The time has come, people… the Retroid Pocket 3 has been officially revealed and is now available for pre-order!
It was only a few days ago we saw the Retroid Pocket 3 Promo Video Leaked and even though it was not the first we had heard of it, it did have us pretty excited.
It was great to finally get a clear view of the new console and not have to try to draw conclusions based on literally seeing it in the corner of a photo.
We had estimated that we might get the RP3 sometime at the end of the year. But surprise, surprise… Christmas came early this year.
The wait is over, we can finally take a look at official specs and order one on the GoRetroid website RIGHT NOW.
So, let’s take a closer look at the Retroid Pocket 3:
Retroid Pocket 3 Specs
Let’s take a look at some of the official specs revealed on the GoRetroid website:
1x Arm Cortex-A75 + 3x ARM Cortex-A55 CPU PowerVR GE8300 GPU at 800MHz 2GB RAM or 3GB RAM (optional upgrade) 4.7 inch touch screen (16:9, 750x1334 at 60fps) 720p HDMI video output Dual clickable analog sticks Passive heat dissipation with new metal frame inside 4000mAh battery WIFI 2.4g/5g and Bluetooth 5.0 Android 11 Built-in official game launcher and emulator frontend
Right off the bat, we should tell you that the CPU and GPU of the Retroid Pocket 3 is exactly the same as the Retroid Pocket 2+. So that might be worrisome.
But, we will tell you why this isn’t necessarily a bad thing at the end of this article, so please don’t let that be a reason to write this thing off quite yet.
With one Arm Cortex-A75 processor and three ARM Cortex-A55 chips inside, this thing is still quite powerful compared to other handhelds in the $100-150 USD range.
And you can upgrade the internal ram to 3gb for an additional $10, so why wouldn’t you?!
The Retroid Pocket 2+ was already hitting some PS2 and GameCube emulation. With that 3gb RAM upgrade, we might anticipate that the Retroid Pocket 3 can play some of the Best PS2 Games and Best GameCube Games better than ever.
And those games are going to look gorgeous on the new 4.7 inch screen. With HDMI out, you can also play some of your favorite retro games on your television.
The screen bezels are small and feature the Retroid Pocket logo, which I think looks really cool so its size and placement doesn’t bother me at all.
We absolutely love the Retroid Pocket 2, but our main complaint is that digital stick on the right side. It just feels weird (and has no click).
The Retroid Pocket 3 now has two analogue sticks with the L3 and R3 click, and they look super comfortable. Problem solved.
Besides that, we got the same awesome shoulder buttons, similar ABXY buttons, and a new dpad that I actually think looks kinda cool. I also like full dpads rather than 4 individual direction buttons.
A Closer Look
It is only fair to also share some of the less positive impressions:
The Start and Select buttons are on the top of the device. That might be a little weird to access when holding the device during game play.
And, I’ve already heard concerns about the Home button being located on the side of the device. I don’t think this will be too bad, but some people won’t like it.
But, interesting choices to keep the face of the device clean and simple.
The Retroid Pocket 3 comes in six different color combinations, inspired by both retro gaming consoles and clean modern technology. So, no matter what your tastes, there’s a combo for you. (I dunno which one I want more!)
The RP3 is now running Android 11 with an official game launcher and frontend.
I will just be honest, I’m not a fan of Android. I just want something that is ready to go without the need for a bunch of tinkering.
So, having a console come with a frontend game launcher that is already setup for me is exactly what I need.
We should expect that we can jump into game play from the moment we unbox the Retroid Pocket 3.
Once again proving that GoRetroid listens and is delivering what the players are asking for. Respect.
Retroid Pocket 3 Pricing
We anticipated the Retroid Pocket 3 might land anywhere from $120-150USD.
And GoRetroid pulled a smooth one on us and priced the new handheld at $119 just to have a laugh at us ($129 with the RAM upgrade… still cheap AF).
We were always impressed with GoRetroid’s ability to create some of the best handheld consoles on the market with an appealing pricetag that won’t break the bank.
When the Retroid Pocket 2+ hit the scene at only $99USD, we absolutely could not believe it.
Well the 3 is no different. A $119USD pricetag makes it very strong competition to some of the 7 Best Android Handheld Games Consoles.
Retroid Pocket 3 Performance
So, how does the Retroid Pocket 3 stand up to some of that competition in performance?
Well with GoRetroid advertising “2-3x performance gain from RP2”, and sharing the same internal chipset as the Retroid Pocket 2+ …
We can anticipate that the Retroid Pocket 3 will play everything up to Dreamcast, PSP, Nintendo 64, Playstation 2 and Game Cube.
Fans of earlier game consoles, like myself, will easily emulate their favorite 8bit, 16bit, 32bit, and 64bit consoles.
With that $119 price tag, this is absolutely more than we can ask for, and I am quite happy with what I am seeing. *hits the pre-order button*
And, you can install any Android apps you want… so you can start getting into some of the latest streaming technologies to play modern games.
What do we think?
In short… we like it, a lot!
Like we mentioned earlier… the Retroid Pocket 3 has the same CPU and GPU as the Retroid Pocket 2+.
That could easily be a reason to feel like this thing ain’t worth the upgrade.
Well, let us tell you why we are not bothered by this:
We previously have expressed some of our concerns about the current state of the handheld scene in our articles 10 Best Handhelds Under $100 and The Handheld Industry Has A Problem.
One of our biggest concerns are companies putting so much of their focus on bigger and more powerful machines. Which, to them, means bigger pricetags.
We have seen some of our favorite companies turn to the dark side in hopes of more dollars.
So, when we see a company like GoRetroid know their lane and stay with affordable handheld consoles, we truly appreciate that.
GoRetroid is sticking to what they do best, creating some of the best handheld game consoles with a friendly pricetag.
Is it worth the upgrade?
If you are on the fence about the Retroid Pocket 3 because it is too similar to the Retroid Pocket 2+, let us offer you a few reasons why you might want to upgrade:
For those who are not a fan of smaller game consoles and want something that looks and feels like a Nintendo Switch Lite or AYN Odin, but their game play goals are 8-64 bit, this thing is gonna be a dream.
The Retroid Pocket 3 has a giant screen compared to something like the Retroid Pocket 2+ or its main competition, the RG351MP.
And, if the photos and the previous model of the Retroid Pocket are any indication, this thing should be very comfortable to play on.
The new analogue sticks and dpad are very aesthetically pleasing to me, and I think they will feel good too.
Maybe the biggest selling point for me: The Retroid Pocket 3 advertises a new frontend and game launcher that is setup already.
This means that when you unbox your new console, you should be able to jump right into game play without the need to teach yourself how to set it up through YouTube videos and Reddit posts.
This is the main reason I am anticipating that I will grab one for my collection.
GoRetroid has delivered their best looking and best performing game console to date.
And they didn’t reach too far outside of their lane. They know what they are good at, and they simply improved an already great product line.
They listen to the community and fix the things we complain about.
All of that and still a pricetag we can afford.
GoRetroid delivers once again and makes us happy to support them.
We’ve said it before, and we are saying it again: GoRetroid is one of the absolute best in the handheld scene. Still.
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Anthony has been a video game lover ever since he can remember. He became a fulltime nomad in 2018, living throughout most of Asia. He focused his passion in retro gaming and began creating a game for the Game Boy Color while living in Nara, Japan during the 2020 pandemic. He is now in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where he spends most of his time gaming, going on long walks and meeting as many stray dogs as possible.