Anbernic RG353P Review Round-Up

It's finally out, but is it worth it? Should people who already own an Anbernic consider upgrading? The answer to both is yes.

The Anbernic RG353P is here, and with reviews starting to appear online, we now have a clearer picture of what this console is and isn’t capable of.

If you’ve yet to decide if this retro handheld is right for you, or if you’re trying to justify holding out for the Abernic Win600 Windows handheld, here’s what all the critics make of the new device.

Anbernic RG353P Review Round-Up

RetroDodo

First up is RetroDodo, who praised the console’s N64 performance, which ran “without hiccups” and touchscreen, but was slightly less impressed when it came to full Dreamcast coverage.

“N64 ran incredibly well with little to no hiccups and I noticed a big difference between quality compared to the average RK3326 handheld,” says RetroDodo.

“I then tested some of the best Dreamcast games and went all in with Crazy Taxi 2, in no way did it perform flawlessly and I noticed some slight drops in frame rates but it was still a pleasure to play on.”

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Nintendo Life

Are the speakers any good? That’s always a question worth asking with Chinese handhelds regardless of the manufacturer.

“The stereo speakers are nice a powerful and are located on the bottom edge of the device,” says Nintendo Life, “in a location where you’re unlikely to smother them with your palms.

Nintendo Life also notes the RG353P packs in the same RK3566 quad-core chipset as the RG503, which gives it a nice boost over the RG353 series of consoles. While this doesn’t lead to full-speed N64 and Dreamcast performance, Nintendo Life agrees with RetroDodo that the catalogue is indeed very playable.

Retro Game Corps

Impressed by the new-ish design, Retro Game Corps says the stacked shoulder buttons are “well-placed and do feel good in the hand,” although the reset being up top continues to baffle everyone.

There’s also a minor gripe about how long the Android operating system takes to load.

“It takes about 36 seconds to boot into android. It’s not the worst I’ve seen, but I’d much rather have it around 30 seconds,” says Retro Game Corps.

Another point to consider is the lack of RAM does limit the snappiness of Android. At 2GB, it’s not quite that magic 4GB most would prefer here.

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Conclusion

The RG353P is a PocketGo S30 clone and there’s no getting around that. But, does that matter? Normally copycat consoles should be frowned on, but Anbernic has taken the design and added to it. The Newer RK3566 chipset sounds like it’s breathing new life into the console.

At the end of the day, no one was expecting this to be a handheld that plays GameCube games, and that’s totally fine. It’s a budget device, it’s not going to be able to handle high-spec consoles any time soon. What the budget crowd is after is N64 and Dreamcast compatibility, and while it’s not perfect on the RG353P, it’s in a good enough state to justify it as a new purchase or as an upgrade to those of us with RG350 or RG353 devices.

Accessibility

While we’re still waiting to hear more about what stock options are available in the Android side of the operating system, we do know the curved design of the console could help those with motor function issues.

By avoiding the usual rectangular shape seen in other Anbernic designs, hands and fingers will naturally curl around the RG353P console rather than needing to sit at sharper angles. It’s a small touch, and while the 3.5-inch screen may not be ideal for those with vision problems, it’s good to see there are at least some consoles that are more accessible than others, even if it may have been by accident.

Anbernic RG353P Price

In North America, the RG353P retails for $139.99, while over in the UK, it’s £113.32. Those prices can vary depending on where you’re buying from, of course, so be sure to check out Droix and AliExpress before heading straight to Amazon.

Anbernic RG353P Specifications

  • Chipset: RK3566 – Quad-core 64-bit Cortex-A55 at 1.8GHz
  • RAM: 2GB LPDDR4x
  • Storage: 32GB eMMC, 16GB microSD card
  • Connectivity: 2.4/5G, Bluetooth, HMDI-out
  • Screen: 3.5-inch IPS with OCA full-tilt, 640×480
  • Battery: Li-polymer 3500 mAH (around six hours)

What Can the RG353P Emulate?

  • Sony: PS1, PSP
  • N64, Nintendo DS, Game Boy, Game Boy Colour, Game Boy Advance, SNES, NES
  • Sega: Genesis/Mega Drive, Dreamcast
  • Misc: Arcade
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Wesley Copeland

Wesley Copeland has over 10 years of experience writing online about toys and video games for the likes IGN, VG24/7, Kotaku, and PC Gamer. He also quite likes retro gaming. Probably too much, actually.