Pimax Portal-Retro Is a Cheaper, Non-VR Android Handheld

The creators of the popular Android-based VR handheld the Pimax Portal have released a new retro handheld that ditches VR in favor of a more affordable price tag. 


  • The Pimax Portal-Retro will cost $299.
  • The cheapest VR-ready Pimax Portal costs $368.
  • 4K resolution has been replaced by 2K.
  • Cameras have also been removed from the device, as have the magnetic controllers.

The Full Story.

Image shows the Pimax Portal-Retro from the front and the back. The back shot shows the black triggers and a dark heat vent.

Pimax has made a name for itself in the retro handheld space by providing something vastly different from what other companies were producing. 

The original Pimax Portal is a VR-ready device that was the first handheld to feature a 4K resolution screen. The detachable controllers, RGB lights, and the use of the Snapdragon XR2 chipset also gave it an edge against the likes of the Logitech G Cloud and Razer Edge. 

Now, Pimax has released a more budget-friendly version of the handheld known as the Pimax Portal-Retro. 

The Pimax Portal-Retro loses the original model’s 3840 by 2160 4K resolution at 144 Hertz and instead opts for 2K resolution at 2560 by 1440. No mention of how many Hertz the new device will run at was mentioned (I’ve reached out to Pimax and will update should I hear back).

Update: Pimax has told me the Pimax Portal-Retro does indeed run at 120 Hertz, just like the original Pimax Portal.

The new device also does not feature removable controllers nor does it feature a touchscreen according to the Pimax website.

Pimax Portal-Retro Price.

The price of the Pimax Portal-Retro comes in at $299. That works out to $68 cheaper than the base Pimax Portal at $368. Three versions of the VR-ready original Pimax Portal were released, at $368, $399, and $549 respectively.

Pimax Portal-Retro Specifications and Comparison

Pimax Portal-Retro Pimax Portal Base Model
Resolution:  2560 by 1440 (2k). Resolution: 3840 x 2160 at 144Hz (4K).
Chipset: Snapdragon XR2. Chipset: Snapdragon XR2.
Touchscreen: No. Touchscreen: Yes.
Screen: 5.46-inch LCD. Screen: 5.46-inch LCD.
Magnetic controller: No. Magnetic controller: Yes.
VR compatible: No. VR compatible: Yes.


The pricing of the Pimax Portal-Retro brings the handheld in line with similar Android devices in the Logitech G Cloud and the Razer Edge. 

The problem many Android handheld makers are facing right now is that this price bracket goes head-to-head with the Steam Deck. Valve’s handheld PC comes in at just $50 more than the Pimax Portal-Retro, and with so many Steam Deck alternatives out there, selling premium Android devices is getting harder. 

Why pick up an Android device when you can get a handheld gaming PC for around the same price?

That said, and this is the crux of the situation, not everyone wants the hassle of running a handheld PC like the Steam Deck. If people own Android phones and are used to that environment, a high-powered Android gaming device may appeal more than having to learn Linux or Windows. 

Whether the $68 saving found in the Pimax Portal-Retro is worth it given everything that’s being sacrificed will be up to the consumer. Still, it’s always good to see more Android handhelds on the market. More choice is always a good thing. 

Wesley Copeland
Wesley Copeland

Wesley Copeland is a gaming, tech, and toys journalist with over 10 years of experience writing online. Originally starting in video games before specializing in tech and toys, you can find his bylines at IGN, VG24/7, Kotaku, Tech Radar, Games Radar, PC Gamer, Heavy, and many more. He's also highly passionate about how tech can be used to better our day-to-day lives.