The new portrait mode Anbernic RG351V is now available

In the never ending barrage of incremental upgrades, Anbernic are the latest team to release a portrait mode handheld based on the RK3326 chip. Aside from the change in orientation, the Anbernic RG351V does offer a couple of other nice features.

By my reckoning, the RG351V will be the ninth handheld released based on the RK3326. Whilst many of these handhelds are just clones of one another, this time we have a few nice additions.

Aesthetically the RG351V is reminiscent of the RG300 from 2019, but there have been some changes to the shell to accommodate new control scheme needed for these more advanced machines. As well as an added analog stick, the shoulder buttons on the back have also been split to allow for L2/R2.

RG351V Shoulder buttons

The overall size of the RG351V is also slightly larger than the RG300. The below chart compares it to the RG300 and a couple of well known mainstream handhelds.

ConsoleWidthHeightDepth
RG30082mm119mm25mm
RG351V94mm140mm27mm
Game Boy Color78mm133mm27mm
Game Boy DMG90mm148mm32mm

RG351V STORAGE

The main differences between the RG351V and its rivals start at the way the OS and storage is configured. Whilst pretty much every other RK3326 handheld has relied on a single microSD slot, the RG351V has adopted the dual slot config. This is a setup we got used to on the older Ingenic based machines. It means that once you have your OS set up you can leave that card alone, and load up another microSD card with all your ROMs.

RG351V DUAL MICROSD SLOT

This is a preferable setup, not least because it means the secondary SD card is fully readable and writable in Windows. Having said that, it remains to be seen how Anbernic have implemented this into the OS. It’ll also mean that our devs might have a little bit of work to do when porting over the myriad of other operating systems.

RG351V LCD

The biggest improvement in this device over previous machines is in the LCD. The 3:2 aspect ratio of most other current RK3326 machines is awkward for many systems. People have been asking for a more compatible ratio/resolution since the Odroid-GO was released. The RG351V delivers a bona fide 4:3 640×480 IPS display, which should make a big improvement to image scaling.

RG351V 640x480 IPS DISPLAY

Again, it remains to be seen how Anbernic have accounted for this change in resolution. I have faith that they didn’t tackle the problem in the same way that the PocketGo team did with the S30 though. It will also require some work on the community devs behalf to implement this change in to new OS builds.

WOOD GRAIN?

In a move that is sure to please LGR, it looks like there may be a woodgrain effect version of this machine. The Anbernic website currently shows woodgrain, smokey transparent and light gray models. We’ll have to wait and see what’s available to order on Monday.

Lastly, the RG351V incorporates WiFi this time. WiFi was initially present in the first RG351P, but Anbernic removed it last minute citing interference issues. They re-added it into the RG351M, and it looks as though it’ll be present in this RG351V too. Their promo material boasts of multiplayer, so it’ll be interesting to see how that’s been implemented.

Pricing starts at $117. As usual with these devices, the launch day price will probably drop over the coming weeks. The RG351V is available at all the usual places including Amazon.

31 thoughts on “The new portrait mode Anbernic RG351V is now available”

  1. Mine arrived yesterday. Tried the Stock Firmware along with Retro Game Corps Tips and also RetroArena (beta 4) but were not there. Neiter Firmware is satisfying as of now. The RG351v Hardware is really nice. The best screen i encountered in a “chinese” Handheld, EVER! The IPS Screen in 640×480 looks bright and stable from any angle. The Shell feels solid and i can’t find much that bothers me. So now we have to wait for different firmwares to come out.

    Reply
  2. So I just received my RG351V!
    For the first time I have an emu handheld of any kind.
    And as someone who has been using lots devices for emulation, I’m disappointed in the build quality for this shit.

    1. The screen has noticeable faint lines on flat colors

    2. Screen temperature is a bit weird and reddish / warm. It needs to be more neutral.

    3. Not sure if hardware limited, but the brightness doesn’t really get very low. It’s still really bright at the lowest setting which makes playing at night a problem. It can cause headaches unless I’m in a fully lit room. (For reference a Switch can dim MUCH lower than this which makes it nice to play at night)

    4. Plastic shell’s texture is weird. This was probably a choice, but I dont like it. I would have liked it more with a slightly more grainy feel like the GB, GBC and GBA consoles. This feels weirdly smooth.

    5. The buttons. A B X Y have a longer travel distance than I wish it had. They feel a bit mushy and somehow the texture of the buttons I think is rubbing against the shell’s plastic, which make it feel even weirder and slightly unpleasant. The B button doesn’t even respond unless I really press it. If I just press it lightly like when I’m playing fast paced action games, it won’t respond. (It’s like when contacts are dirty)

    6. Overly sensitive d-pad. Every time I press down to navigate a list, I accidentally press right.

    Why no one talks about these things, I don’t know, but I feel like people are keeping the truth to make the handhelds look better than they actually are. I think for the price this thing sells it should have had better quality. At least I know what things are good now:

    1. A 3.5″ screen seems to be about perfect for old games. It is not too small or too big, just about right and big enough to look elegant.

    2. Vertical handhelds may be a bit uncomfy, but this one is wide enough to feel good!

    3. This type of SoC seems to be great and takes advantage of all of RetroArch’s low latency options!

    I could actually love this same SoC, same form factor and screen size, if only it was a quality build.

    Reply
    • Oh yeah I forgot 1 more negative:

      7. The screen has a weird refresh rate. It’s definitely not 60hz. Every game with smooth scrolling looks a bit like it stutters. It’s not so bad as if it was 50hz, that would be really crappy, but I’d say it seems to be something like 59hz or something odd. No game moves 100% smooth even when it’s something simple like a Black and white GameBoy game.

