RG556 vs Retroid Pocket 4 Pro: Best Handheld?


How do we pick the best retro handheld? They all offer different features and experiences.

In early 2024, two top devices are battling for the top spot: the Anbernic RG556 and the Retroid Pocket 4 Pro. They cost between $175-$200. The RG556 features a comfy design and a clear AMOLED screen. On the other hand, the Pocket 4 Pro is smaller and very powerful. They both use Android 13 and can play lots of games. This makes them very versatile for gamers.

It’s important to look closely at their specs and performance. We want to find out which one is the best retro handheld.

Each retro handheld has its own unique traits and some downsides. This makes a detailed comparison vital. We need to see which one truly stands out as the best retro handheld gaming device.

Introduction to Anbernic RG556 and Retroid Pocket 4 Pro

The Anbernic RG556 and Retroid Pocket 4 Pro are new retro handhelds. They come from Anbernic and Retroid, two respected names in retro gaming. These devices are packed with features perfect for gaming fans.

The Anbernic RG556 uses a Unisoc Tiger T820 processor. It has 8GB RAM and 128GB storage for smooth gaming. Its 5.5-inch AMOLED display shows bright and clear colors. A large 5500mAh battery gives gamers more time to play. The design is comfy with Switch-style sticks and a glossy D-pad for easy use.

On the other hand, the Retroid Pocket 4 Pro runs on a Mediatek Dimensity D1100 processor. It has the same RAM and storage but a smaller 4.7-inch IPS display. It’s designed to be compact yet fun to play. A 5000mAh battery powers it for gaming on the go.

They both support many game emulators and use a custom Android 13 system. This means you can play Android games and use apps. You can even connect them to bigger screens with USB-C for more gaming fun.

The Anbernic RG556 is roughly 22cm tall, 8.5cm wide, and 1.5cm thick, making it a good size for gaming. The Retroid Pocket 4 Pro, though, has issues with its battery life and screen quality.

Anbernic focuses on top tech specs, great controls, and good value. This shows how much they care about gaming experiences. Meanwhile, Retroid is working hard to make their devices the best they can be.

The RG556 is priced at $174.99 during pre-sale. After this, it will go up to $184.99. Considering what it offers, this price is very competitive.

Design and Ergonomics

The Anbernic RG556 and Retroid Pocket 4 Pro stand out in gaming experience because of their design and make. They differ in how they are built, their materials, size, and weight. These qualities shape how they feel and their comfort while playing.

Build Quality and Materials

The Anbernic RG556 is known for its strong build and grips that feel nice. It gives a durable and secure sense when playing. Some say its sleek feel can make it a bit slippery. There were also early concerns about creaking sounds, but those seems to have been solved in new models.

The Retroid Pocket 4 Pro is smaller but has a textured finish for better grip. However, it does get criticized for not being as comfortable for long gaming sessions.

Size and Weight

Looking at their sizes, the RG556 is heavier, weighing 351 grams. This may feel substantial in the hand, preferred by some gamers but it might tire you out after long sessions.

The RP4 Pro, on the other hand, weighs less at 274 grams. This makes it easier to handle for longer times. How heavy or light the consoles are can affect your comfort, especially over time.

Performance and Specifications

The Anbernic RG556 and the Retroid Pocket 4 Pro both shine in what they offer gamers. They share some features but also differ in key areas. These differences can change how they perform in games and in your hands.

Processor and GPU

The Anbernic RG556 uses a Unisoc T820 processor that’s no lightweight. Its octa-core CPU runs up to 2.7GHz, and it boasts a Mali G57 GPU at 850MHz. However, the Retroid Pocket 4 Pro takes things further with a MediaTek Dimensity 1100 CPU and a Mali G77 MC9 GPU. This combo helps it hit some pretty impressive scores on tests like Geekbench and Antutu.

RAM and Storage

Both these handhelds pack 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM and 128GB of storage. With this setup, you can do a lot without slowing down. They manage old-school games well too, running emulators like Dolphin, Vita3K, and PS2 without a hitch.

Battery Life

For portable gaming, battery life is crucial. The Anbernic RG556 has a 5500mAh battery, offering up to 8 hours of play. Its rival, the Retroid Pocket 4 Pro, goes up to 2.5 hours for a full recharge with its 5000mAh battery. Game intensity and settings impact how long these batteries last. The RP4 Pro also stays cooler, making it use power more efficiently.

To wrap it up, the RG556 and RP4 Pro are strong contenders, each with unique benefits. Choosing the best for you might hinge on what you value most: CPU power, game grunt, or battery life.

