The Chinese GPD device maker has made a name for itself in recent years with a series of portable gaming computers running Windows. But GPD actually started making Android devices, and the company is sort of going back to its roots with the new GPD XP portable gaming system… but it’s also looking to the future.
The GPD XP features all-new hardware, an all-new modular design that lets you swap out controller styles, and 4G LTE support. Perhaps more importantly, now that Valve’s Steam Deck is starting to take a lot of oxygen in the portable gaming PC space, GPD reminds us that there is still a lot of potential in handheld game consoles designed to run. Android.
GPD has yet to announce a price or release date, but the company has started sharing pictures and videos from the next GPD XP in August. More recently, GPD unveiled a preview of an upcoming crowdfunding campaign with even more details.
Here’s a look at some key specs:
|GPD XP specifications|
2400 x 1080 pixels
84% NTSC color gamut
Corning Gorilla Glass 5
|Processor||MediaTek Helio G95
2 ARM Cortex-A76 2.05 GHz processor cores
6 ARM Cortex-A55 processor cores at 2 GHz
900 MHz ARM Mali-G76 MC4 GPU
|RAM||6 GB LPDDR4x|
|Storage room||128 GB UFS 2.1
MicroSD card slot (up to 2TB)
|Operating system||Android 11
GPD metro user interface
|Battery charging||7000 mAh
2G: GSM B3 / 8
3G: WCDMA B1
4G: TDD-LTE B34 / 38/39/40/41
4G: FDD-LTE B / 1/2/3/5/7/8/12/17/20/26/28
GPD, A-GPS, GLONASS
|Ports||1 x USB-C
1 3.5mm audio
1x microSD card reader
1 SIM card slot
|Left controller||Analog stick
Back, Home, Back buttons
2 x shoulder buttons
|Right controller||3 controller module options:
|Camera||5MP forward facing|
|Dimensions||233 x 83 x 18 (Xbox controller)
216 x 83 x 18 (FPS controller)
205 x 83 x 18 mm (MOBA controller)
|Weight||370 grams (Xbox controller)
350 grams (FPS controller
330 grams (MOBA controller)
|Operating system||Android 11|
While the processor, memory, and storage should be good enough to handle most Android games, the console’s design could also make it an attractive option for use with game streaming platforms like Stadia or GeForce Now, that allow you to stream console-quality games to a mobile device over the Internet. And of course, there are emulators – the GPD XP seems to handle GameCube emulation pretty well.
The active cooling fan should help prevent overheating. And the built-in controllers will let you play native Android games or use emulators or streaming without needing to place your hands on the screen, covering the action.
GPD also includes button mapping software, which will allow you to play Android games that might not normally support physical controllers, by mapping on-screen functions to hardware keys.
The company claims that its modular controllers connect to GPD-XP body via physical pins and offer no latency since they do not use a wireless connection. They are held firmly in place by magnets.
But perhaps the most interesting thing about GPD XP controllers is that you have three options, allowing you to change controller style depending on the games you are playing. The left controller is permanently connected, but the right controller can be swapped out.
- GPD Xbox-style controller gives you all the keys you’d expect from a console, including X, Y, A, and B keys, a second analog stick, shoulder buttons, and start and select keys.
- The FPS Controller features five face keys that can be programmed to perform different functions, as well as two shoulder buttons.
- The MOBA controller is not really a controller at all. It’s just a cap that magnetically attaches to the port on the right side of the device, covering it. This allows you to use your right thumb with the touchscreen while you play, while you use your left hand for the physical controllers.
The device is designed as a handheld game console rather than a phone, so there is no earpiece mic or speaker, and no support for phone calls or texting. But if you insert a SIM card, you can use it for 4G data, and the device supports instant messaging apps like WhatsApp, Skype, Facebook Messenger and WeChat.
There is also a front camera which you can use for video calls or to record video messages.
Initially, GPD acknowledged that the reason it chose a display with a punch-hole camera aperture was mainly because most of the displays available in this size are designed for phones rather than handheld game consoles. But it looks like the company has at least decided to outfit the device with a camera, even though that’s something mobile gamers may not need.
GPD says the GPD XP handheld game console is expected to start shipping in January 2022. It should be available for pre-order through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign soon, but we’ll likely have to wait until the campaign launches to find out the price. and make a direct comparison with competing devices like the $ 200 AYN Odin or the $ 399 Valve Steam Deck.
This article was originally published on August 12, 2021 and last updated on October 10, 2021.