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AYN Odin vs Steam Deck (2022): Which Handheld Is Right For You?

While both are handheld gaming devices, the AYN Odin and the Steam Deck aren’t direct competitors. The AYN Odin runs on Android and it’s marketed as an emulation device, whereas the Steam Deck runs on SteamOS and its main function is to play your Steam games on-the-go. Getting both handhelds is ideal since they offer different enough gaming experiences, but if you can only buy one, which one should you go for? Here’s our comparison of the two.

AYN Odin vs Steam Deck Comparison Chart

ModelAYN OdinSteam Deck
 
PriceCheck Price Check Price
Dimensions8.82 x 3.74 x 0.59 inches11.73 x 4.61 x 1.93 inches
Display5.98 inches IPS LCD
1920 x 1080 pixels (16:9)
Touchscreen
7-inch IPS LCD
1280 x 800 pixels (16:10)
Touchscreen
CPU & GPU Mediatek Dimensity 900, Mali-G68 MC4 (Lite)
Snapdragon 845, Adreno 630 (Base/Pro)
Custom AMD APU
Zen 2 4c/8t CPU
8 RDNA 2 CUs
RAM & Storage4GB 64GB (Lite)
4GB 64GB, 4GB 128GB, 4GB 256GB (Base)
8GB 64GB, 8GB 128GB, 8GB 256GB (Pro)
microSD card slot
16GB 64GB eMMC
16GB 256GB NVMe
16GB 512GB NVMe
microSD card slot
AudioStereo speakers
3.5mm audio jack
Bluetooth audio
Stereo speakers
Multichannel audio via DP over USB-C
3.5mm audio jack
Bluetooth audio
ConnectivityWiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.2 (Lite)
WiFi 5, Bluetooth 5.0 (Base/Pro)
WiFi 5
Bluetooth 5.0
PortsUSB-C
3.5mm audio jack
Mini HDMI out
USB-C (DP 1.4 support)
3.5mm audio jack
OSAndroid 11 (Lite)
Android 10 (Base/Pro)
SteamOS 3.0
Battery5000mAh (Lite)
6600mAh (Base/Pro)
5200mAh (40Wh)
ColorsWhite, Black, Transparent White, Transparent Black (Lite)
Black, Clear Purple (Base/Pro)
Black

Design

The AYN Odin is more compact and portable, but the Steam Deck has better controls.

The AYN Odin (top) is considerably smaller than the Steam Deck (bottom).

When it comes to size, the AYN Odin is significantly smaller and lighter than the Steam Deck. The AYN Odin measures 8.82 x 3.74 x 0.59 inches while the Steam Deck’s physical dimensions are 11.73 x 4.61 x 1.93 inches. There’s also a weight difference, with the AYN Odin weighing less. Needless to say, the AYN Odin will be more comfortable to hold and play than the Steam Deck if you play long sessions.

With that said, both handhelds have excellent ergonomics. They have curved bodies with grips at the back for comfort. Your hands won’t get cramped with these handhelds due to their excellent design.

As for build quality, the two handhelds are well-built. They are made of high quality plastic that feels solid. There’s no rattling inside and the buttons feel good. When you hold these, they feel like premium products, especially in the case of the Steam Deck.

There are several color options for the AYN Odin. You can get the Lite in black, white, transparent black and transparent white. The Base and Pro models are available in black and clear purple. The Steam Deck, on the other hand, only has one color option for now.

Display

The AYN Odin and the Steam Deck both have touch-enabled IPS LCD screens with a max refresh rate of 60Hz, but that’s where the similarity ends. The 16:9 screen of the AYN Odin measures 5.98 inches diagonally and it has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. It’s smaller, but it has a higher resolution than the 16:10 screen of the Steam Deck, which measures 7 inches diagonally with a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels.

The smaller screen of the AYN Odin displays sharper text and images, but when it comes to overall quality, the two don’t differ that much.

Controls

The Steam Deck features a more advanced built-in controller than the AYN Odin. They both have all the standard buttons such as the face buttons, d-pad, analog sticks and shoulder buttons, and in the case of the AYN Odin, two back buttons. However, the Steam Deck ups the ante by providing two more back buttons for a total of four, analog sticks with capacitive touch, two trackpads with haptic feedback and 6-axis gyro.

As for the button layouts, the AYN Odin’s is similar to that of the Nintendo Switch Lite with offset analog sticks. Meanwhile, the Steam Deck’s d-pad and face buttons are closer to the edge, with the thumbsticks right beside them. Below the thumbsticks are the trackpads. When looking at the Steam Deck, the controls might seem uncomfortable, but once you’ve used it, it’s not bad at all.

Hardware

The AYN Odin has weaker hardware than the Steam Deck.

