We were able to test the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1, during the Tech Summit organized by Qualcomm in Hawaii (United States). A machine that perhaps foreshadows the future of mobile gaming.
At the Tech Summit, Qualcomm didn’t just show off its Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and new ARM chips for Windows PCs. The San Diego firm also unveiled a new range of SoCs dedicated to mobile gaming, the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1.
We were able to take charge of the chip with its development kit produced in partnership with Razer. A kit that takes the form of a portable console Steam Deck style.
Remember that this machine is only intended for developers, but that it profiles, at least in part, the machines that will be equipped with the Qualcomm gaming chip.
An impressive size
The first thing that strikes you when you get hold of this machine is its size. We are far from a smartphone form factor to which we would have added two Joy-Con.
Instead, we have a machine that measures well over a 13-inch PC size, but is surprisingly light in the hand.
A good grip despite everything
The hands have ample room to settle thanks to the handles located at the bottom. For the rest, we are very close to what a slightly modified Xbox controller offers. Only the central buttons have changed, with on the left, two buttons Select and Menu (which only works every other time, by the way) and on the other, a Start button.
Left and right, we are not far from an Xbox controller. // Source: Frandroid Left and right, we are not far from an Xbox controller. // Source: Frandroid
The location of the joysticks seems to suit a natural grip. The triggers and shoulder buttons respond well while providing sufficient resistance. In short, we are on a suitable level of finish.
It is only the location of the webcam that is, to our taste, a bit blemish. Razer decided to surround it with a large plate of plastic a bit cheap.
A headphone input is located below. // Source: Frandroid At the back, there is a fan grille. // Source: Frandroid
Below, we find the well-centered power button, a microSD card cover, volume buttons and a 3.5 mm jack input. The back reveals a grille for the fan.
An intuitive interface
If you’ve ever used an Android phone in your life and a gamepad, you shouldn’t get lost in the interface. The development kit also runs on Android 11. By tapping on the right of the screen, we even find the navigation bar. On the top, there is the simplified shortcuts pane. It’s basically a modified Android phone.
Razer and Qualcomm have all the same added a software overlay more suited to a gaming machine. Applications and games are presented there in the form of tiles. At the bottom, five shortcuts provide access to the Play Store, a photo gallery, a list of apps menu, settings, and device power options.
Whether in-game or in the interface, the development kit can be operated both in touch or with its buttons. Note also that the Xbox Cloud Gaming was installed on its machines and that it worked perfectly.