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Retroid Pocket 2+ : Everything you need to know


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The Retroid Pocket 2+ is the brand-new handheld emulation device by Retroid, who released the previously incredibly popular Retroid Pocket, and Retroid Pocket 2. Their current Retroid Pocket 2+ appears to be an excellent device, capable of handling even the most demanding of emulators and has enough horsepower under the hood to be more powerful than many would anticipate for the form-factor that it inhabits. Better yet, you can even upgrade your old Retroid Pocket 2 to the upgraded model if you are looking for the best performance possible from your device, while reusing the shell.

It’s an incredibly powerful portable, and is also one that should not go unnoticed in the heated arena of Retro Handheld emulation devices, with an incredibly competitive price that blows away the competition. We can say that without an iota of hyperbole because that’ just how good, and competitive the device is at the time of writing.

There’s a lot to unpack about the Retroid Pocket 2+, but we’re here to break it down for you so you can make an informed choice, and understand just what this handheld is all about.

Retroid Pocket 2+ specifications

Model CPU GPU RAM Screen Screen size Battery Operating System Connectivity Price
Retroid Pocket 2+ Unisoc Tiger 310 (Quad-core, 1x A75, 3x A55) PowerVR GE8300  2GB LPDDR4X Capacitive 3.5-inches 4000mAh Android 9 Bluetooth 5.0, WiFi 2.4/6G

USB-C

Micro HDMI

$99

Based on specs alone, the Retroid Pocket 2+ outclasses almost every single other handheld available at this price point. This can be owed to the PowerVR GE8300, which was originally made way back in 2016, so it’s likely that Retroid found a good source of the aged entry-level mobile chip to integrate into their latest handheld device. That, combined with a 3.5-inch capacitive touchscreen display makes the Retroid Pocket 2+ a formidable option for anyone looking to play games on the device.

The additon of WiFi support over 5.0Ghz means that in addition to everything else, you should be able to run something like Moonlight on there, which means that you’ll be able to stream games running from your desktop with ease, without having ot wait ages, or having to fork out for a device like the Steam Deck, Ayaneo, or OneXPlayer class of powerful handheld systems on the market today.

Retroid Pocket 2+ features

With an impressive set of specifications, the Retroid Pocket 2+ seems to have the horsepower under its hood to make for an excellent emulation device, but hardware doesn’t make a good product alone. However, this device has also got the chops when it comes to features, too.

  • Improved D-Pad
  • Raised action butrtons
  • 4:3 resolution display perfect for retro cosnoles
  • Micro HDMI port
  • Micro SD slot
  • Is able to run anything that Android 9 is able to
  • More headphone jacks than most Android phones

The Retroid Pocket 2+ has dozens of features built into the software and design that you’ll definitely benefit from when it comes to regular usage. The ability to plug it into a Micro HDMI port and connect up controllers to it turns the device into a powerful, portable mini console all unto itself. It could be an extreme improvement on the rest of the competition, which lacks both horsepower, in addition to the functionality that a $100 device that’s also capable of running Android relies on.

You might wince when you hear Android, and prefer other emulator OS’s like 351Elec on the Anbernic side of things, but the reality is that Android is infinitely more customizable, and Retroid has also developed a custom front-end for the system, meaning that you will be able to launch straight into your library of titles, which can also be scraped while the device is on to get heaps of metadata about the games you are running without having to wait for approximately seven million years unlike the RG351, which we have sat through on numerous times at this point.

The design also looks clean, and with improved buttons compared to the original Retroid Pocket 2, the handheld appears to be incredibly impressive. One thing to note however is the lack of L3 and R3 options which may be an issue if you were looking to run never Android titles on the Retroid Pocket 2+. Otherwise, the only minor complaint that we have is that the right analog stick is actually not an Analog stick at all, but in fact a slider much like the one we’ve previously seen in Nintendo’s 3DS. A bigger analog stick would indeed need a bigger housing, but we’ve already seen it done on smaller devices, so step it up Retroid.

It’s a really minute problem that immediately presents a huge input issue when attemping to emulate more afvanced consoles, as the Retroid Pocket 2+ is able to do.

What consoles does the Retroid Pocket 2+ emulate?

Being an Android-based device, you are going to be fumbling around in Retroarch a huge amount, but it also swings open the gates to dozend of emulators that you might not have otherwise known about. Please note that when we say that it can emulate a console, we don’t mean that all of its library might be playable. For example, a game running on the Dolphin emulator such as Viewtiful Joe might run incredibly well, but a more taxing title like Resident Evil 4 might be totally unplayable.

The Retroid Pocket 2+ will inevitably struggle to emulate some of those trickier and more powerful consoles, but that’s just about the only thing that the Retroid Pocket 2+ might struggle with. We’ve plopped together a pretty exhaustive list of what you can emulate on the Retroid Pocket 2+ below.

Consoles Handhelds Retro PCs Arcade Systems
3DO Atari Lynx Amiga MAME
Atari 2600, 5200, 800, 7800 & Jaguar Game Boy Amstrad Final Burn Neo
Colecovision Game Boy Color Atari ST Neo-Geo / CD
PC Engine (Turbografx 16 & CD) Game Boy Advance Commodore 64 (C16, Plus4 & C128) Naomi
NES Nintendo DS Intellivision
SNES Nintendo 3DS MSX
N64 Virtual Boy PC (via DOSBOX)
Gamebube Game Gear ScummVM
Sega SG-1000 Neo Geo Pocket, Color ZX Spectrum
Sega Master System PSP
Sega Genesis Wonderswan, Color
Sega CD & 32X
Sega Saturn
Sega Dreamcast
Sony Playstation
Sony Playstation 2

As you can see, our non-exhaustive list has a huge number of consoles that you can play using the Retroid Pocket 2, tens of thousands of games that could all be playable at your fingertips, if you have the files to do so. Some of these emulators will require a bios to configure, so you need to ensure that you have access to the console beforehand, so be warned that setup might be a little bit tricky if you’ve never set up a device like this beforehand. Luckily, there’s an excellent guide by RetroGameCorps which will help you get your device up and running if you’ve never had to use an emulator before.

Is the Retroid Pocket 2+ worth it?

Without a doubt, the Retroid Pocket 2+ is worth it. The device is one of the best handheld emulators you can buy in 2022, and this is owed to the number of systems that you are able to emulate on it, which range all the way from NES to Gamecube. It’s unlikely that the Retroid Pokcet 2+ will get dethroned any time soon, so it’s well-worth ensuring that you can get the best performance in that particular price point.

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