20 Best Retro Handhelds Of 2024 [All Reviewed]

best retro handhelds

The retro handheld gaming market is growing at an incredible rate, thanks to emulation making it easier to access high quality retro gaming on the go and the cost increase for retro hardware forces gamers to look elsewhere.

So, I have put together a list showing off my favourite retro consoles that I have reviewed over the last 5+ years since starting Retro Dodo. In my career it is likely that I have reviewed over 250+ handhelds, but these are the fine few that I recommend checking out.

The handhelds I am showcasing on this list are pure emulation devices that use Linux and/or Android as their operating system with emulation software often pre-installed onto the hardware. These devices require the ROM files of retro games to work, so you will not find any “official consoles” on this list from the likes of Nintendo, Sony, SEGA or Microsoft.

Why are people interested in the best retro handhelds? Well, it’s simple. Retro gaming enthusiasts want more old games in their pocket, and they don’t want the hassle of having to buy them at inflated prices.

After all, who wants to take extra cartridges around with them or wait 20 minutes in a coffee shop for games to download?

I have purchased numerous copies of Pokemon Red, so why should I buy it again? You may even still have the cartridge but don’t want to carry around your giant Gameboy DMG everywhere with you to play it! So here is the ultimate list showcasing my personal, favourite retro handhelds so that you can get your dosage of nostalgia whenever and wherever you please.

Under $100
Retroid Pocket 2S

One of the best affordable Android handhelds on the market, and it starts at just $99, making it perfect for newcomers to the scene.

Only $65

The best affordable handheld on the market. It’s pocket friendly, rocks a 3.5″ screen, good battery life and a very basic, but easy to understand user interface.

PS2 Emulation
Retroid Pocket 4 Pro

If money is no object and you’re after a handheld that can emulate Playstation 2 games, fit in your pocket and runs on Android, this is the one to go for.

I have reviewed every single handheld on this list, putting it through our vigorous testing procedures to give you honest, and unbiased professional opinions that you can trust.

1. Retroid Pocket 2S

  • Incredibly Affordable
  • Android 11 OS
  • Very Easy To Setup
  • N64 & Dreamcast Emulation
  • Does Not Come Pre-Loaded
  • Screen Bezels Too Big
  • Long Shipping Times (2 Weeks+)
  • DPAD & Stick Layout

The Retroid Pocket 2S felt like it came out of nowhere, and although I was underwhelmed when they revealed it, due to the lack of physical changes it has quickly impressed me after unboxing it.

This device looks nearly identical to its older brother, the Retroid Pocket 2, but has a wide range of upgrades that takes it to a whole other level. Firstly, it now has upgraded specs, with enough power to emulate up to and including Gamecube games, PSP games and Dreamcast games incredibly well.

The DPAD has been changed to a PS Vita like design which is very welcome, the analogue sticks are now hall joysticks making them feel far more premium, the action buttons have more travel to them, and so do the new shoulder buttons on the back.

At just $99, this is one of the best retro handhelds under $100. We finally have true “budget” Gamecube emulation, all crammed into a 3.5″ screen, great battery life and all situated in Android 11 with the easiest setup process we have experienced on a handheld emulator.

Before you ask, yes, you can in fact install your favourite Android games too, but don’t expect it to run Xbox Game Pass or other streaming applications, because the screen is just too small for that kind of stuff. We’re very impressed with this device, and you can even upgrade from 3GB of RAM to 4GB for an extra $20 which I also recommend. This is a superb handheld from GoRetroid.

2. Retroid Pocket 4 Pro

retroid pocket 4 pro
  • Great Gamecube & Playstation 2 Emulation
  • Comfortable For Long Periods Of Play
  • Easy To Setup Thanks To Custom OS
  • Screen Ratio Adds Borders To Most Games
  • Screen Size Makes Text Small On Newer Consoles

The Retroid Pocket 4 Pro is an incredible handheld that launched at the start of 2024, with the ability to emulate Playstation 2 games impressively well within a portable form factor. Retroid have smashed it this year with their releases, but this is their flagship device, and it means business.

If you’re new to GoRetroid products, then you’ll be glad to know they are one of the easiest retro handhelds to setup, thanks to the custom built setup process using Android which installs the emulators for you and has a launcher ready to go that looks just like a Nintendo Switch.

