[OBSOLETE] Retroid Pocket 2 Review

[Previous Update: December 18, 2020... Due to the low price of the Retroid Pocket 2 Plus (RP2+, the original Retroid Pocket 2 is in effect now obsolete. See RP2+ Review. GoRetroid.com site has now removed the original RP2 from sales... Following review remains as it was in 2020...] -- JAN 2022

Retroid Pocket 2 Review 
- $84.99

💖 8.5/10

The Good
👍Build Quality 
👍Handles PS1/PSP/N64 Well
👍Comfortable Form Factor
👍Great Customer Service 

The Bad
👎Android 8 Is Buggy
😬Plastic Material Feels Slick 
💩Retroid OS is a Mess
👎Takes a Lot of Tweaking 
👎Delivery Is Slow 
👎Face Buttons Are a Bit Small

All in all, for the price there aren't many complaints about this system. While its not my favorite handheld, its very close and I find myself using it more and more the longer I have it. I'd definitely suggest buying one or two at the current price because they will not be in production forever. There are some flaws with the system but it really gives us a glimpse at where the future of handheld emulation systems are headed. One pleasant surprise with this system was also that the GoRetroid customer service team is excellent and responsive. 

In the lower cost realm of handheld game consoles in the emulation world, the Retroid Pocket 2 is with no doubt currently a top 3 console. My opinions have changed here and there over the past month and a half with the system. If you can only buy one system, I'd definitely suggest RG350P(orM), Retroid Pocket 2 or RG351 as the top 3 options. My opinion is likely to change on this considering how rapidly retro emulation consoles are getting better and better. 

The Retroid Pocket 2 is a massive improvement over the original Retroid Pocket which gives me hope that the RP3 in the future is even better. The primary selling point with the Retroid Pocket 2 is the option to use Android which opens up the door for better emulators and more gaming options. Android 6 with some settings tweaks works fine on the system. Unfortunately the promise of Android 8 on the system has hit a wall of bugs. At this point I'm not sure if the Retroid team will work that out or not. You can go ahead and flash 8 if you want but will likely regret it. 

Dreamcast/PSP/N64 👍

The big hype around the system was based on how it can run Dreamcast, PSP and N64 emulation well. This is very true with PSP and N64. With the right tweaks and experimentation in the PPSSPP app, PSP games play excellent even some of the more demanding games. Dreamcast not so much. It can handle some DC games at an almost passable level but it will frustrate anyone looking to play at a quality level.  The best results for all 3 come through Android app use. I wouldn't bother with Retroid OS. The quality just isn't there and in Retroid OS there is no way to tweak emulator settings. The sales pitch of it being a Dual Boot system just doesn't have much value when the other OS is Retroid OS. 

The Price 🔥

For $84.99 or the sale price of $80 I'd say the console is 100% worth the price as long as you are willing to put in some time tweaking the system to your liking. This is NOT a open the box and everything plays well kind of system. You definitely have to put some work into it. Sometimes a lot of work depending on what you play. 

Console Specs 👍

💥 3.5" IPS Display 640x480
💥 ARM Mali-4000 GFX
💥 4000MAH Battery 
💥 Wi-fi / Bluetooth 4.0
💥 Android 6 / Retroid OS
💥 Quad Core Cortex-A7 1.5GHX

All things considered, the specs are great on the console. The speakers are good enough and Bluetooth 4.0 was a nice touch. I would have paid a little extra for a bump in RAM though. With a little more RAM or processing power, quality Dreamcast emulation might have been realized. Retroid OS simply is a pretty terrible OS most people will not use. Android 6 is dated and holds the potential of this system back. 

The Build/Design 👍 

Build quality is excellent especially for the price. My primary complaints with the build/design is the slick plastic could have used rubber padding on the back like Abernic started using with the RG350P and the face buttons should be a bit bigger. Another feature missing from the RP2 is clickable thumbsticks.  Some people people complain about the locatio of the left thumbstick being over the d-pad but I personally prefer that style so no complaints from me on that. No L3/R3 capability is a drawback playing certain games. 

The concaved d-pad is excellent on this system and all buttons are responsive. The system as a whole feels solid and well built. The form factor is great and they managed to make the console look distinctly unique.  

NetPlay 👍

With Wi-fi, Bluetooth, Android and various Netplay options on the system, the doors are wide open for multi-player gaming. Its one reason buying 2 especially at the price is a good idea. Personally I'm more into single player games most of the time but the option to download files etc straight onto the system make that very convenient. Wirelessly backing up saves to Google Drive is convenient as well. Android opens up a whole library of games as well especially if you have the Play Pass. Games optimized for use with controllers work mostly well on the system although I sometimes have to cut Wi-fi off playing certain Android games to avoid overhearing. Touch screen based games obviously don't work well without a touchscreen. There is a mouse mode which is passable for navigating Android. 

Retroid OS 👎

I'm not going to spend a lot of time discussing Retroid OS. You can't tweak or customize it much. It does have a game "store" loaded with ROMs most of which are bad versions and don't work well. For the most part, you can skip using Retroid OS and not really miss out on anything. 

Emulation Performance 👍

The RP2 can handle everything up to SEGA Dreamcast plus PlayStation Portable (PSP) and Nintendo DS. DS and PSP performance once you get things tweaked is surprisingly excellent especially DS. Using an app like Drastic, I tend to play DS in full screen mode and program R1 and R2 to swap screens or pull up two small screens at once. It works well enough for me and in some games that don't really require 2 screens at once, you get a better and less distraction experience than the 2 screen DS style. Some reviewers have ignored the DS as an option but I find this system to be awesome for most DS games. I've had great results with around 80% of the PSP games I've tried. As far as Dreancast, the experience is simply mixed at best. 

The stock N64 Android that comes preloaded with the system is the one to go with.  It handles most N64 at a high level. If you are looking for a flawless 007 experience you may be a little disappointed but 90% of N64 games run fine with slight tweaking in the settings. 

Order one here: 

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