RG300X by Anbernic Review – The latest retro gaming console for 2021

RG300X Retro Gaming Handheld

We just got in a sample of the brand new RG300X from Anbernic, here is our RG300X review!

The RG300X specs include the JZ4770 processor found in the older RG350 series of handhelds, instead of the newer RK3326 in the RG351 series. The step backwards may be strange, but check out our video or review below to hear our thoughts on why this was chosen.

You can watch our video review below which covers unboxing, the RG300X overview and specs, as well as some emulator gameplay footage. Scroll down a little further for a text based review.

RG300X Review

RG300X Unboxing

RG300X Box
RG300X Box

Inside the box we have the RG300X handheld which we will take a closer look at shortly. Underneath the packing is a USB Type-C charge cable which can be connected to any USB charger. When buying from DroiX you get a free 64GB Micro SD Card ready to go! And last but not least, there is a user manual which is in full English and has everything you need to get started!

RG300X Overview

RG300X view
RG300X view

The IPS display is 3 inches in size and 640×480 resolution which is great for retro gaming. It is fully OCA laminated, so there’s no gaps showing the backlight.

There is a D-Pad and four gaming buttons which are very comfortable to use while holding it. There are Select and Start buttons which illuminate when the device is powered on.

On the bottom of the RG300X there is a reset button in case you need to exit a game that has frozen. The first Micro SD Card slot contains the operating system, and the second Micro SD Card slot is used for storage for your games. You can insert the 64GB Micro SD Card here. And last but not least is a 3.5mm headphone port.

On the sides you can find the volume rocker and power button. The RG300X measures 5.3 x  2.7 x 0.78 inches (13.7 x 6.9 x 2 cm) and weighs around 160 grams. It is very portable and light to game on and carry!

HDMI Output is back!
HDMI Output is back!

On the top of the retro gaming handheld we have Left and Right Shoulder buttons which again are very comfortable to use. There is a USB Type-C OTG port which can be used to connect peripherals such as a mouse. In the middle is a HDMI port for connecting to your TV or monitor. And to the right is another USB Type-C port which is used for charging the device.

RG300X Back
RG300X Back

Original GBA Micro comparison

The RG300X is clearly inspired by the Gameboy Advance Micro and overall it does a great job. It has the same curves at the top and bottom area which looks the part. The shoulder buttons also look quite authentic to the original design.

RG300X and GBA Micro
RG300X and GBA Micro

Similar to the Micro, it has illuminated select and start buttons, it’s a nice feature that we haven’t seen in previous Anbernic models!

The size is also great, it is naturally larger than the micro, but not so large that you would not be able to fit it inside your coat pocket for example.

RG300X Gold & Red Colour
RG300X Gold & Red Colour

The RG300X is also available in Famicom themed Gold & Red colours. Unfortunately we did not have one available while making the review, but we will also be selling the RG300X in this colour.

RG300X Technical Specifications

Screen3.0 inch IPS screen, OCA full lamination. 640*480 resolution
CPU4770 dual 1.0 GHz
RAMDDR2 512M
SD Card16GB
Operating SystemOpendingux / (music/video)
SpeakerHigh quality double horn stereo speaker
BatteryLi-polymer 2500 mAh, lasting 6 hours.
Micro SD CardUp to 256GB
Other featuresHDMI output, With vibrating motor,Support 3.5mm stereo earphones.support energy saving setting, display brightness, interface background and other functions of display.
AccessoriesUSB charging cable, giftbox , user manual
Console Size5.3 x  2.7 x 0.78 inches (13.7 x 6.9 x 2 cm)
RG300X Technical Specs

The CPU used is the JZ4770 dual core 1.0 GHz, the same which has been used in the previous Anbernic RG30x model series such as the RG350M. This appears to be a step backwards, as their newer models such as the highly-rated RG351M uses the newer RockChip RK3326 Quad Core 1.5Ghz CPU. However, we have been thinking about why and have a couple of theories on the RG300X specs.

One idea was that due to the size, there are no analogue joysticks. So playing higher end consoles such as the Dreamcast and PSP, on which many games require analogues are not practical. So if they are not fully playable, why the need for a more powerful processor? It will run all the older generation consoles just fine on the efficient JZ4770 CPU.

Continuing our RG300X review, there is 512MB of DDR2 RAM which is plenty for the gaming systems the RG300X can run.

It runs the Opendingux operating system which is a well established emulation system. I would expect to see custom firmware available in the future which will have more emulators.

It has a 2500 milliamp hour battery lasting up to six hours depending on the usage.

We are happy to see the return of HDMI support on the Anbernic handhelds. We will check that out later in the review.

Opendingux Overview

Lets take a quick look at the operating system and the available software. 

The Applications menu has a variety of apps such as file managers, clocks and media players. There’s also some apps to check the buttons and device functions.

Opendingux
Opendingux

Next there is the emulators menu which of course has all the available emulators. There’s a good number available including MAME for Arcade games, DOSBox, Master System and Mega Drive, WonderSwan, PlayStation 1, Neo Geo Pocket, PC Engine and Neo Geo.

On the Games menu are a great number of game ports with favourites such as Cave Story, Doom and Open Tyrian.

And finally we have the Settings menu where you can configure the menus with different themes and wallpaper, change sound settings and Reboot and power down the device.

RG300X Emulators Overview

We will now briefly go over just some of the emulators included with the RG300X.

RG300X MAME Emulator
RG300X MAME Emulator

Starting with MAME and Hook. MAME supports many classic games from over the years and for the vast majority of them you should not have any issues with slowdown.

FinalBurn plays a mix of arcade and console systems. We are playing Metal Slug 5 which is quite a large game size, but the RG300X handles it perfectly. It also looks amazing on the 3 inch screen!

A quick look at the Neo Geo Pocket next. Everything works just fine here and you won’t have any problems running these games.

HDMI Output
RG300X HDMI Output

Not forgetting that the RG300X has HDMI output to a TV or monitor. It works very well and all you need to do is connect the HDMI cable to the RG300X and display. It will automatically switch over to HDMI output and disable the screen to conserve battery.

Next up we have the PC Engine and Raiden. Again you will have no issues with the emulation speed on this system. All the games I tried ran great!

For the Mega Drive I couldn’t resist checking out the glorious colours on Sonic The Hedgehog on this display for this RG300X by Anbernic review, it really does look great. All the games I tried ran very well and you should not have any issues.

RG300X PlayStation emulation
RG300X PlayStation emulation

PlayStation One games are overall OK in terms of which games will actually run and what are playable. I tried a variety of games and found some to be very playable such as Crash Bandicoot, but other high action games do have some slowdown. If you want a handheld mainly for PlayStation then I would recommend the RG351 series of handhelds which have a faster processor and improved compatibility with games.

Summary

The RG300X by Anbernic in terms of technical specs is far from anything new. But considering my thoughts about not having analogues and not needing to run higher end systems such as the Dreamcast, it does make sense. For the systems it does support, it does it very well up until the PlayStation where you will experience some games that do not work or run smoothly.

If you are looking for a retro gaming handheld based on the classic Gameboy Advance Micro then look no further, I personally love the design! If you are looking for something with a bit more power and support for higher end systems then I would recommend the RG351 series or the Gameforce Chi. We hope you have found our RG300X review useful in deciding.

You can learn more and buy the RG300X here. Or if this doesn’t meet your requirements, check out our range of retro gaming handhelds.

DaveC
Bringer of videos, text and images! AKA the social media guy at DroiX. Massive retro gaming fan and collector, with a far too large collection of consoles and computers from 1970's to modern.