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Hands On: Anbernic RG353P – Shamelessly Inspired By Nintendo


Anbernic RG353P
Picture: Nintendo Life / Damien McFerran

Nintendo’s affect on the world of gaming certainly wants little rationalization; whereas the Japanese firm did not ‘invent’ video video games, it has accomplished greater than most to determine lots of the floor guidelines for the medium. It is little surprise, then, that so many firms look to Nintendo with regards to creating their very own gaming endeavours, and nowhere is that extra true than within the realm of Chinese language-made emulation units.

We have already seen the likes of 8BitDo ‘adapt’ the long-lasting NES and SNES controllers for his or her vary of Bluetooth controllers, and the PocketGo S30 (which was co-designed by a member of 8BitDo) is basically a SNES pad with a display screen and emulation powers. Now, Anbernic – arguably one of many main forces on this discipline – is again with one other retro-focused moveable, and it mainly seems to be like a beef-up model of the PocketGo S30. Say hi there to the RG353P.

Anbernic, after all, is most well-known for its iconic RG351, which is taken into account by many to be among the best units of this kind. The corporate has been cranking out related merchandise since then – together with the RG351V, RG503, RG300X and RG552 – however there’s been a sense of slight discontent amongst followers who’re nonetheless patiently ready for the ‘true’ successor to the RG351. As a lot because it pains us to say it, the RG353P most likely is not that machine – however that is to not say that it’s not value a glance in the event you’re available in the market for certainly one of these portables.

The largest information is, after all, that SNES-style design. The RG353P is bigger and heavier than the PocketGo S30, however appears like an in depth match by way of pure construct high quality – and that is factor, because the PocketGo S30 boasted premium development and supplies for such a low-cost system.

The RG353P’s D-Pad is sweet and responsive, as are the 4 major face buttons. There are 4 shoulder buttons (that are additionally good), in addition to 4 different perform buttons on the entrance: Begin, Choose, Operate and Energy. These are organized across the 3.5-inch IPS display screen however are fortunately sufficiently small that you simply will not unintentionally hit them throughout play. Rounding issues off are two analogue sticks, which feel and look very a lot the identical as these on the Nintendo Change (which may not be factor, after all).

The stereo audio system are good a strong and are positioned on the underside fringe of the system, in a location the place you are unlikely to smother them together with your palms. Additionally positioned on the underside edge are the dual MicroSD card slots and the three.5mm headphone jack. Apparently, there are two rubber pads on the rear of the RG353P, which implies you’ll be able to relaxation the system on a desk with out it sliding round. These initially look fairly odd, however are very welcome – we might wish to see this on extra moveable consoles, if we’re sincere.

Whereas the RG503 boasted a stunning OLED display screen, the RG353P has an IPS LCD panel, which implies it would not pop fairly as a lot. It is nonetheless a good show, nonetheless, and the 640 x 480 decision is ideal for retro gaming. It has contact help, too, which is neat; that is all the way down to the truth that the RG353P has a dual-boot characteristic, which implies you’ll be able to both use the Linux interface or plump for the full-fat Android 11 one. Android wants contact management to actually work, therefore the inclusion right here.

Just like the RG502, the RG353P is powered by the brand new RK3566 quad-core chipset, clocked at 1.8GHz. There’s 2GB of RAM, too, which implies that efficiency is noticeably improved over the RG351 household of programs. You are still not going to get 100% full-speed on the complete N64 and Dreamcast library, however the overwhelming majority of video games for these consoles will run wonderful – and something previous to these codecs is silky-smooth (apart from the Sega Saturn, which is notoriously tough to emulation on low-cost {hardware}). For those who’re in search of one thing that actually nails the 8 and 16-bit eras, you then’ll have little to complain about right here.

Think about 5G Wifi, Bluetooth 4.2, HDMI-out, two USB-C ports and a 3500mAh battery that is good for round 4-6 hours of gameplay, and also you’re getting a lot of bang for the $140 the RG353P prices to buy. Does all of this add as much as a machine that may actually be thought-about to be the RG351’s successor? Until you are tremendous eager on the concept of being able in addition into Android, then maybe not, however there isn’t any denying that the RG353P is a superb entry level into the world of moveable emulation – and the truth that Anbernic has been brazen sufficient to repeat Nintendo’s design means it seems to be nice and is comfy to make use of, as nicely.

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Because of DroiX for supplying the RG353P used on this characteristic.

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