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Miyoo Mini Review (Micro Retro Game Handheld)

[UPDATE 1/10/22: The 4th official update from Miyoo drastically improves the screen and audio. The score I'd say now should be updated to 8.5/10.  They are tough to find,  so definitely keep an eye out on the next Miyoo restock.]

[UPDATE 12/28: The 3rd Update from Miyoo moderately improves audio issues and RetroArch settings now take effect, so improvements have happened.  It looks like Miyoo used some code from Shaun Inman's work in the new update (without anyone knowing)] 

*Using Update 20211226, I'm upgrading my Score on the Miyoo Mini from a 7.8/10 to a 8/10.  Hopefully we see even more improvements in the near future...There are issues with RA Autosaves crashing games and an assortment of oddities but the latest firmware is an improvement. Some good CFW is really needed. Also appears some emulators are not utilizing screen resolution yet as they are using upscaling to the resolution, but the scaling looks a LOT better now.  

*NOTE: If Updating at the moment, be sure to know exactly how to do it. This handheld is easy to brick if you miss a step. There are some quirks and issues with with firmware.

Use Google Translate For Miyoo Official Update Page:





Miyoo Mini Initial Review

*Will Revisit In Future After CFW Options Arise 

Ordered: 12/2/2021
Received: 12/19/2021
Review Date: 12/23/2021
Price Paid: $55.64 including Free Shipping + Taxes

*It should be noted that I don't think the screen on this handheld is IPS as advertised but at the price and size of the handheld, that's not a deal breaker. I was not a fan of Miyoo/BittBoy handhelds in the past,  but I do like this one quite a bit! This is just my initial review and I plan to follow up with a more in-depth look when community FW workarounds become available. 


Disclosure: I used my own personal funds on this handheld and do not benefit in any way from any links in this review. All opinions here are my own. 

Overall Initial Score - 7.8/10 [Potential Upside 9+]




The Good

🔥Top Notch Design & Build Quality
🔥Face Buttons & D-pad are Excellent 
🔥Very Small Yet Still Ergonomic & Functional
🔥Future Potential Is Optimistic 

The Bad 

👎The OS Build/Firmware/UI is a Mess
👎Screen Viewing Angle Is Really Small (Shouldn't Be That Small Being IPS)

In The End

Out of the box, weighing the price ($52) heavily, this is certainly an above average handheld worthy of your attention.  With a good custom OS/Firmware, this could be awesome and has the potential upside of a 9/10 level handheld. I don't think this would make for a great primary handheld but it does make for a great highly pocketable secondary handheld. 


If ordering, I'd probably suggest going with the DMG aesthetic color over the bright white. I went with white and it's Gandalf's staff level bright but you do get adjusted to the brightness of the shell after a while. Despite the flaws (most might be temporary), the Miyoo Mini has earned a spot in my handheld rotation. I'm impressed with Miyoo's jump in build quality over previous handhelds!  I'm not ready to put this in my Top Ten Budget Handhelds but it will likely make it onto the list in the future. 

Must Watch YouTube Video




GBA Temp First Impressions: 


OS/Firmware 👎

Version 202112110956

*Stock FW code may have been from TrimUI not S30. 

Out of the box, the OS/Firmware (even with the first update) has a clean yet sluggish and feature light UI that will slightly disappoint most veterans of this hobby. The software side of things is really what hamstrings this device. Emulators are running at a resolution that doesn't match the screen,  the sound is off (although that can be fixed pretty easy), the upscaling (bilinear?) is less than ideal and there are an assortment of other issues. You have the option to run games from the installed emulators or through RetroArch. For whatever reason,  the build of RA used here doesn't allow any settings in menu to work right,  so the deep customizations you get with RetroArch are pretty much non-existent for now.  There are some options in the individual emulators that can clean things up a bit. 

It does look like out of the community, Shaun Inman's MinUI loader will be ported over to the Miyoo Mini which is awesome news and hopefully we'll see an assortment of other options.  Considering the growing popularity of this handheld, community development support will definitely be strong. MinUI saved the TrimUI Model S and it can save this one too. 

Build Quality/Design 🔥

For the price ($52), and for the size,  the design is a grand slam combined with a build quality you simply don't see see in budget retro handhelds on the "cheap" side. I was expecting a cheap feeling handheld, but was shocked the moment I took it out of the box with the quality and how substantial it feels in the hands. Prior to this, I was not a fan of any Miyoo/BittBoy products. They have come a long way in a short period of time. Between the screen placement, tiny bezel, button placement, easily removable battery and other factors, the design here is great especially for such a small handheld. 




