As portable technology has progressed over the past decade, we've seen a host of gaming handhelds that don't run physical games but are instead focused on emulation, replicating the performance of consoles like the Game Boy, SNES, Mega Drive and even Nintendo 64. We've covered quite a few of these on the site – including the Pocket S30, RK2020 and BittBoy – but more recently, two examples hit the market and caused more of a stir than most.
The Anbernic R351 and Retroid Pocket 2 are two very similar machines with the same focus, but the way they look, feel and operate is more different than you might imagine. So which is best? There's only one way to find out...
Editor's note: It's worth pointing out that neither of the machines featured here come with any ROMs loaded as standard. The nature of obtaining ROMs online is naturally quite a grey area, and we'd recommend you source your games legitimately, either using ROM-dumping devices or turning your own CDs into ISOs, rather than using sites online.
Anbernic R351 Vs Retroid Pocket 2 - The Hardware
Beauty is, of course, in the eye of the beholder, but in terms of pure looks, the Retroid Pocket 2 is the clear winner here, at least in our opinion. That's not to say that the R531 is ugly; it's just a little too 'functional' for our tastes. The Retroid Pocket 2 looks and feels like a piece of Nintendo hardware; we love the different colour options and the plastic is wonderfully solid. It also comes in a wide range of cool colours, including one which apes the look of the SNES with its coloured face buttons.
It's worth noting that the R351 comes in two variants – the R351P (plastic case, no built-in WiFi but comes with a WiFi dongle) and the more expensive R351M (a gorgeous metal case and WiFi built-in). The R351M is utterly lovely from a design perspective, but there's a huge caveat to consider, which we'll come to shortly (by the way, we'd like to thank Brandon from Retro Dodo for kindly supplying an R351M for us to play around with).
The R351 has a 3.5-inch IPS screen with a resolution of 320 x 480 pixels, which makes it ideal for running pretty much any console which launched before the HD era took off. However, the display isn't quite as punchy as the 3.5-inch panel seen on the Retroid Pocket 2, which, while being brighter and more colourful, also boasts a higher resolution of 640 x 480. It's worth noting that the R351P we reviewed had uneven levels of brightness and a dead pixel right on the left-hand side of the display (which thankfully didn't impact gameplay and was almost impossible to see unless we were playing in total darkness).
Both of these machines offer a similar control configuration, but there are some interesting quirks to note. The R351 places the D-Pad above the left-hand analogue stick making it easy to use for prolonged periods, while the Retroid Pocket 2 has it below – which makes it a little more awkward to reach. While we prefer using digital input for our retro gaming, you might find that having the analogue stick in a higher position suits you better. However, we prefer the D-Pad on the R351 because it has more travel, and it's worth noting that while the R351 offers dual analogue support, the Retroid Pocket 2's right-hand analogue stick is, in reality, a four-way digital pad. The four shoulder buttons on the R351 are arranged side-by-side in two pairs, while on the Retroid Pocket 2 they're one on top of the other (the more traditional arrangement).
Now for that R351M caveat we mentioned. For some reason, the D-Pad on this model makes it really, really hard to hit diagonal inputs – which is strange because the R351P's pad doesn't suffer from this issue. Some R351M owners have mused that it could be due to the fact that the metal casing has less 'flex', and have even opened up their machines to mod the D-Pad. We'd recommend you avoid doing this and simply opt for the R351P unless you prefer using the analogue stick; while the lack of onboard WiFi on the plastic version is irksome, the bundled dongle does the job perfectly well anyway.
Both machines use MicroSD cards for storage, and while they ship with 64GB variants (the ones we reviewed did, at least), we'd recommend purchasing something larger. The R351 places both the OS and game files on the MicroSD card, while the Retroid Pocket 2 has a small amount of internal storage for the OS and other files, but you'll want to keep most of your games on the SD card.
Both machines offer a similar level of battery life, and both last for around 4-5 hours between charges (there's a USB-C port for this). These figures are naturally likely to change depending on several factors, such as volume level, screen brightness and the nature of the games you're playing.
It's worth noting that the Retroid Pocket 2 has Bluetooth and TV-out support (the latter via HDMI) – two things the R351 lacks.
