Overall a very good performing retro gaming handheld with hall effect sensor analogues, Android 12, Google Play Store and easy firmware updating. Anbernic are finally heading in the right direction again!
User Review( votes)
- Faster processor which brings improved performance across emulators
- Google Play Store available
- Easy firmware updating
- Android 12
- Hall effect sensor analogue sticks
- Emulators take a little setting up
- No HDMI output
It’s another week and another Anbernic handheld with our RG505 review. This time we have a different processor, the same used in the Retroid Pocket 3+. Lets see how the latest offering from Anbernic turns out and have they made any improvements with Android?
RG505 Review Video
Unboxing the RG505
We start our RG505 review with the unboxing. There is some nice new packaging for the RG505 which is good to see. Inside is the RG505 handheld itself which we will show in more detail shortly.
Underneath the packaging is a MicroSD card. There is a user manual sheet which is in English and Chinese. There is a screen protector and wipes for when applying it. And last but not least is a USB Type-C charge cable inside the box.
The RG505 gaming handheld measures around 7.4 x 3.4 x 0.7 inches (18.9 x 8.7 x 1.8cm) and weighs 286g. It is available in three colours Yellow, Turquoise and Grey.
The display is a 4.95” OLED touchscreen with a resolution of 960X544 which looks very clear and vibrant.
You have the standard gaming controls on the front including hall effect sensor analogue sticks for improved accuracy and less wear and tear. Its good to see these new breed of sticks being used in handhelds more commonly!
On the left is the volume rocker, and on the right are Return and Function buttons.
On the top you have your shoulder and trigger style buttons, in the middle is a 3.5mm headphone port and to the right is the USB Type-C charge port.
And on the bottom of the RG505 retro gaming handheld is a Micro SD card slot for your game storage. In the middle is the Power Button.
RG505 Technical Specifications
|Unisoc Tiger T618 64-bit octa-core – 2xA75 @2.0GHz & 6xA55 @2.0GHz
|Mali G52 @850Mhz
|128GB high-speed eMMC 5.1 HS400
|Li-polymer 5000 mAh
Up to 9 hours battery life depending on usage*
* We ran the Antutu benchmark on a loop and got 5 hours 20 mins which is a decent time.
We continue our RG505 review with a look at the Android 12 operating system. In the past with a few Android based Anbernic handhelds, I have had some complaints about the setup. The setup felt unfinished with apps not set up, unnecessary apps installed and most importantly there was no Google Play Store. We are pleased to say that we now have access to the Play Store which will either be pre-installed or available as a firmware update on the RG505 android gaming handheld. The firmware updates are easy to perform and simply requires running their update app and following the prompts. Well done Anbernic for both of these additions!
The apps themselves however still take a bit of setting up, but it’s mainly for where the game files can be located on either internal or micro SD card storage. Some apps did require a bit more setting up such as the controls.
There is also the built-in screen controller mapping which we have seen in Anbernic’s recent Android handhelds. It works very well and definitely gives you the upper hand on games such as first person shooters!
Benchmark Results and Comparison
As part of our RG505 review we ran some system benchmarks which we can use to see how well in general the RG505 performs We can also compare with other Android devices.
|125 / 413
|307 / 708
|845 / 2869
|370 / 1453
|PRICE (DEC 2022)
These are great scores for the Tiger processor when compared with the usual RockChip processors. There’s definitely enough of a difference in performance between the RG353M and RG505 compared to the relatively low price difference of around £24.
So we can see that the RG505 performs roughly between up to three times as much as the RG353 series and up to twice as much as the RG552, let’s see how that transforms for emulator performance.
The RG505 handheld is capable of running up to the PS1 and Dreamcast era just fine with full speed with next to no issues on those systems. We saw with the RG353 series that some Dreamcast games for example had performance issues. Let’s take a look at some of the more demanding and recent systems.
There is a mix of performance on the Dolphin emulators. Some games such as Burnout 2 will run at a full 60 FPS where others including first party titles will drop to around 40 frames per second. This is far better performance than we saw on the RG353 series, but the RG505 is not quite 100% perfect for Dolphin.
The PlayStation 2 emulator AetherSX2 will run some less demanding games such as Neo Contra which runs great. Whereas Crash Twinsanity runs very slow and it’s not enjoyable to play even at 0.5 rendering resolution on a standard. It’s nice to have some working games but you wouldn’t buy it just for PS2 emulation.
We ran a bunch of games on the dual screen emulator and had no problems at all. Castlevania Portrait of Ruin works perfectly. We also played some football on FIFA 11 and it all works great. And you can of course have the dual screens side by side, or switch to a single larger screen.
The Citra emulator runs quite mixed on the RG505. We are testing Sonic Generations and the game is kind of playable after the first playthrough with shader caching generated. Rayman Origins works very well and is playable on first playthrough. Not all games will run but it’s definitely worth trying a few to see what works well.
We are checking out God of War on the PPSSPP emulator. We are getting a mostly solid 60 frames per second with no frame skipping at 1x rendering resolution. You can put it to double resolution but you get some drops below 60. For other games depending on how demanding they are, you can increase the rendering resolution higher for improved visuals. Overall, PSP emulation is great!
We conclude our RG505 review with our thoughts on the handheld. Overall I am very impressed by the RG505 gaming handheld. This is mainly due to the change of processor as the RK3566 is past its date now. However, that does not mean the Tiger T618 should be the choice of processor for the 2023 series of Anbernic’s handhelds. We would like to see a larger jump in performance that has Dolphin running 100% and more PS2 titles working.
But as it is, the RG505 is a decent retro gaming handheld. The size is just right and the OLED display looks great with very good brightness and colours. Android 12 is overall a bit nicer than their previous versions and having the Google Play Store means we can download new apps and update old ones. The built in firmware updater is a welcome addition, but really these things should have been in there from the start.
The RG505 gaming handheld is definitely worth considering as a new handheld or if you were planning on upgrading from an older model. There is a nice boost in performance and the pricing is very competitive with older and slower processor models.
Where to buy the RG505?
That wraps up our RG505 review, we hope you have found it useful? Do you plan on buying the RG505 as your first handheld or are upgrading from an older model? Let us know in the comments.