There is a normal Pocket 4 version which comes in $50 cheaper, but the Pro version is certainly worth the upgrade, featuring a MediaTek Dimensity 1100 CPU, a Mali G77 GPU, 8GB’s of RAM, a 4.7″ touch screen display and 4000MAH’s of battery.

That’s a lot of power for $199, and using that power with hall joysticks, analogue shoulder buttons and nice bouncy buttons makes for a pleasurable experience.

Because of its size too, it’s the perfect travel companion if you want to play your more power hungry retro consoles as easily as possible. Because of its small size you do sacrifice battery life a little, with only 3.5 hours of battery life when playing PS2 games.

However, that can be pushed closer to 6 if you’re playing on Gameboy, Mega Drive, NES and other less intense games. The only negatives I had with this handheld in my review was that the screen could have been better, especially when you compare it with the RG556’s AMOLED screen which is also cheaper and also has smaller bezels.

That said, it’s one of the best sub $200 retro handhelds on the market right now, and I use mine every single week thanks to its portability and intuitive user experience.

3. AYN Odin 2

ayn odin 2 handheld games console
  • Incredible PS2, PSP & Gamecube Emulation
  • Large & Beautiful Display
  • Comfortable Ergonomics
  • Android/Cloud Gaming
  • Expensive After Shipping & Import Fees
  • Slightly Overkill For Retro Games

If you don’t have a budget and want a retro handheld that can play almost any old console you can think of, then the AYN Odin 2 is one to take a look at, because it’s close to flawless even if it costs $299 – $459… before import fees.

I have the Odin 2 Pro, the mid range version that costs $369, closer to $450 if you add on the import fees, which is an incredibly high price and i’ll admit, it’s not one I would have purchased personally if it wasn’t for the fact I test handhelds for a living.

That said, it’s a superb device and AYN are one of those companies that deserve far more attention as they’ve been making great devices for years, one being the original AYN Odin which I also love and have reviewed.

It’s a large device compared to others on this list, but far smaller when compared to the Steam Deck. It features a beautiful 6″ 1080p IPS LCD display, a Qualcomm Kyro CPU, an Adreno 740 CPU, up to 16GB RAM, up to 516GB storage, 8000MAH battery, bluetooth, WiFi, LED lights and the whole shebang!

ayn odin 2 purple LED

It runs on Android 13 too which makes it one of my favourite Android handhelds on the block, this makes it easy to install Android emulators, games, cloud streaming, entertainment apps and more, turning it into a beastly entertainment machine.

Where it shines though is in emulation, PS2 works at silky frame rates, Gamecube emulation is flawless, PSP looks remarkable thanks to the 16:9 display, Dreamcast is a breeze and if you manage to find a Nintendo Switch emulator that works, that can be emulated too.

Because of its large processing power it can do most things that the Android OS can throw at it. I often find myself playing my favourite PS2 games and then jumping into Xbox Cloud Gaming to play my AAA games. I also have a few Android games liek Diablo that I enjoy playing too which can be accessed by the swipe of my finger.

With that ease thanks to the OS, matched with the incredible power and the impressive build quality there’s no wonder those who can afford to buy one, fall in love with it.

Even when you look a little deeper you’ll find hall joysticks, analogue triggers, loud speakers, efficient cooling systems and even finger print recognition to add that premium touch. I love it and the only negative I have is that I wish it was a little cheaper because of the heavy import fee’s I occurred.


anbernic rg35xxsp
  • Clamshell/GBA SP Design
  • Incredibly Affordable
  • Good PSP & Dreamcast Emulation
  • Average User Experience
  • Sometimes Screen Doesn’t Sleep When Shut

ANBERNIC launched the RG35XXSP in May 2024, many confusing it with a classic Game Boy Advance SP, and although it’s nearly identical, it is superior in many ways thanks to the power of emulation… and the fact it’s only $65.

The RG35XXSP features a Allwinner H700 1.5Ghz CPU, a Mali-G31 GPU, 1GB’s of RAM, a 3.5″ IPS Display (640 x 480), 3300MAH’s of battery, WiFi and Bluetooth, allowing you to hook this up to a display and sync a wireless controller to it, to turn it into a portable games console.