Anbernic R351 Vs Retroid Pocket 2 - The Software
While both of these systems have the same end goal – to run emulators and play ROMs – they're quite different under the hood. The R351 is running an OS called EmuELEC, while the Retroid Pocket 2 is packing Google's Android operating system (version 6.0, specifically). This means the two systems have a very different 'feel' when it comes to everyday use and their interfaces.
First up, with the R351, we'd highly recommend you ditch the stock OS and install 351ELEC instead (there's a guide on how to do that here). With this OS installed, using the R351 is an absolute breeze. The main menu is slick and fast to navigate and makes stuff like 'scraping' the web for game titles, screenshots and box art almost entirely painless. We say 'almost' because it still took us a while to get everything in order, but it was well worth the effort. With 351ELEC installed, the R351 just 'works' out of the box – it feels really polished and hassle-free, with stuff like button mappings and save data all handled with ease.
Comparatively, the Retroid Pocket 2 is a little harder to get to grips with, mainly because it uses Android. It's a double-edged sword; Android is a much more versatile OS than EmuELEC and 351ELEC, and allows the Retroid Pocker 2 to do a bunch of cool things that the R351 can't – such as streaming video and installing Android apps and games – but it also has some of its own annoyances. Because the hardware inside the Retroid Pocket 2 is quite modest by Android standards, moving around the UI is often sluggish, and you have to constantly switch between the analogue stick (which acts as a touch-screen pointer) and the D-Pad (for playing the actual games). This is done by long-pressing the 'Home' button.
While it takes longer to get comfortable with the Retroid Pocket 2 and it never feels as instantly accessible as the R351, the extra scope is appealing. For example, you can play the Android port of the fan-made Metroid title AM2R, which runs brilliantly on the device. While the hardware is relatively weak, it's capable of handling quite a few Android games, although the lack of a proper touchscreen interface does put some titles out of reach.
In terms of actual performance when it comes to playing retro games, there's not a massive amount of difference between the two, in all honesty. This is because both support RetroArch, which is pretty much the de-facto standard when it comes to software emulation. Dreamcast and PSP emulation are possible on both systems, but they're so hit-and-miss that you'll likely want to stick with older consoles, such as the 16-bit and 8-bit generations (although it should be noted that PlayStation emulation is excellent and N64 emulation is also good, depending on the game).
Unfortunately, one thing the Retroid Pocket 2 would have been really good for – Xbox Cloud gaming – refuses to work, at least for us. While we were able to download and install the dedicated Android app, it crashed every time we tried to open it, while trying to access the Cloud Gaming Beta via the Xbox.com site simply caused the browser to hang. However, streaming is possible, it's just that we haven't been able to test it personally ourselves. Nonetheless, it's another example of how the Retroid Pocket 2's Android OS allows it to do some really neat things.
Anbernic R351 Vs Retroid Pocket 2 - The Verdict
While the focus of these systems is very similar, you should perhaps consider what you want from a handheld retro device before picking one, as they both have their good and bad points. If you value a slick and speedy interface with a brilliant D-Pad and aren't too fussed about pushing the hardware in different directions, then the R351 is the best bet. However, the fact that the Retroid Pocket 2 runs Android means it can do a lot more – although this is balanced out by the lack of dual analogue and a slightly weaker D-Pad.
In terms of cost, there's not a lot of difference between these devices, so it's really down to the kind of user experience you're after. The R351 is the kind of device that, once you've got it up and running, is a breeze to use, while the Retroid Pocket 2 can arguably be exploited in other ways due to its Android architecture – which means you can potentially install new front-ends or download Android apps which broaden the horizons of the device. It really depends on how adventurous you want to get, but in all honestly, either device will serve you well if you're looking for a pocket-friendly way of connecting with gaming's past.
Thanks to DroiX for supplying the R351P and Retroid Pocket 2 featured in this review.
This article was originally published by nintendolife.com on Fri 2nd July, 2021.
Removed - unconstructive
I think that the Retorid Pocket 2 is amazing!
Everything up to N64/PS1 is playable
Does the version of RetroArch that both run support achievements? The whole RetroAchievements setup has totally reinvigorated my love for retro gaming.
