The ANBERNIC RG405V is like playing with Barney’s big toe, it looks disgusting, it looks uncomfortable and it’s abnormally large… but you kinda like it because you’re weird like that.
What makes the RG405V some what unique, is that it’s trying to cram a large 4″ screen into a vertical format, something which isn’t done often… and that’s for good reason.
They successfully used a 4″ screen on their RG405M which is horizontal, and it’s one of my favourite retro handhelds of the year, but you can immediately see the struggle here when you hold this device, it’s absolutely massive.
If it had wheels, it could be used as a skateboard.
But, when you actually hold it… it’s pretty comfortable.
The size gives you more grip, the screen makes Gamecube and PS2 game text readable, and the analogue sticks are situated perfectly unlike smaller vertical handhelds which cram them on the face with little thought.
The big questions is, is it worth $137.99?
Table of Contents
ANBERNIC RG405 Specifications
- 2.0GHz Unisoc T618 Octa-core CPU
- Mali-G52 GPU
- 4GB RAM
- 4″ IPS Touch Screen Display (640×480)
- 5500MAH Battery
- 128GB Storage
- Android 12
The Setup Process
ANBERNIC’s setup process isn’t as silky smooth as GoRetroid’s nor does it come with any kind of launcher which is disappointing.
However it does come with Android 12 pre-loaded, alongside the required emulator applications such as RetroArch, Dolphin, Redream, AetherSX2 and so on.
Some of these are even paid applications… which I am certain is illegal to do when you’re selling Android based products. If this is the case ANBERNIC should be embarrassed.
So in a sense it’s “ready to go”, but it does look a little plai nif you’re using it without the “RGLauncher”. This can be found by swiping down on the screen, and then pressing the “GAME MODE” shortcut.
This will show a very basic launcher that will show your games consoles and ROM’s.
It’s better than nothing I guess!
Build Quality & Design
The RG405V is a wide device, with a curved front shell, and aggressive sharp plastic grips on the back with no rubber texture (which would have been nice).
Becaue of its size, i’ll admit it’s very comfortable and all of the buttons are located naturally, even the shoulder buttons are somewhat comfortable, but I would have liked to see flared variants, with analogue technology like the Retroid Pocket 2S.
I say this because the device itself isn’t pocketable, it’s too big for that unless you’re rocking jeans from the 80’s, so they don’t need to focus on slim-lined shoulder buttons, they should have gone “all out” with big, nostalgic shoulder buttons.
I should also mention that the shoulder buttons are quite sensitive and sit very close to the contacts, so I found myself mis-pressing them more often than I would like, especially when playing aggressive, fast paced button mashing games.
Back to the face, the analogue sticks are hall-joysticks which is a great new addition, and quickly become the normal in handhelds over $100.
The DPAD used is the signature ANBERNIC DPAD, and one of the best in the space, I am happy that they know this and are using it across the board.
Next to that is a large home button, great for getting to settings or out to your main menu quickly and relaibly.
The action buttons are high gloss, and are not my favourite as you may know from all of my other written reviews, but they do the job and add a bit of colour to the device, they have a lot of travel to them, which I dig.
On the chin you’ll find large start/select buttons and a headphone jack at the bottom of the device.
Around the sides you’ll find your on/off button, volume buttons, a reset button, a Micro SD card slot and a USB-C port.
On the back you can see the large grips in action, and my hands fit perfectly around them with no issues at all. Above that you’ll find your fan, which you will hear when playing your power intensive retro games, but its not distracting at all.
I have lost count of how many handhelds I have reviewed that use the T618 Chipset, it’s becoming a very popular and affordable piece to use, and has a very obvious cut off when it comes to emulation.
The RG405V can emulate a wide range of retro consoles including Gamecube, Dreamcast, PSP, Gameboy, Nintendo 64 and a handful of PS2 games.
But, just a handful, many of your best PS2 games won’t work well on here, and those that do are typically the smaller PS2 games that require little power and needs a lot of tweaking within the settings to get it running well.
So although it can run some PS2 games, it’s not the handheld i recommend for PS2 emulation, this works best up to PSP, Dreamcast and Gamecube games.
On the 4″ screen PSP games and Gamecube games work well, and text is readable if at times small, but 100% enjoyable.
Everything below that including Gameboy, N64, SNES, Playstation 1 and more work really well on here and for a long period of time thanks to the massive 5500MAH Battery.
The battery life is one of the most impressive features, because of its size it has more space for a battery, so ANBERNIC has used this to their advantage making this handheld last up to 8 hours on a full charge, impressive!
The internal fan can be turned on/off by swiping down on the screen, but when it’s on and you do any kind of light movement, the fan will make a weird noise, sounding like a wasp flying around your heard, it’s quite annoying.
On previous ANBERNIC handhelds, I have had a poor experience with game streaming, some buttons just don’t work, but i can confirm the RG405V does work with Xbox Game Pass should you want to stream some of your AAA games.
However, it’s not the most fluid experience due to the 4″ screen and text being incredibly small, but hey, see it as a bonus!
This is a handheld you either love or hate.
I’ll admit it’s hard to make 4″ vertical handhelds look and feel right, but ANBERNIC gave it a bloody good go.
The T618 chip is a reliable CPU, but it’s not game changing, and we’ve seen it so many times over the last two years, making it feel like it’s just another T618 handheld with little innovation.
In the hand it’s incredibly comfortable, the screen is bright enough to play outside, and all of the buttons are of high quality… apart from the shoulder buttons which are just too dang sensitive.
The device isn’t bad, nor is the price range, but I just can’t get excited about it. The only great feature about this device is the long battery life and ergonomics, everything else is just okay.
Just okay handhelds won’t survive in market filled with lots of choice, better build quality and more portability.
I recommend buying the RG405M over this any day.
This article may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to purchase an item we may earn a commission.
A 31 year old British fella that’s had a Gameboy ever since he was a child. Brandon is the founder of RetroDodo and has created a YouTube channel with 260,000 subscribers dedicated to retro gaming products. He now wants to create the No.1 site to showcase the latest retro products from around the globe.