AYN Odin Handheld Review
Handhelds are coming out, left right and center and backing an unknown company on indiegogo in 2021 feels like a bit of a gamble, especially when theres plenty of other options on the horizon. But thankfully that risk has paid off, and this is one of the coolest handhelds. I have reviewed in a while. It even makes the rg552 feel like it came straight out of a cereal box. First of all, before i jump into the review, i want to clarify how im reviewing this unit. This, for me, is a handheld that i am using purely for emulation through android. Many of you may be purchasing it for android games, steam link or even using it with windows, but in this review i will be focusing on using it as a retro gaming device. So without further ado here is our full review of the odin handheld Music. The company behind the odin is called a y n, a n, or something like that. I have no idea how its pronounced, but from what i can tell they have managed the indiegogo campaign. Incredibly well, they kept everyone up to date with news they ship their products on time and everything works, as stated, which is a bit of a miracle when you think about it. The unit i have here is the pro model, which features a qualcomm snapdragon sd845 cpu arduino 630 gpu, eight gigabytes of ram a six inch ips touchscreen display with a resolution of 1920×1080 with 369ppi dragontail glass cover and 600 milliamps of battery.
That packaged up makes one hell of a device, especially when they have priced it at just 290 dollars, which is far cheaper than the steam deck the one x player and the a neo ill admit. The price tag does push it out of the affordable handheld category. So i cant really compare it to the likes of the rg 351 mp, the retro pocket 2 plus or even the power kitty max 2 theyre all far cheaper. But this handheld genuinely feels like the next step in portable emulation and sits itself between the cheap and the expensive, which i kind of dig. The packaging was pleasant and felt of high quality and comes with the very basics to get you started. I have yet to receive the dock, so i will review that on our website when it arrives separately, when you pull it out of the box, you will instantly feel the high build quality it has. This matte, like touch to it, which keeps fingerprints at bay and a nice comfortable weight which doesnt feel heavy at all, and the setup process is incredibly fluid due to the easy to use android operating system alongside a very accurate touch screen for those new to gaming. On android or setting up your handheld, its pretty simple, this in itself makes it easy for me to recommend to those of you that are completely new to android handhelds, to get emulators on this thing, its incredibly easy, not as easy as the retro pocket 2 plus.
Might i add, because they created a tutorial that installs the applications and the emulators for you with the click of a button, but its still pretty damn easy. The size of the handheld is near identical to that of the nintendo switch light, and so is the weight in fact, but once you go from the switch to the odin, youll realize how awful the nintendo switch light actually feels. The odin has a curved body with grips at the back, which makes it incredibly comfortable to hold the face is covered by the six inch 1080p display, which is easy to see even in pure daylight and on each of the sides. You will notice blue leds. That light up the size of the handheld and underneath the analog sticks, these sticks do have r3l3 functionality and sits deep inside the handheld so that you can easily reach the buttons when youre gaming on the go. The action buttons are colored and have a nice feedback to them due to the conductive rubbers. Underneath it reminds me of modern playstation, 5 and xbox controllers on the right. You also have your home button and your start and select buttons, which i have to admit. I dislike the white boring text, simply ruins the aesthetic of this sleek black device, but thats just me nitpicking really on the left. You have an incredible d pad. This has some really nice travel to them, even though some may think its a little sensitive.
The dome switches underneath gives it that again modern feeling now taking a look on top youll, find your four shoulder. Buttons, r2 and l2 are slightly flared and stick slightly out of the handheld. So when placed down on the table, it keeps it upright. These shoulder buttons are pretty great, and even though they have no click to them, it again makes them feel incredibly modern. I was aware that some users had problems with l1 and l2, but as of now, i have not had any problems with them at all. The buttons can be also pressed along the whole of the top making it easy to play on and a reliable button for those fast paced games between your shoulder buttons. You have your on off button, a volume, button, ventilation and a flap that, when opened, reveals hdmi out and your sd card slot. All of this is very well hidden and has kept it looking sleek, with no blatant openings on the back. Youll find even more ventilation and two hidden buttons that can be mapped for those of you that love to use extra back triggers. I personally havent found myself using these as of yet, but i can imagine those of you who love to play. Android games, youll, probably find use for them pretty quickly and finally, at the bottom, youll find a headphone jack alongside your usbc charging port, which also acts as a place for you to dock your handheld overall, the black odin i have here does look a little plain.
The logo on the bottom left makes me want to throw up and the colored buttons are throwing off the whole stealth vibe. But all of this is a personal preference. The odin comes in a wide number of different colors, transparent shells and button types. So dont worry there will be something that tickles your fancy. Putting that aside, the odin handheld is one of the most comfortable handouts. I have used in a long time its light enough to play on for hours on end without snapping your spine. The screen is the perfect size for gaming and the curved back plate, alongside the perfectly placed sensitive buttons, makes it feel like this. Handheld was designed for my hands and my hands. Only the led lights on the side are also a really cool addition. It gives it the pop that the handheld just really needs and it is becoming one of odins signature styles, something other handheld manufacturers really struggle with so thats, actually quite nice to see that theyre doing that to basically separate themselves. Apart from those boring, handhelds, theyve done a really good job. Designing this thing, and even though i moan about the simple look it doesnt matter when a handheld feels as good as this does now lets talk about emulation because thats. What you really came here for ive discussed how easy it is to download emulators. But how easy is it to just jump into your favorite retro games? Well, pretty easy too, once youre familiar with the android emulators and all of the applications its as easy as opening an app loading up your rom and jumping into the game.
Most of the time when i jumped into my games, the buttons were already mapped, but its likely youll have to jump into your emulator settings and go through these simple mapping options. When you start using your odin pro once thats done, you really are ready to play. The odin has three performance modes. These modes are very important for increasing the emulation quality and they can be done on the fly without having to jump into the emulator settings, which i found incredibly satisfying. All you have to do is swipe down on your screen when in game to access the android toolbar, you then press the performance button which switches from standard to performance to high performance mode. This simply dedicates more cpu to emulation and regulates the temperature by turning on the fan when its needed for your smaller consoles like game boy, nez, snez game bear mega drive and even playstation 1. You can set it to standard. This will still give you incredibly sleek. Gameplay and theres no need to bump it up any further because youre hitting silky smooth frame rates on standard mode. When i started testing larger consoles, like dreamcast, sega, saturn and gameboy games, i did need to switch it to performance mode to get high frame rates. I generally thought id be pushing the odin to the limit when playing gamecube and dreamcast games. But oh no, this thing was handling large gamecube games well on just performance mode. So at this point i had to take it further, and this, for me, is the furthest.
I have gone with emulation on a handheld, as you know, i typically dont review handhelds over three to five hundred dollars and thats, where ps2 emulation is sitting, maybe even close to a thousand dollars. So i thought to myself theres no chance. This will run ps2 games and well. I was wrong very, very wrong. I strapped on my seat belt. Put it in the first gear set up the nitro by twisting it into high performance mode and started loading up, simpsons hit and run for ps2, which is one of my favorite games. It was loading. There was no audio issues, which is the first sign of poor performance by the way, and then before i knew it, i was behind the wheel, driving around springfield, trying to find duff beer. My mind was blown im playing ps2 games on a 290 dollar handheld that i set up in under 15 minutes flat with little to no issues. It was sitting around 40 frames per second, i could have saved whenever i wanted to and configured the buttons to make it more comfortable on the fly for me, i was like this has to be a mistake, so i loaded up one of my favorite ps2 games That is crash, bandicoot, the wrath of cortex and well. I wasnt dreaming. The performance was great and my inner child was screaming at how excited i was to play crash bandicoot on a handheld that i could take everywhere.
This handheld can run ps2 games and well period. What made me fall in love with it is the ease of getting it to that state. It was easy, as downloading the emulator, installing your roms and pushing it into high performance mode. I didnt have to read tutorials. I didnt have to tinker with settings to increase frame rates. It simply did what i wanted it to do, and well even wii games. 3D 2ds 3ds, whatever you want n64 games, sega saturn all run well on here too, but for me the ps2 quality. Is the cherry on top? The odin team should be proud of what they have accomplished. I was skeptical jumping into the premium handheld cattery category at first, but for 290. This is a very impressive handheld that i will be taking with me on long trips away, and it will also be on my desk for when i need 20 minutes to calm the mind its close to flawless. Honestly. If you really want to dive deeper into the handheld and push it to its limits, then you can load windows on this thing so that you can start moving into pc gaming. But with that, you will drastically reduce battery life, and this is something i notice when emulating ps2. I was still getting probably around about four to five hours of gameplay out of it on a single charge which again impressed me. But for me i am incredibly happy with using this purely for retro games, its going to be very hard for another company to compete with this, especially with this small price tag, the steam deck, the nintendo switch, the a and neo and the one x player should Really be worried, i just cant get over how good this.
Is it genuinely excites me? Yes, you will need to keep an eye on updates. It could have wireless charging, it could have removable faceplates and slightly better battery life, but that may come next year. This is a great start to 2022 and im excited to see how competitors in this niche will compete with this absolute monster of a handheld. So there you have it our review of the odin pro handheld.