The Anbernic does come preloaded with ROMS from the factory
Between the right analog being so bad, and the 1GB of ram basically crippling Android while being fine on the SBC on the 351P, I don't think it's all that close. the 351P is a lot more competent device. That said, both devices suffer badly in the Q.C. department.
Great review of some awesome systems, here. Surprised you didn’t mention the RG351V, which performs identically but has the form factor of a classic Gameboy, with triggers on the back. I own one and it’s fantastic.
Also, if you are interested in these things, replace the memory cards with Sandisk or something, as the stock ones are garbage and 351ELEC will not install properly on the included generic memory cards. 351ELEC is still being updated, which is very nice.
Mine DID come preloaded with 600 ROMs, so I’m not sure about that part of the review. Maybe it depends on where you buy?
Also worth mentioning is that N64 emulation is very shoddy on these things, and most games will only run at about 80%, or not at all due to limitations in hardware. Saturn is unplayable. PlayStation and below are perfect. Certain MAME games have issues but most run perfectly.
I have an RG351P and it's one of my favourite devices, it's perfect for playing GBA games, but the screen makes it less desirable for the other types of systems it's capable of emulating.
That unusual 480x320 resolution means home console and arcade games will have some scaling filters applied, which I find unpleasant to look at.
There's a sister device called the RG351V which has a classic DMG Game Boy design, and sports a 640x480 screen. It's absolutely perfect for home console games, Game Boy games, and more. GBA games take a small hit as you need to scale them, but they scale better than you'd expect.
It's nice to see Nintendo Life covering Anbernic's more recent devices though! They really are excellent little devices.
Got a PiBoy DMG and it's absolutely wonderful. Going to swap out my Pi3B for a Pi4B for Christmas.
On the subject of being pre-loaded with ROMs, this seems to depend on who you buy it from.
The stock microSD for firmware is only supposed to have the firmware, and it might have a few public domain things on there.
When I received my RG351P back in December it was loaded with ROMs, and of particularly poor quality.
They were pre-patched with cheat codes for example which could ruin the experience.
But the RG351V I received a few months ago was not pre-loaded with ROMs, which I preferred.
@RupeeClock Interesting! Must be region specific.
And both use the same off-the-shelf crappy joysticks as the Switch, meaning you're likely to get drift from those eventually, since they're the exact same part.
With that being said, the kind of game you'd want to play on these don't require joysticks, really, and the D-Pad looks decent enough so it's not as much of a deal breaker here I suppose.
I love my RG351V. I've probably been playing it as much as my Switch lately.
@RupeeClock direct from China they are all preloaded, some UK sellers delete everything to circumnavigate eBay policies
@nessisonett I have the 351M and yes it supports achievements. I would guess the Pocket does as well.
I'm not sure anyway, both units I received were ordered from the same site, Retromimi.
They're a reliable seller in my experience. They might've started deleting the pre-bundled ROMs at some point which is best practice, but probably a hassle if they receive them like that.
@davidmt Where is the option located for achievements? I’ve never tried that, sounds fun!
"However, steaming is possible, it's just that we haven't been able to test it personally ourselves."
@RupeeClock Yeah, as much of a hassle as it might be for them it’s better than having their products taken down.
There's so much competition in the stolen technology/portable piracy box department these days. There's a new one like every 2-3 weeks it feels like. But they tend to be worse than iPhones in terms of incremental improvements.
@RudyC3 The stick present in the RG351V feels a LOT tighter than my Switch Joycons. That being said, the device is extremely easy to take apart and tear down compared to a Switch Joycon, so if a stick messes up you could buy replacements and fix it.
@davidmt Brilliant, thanks!
@HamatoYoshi Resellers often remove the ROMs, though. That was the case with the units supplied to us by DroiX.
I think the Anbernic is the clear winner here. I actually got into these devices fairly recently and the Anbernics are very impressive, well made and I love how everything feels focused around retro gaming with the 351 interface. The Retroid is cool for people who want Android and a bit more that they can do with it, so it's all on your needs really. I just think the Anbernic 351M is pretty hard to beat though, a real top quality device for the money.
@TryToBeHopeful Oof! It is indeed. We wouldn't recommend steaming ANY piece of hardware.
