Hands on: Abernic RG35XX Impressions


Like finding a long lost friend.

I can remember the days back in the 90s riding in back seat of my mom’s 95 Toyota Camry (of which we still have) traveling on the highways and byways. In my book-bag were the assortment of Goosebumps books, a Sony Walkman and extra batteries. Batteries for what? Why the Game Boy that felt glued to my hands. Handhelds were a big thing growing up. Being on the go a lot, meant I could always keep the gaming going, so long as I had enough light and AA batteries. Playing games on Switch or a Steam Deck feels about the same but they are bit cumbersome and bulky to take on short trips like doctor visits or oil changes. So I needed something with portability of a Game Boy but without having to have 8 AA batteries in my bag. Enter the Anbernic RG35XX. A gaming handheld that does a bit of the old and new.

Tech Specs

Screen3.5-inch IPS full viewing angle, OCA full lamination/ 640*480
CPUQuad-core ARM Cortex-A9
GPUQuad-core PowerVR SGX544MP GPU
SystemDual System support Linux and GarlicOS
GamesBuilt in 64G SD Card 6843 classic games
LanguageChinese, English, Japanese, Korean, Spanish
TF cardDual card slots, support TF card expansion, maximum 512GB
BatteryLi-polymer battery 2600 mAh, lasting 5 hours
Charging5V/1.5A, support C2C charger
Other functionSupport 2.4G wireless gamepad and wired gamepad connection, HDMI output TV, vibrating motor
AccessoriesUSB charging cable, box , user manual, screen protector
Tech specs from Anbernic’s website

The Good Things

I absolutely love the size and form factor of the device. It feels good in my hands, especially after some long gaming sessions. USB-C charging and the battery life is just a joy. I wish I had this growing up, I could have saved a fortune in batteries, lol. It comes in 3 colors: gray, clear purple (which I have) and clear white. The screen is so so good! Clear, crisp and vibrant colors and it is backlight for those late night/sad boy gaming sessions that I tend to do. It has a HDMI output, so if you want to connect to a TV (or a capture card for the creators/streamers) to play on the big screen. Also it can play over 5k games preloaded from between NES to PS1. Feels so good playing those old classics again. It has a Dual OS system: Stock (which I use) and Garlic OS, a much more organized experience.

The Bad Things

The XYAB buttons aren’t labelled too well. It kind of blends into the case and it would be better if they were on the buttons themselves. Sleep mode is not available on the stock OS but on Garlic OS so know that going forward. Saves don’t transfer between OS. The MicroSD included is of poor quality. Sandisk it is not. No bluetooth or wifi support for wireless file transfer or bluetooth audio like headphones or earbuds. Also it is not very user friendly unless you are just playing games and charging. Need to change an OS or move files to a larger/better microSD card, you will need a Youtube video or a text guide to figure it out.

Wrap up

Anbernic RG35XX is a mainstay in my go-bag. It sits on either my desk, my nightstand, my couch’s armrest, or wherever I am. I just love playing these classic games to unwind or to give my phone a rest from doomscrolling. A perfect gift for yourself or a loved one. It does the right things right but it also comes up short in a few ways. I say if you are on fence, I say check it out. I recommend picking it up from Amazon if you want to get it faster. Overall I say it is a good buy and a good deal. Now I’m going to go sit in the backseat of my car and relieve the good old days of handheld gaming!

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