In the realm of evolving digital entertainment, handheld emulators and handheld consoles have carved out a niche loved by many. In uniting retro aesthetics with advanced technology, these portable game systems promise fun-filled gaming adventures right in the palm of your hand. But finding the best one that rings a harmony between your budget, specific needs, and taste could be overwhelming, given their abundant availability.
Coming up, we’ll deep-dive into the finest retro handheld game systems available today. We’ll pore over their key technical specs, supported games, and battery lives—comparing them head-on to help you find your new gaming partner. We also identify our top picks in three distinguished categories— ‘Overall Winner,’ ‘Most Versatile,’ and ‘Best Cost-Benefit Winner.’
Before we jump into these fascinating device analyses, check out our crisp table below, which consolidates vital stats about every console under consideration. This quick glance could tip you closer to your perfect choice.
All Devices in One Look
|Handheld Console||Screen Size||Resolution||CPU||RAM||Battery||Storage|
|Anbernic RG353VS||3.5-inch||640×480||1.8GHz||1GB||6h||16GB + SD|
|Powkiddy V90||3.0-inch||320×240||700MHz||32MB||2-4h||16GB + SD|
|Miyoo Mini v2||2.8-inch||640×480||1.2GHz||128MB||5h||32GB + SD|
|Anbernic RG35XX||3.5-inch||640×480||1.6GHz||256MB||6h||64GB + SD|
|Powkiddy RGB20S||3.5-inch||640×480||1.5GHz||1GB||5h+||16GB + SD|
|Anbernic RG353V||3.5-inch||640×480||1.8GHz||2GB||5-6h||32GB + SD|
|Miyoo Mini Plus||3.5-inch||640×480||1.2GHz||128MB||5-6h||64GB + SD|
Whether you’re a casual player looking to relive childhood favorites or a hardcore gamer seeking to experience new horizons in portable gaming—the answers lie within this article! So shall we dive into this exciting journey now?
8th: Anbernic RG353VS
|CPU:||Quad-Core @up to 1.8GHz|
|Battery Life:||6 hours|
|Storage Capacity:||16GB + Micro-SD Card|
A Powerful Retro Handheld Console
Combining exceptional performance and diverse functionality, let’s dip into the world of the RG353VS. As an impressive handheld emulator, this console brings a versatile gaming experience right to your grasp.
This handheld retro game console operates on a LINUX system, making it compatible with an array of emulators and game formats from PSP to NDS, CPS1 to CPS2, and several others. This means you’ll have no issue reliving those classic gaming moments on this device.
Its robust RAM sets the RG353VS apart from many other handheld game systems. It runs on LPDDR4 1GB, promising swift responsiveness as you dive into your favorite games.
Moreover, this best handheld game console notably offers multimedia network play – a feature that extends its capabilities beyond just gaming. It also comes with a wireless handle function, ensuring smooth and uninterrupted gameplay.
As far as visuals are concerned, the 3.5-inch IPS full viewing angle provides excellent display clarity so you can savor every detail of your games.
But what about battery life? Well, rest assured that you’re sufficiently covered here too! The RG353VS sports a 3200mAh Li-polymer battery that offers between five to six hours of continuous gameplay. Its exceptionally portable design makes it one of the best portable gaming systems on the market.
It’s clear that much deliberation has gone into constructing this retro handheld console.
- Support for numerous emulators and games across platforms
- Customizable multiplayer settings
- 3.5-inch screen for an excellent visual experience
- Extended battery life for longer gaming sessions (5 – 6h)
- Plenty of RAM for faster system responses
LINUX operating system may be complicated for beginner users
Absence of built-in Android front-end that its counterpart RG353V offers
RG353VS Final Thoughts
The RG353VS stands out as one of the best retro handheld Emulators, with performance capabilities, extensive game support, and a remarkable visual display. However, the challenges surrounding its LINUX operating system could create an initial learning curve for unfamiliar users.
Overall, this device’s balance between cost and features makes it an attractive option if you’re seeking fun-filled hours playing classic or contemporary games.