The build quality is impressive for such an affordable device, I was concerned about he quality of the hinge but in fact they’ve created one that is strong, sturdy and can be pushed back at 180 degrees giving the user many different viewing angles.

The 4:3 screen ratio makes it great for playing many of your retro games up to and including N64 and Dreamcast games thanks to the strong specs. Smaller consoles work flawlessly and the RetroArch emulator will even automatically add visually pleasing bezels around the screen to make it look like you’re playing on real hardware.

The only negatives I have with this is that the OS is a little bland. There is an area of the device called “games room” where emulation really struggles, but if you bypass that and play your games through RetroArch it feels like a completely new device with most games running flawlessly.

Most of the buttons feel just like the GBA SP, although the L2/R2 buttons do require a pretty heavy press for them to be read. Apart from that it’s an all-round incredible device thats pocket friendly, powerful enough to play most of your retro games and incredibly affordable, making it one of the best retro gaming gifts you can buy for handheld enuthusiasts.

ANBERNIC beat many of their competitors to the clamshell market, but I believe this will spark a trend and other companies will want a piece of the pie, although this will be a hard handheld to beat, that’s for sure.

5. Miyoo Mini

miyoo mini
  • Very Pocket Friendly
  • Great GBA/NES/SNES/Wonderswan Emulation
  • Cute & Memorable Design
  • Good Build Quality
  • Hard To Get Hold Of
  • Easy To Lose
  • Stock Firmware Is Poor

Miyoo Mini is a new mini handheld that was released towards the tail end of 2021, and we managed to receive ours in January 2022.

As soon as we pulled the handheld out of the box it felt as if it was meant to be in our best retro handhelds list. The small nature of it, alongside the subtle Gameboy DMG features makes it feel like a genuine Nintendo Gameboy Mini.

The Miyoo Mini features a 1.2GHZ CPU, 128MB RAM, a 2.8″ IPS display (640 x 480) and 1900mah’s of battery. On paper this is nothing special, but its a modern chip inside which allows this little thing to emulate Playstation games fairly well!

On the back it features four mini flared shoulder buttons that work well, and the screen is incredibly crispy due to the high resolution, but do take into consideration that the screen has a hazy look to it, but doesn’t really affect gameplay at all.

The firmware is a little basic but it’s incredibly easy to use, so easy in fact that we are certain you could give this to a kid and they would understand how to quickly get into games and tweak settings on the fly.

Overall it’s one of the best mini handhelds on our list, it packs a punch, looks like a mini Gameboy and is built to last. It’s one of Miyoo’s first branded handhelds, which could make them a brand to keep an eye on in the future, for example the rumoured Miyoo P60 that they may launch this year.

Update: As of March 2022 they have released a “Plus” version called the Miyoo Mini Plus, which features the same specs, but has a bigger screen, a bigger battery and more comfortable shoulder buttons.

The Miyoo Mini was originally top of our list, but throughout 2023 and 2024 it has been close to impossible to buy them, due to manufacturing issues, scalpers and the release of their “Plus” version of the device.

6. Steam Deck OLED

steam deck emulation
  • Easy To Understand User Interface
  • Access To A Massive Library of Games
  • Competitively Priced
  • Plenty Of Buttons Which Can Be Mapped
  • Battery Life
  • Not The Most Visually Pleasing Device
  • Not Very Portable

Although many would deem the Steam Deck one of the best portable gaming PC’s, i can’t not feature it in this article because it’s simply the best retro handheld emulator… period.

The sheer power this device has for just $599 is like nothing on the market, it outperforms $1000 gaming PC handhelds, and because it has a community of millions willing to help those interested in using it for emulation, it again opens it up to a much broader audience.

Steam offers frequent updates, ships products instantly, have a massive customer service team and the product is close to flawless, even if it feels like you’re playing with King Kong’s big toe.

steam deck g cloud

Yes it’s big, and the battery life… pretty terrible, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun emulating your retro games. It’s as easy as installing EmuDeck and adding your ROMs. 

