Last year Miyoo released a handheld called the Miyoo Mini, a matchbox sized device that actually won our best retro handhelds of the year award, it was the perfect little handheld emulator for newcomers and handheld nerds.
It was so in demand that stock would sell out in just a few minutes, meaning most newcomers couldn’t get their hands on it unless they fell to their knees and purchased one from the many scalpers we see on eBay and other marketplaces.
So Miyoo decided it would be a good idea to not focus on making more of them and instead make a new, bigger handheld with the same power…
At first I thought, you know what, at least that means customers can buy something from them… right.
WRONG, the Miyoo Mini + has been on sale for a few weeks now, and I wanted to wait it out to see if they as a company have overcome the issue of not making enough.
It turns out, it’s happening all over again. Miyoo promised to make 20,000 Miyoo Mini + units at launch, but instead it was more like 2,000 and as you can imagine, it sold out in a couple of minutes.
So, this is going to be a review about a handheld that I love, that nobody can buy, and it’s likely going to be hard to buy for the entire year.
So I want to review this product as is, like I always do, straight out of the box with no community installed OS.
There are ways to “upgrade” this device with a new OS made by the community, but I don’t think it’s fair to review a product that needs altering by its community.
And I also want to put aside the ridiculous issue of stock, as who knows, in a few months they could surprise us, but I hardly doubt it.
Table of Contents
The Miyoo Mini+ is similar in size to a deck of cards and comes packaged nicely in a slide out box with a screen protector and some accessories.
In hand it’s still a very light handheld, but takes up the whole of your palm giving you much needed grip and the ability to play in for hours on end, unlike it’s smaller brother.
Miyoo Mini + Specs
- ARM Cortex A7 Dual-Core Processor @1.2GHz
- 3.5” IPS Display @ 640×480 Resolution
- 128MB RAM
- 64GB Storage
- 3000 mAh rechargeable battery
- USB-C Charging
The internal specs are identical to the original Miyoo Mini, so you’re not getting any kind of speed bump with this device, it’s all about the larger screen, better ergonomics and slightly bigger battery.
Design & Ergonomics
The larger battery doesn’t really add on much game time in all honesty, due to the larger screen, I was seeing around 5 – 6 hours of gameplay on a single charge, which is pretty average these days, but enough to get you through a day of travel.
Just like the Miyoo Mini the screen takes up approximately half of the face, allowing for as much immersion as possible.
The screen used is very bright, the perfect 4:3 aspect ratio for playing old games and features small bezels, giving it a modern sleek look which I dig.
It has a glass cover too, making it feel even more premium. Below your screen you will find your action buttons and D-PAD, alongside your start/select and menu button.
Again, it’s the same layout as last time. The D-PAD is superb, it has nice direction, responds with nice feedback and is a good size for a handheld of this size, you’ll have no problems with it.
The action buttons sit high out of the shell which I like, and feature a high gloss material with coloring inspiration from the SNES.
I’m not a fan of high gloss buttons only because they get a little slippery, but that’s just a personal preference of mine.
At first I didn’t like where the menu button was sitting, but actually it’s the best place for it, as it makes it quick an easy to save games, load games, change settings or hop back out into the main menu without having to turn or tilt your device to find it on the sides.
On the top you’ll find your on/off button alongside LED’s that indicate charging.
Your volume buttons are on the left hand side, nothing on the right hand side, and at the bottom you have your 3.5mm headphone jack, a SD card slot and a USB-C port.
On the back you will see that the battery pack adds a thick bottom to the device, this helps with comfortability, and allows Miyoo to insert new shoulder buttons to the top, that curve into the thin section behind the display.
On my device it’s impossible to open the battery door, it’s so tight, and the flap so thin that it will either cut my finger, or i’ll crack a nail, so i’ve simply given up at this point.
Onto the shoulder buttons, I am actually impressed. It seems Miyoo have listened to their customers and have made larger, far more comfortable shoulder buttons for this device.
They are located perfectly on the back and are big enough for your fingers to rest on. The R2/L2 is slightly bigger and raised, giving your fingers more direction when playing fast paced games.
These shoulder buttons are hard to hate, and I am thankful Miyoo changed them, because it’s another reason that many may want to grab the + version over the original.
When you turn on the device you will be welcomed with a custom Linux OS running RetroArch that’s… well, very average.
I had no problems with my unit out of the box but our news editor Anthony who purchased one personally had a lot of issues as soon as he powered it on, and it required a couple hours of tinkering to get it to a respectable state, so I just had to mention that because they could have tinkered with our unit knowing it was going into the hands of media, this isn’t uncommon.
The simplicity of the OS can be easily understood by newcomers and veterans, but there’s no enjoyment from using it.
I guess it depends on who buys it, but for me, there’s no sense that Miyoo took time with this OS, it’s simply been dumped on here, probably because they know that the community will fix it for them for free.
Miyoo Mini + Performance
Moving onto performance. This is what I like to call a “casual handheld”. It’s not got a lot of power, nor is it the most comfortable, but it’s the handheld a lot of people will find they pick up the most thanks to its ease of use, great portability and the fact it comes pre-loaded with thousands of games.
The specs stated allows this handheld to emulate most games up to and including Playstation 1, which is really all you need from a device of this size. The 4:3 screen makes most retro games a pleasure to play on, especially Gameboy Advance.
Gameboy Advance games is where this excels. The screen size alongside the lovely saturation and comfortable shoulder buttons makes it one of my favourite GBA retro handhelds.
Your older consoles like NES, SNES, Mega Drive and NEOGEO work really well on here.
While testing Playstation 1 games there was no real issue either, and it emulated those games very well, but that’s where it steps, anything more intensive like PSP and beyond won’t work well on here.
With all of that in mind is the Miyoo Mini+ worth the current $69.99 price tag? I would say yes, but it’s certainly lost its charm compared to its smaller sibling.
It’s a well made, reliable device, that can fit in your pocket. The screen is lovely, performance up to PS1 is flawless and the battery life is reasonable but and a big but…
You can’t buy it. This is because Miyoo just aren’t making enough, and when they do go on sell there’s scalpers and thousands of customers waiting to get there hands on one.
So until then, I actually recommend taking a look at the RG35XX instead, it’s a very similar handheld in terms of design and performance and it could be purchased instantly, even if the build quality isn’t up to the Miyoo Mini +’s standard.
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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.