My RP2 got bricked and I haven't been able to recover it as of yet (but haven't tried every possible solution either, I will do so soon). Currently awaiting my RG351M I found at the price of an RG351P, and in the meantime just using my tablet sized laptop and PS4 controller to play GBA games (most of which I have originally, even some I had to import). But I don't feel like there's anyone being harmed by getting old games nowadays for free, especially not if the "legal" way is to pay an arm and a leg, for what may or may not turn out to be a bootleg in the end anyways. Especially not if they weren't even released here, or even officially translated to a language I understand. Never forget that most corporations, including but not limited to governments, happily leave backdoors open in their "law" and "policies" to abuse "maritime rights" when and where they can, and are therefore themselves the most unethical type of pirates, so no moral authority when it comes to piracy, let alone ethical piracy, because someone has to bypass the pirates in power, who even claim the right to claim your rights, and punish you when you claim yours back.
But I got sidetracked.
@Tedikuma Yeah same, the 351 V and M are easily the best right now, I got both of those, but the P is also great and pretty much a cheaper M.
The Gameforce is also worth looking into, a bit more ergonomic and it sort of blends the advantages of the two different Anbernic 351's, you got the 4:3 screen with a horizontal handheld, but like most things it's got it's own advantages and disadvantages. These are the 3 I got right now, but I also got a 280V which is a cool little mini take on these, it's actually the first one I got that got me into these.
I have the R351P and it absolutely does come crammed with ROMs if bought direct, re-sellers might delete them I suppose. There is an excellent guide to doing a clean install on the web just a quick Google away, if nothing else it's worth a fresh start just to replace the stock SD card with a SanDisk.
I adore mine.
I bought a 351M not long ago and I’ve only played around with it a bit, but I love it. It’s just challenging figuring out why some games don’t work/controller inputs don’t work/how to play multi-disc games, etc. Still, it’s amazing just to be able to play some of the games that I’ve wanted to replay for years (or play for the first time), but that just aren’t easily available for whatever reason.
I've been looking to get a device like this for awhile, but have been unable to make up my mind about which one I want to get. I think after reading the article and the comments, I might go with the 351P or 351V.
Serious question, what's the advantage of these over something like ExperimentalPi's PiBoy DMG? Mainly price?
@Damo What about N64 games performance? I would buy any of those to play N64 out of the box, but not Mario Kart 64 everybody likes to show in their YouTube reviews. I'm mainly interested in Rare games (Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, Donkey Kong 64, Jet Force Gemini, Banjo games, Conker's Bad Fur Day), Turok games, Rogue Squadron, Rayman 2, maybe good old Tony Hawk Pro Skater and the Quake 2 port. Donkey Kong 64 is notorious for how tricky it is to emulate without graphical artifacts and sound shutteing, as well as GoldenEye, which can be very slow in busier areas. The RG350 could handle PS One games quite nicely without any tweaks, including graphically heavy ones, like Vagrant Story, Metal Gear Solid, Legacy of Kain etc, but failed miserably as soon as it came to N64. I wonder if there's serious improvement in case of the RG351.
What about DC performance? Do main classic run well (Sonic Adventure 1-2, Crazy Taxi, Skies of Arcadia, Shenmue)? I've never owned one and could catch up on those quite a bit.
@ibis_87 Not sure about the retroid but the 351 is very hit and miss with N64. I tried f-zero and banjo kazoie, worked amazingly. Perfect dark is just about playable but very choppy and bear in mind translating N64 control schemes can sometimes be very odd. Best to assume most games won't work and be pleasantly surprised if one does.
I always think the little anbernic 280v gets overlooked. It won't tackle the N64, psp and Dreamcast stuff but as mentioned these are unreliable on the more powerful systems anyway. If you just want 16 bit and playstation emulation it does brilliantly and it's genuinely pocket sized and super rugged. No analogue sticks, but few playstation titles actually rely on them. I know the 351 is better but I play the 280v way more.
No mention of the TV out or Bluetooth support of the Retroid Pocket 2 or did I missed them?
They were selling factors to me! Those features make it kind of a hybrid.
@Lapses Thanks a lot, I mainly like to emulate 1-2nd gen of 3D-capable consoles though. The 3D-revolution happened when I was about 10 yo and I was blown away by it so much that I still prefer early 3D games over almost perfect 2D 16 and 32-bit games even now, when those graphics are not so amazing anymore, to say the least.
