Razer made a Snapdragon G3x handheld to show us Qualcomm's gaming vision

Since Nintendo put games in consumers pockets with the Game & Watch, gamers have been seeking the ideal mobile gaming machine. From the Nintendo Game Boy to the Sega Game Gear on forward to the NVIDIA SHIELD and the Nintendo Switch, we've been seeing the same basic idea played over and over again. The next entry in this device category comes from both Qualcomm and Razer. On one hand we have the Snapdragon G3x Gen 1 Gaming Platform, a "new category of gaming devices" – on the other, we have a device built with all the best bits of that platform in mind, made by Razer.

Qualcomm wants to show off the powers of their latest generation of processors and tech, so they've created a "platform" that manufacturers can use to jump off into a futuristic gaming device with minimal effort. Razer is the first to step up to the plate with efforts that've resulted in the Snapdragon G3x Handheld Gaming Developer Kit.

The "developer kit" in this case is a piece of hardware – made only for developers. It looks like a handheld gaming device, running Android, but it's not made for the average consumer. This isn't like that time NVIDIA made the first SHIELD. It's more like every other time Qualcomm has made a "developer kit" device so that developers can get their hands on the technology that Qualcomm hopes they'll demand from manufacturers in the near future.

The dev kit

The Snapdragon G3x Handheld Gaming Developer Kit is a handheld gaming device with a 6.65-inch Full HD+ OLED display with up to 120hz refresh rate and 10-bit HDR. This device is powered by the Snapdragon G3x chipset and represents all the key features and capabilities of the Snapdragon G3x gaming platform.

This device has 5G mmWave connectivity (with the right SIM card, of course), USB-C for accessories, USB-C compatibility with DisplayPort (to HDMI) with support for 4K HDR output (on a larger display).

There's a front-facing FHD 1080p webcam (5MP), and a set of hardware and touchscreen controls. You'll find the XYAB control buttons on the right, along with a hardware start button, and both Select and Menu on the left with a cross directional pad. There are two joysticks, and two front-facing speakers supported by Snapdragon Sound Technology.

Inside are "advanced haptics" from Lofelt – with a dedicated Haptics Engine so you'll feel all the rumbles. This device has support for all the most updated Qualcomm-developed gaming features like Qualcomm Game Quick Touch (touch refresh), Qualcomm Game Color Plus, Qualcomm Game Smoother, and Qualcomm FastConnect Subsystem with WiFi 6E.

How can I get one?

If you're not a game developer, you might want to be asking: Why should I care about this device and this gaming platform? Qualcomm wont be releasing the Developer Kit to the general public. Instead, developers will get the device so that next-generation high-powered mobile games can be developed, and next-generation game streaming experiences can be envisioned.

Qualcomm's plan here is to get the developer kit into developer hands, to get developers to create awesome games that work best on this platform, and then, the most important step: manufacturing. Manufacturers – gaming brands, smartphone makers, and others, can create final consumer hardware.

So one day we might have a proper gaming device that uses all the best parts of the Snapdragon G3x Gaming Platform so the everyday consumer can play at home and on-the-go. Until then, there'll be Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 devices in early 2022 for your not-just-gaming-focused smartphone pleasure!