The Powkiddy RGB20S is a very odd looking device, which is typical of Powkiddy products and if you’ve read any of our Powkiddy reviews you’ll know that they’re a little hit and miss when it comes to quality, but this device here has somewhat impressed me.
When I first saw the leaked designs I was immediately close to throwing up in a bin, but after unboxing this handheld I was instantaly in love with the size.
But that said can another RK3326 device make it in mid 2022?
First of all, let’s talk about the design and the overall layout of the RGB20S… it’s all over the place. Powkiddy has used so many buttons on this device that there’s literally no more space on the face of the handheld.
It’s also the big brother of the Powkiddy RGB20.
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Powkiddy RGB20S Design
While I am on the subject of face… yeah. I am not the only one that sees the face between the buttons and after the review process, I have started to see this face in my dreams… not fun.
That aside, I would have preferred the DPAD to be above the analogue stick, just because that’s what i use more often and it’s where my thumbs naturally sit when holding the device.
The action buttons are fairly low on the chin but I had no problems getting to them, even if the buttons are smaller than I am use to.
The face in the middle is three different buttons, one being start, the other being select, and the mouth is the function button which is used to get around the emulator settings.
The grill in the middle of the device is the speaker, it doesn’t get in the way of anything, and it shoots the audio directly at my ears which is great but being in the centre of the handheld gives it far too much attention than it deserves.
Above that you have the 3.5” IPS display which they are advertising as “full fit”, i am not entirely sure what that means, but I think they mean that it has very zmall bezels and fits to the edge of the handheld, which I think is really nice and makes the device look very modern.
The quality of the screen is great too, it has a resolution of 640 x 480, very nice viewing angles, impressive brightness and because it’s an OCA display it sits very close to the cover meaning no gaps and less chance of getting dust behind the screen. I think they chose a great display here.
Around the device you’ll find your standard buttons such as on/off, two USB-C ports, volume buttons and your SD card slots for adding in your own ROMs, I was lucky enough to get a unit that had ROM’s pre-loaded because Powkiddy doesn’t give a sh… CUT!
Powkiddy RGB20S Comfortability
But the back is where things get a little interesting, and this is the first time I have seen these shoulder buttons or even this layout on any handheld device that I have reviewed in my years.
They are incredibly large, and all four of them take up the whole width of the device, and the L2/R2 buttons sit slightly higher than the L1/R2 making it easier for you to switch between sub consciously.
I’ll be honest, the quality of the shoulder buttons is VERY cheap, but dang do they feel comfortable and the positioning for my hands is near perfect due to the slightly raised nature of them.
They’re big, they’re chunky and they require very little movement, making them a pleasure to play on for long periods of time, but due to the sheer size of them it makes the device less portable, especially when the analogue sticks don’t sit flush with the shell either.
Oh and if you press them hard enough they’ll sound like Chewbacca, so don’t do that.,
Powkiddy RGB20S Specifications
- 3.5″ IPS OCA Display (640 x 480)
- RK3326 1.5Ghz Quad-Core Processor
- 1GB RAM
- 3500 MAH Battery (5+ Hours)
- 3.5mm Headphone Jack
Tucked below the shoulder buttons you have the 3500mah battery pack, making the handheld feel very dense, compact and it gives it a sense of low centre of gravity, in no way does it feel light, or low quality which is not something I expected from Powkiddy.
But Brandon how does it perform and what’s under the hood I hear you ask? Well, to nobody’s surprise it’s rocking a RK3326 chip, which is something I didn’t think i’d be saying in the middle of 2022, but here we are, and the ever increasing global chip shortage is forcing handheld manufacturers to use their old stock, and for us that simply means more of the same… which sucks, I’ll admit!
But that said, Powkiddy has only priced this device at around £66 here in the UK, which makes me think they know people are getting fed up with it and have somewhat agreed to lower the prices slightly, making this a new device for under $80 with a nice screen, a nice layout a reliable chip, 5 hours of battery life and 1GB of RAM… not bad, it could be worse!
Straight out of the box the Powkiddy RGB20S works a treat, it’s loaded with Emulation Station which is easy to understand and even gives you some nice customisation options with a few clicks.
Ours came preloaded with hundreds of games, and not that I think that’s right because it isn’t but it makes it far easier for those of you that have no idea about emulators, it’s quite literally pick up and play straight out of the box.
Powkiddy RGB20S Performance
In terms of performance, you’ll get the same type of quality as you do from other RK3326 chips, so this may sound similar to our other handheld reviews. Due to the great choice of 4:3 display, your typical retro games will fill up the screen quite nicely, with no big black borders.
After testing all retro consoles up to PS1 I was impressed, gameplay was good, audio had very little cracking, and screen tearing was a rarity.
They have loaded Dreamcast games on here but i wouldn’t recommend it, i had a couple of crashes and the overall quality was poor. Do not buy this for Dreamcast games.
PSP and even some of the best PS1 games played well, even large 3D games on the PS1 performed to high standard but where the console shines is Gameboy games and a handful of N64.
Gameboy Advance games are flawless and most smaller N64 games work well, especially with the large choice of buttons to map too.
And as mentioned before, all consoles have mapped keys straight out of the box so I rarely had to change anything which is nice for those of us that hate tinkering.
It’s hard to hate this device, the gameplay quality is reasonable for a £66 device, especially in an age where sub $100 handhelds are rarely released, and in conjunction with the nice screen and shoulder buttons it’s just a pleasurable handheld to play on, even if the analogue sticks are like Godzilla’s nipples.
Yes the device looks overcrowded, yes it’s still using an old chip and yes it’s not very portable but for some reason I really like playing on it. I like a horizontal handheld, so I may be biassed but I am genuinely impressed that Powkiddy has launched this RGB20S for a reasonable price and it doesn’t immediately suck.
I would have loved it if the team behind this handheld made Godzilla’s nipples less obtrusive, maybe held back on the 3000 buttons and switched the dpad stick layout slightly.
It’s a cool little device. I wouldn’t recommend buying it if you already have a RK3326 device, but for those new to the scene and fancy a really comfortable, easy to setup horizontal handheld under $100 then this is one to keep an eye on.
Not bad Powkiddy, not bad, we may have to add this to our best retro handhelds list!
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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.