Best Retro Handhelds for Classic Gaming Bliss
A retro handheld is the greatest choice if you enjoy playing retro video games and the idea of being able to take your faves with you wherever you go. Selecting the best solution for you may be challenging given the diversity of possibilities available. This is the justification behind our list of the top portable retro gaming consoles that are currently on the market.
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What is a Retro Handheld Console?
You may play retro handheld video games on a gadget called a retro console. A few of these consoles allow you to install more games by using an SD card or other storage device, in addition to the selection of games that are currently pre-loaded on them.
What Makes a Good Retro Handheld Console?
There are a few important things to think about while selecting a vintage handheld console:
- Choose a system with a large collection of vintage games, and make sure the titles you wish to play are among them.
- Screen size and quality: A decent vintage handheld should have a large, clear screen with excellent visuals so you can play games while you're on the go.
- Battery life: Choose a console with a long battery life if you don't want to run out of power mid-game.
- Build quality: A vintage handheld should be well constructed and long-lasting enough to sustain use in daily life and throughout travel.
The Best Retro Handheld Consoles
Without further ado, here are our top picks for the best preloaded handheld games console available today:
1. Powkiddy RGB20S
The RK3326 processor in the Powkiddy RG20S, a portable handheld gaming device, is somewhat obsolete when compared to other handhelds on the market. Even yet, it still manages to give a high level of speed and useful functionality.
Three buttons that resemble a charming face, Start, Select, and Function, are located in the centre of the gadget. Additionally, it sports a speaker grill in the centre for crystal-clear music and a 3.5" IPS display with slim bezels for a contemporary look. With a 640 x 480 resolution, good brightness, and an OCA display that sits near to the cover to avoid dust gathering, the display's quality is also noteworthy.
Along the borders of the device are the standard buttons, two USB-C ports, a volume button, and an additional SD card slot for ROM expansion. The gadget's shoulder buttons are elevated and occupy the whole width of the device. Emulation Station is also pre-installed on the RG20S, making it incredibly simple to use, especially for retro gamers.
The system performs admirably in terms of graphics, audio, and gaming on all platforms up to the PS1. It is not suggested for anyone who wants to play Dreamcast games because it struggles with them and frequently crashes. The finest platforms to utilise on the RGB20S are Game Boy. PSP and the majority of the very nice PS1 titles, as well as quite a few N64 games, all performed quite well.
The Powkiddy RG20S is a sturdy, transportable handheld game console with good screen quality, lots of buttons, and passable sound. However, to stay current with modern technology, the RK3326 chip must be replaced. Despite this, it is still a fantastic gadget with features that make it a wonderful choice for retro gamers and amazing performance.
2. Anbernic RG35XX
A portable gaming console called the ANBERNIC RG35XX has a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU and a quad-core Power-VR SGX544MP GPU. Linux OS is installed on the console, which features a 3.5-inch IPS 640480 display and DDR3 256MB RAM. It contains a 2100 mAh battery with a five-hour battery life, USB-C 5V/1.5A charging, and HDMI output for connecting a 2.4G wireless or wired controller. Clear, Grey, and Transparent Purple are the three colours that are available.
The design of the console is reminiscent of the original Game Boy portable, with a huge 3.5" glass screen and narrow bezels that occupy a sizable amount of space. The action buttons are shiny and have a great feel, however they can get slick after prolonged gaming sessions.
he D-Pad is sturdy and simple to push, with a soft feel from the rubber membrane. The console features two SD card ports, one for the operating system and one for games, as well as volume controls, on/off, and reset buttons.
The console is thicker at the bottom due to the 2100 mAh battery, which also gives it a pleasant weight and helps it sit comfortably in the hand. The shoulder buttons are on the back of the console. The Dreamcast and PSP cannot be emulated by the RG35XX, only games up to and including the PS1.
The console's operating system is straightforward, and thousands of ready-to-play games are already preloaded on it. There are additional configuration choices and game platforms to choose from with a third-party OS called Garlic OS. Pressing the Menu button while playing a game will display choices like save game, load game, and return to the main menu. The RG35XX is easily one of the best portable retro gaming systems available today and for good reason.
3. Songlan-X12 Plus
A large 7.1-inch TFT full-color LCD screen with a high-definition 16:9 aspect ratio and 800x480 resolution is another highlight of the X12 Plus. This screen has anti-scratch and anti-drop features to safeguard your eyes during prolonged gaming sessions.
Additionally, the gadget has a powerful 2500mAh lithium battery that can play music for 50 hours or play video games for up to 5 hours, making it the ideal travel companion.
Other features of the X12 Plus besides games include cameras, voice recorders, music and video players, calculators, e-book readers, and webcams. Even your TV can be hooked up for multiplayer combat. It's also simple to connect to your PC and transfer data with its USB connection, and you can even use it as a controller for your favourite PC games.
The X12 Plus is a perfect gift for gaming enthusiasts of all ages, whether it's for a birthday, Christmas, or any other occasion. It comes with a 30-day guarantee that covers any defects that occur during the production or delivery process, giving you peace of mind with your purchase, making it one of the top retro handhelds you can buy today.
4. RG353VS Retro Handheld
A portable gaming device called the RG353V is available in two versions: the basic model with 2GB of RAM and the less expensive RG353VS model with 1GB of RAM and no touchscreen.
While the less expensive version just contains Linux, the basic edition supports both Android and Linux. It is advised to upgrade to the basic version since the more RAM and Android OS provide a better gaming experience. It is simpler to traverse menus and swap button layouts thanks to the touchscreen and newly implemented shortcuts.
