Anbernic RG35XX Review: Handheld Retro Gaming Console

Anbernic RG35XX Garlic OS

Acquiring a few retro video games can evoke fond memories of childhood. This is precisely what the Anbernic RG35XX, a handheld gaming console designed for retro games, does for me. Playing classic NES games from the 1990s on a compact handheld device brings back nostalgic feelings. I received the Anbernic RG35XX as a birthday gift after researching several other handheld consoles, including the Retroid Pocket 3 Plus, but ultimately chose the RG35XX due to its affordability. Surprisingly, most of my treasured retro games run seamlessly on the RG35XX.

The handheld console’s design bears a resemblance to the Gameboy device, but is smaller in size. Personally, I find the RG35XX to fit comfortably in my hand, and the buttons are not particularly difficult to press, although this is subjective and may vary according to individual preferences. However, I have noticed that the trigger buttons tend to rattle, and while there are various solutions available on Youtube, I am hesitant to open up the console as it is still new.

As a child, I often spent time at my neighbor’s house playing retro PC games and stayed over at my friend’s place for Sega Megadrive and Playstation games. Now, with the RG35XX, I am able to relive those memories and play some of my favorite childhood retro games on this handheld retro gaming console.

I like the Transparent Purple of the RG35XX, although the Retroid Pocket 3 Plus purple looks much more premium. There is nothing much to complain about for such an affordable mini handheld gaming console.

Top 20 Retro Games

Dig Dug (NES)
Prince of Persia (SNES) – Get Games
Jurassic Park (Sega Genesis) – Get Games
Street of Rage 3 (Sega Genesis) – Get Games
Mortal Kombat 2 (SNES) – Get Games
Dragonball Z Super Butoden 3 (SNES) Get Games
Final Fantasy VII (PS1) – Get Games
Resident Evil (PS1) – Get Games
Silent Hill (PS1) – Get Games
Rockman (NES)
Street Fighter Alpha 2 – (SNES) Get Games
Double Dragon (NES)
Contra (NES)
NBA Jam (Sega Genesis) – Get Games
Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Master (Sega Genesis) – Get Games

Although many more retro games could be listed, I will mention a few. These games, called ROMs, can be emulated on the RG35XX retro gaming console. However, this device may not be powerful enough for certain platforms that require more processing power.

Where To Buy Anbernic RG35XX?

If you’re wondering where to buy the Anbernic RG35XX, I recommend purchasing it directly from the official Anbernic website. While other platforms like Shopee or Lazada may offer cheaper prices, I don’t trust them to provide the original branded device. Shopping at the official store ensures authenticity. Additionally, the website allows you to choose whether to have the device shipped from China or the US, depending on your location.

I purchased my Anbernic RG35XX from the official website and was impressed with the 4PX overseas shipping. It took about two weeks to process my order and another two weeks for safe delivery to my doorstep from China. I could track the shipping progress occasionally. However, if you’re looking for a faster shipping process, Amazon US also sells the Anbernic RG35XX.

The process when ordering from the official website.

2 February – Order confirmed – Almost two weeks of preparation before it shipped out
13 February – Item handover to 4PX
13 February – 23 February – Shipping from China to delivery to the doorstep

The Anbernic RG35XX is a handheld retro gaming device that allows you to play classic video games from various consoles, including the NES, SNES, Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance, Sega Genesis, NEOGEO, and more. It features a 3.5-inch IPS screen with a resolution of 640×480 pixels, a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9, Quad-core PowerVR SGX544MP GPU, 256GB DDR3 of RAM, and dual memory card slots that can be expanded up to 512GB via a microSD card. It is available on Amazon and Shopee.

The device also includes an HDMI TV output connectivity vibrating motor, OTG gamepad connection, USB-C charging, and a built-in speaker for audio playback. It runs on the open-source Linux operating system, which supports multiple emulators and game systems. Additionally, it has a 2100mAh rechargeable battery that can provide up to 4-5 hours of gameplay.

Overall, the Anbernic RG35XX is an excellent device for retro gaming enthusiasts who want to enjoy classic games on the go.

Anbernic RG35XX, Best Handheld Retro Gaming Console?

Anbernic RG35XX Custom Firmware
The Anbernic RG35XX is the perfect retro game console for those who enjoy playing basic retro games such as arcade and fighting games. Although it may not be pocket-sized, it is still compact enough to be taken with you on the go, making it ideal for playing your favorite games while traveling or relaxing at a cafe. This handheld gaming console is both practical and impressive.

There is an abundance of retro game titles available, and while I have not yet had the opportunity to explore them all, my initial experience with the device suggests that the first week of ownership will likely be spent exploring and testing out various games. Additionally, I may consider building up my retro game collection over time.

It is worth noting that the memory cards that come with the console are unbranded and therefore may be unreliable. To avoid potential issues, it is advisable to purchase brand new micro SD cards, with Sandisk 64GB or 128GB micro SD cards being the most highly recommended.

Anbernic RG35XX Transparent Purple Trigger Buttons
Rear View – Anbernic RG35XX With Trigger Buttons

The Anbernic RG35XX handheld device has two slots for storage. The first slot contains the OS, while the second slot is for ROMs. For those who wish to install a custom OS, the GarlicOS by Black-Seraph is a recommended choice as it enhances the device’s performance. To switch between the custom OS and stock OS, it’s advisable to use a separate MicroSD card for each. This is a great idea!

Installing GarlicOS on the Anbernic RG35XX is relatively easy with the right tools and flashing software, such as Balena Etcher and MiniTool Partition Wizard. Updating the custom OS is also a breeze as it involves copying and pasting files. Tutorials on how to install and update GarlicOS can be found online or on YouTube.

If you want to change the interface’s look, there are different themes available for the RG35XX. Basic Photoshop skills are needed to customize the themes. For example, the purple theme can be matched with the Transparent Purple casing.

Final Thoughts

For a portable and convenient gaming device suitable for beginners, the Anbernic RG35XX is an excellent choice. It can emulate and play retro games on NES, Sega Genesis, PS1, and SNES platforms. The device comes in three colors: Transparent White, Transparent Purple, and Gray. You can choose between 64GB with or without 128GB storage.

If you’re looking for something even smaller than the Anbernic RG35XX, the Miyoo mini might be more suitable for you. While the RG35XX is not a powerful retro gaming console, it is good enough for beginners. Although there are other Anbernic models and brands available, the RG35XX is a recommended device for beginners.

In conclusion, I would definitely recommend the Anbernic RG35XX handheld gaming device to my friends. It is a great device for beginners who want a portable and convenient retro gaming console.

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