What is the best portable console for emulation

The best Chinese handheld consoles you can buy

Emulators are one of the most taboo pleasures in the PC world. The fact that you can enjoy platform games that are no longer on the market is one of the greatest advantages of an open platform like the PC. Obviously, with the introduction of PostPC devices such as smartphones and tablets, a new type of hardware was born that could bring yesterday's game emulators to this type of hardware.

This is where the Chinese portable consoles were born, using the form factor of a classic console with built-in controls and with an operating system that can be used directly as a portable console.


Retro GP430

The first of the Chinese portable consoles in our comparison is the Retro GP430, which is characterized by a console based on the Raspberry Pi CM-3 motherboard. It has the highest resolution screen of all thanks to its 4.3 inches with 800 x 480 pixels resolution,

The size of the screen and the fact that it is based on a Raspberry Pi 3 seem like two good business cards, but things start to decline when we see the quality of its finishes, especially the quality of its analog sticks part. negative, in combination with the situation in which the traverse is.

On the other hand, don't be fooled by using a Raspberry Pi 3. At this point we wonder why they didn't use the Pi 4, which has more processing capacity for emulation and can run some games from Nintendo64 on the console. But like most laptops in comparison, it fails to emulate the classic Nintendo console well and when we talk about more powerful systems like PSP and Dreamcast then we find that the console is drowning completely.

Ambernic RG351P

The second of the portable Chinese consoles in our comparison is the most powerful of the Ambernic consoles on the market, equipped with a Rockchip RK3326 SoC that it shares with the RK2020 and that is also upgraded with a screen with a resolution of 480 × 320 Pixel, a specification also shared by the RK2020.

The advantage over the RK2020 is that its controls are of a higher quality than those of the RK2020. When Ambernic consoles have something that differentiates them from the competition, the controls are implemented more carefully.

In contrast to the RG280M, the housing of the device is made of plastic. Despite the higher performance of the processor, we have a slightly worse finish than the RG280M with the mental case. His weak point? It is the most expensive model that we presented in this comparison.

Ambernic RG280M

The third of the Chinese portable consoles in our comparison is the smaller one of the Ambenic, the RG280M with its mental housing, which brings the Ingenic JZ4770 as SoC. It doesn't have the processing capacity of its older sister or the RK2020 based on the RK3326, but for us it's the best laptop in this comparison.

The screen is 2.8 inches and has a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels in 4: 3 format. This seems like a very low resolution to us for these times, but it's the resolution that most games were run at. yesterday's dissolution is therefore not an obstacle and is much more portable than the others. You can also play consoles with the performance of the first SONY Playstation without any problems and don't think that the rest of the consoles can go any further in comparison.

The RG280M has two USB-C ports, one for charging the battery and the other for the notebook's OTG functionality. It also has two microSD slots, the first storing the operating system and emulators, while the second SD is for storing the ROMs. So if we update the operating system or add more emulators, we won't lose any ROMs.

Unlike the RG351P, the layout lacks the second analog stick, but it doesn't cause a problem as most platforms it can emulate don't need analog sticks on the right to play with.


The fourth of the portable Chinese consoles in comparison is the RK2020, which shares the interior space with the RG351P, but has a design in the controls like the RG280M, since the correct analog stick is missing.

It has a 3.5-inch screen with a resolution of 480 x 320 pixels and is equipped with a Rockchip RK3326 SoC, which is the same as that of the RG351P, compared to what it loses due to the consoles from Ambernic, which have a much better thought-out button layout and much more comfortable.

BTW, although the console is advertised as having the ability to have its processor run games from consoles that are much more advanced than the first PlayStation like Nintendo64, Dreamcast, and even PSP. This is only achieved with certain games and it is not expected that the most complex games from these consoles will run smoothly on the console.

Retroid Pocket 2

The Retroid Pocket 2 is the most powerful console in this comparison. The reason for this is that it can easily emulate the entire Nintendo64, which the rest of the consoles cannot do perfectly in comparison.

It is equipped with a MediaTek MT6580 SoC and has a 640 × 480 pixel screen with a size of 3.5 inches. So this is the laptop with the best specs of the comparison. The counterpart? The feeling of control when using the console is far from perfect. Unless you want a Chinese laptop to play N64 games, it's not comfortable to use all the time, especially the awful right analog stick.

The operating system comes standard with Android and a number of emulators on that operating system, and it is possible to configure the console to load Retroarch directly. However, this complication takes away the Retroid Pocket 2 points, since the other comparison consoles already come with the operating system developed for use as a portable retro console from scratch.