10 Best Handheld Gaming Consoles in 2024

The resurgence of handheld gaming consoles has revolutionized the way we play games on the go. In 2024, the market is flooded with innovative devices that cater to every type of gamer. Whether you're a casual player or a hardcore enthusiast, there's a handheld console out there for you.

With advancements in technology, handheld gaming consoles have become more powerful, versatile, and user-friendly. This guide will walk you through the ten best handheld gaming consoles available in 2024, helping you make an informed decision. From performance specs to price points, we've got you covered.

Note: Discover our latest blogs on Retro Gaming Accessories and Retro Games!

What to Look For in a Handheld Gaming Console

Before diving into our top picks, it’s essential to understand what factors to consider when choosing a handheld gaming console:

  • Platform Compatibility: Ensure the console supports your favorite games and gaming ecosystems.
  • Display Quality: High resolution and refresh rates can enhance your gaming experience.
  • Battery Life: Look for consoles with long battery life to enjoy uninterrupted gaming sessions.
  • Performance: Powerful processors and ample RAM ensure smooth gameplay.
  • Price vs. Value: Balance your budget with the features you need.

10 Best Handheld Gaming Consoles in 2024

1. Steam Deck

The Steam Deck stands out as a highly versatile handheld gaming console. It features a 7-inch 1200x800p IPS display, providing clear and vibrant visuals. The console offers various storage options including 64GB eMMC, 256GB, and 512GB NVMe SSD, coupled with 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM. Powered by an AMD Aerith Custom APU, the Steam Deck delivers impressive performance for both indie and AAA titles. Operating on Steam OS, a Linux-based system, it allows for extensive customization and even supports Windows installation. Priced between $399 and $649, the Steam Deck is known for its excellent value, although some users might find the display and game compatibility a bit lacking.

2. Asus ROG Ally

The Asus ROG Ally is a premium choice for gamers seeking high performance. It features a 7-inch 1080p IPS display with a 120Hz refresh rate, ensuring smooth gameplay. Available in storage options of 512GB and 1TB NVMe, along with 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM, this console is built for demanding games. The AMD Z1/Extreme APU provides robust graphics and processing power. Running on Windows 11, it offers broad game compatibility. However, its price range of $599 to $699 and shorter battery life are considerations for potential buyers.

3. Ayaneo 2

The Ayaneo 2 is known for its premium build quality and advanced features. It has a 7-inch 1200p IPS display and is available in storage options of 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB NVMe, with RAM options of 16GB or 32GB LPDDR5. The console is powered by an AMD Radeon 680M GPU and runs on either Windows or Ayaneo OS. Priced between $1099 and $1499, the Ayaneo 2 offers hall effect joysticks and triggers, contributing to a superior gaming experience. Despite its high cost, it is a solid choice for those looking for a top-tier handheld console.

4. Ayaneo Geek

Positioned as a more affordable alternative to the Ayaneo 2, the Ayaneo Geek offers a similar gaming experience with slight differences. It features a 7-inch display available in 800p or 1200p IPS variants. The storage options include 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB NVMe, paired with 16GB or 32GB LPDDR5 RAM. The AMD Radeon 680M GPU ensures smooth performance. Running on Windows or Ayaneo OS, the Geek is priced between $949 and $1369. It lacks some of the high-end features of the Ayaneo 2 but remains a strong contender for those on a budget.

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5. OneXPlayer 2 – AMD

The OneXPlayer 2 is notable for its large 8.4-inch 2.5k IPS display, providing an immersive gaming experience. It offers storage options of 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB NVMe, with RAM choices of 16GB or 32GB LPDDR5. Powered by an AMD Radeon 680M GPU and running on Windows, this console is priced between $1099 and $1499. The detachable controllers add flexibility, although the high price and potential battery life concerns are factors to consider.

6. GPD Win Max 2 2023

The GPD Win Max 2 is a versatile device that doubles as a laptop. It features a 10.1-inch display with options for 1080p or 2.5k IPS resolution. Storage options include 1TB and 2TB NVMe, with RAM choices of 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB LPDDR5x. The console is powered by AMD Radeon 760M or 780M GPUs and runs on Windows. Priced between $799 and $1199, it offers dual SSD slots and a full QWERTY keyboard. While it is less portable due to its size, it provides extensive functionality for gamers and professionals alike.

7. Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch remains a popular choice due to its wide range of exclusive games and versatile play modes. It features a 7-inch 720p IPS display and comes with 32GB of eMMC storage and 4GB of RAM. Powered by the NVIDIA Tegra X1 GPU, it runs on the Nintendo Switch OS. Priced at $349, the Switch offers detachable Joy-Cons for flexible gaming options. However, its older hardware and limited third-party game support are notable drawbacks.

8. Nintendo Switch Lite

The Nintendo Switch Lite is a more compact and affordable version of the Switch. It has a 5.5-inch 720p IPS display and the same 32GB eMMC storage and 4GB RAM configuration as the standard Switch. Also powered by the NVIDIA Tegra X1 GPU, it runs on the Nintendo Switch OS. Priced at $169, the Switch Lite is ideal for portable gaming, though it lacks detachable Joy-Cons and cannot be docked to a TV.

9. Retroid Pocket 3

The Retroid Pocket 3 is an Android-based console designed primarily for emulation. It features a 7-inch 720p IPS display, 32GB of eMMC storage, and 4GB of RAM. Powered by a Unisoc Tiger T310 SoC, it runs on Android 9.0. Priced just above $100, it is a budget-friendly option for casual and retro gamers. However, its limited hardware capabilities mean it cannot run more demanding titles.

10. Playdate

The Playdate is a unique handheld console with a 1-bit 400x240 black-and-white display. It has 4GB of eMMC storage and 16MB of RAM, powered by a 168MHz Cortex M7 CPU. Although it lacks a backlit screen and features minimalistic hardware, it offers a charming and nostalgic gaming experience. Priced at $199, the Playdate includes a crank on the side that can control game mechanics in novel ways. It’s perfect for those looking for a quirky and creative gaming device.

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Honorable Mentions

Nintendo Switch OLED: An upgrade to the original Switch, it features a larger and better quality OLED screen and a sturdier kickstand. Priced slightly higher than the standard Switch, it’s a worthy investment for new buyers.

  • Valve Steam Deck OLED: With an improved OLED screen and a larger battery, the Steam Deck OLED offers a more immersive gaming experience and better battery life for those willing to spend extra.
  • Sony PlayStation Portal: Designed for PS5 game streaming, this device provides a seamless experience for remote play, although it requires a PS5 and a strong internet connection. Priced at $200.
  • Lenovo Legion Go: A Windows-based handheld with detachable controllers and dual USB-C ports. Priced at $700 to $750, it’s a flexible option for PC gamers.
  • Asus Rog Ally: Despite initial issues, software updates have improved its performance. Priced at $700, it’s worth considering during sales.


The handheld gaming console market in 2024 is rich with options, each offering unique features and benefits. Whether you prioritize performance, display quality, or price, there’s a handheld console that meets your needs. From the versatile Steam Deck and premium Ayaneo 2 to the budget-friendly Nintendo Switch Lite, our top picks cater to all types of gamers.

Explore these options, consider your gaming preferences, and find the perfect handheld console to elevate your gaming experience. 


Q1. What is the best handheld gaming console for AAA titles?

The Steam Deck and Asus ROG Ally are both excellent choices for playing AAA titles, offering robust performance and broad game compatibility.

Q2. Are there affordable options for handheld gaming consoles?

Yes, the Nintendo Switch Lite and Retroid Pocket 3 are budget-friendly options that provide good gaming experiences for casual and retro gamers.

Q3. Can I play PC games on handheld consoles?

Yes, devices like the Steam Deck, Asus ROG Ally, and OneXPlayer 2 allow you to play PC games, often running Windows or Steam OS.

Q4. What should I consider when choosing a handheld gaming console?

Key factors include platform compatibility, display quality, battery life, performance, and price versus value.

Q5. Are there any unique handheld gaming consoles worth considering?

The Playdate offers a unique and nostalgic gaming experience with its 1-bit display and crank controller, making it a quirky choice for those looking for something different.

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