7th: Evercade EXP
|Battery Life:||4-5 hours|
|Storage Capacity:||4GB (expandable with cartridges)|
Your Portable Arcade
Switching gears from the DIY Linux consoles, let’s delve into a realm where game publishers meet with handheld consoles — enter The Evercade EXP. This is not just a handheld emulator console; it’s a demonstration of nostalgia meeting the latest gaming technology.
Boasting 18 built-in games from acclaimed publisher Capcom and the IREM Arcade 1 cartridge collection, Evercade EXP makes a strong entry as one of the best retro handheld consoles. Think of it like owning an arcade in the palm of your hand!
What sets this console apart is its surprisingly seamless transition to vertical gameplay courtesy of its TATE mode and dedicated buttons—an innovation that showcases how flexible this multi-platform device truly is.
Despite being extremely lightweight and compact in design, this handheld emulator console comes packed with functional features such as built-in WiFi for easy updates and long battery life of up to five hours—making it ideal for some extended gaming sessions.
However, what truly takes the cake here and ultimately establishes Evercade EXP as one of the best handheld game systems is its access to an extraordinary array of over 380 games across 35+ collections spanning five decades of gaming. Take a moment to appreciate that sheer volume.
- Unique TATE mode for vertical gaming.
- Extensive library from various game publishers through the cartridge system.
- High-resolution IPS screen offering improved viewing angles and quality.
- Built-in WiFi making updates quick and easy.
- The fact that Capcom games are exclusive might be limiting for some users.
- Battery life may not be sufficient for marathon gaming sessions compared to other devices with more robust batteries. ( 4-5 hours )
Evercade EXP Final Thoughts
Suppose you want to enjoy old-school classics without fumbling about searching or downloading ROMs. In that case, the Evercade EXP unquestionably earns its badge as one of the best handheld game consoles. Owning this machine is like owning a slice of history — ready for exploration at any time!
6th: Powkiddy V90
|CPU:||AllWinner F1C100sARM9 @700MHz|
|Battery Life:||2-4 hours|
|Storage Capacity:||16GB (expandable up to 128GB)|
|Operating System:||Linux (NxHope OS)|
Pocket-sized Unlimited Fun
Ready to step into a realm of timeless, pulsating gaming action? Let’s turn your focus towards the Powkiddy V90, the pint-sized giant among handheld emulator consoles.
This device comes loaded with over 1500 pre-selected classic games supporting dozens of emulators. From invigorating action sequences to mind-bending adventures to speedy races, there’s plenty of excitement waiting for you.
Arguably one of the best features of this handheld retro game console is its clamshell form factor and ultra-compact size—making it ideal for taking on your travels or simply slipping into your pocket for seamless on-the-go fun.
The V90 prides itself in its equipped customized simple system that promises higher stability and an effective running speed—making it one of the best portable gaming systems out there.
This nifty little device has much to offer concerning display quality, featuring a clear, bright 3.0-inch display with a resolution of 320×240 that vividly presents each radiant detail and stunning scenario in your games.
Battery life is another feather in its cap—the Powkiddy V90 hosts an upgraded 1020mAh Li-po battery that can immerse you in playing for up to three or four hours on a single charge!
- Massive library preloaded with more than 1500 games
- Ultra-portable design enabling smooth on-the-go experience.
- Customized system promising better stability and running speed
- Clear, bright screen bringing out details with clarity
- Long battery life ensuring extended gameplay sessions
- The limited screen size may make reading more minor texts challenging
- Battery endurance time might be shorter compared to other devices offering longer playback times
Powkiddy V90 Final Thoughts
The Powkiddy V90 With an extensive library, accessible design, decent battery life, and a high-resolution monitor— doesn’t hold back when delivering a great portable gaming experience. These features and its affordability make it shine brightly as one of the best-handled gaming systems available today.
