Hardware review: Anbernic RG35XX


Wanting a small, pocketable handheld for bus rides, etc., I saw the Miyoo Mini and attempted to purchase one. They are incredibly hard to acquire.

The Anbernic RG35XX presented itself as an alternative, and it was actually possible to buy one.

I got one for about $60 on Amazon and was immediately in love. It had a decent built in game library, decent battery life, and was the perfect size. Not too big, not to small. Fits in a pants pocket or a little random orner of a carrying bag no problem.

The stock SD card and OS is servicable, but I replaced it with my own SD card with my own legally acquired ROM library. I use GarlicOS and I’m quite happy with it. At one point I even made a skin for it. I normally play Neo-Geo, PSX, and GBA games. The best part about emulation is that all those quarter munchers become way more playable when you just have to hit select to insert a quarter. On an average Metal Slug run (any sequel) it would have cost me close to $20 based on how many times I get game overs.

I like it so much that I bought my 5 year old one and put MinUI on it. Aside from being largely text-based which isn’t great for a 5 year old, it’s super usable and its no-frills approach makes it ideal for people who just want to play games.

My only concern is that the only firmware that runs Dreamcast is Batocera, which I am not particularly inclined to use as a daily driver.

Honestly, I play this more than my Steam Deck. I take it with me all the time since it’s so small. Waiting rooms, the bus, it’s a great little thing to pull out when you have a few seconds to spare.