The Anbernic RG351V is one of our favorite retro handhelds. At Geekuying you can get the RG351V with a 16GB SD card for €77.12 with the 23MAY1 voucher.
Voucher: 23MAY1 / Highlights of the Anbernic RG351V:
- Gameboy format
- N64 support
With the Anbernic RG351V we have here the I-don’t-know-how-many version of the manufacturer’s RG351 series. Unlike the other consoles, the RG351V is held in portrait format and is more reminiscent of the classic Gameboy. We’ve given the retro console a try, mostly love it, but have a few criticisms.
Anbernic RG351V Review, Specs, Price & Gameboy format
- Anbernic RG351V (black, 16GB)
- at Geekbuying for €77.12 (Coupon: 23MAY1 )
- Anbernic RG351V (black, 64GB)
- Anbernic RG351V (black, 128GB)
- at Geekbuying for €113.41 (Coupon: 23MAY1 )
- Design, slots and buttons – (almost) everything where it belongs
Let’s go straight to the design. It is well known that first impressions count for a lot. Just because the RG351V somehow looks like a Gameboy, I just like it. Of course it’s a matter of taste, but it triggers completely different memories for me than the wide consoles in PSP/GBA format.
Where the slot for the games is on the Gamboy, there are shoulder buttons here. Strictly speaking, they don’t deserve the name, as they sit “behind” the console instead of above, but they are basically easy to reach and a useful addition, since otherwise something would simply be missing for many games.
On the front there are the usual buttons A/B/X/Y, Start/Select and a directional pad. There is also a stick and a system button. There is a volume rocker on the left, the power and reset buttons and two SD card slots on the right. The latter are both occupied, the console comes with two cards full of ROMs. But more on that in a moment. There is also a headphone jack and two USB-C slots on the underside.
As in other 351 models, the RG351V uses a RK3326 quad core processor with 1.5 GHz, which is supported by a Mali-G31 MP2 GPU. There is also 1 GB of DDR3 RAM. There is no built-in storage, but as mentioned, two slots for SD cards up to 256 GB – more than enough space.
As soon as you switch on the console, the 3.5-inch IPS screen with a resolution of 640x480p is also convincing. This offers good color representation and, in my opinion, also very good brightness, which is only insufficient in sunlight.
The 3,900 mAh battery should last up to 6 hours. With more demanding games, the console gets very warm, especially in the upper area.
Did I just say that the shoulder buttons are easy to reach? That may be true, but the arrangement takes a lot of getting used to, since the keys are next to each other (not one behind the other). The inner of the two is a bit higher, but it still feels weird to have to press it with your fingertip over the outer button. By the way, there are no analog buttons that can be pressed with different strengths – but it doesn’t matter, it didn’t exist in the N64/PS1 days anyway.
A second point of criticism is the positioning of the analog stick. The fact that you do without the second stick in favor of the design is a gift. The left stick is just too low now. While the directional pad is easy to reach, I find it a little awkward to reach the left shoulder buttons and stick at the same time. This isn’t exactly optimal, especially for three-dimensional games.
N64 C-Keys – A problem
And there is another problem, especially with N64 games: The fact that there are only 4 buttons on the right side of the console inevitably causes problems, since the N64 controller has 6 buttons here. You can place the C keys on the control pad ( all keys can be freely reassigned ), but then you have to reach over to the left with your thumb. This works and I was able to play OoT through the first dungeon as a test without any problems, but it’s just not ideal.
Grade 2 for the controls
None of these points is a deal breaker for me, especially since the keys all work very well and have pleasant pressure points. Overall, the controls are easy to use, and the problems described above don’t play a role in older titles whose consoles didn’t have that many buttons.
First of all, the info first: Yes, the games are pirate copies in most cases. However, creating ROMs of games that you own is allowed, which is why emulators are not strictly illegal. To be honest, it always amazes me that SD cards full of illegal ROMs are sent together with the consoles, when you can easily find the ROMs you want yourself. “Comes with 5000 awesome games” probably just sounds better to most sellers than “get your own ROMs”.
As a rule, this is not pursued, most games have long since ceased to be sold and the rights holders no longer have a financial interest. Only Nintendo is a bit out of line, after all, they still want to sell the 25-year-old title for €5 in the e-shop. Or double the price of the monthly subscription so I’ll spend money on Ocarina of Time for the fifth time after the original release, Master Quest, Gamecube Zelda Collector’s Edition and the 3DS version.
However, the operators of the websites that offer ROMs are more likely to be targeted; I am not aware of any case where the buyer of such a console would have been prosecuted.
Here again a lot is pre-installed, the existing emulators are numerous. PSP, PS1, NDS, N64, DC, OpenBor, CPS1, CPS2, FBA, NEOGEO, NEOGEOPOCKET, GBA, GBC, GB, SFC, FC, MD, SMS, GG, MSX, PCE, WSC – impressive list. As always, you don’t need or want most of the games.
There are also some titles in Japanese or Chinese, so it is best to use your own ROMs. The hardware sometimes has problems with some titles of the N64/PS1 generation and DS or PSP games, while others run without problems. I had no problems with any of the older games in the test.
For me, the RG 351V is the best retro handheld under $100 to date. In terms of hardware, it is on par with the manufacturer’s other models, but I simply like the shape of the console better here. I’m particularly pleased with the N64 support, which also works well for most titles. A little more power would still be desirable so that the games of this generation run better, and in my opinion it simply needs a different key layout.