The AYN Odin is a portable game console with a 6 inch screen, integrated game controllers and an ARM processor. It comes with Android software, but we’ve already seen that it’s possible to sideload other operating systems like Windows on some models.
Now you can do that without wiping Android first. Project Valhalla is a community-built toolset that lets you turn an AYN Odin into a dual-boot device capable of running Android, Windows, or maybe even Linux (although Linux support is still In progress).
A guide to dual booting Windows and Android was released this week. It requires an AYN Odin Base or Pro model (with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, as Windows currently does not support the MediaTek Dimensity 900 chip used in the AYN Odin Lite).
But as long as you have the right processor, it doesn’t matter if you use an AYN Odin base (with 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage) or an Odin Pro (with 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB or 256 GB of storage). That said, I’m not sure I recommend running Project Valhalla on an AYN Odin Base model. Not only will Windows run better on systems with 8GB of RAM, but the installer splits your device’s storage into two equally sized partitions, so if you’re using an Odin base, you’ll only have 32GB for Android and 32 GB for Windows.
Anyway, the installation process seems quite simple. You can find instructions on GitHub, or if you’re a more visual learner, you can check out the Retro Games Corps walkthrough video on YouTube.
In a nutshell, you will need to put your Odin into fastboot mode, connect it to a computer with Google’s Android USB drivers installed, and run a command to flash a custom bootloader to Odin. This will repartition the device, giving you two bootable partitions. This allows you to use a specially configured USB flash drive to install Windows on the second partition.
Note that the instructions assume you are using a Windows PC to install Windows on Odin, but it should be possible for advanced users to modify the instructions and tools so that they also work from a Mac or Linux computer.
Once Windows is installed, you can choose the operating system to run when starting Odin:
- Press the power button and the Odin will boot to Android.
- Hold the volume up button while pressing the power button and it will boot into Windows.
Keep in mind that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 isn’t a super-fast processor by Windows PC standards, but it’s very similar to the Snapdragon 850 processor that powered some early Windows-on-ARM devices.
Not all Windows games and applications will work flawlessly on an AYN Odin running Windows. Only 32-bit apps and games are supported, and while some are playable, others work with slow frame rates or other issues. You can get an idea of some of the Windows games that work and don’t work well on the AYN Odin in a community-created spreadsheet or join the Odin 845-Windows channel on Taki Udon’s Discord server to discuss more. Windows detail on the Odin.
Of course you don’t need Install on an Android device if you want a portable Windows gaming PC. There are plenty of other options available at the moment, though most tend to be significantly more expensive than the Odin (which sells for $239+), and all feature x86 processors. But that could change later this year when new models like the AYA Neo Air Plus and AYN Loki go on sale with expected starting prices below $300.