In October last year, it was reported that Qualcomm was working on a gaming smartphone in partnership with Asus, with both companies said to be considering a joint purchase of components. However, it appears that the gaming-centric device might not be a phone, but a Nintendo Switch-like gaming console that runs Android 12 with a custom launcher on top and access to the full suite of Google’s apps and services that you get on your bread-and-butter Android phone.
Full-HD+ display, TV-out support, detachable controllers, and 5G-ready
As per a report by Android Police that cites sources familiar with the matter, the Qualcomm device will have detachable controllers a la the Joycons on Nintendo’s handheld console. And just like the Nintendo Switch, Qualcomm’s Android-powered console will let you connect it with a TV and play games on a larger screen. As per XDA-Developers Editor-in-chief Mishaal Rahman, the device will feature a 6.5-inch FHD+ display and will support a fan as well. Oddly, it won’t let you make calls, or do your regular telephony stuff.
I heard it’ll have a 6.65″ Full HD+ display, a 6000mAh battery, and support a fan. It apparently doesn’t even have a rear camera.
You can see some work for a fan controller in CAF: https://t.co/hfOxIfVzi9
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) March 23, 2021
The gaming-centric gadget will reportedly be fitted with a 6,000mAh battery that supports the proprietary Quickcharge fast charging technology. By opting for a larger handheld console form factor, Qualcomm is getting rid of the cramped space issue in today’s thin and light phones which prove to be an issue when it comes to managing heat. The upcoming console will reportedly exploit the extra space it gets to make the SoC powering it run faster and more efficiently by evading the thermal throttling issue.
6,000mAh battery with fast charging support, but no camera or calling facility
Notably, Qualcomm’s handheld console is said to be missing out on cameras. The chipmaker is reportedly eyeing a Q1 2022 release for its gaming-centric device. 5G will be a part of the package as well, but Qualcomm will reportedly fit the older X55 5G modem inside the device, and not the more recent X60 modem. Coming to the pricing part, the company is said to be targeting an asking price of around $300, but there is no clarity if that includes the detachable controllers as well.
Qualcomm might use its upcoming handheld console as a reference device to showcase the potential of a new form factor. And now that platforms like Stadia, Microsoft’s xCloud, Amazon’s Luna, and NVIDIA GeForce Now have brought console games to mobile devices – and 5G is there to provide the necessary bandwidth – Qualcomm might be looking to make a statement here that a new class of Android-powered gaming devices should become mainstream. At this point, it is hard to comment on what lies ahead, and it is also plausible that the project might eventually end up in the trash can.