Once that’s done you can emulate a wide number of retro consoles including Dreamcast, Gamecube and most PS2 games, making it an all round gaming behemoth when you combine it with your Steam Library. And that’s where the magic lies. It’s an all round flawless gaming machine. It can play the latest AAA games and your harder to emulate retro consoles from the past in a semi-portable form factor.

It’s the device that will last for years to come and one many flock to for ease of use thanks to the never ending plethora of guides and community content. If you want a handheld that can do everything the Steam Deck is the one to go to, just take into consideration the size, weight and battery life as that’s its only current limitation.


anbernic rg556
  • Beautiful OLED Display
  • Comfortable Ergonomics
  • Gamecube & PS2 Emulation
  • LED Joysticks
  • Poor OS & UX
  • Cumbersome To Setup
  • Slippery Plastic Shell

ANBERNIC’s RG556 is a direct competitor to the Retroid Pocket 4 Pro, and although this is ranked lower than it, it does have some advantages. Firstly, this is a $185 device (or was at the time of reviewing) and features a Unisoc T820 CPU, 8GB RAM, a 5.4″ AMOLED display, and 5000MAH’s of battery.

For a $185, that is some impressive specs, and proves that this industry is moving forward with performance, yet becoming more and more affordable thanks to competition.

Where this beats the Retroid Pocket 4 Pro is in the display, this is the first time we’ve seen a AMOLED display in a sub $200, there’s no denying it’s beautiful, and it has better battery life too which comes in handhy when emulating Gamecube and PS2 Games.

That’s where it performs best, some Gamecube and PS2 games can even play in x2 native resolution which is great, and partnering that with the comfortable ergonomics, LED analogue sticks and Android OS, it’s a brilliant handheld.

There are areas that need work… and I mean a lot of work, for example the user experience is fairly unpleasant due to the terrible front end launcher made by ANBERNIC. They also have a tendency to make setup and quick settings awkward to find, or completely hidden as mentioned in our video review.

Which is disappointing because ANBERNIC have a superb handheld here, yet they’ve decided to cut corners and leave it up to the community to fix, which is why its not in our top 5. If you like AMOLED screens, comfortable ergonomic and good power this is a handheld to look at, even if it has a annoying user experience.


  • Lovely Modern Display
  • Very Affordable
  • Pocket Friendly
  • Build Quality/Design
  • No WiFi or Bluetooth
  • Better Alternatives By ANBERNIC
  • Terrible Operating System
  • Uncomfortable Shoulder Buttons
  • Released: Late 2023
  • Price: $63.99
  • Available At: ANBERNIC.com and Amazon
  • Our Review: RG35XX Plus Review

The ANBERNIC RG35XX Plus was released in December 2023, and is the newer, more powerful version of the original RG35XX launched in early 2023.

It can emulate more, has 4x more RAM, more battery life and improved shoulder buttons, all for the same tiny price of $65, making it one of the most affordable handhelds on this list.

In terms of design, it takes lots of visual features from the original Game Boy DMG, from the color of the shell, to the button, to the speaker grill and placement of start/select. All compacted into a pocket friendly device that fits in the palm of your hand.

Performance wise, the RG35XX Plus can emulate up to an including Dreamcast games, Nintendo DS, PS1, a little bit of PSP, Game Boy Advance, Mega Drive and more… all for $65. That’s pretty impressive. The 3.5″ IPS display has the perfect resolution 640 x 480 too, making it pixel perfect for many retro games, although PSP is cropped so we advise looking at something bigger if you want great PSP quality.

Overall, it’s a superb affordable handheld for newcomers and enthusiasts in the scene. Only ANBERNIC could have created something so competitive, and in my opinion it’s ANBERNIC’s best handheld of the year. It’s phenomenal.

The only negative is that the OS is incredibly basic, which can be fixed if you install Garlic OS, but ANBERNIC should be doing better here and the battery drains a little quicker than I would like in sleep mode, but these are two very minor cons.

9. Analogue Pocket

pokemon pinball
  • Superb Build Quality
  • Access To Emulator Cores
  • High Resolution Screen
  • Minimal Operating System
  • High Price Tag
  • Always Out Of Stock & Sells Out Fast
  • Analogue's Launch Ethics

The Analogue Pocket has to be 2021’s most anticipated handheld, even beating the OLED Switch. This is quite literally the modern day Gameboy with a twist. Analogue are renowned for creating high end products such as the Super Nt, but this time they’re moving into the handheld scene using FPGA technology, not emulation.