I don't get the point of these TBH. I own a OnePlus Nord, and a Poco X3 Pro, and both of them run N64 perfectly. Paired with a decent pad I'm not sure why I'd ever need a dedicated retro handheld. Not that it stopped me picking up the Evercade for some odd reason. I think it's the collector in me that one.
@SpringDivorce if you have an iPhone, you could not run emulators. And also, having these dedicated devices is great to share in a family. Also, if your phone is owned by your job or used for work, you should limit emulators or any apps that are more "dangerous" to avoid leaking any sort of data.
There's a bunch of reasons for those devices to exist. Maybe none for you, but there are reasons
Still rocking the Vita and Retroarch for my Genesis on the go fix
@BloodNinja There are two steps: First, you need to set up an account on RetroAchievements.org. Then, on the 351M you have to enable it under the Main Menu/RetroAchivements
More info is here:
I would also recommend the 351v. The form factor is better and it has a 4:3 screen which makes it better for emulating most old systems.
The piboy isn't practical as a handheld. It's loud, it's heavy, and the screen isn't laminated.... There's a solid 2 mm gap between the outer protector and the actual display. Not saying it isn't a good device, but ironically, handheld use is more of a novelty for it, than main feature.
Love the idea of these, but they aren't quite there yet for me. I use a Shield TV and that gets me up to Dreamcast, with a few issues.
PS2, GC an xbox is the sweet spot however, so need a touch more grunt for an ideal retro handheld.
These certainly make the Switch look more impressive.
Completely forgot about the Apple walled-in system, it's been that long since I used one. Oops.
@ibis_87 It's defo a bit hit and miss with the N64 and DC. Some games run well while others are slow or refuse to run at all.
@BloodNinja These sticks always feel tight when they're new. I remember when I swapped my old drifting sticks in my launch day JoyCon for new ones I bought off Amazon, they felt tighter too, but that quickly goes away. Comparing my old sticks to my newer ones now, after more than a year of use, they feel pretty much the same, yet the difference when they were new was staggering.
@jipiboily Yep, it's got both - I'll add that in!
I had to sell off a collection some 18 years ago (thousands of original games over MD/SNES/Saturn/PS1/Neo Geo) and I've not really been in a position to start again up until this point. Since then, retro prices have absolutely exploded, so I decided to just pick up Switch carts and the Evercade as it's a relatively inexpensive way of building up a nice cart collection.
Just ordered my Retroid Pocket 2! I have an old PSP that I previously used for emulating old games but it just didn't feel right for some reason. The RP2 is such a great design that I couldn't pass it up
As someone who has multiple of these things. The best bang for your buck with little extra work is the RG351V running 351Elec (or ArkOS if you want to tinker more with retroach).
I can't get behind the Retroid Pocket 2, it's too fiddly and just misses the mark with gba games. You have to use their version of Retro Arch or another emulator more designed for touch screens. Trying to play Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and hearing that stutter just irks me. Even trying to install custom firmware on the RP2 is annoying. The software isn't straightforward, and if it hangs mid flash you have to take it apart. Which isn't a cake walk. Having to switch input modes constantly also is a pain because the lack of a touch screen. So many little things made me put it down and swear off it.
To play 8-16bits I prefer to mod my New 3DS XL. There is no major updates to come, so I wouldn't bother to worry about anything
I have the RG350M, love it. It fills in what my Vita, Switch, New 3DS, GPD XD+, GPD Micro, and GPD Win Max may miss. Which isn't much, tbh.
I have RP2 but the emulation of N64 is NOT good. You have to lower the resolution, eg 512x384 and not 640x480 which then it has a good framerate but it's ugly! I have tested many different plugins and settings and some Rare games are not very playable (for me at least). I wish it could be a little better in specs so that N64 is very good.
@nessisonett I own the RG351M and it does have support for achievements
At this point, these systems are nearing one year old and their chipset is even older and honestly truly outdated at this point. You could spend less on a prepaid phone, pair your Xbox controller and have improved everything.
Recommending them last year? Probably worth it. Tody? Hell no.