Both handhelds can be connected to a TV or monitor with their respective docks (separate purchase).

Under the hood, there’s no competition. The Steam Deck is a much more powerful device than the AYN Odin, and their prices reflect that. The AYN Odin Lite is powered by the Mediatek Dimensity 900 SoC while the Base and Pro models are equipped with the Snapdragon 845 chipset. These do not compare to the Steam Deck’s Custom AMD APU with RDNA graphics.

The Steam Deck also has more RAM, 16GB to be exact, and you can get it in 64GB eMMC, 256GB NVMe and 512GB NVMe variants. On the other hand, the AYN Odin has 4GB or 8GB RAM, depending on the model, and you can choose between 64GB, 128GB or 256GB storage, except for the Lite model which only has 64GB of storage. Both handhelds do come with microSD card slots.

One advantage of the AYN Odin, at least the Lite model, is its WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity. These are better than the Steam Deck’s WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.0.

If you want to game on a big screen, you can do so with both handhelds. The AYN Odin has a mini HDMI out, and you can also purchase the Super Dock for a similar experience to the Nintendo Switch. The Steam Deck, on the other hand, supports DP 1.4 via its USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port. There’s also a dock available for purchase.

Games

The Steam Deck gives you access to more games than the AYN Odin.

A look at the AYN Odin’s (left) and Steam Deck’s (right) launchers.

The AYN Odin runs on Android, so it plays Android games, but it also offers emulation and game streaming. The Pro model can also run Windows on ARM, as mentioned in our AYN Odin Lite vs Pro comparison. However, the experience differs from devices that are designed for Windows.

You’ll have access to Google’s Play Store and their lineup of games. You can also install various emulators and streaming apps such as Steam Link, Moonlight and more.

Meanwhile, the Steam Deck runs SteamOS 3.0, which is basically Steam in Big Picture mode, so it will play most of your Steam games. It can also be used for emulation and game streaming. Since it is a handheld PC, you can also install Windows on it if you prefer, so that you can have access to more digital storefronts and launchers such as GOG. When it comes to number of games, the Steam Deck is the clear winner.

Performance

Both are great at streaming, but the Steam Deck is ahead when it comes to emulation and running more hardware intensive games.

Both the AYN Odin (left) and Steam Deck (right) are great for streaming, but the latter can also run many Steam games flawlessly.

Since it has the better hardware, the Steam Deck trumps the AYN Odin when it comes to performance. The Steam Deck can run AAA games at 30fps without issues, at least the Deck-verified ones. The AYN Odin will run most Android games, but there are smartphones out there with better SoCs that will be able to run these Android games better.

When it comes to emulation, the Steam Deck also offers better performance since it can emulate some PS3 games. In contrast, the AYN Odin Pro can only emulate games up to the Gamecube and Wii era, and some PS2 games. The Lite model is even more limited in this area as it can only emulate games up to the PS1 and Dreamcast era.

Game streaming is where the two offer similar performance since this is not hardware intensive. The AYN Odin offers portability due to its more compact size, while the Steam Deck offers better immersion due to its larger screen.

As for battery life, the AYN Odin lasts between 4-7 hours, depending on what you’re using the device for. The Steam Deck, on the other hand, lasts between 2-8 hours.

Verdict

If you want the best handheld device, the Steam Deck is a no-brainer, however, if you just want a handheld for retro gaming (emulation) and game streaming, the cheaper AYN Odin is the more sensible choice.

AYN Odin

Cheaper alternative for streaming and emulation

Steam Deck

Better handheld device across the board for streaming, emulation and Steam games.

For hardcore gamers, the Steam Deck is the obvious choice. It has better hardware and it can play most AAA, AA and indie games available on Steam. Emulation or retro gaming is also an area that the Steam Deck excels at, as it can emulate up to some PS3 games. The Steam Deck is currently the best handheld in the market for playing games on-the-go.

The AYN Odin is significantly cheaper than the Steam Deck, but it’s also weaker. But it’s still an excellent alternative if you are only interested in emulation, game streaming and maybe playing some Android games.

FAQs

📌 Will the Steam Deck run emulators?

Yes, you can emulate up to some PS3 games with the Steam Deck.

📌 What can the AYN Odin emulate?

The AYN Odin Pro can emulate up to Gamecube and Wii. The Lite model can emulate up to Gamecube, but it will struggle.

📌 Is the Steam Deck 120Hz?

The Steam Deck’s display has a maximum refresh rate of 60Hz, but it can output 4K at 120Hz via its USB-C port.

📌 Is the AYN Odin worth it?

It’s worth it if you are only interested in retro gaming, game streaming and playing some Android games.

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Carlo Salvador

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about fitness, gaming and music.