FPGA is simply a technology that tries to be as identical as possible to the original hardware, that’s its only purpose, making the gameplay flawless unlike traditional emulation that may have problems.

The build quality is superb, it has 3.5″ LCD display with a PPI of 615, covered in Gorilla glass and some superb buttons that feel responsive and durable to with it.

Inserting old cartridges into a brand new handheld does feel weird at first, but give it some time and it will come naturally. The screen is so stunning and when you dive into the new AnalogueOS you can cruise through the menus and tweak settings on the fly in just a few seconds.

Analogue have really made a superb product, even if they struggled to please customers during the pre-order process, but for $219, in my personal opinion, it’s one of the best retro gaming products of 2021. Yes, it is slightly limited to Gameboy games, but with some of their adapters you can play SEGA Game Gear games, Atari Lynx and Neo Geo games, all from the Analogue Pocket.

10. AYN Odin

ayn odin analogue pocket
  • Lovely Display & Size
  • Android OS Makes It Easy To Setup
  • Gamecube & Nintendo Wii Emulation
  • Screen Bezels Are Big
  • A Newer Version Is Out
  • High Shipping & Import Fees

The original AYN Odin handheld is a device released in early 2022 that was originally launched on Kickstarter and managed to smash its target by being over funded to well over $1,000,000. Thankfully for us we were one of the lucky few to back this project as early as possible meaning we got our hands on it before most.

It’s an Android based handheld with a Snapdragon SD845 processor, with a Ardeno 630 GPU and 7GB’s or RAM, so on paper, it’s a very powerful handheld, and due to the incredible specs it can emulate Gamecube, PSP, Dreamcast and even Playstation 2 games very well.

After testing it for a couple of weeks we were blown away with the sheer performance of the AYN Odin. We didn’t have to tweak any of our settings to get PS2 games running on this thing, a simple press of the “high performance” button and it will happily run it at 40+ FPS.

Because it uses Android 11 the setup was incredibly easy, and this feature helped it to the top of our list because traditionally retro handhelds can be a pain to setup, but not the AYN Odin. Simply login to your Google account, download your favourite emulators from the Play Store, install ROM’s on an external SD Card slot and then you’re ready to rock and roll.

This will handle all of your favourite retro games from Crash Bandicoot on PS2, to Zelda on the Gamecube to your Sega Saturn games. This is an absolute beast, and it’s under $300 which is why it’s number one as the best “mid range” retro handheld out there. This handheld has completely changed up the market and other manufacturers like ANBERNIC, Powkiddy and GoRetroid should be worries.

11. RG405M

  • High Quality Metal Shell
  • Crispy 4:3 Display
  • Good PSP & Nintendo DS Emulation
  • Superb Build Quality
  • Gets Warm After A Few Hours
  • Poor Stock Firmware

The RG405M is a new handheld by ANBERNIC that is basically and evolved version of the popular RG353M which is also on this list. It’s a handheld that uses a metal shell instead of plastic, giving it an incredibly premium feel which ANBERNIC have become famous for over the years.

The RG405M features a a Unisoc T618 2ghz CPU, a MaliG52 GPU, 4GB’s RAM, a 4” IPS display with a resolution of 640 x 480, 4500mah Battery, Wifi and Bluetooth 5.0. All of that, in a portable form factor, that can fit in your pocket. For those wondering what it can emulate, let me fill you in.

The RG405M can emulate a wide number of games consoles, including PSP, Dreamcast, Gameboy, NES, SNES, Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS.

It can also emulate some PS2 and Gamecube games, but not all of them. We tested out God of War and Kingdom Hearts on PS2, and although there was some frame rate drops, it was still a pleasure to play on. But don’t go expecting it to play every single PS2 game, it’s not that powerful.

Combining that power, with an Android operating system, and impeccable build quality it really is one of the best retro handhelds on the market, and it only costs $179.99. I love it, and it’s currently my go to for playing my larger games on the go, I highly recommend it.

