Powkiddy are back at it again, releasing more and more handhelds than we can keep track of. Their latest being the brand new Powkiddy Q20 Mini, a $39 handheld with similar aesthetics to that of the Gameboy Micro.
It’s not going to be crowned king that’s for sure, but it’s definitely targeting a market that the RG351M is missing out on. But the big question is, is it any good?
On the face you’ll find a 2.4” LCD display with a resolution of 320 x 240, which as you know is a great aspect ratio for playing your old retro games.
The display used is actually very bright, and as much as there’s not many pixels, making it a little blurry at times the colours have really blown me away.
But I did notice a hefty amount of screen tearing when playing a wide number of games. This can be tweaked out with firmware updates, but as you know we review these products as they come out of the box, so just take that into consideration.
They’ve also chucked in a glass screen cover too which some of the best retro handhelds don’t even do these days.
Now let’s talk about the buttons, they’re okay… there’s nothing special about them, they’re well placed, bouncy, responsive and barely move when I did the shake test but when you get a closer look you will notice that they’re somewhat low quality. We can’t argue that because this is a $39 handheld, so what can I expect?
Your menu and reset buttons are on either side of the screen, and Powkiddy being Powkiddy had to make this look like a Nintendo product, so you’ll find a Famicom faceplate on the front. As of now it’s not peeling, but we’ll let you know if and when it does on twitter.
And finally the speaker grill is admittedly poorly placed, and gets in the way slightly when playing games, but pump up the volume using the wheel above and you’ll have no problems because it’s quite loud.
Next to the volume wheel on the top you’ll find a headphone jack, your SD card slot , a USB-C port and two very small shoulder buttons. We wished Powkiddy made these slightly bigger, so they filled up each corner of the device, but hey, a perfect Powkiddy product has yet to exist.
You’ll find your tiny on/off switch on the side, then that’s it because the back has no branding whatsoever, which is a nice touch because we all had over branding on these devices, right?
When you first turn on the Powkiddy Q20 Mini you’ll notice it uses the NxHope firmware which is a little outdated but incredibly easy to use and understand for all ages. We also noticed that it came pre-loaded with games which is becoming a rarer feature these days, for obvious reasons, but hey, we’ll take it!
The Q20 doesn’t have a lot of power at all, so we suggest sticking to systems under Playstation 1, anything more and you’ll just have an unpleasant gaming experience. This is a handheld targeted towards the older generation consoles, and is at such a low price that it probably makes a good first handheld for kids, or those of you that want to start collecting these little devices.
Here’s a minute or two going over some of the console’s gameplay quality.
As you can tell it’s not perfect, there’s some screen tearing and aggressive frame skipping but it’s not the end of the world.
It has no analogue stick, no HDMI out, it’s not the most comfortable, and playing for long periods of time will make you feel like your hands are bleeding, but for $39 it’s not too shabby.
The build quality is pretty average for the price, the screen is bright, speakers loud and the gameplay isn’t too bad if you don’t mind a little bit of screen tearing. It’s not going to win any awards, but I like that this could be the handheld to recommend for those of you that don’t want to invest much into a handheld, or want something to give to your kids that you don’t mind them eventually breaking.
It’s a simple, affordable handheld for those of you that don’t want power, or the highest quality gameplay.