A new day, a new handheld. It’s amazing how they are still so popular, especially with smartphones that are as powerful as they are.

Okay, you got me. I’m still using a 5 year old Huawei, but nevertheless- It’s an ORANGE handheld. Or is it? In all honesty, it’s the same colour as a capsule from the inside of a Kinder Egg, and on the surface, it looks incredible plain and bare.

It looks plain. Very plain. Oh so plain. David Blaine… Kinder Egg

But who cares, right? Well- many do apparently! Especially when you hear the cries of the masses of RP2+ owners screaming “It’s the SAME!”… We can say without a doubt, that they are completely incorrect with that assumption. This one sports a higher resolution (750×1334), wider screen (16:9), different buttons, absolutely zero charm, and to top it off the yellow of a Kinder Egg Capsule… But is it worth it’s cost over the RP2+? YES!

These two the same? Uh, no. One has the d-pad in a terrible location!

The RP3 uses Android 11, and with the unit we bought (3GB), it is really snappy. Unfortunately this unit requires quite a bit of setting up. The Retroid Pocket 3 arrives blank, with only Android 11- and on first boot it helps you choose and install some preinstalled apk files. Much like if you got a computer with a clean install of Windows, then a buddy installs some programs and then yells, “There you go, catch you later!” whilst running out of the front door. Uh… Thanks… I guess? An Emulation Station style build where you could just pop in your roms from the get-go would be much more simpler.

So what systems CAN it run? Pretty much anything up to a PSP! We did have issues with upscaling re: Capcom Vs. SNK 2 on Dreamcast / Naomi, but for the most part- it was smooth sailing. We had Nine Fingers (Amiga) running at 100% speed, and even a Wii game worked fine!

Rhythm Heaven Fever? YES! Those monkeys can help us practice golf ANYDAY OF THE WEEK!

To top it off, streaming from a computer also worked REALLY well. The 16:9 highish resolution display helped us stream pretty much any PC game we had in our Steam library.

Outside of “Time setting up” being a major issue, there was another minor annoyance. As this system uses Android, it has a little more system latency than normal. Luckily for most, this is barely noticeable on this handheld, but it is definitely present.

System latency testing rig… 94.4ms delay for 1942 / MAME

To conclude, this handheld is actually really decent for the price. The major tipping point is if you want to spend a few hours in setting it all up. It’s not that it’s difficult, but more of an annoyance, and in our opinion, the handheld should be in a more “ready state” as soon as it hits the door.

Rating: 4/5

Purchase links

Retroid: https://www.goretroid.com/

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3cGHiwz

AliExpress: https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_DEsagB1

Video review @ https://youtu.be/vhKhki2GWlk

Leave a Reply