      Reply
      • I noticed this stuttering also and was able to solve it by going into retroarch menu and setting video>synchronization>sync to exact content framerate to enable

        The other vsync options dont seem to have any impact.

        Reply
        • Holy… You’re absolutely right!!!!!!!!
          I have no idea why, but the last time I tested this option I didnt see enough of a difference so I ignored it.
          But now that I read this comment, I went back to it again, it definitely helps a lot!!
          Super Mario Land shows me the biggest and most obvious difference. It goes from crap to perfect.
          Somehow, on NES and SNES I still see some skippyness, but at this point it’s negligible.

          Thank you so much for pointing it out!!!

          I’ve been trying to improve the feel of the buttons by modifying the internals. It’s a really big pain and a big risk, because if I damage any button, that’s it for this handheld, I’d need a new one lol. I believe with the right skills, tools and knowledge, this can be transformed into something great, especially now that you pointed out the Retroarch option. Thanks again!

          Reply
        • i also noticed it, but with the settings it get a little bit better, but the microstutters are still there. you can see them extremly in pokemon games (gba)

          Reply
    • Hey man. I remember you saying a while back that you’d not bought any of these handhelds, it made me chuckle because your name has popped up in the comments on here for quite a long time! I haven’t got one of these so I can’t really compare my experience with yours, but I am quite surprised to read some of your comments especially around the build quality and button feel. Anbernic usually has a good track record, at least in my eyes.

      I can relate on some points though, in regards to other handhelds I’ve had. If the texture of the plastic is anything other than hard matte, lightly textured and solid feeling then I feel like it should have been done better. I agree, GB/GBC/GBA is the benchmark and all handhelds should have this finish. I am interested to compare the d-pad and buttons to Anbernic’s other machines, they usually feel quite good to me. Maybe they messed up this time, or maybe we just have differing ideas on how they should feel.

      Reply
      • And now I chuckled too at the fact you’ve noticed me on this page since forever but not owning any of these handhelds yet XD
        Truth is I already had a more ideal handheld solution, and was able to wait for something more practical. I use a Galaxy phone with an iPega controller. It is awkward, but incredibly high quality and satisfying.

        None of the problems I mentioned exist there. It feels like a proper Nintendo handheld next to the RG351V, which feels like made by aliens who never played videogames but are trying to adapt. Of course, the phone+controller problems are that it is huge and it is Android based. But as of right now that’s a reaally nice price to pay for the rest. It’s 2021 and we know so much about gaming that the RG351V is unacceptable.

        (Android based means it’s messy to handle, I dont like how RetroArch just has folders everywhere, updating is messy, the video drivers never allow you to shave off as many frames of latency as on a Lakka-only device, plus it’s a phone which allows distractions,)

        Look at the controllers for NES, SNES, N64, GameCube and even Wii! The button texture on those is glossy, and that feels like it welcomes your fingertips. The DS, 3DS and Switch are matte, but not in a weird way. RG351V is matte in a weird way.

        As for d-pad. Oh man… When I play PS1 or PS2, it’s like heaven. Not a single misfire. Perfect travel distance. Perfect pressure, perfect texture, perfect quietness. (PS3 is probably the same but I never had one). PS4 is good too but the DualShock4 actually introduced a slightly inferior d-pad… Other amazing d-pads include NES Classic and SNES Classic controllers.

        I’m sorry but you’re gonna see my comments on your future articles for a long time 😀 I hope this has been useful at least!!

        Reply
  3. Ordered 😀
    If it turns out to be good, this will be a definitive handheld for me.
    I don’t care about almost any of the systems this thing can’t emulate.
    The form factor, colors, design and specs seem like they will be perfect for me for a VERY long time!!!
    I guess once I get it I’ll know if there’s something I actually don’t like, I have no idea how the shoulder buttons will feel, but man am I excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    See you in 50 years when these handhelds can emulate PS2 for like $100 or less.

    Reply
  4. I can’t wait to get this black console on amazon to play PSP games. I hope it’s very speed as PSP consoles^^

    Still not there in Amazon. So I can wait to order it on Amazon^^

    Black console looks cool^^

    Reply
    • There are only a handful of full-speed PSP games on 351 devices. Do not buy this device for PSP. Buy a PSP or better a Vita.

      Reply
  5. I can’t wait to get this black console on amazon to play PSP games. I hope it’s very speed as PSP consoles^^

    Reply
  6. Really enjoy my RG300 based on it’s build quality. It’s the handheld I carry around daily. Excited to see something more powerful in the same shell

    Reply
  7. Looking forward to the review. I’m really interested in what it feels like (sharp on the palms?) and if the shoulder buttons work well. The thumbstick seems like it’s in a weird position too and lacking a 2nd rth will make it a little harder for some PS games.

    Reply
  8. Looking forward to the review. I’m really interested in what it feels like (sharp on the palms?) and if the shoulder buttons work well. The thumbstick seems like it’s in a weird position too and lacking a 2nd rth will make it a little harder for some PS games.

    Reply
    • I’m sorry to disappoint but I don’t think I’ll be getting one of these. I might consider it if the price drops to $70-$80 ish but even if it does there will be loads of other reviews out by then.

      Reply
  9. I’m not at all interested in a DMG style handheld, but it’s frustrating to see them put that screen in this while the RG351M got a BS 480×320 screen. I would have gotten a 351M without hesitation if it had this screen.

    Reply
    • My go-to option in regards to these types of devices. Really wish more of the manufacturers gave this site samples of their new products. Especially considering a site like this is essentially free advertising for the manufacturers

      Reply

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