12. Retroid Pocket 3+

  • Great Comfortability
  • Lovely Stacked Shoulder Buttons
  • Good PS1 & N64 Emulation
  • Easy To Use & Setup OS (Android)
  • 16:9 Screen Typically Shows Black Borders
  • A Newer Version Is Available

The Retroid Pocket 3+ is a newer, updated and slightly larger version of the older Retroid Pocket 3 that was previously one of our favourite retro handheld of 2021. It’s high on this list for many reasons, but the biggest reason is because of its small $149 price tag and the fact it can emulate most retro games up to and including Gamecube.

This time the GoRetroid team went for more power, and added a Octa-core T618 CPU with 4GB’s of RAM and a stunning 4.7″ touch-screen display.

Those impressive specs matched with the slim, comfortable aesthetic is what makes its on of the best affordable retro handhelds on the market.

Straight out of the box its easy to use, and comes with a simple launcher that installs all of the emulators needed with one simple click, making it an easy product to recommend for those that have never touched a retro handheld before.

Simply add your ROMs and you’re ready to go. It also requires very little tinkering in regards to emulator settings to get things working. This will handle most of your retro games as soon as you get it out of the box, just remember that it’s capped at Gamecube games!

GoRetroid made some unethical marketing decisions when launching this handheld. They launched the original 3 in June/July, and then just two months later revealed a better, newer handheld, leaving older customers in the dust feeling like they have been taken advantage of.

13. PlayDate

  • One Of The Most Unique Handhelds Ever
  • The Crank Is So Much Fun
  • Incredible Battery Life (Lasts Days)
  • Great Indie Games To Explore Monthly
  • Screen Is Impossible To See In The Dark
  • Expensive For What It Does
  • Can Get Uncomfortable After Long Play Times

We have been testing the PlayDate for some time now, and we were lucky enough to be one of the first gaming websites to get their hands on one. It’s one of the most unique handhelds that we have ever tested and it’s the first handheld in the world to use a crank as a part of the gaming experience… that’s right a crank.

It is built for gamers wanting to explore games in different ways, allowing new and old indie games developers to get involved with the release of weekly games on release day of the PlayDate.

It has a lightweight but durable shell and a small super reflective (not backlit) black and white screen that reminds us of the Gameboy DMG era where you try and get the sun or any form of light to reflect off the screen in order to see it.

To some this may feel annoying, but for us it adds to the nostalgic factor of the handheld. The games are where the magic happens, and it’s a new way to discover indie games that you have never heard of. The lineup is great, and each week two new games drop, giving you up to 24 games being download to your PlayDate (via WiFi) after the release day.

We fell in love with lots of the games that the PlayDate has to offer. It’s certainly not a handheld that you can play on for hours on end due to the form factor, and the not so comfortable crank, but it’s one we keep going back to when rendering videos, or between writing articles or even on the short bus ride into town.

This is an awesome handheld, and it’s companies like Panic that keep pushing the handheld industry forward, so for that, they have our upmost respect.

14. Game Kiddy Pixel

game kiddy pixel mini
  • Incredibly Portable
  • Durable High Quality Metal Body
  • PS1 Emulation In Your Pocket
  • Small Battery Life (1300MAH)
  • Expensive Due To Metal Shell
  • More Powerful Devices On The Market For The Same Price

The Game Kiddy Pixel was released at the start of 2024, with a goal of being the best mini retro handheld on the market, and I can confirm it certainly is one of the best. Game Kiddy have made a handful of handhelds in the past, none that are worthy of being featured in this list… until now.

It’s a tiny device, wrapped in a high quality metal shell, with a bright 2.4″ screen, 128MB RAM, 1300 MAH’s of battery and a powerful enough CPU to emulate your favourite PS1 games and below. The Game Kiddy team have designed it perfectly, it’s thick and heavy enough to make it feel like a drop won’t destroy it.

There’s small design features which I like, for example the battery lights look super futuristic, the small bezels make it look modern, and the engraved back gives subtle nods to the old school Game Boy DMG.

It’s not gonna knock your socks off, and nor is the locked user interface, but it does exactly what it’s meant to, with flawless Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, MAME, Wonderswan, Mega Drive and Playstation 1 performance.

