Los Angeles, California-based startup Wonder is still on track to release an Android gaming smartphone in 2019, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Andy Kleinman told The Verge. The handset itself is only a part of the company's product equation, with the ultimate goal being a gaming and entertainment-focused ecosystem. The Wonder-made device will resemble Nintendo's Switch console in the sense that it will be a portable solution with a charging dock that will allow users to project its content to a TV. Mr. Kleinman confirmed Wonder is also planning a subscription service, with its bundle including a gamepad and access to a large software library that will contain both games and entertainment apps.
Much like OUYA once did, Wonder is aiming to have exclusive games on its platform but is looking into porting and optimizing titles from other systems as well. Game and media streaming will also be part of the package, whereas the bundled controller will be able to holster the phone. While the concept itself is similar to that of Nintendo's latest gaming console, Wonder's ambitions span beyond such a system. "The Switch did a really good job starting with the idea of portability, but there’s a lot of limitations on the Switch," Mr. Kleinman said, adding that the American startup will be delivering a more versatile platform and a technology that powers it, i.e. can be integrated into third-party hardware.
The actual specs of the device remain unclear, though the fact that it will run Android, be a high-end offering, and launch in 2019 are all pointing to Qualcomm's Snapdragon 855 chip being included. No pricing details have been disclosed by the company to date and it's still unknown how the smartphone will even be called. While more than just a simple handset, Wonder's 2019 offering will continue the trend of gaming-focused mobile devices that had a resurgence in recent times, having started with Nintendo's Switch in early 2017 and continued with the Razer Phone, as well as two new offerings from Chinese Nubia and Xiaomi-backed Black Shark released earlier this year.