It’s finally coming to the end of a long year. In 2022 we have seen so many improved gaming handhelds from all of the major players. I’d like to thank Gogamegeek who helps support my channel. But there is still time for one more handheld review before the year ends.
Gogamegeek have sent me the latest handheld from Anbernic, the RG505. Is this latest handheld going to close the year with a bang or with a whimper……read on to find out.
Anbernic have had a fairly decent year having released some of their best handhelds yet. That’s not to say they haven’t had a few red-herrings either. One of the best handhelds for me this year was the RG353M.
Everyone expects retro gaming handhelds to now play the more hardware-intense platforms, such as the likes of GameCube, PS2 and even the Dreamcast. We haven’t seen a great deal of these particular handhelds this year at a price point that is tempting enough to make you part with your hard-earned dosh.
ANBERNIC have, therefore, one last trick up their sleeves with the RG505. This handheld hopes to offer some increased power in order to play these platforms but at a reasonable price. And in a way, they have done just that!!
RG505 Build Quality:
Gogamegeek sent me the yellow version of the RG505, with an included 256GB SD Card. The first thing I noticed with the RG505 when I took it out of the box was just how light it was compared to some of the other handhelds I had previously reviewed. This did surprise me a little bit as it’s a similar size to the Nintendo Switch, and the expectation is that it would have some weight to it.
Regarding the design, it reminded me of the Nintendo Switch Lite. It looks really nice, though the yellow is quite bright with a slight greenish tinge to it. The button design is as you would expect from Anbernic, very easy to understand and comfortable to use. The buttons have a nice clicky feel to them, as does the D-pad.
I would have liked if the RG505 had a bit more weight to it though, and it does look rather plasticky compared to some of the other handhelds Anbernic have released. We might even see a RG505M at some point, which I think would look and feel much better.
The only thing I wasn’t too sure about was the screen bezel, which is rather prominent. You will either hate it or like it; don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t distract too much from the actual screen, but it would have been nice had it been smaller.
The main selling point of this handheld is the 5” OLED touch screen display with a 960 x 544 display. This is the same screen that was used on the original PS Vita and is great for playing PSP games. At 2x resolution, it looked great and was bright with vivid colours. And you can play a lot of PSP games at that 2x resolution on this handheld; it looks great.
As I mentioned earlier, the buttons on the RG505 are really good, responsive and have no sticking. The analogue sticks this time are hall joysticks, meaning they are of a much higher quality than your standard joysticks and work with magnets. However, that’s not to say they are 100% great as sometimes they aren’t the most precise when pushing them diagonally.
The shoulder buttons are okay, but I really wish they had used stacked shoulder buttons. Due to the size of the RG505, it can be a little difficult at times to reach the L2 & R2 buttons. They are also quite small in size and make a clicking noise when pressed, which can become a little irritating after a while.
Around the sides of the RG505, you’ll find the buttons and ports. These include a USB-C charging port, headphone jack, volume buttons, 2x speakers, SD-card slot, on/off button, menu button and an Anbernic button that switches to the Anbernic OS, which in itself is quite basic and doesn’t show the full list of gaming platforms available. For that you will use the Android operating OS and the emulators you have downloaded.
When it comes to how comfortable the RG505 is, I would say due to how light it is, you can easily have extended play sessions. Due to it being so light, I never felt my hand or arms aching. Design-wise, it’s a little underwhelming to look at; however, the RG505 more than makes up for that with its performance.
Apologies for some of the poor gameplay images. For some reason there appear to be scan lines in some of them. This is purely down to the pictures, and the actual image quality of the RG505 is excellent.
- 4.95” OLED Touch Screen Display (960 x 544)
- Unisoc Tiger T618 Octa-Core (2x [email protected] + 6x [email protected])
- Mali G52 GPU
- 4GM RAM
- 5000MAH Battery
- 128GB Memory
- Android 12
- Hall Joysticks
I’ve heard that some earlier units did not come with the Google Play Store included. However, Anbernic have since rectified this, and my unit did have it pre-installed. With the OTA update, all previous firmware should be updated easily to include this too.
I installed my emulation apps, added my ROMs and was ready to game, and like I always do, I jump in the deep end, so I immediately had to test PlayStation 2 emulation.
I firstly wanted to try God of War II on the PlayStation 2, and I’m happy to report that it was very much playable. Maybe slightly slow frame rates to what we would be happy with, you’re certainly not going to be getting 60fps, but overall, I managed to get around the 30fps mark.
Burnout Revenge is another favourite of mine, which again, was very playable. There was slight slowdown now and then but certainly nothing that broke the enjoyment of the game. Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal at first looked great in the opening cutscene, but then when in-game, frame rates dropped considerably, making it unplayable, really.
Playing Bully, on the other hand, was smooth, with minor frame rate drops, but again, perfectly playable at x1 resolution of the PS2. As you know by now, when I do these articles, I like to base them on ‘straight out of the box’ settings as there is nothing worse than having to tinker about when you first receive a handheld. So, I would imagine that with some tinkering with the emulator settings, you will get even better performance.
When it comes to PS2, it is very similar to the Pocket 3+, the chipset and spec being used within the RG505 will not emulate all PS2 games, but it will still play a large part of them well.
Where the RG505 does really well is with the GameCube emulation. I installed both Dolphin and Dolphin MMJR2 emulators as I found that some GameCube games worked better on one whilst they didn’t on the other, so you may have to try each one out first for the best results.
Playing Luigi’s Mansion at x2 resolution was a blast and worked really well. I was mainly hitting a constant 30fps, and the graphics looked excellent on the screen, with sharp vivid images that popped from the screen.
James Bond 007: Nightfire worked okay, though it had a few glitches; however, it was still hitting around the 30fps mark and didn’t spoil the gameplay in any way. Paper Mario, on the other hand, played really well, hitting 60fps throughout my play time. Overall, I was pleased with how well the GameCube performed.
I then tried God of War: Chains of Olympus on the PSP in 2x native resolution with frame skip of 2, and I was running at 60fps, only dropping slightly now and then. If I’d lowered it down to its native x1 resolution, I would not have needed any frame skip, getting a solid 30fps. As this is also the original PSP screen, it just looks stunning on the RG505.
Dreamcast also runs really well, as does the Sega Saturn. And when it comes to all of the other platforms, well, it’s no surprise that I say they run flawlessly, which you’d expect no other way. It’s testament to where we are moving towards and moved from. Hardware is moving at a fast rate, and I’m quite excited about what 2023 will bring, particularly at this price range.
Also, don’t forget that the RG505 runs on Android, which allows you to download some great Android games, as well as make you able to connect to Xbox Game Pass and PC game streaming. Just make sure you have a decent Wi-Fi connection and speed.
It states that the 5000MAH battery should give you around 6 hours of playtime, but it will depend on what you’re playing, etc. I found in reality I was getting around 4 – 5 hours.
Overall, I’m quite impressed with the Anbernic RG505. It’s not a perfect device though, mainly due to the style and the fact that it does feel so lightweight, it just doesn’t feel premium enough for me. However, performance-wise, the RG505 can hold its own against the likes of the Retrod Pocket 3+, and being able to play God of War: Chains of Olympus on the PSP at x2 resolution is a joy and makes it an easy sell.
You can buy your RG505 directly from Gogamegeek, who offer free shipping world-wide and fantastic customer service.