AYA NEO NEXT PRO Windows gaming handheld review with video

AYANEO NEXT PRO Review - AMD Ryzen 7 5825U windows handheld benchmark games and emulators (1)
High powered AMD Ryzen Windows Gaming Handheld
  • Design
    (5)
  • Build Quality
    (5)
  • Display
    (5)
  • Performance
    (4.5)
  • Features
    (4.5)
  • Software
    (5)

Summary

A high performance AMD Ryzen 7 portable handheld that plays AAA Windows games and high end emulators

Overall
4.8
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User Review
0 (0 votes)

Pros

  • Fastest Windows handheld in system benchmarks
  • Up to 32Gb RAM is great!
  • 2TB of very fast SSD
  • Reliable AMD Radeon 8 drivers
  • Plays AAA Windows games
  • Capable of emulating up to recent consoles with ease
  • Included AYA Space frontend is very useful

Cons

  • Not as fast in some games as Intel based devices
  • No USB Type-A port, you have to use included convertor

 

In our AYA NEO NEXT PRO review, we will be unboxing the Windows gaming handheld and taking a closer look at the device. Then we will run some system and gaming benchmarks to compare the AYA NEO NEXT PRO performance with other handhelds. We will finish off with some gameplay tests of popular Windows games and a few high end console emulators.

AYA NEO NEXT PRO Review Video

AYA NEO NEXT PRO Unboxing

As always, let’s get started with the unboxing.

Opening the packaging reveals a box of gloves, which, by unboxing law you must wear when first opening the AYA NEO 🙂 Once you have the gloves on, you can now lift the protective foam to reveal…. another box! After several attempts of trying to get the box open with the slippery gloves on I gave up! I’ll take my chances with the unboxing gloves law!

Very nice packaging!
Very nice packaging!

Inside the very stylish plastic box are some leaflets which briefly show the devices functions. There’s also an envelope with a cloth for cleaning the screen.

Next there is a metal nameplate. On the NEXT Advance model these were custom engraved with your name, but they are blank on the NEXT and NEXT PRO. There is of course nothing to stop you getting it engraved yourself.

Metallic nameplate, you can engrave it if you wish to
Metallic nameplate, you can engrave it if you wish to

There is a plastic overlay which shows some of the features such as the hall sensor controls.

Up next is the AYA NEO NEXT PRO handheld games console. This is the bright white model, there is also a jet black theme available. We will show the device in more detail shortly.

The AYA NEO NEXT Pro Windows gaming handheld!
The AYA NEO NEXT Pro Windows gaming handheld!

Underneath the protective foam is a USB charge cable and two USB Type-C to Type-A adapters. There is also a stand for the name plate.

Power supply and worldwide plug adapters
Power supply and worldwide plug adapters

There is a high power USB charger with a US power plug built in. There are plug adapters included for the UK, Europe and Southeast Asia. So just about everyone is covered.

Overview of the AYA NEO NEXT PRO

The AYA NEO NEXT and PRO measures around 10.5 x 4.4 x 1.18 inches (26.7 x 11.2 x 3 cm) at its largest points, and it weighs 715 grams.

AYA NEO NEXT PRO
AYA NEO NEXT PRO

It has a 7-inch LCD IPS multitouch screen, and runs at 1280×800 resolution. 

On the front are the left clickable analogue stick and D-Pad. There’s two buttons below which are View and Menu, aka SELECT and START. On the right side are four gaming buttons, and the right clickable analogue stick.

Below is a custom button which you can define in Aya Space, and the Aya Key which brings up Aya Space software. See our separate article on the Aya Space frontend if you want to learn more about it.

AYA NEO NEXT PRO Top View
AYA NEO NEXT PRO Top View

On the top of the device you have the left and right shoulder and trigger buttons. There is the power button which doubles as a fingerprint sensor for fast logging in to Windows. Next to that are volume up and down buttons. To the right is a 3.5mm headphone jack. And there’s a USB Type-C port which can be used for charging or data. 

On the bottom is a second USB Type-C port which can also be used for charging or data. And on either side are stereo speakers.

