Author Topic: Dirt cheap Chinese knock-off handhelds  (Read 3170 times)

Dirt cheap Chinese knock-off handhelds
« on: April 17, 2018, 06:33:19 PM »
I've been playing a fair bit of Neo Geo and other arcade stuff on one of those dirt cheap Chinese knock off handhelds recently and loving it - definitely recommend one as they are stupidly cheap (I paid just under £27 on Alixpress for mine and it arrived in under a week). I went for the Coolbaby RS-97 because there's a lot of support for modding it at the moment, and there's an opendingux port which brings a whole load of new emulators to it.

As standard it comes with NeoGeo, CPS, NES, SNES, Megadrive, GB, GBA, GBC, GG and Master System but the OpenDingux firmware adds PC Engine, Wonderswan, Spectrum, C64, Coleco, Amiga, ST and lots more plus, most importantly for me, Final Burn Alpha for loads of arcade stuff. There's also the usual ports you would expect like Quake, Doom, Duke Nukem 3D plus loads more like FreeDroid which is a Paradroid clone. You can even run PS1 stuff on it - not everything of course (and 2D titles obviously work better than anything that pushed the original hardware) but there's plenty of games that work really well on it, and I suspect the compatibility will improve with time too.

I mainly wanted it for old arcade games rather than console stuff and it's great for that - the Capcom and Neo Geo stuff is faultless on it, both on the original firmware and OpenDingux. The hardware is pretty decent for something so cheap too - the d-pad is fine for most stuff, it's not great for fighting games but people have modded it to firm it up. I would have preferred a bigger screen than the 3" one but for just over £25 I can live with that.

Modding it does involve opening it up but it's really easy - it's literally just undoing a few screws to get at the micro SD card inside to flash the new firmware and that's it. Even if you can't be bothered to do that it's a nice little unit out of the box, even before you start deliving into OpenDingux.

There's loads of crappy Chinese handhelds about which I wouldn't recommend but the other decent popular option is the PAP K3 Plus, which does a similar sort of job but had the advantage of a bigger 4.3" screen (avoid the other earlier models which were rubbish). There's a fairly active community for that too, although not quite to the extent of the RS-97.

Re: Dirt cheap Chinese knock-off handhelds
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2018, 08:01:22 PM »
Would kind having a few handhelds off a dirty and cheap Chinese knockoff let me tell you.

Re: Dirt cheap Chinese knock-off handhelds
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2018, 08:16:33 PM »
I've got a GPD XD, which is basically an Android tablet made to look like a 3DS. I bought it to replace my GCW Zero that I managed to lose, and I miss dearly.

Android emulation just isn't the same. I might have to look into these...

Z

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Re: Dirt cheap Chinese knock-off handhelds
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2018, 10:28:43 PM »
I'm like a broken record in these kinds of threads, but what does a sub $50 android emulation thingamajig do that isn't done roughly as well by a PSP? Are they way lighter or something? Extra buttons? Gameboy micro levels of tiny? Are they able to be modded quite extensively via your PC? (instead of tediously clicking through a much more limited range of options on the PSP, I imagine arcade emulation on PSP suuuuuuucks)


Are there any of these running Windows? I've a dual boot teclast x80 pro tablet I got for about $40 in a sale that, while clearly brittle as fuck, is a bit of a powerhouse for the price. I'd have next to no doubt that it would have no trouble with anything up to N64/PS1 and probably quite a few PC indie games (keep meaning to check if Undertale is playable on it). I don't really get why all of these emulation devices seem relatively underpowered compared to similar priced tablets from out there.

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Re: Dirt cheap Chinese knock-off handhelds
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2018, 09:39:12 AM »
Yeah this looks great. I also have a GPD XD which I do love and have used loads but certainly is a faff at times. This looks ace for keeping at the bottom of your bag for emergencies.

Re: Dirt cheap Chinese knock-off handhelds
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2018, 06:44:53 PM »
I'm like a broken record in these kinds of threads, but what does a sub $50 android emulation thingamajig do that isn't done roughly as well by a PSP?

The ones being talked about here are not Android-based though.

Further reading online suggests these are kinda like the Dingoo handhelds of a few years ago, which had a really strong homebrew community. That people got OpenDingux up and running on these makes them REALLY attractive for the price. The GCW-Zero was trying to be the successor to the old Dingoos, and were REALLY good, but they fizzled out quickly, it appears.

They're probably a bit better than the PSP in that sense, and the fact they take micro SD cards, which are much cheaper and easier to find than Memory Stick Pro Duos (although adaptors exist to use micro SD cards in them). These things are more geared towards retro emulation, too.

As I say, Android stuff hasn't matched up to the results I got from a hacked PSP or the GCW Zero.

Am I right in thinking Aliexpress seems to be the place to go for these?

Elderly Sumo Prophecy

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Re: Dirt cheap Chinese knock-off handhelds
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2018, 07:05:10 PM »
"Whats that you're playing with there, Steve?"
"I'm playing with my PAP, John."
"Oh."

Re: Dirt cheap Chinese knock-off handhelds
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2018, 02:26:34 PM »
Am I right in thinking Aliexpress seems to be the place to go for these?

It was but I've just gone to buy another one for a friend and prices seemed to have jumped up a lot on there (from £26 a few weeks back to £35 or so). The cheapest option now is  Fasttech when they have a $10 coupon (which is pretty frequent) which is about £32 with fast shipping (a week or so).  Not quite the amazing value it was but I'd still be perfectly happy with mine if it had been £35.

Loads of info on them here - https://boards.dingoonity.org/ingenic-jz4760-devices/ and here - https://jutleys.wixsite.com/retrogamers97-90/home

Famous Mortimer

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Re: Dirt cheap Chinese knock-off handhelds
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2018, 03:23:29 PM »
I was on the site you listed, dmilburn, and found myself here. https://funnyplaying.com/collections/game-boy-advance/products/k101-pro-retro-game-console-gba-gbc-gb-sega-nes-sfc-neogeo-fully-compatible. Are they selling pre-modded ones or just selling the actual ones and bunging their own sticker on the back of it?

I'm torn between wanting one and realising when I'd played Super Mario Brothers through again, it would be sat gathering dust; but anyway, I looked to see how easy it would be to mod it. This video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hy9il-QAe-Y - very usefully has the fat-fingered twat obscure the only thing you really need to see (how he removes the micro-SD card).

EDIT: Holy fucking shit, people on Youtube who talk about games are dull as piss. I don't give a fuck about why you didn't do a vlog last week, you 5000-view having twat!
« Last Edit: April 26, 2018, 03:45:13 PM by Famous Mortimer »

Mister Six

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Re: Dirt cheap Chinese knock-off handhelds
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2018, 05:36:24 PM »
How do you play Spectrum games on these? Is there a digital keyboard or are you restricted to just the games that use a joystick and nothing else?

Re: Dirt cheap Chinese knock-off handhelds
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2018, 06:07:18 PM »
Are they selling pre-modded ones or just selling the actual ones and bunging their own sticker on the back of it?

Just the standard unit, don't think anyone is selling them pre-modded.

How do you play Spectrum games on these? Is there a digital keyboard or are you restricted to just the games that use a joystick and nothing else?

You can switch what the joypad does - Kempson, Sinclair Interface 2, Cursor or QAOP. There's an on screen keyboard you can call up for the odd keypress too.

Mister Six

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Re: Dirt cheap Chinese knock-off handhelds
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2018, 06:29:03 PM »
Ah. So probably not that good for something like Bak 2 Skool with its various unique keyboard functions?

Re: Dirt cheap Chinese knock-off handhelds
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2018, 11:42:23 AM »
It's been ages since I played Bak 2 Skool but I seem to remember it had absolutely loads of keys for stinkbombs, catapult, water pistol, catching the frog etc so that would be pretty much impossible I reckon, as even if you can map the keypresses somehow in the emulator I doubt you'd have enough - apart from the d-pad you've got 4 buttons on the right and two shoulder buttons, plus a couple used for power and bringing menus up. A game needing more than 6 buttons plus cursors is very unusual though, there's not many games you'd have issues with. I guess in theory you could use the on screen keyboard for the special commands if you were absolutely desperate to play it on one of these but really you need something with an actual keyboard.

Famous Mortimer

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Re: Dirt cheap Chinese knock-off handhelds
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2018, 01:35:18 PM »
I was watching some videos and happened upon the GPD XD, which seems to be the high-end version of all these, is an Android thing, etc. I've never really messed with Android emulation because (obviously) my phone has no buttons.

