We've covered the exploits of Chinese firm Anbernic on Nintendo Life before, thanks to our coverage of its generally excellent RG351 handheld. The company has become popular in recent years due to the fact that it combines great design with solid ergonomics – and its systems are pretty decent when it comes to replicating classic consoles via emulation.
Anbernic's latest effort, the RG300X, seems to follow the same pattern. It's clearly a clone of the Game Boy Micro in terms of design – it even rips off the 'Famicom edition' styling seen in a Japanese exclusive version of that particular Nintendo handheld – but is slightly larger and has a bigger, 640x480-pixel 3-inch screen. It also throws in two extra face buttons and two additional shoulder buttons for good measure – oh, and you charge its 2,500 mAh battery using USB-C.
The D-pad is excellent, as are the buttons, but the LCD display is somewhat disappointing. It looks washed-out and dull, especially when compared to the screen on the RG351. On the plus side, it has an aspect ratio which is more suited to retro games than the screens seen on many other handheld devices of this type.
Beating at the heart of the RG300X is the same dual-core 1.0GHz JZ4770 processor that's found in so many of Anbernic's handhelds. Many fans were expecting the company to step up to a faster chipset, but given the chip shortage that is currently gripping the globe, that's perhaps a little optimistic. It means that performance-wise, the RG300X isn't going to blow away the competition, but it does at least mean that 8-bit and 16-bit emulation is solid. There's no analogue stick to speak of, so you'll probably want to stick with pre-N64 titles anyway.
The unit we were sent for review (by online reseller DroiX) uses the Linux-based OpenDingux OS, which is quite old and outdated by modern standards – especially when compared to the EmuELEC OS that is used on other Anbernic devices. There's a chance someone will release custom firmware for the RG300X in the future, of course, but for the time being, navigating the system's UI is occasionally very cumbersome – and it goes without saying that most retailers supply the unit without any ROMs included, so you'll need to acquire them yourself, legally if possible.
For the asking price of around £70 – slightly less than the RG351 sells for – the RG300X is certainly worth a look, especially if you're sold on the Game Boy Micro-style design. We have to say, it's certainly the most appealing aspect of this product. Emulation is generally decent, assuming you want to stick with NES, SNES, Mega Drive and GBA titles. It's a shame that the display is sub-par when compared with Anbernic's other products, and that its OS feels like such a relic from the past.
This article was originally published by nintendolife.com on Fri 20th August, 2021.
Personally, I think the RG351V has a better screen and classic og Gameboy design.
@Magician Took the words right out of my mouth! Love the 351V!
What you're looking at here is mostly an old model in new clothes.
The RG350M is an Ingenic JZ4770 powered device, which is an old chip being used in handhelds like these since the GCW Zero in 2013!
It's highly likely that they are looking to use up remaining chips to help fund the development of their future systems, which will likely feature Rockchip RK3326 like the RG351P and RG351M.
Personally, I would find a device like this too small to enjoy playing on, that form factor was never intended for a device with so many buttons after all. The Game Boy Micro only had two face buttons and two shoulder buttons!
I wonder how to get legally a snes rom….
@RupeeClock unlike the new Switch which is an OLED model in new clothes, BDUM TISH!
Acquire homebrew SNES roms developed and shared by indie developers is one way.
Or, you use some sort of SNES cartridge ROM dumping device to produce legal backups of your own physical media.
You can use a RetroN 5 for example.
The biggest issue with this — as it generally is with emulation — is the legality of getting access to the games (or getting legal access to the game).
Yep I just got a 351v a couple of weeks ago and after flashing decent firmware on it it's pretty solid little system.
Playing through the GB Color Zelda games right now but have loaded it with quite a few things. Still need to work on it but yeah; slick little device.
@sword_9mm Definitely worth the time to put a custom firmware, it’s totally worth it!
Still have my Micro but still missing two crucial games; Metroid Zero Mision, and Zelda Minish Cap.
The Famicom colored GB micro was also released in the US.
I have a copy of minish cap I never finished. Need to get on that.
I got the RG351m for my birthday and love it, my boy is playing Starfy on it as I type
@SenseiDje You can use one of these
@mattesdude I'm not sure it was? Happy to be told otherwise, however!
@BloodNinja @Magician We've got a review for that model coming soon! First impressions are excellent; the form factor is lovely.
@Damo Sounds awesome, I’m on the edge of my seat!
@AK9 I bought a CIB Metroid Zero Mission a year or so back for $100CAD...had to. Wish I had Minish Cap.
@Damo it was! i bought one! https://www.ign.com/articles/2005/12/03/20th-anniversary-game-boy-micro
@evanc Yep! It was the one I got right away too! I love this thing!
This looks amazing. Does it have a port to put your old gba games in directly?
I recently got a RG351P and am really enjoying it. Just a few very minor quibbles. I wish they had Glacier as a color option to go along with the very GBA-esque Indigo. I got Indigo, but my original GBA was Glacier. And why the heck are the analog sticks white while the rest of the buttons are gray??
@evanc You learn something new every day! The one I have is from Japan and has different packaging
Interested in their DMG looking model
@Magician i got the woodie vesrion of the v for going on holliday and its a great little handheld
❗I'll just stick with my V1 'BittBoy: Pocket-Go' which plays NES/SNES/MS/MD/GB/GBC/GBA/CPS1.
Or I could just play them on my phone that's already with me..
I have an RG350M that I quite enjoy
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