Powkiddy has been renowned for creating mediocre products over the years, they’ve never really rivalled ANBERNIC or Go Retroid because they’ve just never been in the same league.
But the RGB10 Max is a step in the right direction, and after testing it for a few days, we hate to say it, but we’re impressed.
The RGB10 Max is using the same RK3326 chip that we have been used to for well over a year now, featuring a 1.5GHZ Quad Core Processor, 1GB RAM and a Mali G31 GPU.
These chips are getting a bit boring because it’s just adding to a huge collection of retro handhelds that emulate the same thing but with a different shell.
RGB10 Max Specifications
- RK3326 Quad Core 1.5GHZ Processor
- 1GB RAM
- Mali 31 GPU
- 5.5″ IPS Display (854 x 480)
- 4200MAH Battery.
- USB-C Charging
However, Powkiddy has added a large 5.5” IPS display to the RGB10 Max which adds a unique selling point compared to its current competitors. It has a resolution of 854 x 480 and comes with very small bezels which we like.
The only real downfall with this display is that it’s slightly dimmer to other handhelds on the market, and the 16:9 aspect ratio only fits the best PSP games perfectly.
It’s very similar to the ODROID Go Super which we reviewed in March, but it has better build quality and just feels far more polished.
RGB10 Max Build Quality
The shell used has this slightly rubberised matte finish to it which we’ve never seen before on a handheld, it adds a premium feel to it which we absolutely love.
The edges of the RGB10 Max have been rounded off to make it more comfortable in the hand and the button placements are near perfect, including the shoulder buttons.
The analogue sticks used are identical to those in a Nintendo Switch, the DPAD is responsive and the ABXY buttons even though they are small have some nice feedback to them.
All of your smaller buttons and ports have been organised and moved to the top of the device. Here you’ll find your on/off button, your wifi switch, two USB-C ports, a headphone jack, your SD card slot for loading ROMs and your volume buttons.
Either side of them you’ll find your shoulder buttons, which we don’t really like, they’re thin, have harsh, clicky feedback and aren’t comfortable to place your fingers on.
We would have much preferred larger, flared shoulder buttons like that of the Retroid Pocket 2.
On the bottom of the RGB10 Max you’ll find two speaker grills, but only one of them actually houses a speaker, so we found audio is dominant from the left side. However, the speaker inside is incredibly loud and great quality, probably one of the loudest speakers we’ve seen in an affordable handheld.
Powkiddy has also stopped adding their branding to the face of the handheld which we respect and have now moved it to the back to make the RGB10 Max look more minimal.
It’s a very comfortable, well built handheld, and the larger 5.5” screen makes it feel kind of like a Nintendo Switch Lite, especially with this bright orange shell. Will most gamers use the entire screen majority of the time, no.
Does the bigger screen help gaming experience, yes but I think personally a larger 4:3 display would have been far more practical.
Why handhelds aren’t coming out with this probably comes down to the price per unit and how hard they are to source for large quantities.
RGB10 Max Performance
But as of now, we are very happy with the 5” screen, it makes it feel like we’ve been missing out on these larger handhelds for some time, and its only now that we’re seeing this size become the norm, it’s just a shame we’re still using old chips that struggle with Dreamcast and N64 emulation.
When our RGB10 Max arrived it worked straight out of the box and came preloaded with Emuelec and thousands upon thousands of games.
The menu system is stunning and easy to understand, making it a pick up and play for both newcomers and retro handheld enthusiasts with a quick change of controller settings.
You can even load your own box art, ROMs, and video snippets in the menus to make it look even more flash.
We get a bit bored of saying this but because it’s an RK3326 chip with 1GB of RAM the RGB10 Max can emulate most consoles up to N64 and Dreamcast. So, Gameboy, NES, SNES, Neo Geo, PS1, MAME, Wonderswan, Mega Drive and so on all run incredibly well on this device, with little hiccups.
It’s once you start playing larger 3D games on PSP, N64 and Dreamcast that you will notice large frame rate drops, audio cracking and possibly crashes. So if you’re looking for a handheld that can run those, this isn’t for you.
Like any retro handheld new firmware comes out frequently and the community are always tinkering with the devices, but we like to keep our review to what customers would experience straight out of the box.
However, down the line there may be new firmware that increases the playability of some larger games on N64 for and Dreamcast, but for now, out of the box, it struggles with those larger games.
This handheld is for those of you that want to play your older retro games on a larger screen with a very comfortable form factor. We’re blown away with how good the shell feels on this thing, the addition of a rubberised material adds a premium touch to the shell that previous Powkiddy products needed so badly.
The 4200MAH battery also lasts up to 5 hours of gameplay depending on which console you are playing on, which is enough to get you through a long bus journey.
This is the start of the 5” handheld scene and we can’t believe Powkiddy are kicking it off with a very good product.
Once the 5” trend is over and done with these handhelds have to upgrade the chips and make all larger 3D games work flawlessly, or customers aren’t going to keep spending money on handhelds that emulate the same as the handheld they bought last year.
Overall the RGB10 Max is Powkiddy’s best handheld to date, they’ve obviously researched what the community want and have delivered on that with an exceptional product.
The use of a new shell, a larger screen and a competitive price tag makes us believe that Powkiddy now want to be taken seriously.
It’s an all round well built product that performs as it should with the RK3326 chip. This is not a handheld to play your best Dreamcast games or even PSP games for that matter, it’s a handheld to emulate older consoles on a larger screen.
We’re impressed with this handheld and it’s a great start to the mass of upcoming 5″ handhelds.