In January it’ll be a year since HardKernel surprised us all with their DIY handheld based on the RockChip RK3326. Since then we’ve been inundated with Chinese versions which in most cases make very little improvements to HK’s original design. 2021 will see the release of the HardKernel Odroid-Go Super (OGS) which promises some real improvements, though maybe not the ones we were hoping for.
If you were hoping for a bump in specs, I’m sorry to disappoint you. The OGS will contain the same CPU/RAM config as its predecessor. The RockChip RK3326 was first used in the OGA back in January 2020, and since then it’s been used in a whole load of Chinese machines including Anbernic’s RG351P.
OGS LCD DISPLAY
But raw power aside, the OGS does include some decent upgrades compared to all prior machines. First and foremost, that dinky 3.5″ display has been replaced for a 5″ widescreen LCD with a resolultion of 854×480. Unless that’s a typo, it’s a rather unusual choice of resolution. It results in a screen with a ratio a smidge wider than 7:4.
For classic systems such as the N64, PS1, SNES and Mega Drive it means we’ll be able to use 2x integer scaling and utilise almost the full height of the display. It will of course mean that there will be large black borders on the left and right hand side though. GBA will integer scale 3x and look great with side borders. Dreamcast has a 480px vertical resolution so should also look awesome. For systems such as PSP (272 vertical)
and GBA (160 vertical) other non-integer scaling methods will need to be used for a full height image.
OGS CONTROLS AND I/O
HardKernel have also addressed some issues with the control scheme of the original OGA. The inclusion of dual analog sticks this time is likely to keep people happy, and a dedicated volume rocker has also been included.
Real L2/R2 buttons have also been added, and the device comes with USB-C charging by default this time. The USB host port has been kept, as has the expansion port.
The top edge of the OGS also contains a standard 3.5mm headphone port.
OGS WIFI AND BATTERY
The battery in the Hardkernel Odroid-Go Super will be increased by 1000mAh to 4000mAh. Aside from the fact there is more space in this case for a battery, the increase in capacity is probably required to accommodate the larger LCD. Oh, and to power an external WiFi / Bluetooth dongle.
Yes, unfortunately the OGS does not come equipped with WiFi or Bluetooth onboard. You’ll have to use the USB host port if you want to add it yourself. According to the release notes, the battery will allow for a vague “several hours” of playtime dependent on backlight brightness.
RELEASE DATE AND OTHER BITS
Unlike the original OGA, the HardKernel Odroid-Go Super will not be shipped in a kit. The OGS will ship out pre-assembled in a choice of two colours – transparent and grey. You can expect the first shipments in January next year, almost exactly a year since their original handheld.
Whilst it’s great to see HardKernel return to the handheld arena, it’s a real shame that they haven’t pushed the capability of the device with a new, faster processor. On a positive note, it looks as though they might be in to handheld manufacturing long term now. Perhaps this time next year we’ll be seeing them announce another new device with better performance. In the mean time, brace yourselves for another year of Chinese clones with 5 inch screens in them.
The OGS is due for general release in January next year, and will cost $80. More info can be found at the official forums.