For the first time Game Kiddy now have our attention. This Pixel handheld is superb, even if it has low quality speakers, noisy buttons and a little bit of screen bleed. I am in love with mind, and it comes travelling with me on most occasions.

15. Evercade EXP

  • Cartridge Collecting Is Nostalgic
  • Build Quality
  • TATE Mode
  • Bringing Back Physical Media To Trade
  • Needs More Popular Licensed Games
  • Cartridges Can Get Expensive
  • Screen Brightness
  • Clicky/Loud Buttons

The Evercade EXP was launched in late 2022, and I was delighted to see that it has improved greatly since the first Evercade handheld launched in early 2020. This device uses cartridges instead of emulation applications. The Evercade takes a step back to the good old days when you could collect games, trade them with friends, read manuals and blow the dust out of cartridges.

They have a library of over 300 games to discover, from well known developers such as Bandai Namco, Capcom, ATARI, Intellivision and more, allowing you to explore old games in an authentic way without the trouble of feeling naughty when you download ROMs from random websites… not that we do that….

The build quality is great, with a impeccable D-PAD perfect for old school fighters, it even has two action buttons below that so you can play in TATE mode, something which many handhelds can’t do.

evercade exp

Your library of games will be presented in a stunning user interface, with pre-loaded Capcom games available on all Ever EXP’s. The shoulder buttons and the rounded, long aesthetic make the handheld a pleasure to play on for long periods of time, and although there’s not every retro game to choose from because of decline licensing agreements, there’s still many to choose from to keep you occupied.

It’s a great handheld for those wanting a nostalgic touch, and to be able to collect and trade cartridges with friends like the good old days, all while supporting retro developers in an organic and official way. The Evercade team have made an awesome handheld.

16. Funkey S

funkey s
  • Fits On Your Keychain
  • Super Simple Custom Firmware
  • Great Build Quality For Its Size
  • Easy To Use & Good PS1 Emulation
  • Not Cheap For What It Can Do
  • Prone To Being Lost/Damages

The Funkey S was featured in last years best retro handheld video, and again this year, because… quite simply, I love it and I want to see more of these miniature handhelds on the market next year. For those that have never heard of the handheld it’s basically the world’s smallest clamshell handheld, designed by a small team of passionate handheld fans.

At just €65 it makes a great gift or a small treat for yourself this Christmas. You’re probably wondering what it can do, right? Well, to our surprise it can emulate most of your retro games up to and including Playstation 1, allowing you to play Crash Bandicoot on your keychain, something I didn’t think i’d ever say.

The team have even crafted their own operating system, allowing you to get around the menus with ease, save states with the press of a  button and load up your game art to make it easier for you to manage.

It’s certainly not a device you can play on for hours on end, but it’s my go to when I need to wait around at a bus stop, or at a train station for 20 minutes or so. It’s been built with care and quality in mind, so it’s not going to snap when you sneeze while playing and the super bright display helps with viewing the tiny 1.5” display.

More companies like this need to appear and start crafting mini retro handhelds. Companies that have a genuine passion for handhelds, that helps the customer when needed and supplies a great quality product swiftly. It’s an adorable handheld with plenty of colours to choose from, and I am hoping the Funkey Team starts launching different consoles soon. Perhaps a mini Gameboy Advance next? Pretty please?

17. Retroid Pocket Flip

  • Eye-catching Clamshell Design
  • Easy To Setup OS
  • Good DS & Dreamcast Emulation
  • Clamshell Is Flexible & Can Snap
  • Poor Analogue Sliders
  • Large Screen Bezels

The Retroid Pocket Flip is a new clamshell retro handheld designed and sold by GoRetroid (also the company behind the Retroid Pocket 3+). It’s one of the first “affordable” clamshell handheld emulators on the market, and has been a design that many enthusiasts has demanded for some time.

This device can emulate up to and including Gamecube games with a small sprinkle of small PS2 games if you don’t mind messing around with emulation settings. It features a 4.7″ Touchscreen HD display, a T618 CPU, Mali G52 GPU, 4GB of RAM, 5000MAH’s of battery, WiFi and runs on Android 11.