With the same chipset as the RG353P, the RG353V can flawlessly emulate the NES, SNES, Gameboy, Gameboy Advance, and PS1 consoles.
However, more complex titles like God of War can call for some tweaking, and Dreamcast emulation might also call for some changes. Although the pricing is lower than anticipated, the Retroid Pocket 3 and other comparable handhelds have somewhat superior performance.
Overall, ANBERNIC has advanced with the RG353VS, giving you one of the best retro handheld games consoles available now.
5. Retroid Pocket 3
A seamless gaming experience is what the Retroid Pocket 3 is meant to give users. It's portable, lightweight, and pocketable, making it simple to bring wherever you go. The D-pad and buttons on the gadget are functional and don't require any improvements.
Despite being smaller than the sticks on the RP2+, they nevertheless feel cosy in your hands. The shoulder and trigger buttons of the RP3 are nice, and the L3 + R3 combination works well. The location of the Start/Select button is OK, but the volume button's position (on the left side) might be confusing because it's simple to mistakenly hit Start/Select for the volume button.
A 4.7-inch iPhone 6/IPhone 6s/IPhone 7 screen, which is very good, bright, and has outstanding colour saturation, is used in the RP3. It boasts a PPI that is excellent for gaming and is equivalent to an OLED panel. The screen is easier to view in direct sunlight than the RP2+ and is brighter.
The retro handheld offers excellent value for the money, however because it still has an IPS screen, the black levels aren't very good.
A semi-new portable gaming system, the Anbernic RG505 has recently become available. The gadget has an eight-core CPU with two Cortex A75 cores and six Cortex A55 cores that operates at 2GHz. Additionally, it has 4GB of LPDDR4X RAM and a Mali G52MP2 GPU.
The handheld gaming console supports bigger exFAT cards and has 128GB of eMMC storage. The 5000mAh battery is touted to power the gadget for up to 8 hours. Bluetooth 5.0 and dual-band ac wifi are both supported by the RG505. A 3.5mm headphone connector and a single USB-C port are also included. The display is a 4.95-inch OLED panel with a resolution of 960x544. The inputs and comfort of the gadget are comparable to those of Anbernic's earlier offerings.
The face buttons and dpad are snappy, with just the appropriate amount of springiness to the membrane—not too mushy or too stiff. The RG505 is a nice gadget that most customers will be delighted with, despite the rather old display. Making the RG505 one of the best retro handheld devices available today.
7. Diketigeey RG351P
A lot of thought went into the Anbernic Retro Handheld's clean and fashionable design, which is evident in both its internal and external characteristics. Given the scarcity of accessories for the screens of these devices, the inclusion of a screen protector was a welcome gesture.
The flushing joysticks make them pleasant to operate with the D-pad and face buttons, and the location of the LED light at the top was carefully considered. It is simple to distinguish between the L2 and R2 buttons since they are the same height as the L1 and R1 buttons.
Even if the Anbernic Retro Handheld's OS isn't the finest, with the appropriate configuration, gaming is considerably more enjoyable. With its numerous new features and ability to wirelessly upgrade the OS and RetroArch cores, ArkOS is the suggested operating system to use.
With the addition of additional features and compatibility for PS1 and N64 titles, the device now offers players more control choices and an enhanced gaming experience. The Rumble function enhances the gaming experience by giving satisfying feedback while playing.
The Retro Handheld gadget from Anbernic outperforms rivals like the RK2020 and the RGB10 in terms of quality. We are eager to see what Anbernic has in store for the coming year, potentially even a gadget that competes with the Retroid Pockets, but despite its delayed arrival, it has proven to be a worthwhile investment for retro gaming lovers.
8. Powkiddy RGB10
With the exception of a few small flaws with N64 and NDS, this system offers a generally faultless gaming experience. It can simulate other platforms, such as NES, SNES, N64, GBA, GBC, GB, and NDS. The 5-inch, high-quality screen, size, controls, and design of the portable make it a great option for gamers.
The gaming experience is greatly improved by downloading EmuElec OS from their GitHub website and installing it. It is strongly advised because it greatly enhances the console's overall performance.
The Powkiddy RGB10 Max 2 offers benefits, but there is one little drawback: the screen has a propensity to get hot in some places. However, it is normal for tiny portable devices to have this problem.
In general, the Powkiddy RGB10 Max 2 is a dependable, cosy, and potent portable console that can run PS1-compatible titles. It's a great option, especially for people who are new to the retro gaming industry. Despite a few small difficulties, the overall experience was not adversely affected by them.
9. HAIHUANG RG351M
The sleek and fashionable look of the HAIHUANG RG351M Retro Game Console is one of its most notable qualities. This console is made to offer hours of pleasant gameplay thanks to its huge 3.5-inch IPS display and comfortable handed grip. Your favourite games are simple to handle and fun to play thanks to the responsive buttons.
Over 3,500 vintage games from retro gaming consoles, including the NES, SNES, Game Boy, and more, are already pre-installed on the HAIHUANG RG351M Retro Game Console. With such a large selection, you may either rediscover old favourites from your youth or find brand-new masterpieces to play.
You can play for hours without needing to recharge thanks to the console's lengthy battery life. This functionality makes it a great option for playing games while travelling, whether you're taking a lengthy flight or a long car journey.
For everyone who like vintage gaming, the HAIHUANG RG351M retro game console is a superb option. It is an absolute need for fans of vintage gaming because of its slick design, large game collection, and user-friendly interface.
It is one of the greatest vintage handheld consoles now on the market because of its lengthy battery life, which allows you to play games for extended periods of time without having to worry about running out of power.