Update Cheap Handheld Games Consoles Review – Nostalgia is a sentimental love for something that a person experiences in his past. For most people it’s old places, books, movies or even TV shows. For many people who grew up after the mid-80s or 90s, Nostalgia takes the form of video games. This is also a big selling point. Companies will happily sell old consoles with fresh new paint if there is a market for them.
To be perfectly honest, there is a huge market for it. Many collectors and even casual gamers are always looking for ways to play older games. There are many ways to do this, you can emulate it on your computer, find an old console, or buy a retro-inspired device made just for this purpose.
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That’s what we’re going to look at today. We’re going to review the top five retro computers of 2022. But for those of you who are new to all this, we’ll give you a little background on what retro computers actually are.
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The premise of these consoles is pretty simple. It lets you take a huge library of games on the go. If you’ve ever owned a Gameboy, Nintendo DS, or other handheld device (which you probably have), it’s the same concept. The only difference is that you have to manually install games or ROMs on it. That’s a story for another day.
So what makes a good retro handheld? First, the screen must be visible but small, and the resolution is also important. Other than that, the feel of the buttons, performance, intuitive design and aesthetics are all important things. Some portables will allow you to include patterns if you’re feeling really old school.
These are all things that make a great retro handheld. Of course, there’s more to the story than that, but this brief introduction should get you up to speed.
One thing we don’t see in most retro consoles is attention to detail. This is exactly what makes Retroid Pocket 2 stand out from the crowd. The design is surprisingly awesome, it has a lot of customization features, and everything is well put together. While no retro handheld can be perfect, the Retroid Pocket 2 comes close. That’s why it’s our favorite.
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Relatively speaking, the Retroid Pocket 2 is competitively priced considering what it offers. It has a 3.5-inch IPS screen with a resolution of 640 x 480. It has 1GB of RAM and a 1.5GHz processor. Other than that, it has built-in Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and Android 8.1. Android allows you to use it for Steam Link, Xbox Cloud games and of course Android games.
Other than that, the performance is quite surprising. It can emulate almost any console up to the Dreamcast. This includes N64, PSP and Playstation 1 games. It still works with Nintendo DS titles. The screen is great, so higher fidelity games look great when combined with excellent performance stats. Android also allows you to play with any emulator you want. Personally, we only recommend using RetroArch because it’s easier that way. Other than that, all the buttons, stick and D-pad are very good.
We haven’t even talked about the best part yet. The build quality and design, both excellent. You could easily mistake it for an official Nintendo console, and we wouldn’t blame you. It feels good in the hand, and they come in a variety of colors.
The only problem is that it is difficult to obtain, even through Amazon. Also, some people may not be a fan of the analog stick location. But in reality it is very difficult to find any faults in this device. We highly recommend it.
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Anbernic is one of the most popular names when it comes to retro handhelds. The RG350M is their most popular release, thanks in large part to the metal design. As expected, the RG351P serves as a spiritual successor to the 350M. While there are no major changes here, it feels a little better in the hand and is more comfortable.
This is largely due to the revised design. In terms of shape, Anbernic has removed the big chin this time, and the ring around the screen is also smaller. This makes the console smaller and more portable. The D-pad is on the top left, while both analog sticks are on either side of the bottom. We know many people prefer this layout. For those of you wondering, the 3.5-inch IPS display has a resolution of 320 X 480.
The screen is pixel perfect for Gameboy and Gameboy Advance games. All the buttons feel great, even the top shoulder buttons. They can make the shoulder buttons look better by making them a little bigger. It can emulate consoles like SNES, NES, Gameboy and Playstation 1 flawlessly.
Battery life is also solid, clocking in at around six hours. A big difference here is that the RG351P uses plastic instead of metal. While this isn’t a big deal, it feels like a downgrade from its predecessor.
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When it comes to N64, Dreamcast or PSP, that’s where it starts to struggle. You can get the N64 to work with a few tweaks, but the Dreamcast and PSP are almost unplayable. But if you don’t care about those two consoles, everything else is great. Personally, the beautiful display, excellent build quality and brand recognition really sold us.
The GPD XD plus is not the best console on this list, nor is it the most affordable console. Having said that, this is definitely the most interesting part of it. It is very similar to the Nintendo 3DS XL in terms of design. The handheld is comfortable, has a large screen and is fun to use. But those aren’t the reasons why it’s on the list in the first place. Although it is a little expensive, it can be worth it for the right person.
The GPD XD Plus uses a clamshell design like the DS. Closing the hinge turns off the screen and saves battery life. This is a feature we’ve always wanted to see. The analog sticks are up there and feel great. Other than that, the D-pad is pretty good, and so are the face buttons. In fact, the entire layout is more comfortable than any handheld we’ve seen.
A nice feature on this console is the bright 5-inch touchscreen. It’s very punchy and very energetic. The GPD XD runs on a version of Android 7.0. Although it is an older building, it offers many adaptations. You can use it for Steam link, Xbox Cloud games, Android games and much more. Stardew Valley is a perfect game for a console like this.
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Moving on, the hardware is where the XD Plus really shines. This thing has a 6000mAh battery, which can easily last a full day. Performance is also great, thanks to the hexacore processor, 4 gigs of RAM and a whopping 32 gigs of storage. The only problem is that it is not exactly a user-friendly device.
Many emulators on PlayStore are not exactly of the highest quality. You will have to use RetroArch or look around to find a solution. There’s nothing a little research can’t fix, but it does require doing some work. Besides that, it is also quite expensive for just an emulation device.
Anbernic found another place on this list. This time, thanks to the console that started the hype and brought retro gaming back to many people. Of course we are talking about the Anbernic RG350M. The “M” indicates that this is the metal version of the console. It has everything you need and still holds up in 2022.
The RG350 is considered by many to be the ultimate retro handheld, period. The metal design of this thing still holds up. We’ve never seen a handheld that feels better in the hand than the RG350M. Everything from the size to the shape is almost perfect. It has four shoulder buttons and two analog sticks. The 3.5-inch 640 x 480 IPS display is perfect for retro gaming.
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It charges via USB-C, which is always nice to see. The analog sticks sit almost flush with the body, making them more portable. Compared to other interfaces, Anbernic’s UI is easy to get used to. It works well and should be easy for most people to pick up and play. The performance is decent as it can play Playstation 1 games perfectly.
It’s also a great handheld for playing NES, SNES, and Gameboy games. Unfortunately, there is no official support for DS games. And if you want to play games from the N64, Gamecube or Dreamcast, you’ll have to look elsewhere. Other than that, it’s a great console and we can recommend it to most newbies. However, it is quite expensive as competitors can deliver better performance for less. You’re mainly paying for build quality here.
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