ODROID GO ULTRA Review
Cheap AND Powerful?
We certainly were excited!
When a handheld comes onto the market at $111, and uses the proven AMLOGIC S922X chipset we were excited.
It is the same chipset used in the ODROID N2+ and the BEELINK GT-KING. Performance runs rings around the Raspberry Pi4, especially when clocked correctly. The arcade versions of Killer Instinct? Upscaled OutRun 2006 Coast to Coast?
You got it.
… But this, is the ODROID Go Ultra.
Usually handhelds have the tendency to be the toned down version of the full-sized console. In this case, it’s DRASTICALLY different.
Let’s face it, we’ve been spoilt senseless when it comes to boxes. How even the cheapest Anbernic handhelds slowly slide open, we’re half expecting a blanket of dry-ice fog sip down the sides. Sensual.
We expect a possibility of damage, but when you get a box that looks as if it were printed 5 years ago, used third party ink, and then maybe played football with it?
Presentation really hits rock bottom
Included in the “box”, is the ODROID GO ULTRA, an odd USB-A to USB-C/ USB-A Y-Cable (???)…… And that is it. Wicked Gamer & Collector’s “Toilet Paper Manual” is no-where to be seen.
Want manuals / documentation? Check the net, pleb!
The ODROID website has a wiki (online documentatiuon) for each of their systems.
It DOES have useful information…
And it does NOT make sense in the slightest. It’s a mess... Seriously.
Without checking that, you wouldn’t know that the OGU won’t turn on until it has been charged completely by using BOTH cables plugged into the device.
They should just leave a little post-it and slap it onto the back of the handheld
“WE DON’T CARE. Need help? Join the RETRO HANDHELDS Discord”
The firmware that is installed to the 16gb eMMC at stock is a blank version of Debian / Emulation Station. The very simple idea is to just add games, and you’d have a gaming handheld…
NOT SO FAST
No WIFI – You’ll be copying files over the USB cable… And you’ll need to use Linux…
Then you’re limited to the filetypes that the system supports. PSP ONLY allows .iso, Playstation ONLY .cue, Megadrive ONLY .MD … Seriously?
They’re NOT making this easy on the end user.
After hours faffing in Linux and editing the es_systems.cfg file (to support more filetypes), we could FINALLY get around to testing the product.
The handheld is essentially a poor-mans version of the RG552. Large bezels surround the screen, and the plastic near the L and R buttons irritated my hands as I played.
DPAD, buttons are squishy, cheap, and cannot compete with handhelds in the market today.
Analogue sticks are out of the way, difficult to hold comfortably, and quite stiff.
Unsure if it was only a faulty unit we had or bad design, but our left stick only could reach 92% at full lock. Many PSP games were unplayable due to this, for example having the character in “The 3rd Birthday” not be able to run right is quite a turn-off. It is clear that ODROID have quality issues.
Display and Sound
The 5″ 854×480 LED display is actually quite dull compared to the competition, and that includes the super cheap Miyoo Mini.
Most of the emulators are set up to use a bilinear filter, so each pixel has a slight blur surrounding it. This may annoy some, but be aware that you cannot turn this off in the current firmware.
There is one speaker that’s on the BACK (read that back as many times as you like), and it delivers an extremely tinny sound. Place it on a desk or table? It’s an easy way to mute it, I guess.
Now I’m TRYING not to be over-critical about this device, but it’s SO HARD not to go down that alley.
Unless you are either 1. Totally ignorant 2. Have no morals (getting paid on the side?), or 3. Fooling yourself (because you paid good money), there is NO WAY one should be recommending this handheld.
So … What can this actually do?
Answer: Most systems up to around PSP. PSP is quite hit and miss.
The system is not tuned correctly (like you can do for the N2+), so we’re not looking at 60FPS for Arcade Killer Instinct, and if we COULD get that boost, I’m sure many more games for PSP will be playing at 2x resolution 100% speed.
There will be newer and better firmware, and there’s ALREADY a preview release of THERA.
This will sort many of the issues, such as the filetypes, and adding plenty more systems (such as Amiga- our favourite)
As for the hardware?
Well, we COULD change out the D-PAD / analogue sticks in the same way that Retrogamecorps did for the ODROID GO SUPER.
Wait for the clones by Anbernic / Powkiddy.