5th: Miyoo Mini V2
|CPU:||Dual core @1.2GHz|
|Battery Life:||Up to 5 hours|
|Storage Capacity:||32GB + Micro-SD Card|
Sophisticated Simplicity in Your Hands
Introducing the Miyoo Mini V2, a solid handheld game console that harmoniously blends nostalgia and advanced tech. This compact device, bearing a striking resemblance to the beloved Gameboy design, is more than meets the eye with its feature-rich offerings.
Equipped with a preloaded library boasting over 11,000 classic games, the Miyoo Mini V2 spoils you for choice. Its compatibility with an array of emulators such as DC/PS/CPS1/CPS2/CPS3/FBA/WSC, along with its support for mainstream game downloads, provides a banquet of delights for gaming enthusiasts.
Powering the Miyoo Mini V2 is a high-performance Cortex-A7 processor, facilitating smooth gameplay across various titles. Its Achilles’ heel, however, lies in the relatively small 2000mAh Li-polymer battery. Although durable and capable of supporting extended gaming sessions, it might not meet the expectations of gamers who prefer marathon play without frequent charging interruptions.
Featuring a 2.8-inch IPS screen with a 640×480 resolution, the Miyoo Mini V2 enhances your gaming experience with vivid and detailed visuals.
- A mammoth collection of preloaded classic games
- High-performance cortex-A7 processor enables efficient gameplay
- Clear, Bright Screen, which adds tonal richness to visuals
- Premium price range might deter some budget-conscious players
- Lack of touchscreen may feel backward against modern devices
- Battery life is only at the lower end of our contenders.
Miyoo Mini V2 Final Thoughts
Bringing together elements of old-school charm with technically advanced features wrapped in visually gratifying Gameboy colors–the Miyoo Mini V2 undeniably stands as the reigning champion among the best retro handheld consoles! It packs robust performance, impressive visuals, and considerable versatility in customization, making it worth every penny!
4th: Anbernic RG35XX
|CPU:||Quad-core @up to 1.6GHz|
|Battery Life:||6 hours|
|Storage Capacity:||64GB + Micro-SD Card|
A Gamer’s Companion
Let’s take a moment to appreciate the brilliance of the next handheld emulator, the Anbernic RG35XX. This device promises a gateway into a world where gaming transcends boundaries and opens up limitless realms of excitement.
The RG35XX offers a rich collection of over 5000 classic and retro games supporting more than 15 types of emulators — engulfing users in an all-encompassing adventure across different gaming platforms from Sega to Nintendo and beyond.
One key feature setting this handheld game system apart is its unique and straightforward OS interface that ensures you spend less time navigating through settings and more time immersing yourself in gameplay, starting your journey right at your fingertips.
Despite its many appealing features, the battery life of this retro handheld console might be considered a downside for some gamers. Equipped with an upgraded 2600mAh Li-po battery, it offers two to four hours of continuous gameplay. While this may be sufficient for casual gamers, those seeking long gaming marathons may find this duration limiting and necessitating frequent recharges.
The dedicated, bright IPS screen captures all the graphical glory of your games – presenting them in rich detail on a 3.5-inch display with a resolution of 640×480.
- Massive pre-installed game library for diverse gaming
- High-density IPS screen guarantees vivid visuals
- Portable design provides convenience for travel or commuting
- Battery endurance may not satisfy hardcore players needing multiple hours playtime
- Some users might prefer touchscreens over traditional buttons
Anbernic RG35XX Final Thoughts
While the Anbernic RG35XX might not be crowned as the best handheld game console, it undeniably holds firm ground in the niche with its dedication to creating an engaging, immersive user experience — from offering an expansive game library to ensuring quality visuals! The RG35XX is ideal for exploring old-school classics or want a quick, satisfying game fix!
3rd: Powkiddy RGB20S
|Battery Life:||5+ hours|
|Storage Capacity:||16GB + Micro-SD Card|
The Power-packed Performer
Our journey through the world of retro handheld emulators brings us to the Powkiddy RGB20S. With an edgy retro 3D joystick and a high-definition 3.5-inch IPS screen, the RGB20S makes a striking first impression.