Screen 🤷‍♂️

The screen (IPS*) out of the box is a mixed bag. The color saturation is not great (not bad either) and it's not always sharp, but I am 90% certain that most of the issues are on the software side. Black levels, contrast and response times are good for the price point. 

One issue is that this is a 640x480 screen but everything is seemingly running at a lower resolution with no way to adjust that (with the stock setup). Combine running at lower resolution with some kind of forced scaling that's off, it just looks odd with some systems. 

 There is some kind of issue with the viewing angle being very tight as well. At the perfect straight on 0 Degree angle, the screen looks great but with the slightest deviation,  it starts to look off. If the screen is indeed IPS*, so this should not be happening. The complete cause of this issue is a mystery to me at the moment. 

 In this price range,  I'm still satisfied with the screen due to the brightness range it has and potential for tweaking settings in the future. 

*I haven't disassembled this handheld but I do suspect the screen may not be IPS as advertised but I'm not certain about that yet. The tight viewing angle is what makes me assume it's not IPS. 

Emulation Performance 👍
 
Most of the performance issues are a result of non optimized software, so with a good CFW in the future, we should see some improvement in the future. Running games through the Game section vs. RetroArch has varied results. Performance below is based on some light/medium testing on all the platforms. I am confident that with a good CFW in the future, everything below will play to a satisfactory or better level. We just aren't there yet...

After some light/medium testing, I was satisfied with Arcade, MAME, NeoGeo, PCE (TG16), Genesis, WSC, & NGPC.

PSX, NES (FC), SMS, SNES, GB, GBC, & GBA emulation was a mixed bag with an assortment of issues from audio problems, screen tearing and framerate drops. With the ability to optimize emulators and change settings, I think all of these could run great with the exception of PSX which I think will still be good when optimized. The lack of 3D acceleration makes it to where PS1 (PSX) will never be perfect but it will run well in the future. 

Buttons 👍

The face buttons on this handheld are nice. They are slightly on the "clicky" side but they are responsive and are well made and have tight movement (not too much play in them). The d-pad reminds me of Anbernic d-pads with the tight but accurate movement. I had no issues with diagonal movements for fighting games like you'll often have with the lower priced handhelds. 

Due to how small the handheld is,  L1/R1/L2/R2 aren't the most comfortable to use but they are positioned about as well as they possibly can be on a micro-handheld and are pretty nice. L2 and R2 stick out slightly further so it's easy to feel the difference between the two. I find that holding the handheld more flat like a compass in your hands and looking straight down makes it far easier to use and also helps with the funny viewing angle the screen has. 

Sound 🤷‍♂️

Sound is a mixed bag on this one.  Due to the size, you'll end up somewhat blocking the front facing speaker with your hand at times and there are issues with "crackling" noises. Some platforms the sound is drastically better than on others which leads me to think that is also a software/Firmware issue. Miyoo also apparently set the sound way too high, but that can be adjusted manually editing configuration files. 

Battery Performance 👍

All in all, I've found that you get a lot more battery life out of this handheld than advertised, so I have no complaints there. The battery is easily removed, so replacing the battery in the future should be no problem. 

Key Specs 

*Name: Miyoo Mini
*Brand: Miyoo/BittBoy 
*Form: Vertical Portrait
*OS: Lunux/Variant of S30 *OS/RA
*SoC: Sigmastar SSD202D
*CPU: Cortex-A7
*Cores: Dual
*Clock Speed: 1.2 GHz
*Architecture: ARM
*GPU: 2D Accelerator 
*RAM: 128MB
*Screen: Tempered Glass 4:3 2.8" IPS (per manufacturer although I'm not sure if it really is IPS..I suspect it's not) 640x480 285.71 PPI
*Battery: 1900 mAh
*Charge Port: USB-C
*Storage: External microSD
*Audio Out: 3.5mm 
*Speaker: Front-Facing Single Mono 
*Volume Control: Wheel and Menu
*Size: 65mm x 93.5mm x 18mm
*Weight: 106 Grams
*Colors: White, DMG Grey



Where To Buy

I suggest buying this handheld for $52 directly from Miyoo on AliExpress. Resellers are generally charging too much for it. 


Stock Marketing Photos From Miyoo

Taki's Miyoo Mini Review: 
(YouTube)

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