I’m going to throw in my two cents here. I recently got into the portable emulator hobby myself. I was going back and forth between the two devices and settled on the RG351M. For the following reasons (my opinion, of course).
1) Superior build quality. The D-pad and analog sticks are better on the Anbernic models.
2) D-pad placement. Let’s be real here, 95% (or more) of all your time is going to be used on 2D games. Why put an analog stick on the default position here?
3) OS. As NL pointed out, the 351ELEC OS is so easy to get up and running, it’s almost too easy. It’s a 600 MB download, taking up very little of the SD card (which means more room for games). Android is far more versatile, but you will be spending so much time trying to get it to do things that when it really comes down to it, isn’t the whole point of something like this is to pick up and play games? The 351ELEC OS gets this and does everything you need it to do.
They are still both very fine handhelds though but I really think the 351 is the way to go.
My good gentlemen, could anyone please confirm if there's any improvement in N64 emulation (yes, I'm still at it) on the 351ELEC over the stock firmware out of the box on the 351M/P?
It plays the best games pretty freakin well, but if you want true 100% N64 emulation get an ED64 Plus. It's an N64 Everdrive that comes preloaded with the entire N64 library and only goes for $60
Still better dpad than Nintendo Switch
I have had the RP2 for months and love it. N64 is hit or miss but there are plenty of different emulators to try out and people have already tested and posted the best settings for the most popular games.
@Luminous117 I completely agree. But many tend to be extremely similar and forgettable.
@ibis_87 my previous reply was from me using ARKOS, and I believe development has ceased on that OS now. 351ELEC is still being worked on so there may be improvements or new emulators supported for N64 but as of about a month ago it was largely the same results as ARKOS. Sorry to not give the answer you want but I think N64 is always going to be patchy on this tier of handhelds.
Keep an eye on Retro Game Corps, though. They/he runs a great site & channel which highlights any significant updates to the various OSs, and it's just a great source of info for retro handhelds in general. Watch it, though - he's very enthusiastic and may just end up convincing you to get one even though the N64 stuff isn't quite what you're looking for. It's close!
I have both handhelds for the RP2 if you are good with tech update to LineageOS 15.1 much better interface plus android 8.1
For my RG351M I dismantled it and filed just a smidge off the stick and that fixes the DPad diagonal problem though it is fairly fiddle to put back together and check out ArkOS that is still imo the best custom firmware but 351Elec is getting closer
As people have mentioned, THE RG351V is the gameboy style sister to the RG351 and its fantastic, the screen is amazing.
I own a Retroid Pocket 2, it feels cheap in comparison anything Anbernic make and it's so un-user friendly.
Personally I'd take a RP2 over the 351P/M any day of the week but I'd take a 351V over the RP2. They all have good reasons to buy though.
Is it legal in the UK to rip your own cartridges and game discs?
In the US it seems to be a grey area but there should be a strong fair use argument for ripping discs for personal use. And Sony vs. Connectix established something of a precedent for running game discs (though not ISOs) on emulators.
Regardless of prohibitions from copyright law and license terms, it would be nonsensical to punish people for downloading the identical ones and zeros that are stored on game discs or in game consoles that they own.
Interestingly enough, some licensed mini-consoles such as the PS Classic (as well as many mobile and compilation releases) use emulators that were developed by hobbyists.
Are there any handheld devices on the market that can handle Saturn emulation yet?
Good to see this review. I’ve resisted these types of things for years because I’m a Nintendo fan . I’d like to give a shout out to this company: https://8bitcade.com/shop/8bitcadexl/
I’m not affiliated I’ve just been really impressed with the idea, it’s a one guy show and he’s clearly a deeply passionate person and the device comes with 200 games, along with a ton of tutorials and what have you. There is a busy community of makers and with some dedication, you could also learn to program and out your own games on it. It’s well priced as well. Anyway, just thought folk here may be interested
Neither. Psp or pspgo
@CactusMan yeah but that doesn't tell me if any specific handheld device is powerful enough to run them.
See @BloodNinja comment:
"Also worth mentioning is that N64 emulation is very shoddy on these things, and most games will only run at about 80%, or not at all due to limitations in hardware. Saturn is unplayable. "
What would people say is the best “modern” handheld to play our old GBA carts on?