Both the analogue joysticks and trigger buttons are using Hall Effect sensors. Instead of traditional button type activation, they use magnets which detect activation through a magnetic field. It provides more accurate input and also less wear and tear on the parts. Along with the AYA NEO NEXT Advanced, it’s the first handheld to use them which is great to see.

AYA NEO NEXT PRO Technical Specifications

CPUAMD Ryzen 7 5825U ZEN 3, 7nm, 8-core, 16-thread Base 2.0 GHz, Max 4.5 GHz
GPUAMD Radeon Vega 8 2000MHz
RAMNEXT – 16GB 32GB LPDDR4x 4266MHz
NEXT PRO – 32GB LPDDR4x 4266MHz
STORAGENEXT 1TB M.2 (NVMe) 2280
NEXT PRO – 2TB M.2 (NVMe) 2280

3,477 MB/sec Read, 2955 MB/sec Write
CONNECTIVITYWiFi 6 IEEE
Bluetooth 5.2
BATTERY47Wh / 4100mAh 11.55V, Li-ion
Idle on desktop at 20W TDP: Around5 hours 30 minutes
Under full load at 20W TDP: 1 hour 40 minutes (Street Fighter V benchmark on loop)
FAN NOISE56 dB under full load (Tested in average office noise conditions)
TEMPERATURE45°C / 113°F under full load (Ambient room temperature 22°C / 71°F)
AYA NEO NEXT PRO Technical Specifications

System Benchmarks

Continuing our AYA NEO NEXT PRO review we move on to our system benchmarks. We will be comparing the results with the AYA NEO range, ONENETBOOK and GPD devices. Note that those scores are based on older drivers from around three months previous, so there may be minor differences, but nothing that would vastly affect the scores. Check out our full Handheld Gaming PC Benchmarks article and video if you want to compare the results with all of the handhelds.

PCMark

We start the benchmarks in our AYA NEO NEXT review with PCMark which runs a series of tests for everyday tasks such as web browsing, right through to image and video processing. This test gives us a good look at how the AYA NEO NEXT PRO handheld performs in different situations.

We get a score of 5,819, with very good scores across the essentials, productivity and digital content creation categories.

PCMark Benchmark Comparison with AYA NEO, GPD and ONEXPLAYER devices
PCMark Benchmark Comparison with AYA NEO, GPD and ONEXPLAYER devices

Comparing them with other handheld devices we can in fact see that the AYA NEO NEXT PRO handheld gaming PC comes out on top, just beating the NEXT ADVANCE. There is a larger gap for third place with the AYA NEO 2021 Pro, very closely followed by the ONEXPLAYER Mini.

3DMark

3DMark tests the CPU and GPU to see their peak performance when working together. This gives us a general indication of its video processing capabilities. These can be used for a range of applications from video processing and of course gaming. We have run the test at 11W, 20W and 35W TDP to see not only how well they perform at different TDP’s, but also how the performance scales up. 

3DMark Benchmark Comparison with AYA NEO, GPD and ONEXPLAYER devices
3DMark Benchmark Comparison with AYA NEO, GPD and ONEXPLAYER devices

The AYA NEO NEXT PRO scores 1,059, 1,455 and 1,485. Again, it just takes the lead over the AYA NEO NEXT ADVANCE,. But as you can see, the Intel based ONEXPLAYER Mini still remains top with a massive 1,982 score.

Gaming Benchmarks

As part of our AYA NEO NEXT PRO review, we run some gaming benchmarks to see the performance and compare it with other handhelds tested under the same conditions.

Forza Horizon 5 

We are running Forza Horizon 5 at 1280×800 on the lowest graphics settings. We have run the built in benchmark at 11W, 20W and 35W TDP to see the difference in performance.

Benchmark Comparison with AYA NEO, GPD and ONEXPLAYER devices
Benchmark Comparison with AYA NEO, GPD and ONEXPLAYER devices

The AYA NEO NEXT PRO scores 59, 78 and 85 frames per second respectively. The NEO ADVANCE also gets 85 at 35W, but you can see at 11W it falls a little behind in frames per second. So the NEXT PRO overall takes first place.

