ANBERNIC RG35XX Review – A Handheld That Needs Work


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A failed attempt at a great mini handheld, but good for beginners



  • Big Screen
  • Competitive Price
  • PS1 Performance


  • Build Quality
  • Shoulder Buttons
  • Sizing

Update: ANBERNIC has now released the RG35XX Plus, a more powerful version of this device that has become one of our favourite handhelds of 2023.

The RG35XX is a handheld by ANBERNIC that wants to take a slice of the best mini retro handhelds pie.

ANBERNIC has obviously seen the incredible sales of the Miyoo Mini over the last year, in fact it actually won our best retro handhelds of 2022 award, it was that good, so classic ANBERNIC are slithering in to see if they can make something just as good.

They have priced the RG35XX at a competitive $55, making it a good entry point for those looking to dip their toes into the world of handheld emulators.

RG35XX face

Once I took it out of the box I was immediately surprised at how big this is, especially when you consider that it’s trying to compete with mini devices…

This isn’t “mini” at all, if anything it’s not too far off the popular RG351V which in my eyes is a normal sized handheld.

The size of the Miyoo Mini is what makes it magical, and unfortunately ANBERNIC hasn’t even come close to creating a magically small device, which misses the whole point of competing.

Because of the size, this now puts the RG35XX in the same boat as any normal sized handheld, which actually causes it to have somewhat of a disadvantage due to the lack of power in this device.


  • CPU: quad-core ARM Cortex-A9
  • GPU: Quad-core PowerVR SGX544MP GPU
  • RAM: DDR3 256MB
  • Screen: 3.5-inch IPS (640×480)
  • OS: Proprietary Linux (currently no other options available)
  • Battery: 2100 mAh for around 5 hours
  • Charging: USB-C 5V/1.5A, support C2C charger
  • Connectivity: 2.4G wireless gamepad and wired gamepad connection, HDMI output TV
  • Console Size: Length 11.7cm x Width 8.1cm x Height 2.0cm
  • Console Weight: 0.165 kg
  • Colorways: Clear, Transparent Purple, Gray

It’s nothing to shout about, but don’t forget this is just $55.

Design & Build Quality

RG35XX game gear

In terms of design, I will admit, it’s a simple, sleek looking device that looks nostalgic and lightly nods at the old classic Gameboy DMG, for example the small slant at the bottom right of the device near the speaker grill.

Half of the face is taken up by the large 3.5” glass screen which has small bezels to keep it looking fresh and modern.

The screen used is lovely, it’s very bright and due to the 4:3 resolution most retro games look superb, especially Gameboy Advance games. 

However, there is some light bleeding in the corners of my device which is sometimes noticeable in menus, in games it almost disappears.

This is slightly disappointing, but it almost expected from ANBERNIC as they often tend to cut corners with quality control.

RG35XX miyoo mini
miyoo mii (left), rg35xx (middle), rg351v (right)

Below that you have your DPAD which is soft, firm and easy to press, ANBERNIC has a track record of making nice DPADs, and this is one of them.

To the right you have high gloss action buttons, which have nice feedback but mine tend to get a little slippery and sweaty after long play times, and if you’re someone who likes to eat snacks and play, this is going to be hell on earth. I wish they stuck with non-glossy buttons like their other devices.

Finally you have your start/select buttons which again give it that Gameboy vibe and your centred menu button for emulator settings.

Around the sides you’ll find your other less important buttons like on/off, volume, a mini HDMI out, USB-C charging, a headphone jack and a reset button.

RG35XX side

The lower half of the device is thicker as it holds the 2100 mah battery, this also gives it a nice centre of gravity and allows ANBERNIC to place shoulder buttons just above it to add to the comfort.

However, not so comfortable are these shoulder buttons, they’re not stacked, they haver zero travel to them and they’re very click making the overall experience feel very low quality and rushed.

These are quite simply horrible shoulder buttons that i don’t enjoy using.

Above that you can see why I mention that ANBERNIC lacks any kind of quality control, the bloody stick is upside down for goodness sake. 

RG35XX shoulder buttons

In the hand the RG35XX is a good weight, and a good size for those wanting to throw it into your pocket, but i’ll stick to my guns here, this is not a mini handheld, not even close and the shoulder buttons let down the overall ergonomics of the device.

RG35XX Performance

When you turn on the device you will be greeted with a low quality operating system, and unfortunately because of the lack of WiFi there’s no easy way to change this, and you’re kind of stuck unless you don’t mind scouting the web for a new OS and learning how to install it manually.

Again, this is another indicator that ANBERNIC has rushed this, however the OS is very easy to understand, even for newcomers who have never touched a handheld emulator and the bonus is that it comes pre-loaded with thousands of games, teasing even more newcomers to give it a shot if they don’t know how to install ROMs.

RG35XX os

As of the 3rd of January community member named “Black Seraph” has launched a much better operating system called Garlic OS which is worth downloading if you do pick one up.

When you go into your games, the OS organises it into games consoles, when you click your games consoles it opens up all of the loaded ROMs with titles and images to keep it organised.

This is all very basic stuff, and it won’t seem much to many of you, but it is very simple, even the settings are easy to understand and allows for very minor customisation.

But that’s literally it. You either play games, or tweak settings nothing else. When in game the press of a menu button will bring up some options, allowing you save games, load games and jump back to the main menu.

RG35XX gba

Yeah, it’s a very simple device but in some ways that’s what makes it compelling to many. I could easily give this to a child and they would understand what to do, even if the OS is a little outdated.

Now let’s talk about performance.

Due to the RG3XX’s specs it can only emulate games up to and including Playstation 1 games. There’s no Dreamcast or PSP on this thing, the CPU and the tiny 256MB of RAM just can’t handle it, but that doesn’t make the device bad at all.

This performance downgrade has allowed ANBERNIC to price this at $55, and that makes the lack of performance somewhat acceptable.

Any more power would require the device to feature a analogue stick, that would make the device even bigger and look even more ugly, so keeping it niche has somewhat given it charm, just like the Miyoo Mini.

RG35XX ps1

I found myself levitating towards the best Gameboy Advance games on here, the 4:3 display helped immerse myself into the world of Pokemon, and although the device is small, the screen feels big compared to the overall real estate.

The same goes for NES, SNES, Neo Geo and Game Gear, the screen makes it a pleasure to play on, the colours are strong, there’s no issues with frame rates or screen tearing and the speaker is loud enough to keep things nostalgic.

The best Playstation 1 games also had very little issues, it ran as it should and the 3.5” screen did well, although some text were a little small in some games, but that’s it really.

Overall Opinion

miyoo mini vs rg35xx

ANBERNIC have created a very mediocre handheld here, and they know it, so much so that they priced it at $55 so that reviewers like me give them some leeway.

Pricing it this low saved them in many ways, and although it’s not a handheld that I would personally buy but it’s certainly one I can recommend to those wanting to buy their first handheld emulator.

It typically comes pre-loaded cutting out the fuss of having to install your own ROMs, it has a nice 3.5” screen opening it up to older adults who don’t want tiny screens, it lasts a good couple of hours on a single charge and the menus are incredibly to understand, making it a good started device for children.

And that’s where I think this handheld sits on the market. It’s for beginners only. It lacks performance, build quality and ergonomics to recommend this to the average handheld consumer, but the price tag makes it a great first buy for those new to the market.

I don’t love it, but i also don’t hate it, I just wish they truly made this mini, maybe next time.

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