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.
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.
|Game Boy Color
|Game Boy DMG
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.