Street Fighter V

Next in our gaming benchmarks we are running the first match of Street Fighter V at 1280×800 at the maximum graphics settings. As before, we are testing at 11, 20 and 35W TDP.

The AYA NEO NEXT PRO handheld game console scores 46, 56 and 58 frames per second across the three TDP’s. We can see that compared to the ADVANCE, it performs faster at 11 and 20W, with essentially the same results at 35W.

Benchmark Comparison with AYA NEO, GPD and ONEXPLAYER devices
Benchmark Comparison with AYA NEO, GPD and ONEXPLAYER devices

The Intel based devices generally perform better than AMD on Street Fighter V. We can see that the ONEXPLAYER Mini reaches 60 frames per second between 20-35W TDP, which the AMD based models do not reach at all. 

Final Fantasy XIV

Our penultimate gaming benchmark test is Final Fantasy XIV running at 1280×800 resolution using the Maximum graphics settings. We are testing at 11, 20 and 35W TDP.

The AYA NEO NEXT PRO scores 4,211, 5,388, and 5,721 respectively..

Benchmark Comparison with AYA NEO, GPD and ONEXPLAYER devices
Benchmark Comparison with AYA NEO, GPD and ONEXPLAYER devices

Compared to the AYA NEO NEXT ADVANCE, it initially performs faster at the same TDP but by 35W, it drops behind a little. 

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Our final gaming benchmark is Shadow of the Tomb Raider which is running at 1280×800 on the lowest graphics settings. And yeah, we are testing at 11, 20 and 35W TDP 🙂

The AYA NEO NEXT PRO scores 45, 58 and 62 frames per second respectively. Similar to the Final Fantasy Results, we can see that the ADVANCE performs slower at lower TDP, but catches up with the PRO as it gets higher.

Benchmark Summary

Here is a round up of all of the benchmark results with some other devices scores to compare them. Don’t forget, you can find the full comparison scores on our Handheld Gaming PC Benchmarks article.

PCMARK3DMARKFORZA HORIZON 5STREET FIGHTER VFINAL FANTASY XIVSOTTR
AYA NEO NEXT PRO5819145578 FPS56.39 FPS538858 FPS
AYA NEO NEXT ADV.5773135177 FPS54.63 FPS528257 FPS
AYA NEO 20214894108368 FPS47.42 FPS464950 FPS
AYA NEO 2021 PRO5256132973 FPS51.51 FPS506854 FPS
ONEXPLAYER MINI5253112368 FPS60 FPS547062 FPS
GPD WIN MAX 20215203131569 FPS52.88 FPS493454 FPS
GPD WIN 35016124547 FPS50.96 FPS474832 FPS
Results from 20W TDP Benchmarks

The AYA NEO NEXT PRO takes the lead on the system benchmarks with the highest on PCMark and 3DMark. AMD processors are generally better than Intel when pushed to their peak performance in tests like these.

In terms of actual gaming performance we can see that on Forza Horizon 5, the NEXT PRO scores essentially the same as the ADVANCE at 20W. They are impressive scores for 20W and both beat the other devices hands down.

Forza Horizon 5 is amazing performance!
Forza Horizon 5 is amazing performance!

For Street Fighter V, Final Fantasy 14 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider, the mighty ONEXPLAYER Mini takes the lead in all three games. The PRO does not quite make it to 60 FPS on Street Fighter V, it’s less than 100 points behind in Final Fantasy XIV, and 4 frames per second behind on Tomb Raider. The Intel based devices have always taken the lead on these games when compared to AMD, but the gap in performance is closing between the two now which is exciting to see.

Windows Games Test

That’s enough numbers for today, let’s sit back, relax and play some games to see how well they perform!

LEGO Star Wars

Lego Star Wars on the AYA NEO NEXT PRO
Lego Star Wars on the AYA NEO NEXT PRO

We start off with LEGO Star Wars which was released not too long ago. We are running at 20W TDP, 1280×800 with all the graphics set to around medium levels. Although there are some dips below 60 frames per second it is barely noticeable, at least with my old eyes!

