new handheld very soon.
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