Get your salt shakers ready as there's a new rumor in town! Following rumors of Sony shutting down the digital store of its older platforms and details on a 4K-ready Nintendo Switch, news are now circulating about Qualcomm's plans to enter the gaming market with a device of its own. According to an exclusive report by Android Police that cites details obtained from "a source familiar with the company's strategy", this upcoming device will bear similarities to the Nintendo Switch based on non-final images the outlet could view but not share.
The report details that the handheld console "resembles a thicker, bulkier smartphone" with detachable controllers on each side, packs a 6000mAh battery equipped with Quick Charge technology, features an SD card slot, runs on Android 12 with "full support for Google's suite of Play apps and services" and supports display-out capabilities. It will also feature 5G support and include sensors such as Bluetooth, GPS, accelerometers and dual-zone haptics. However, Android Police does not believe that the device will have telephony features.
Qualcomm apparently plans to launch the device for $300 in Q1 of 2022 as a means to showcase its latest Snapdragon chipset (whether it's a customized chip design or an off-the-shelf solution is not known). According to Android Police's source, Qualcomm "doesn't have any delusions of unseating Nintendo". Rather, this device might serve as a reference design of sorts to "inspire its partners to explore new form factors as the line between "mobile" and "console" gaming increasingly blurs".
Where it gets interesting is that XDA's editor-in-chief, Mishaal Rahman, corroborated this report, saying that it "clear to me that it'd end up being a device for consumers". He gave some addition details of his own from his own source, saying that the device uses Qualcomm's latest chipset, the Snapdragon 888 and the model name is GRD8350P (with GRD assumed to mean "Game Reference Device" and "8350" referring to "SM8350", the 888's part number). Rahman also heard that it will pack a 6.65" Full HD+ display, a 6000mAh battery and support a fan but apparently doesn't even have a rear camera.
My source didn't think this was going to be a commercial product, as it would make sense for Qualcomm to simply build a reference design for a gaming phone given how popular they've become in China.— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) March 23, 2021
Rumor or not, would you like to see such a device from Qualcomm?