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October 22, 2014

Chinese Handset Aims to ‘Reinvent’ Mobile Gaming

While the popularity of mobile gaming has soared in recent years, there still hasn’t quite been a handset that bridges the gap between “casual” and “hardcore” players. According to e27, Chinese firm Uzone wants to change that with its upcoming, Android-based Leyoe device – and a very unique business model.

Strange name aside, the Leyoe looks pretty impressive for a games-focused smartphone – the premium model will come with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801-powered processor, 3GB of RAM and an Adreno 330 GPU. For optimum gaming, the phone itself will fit into a detachable clamshell enclosure that features a full keyboard and joypad.

The most striking thing about the Leyoe that it’s free, or rather, “free”. While the handset itself won’t cost you a thing, you’ll be required to purchase around £100 (basic model) or £200 (premium model) worth of credits to get it. However, these credits can then be used in full to purchase games or downloadable content for the device from its Steam-esque Top 9 storefront.

The Leyoe is due to be released in China in November and Singapore the following month, but we’ll have to wait and see whether this novel concept survives the journey to the West.