The setup is incredibly simple, and automatically downloads the emulators for you (not the ROM’s) using the Android OS. GoRetroid have even added their own UI/app which puts all of your games into a Nintendo Switch like library making it easy to navigate and organise. Because it’s Anroid based, you can also install your favourite Android games, and even a little bit of game streaming should you be able to get the key bindings working (it can be hit and miss).

Playing Gamecube, PSP, DS and Dreamcast games fluidly on a device like this is a lot of fun, and it’s certainly a great recommendation for those of you that love clamshell designs.

There are some minor issues for example: the analogue sliders aren’t the best, and have terrible R3/L3 feedback. We also had an issue with the sleep mode, it seems to drain a lot of battery over night so we recommend turning it off when not in use. But overall it’s a well made handheld, that’s incredibly comfortable, has a lovely screen and can emulate most of your retro games, but don’t expect many PS2 games to work!

18. Miyoo Mini +

miyoo mini plus
  • Pocket Friendly
  • Easy To Understand OS
  • Good Battery Life
  • Great Build Quality
  • Shoulder Buttons Are Awkward
  • Not As Cute As Smaller Brother

The Miyoo Mini + is a new handheld that release in March 2023, and is the big brother of the original Miyoo Mini which is number one on this list. This device has the same specs as its little brother too, but due to man wanting a larger variant, Miyoo listened and created a device with a slightly larger 3.5″ screen that sticks to the retro 4:3 aspect ratio.

They have even upgraded the shoulder buttons to add extra comfortability as many customers complained about the shoulder buttons last time. It features a dual-core 1.2ghz CPU, 128MB or RAM and a 3000mah battery allowing for up to 6 hours of game time (more like 5 when we tested it).

miyoo mini vs miyoo mini plus

There’s a big issue with this handheld however, and that’s the stock levels. Miyoo have had a terrible history not making enough handhelds, meaning this device and the original Miyoo Mini are continuously out of stock, and when they add na extra 500 units to their online store, scalpers and customers take them within minutes.

Which makes it hard to recommend if our readers can’t actually buy it… But that aside its a great little pocketable handheld that can emulate all of your retro games up to and including Playstation 1.

19. RG351V

  • Great Build Quality
  • Lovely Display
  • Feels Like A Gameboy DMG
  • PS1 & PSP Emulation
  • Awkward Stick Placement
  • Terrible Stock Firmware

The RG351V was released in March of 2021, and is ANBERNIC’s best “vertical” handheld on the market currently. The RG351V has a 3.5″ display that fits most retro games in its native resolution as it has a crisp, detailed 4:3 ratio display which is why many retro gamers absolutely love this device, even if it does look a little plain.

It comes with the RK3326 1.5GHZ Chip, and 1GB RAM meaning it can emulate everything up to N64 very smoothly, and with the large 3900MAH battery you can get a good 5 hours gameplay out of it. What’s even better is that this console comes preloaded out of the box with thousands of games, and has Emulation Station already installed so you don’t have to setup anything.

Everything is ready out of the box, no mapping of keys, no installing firmware. Just pick up and play. It’s incredible and we love playing our rare PS1 games on it with no frame rate drops

20. RG353V

  • Great Build Quality
  • Sub $100 Price Range
  • PS1 – Dreamcast Emulation
  • Annoying Stock Firmware
  • Screen Bezels
  • Average Battery Life

The RG353V was released in September 2022 and uses the same internals as the RG353V except it has a new vertical form factor, more analogue sticks and a better price tag.

It comes in two editions, the “VS” version which is Linux only and comes with 1GB RAM, but the best of the bunch is the original “RG353V” which features Linux/Android OS, 2GB’s RAM and a touch screen display.

Priced at just $119 it’s trying to compete with the Retroid Pocket 3. Although it’s not as good it’s still a great new vertical form factor for those that want a great looking handheld with dual analogue sticks and enough power to play all of your retro games up to and including PSP. It can tackle a handful of Dreamcast games, but it will require some tinkering.

Overall, the new form factor is welcome, and it’s one of ANBERNIC’s best handheld of the year… which isn’t hard as most of them this year have been terrible but it’s a great step forward and we always welcome new vertical handhelds to the scene. Just watch out for the awful shoulder buttons!

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