Hands-on: Huawei Tron, a Tegra 4-powered Android game console

Huawei Tron DSC05333

If there was one trend we saw picking up steam in 2013, it was the Android home console. Even if consumers failed to pick up on them, many attempts were made. First came the Kickstarter funded OUYA, followed by similar attempts by GameStick, and even MadCatz decided they’d give Android gaming a-go. With the video game industry raking in billions of dollars every year, it seems to only make sense that smartphone manufacturers are looking for their shot to cash-in.

The latest OEM to hop on the bandwagon is Huawei who, during last week’s CES, debuted their first Android-based gaming console dubbed “Tron”. I know, you’re about as enthused as the last Android console making the rounds, but this one seemingly has potential. We had a chance to go hands on with the console, and were surprised with how well the Android experience translated to the big screen.

Huawei Tron DSC05331

Powered by an NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor, the Mac Pro-styled console boasts specs typical to high-end smartphones and tablets. The Tron features 2GB of RAM, 32GB internal storage, micro SD card slot for expandable memory. All this for under $120. Not too shabby at all. Picking up the Tron’s controller, we noticed it felt much more solid than its OUYA rival, featuring a handy touchpad for mouse navigation, staggered analog sticks like the 360, and the weight of a PS3 controller.

  • Nvidia Tegra 4 processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 16/32GB internal storage – microSD card slot
  • Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac and full-sized ethernet port
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • USB 3.0, HDMI out, headphone port (also in the controller)
  • Android 4.2.3 with custom UI

Huawei Tron ports

As it stands, this will be China-only when it launches in Q2, but the Huawei rep we spoke with mentioned the company’s plans to expand availability to outside markets. What’s more is Huawei said current specs aren’t set in stone, with the company already eying the recently announced 192-core NVIDIA K1 processor.

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  • Chimphappyhour

    Hmmm, looks like I might have to take my friend in China up on their offer of coming there to work and live for a bit. :P

    • Dan

      Wouldn’t it be easier to ask your friend to buy one and ship it to you?

  • Jack Parker

    Will probably be a failure, just like the ouya was, i think when processors and GPU’s are getting to the standard of PS3 games then yes make a console, but not now

    • DYNK

      +1 I’d rather play PS4/Xbox one quality games sitting down on a couch or roll around with my tablet. then this nor that “console”

  • lolwut

    Smart

  • Ryan5609

    Meh…Just do not have any desire to own an Android console. There are just too many gaming devices today. I justify it this way, when will we (gamers) have time to play our PS3/4′s Xbox 360/One’s, WII/WII U’s, PC’s, Tablet/Smartphone games if we get yet ANOTHER console. All of which provide a much better gaming experience. I already dont have enough time to play most of the games for my PC and PS4, am I the minority? Or is this console for gamers who just want cheap, easy, single serving fun? I guess it is not for everyone, but may be right for budget minded gamers.

    • jessez93

      lol. you’re the minority because you own all of those consoles. sheesh. did you post that comment just to brag? lmao

      • Ryan5609

        Phrased that wrong. I only game on a PC, PS4, and tablet/smartphone. I have zero time for anything else.

    • Dan

      I just play games on my PC and tablet and I barely have time to catch up with new games (actually I barely play with the tablet at all). I’d never get this. Don’t know how you manage with consoles =P

  • shonangreg

    This is starting to look nice. I never was much interested in the Ouya because of how non-standard their version of android was — with its own store and everything. If the Huawei Tron can load any regular apps from Google Play, then it is a huge improvement.

  • http://www.facebook.com/YAYSAVERGN Eric James Salcido

    For this not to be immediately obsolete, would need to come out in the next 2 months, I’m happy with the devices specs and memory and expandable storage, Also, NEEDS to have Google Play support, because then my library of games on my phone instantly adds value to the device.

    • renz

      tegra 4 is quite capable even for the most demanding games on android. the only draw back is the gpu lack ES3 but i don’t think it will be real issue right now. and some games still have backward compatibility to ES2 like Asphalt 8. and from what i know so far this device most likely not going to have google play access since right now the focus is for china market only.

  • Alex Boro

    No one wants to play angry birds in the living room. I can buy a PS3 or Xbox 360 used for that price and get so many good games.

    • http://www.facebook.com/YAYSAVERGN Eric James Salcido

      You should forget this can’t only play games, it’s an Android device, with a decent processor and RAM, it’s also a great device for those who want a XBMC dedicated device. Also will allow for a much better internet browsing experience than can be found on most consoles. Personally, I would love to play some of my downloaded movies at 1080p on this thing, considering the Xbox and PS3 do not support most of the widely used formats for digital video. You could also use it for torrenting, something no console will ever support. The important thing to note here, is that it is not just a game console. It has the full power and of Android.

      • Alex Boro

        Don’t really see the value of that. Most people would flock to a chromecast which pretty much plays videos from a pc. This product will obviously fail. Web browser functionality seems stupid also. Its annoying typing and navigating through a controller. A regular PS3 and Xbox can do pretty much most of the things this can do. Also, there will be a lack of apps optimized for the tv. Android was mainly intended on use with phones and tablets not tv’s so app support will struggle.

        • renz

          well for starters this device intended for china market only. for serious gamer maybe this will not going to attract their attention much. but parent can buy this for their kids. used 360/PS3 might be cheap but the game still expensive. android games are cheap and most of them is free. for kids it doesn’t matter as long as they can play games

        • Micha Ols

          You can plug any usb keyboard or bluetooth keyboard to android devices. Mice work flawlessly with my padfone as well. Internet surfing would be a charm with that.

          • Alex Boro

            What’s the point of surfing the internet on your TV. Seems kind of stupid.

  • vawwyakr

    My thought right away with this, and all recent devices (looking at you Chromecast) why no HDMI pass through??

  • ChicagoBob

    Put the K1 in there and now your talking. That will be enough for an awesome mini workstation.

    • Dominic Powell

      Google needs to put the K1 in a Nexus quality device for $150.00. Android gaming market is born

  • ChicagoBob

    No matter how you look at it Android is SMOKING HOT with lot more innovation than the others. Faster CPU’s, all sorts of price points, standalone devices and an OS that is growing with the attention to user demand. Going to be a very interesting year.

  • warcaster

    So $150 version with Tegra K1 (Denver Edition)? Sign me up.