Android Handheld Consoles Vs PC Handheld Consoles

If you're a mobile gamer who's looking to step up their game (literally), you may be torn between the choice of an Android handheld console vs a PC handheld console. This article will guide you through the finer points of each option and help you pick the best option for you.

android handheld consoles vs pc gaming consoles

Mobile gaming has matured very quickly in the last few years so much so that subdivisions have already begun to arise. In this article we're going to discuss two of these subdivisions: Android Handheld Consoles Vs PC Handheld Consoles.

Generally speaking, mobile gaming refers to a genre of gaming where you can take gaming with you on the go. This is usually in stark contrast with traditional gaming that is generally stationary. Once upon a time, mobile gaming consoles were not even considered to be consoles as they were very rudimentary machines capable of only playing the most basic games. Today however, mobile consoles are capable of so much more and leading the charge are the Android Handheld Consoles and the PC Handheld Consoles.

Android Handheld Consoles are devices with Android parts that have been specially designed for gaming. You could also say that these are Android phones with physical control buttons, active cooling and massive batteries. These modifications should help gamers play better and for longer. Examples of Android Handheld Consoles include the Razer Edge, Odin 2 Pro, Ayaneo Pocket Air etc.

ayn odin 2

PC handheld consoles are shrunken down Laptop PCs that have been modified for gaming. Just like Android Handheld Consoles, PC handhelds have also been given physical buttons, cooling fans and big batteries to maximize game time. PC handheld consoles use PC processors (CPU + GPU) and are capable of handling most PC games out there. Examples of PC handheld consoles include the Steam Deck, Asus ROG Ally, Lenovo Legion Go etc.

steamdeck 101

You may also be interested in:

Android Handheld Consoles Vs PC Handheld Consoles

In order to determine the best mobile gaming platform here, we're going to compare both of them based on the following criteria.

Gaming Performance

PC handheld consoles are easily more powerful than their Android counterparts. This is because they use mid-range to high-end AMD APUs with RDNA integrated graphics. Android Handheld Consoles with their ARM based SoCs cannot keep up with these APUs. As a result, PC handhelds offer better gaming performance than Android handhelds.

Operating Systems

Both sets of devices use vastly different operating systems. PC handhelds use the SteamOS as their basic operating system. This means that's they can run games and emulators that are made for SteamOS. They also have some compatibility with games that were made for PC (Windows, Mac and Linux) as well. Android Handheld Consoles on the other hand, generally run on Android and are limited to Android games and emulators.

Since SteamOS and PC games are generally more advanced (graphically) than Android games, a more serious gamer might prefer a PC handheld whilst more casual gamers would fancy the Android handhelds.


Both the Android and PC handheld only have WiFi connectivity and would have to rely on a WiFi router, MiFi or a smartphone hotspot to access the Internet.


Whilst both Android and PC handhelds tend to have huge batteries, the battery life on both of them greatly differs. PC handhelds have the more powerful X86-64 PC processors (CPU + GPU) and as a result tend to have poorer battery life. Android Handhelds on the other hand use ARM based SoCs which are very battery efficient. Thus Android Handhelds enjoy way better battery life than their PC counterparts.

Design and Controls

Both of these sets of devices share a similar form factor: a rectangular tablet with physical controls on both sides. This is a form factor that was popularized by Sony's PSP and more recently the Nintendo Switch. The displays may or may not have touch support and the controls usually include buttons and joysticks. These should help make gaming easier for the user. As always, different companies will take varying design approaches to stylizing the look of their console.

lenovo legion go


Both sets of devices also have passive and active cooling systems to keeps the consoles cool and maximize the gaming performance of the processor or SoC on board. However it should be noted that PC handhelds have to put in more emphasis on active cooling because they use powerful X86 processors which can get very hot and require more cooling.


Both sets of devices usually share a lot of features like rumble, vibration, video out (HDMI), active cooling etc. Specific features offered by manufacturers are usually tied to their respective devices so make sure to do your research before parting with your money.


PC handhelds tend to be bigger and bulkier and Android handhelds, whilst Android Handhelds are generally smaller and slimmer than PC handhelds. However, unlike Gaming phones, both Android and PC handhelds require a carrying case to protect the buttons and joysticks.


Android Handhelds are a lot more affordable than PC handhelds. This one is rather very straightforward.


Both Android Handheld and PC Handheld Consoles have pushed the limits of what mobile gaming was capable of and should be at the top of gamers wishlist. However, in life, we don't always get to have everything so we have to make choices.

If you're a gamer looking for triple A games with very impressive graphics, you should opt for a PC handheld consoles. But do take note that it might eat a huge hole in your pocket. On the other hand, if you are just looking for something to play games with and are not particular about graphics, then an Android handheld will do just fine.


More from AllRoundReview.