Beyond its remarkable appearance, this handheld emulator proves why it is amongst the best handheld game systems—thanks to its heart, an RK3326 1.5GHz quad-core CPU designed to tackle game frame drops and ensure smoother gameplay. What more can one ask in their portable gaming partner?
The games portfolio with this device is indeed something to marvel at—it comes built-in with a memory of up to 128GB and preloaded with over 15k classic games that promise unending amusement across various formats—the sheer volume counting for hours of captivating gaming just on your fingertips.
Sporting up-to-date functionalities, your entertainment options extend beyond gaming as it can double up as a video player, music player, or even an e-book reader! Talk about versatility in one compact shell!
Powkiddy goes all out in ensuring user convenience—even in aspects of battery life. A hefty 3500mAh battery allows for continuous usage for up to eight hours, which is crucial for long gaming sessions!
- Powerful performance with quad-core CPU
- Colossal preloaded game library allows varied gaming
- All-in-one entertainment device going beyond just games
- High-capacity battery guarantees extended uninterrupted gameplay
- Lacks touchscreen functionality seen in some competing models
Powkiddy RGB20S Final Thoughts
Offering stellar performance, eye-catching design, and truckloads of classic games are just some of the several reasons why the Powkiddy RGB20S is considered a strong contender for the best portable gaming system title.
2nd: Anbernic RG353V
|CPU:||Quad-core @up to 1.8GHz|
|Battery Life:||5-6 hours|
|Storage Capacity:||32GB + Micro-SD Card|
Master of All Trades
Shifting the spotlight onto the highly versatile RG353V, one of the best handheld emulator consoles for players seeking more than just a gaming experience.
This dual-system console running on both Linux and Android 11 offers a variety of gaming experiences and multiple entertainment options. Able to shift between systems by the simple press of a key, it transitions into a multi-function device whenever you want!
The RG353V is serious about gameplay. It delivers a smooth experience with its RK3566 quad-core 64-bit Cortex-A55 processor—providing enhanced power performance while maintaining power efficiency.
Its attractive 3.5-inch IPS screen supports multi-touch and is fully fitted with an OCA layer—making game operations easier without depending on buttons.
What makes this model potentially the best handheld game console is its unique moonlight streaming support—it allows you to play your PC games remotely, truly liberating in terms of gaming flexibility.
The RG353V’s Li-polymer battery, with a capacity of 3200mah that promises up to six hours of use—further cement its claim as one of the best retro handheld consoles.
- Dual-system Linux and Android offer diversity in operation
- Enhanced processing capability ensures smooth gameplay
- Multi-touch screen delivers an interactive user experience.
- Unique PC game streaming distinguishes from competitors
- Switching between systems may confuse less tech-savvy users
- Battery life is average compared to competitors with longer run times
RG353V Vs RG353VS: The Untangling
Confused between the RG353V and the RG353VS? While they share similar aesthetics and genomic structures, there’re distinctions worth noting.
Let’s start with similarities. They both support dozens of game emulators, come equipped with stellar 3.5-inch IPS full touch screens, and share the same core RK3566 chipset delivering efficient gameplay.
Diving into differences, it all lies in details within these two handheld gaming systems. The major distinction lies in their software framework — while the RG353V comes packaged with dual Linux and Android 11 systems, enhancing its versatility; The RG353VS brings to you only LINUX – making it more straightforward for users seeking pure simplicity in gaming experience.
Hardware specifications also demonstrate variability — notably RAM where RG353V boasts an impressive LPDDR4 2GB while its counterpart settles with LPDDR4 1GB, only half of the memory compared to its big brother.