You can drop the graphics settings lower, or increase the TDP to say 25W to keep the frame rate closer to 60. Or if you wanted, you could lock the frame rate to 30 and crank the graphics up higher. Overall the game plays very well and you should not have any major issues.

Cyberpunk 2077

We are running 1280×800 on the default lowest graphics settings at 25W and are getting around 30 frames per second area. You can play around with some tweaks and mods to improve the game’s performance, but we are trying for an out of the box experience. The game is playable but the frame rate will drop in busy scenes.

Tunic

Tunic is a fairly low demanding game, we are running at 11W at 1280×800 resolution with all the graphics set to their highest levels. We get 60 frames per second but in some of the very busy scenes you may get minor frame drops which are barely noticeable. You could increase the TDP to say 15 just to keep it a very stable 60 if you wanted to.

Elden Ring

Elden Ring on the AYA NEO NEXT PRO
Elden Ring on the AYA NEO NEXT PRO

I know many people will ask how the performance is if I do not include this game, so here it is:) We are running at 1280×800 , 25W TDP on a mix of low and medium settings. We get varying frame rates depending on the pace and location in the game. It can be anything from 30 up to high 50’s. You could lower the graphics to all Low and get a bit more stability if you wanted.

Mafia II Definitive Edition

Mafia II Definitive Edition
Mafia II Definitive Edition

For Mafia II Definitive Edition we are running a mix of low and medium settings at 1280×800 resolution at 20W TDP. For the most part we are getting around the 60 frames per second area. Although the frame rate does drop now and again it’s not noticeable unless watching the counter. You could decrease the graphics to lower settings, or increase the TDP to 25W to keep it a bit more stable.

Emulator Performance

Emulator performance is essentially the same as what we found on the AYA NEO NEXT ADVANCED. For everything up to the higher end consoles such as the PS3 and Xbox 360 you should not run into too many issues. As always the performance on the more recent consoles emulators can vary between each update, with games previously not working properly now working and vice versa.

PlayStation 2 emulator PCSX2 running OutRun
PlayStation 2 emulator PCSX2 running OutRun

As such we are not going to directly compare it to other handhelds as we would have to have the same older emulator version which is not what people will use. So we are showing some random PS2, PS3 PSP, Xbox, Xbox 360 and other consoles in our video. Where possible I have included the Afterburner stats, or the emulators built in frame counter for your reference.

Ryujinx emulator PCSX2 running Cruis'n Blast
Ryujinx emulator PCSX2 running Cruis’n Blast

Is it worth upgrading to the AYA NEO NEXT Pro?

Wrapping up our AYA NEO NEXT PRO review with is it worth upgrading. If you have the original Aya Neo Founders Edition, then the Next Pro is definitely worth considering upgrading to. We are getting around a 17% average increase in performance across the benchmarks. Compared to the 2021 Pro, we get around an 8% increase in performance. It’s a decent increase, but maybe not enough to warrant upgrading from that model.

If you are buying a Windows gaming handheld for the first time, then the AYA NEO NEXT PRO is an excellent handheld for both newcomers and experienced gamers. It is a very high performance handheld that is very capable of playing the latest AAA Windows games. For emulation it excels, easily emulating consoles and computers up to the more recent era, where it can also emulate some of those very well!

Where to buy the AYA NEO NEXT PRO?

We hope you have enjoyed our AYA NEO NEXT PRO review. You can learn more and buy the AYA NEO NEXT PRO here, and Next here. You can also browse our complete range of ONEXPLAYER & GPD handheld gaming consoles here.

DaveC
Bringer of videos, text and images! AKA the social media guy at DroiX. Massive retro gaming fan and collector, with a far too large collection of consoles and computers from 1970's to modern.
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In our AYA NEO NEXT PRO review, we will be unboxing the Windows gaming handheld and taking a closer look at the device. Then we will run some system and gaming benchmarks to compare its performance with other handhelds. We will finish off with some gameplay tests of popular Windows games and a few high..Read full article

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