Oh, I'm going to get excited about it then not bother. I'm sorry for derailing this thread, if I have. I do love old games though.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2018, 01:58:52 PM by Famous Mortimer »

madhair60

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Re: Dirt cheap Chinese knock-off handhelds
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2018, 01:50:33 PM »
Hello, I'm Stuart Ashen, and this is my bread and butter. Whoops! (Falls down the stairs, subarachnoid haemmorhage, dies knowing nothing)

Famous Mortimer

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Re: Dirt cheap Chinese knock-off handhelds
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2020, 06:09:35 PM »
It's been a good few years for dirt-cheap Chinese knock-off handhelds.

There's the RG350, with a fancy new metal-body version just released; the 1-Up PiBoy XL, which is a little pricier but looks fantastic; and the GPD XD Plus is coming down in price because the GPD people are about ready to launch their new thing with a Kickstarter or something. I read a rumour that it's going to be $700+, even for the early adopters, so this new one had better be amazing).

Anyway, even a few of the super-cheap ones can do a lot these days. The Bittboy Pocket Go 2 is 50 quid or thereabouts and can play up to PS1 with no problems (the N64 is the only non-starter, apparently).

Re: Dirt cheap Chinese knock-off handhelds
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2020, 09:07:43 PM »
I don't see the point given what retropie or even a modded wii (which many will have forgotten in a cupboard) will do.

The polymega thing looks intriguing, but also fucking expensive as it's modular.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=493PKDeDzsE

I've got a megadrive and snes (and atari 2600, n64, wii) so would be more likely to get an everdrive.

Re: Dirt cheap Chinese knock-off handhelds
« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2020, 09:11:59 PM »


As I say, Android stuff hasn't matched up to the results I got from a hacked PSP or the GCW Zero.



Parappa the rappa ran pretty smoothly on my shield tablet when I tried it, but with a touchscreen controller, I'd have had just as much luck jabbing my cock at the screen.

Re: Dirt cheap Chinese knock-off handhelds
« Reply #18 on: May 13, 2020, 10:09:12 AM »
I was watching some videos and happened upon the GPD XD, which seems to be the high-end version of all these, is an Android thing, etc. I've never really messed with Android emulation because (obviously) my phone has no buttons.

Oh, I'm going to get excited about it then not bother. I'm sorry for derailing this thread, if I have. I do love old games though.

If you want to use your phone, there are controller options for Android. You could try a telescopic controller like this;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1pm876OiKw

Or you can connect a PlayStation 3/4, Xbox One or one of the various 8Bitdo controllers using a suitable clip like this;


Famous Mortimer

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Re: Dirt cheap Chinese knock-off handhelds
« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2020, 03:37:37 PM »
I don't see the point given what retropie or even a modded wii (which many will have forgotten in a cupboard) will do....

I've got a megadrive and snes (and atari 2600, n64, wii) so would be more likely to get an everdrive.
Topic title: Dirt cheap Chinese knock-off handhelds

I bought and modded a PSP a while ago, and it was fine, but I sold it after a few months because the Switch played the main games from the very early generations I wanted (your Metroids and Castlevanias and SMBs) and I figured by the time I'd finished messing with what the Switch had to offer, something that could play N64 games would be out.

I won't touch Kickstarter, but I reckon when this comes out, I might get one. https://www.experimentalpi.com/PiBoy-DMG--Full-Kit_p_18.html

Re: Dirt cheap Chinese knock-off handhelds
« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2020, 03:57:55 PM »
Not exactly on topic but he dsi is a bit a beast now it's been hacked. You can play ds games straight off the SD card (no r4 needed) and the gba emulation seems to be extremely good (I gather it still has the hardware in it to play gba games even if it doesn't have the card slot). Can get one for under £20 online.

Re: Dirt cheap Chinese knock-off handhelds
« Reply #21 on: May 21, 2020, 03:19:52 PM »
It's been a good few years for dirt-cheap Chinese knock-off handhelds.

There's the RG350, with a fancy new metal-body version just released;
I like the look of the RG350. Trying to weigh up whether to get the regular or the metal one. Very similar spec to the GCW Zero I fleetingly owned, I like the positioning of the controls on the RG350M more, and the sticks look like they protrude less than on the plastic version.

Regardless, is Droidbox okay to order from?

https://droidbox.co.uk/vintage-gaming-consoles.html

Seems to be my best bet for ordering one (UK based, next-day delivery, cheaper than Amazon), but want to be sure before I do.

Jim Bob

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Re: Dirt cheap Chinese knock-off handhelds
« Reply #22 on: May 21, 2020, 07:09:53 PM »
I like the look of the RG350.

I've just ordered myself one.  I'm currently in the process of downloading hundreds of roms in anticipation.  Playing PSOne games in bed?  Yes please!  I cannae hardly wait!  This will be the best thing to come out of China in months.

Trying to weigh up whether to get the regular or the metal one.

I went for the black and orange model.


Regardless, is Droidbox okay to order from?

https://droidbox.co.uk/vintage-gaming-consoles.html

Seems to be my best bet for ordering one (UK based, next-day delivery, cheaper than Amazon), but want to be sure before I do.

Eh, it's not much cheaper than Amazon (which is where I ordered mine from) and personally, I can wait a few days for delivery (gives me time to prep files and games for it).  I wouldn't personally take the risk, but that may just be me being overly cautious.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2020, 07:19:55 PM by Jim Bob »

Famous Mortimer

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Re: Dirt cheap Chinese knock-off handhelds
« Reply #23 on: May 21, 2020, 08:20:15 PM »
I think the screen is slightly better on the 350M than the 350, but the internals are the same. I'm going by the million YT videos I've watched on the subject.

You'll have to tell me what it's like when it comes. I'm torn between getting a cheap one to just mess about with or waiting for something with a Raspberry Pi 4 in it that can play everything.

Jim Bob

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Re: Dirt cheap Chinese knock-off handhelds
« Reply #24 on: May 22, 2020, 01:38:43 AM »
I'm torn between getting a cheap one to just mess about with or waiting for something with a Raspberry Pi 4 in it that can play everything.

For me, the Holy Grail will arrive when a handheld can emulate all the way up to PS2/XBox360 with no worries.  I think that's about as far as I'd care to go emulation wise; anything beyond that feels like its going past the retro remit.  For now, I'll be very happy with my Retro Game 350.  Perhaps the only thing I'll be missing is a touchscreeen for adventure games.

Famous Mortimer

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Re: Dirt cheap Chinese knock-off handhelds
« Reply #25 on: May 23, 2020, 03:07:16 PM »
The Odroid Go Advance has a new Black Edition coming out, which has L2 and R2 buttons and a better charging port.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39ruUQgTDN0

Then, almost immediately there's a clone of it.

https://retrododo.com/rk2020/

This RK2020 apparently plays PS1 games pretty smoothly, too. I think for the price it is, it might be worth getting just to leave in my work bag so I can play it on breaks. $65 is pretty good.

Re: Dirt cheap Chinese knock-off handhelds
« Reply #26 on: May 23, 2020, 03:19:12 PM »
I think the screen is slightly better on the 350M than the 350, but the internals are the same. I'm going by the million YT videos I've watched on the subject.

You'll have to tell me what it's like when it comes. I'm torn between getting a cheap one to just mess about with or waiting for something with a Raspberry Pi 4 in it that can play everything.

From what I can gather, yeah better screen, and the analog sticks are recessed.

One thing I've been hearing is the metal ones, is slightly inferior battery life. That might be due to the screen. The "Internal" SD card can also be accessed without opening it.

Weighing up if the screen is worth it. The original screen is the same as the GCWZero was (also ran openDingux), and that was fine for me, and for 16-bit stuff should be more than enough...

Re: Dirt cheap Chinese knock-off handhelds
« Reply #27 on: May 23, 2020, 06:51:33 PM »
How does a CFW PS Vita stack up against these options? And can you do the remote play stuff with a PS4 if the Vita is running CFW?


Jim Bob

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Re: Dirt cheap Chinese knock-off handhelds
« Reply #28 on: May 23, 2020, 08:02:07 PM »
My Retro Game 350 arrived in the post today.  Sadly I cannot give it a proper evaluation until my SD card reader arrives in the post, so that I can copy roms to it and properly test the emulation capabilities.  However, initial reaction = mixed bag.  I'll post a proper review once I have all of the kit to hand.  For now, I'll simply say if you're thinking of buying one, hold off for the moment.  There are a few issues that may be a bugbear for some.  More thoughts to follow...

Famous Mortimer

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Re: Dirt cheap Chinese knock-off handhelds
« Reply #29 on: May 23, 2020, 09:29:49 PM »
I like Retrododo and ETA Prime on Youtube, for their reviews and previews of all the retro handhelds. They balance price into the equation when giving their ratings, too, so they don't just say "the GPD XD Plus is the best".

I'm sorely tempted by the RK2020, though. I might wait for a few more reviews on how good the build is, but for $59 (which is the price of a good night out) it seems like it makes sense.

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