$299 Handheld Showdown: AYANEO Next Lite vs. Steam Deck

ayaneo next lite

AYANEO Next Lite: A Budget-Friendly SteamOS Handheld Shakes Up the Market

Get ready for a shakeup in the portable gaming world! AYANEO, known for their premium Windows gaming handhelds, has entered the budget arena with the AYANEO Next Lite. This Steam Deck competitor boasts an attractive price tag and intriguing features, but is it the right choice for you? Let’s dive in and explore the Next Lite’s potential.

A Familiar Design with a Focus on Affordability

The Next Lite doesn’t stray far from AYANEO’s signature design language. It retains the comfortable, ergonomic grip and familiar button layout, complete with analog sticks, triggers, face buttons, and a D-pad. However, the plastic construction feels less premium compared to its pricier siblings.

Where the Next Lite truly shines is its affordability. Starting at $299, it undercuts the Steam Deck by a significant margin, making it a tempting option for budget-conscious gamers. But remember, you get what you pay for…

Internal Specs: A Balancing Act

Powering the Next Lite is a 7th Gen AMD Ryzen 5 5500U processor paired with 16GB of RAM. This combination is capable of handling older games and some current indie titles at decent settings, but don’t expect to run AAA titles at max graphics. The 7-inch, 800p IPS display offers good clarity for the price, but its resolution falls short compared to the Steam Deck’s 1080p panel.

HoloISO: A Fork in the SteamOS Road

One of the Next Lite’s most intriguing aspects is its operating system. Instead of official SteamOS, it runs HoloISO, a community-developed fork based on Valve’s platform. While this offers some potential benefits like additional customization options, it also comes with caveats. HoloISO lacks official Valve support, which could lead to compatibility issues with some games and potentially slower updates.

Battery Life and Storage: Fueling Your Portable Play

The Next Lite packs a 47Wh battery, promising several hours of gameplay on a single charge. This falls short of the Steam Deck’s 54Wh battery, but it should be sufficient for shorter gaming sessions. Storage options include a 512GB PCIe SSD base model and a 1TB upgrade, offering decent space for your game library.

So, Should You Buy the AYANEO Next Lite?

The AYANEO Next Lite is a compelling proposition for budget-minded gamers who prioritize affordability and portability. Its familiar design, decent performance for older games and indies, and HoloISO’s customization potential are all attractive features. However, the lower resolution display, potential compatibility issues with HoloISO, and less powerful hardware compared to the Steam Deck require careful consideration.

Ultimately, the choice depends on your priorities and budget. If you’re on a tight budget and prioritize value for money, the Next Lite is a solid option. But if you demand the best performance, official SteamOS support, and a higher resolution display, the Steam Deck might be a better fit.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the pros and cons to help you decide:


  • Budget-friendly price
  • Comfortable and familiar design
  • Decent performance for older games and indies
  • HoloISO offers customization options
  • Compact and portable


  • Lower resolution display compared to the Steam Deck
  • HoloISO lacks official Valve support
  • Less powerful hardware than the Steam Deck
  • Plastic construction feels less premium

No matter your choice, the AYANEO Next Lite’s arrival certainly shakes up the market and offers a new option for gamers looking to take their Steam library on the go.

I hope this post helps you decide whether the AYANEO Next Lite is the right gaming handheld for you!

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