This Android handheld is about to turn into an Oculus Quest

The Pimax Portal games launcher
(Image credit: Pimax)

What you need to know

  • Pimax Portal is an Android handheld gaming system with detachable controllers and the choice of an LCD or QLED display.
  • The system has a Qualcomm XR2 chipset and five cameras on the back, making it possible to use positional tracking while using the VR headset dock.
  • Pimax just announced a new VR headset dock design that's more ergonomic and includes an extra battery.

When the Kickstarter began, the Pimax Portal sounded too good to be true. It's an Android-powered handheld gaming system that promises Nintendo Switch-like controls with the advantage of also being a VR headset thanks to the included View "dock." Now, that View dock is getting a big redesign before it ships to Kickstarter backers in Q3.

Current Pimax Portal buyers have been receiving the handheld by itself without the VR headset dock — named the Portal View — mainly because Pimax is still actively developing the console and its many functions. Based on feedback, Pimax has drastically altered the design of its upcoming Portal View accessory for the Pimax handheld console that's significantly more ergonomic and even features an optional battery on the back.

The Pimax Portal's VR headset redesign

(Image credit: Pimax)

The original design is reminiscent of the old Google Daydream View headset that smartphones docked into, while the new design looks a lot more like the best Quest 2 head straps. Contoured arms ensure that users can adjust the headset to fit their heads better than the original design — which used simple cloth straps like the Quest 2 — while the extra battery in the back will help balance out the weight of the handheld docked up front.

Pimax says this headset "dock" will fit any Pimax unit regardless of screen type. Pimax Portal is available on Pimax's website and boasts a 120Hz 4K display, 8GB RAM, and at least 128GB of storage starting at $369.

Since it's got a Qualcomm XR2 chipset — the same chipset that powers the Quest 2 — and five rear cameras, it can run VR games. It's not clear if some of the best Quest 2 games will make their way to the Portal or not but, for now, Pimax is focusing on this being an excellent PC VR headset that can wirelessly stream PC VR games like Half-Life: Alyx.

We've recently received our review unit of the Pimax Portal and thus far, it's an impressive Android gaming handheld with detachable Joy-Con-like controllers and an excellent screen. Essentially, it's like an improved Switch Lite with the ability to dock into the aforementioned VR headset accessory or a dock for a TV.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu