The Retroid Pocket 2 – New And Improved?

The Retroid Pocket 2 is the most recent handheld from MooreChip Technologies. It’s a rethink of their Retroid Pocket (aka Super Retro Handheld aka PowKiddy A19) from late last year, with some improvements.

At first glance it looks as though the redesign is mostly skin deep, utilising the same MT6580 as before. They have increased the RAM from 512MB to 1GB though, and it looks like the CPU might have been overclocked to 1.5GHZ too. The MT6580 isn’t a particularly powerful chip, falling far behind the RK3326 found in the OGA and similar devices.

FEATURES AND OS

The Retroid Pocket 2 is configured with the option to dual boot, just like the later versions of their first device. It allows you to either boot in to Android 6, or a Pandora’s Box type interface. This device doesn’t appear to have a touchscreen, so the second boot option is probably tailored for non-touchscreen devices. It would have been better to just come up with a proper single boot solution I think, instead of relying on two different options in order to cover all bases.

Retroid Pocket 2 Retail Package

One of the selling points of this device is the ability to play local multiplayer via netplay. Netplay is a feature of RetroArch and it relies on peer-to-peer networking over your WiFi connection. Whilst it’s a nice thing to have, I believe you need an active internet connection to make it work. I may be wrong though and it will be interesting to see how the Retroid team have implemented this feature.

INPUTS AND OUTPUTS

The front of the device appears to have two analog sticks, but on closer inspection this is not the case. The stick on the right hand side is recessed almost flush to the front of the unit and is tagged as a “digital” stick on the website. I’m not sure of the reason for doing this over actually having a second analog stick. The front of the unit also has the standard 3 buttons required for navigation of Android. There’s also a HDMI output, headphone output, expandable storage via microSD and a USB-C charge port too.

Retroid Pocket 2 - New and Improved?

I really like the look of the Retroid Pocket 2, it’s chunky and playful looking but has also had a lot of thought put in to the design. The stacked shoulder buttons are a really nice touch and I hope other manufacturers go this route in future.

Unfortunately the choice of CPU and non-committal dual boot option is a deal breaker for me. At this point I feel anything less than an RK3326 is a bit of a step backwards. It’ll be interesting to see which direction MooreChip go with their next device though.

The Retroid Pocket 2 is available now at goretroid.com and costs $80 plus shipping.

RETROID POCKET 2 @ GORETROID

45 thoughts on “The Retroid Pocket 2 – New And Improved?”

  1. I just received mine yesterday, and I am thrilled with it. The build quality is truly special for a product like this. It looks and feels like a mainstream, commercial product. The screen is beautiful. It’s not just the 640×480 resolution, although that’s great. It also has great color that really pops, and there is a wide range of adjustment for the brightness so that it won’t burn your eyes out in a dark room. Controls are clicky, firm, and responsive. Rapid presses in shooters are no problem. Emulation performance is surprisingly good for most systems. I think the Dreamcast performance is a bit overstated in some reviews, but it’s mostly playable with very little fiddling. It’s not perfectly smooth, and some titles just don’t work well. That may get better with time, especially given how popular this handheld has been. It’s not hard to imagine the Flycast developers working in optimizations for a device that has already sold thousands. I haven’t dug into PPSSPP under Android yet, so I can’t speak to that, but PSP is hit-and-miss on the Retroid OS side. Everything lower than Dreamcast/PSP runs flawlessly. Having Android also means I can sideload Steam Link and let my desktop render the more advanced titles. Battery life is great. Standby uses almost no power, even when you leave a game running. You just hit the power button, it automatically pauses your game, and later you pick it up to jump right back in. Reminds me of the 3DS that way.

    It’s a really great combination of performance, build quality, polish, and flexibility. Internals aren’t everything, and this is an exceedingly well-balanced product for a great price. Would I like a slightly more powerful chipset? Sure. But I’ll look forward to the Retroid Pocket 3 for that. For now, this one is more than I hoped it would be, and I’ve got a huge number of games I want to play without worrying about the few that don’t work well.

    Reply
  2. Does anyone know if the Retroid Pocket 2 better than the upcoming RG351 or is the RG351 gong to be better than the Retroid Pocket 2? I would hate to pay 80 or 90 bucks for the Retroid Pocket 2 and shortly after find out the RG351 is better.But the same time I would hate to wait a couple of months and find out that the Retroid Pocket 2 is better and trying to get through the holiday rush.

    Reply
    • New Chinese handhelds are being released every month. If you wait for a better one, you will be waiting forever.
      The new RG will be similar (up to dreamcast) but probably with better button layout. It wont run on Android, though. That should be considered if you intend to do more.

      Reply
    • This One has the better hardware. 1 Gb ddr3 RAM, faster cpu, bigger batterie, hdmi output, bluetooth, Android 8 OS etc. According to many reviews its the best handheld emulator in its pricerange up today.

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    • The RG351 is a clone of the already existing Odroid-Go Advance, which already has several clones on the market (Powkiddy RGB10, ZPG Pro, RK2020). I have two Odroid-Go Advances and one Retroid Pocket 2, and I can assure you that the Pocket 2 vastly exceeds the OGA in terms of all-around performance. N64, Dreamcast, and PSX will all run better on the Retroid Pocket 2, with N64 being an abysmal experience on the RK3326 RockChip OGA/RG351 CPU). PSP is a mixed bag, as some titles perform better on either device, so it’s a case-by-case basis.

      As far as anything below PSX, both handhelds will perform well. The RG351 will likely have better MAME and CPS performance, as the Retroid Pocket 2 seems to do poorly with arcade titles. Battery life is also significantly better managed on the Pocket 2, with an hour of N64 or Dreamcast gaming only draining around 5%. I imagine the RG351 will likely use around a 4000mAh battery, so you can expect battery life similar to the Powkiddy RGB10–good but not great.

      Reply
      • I don’t agree with this post!
        The RP2 has horrible battery life!
        It has twice the size of battery, yet eats it at the same speed as the RG350P!
        My experience, running PSP games, the RP2 runs out of it’s 4000mAh battery juice, after a mere 2 hours and a bit!

        In my opinion, any upgrade from an RG350P, isn’t recommended; at least not until we have CPUs that are made at 10nm or below, so they can not only work longer on a battery charge, but also reach higher CPU frequencies.
        Dreamcast, Mame, PSP, PS2, even Neo Geo, they all recommend a 2Ghz CPU minimum for emulation purposes (single core for x86, dual core for arm)!

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    • I have both the Retroid Pocket 2 and the RG350P, and in my opinion, the RG350P is the better handheld of the two.
      Sure, it’s screen resolution is a little lower, it’s battery size is smaller, and it only has 2 cores, vs 4 on the Retroid Pocket 2.
      However, the RG350 series, are mainly made for retro classic consoles (8-32 bit), all from the Gameboy and NES to the Snes, Megadrive, and even the Neo Geo.
      Most of these consoles are low power hogs, and the RG350p with it’s 2500mAh battery lasts longer playing these consoles, than the Retroid Pocket 2 on it’s 4000mAh battery.
      The CPU is a true battery hog.
      After just playing 1 hour of PSP, the battery already lost 50% of it’s charge, and charging it up takes more than 1 hour!
      It’s then that I realized how much of a power hog this device really is, and how it really needs that large battery, as well as better cooling!

      What gets me the most though, is that the consoles supported by the RP2 that aren’t by the RG350, are not working well. So basically you get an RG350P, with a slightly better 640×480 screen, with the ability to run 75-80% of Dreamcast and 66-75% of PSP titles, though it plays back 100% of PSX titles and below. I haven’t tested out Mame yet, but it seems like a mix pot of luck, even on the RP2.
      Also, side note, saving games don’t work on some consoles. You can do a ‘save state’, which you can later recall (meaning games with multiple save state entries won’t be accessible for you. You can only save 1 state); but another issue with this, is that the RP2 can hang at some point, and if you try to save during that time, you’ll lose all savegame data for that game. It’ll overwrite the one existing save state, with corrupt data. When you reload, it’ll just reload the hanged state, and you can’t continue playing.

      So while the RP2 has consoles that really NEED the 480p screen resolution, they don’t all run very well.
      Meanwhile, you won’t be wanting to run those consoles on the RG350, not only because it doesn’t have the CPU horsepower to pull em off, but also because the 240pix screen is too cramped to play those consoles (text becomes unreadable).

      For this I’d say, save your money on the RP2!
      Get the RG350P for your classic console needs, and wait until there’s a newer arm CPU on a smaller die (preferably 10nm or below), that will not only use less power, but also will have a higher CPU frequency, and be able to emulate higher end consoles like the PSP and PS2 fine.
      This one, just didn’t make it on my list as a well engineered sample.

      Reply
      • Interesting. I haven’t had an issue with the battery life, but I don’t have an RG350p to compare to. To be fair, comparing PSP game battery life on the RP2 (which is likely maxing out the CPU), to the battery life playing weaker systems on the RG350p isn’t really an apples-to-apples comparison. RP2 lasts longer playing those weaker systems, too.

        I’m also not sure how anyone would be “saving money” by getting the RG350p since it costs more than the RP2. My RP2 was $88 shipped, which included a microHDMI cable, a tempered glass screen protector, and a 32GB A1 speed microSD card. Much better value in my book.

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  3. After initially feeling mostly the same way (weaker chip, looked questionable with some frame-rate issues initially) it seems like the devs are truly listening to the community and making changes even up to (and definitely post) launch. Going from Android 6 to 8 within ~2 months of launch is huge along with opening up their Android 6 source code to the community.

    I picked one up for each of my family members who game and are looking for a pick-up-and-play system because I’m confident this will fit their needs perfectly, especially once the community gets a hold of it.

    It seems to be selling very well, supposedly they’re shipping 600 units/day worldwide for the first month and orders continue to stay strong. That’s ~18,000 units in the wild in the first month, no small feat for a niche product such as this. I think it’ll be huge and potentially have longer legs than the RG350.

    Excited to have mine arrive in the next few weeks and start testing it out. ETA Prime, Retro Dodo (not a huge fan, but he has a large following so…his opinion matters) and Taki all seem to love it which definitely counts in the retro community. Sonic Love (smaller fan base but well respected) is another YouTuber that has really been pushing the system and has a few hours of solid content running everything from cloud gaming, any arcade title you can think of, dreamcast, etc on the system and it’s looking fantastic.

    I’m really excited to see where the community takes the system in the next year or two.

    I’d highly encourage Obscure to pick a unit up and give it a try, especially after Android 8 drops.

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  4. Oof, this review didn’t age well. I understand that you aren’t impressed by the internals, especially considering how dated Android 6 is, but this device is incredibly optimized. I own both an Odroid Go Advance and an RG350M and just received my Retroid Pocket 2 yesterday. This device completely blows the competition away. The OGA’s RockChip is truly powerful, and for the longest time it was my go-to handheld, but I will assuredly be retiring it after experiencing what the RP2 is capable of. After installing the Flycast standalone APK, Dreamcast performance is ineffably smooth. Mupen64 runs every N64 title I throw at it with zero issues, and PPSSPP surpasses what the RockChip has been able to do for me.

    Again, I get your initial concerns, but you really do owe it to yourself and your followers to actually purchase a Retroid Pocket 2 and give it a proper review. What you’ll find may surprise you. To anybody on-the-fence about getting one of these, just check out Taki’s reviews and take them as the gospel. I too was somewhat reluctant when the RP2 was announced, considering the sheer volume of Chinese handhelds that seem to be dropping nowadays, but I now know that all of those concerns were misplaced. For it’s price point (obviously not being compared to the GPD WIN 2/Max or Moqi i7s) this is easily the best handheld to-date.

    Reply
    • save your money for an emulator that can actually play the consoles the RG350P doesn’t.
      If you buy this console, you’ll basically be able to play N64 or PSX extra. That’s it.
      Worth the price of a console? I think not.
      PSP, Dreamcast, Mame, NeoGeo, all need a 2Ghz dual core, or 1,8Ghz quad core to run the emulation smoothly.
      This RK CPU is already overclocked by 200Mhz, and you’ll notice it, when trying to play back PSP games. It constantly experiences dropped frames, or game speedups/slow downs.
      Perhaps it may be just a cooling issue. I remember the original Retroid came without heat sinks.
      But the issue needs addressing regardless.

      Besides, running a CPU hot, consumes more battery. Something the RP2 is pretty good at. It really needs that 4000mAh battery to be useful for more than 2-3 hours

      Reply
      • I haven’t had the same issues you’re having concerning battery life. Maybe you have too many background processes running. You need to disable the Play Store and Play Services, since they eat up RAM and drain the battery faster. You could also disable WiFi and Bluetooth. My Retroid Pocket 2 gets me around 4-5 hours of PSP gaming, with titles like Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, Gods Eater, and Lord of Apocalypse. Not sure what your problem is, perhaps it’s a defective unit.

        As for performance, I wholeheartedly disagree. First of all, this is MTK hardware, NOT the RK3326 CPU. The RockChip is used in devices like the Odroid-Go Advance, Powkiddy RGB10, ZPG Pro, RK2020, and the upcoming RG351P. This is entirely different. To maximize Dreamcast performances you need to sideload the Flycast app, and adjust settings according to TakiUdon’s community doc. It can run games like Phantasy Star Online and Sonid Adventure with relative ease, and at an amazingly crisp resolution. For PSP, you need to manually configure settings on a per-game basis, but you’ll find that many 3D games are playable with auto-frameskip, and that ALL 2D titles are playable at their native resolution and framerate.

        And you neglected to mention DS games. Drastic is capable of running EVERY SINGLE Nintendo DS game at full speed—no exceptions. I’ve tested dozens of titles and they work effortlessly. Drastic and Mupen64 FZ only drain the battery at a rate of 10% per hour, and I’ve conducted several tests across several games. You need to put in the work to get the Retroid Pocket 2 to perform well, but once you do, it’s an amazing little handheld. If you’re having trouble, you can refer to TakiUdon’s discord or the several existing Facebook groups like Retroid Handhelds.

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  5. the problem with android is that emulators/apps have free/paid versions, and the free versions lack some features to paid versions or add some ads etc…

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    • Use Retroarch for Android, it’s 100% free and you’ll get almost any free emus that you can think of. It takes some fiddling to set, but it’s no big deal.

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  6. Looks fucking amazing and the YT comments on Taki’s latest vids are as into this thing as I am. Y’all are biased as hell LMAO

    Reply
    • It does look amazing, the shell is incredibly good looking. Internally it’s nothing to shout about though. That’s my point. I’m not biased toward anyone, in fact the only free units I’ve received have had mostly negative reviews on here. YT comments shouldn’t be what you use to gauge whether something is decent or not, YT commentors are 90% idiots.

      It’s fine that you disagree with me, but it’s my opinion man. Sorry our views don’t align on this one.

      Reply
  7. I need an honest opinion here guys and gals – i have been doing a lot of research about retro handhelds and have been trying to make up my mind. I was pretty much sold on the rk2020 but then i saw this pop up and i’m wondering if it’s worth waiting for or if rk2020 is the way to go? or something else entirely? I’d love to play some dreamcast games and build quality isn’t of the utmost importance to me (hence leaning towards to Rk2020) your thoughts?

    Reply
    • If you use the stand alone Android emulators on the RP2 they are pretty similar … BUT both devices are not optimal in running dreamcast. The Powkiddy x18 is better for this. The rk2020 is a little better than this when it comes to dreamcast emulation… but if you want to play PS1 and N64 the second analog stick is better and more important than maybe 5% more power in dreamcast. Hope you get my point. Both are not “good” in running dc.

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  8. MT6580 is maybe a bit weaker than RK3326 but at least it won’t be a battery hog.

    There were OGA’s for sale again on Hardkernel but 40$ of shipping ! It’s crazy for DIY stuff!
    RG351 ? Not there yet and it’s gonna be a rush.

    That one, at least, is well done, good looking (Cool 16Bit famicom or B&Y design), Android 8 to come, network play, beautiful screen and capable to run PS1 & Dreamcast so…

    4x Cortex-A7 1.5GHz + Mali400-MP2 500MHz

    I think it’s enough for 80$ + 9$ of shipping

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  9. It is good to see that a larger case has been used that allows a better grip, more comfortable than most others, leaving room to extend the fingers and also that the triggers are wider and are stacked. I’m not a fan of the left Dpad being down, but maybe it’s a matter of taste. I don’t really like the fact that one stick is smaller but it certainly avoids a bigger problem such as getting it in between the buttons. Maybe both sticks should be short and both should be below. Beyond that, this device promises a lot: Dual boot, one open source OS, netplay, good build quality, nice retro aesthetic, bravo!

    Reply
  10. Taki listed several improvements on this over the original, including faster and more RAM, faster charging, more buttons, two analogs, faster storage and possibility of Android 8 support (not yet guaranteed). It may not be quite as fast as the OGA and clones, but should be close, and adds a lot of flexibility that Android provides (bluetooth controllers/headsets) plus the neat local multiplayer function. IMO it has a better design as well.

    Reply
    • It’s generic Android/Retroarch functionality on a really poor SoC with low resolution non-touchscreen. It is a nice design, but internally it’s junk.

