The Retroid Pocket 3 is Here

The Retroid Pocket 3 is the successor to Retroid’s budget oriented RP2+ from 2021. With a high-res widescreen and Android 11 you’d be forgiven for expecting a high price tag, but at $119 it sits nicely in the low-mid tier bracket. So what’s the catch?

Retroid have got a knack for developing good looking handhelds with an almost impulse purchase price tag. The Retroid Pocket 3 has been on the horizon for months, and we’ve sat patiently waiting for something that offered a little bit more than the slightly underwhelming 2+ did.

Whilst the 2+ had a few things going for it, it was hindered by a small screen, less than perfect controls and an entry level Android capable SoC.

RETROID POCKET 3 SPECS

The good news is that the Retroid Pocket 3 replaces that small panel with a widescreen touch enabled 4.7″ 16:9 display. The slightly strange resolution of 1334*750 can be explained by the fact that some iPhones up to the iPhone 9 8 used this size and resolution, so the panels are probably cheap and plentiful right now.

The bad news is that the Retroid Pocket 3 uses that same Unisoc T310 SoC as found in the RP2+. Whilst Retroid claim a 20-30% performance increase from the 2+ due to a newer Android implementation, it’s not guaranteed that this will translate to a noticeable real world difference in emulators. It speaks volumes that the performance gains graphic shown on the Retroid site compare the RP3 to the RP2, not the more recent RP2+.

Retroid Pocket 3 Performance Gains

There are two variants of the Retroid Pocket 3 though, for an extra $10 you can grab the 3GB model. That’s 1GB extra than the base model and the RP2+. This may actually make a difference, however it’s worth noting that the Android 11 system uses more RAM than Android 9. Again, it remains to be seen how this translates in the real world.

CONTROLS

Looking at the front of the device you’d be forgiven for wondering where the start and select buttons have gone. In their infinite wisdom, the Retroid engineers have actually put these on top of the device next to R1/R2. RetroArch Hotkeys be gone.

Retroid Pocket 3 Controls

The Retroid Pocket 3 comes with a similar L1/R1/L2/R2 implementation as the RP2+, but also adds clickable analogue sticks for L3/R3. As well as a newly updated launcher, which was actually one of the nicer features of the RP2+, the RP3 has all the usual I/O including HDMI, microSD, BT5.0, 5Ghz WiFi and 3.5mm audio jack. The device is powered by a 4000mAh cell which is the same capacity as the one in the RP2+. Given the higher demands of Android 11 and higher resolution panel, battery life may be slightly shorter than the RP2+.

Retroid Pocket 3 Colour Schemes

The 3GB model comes in at $129 and with $15 shipping to the UK puts the price tag at $144. There are a few colours to choose from, pretty much the same colours available when the RP2+ went up for pre-order and the addition of a white/grey model. Shipping starts towards the end of August and I’m sure our favourite YouTubers will have reviews out soon.

RETROID POCKET 3 @ GORETROID.COM

23 thoughts on “The Retroid Pocket 3 is Here”

  1. I got taken in by all the hype surrounding the RP2 and bought one. Man, what a huge disappointment. Sluggish performance, tiny screen and that “nub” they went for instead of a proper analogue stick on the right hand side. Sold it.

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  2. I really hated the Retroid Pocket 2. Slow, poorly designed and poor quality. For the same price as a Retroid Pocket 3 (not so cheap imo), isn’t there something better? The most important thing for me is to have a well updated Android (or better a Windows, but at 200$ you can always dream) and excellent controllers (those of the RP2 are horrible, I even lost a numbstick while I don’t use it…).

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  3. Miyoo P60, KT R1, Powkiddy X28, and maybe the RG505. These are the only Android Handhelds are worth considering the Retroid Pocket 3 is just another Handheld from Retroid made from recycled parts and an upgraded shell. Yet Retroid fanboys will hold this thing up like it’s a holy grail within Retro Gaming. Retroid only gets away with this crap because of Taki and his subscriber base.

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  4. Hmm…not sure about Volume and Home buttons being on the side. This could lead to accidental presses if you grip it too hard.

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  5. Retroid 2 had the same processor as Retroid 1. And rumour always said 3 would have the same processor as 2+, so it shouldn’t have come as a surprise.

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    • That’s not the point. It’s been over a year waiting for this thing yet as much as people like to complain about “incremental changes” from Anbernic it should also be unacceptable from Retroid the king of recycling parts.

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  6. I loved to fiddle arround with the RP1 (software), which transformed into a RP2+ with that upgrade kid once available. Now I maxed out that beauty (and daily console) to my meeds and preferences. While I agree, that its screen is kind of small, I almost immediately ordered the RP3 – but wait: no grey housing with coloured buttons? Serious? Email to goretroid and they confirmed that (and the fact, that the PR2 buttons can’t be used in the RP3). Lost a customer for now, I’ll stay at my RP2 and put on my glasses until someone at etsy offers coloured buttons (and then I’ll buy a use unit – just because).

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  7. Since it has the same CPU and GPU as the retroid pocket 2 +, I kind of think they should have called this the Retroid Pocket 2 + max edition.Kind of like how there is the regular powkiddy RGB10 and the RGB10 max and max 2 edition. But then again the RP2+ has a significant boost over the regular RP2, so some might have already considered RP2+ as the RP3.

    I do like the fact it has two actual joysticks instead of a single joystick and slider. I hope they are easily removable for replacing and modding. It has R3/L3 functionality so that is good for the games that use them. I like the joysticks are on the bottom, I always favored the PS1/PS2 controller layouts. Not sure I like the start/select buttons being where they are at, but that might have been done to keep them out of the way and still have a bigger screen. I got a powkiddy x18s, which has more juice than the RP3. But I still might be tempted to get the RP3 since its a higher quality build than the X18S, has L3/R3 functionality and the pre-order time doesn’t seem to be long compared to when the RP2 first came out.

    The bigger screen, 3 gigs of memory, L3/R3 buttons and android 11 is worth extra 30 dollars over the regular RP2+ price tag. Especially when you consider other companies might charge significantly more for the just for the extra joystick, larger screen and or slight layout change for the buttons.

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    • It’s just about everything the RP2+ should have been and, with this price range, I did not hesitate very long. Ok, the Unisoc T310 is nothing extraordinary, but what else can we get at this price range for a large handheld? An RGB10 Max 2 with yet another old RK3326?
      Retroid’s target audience may not be hardcore retro gamers, who dream of playing PS3 on their handhelds, but for the likes of me who just wish to go as far as Dreamcast, N64, PSP and Arcade (Tate mode is a no go with 4:3 displays, and the RK3326 has its limits with anything higher than late 80s arcade games), without going bankrupt, well… Retroid has just nailed it.

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    • I’d recommend the Miyoo P60, KT R1, or hell maybe even the Powkiddy X28 or RG505 because you’ll get better emulation out of any of these Handhelds. Instead Retroid’s half-ass attempt at releasing a “new” handheld.

      Reply

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