RG353V Revealed, Should Play N64, Dreamcast

Anbernic is back again with a new handheld, and this one's a vertical.

It’s been a while since Anbernic  released a new vertical console. Of late, the Chinese company has been busy pumping out horizontal consoles galore.

Following on from the reveal of the RG505, the RG353V handheld is set to join what has been a fairly busy year for Anbernic. Even though we’ve still got several months left, we’ve already seen the releases and announcements of the Win600RG353P, and the RG503. Oh yeah, and the Powkiddy X28 handheld is coming. As we say, busy (read: expensive) year.

Anbernic RG353V What’s New

Comparison image showing the new RG353V on the left, and the precious RG351V on the right.

Given the continued popularity of the Miyoo Mini, it comes as no surprise that Anbernic is refocusing on vertical handhelds. The RG351V remains a favourite among its users but the higher price than the Miyoo Mini puts it in a different category altogether.

Revealed originally over on Imgur and since released via the Anbernic store, the Anbernic RG353V is a revamped RG351V. The biggest change here is the introduction of a right analogue stick and some slight button and speaker placement tweaks to accommodate the extra stick.

Oddly enough, that right stick is quite the solid addition. While PS1 titles are playable with one stick, two sticks offer up better compatibility. Not only that, it also opens up the console potentially to N64 games.

Unless our memory is failing us, finding a portable, vertical N64 handheld isn’t easy. You’ve got multiple choices in the horizontal space, sure, but vertical? There’s next to nothing.

RG353V Specs

The biggest question was whether Anbernic will include the RK3326 chip found inside the RG351V or whether we’d see an upgraded chipset. Thankfully, Anbernic has done the smart thing and opted for the RK3566 chipset – the same chip seen in the RG353P.

The RK3566 chipset opens up a world of possibilities. Instead of purely being an up to PS1 console, the RK3566 means the RG353V should be able to handle something more powerful like N64 and Dreamcast.

Whereas the original model, the RG351V lacked a second analog stick, the RG353V makes a solid upgrade with the inclusion of a right stick. That means games that need a second stick – like N64 and select Dreamcast titles – will be playable.

RG353Vs Specs

  • Chipset: RK3566
  • RAM: 1GB LPDDR4
  • Operating System: Linux
  • Storage: 16GB SD Card
  • Screen: 3.5-inch IPS at 640 by 480
  • Battery: 3200mAh
  • Size: 12.6cm by 8.3cm by 2.1cm
  • Connectivity: 5G Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2

RG353V Specs

  • Chipset: RK3566
  • RAM: 2GB LPDDR4
  • Operating System: Linux and Android
  • Storage: 16GB SD Card
  • Screen: 3.5-inch IPS at 640 by 480
  • Battery: 3200mAh
  • Size: 12.6cm by 8.3cm by 2.1cm
  • Connectivity: 5G Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2

What’s the Difference Between the RG353Vs and RG353V?

Before you make any decisions, it’s worth looking at the major differences between the two consoles.

Anbernic has opted to release two models and two different price points. The idea here is to capitalize on the success of the Miyoo Mini – a low-cost handheld – while also offering something for those who want something more powerful to play on.

The Miyoo Mini, while great, lacked any real sense of power, so Anbernic is smart to offer a device that’s aimed at the crowd, only more powerful.

So, let’s break it down. The RG353Vs lack a touchscreen and wireless screen projection function, and doesn’t come with Android as an alternative operating system. The RAM, also, is just 1GB in the RG353Vs while the RG353V packs in 2GB.

  • Touchscreen
  • Wireless Screen Projection
  • Android
  • Android Games

To be honest, the lack of a touchscreen in the Vs model isn’t a major issue. Android running on 1GB of RAM would be a miserable affair, and a touchscreen isn’t needed for Linux. Likewise, no one ever uses the wireless screen projection function, so that really isn’t an issue.

All that said, there’s clearly a better model of the two, and for an extra $22, the RG353V is the one to go with.

RG353Vs and RG353V Price

In terms of pricing, both the RG353Vs and the RG353V come in at the lower end of the price scale. Even by Anbernic standards this is a much lower price than we’re used to.

The closest comparison here is the RG351V which came at $98.22 and is an older, lower-specced machine. The RG353Vs beats that price by around 10 bucks and the RG353V comes in around 10 bucks higher but also features better tech.

All in all, it’s hard to complain about the pricing of the RG353V systems.

  • RG353Vs: $89.99/£78.70
  • RG353V 16GB with 64GB SD Card: $112.99/£98.81
  • RG353V 16GB with 256GB SD Card: $120.99/£105.81

Anbernic RG353Vs: Where to Buy

It’s still early days so that means no Amazon, and at the time of writing, Droix isn’t an option (though that’s likely to change.

That leaves the official Anbernic website and AliExpress as the main options. It’s worth noting, AliExpress is normally the cheapest option out there as it’s wholesale prices. The downside? It takes a while to ship from China to the West.

Conclusion

The success of the Anbernic RG353V will all come down to what it’s capable of. This is becoming the standard response with Anbernic handhelds. In some ways, you know what you’re getting, which is great for consumers. But to Anbernic’s credit, the RG353V is a cost-effective solution.

And for the price, that chipset – the RK3566 – is a compelling addition. In Anbernic’s defense, the company has been more varied in its chip choice of late. The devices are still normally more expensive when compared to the likes of the Ayn Odin or Ayn Loki, which offer up more power per dollar, but the RG353Vs and RG353V are a step in the right the direction.

[Update 20/09/2022: New images and info added]


Sometimes we include affiliate links

Default image
Wesley Copeland

Wesley Copeland is a gaming and tech journalist with over 10 years of experience writing online. Originally starting in video games before specializing in tech and toys, you can find his bylines at IGN, VG24/7, Kotaku, Tech Radar, Games Radar, PC Gamer, and many more. He's also highly passionate about how tech can be used to better our day-to-day lives.