A new Orange Pi handheld prototype leak confirms that the company has started moving forward on their hopes to capitalize on the handheld hype.
I have had a particularly harsh opinion about the upcoming handheld line from Orange Pi. And there are several reasons for this…
The first being that they had some potentially deceptive “leaked” information at the start of their handheld journey.
But perhaps more importantly, it would seem that Orange Pi has had little idea about the direction they intend to go with their handhelds.
From my experienced eye, I can tell that they are just hoping to capitalize on the buzz of the handheld scene and have modeled their prototypes off of existing devices from successful brands.
Orange Pi Handhelds
Today’s photo leak comes from a familiar name in the leak scene: Nittrx. And the photos provided show that Orange Pi has started moving to physical prototypes on one of their handhelds.
It would be a useful task to go back and review what Orange Pi has presented us in the past to see how we got here.
And keep in mind that all of these changes in direction have happened in four short months.
Their initial concept took very obvious inspiration from the ultra premium AYANEO 2 handheld.
And the plan was to offer three distinct options – a premium model with an AMD 7840U CPU, a middle of the road AMD 6800U model, and a budget RK3588S model.
Those plans quickly changed after they saw the community’s reactions, and they immediately began the redesign process.
The new plan was to offer a premium “X86” AMD 7840U CPU model that had clear Steam Deck inspirations.
And a second budget unit would be the “ARM” RK3588S model that also had obvious inspirations, this time in the Nintendo Switch Lite.
We’ve even seen concept images of a third handheld that looks identical to the Anbernic RG353V.
You can see that there is a clear theme here – Orange Pi simply polls the handheld scene for the “bests” and copies them. Which isn’t entirely uncommon, but you do need to hide your sources a little better and try to make your own designs unique.
Seeing a handheld from Orange Pi in physical form, even at such a rough state, confirms they plan to move forward.
And we have to give credit where credit is due – they did actually make a handheld.
The photos are of their premium X86 model. And it does have a lot of similarities to the Steam Deck and the AYANEO Kun, as we expected.
There were no noticeable design changes since the last batch of leaked concept imagery.
The build is very rough, which is to be expected from a prototype. So no complaints there.
There was also a pricing chart shared with the prototype photos, but we don’t even want to consider these numbers or mention them. Because this was the biggest point of contention in past Orange Pi “leaks”, and it’s where I personally took some heat for repeating it.
Nonetheless, watching the process of concept to something in physical form is interesting. Clearly Orange Pi is capable of building a handheld. How it will feel in the hands or how it will perform is another question entirely.
From what I have heard, their Raspberry Pi clone boards are known to be lesser quality. And we are anticipating their handhelds to be more of the same. An affordable knockoff that can possibly get the job done, but will not be at the top of the hill.
We don’t mind being proven wrong. But Orange Pi certainly does a lot of proving to do based on our short but eventful past with them.
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Anthony has been a video game lover ever since he can remember. He became a fulltime nomad in 2018, living throughout most of Asia. He focused his passion in retro gaming and began creating a game for the Game Boy Color while living in Nara, Japan during the 2020 pandemic. He is now in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where he spends most of his time gaming, going on long walks and meeting as many stray dogs as possible.