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      • Same can be said about every odroid go advance or rg350 like device. They are all pretty weak and non Touchscreen with an extremely generic OS. But the OGA and rk2020 look look and feel terrible. They have an absolut standart OS and a little faster Chip. But the rg350 has the shitty jz4770 but good built quality. I think if you say the rg350 is one of the best you are hyping anbernic a bit too much because the chip is much weaker than this and the build quality of the Retroids is really good i think. The resolution of this is better than the resolution of the oga and the rg350p.

        Reply
        • Agree with all Mario Mario’s points, whereas obscurehandhelds, you talking nonsense. The RG devices really are junk UIs, internals and software but everyone supports them due to good external design. The OGA I regret buying – the software is bearable if you put the work in but the shell is very uncomfortable and some buttons are terrible.

          How can you say this is a low resolution screen when it’s better than most of the devices you feature at a ppi of 229? The RG350M matches it but that processor can’t even handle all SNES games. Your viewpoint stinks of bias.

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          • What have I said that’s nonsense? That this chip is a step backwards from the RK3326 machines? Or that the dual boot option is non-commital? Of course this chip is more powerful than the Ingenic chips, but compared to the RK3326 it is a step backwards.

            How can I say it’s a low resolution screen? How many Android machines have you used with a 640×480 resolution? Maybe 10 years ago you did, but even they had touchscreens.

            I have no bias towards Anbernic, I’ve said plenty of times that we’re sick of Ingenic based machines. But in their favour, their build quality is mostly excellent and OpenDingux/RetroFW is, for me, the perfect OS for a handheld. Coupled with the fact that a lot of the emulators for the system are very well optimised, I would go as far as to say I’d rather have an JZ4770 machine to a MT6580 machine and live without the few extra games that the MT6580 allows for. There’s no point in this handheld when there are so many RK3326 handhelds being released now. I love the design and form factor of the RP2, but they missed the boat with the hardware.

  11. Is it possible to boot the Retroid Pandora OS directly? I like the looks of the device but I hate the shitty looking UI in Android … The ui of the oga looks so damn good. But the build quality is shit. Dont like the looks of the anbernic devices in and out too… I’m pretty disappointed that this device does not have a good ui or the rockchip like the oga.

    Reply
  12. + It’s cute.
    + It has all the buttons you will ever need.

    – D-pad position is wrong. (You would think they would research other handhelds and their history >.> RG350 *cough)
    – Weak processor.
    – Dual Boot / Android.
    – No black version, but at this point that doesn’t even matter.

    RG350P for me!
    Other than that, I’ll wait until Gamecube emulation becomes a normal thing to emulate, which means Im in for a loooooong wait, one that’s not even worth it anyway because I already played the few GameCube games that matter, but I mean something with that much power will be truly good for all the older stuff to be able to play with low latency and other improvements.

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  13. Also, that’s pretty bold of them to claim DC, N64 and PSP emulation from this system. With the chipset present is that even possible in a playable state?

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      • I saw that, it looks like it runs pretty well!

        While waiting for this I picked up a Moto G Fast + Beboncool telescopic bluetooth controller for $120 total. I’ve been running through Goldeneye at night and with the 6.4″ screen it’s a beauty with the up-scaled graphics and Dreamcast runs a solid 60fps as well.

        I honestly don’t know if I’ll be in the market for a dedicated handheld (as good as this looks) until I’m ready to move onto something else.

        As a bonus…my little $80 Moto G can also run a sizable number of GameCube titles to boot! (Wind Waker is gorgeous and runs at a near-locked 30fps!)

        Reply
      • Is it even feasible to run these in a chinese handheld? N64 seems troublesome enough on the PC and these emulating these 3D-Consoles really sucks up too much power plus the heat output. I have settled for the 350m for 8 and 16bit Era.

        I honestly don’t see these handhelds ready yet for the 3D Era in terms of Heat Output and Battery Life (many comments here mention how fast the battery drains when emulating n64, which you don’t seem to notice).

        Let me know your thoughts and thank you for your FANTASTIC website 🙂

        Reply
  14. Disappointing in power but I do like the form factor. The 2nd stick is always hit/miss with me…on the one hand I want it on my handhelds. On the other, these units aren’t powerful enough to use it so in reality it doesn’t bother me if they don’t have it during actual usage.

    The price is steep considering the chipset and even if the price was less it’s stills under-powered vs the competition.

    Pass.

    Reply
    • It should play up to PS1 with good frame rate.
      Add to that the local multiplayer?

      Name another handheld emulator that allows you to trade Pokemon…

      I’m sold.

      Reply

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