@ian_beale N64 software emulation hasn't developed much and/or people can't seem to figure out how to do it 100% right. It's less about the power of the hardware available and more about how individual N64 cartridges interacted with the console. No matter how advanced your new iPhone is, the N64 hasn't been 100% cracked so there ain't an emulator out there that will do it right
Bought the Retroid 2 recently. I can attest the Gamecube purple one looks like a straight-up official Nintendo console, and most N64 games I've tried have worked. PS1 games with multiple disks are causing me a bit of trouble, but it's not impossible.
@RupeeClock The biggest problem with Anbernic RG351V: It is not dual analog.
Two more major problems:
I went with the PiBoy DMG 😎
Yes, the RG351V suffers from lacking a right analogue, though not by much. There aren't too many systems that it's capable of playing that actually make use of a second analogue, outside of the couple dozen PS1 games that supported them.
With the shoulder buttons, I can understand why they're laid out that way though as a two-row design might make the system thicker than it already is.
The 640x480 screen was the main reason I got the RG351V to compliment my RG351P.
That said, if they were to make a RG351P with a 720x480 screen, that would remain perfect for GBA games and keep all the benefits of a 480p screen.
Hi @KIRO ! I saw your comment and had to create an account just to say a huge thanks! I appreciate your support throughout this process - it's been tough but worth it!
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@Damo, @Lapses, @Papichulo Thanks everyone for the comments, you're a great and supporting community (and I really don't want these words to sound somewhat standard, they ARE very heartfelt). Just hit that buy button on the RG351M (have a soft spot for premium products), hope it will do most N64 games nicely (I don't mind them not being 100% perfect, just playable is enough - I completed main N64 masterpieces using the Project64 on a PC way back in 2004, after all, long before I could afford and find out how to get the original console and some games on real carts in my country). Also want to try the Dreamcast - I have never owned the actual hardware, only tried a couple of games through emulation, which was far from perfect back than (early builds of Chankast, anyone?). It would also be ideal to emulate Saturn, but this is, as far as I know, even a more tricky beast even than the N64 and the SuperFX chip with it's multi-processor architecture.
Comparing to pictures of an RG351P.
The L/R shoulder buttons look uncomfortably narrow and would probably hurt your fingers after pressing them for too long.
The Retroid in general also looks a lot chunkier, thicker, and less comfortable to hold.
@nessisonett I recently installed retroarch on my androidTV, and this retroachievement felt likem such a present.. making me replay games and giving me a clear target in a retrogame (since often just playing retrogames feels a bit'' yes i can play it again , buty what shall i do'.. Since retroarch for android supports is, at least retroid should support is as well..
(and so happy my android tv supports my xbox 360 hori joystick and my 8-bit do switch pad)
@ian_beale i have the gpd xd, and it does 'ok ' radiant silvergun (after chanigng the os a bit), so it's succesors should do as well
@romanista many thanks. Also +1 for identifying the most important Saturn compatibility issue.
@ian for saturn sanshiro https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99HncW0GUk0
I have an rg351p with arkOS and love it. N64 emulation is good if you use the standalone emulator option. PPSSPP has a "go" version on ArkOS which I can play a lot of games at 2x resolution. The whole experience is awesome.
I originally bought the rg351M because of wifi and the metal build. But the extra weight just seemed unnecessary for a portable device. The p version is much more pocketable in my opinion and the wifi dongle works for the rare times you need it after setup. Plus it's 50 bucks cheaper on Amazon.
I've looked at the rg351v but just a personal preference don't like the vertical layout. The Retroid Pocket 2 is intriguing but I have an Android phone and while it can do more, having the ArkOs (or even 351elec) all in one firmware is just the best for a small device like this.
I'm probably 2 months into getting into to these devices and it's very addicting. I think the next wave of devices are going to hurt my wallet.
I prefer the Anbernic RG351P.
@Heavyarms55 its not stolen tech these devices are built from the ground up and aren't meant to pirate they're here to allow us access to all kinds of retro games on the go without a hassle, if you have a better option for retro gaming on the go that's intuitive say it then cause the more you slam portable emulators the more you have to realize that there's no better option
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