RG505 Review – Did Anbernic save the best till the last of 2022?

  • Design
    (4.5)
  • Build Quality
    (4.5)
  • Display
    (5)
  • Performance
    (4.5)
  • Features
    (4.5)

Summary

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!

Overall
4.6
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User Review
0 (0 votes)

Pros

  • Faster processor which brings improved performance across emulators
  • Google Play Store available
  • Easy firmware updating
  • Android 12
  • Hall effect sensor analogue sticks

Cons

  • 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.

RG505 Unboxed
RG505 Unboxed

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.

RG505 Unboxing
RG505 Unboxing

RG505 Overview

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.

RG505 Review Colours
RG505 Colours

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.

RG505 Top View
RG505 Top View

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 Bottom View
RG505 Bottom View

RG505 Technical Specifications

CPUUnisoc Tiger T618 64-bit octa-core – 2xA75 @2.0GHz & 6xA55 @2.0GHz
GPUMali G52 @850Mhz
RAM4GB LPDDR4X
STORAGE128GB high-speed eMMC 5.1 HS400
BATTERYLi-polymer 5000 mAh
Up to 9 hours battery life depending on usage*
RG505 Technical Specifications

* We ran the Antutu benchmark on a loop and got 5 hours 20 mins which is a decent time.

Android Overview

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!

RG505 Android Overview
RG505 Android Overview

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.

RG353MRG552GPD XP+RG505
ANTUTU96015171395670576219583
GEEKBENCH125 / 413307 / 708845 / 2869370 / 1453
3DMARK (SLINGSHOT)7551062Maxed Out!2164
ANDROID VERSION11111112
DUAL BOOTYESYESNONO
PRICE (DEC 2022)£180£220£440£204
RG505 benchmark results and comparison

We can see from the three benchmarks; Antutu, Geekbench and 3DMark, that the RG505 sits in between the older RG552 and the over double the price of GPD XP+ Android handhelds. 

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.

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.

Dolphin

RG505 Review Dolphin emulator
Dolphin emulator in RG505

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.

AetherSX2

AetherSX2 emulator
AetherSX2 PS2 emulator

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.

DraStic

DraStic emulator
DraStic emulator

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.

Citra

Citra emulator
Citra emulator

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.

PPSSPP

PPSSPP emulator
PPSSPP emulator

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!

Final Thoughts

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.

Sonic Adventure 2 on the RG505
Sonic Adventure 2 on the RG505

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.

Gran Turismo on the RG505
Gran Turismo on the RG505

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?

You can learn more and buy the RG505 here. Use the discount code RG5055OFF on the Checkout. Or browse our range of handheld gaming consoles here.

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.

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.