|OS||Dual OS: LINUX and Android 11 (built-in front-end)||LINUX OS|
|Games Supported||PSP, DC, SS, PS1, NDS, N64, CPS1, CPS2, CPS3, FBA, NEOGEO, GBA, GBC, GB, SFC, FC, MD, SMS, GG, MSX, PCE, WSC, N-Gage, Indie games, etc.||PSP, DC, SS, PS1, NDS, N64, CPS1, CPS2, CPS3, FBA, NEOGEO, GBA, GBC, GB, SFC, FC, MD, SMS, GG, MSX, PCE, WSC, N-Gage, Indie games, etc.|
|Supports user downloads in relevant formats||Supports user downloads in relevant formats|
|Additional Support||Android games (Honor of Kings, etc.)||N/A|
|RAM||LPDDR4 2GB||LPDDR4 1GB|
|Memory||32GB high-speed eMMC 5.1 + 16GB TF||16GB TF|
Anbernic RG353V Final Thoughts
The RG353V is a great handheld gaming system that offers both impressive functionality and gaming versatility, making it an excellent choice for on-the-go entertainment.
1st: Miyoo Mini Plus+
|Battery Life:||5-6 hours|
|Storage Capacity:||64GB + Micro-SD Card|
The Masterpiece That Rules All
Finally, the moment we’ve all been eagerly awaiting — unveiling the absolute best handheld game console:
Revive the spirit of nostalgia with the latest twist on classic gaming—the Miyoo Mini Plus. This handheld gaming console is perfect for those who taste retro gaming yet desire top-tier performance.
Primed for gaming enthusiasts, the Miyoo Mini Plus comes pre-installed with an impressive library of 11,000+ games. It supports over 25,000 titles, providing endless hours of varied entertainment. This enormous collection of games, coupled with support for multiple emulation platforms and consoles, cements its standing as one of the best retro handheld consoles in the market.
Behind the console’s compact and stylish form factor, an ARM Cortex-A7 dual-core processor running up to 1.2 GHz ensures smooth, lag-free gameplay. It’s a testament to its ability to blend modern performance with a retro gaming experience.
The Miyoo Mini Plus sports a 3.5-inch IPS display with a resolution of 640×480, promising vibrant visuals and all-around visibility. This maximization of the screen-to-body ratio elevates your gaming experience on this top-notch handheld emulator.
- Robust performance from the dual-core ARM processor
- High-resolution IPS screen presents optimal image clarity
- Massive storage capacity allows a sizable onsite game library
- An elegant design blending nostalgia with modern aesthetics
- Basic OS and menus can feel slightly primitive (upgradeable though)
- Limited screen size compared to some other handheld consoles
Miyoo Mini Plus Final Thoughts
With its brilliant pairing of old-school charm with powerful modern specs—the Miyoo Mini Plus embodies how far handheld gaming has progressed while keeping nostalgia alive! Captivating visuals and impressive ease of use make this one tough competitor among handheld gaming systems available today!
Price: $79.99 (Overall Winner)
As we reach the conclusion of our handheld console exposition, there are few titles that genuinely stood out and soared above the rest in their respective niches. These impressive devices not only showcase sophisticated technology advancements but also meet versatile gaming trends that suit gamers across generations.
👑 Best Overall – Miyoo Mini Plus
When it comes to an all-inclusive package deal, the undeniable winning choice is the Miyoo Mini Plus. This console harmoniously blends a giant assortment of preloaded games with cutting-edge hardware excellence encased in a nostalgic Gameboy design. The high-quality visuals paired with quiet efficiency make it a worthy overall winner.
💸 Best Cost Benefit – Powkiddy V90
For those seeking satisfactory gaming within a budget, Powkiddy V90 doesn’t disappoint! Its vast game selection compliments brilliantly with its compact design while delivering exceptional performance making it our ‘Best Cost-Benefit’ victor.
🦎 Most Versatile – Anbernic RG353V
Taking home the crown for most adaptable, we have the RG353V – standing as a champion owing to its unique dual Linux and Android system, multimedia network play support and extensive game compatibility. It certainly goes beyond just gaming!
Each handheld console highlighted offers unique features tailored to different individual preferences—making choosing between them not an easy task! Ultimately though, selecting ‘the best’ comes down to what best fits your specific needs—from resolution quality or battery life to game library diversity or portability—each factor can shape your ultimate choice differently.
We hope this comprehensive review aids you in finding out which handheld emulator perfectly matches your gaming style! Happy Gaming!