Display Quality

The quality of a handheld screen matters a lot for your gaming fun. The Anbernic RG556 and Retroid Pocket 4 Pro are known for their unique display features.

Screen Size and Resolution

The Anbernic RG556 has a 5.48-inch AMOLED display at 1920×1080 resolution. It brings games to life with its vibrant visuals. This screen stands out for its detail and color richness.

Meanwhile, the Retroid Pocket 4 Pro has a 4.7-inch IPS screen that’s sharp at 1334×750. Even though it’s smaller, the IPS technology ensures images are sharp and clear.

Visual Experience

Choosinng between AMOLED and IPS is key. The RG556’s AMOLED display is praised for its bright colors and deep blacks. This makes playing old-school games a joy with intense colors and detailed visuals.

On the flip side, the Retroid Pocket 4 Pro’s IPS screen offers great viewing from any angle without color issues. It means a more consistent and enjoyable view for all kinds of games.

Deciding on a screen may come down to personal choice. Those after a big, detailed display might prefer the RG556’s AMOLED. On the other hand, the Retroid Pocket 4 Pro is great for gamers who want clear, stable views.

Controls and Connectivity

The Anbernic RG556 and Retroid Pocket 4 Pro have different ways of offering controls. The Retroid Pocket 4 Pro stands out for its smooth sticks and softer buttons. This makes controlling games feel easy and straightforward. The RG556, on the other hand, has firmer controls. This can be better for players who like a sturdy feel in their hands.

They both have special joysticks called hall-effect joysticks. But, the feel of these joysticks and how far they move change a bit. This gives players more than one option for how they want to control their games. How well these controls work can really change how much someone enjoys playing.

When we talk about connecting to stuff, the RG556 and Retroid Pocket 4 Pro are similar. They can both use WiFi and Bluetooth. However, the RG556 can use the newest WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0. This makes connecting faster and more steady. The RG556 even works with 5G networks for the best online playing experience.

Both can also connect to displays using USB-C for great 1080p visuals. But, the Retroid Pocket 4 Pro has something extra, a Micro HDMI port. This extra port is good news for those who want to play on bigger screens. It makes the gaming experience even more fun and immersive.

The amazing range of ways to connect and control games is a big plus for both handhelds. The RG556 and Retroid Pocket 4 Pro really know how to keep gamers happy. No matter if you want fast WiFi, lots of Bluetooth options, or ways to connect to big screens, these devices have what you need.

Software and Gaming Experience

The Anbernic RG556 and Retroid Pocket 4 Pro use Android 13 OS for great gaming. They can run many kinds of retro games. Let’s look at how they stand out with their built-in emulators and easy-to-use designs.

Pre-installed Emulators and Games

The RG556 has Flycast and AetherSX2 for games from SNES, Megadrive, Dreamcast, and more. It can even run PS2 games like Ratchet & Clank smoothly. The Pocket 4 Pro lets users pick and install their emulators. It’s great for both old and new game fans with its wide emulator support.

User Interface and Operating System

Both run on Android 13 OS with interfaces made for handheld use. They have menus for quick settings and control. Each has its own launcher to make gaming easy and fun. The OS supports many emulators. But, some users wish for tweaks to enhance the interface, especially on the RG556.

These handhelds are perfect for gamers who love all kinds of games. Whether it’s the RG556 with its ready-to-play games or the Pocket 4 Pro letting you choose, you get a fun gaming experience.

rg556 vs retroid pocket 4 pro: Which Should You Buy?

Choosing between the Anbernic RG556 and the Retroid Pocket 4 Pro requires looking at key aspects. The RG556 shines with its 5.5-inch 1080p AMOLED display, perfect for immersive gaming. It costs $175, which increases slightly to $185 after pre-orders. It has a strong 5500mAh battery. Handling might be tough because it weighs 351 grams, but its backlit analog sticks and sleek design make up for it.

The Retroid Pocket 4 Pro features a 4.7-inch IPS touchscreen with 1334×750 resolution. It’s great for PlayStation 2 emulation. It’s priced at $200 and offers better controls and comfort. It runs on a faster MediaTek Dimensity 1100 processor. This model’s 5000mAh battery lets you play for long periods without needing a charge.

In this comparison, both devices have unique benefits. Your choice will depend on what matters most to you. The RG556’s bright display may win you over, or you might prefer the Retroid Pocket 4 Pro’s comfort and power. They both operate on Android 13 and have similar storage and connectivity. You’ll need to decide based on your preference for screen size, control, and gaming performance.

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