Anbernic RG351P Review (After 100+ Hours Of Gameplay)

Alright, the Anbernic RG351P has been around for a couple of years. But that doesn’t mean this system can’t compete in 2023.

In fact, it’s arguably one of the best devices to emulate Game Boy Advance Games. 

Growing up playing Game Boy and Game Boy Advance, I was immediately interested in this console. So much so, that I ended up purchasing one in late 2022. The fact that it can emulate up to N64 pretty darn well is just a bonus for me. 

But is this console for you? 

Well, that’s what I hope to answer in this review. After playing this little device for over 100 hours, I feel like I can cover just about everything you need to know about it.  

Pros And Cons

If you are in a rush, I’ll list out the most important pros and cons here.


  • GBA games look amazing on this device
  • Inexpensive and available on Amazon
  • Great quality 
  • Lightweight and very portable


  • No built-in Wifi
  • Issues with sleep mode (could be a firmware issue)
  • Older chip, only able to emulate up to N64

There are multiple ways to purchase this device, but the easiest method is going to be good ol’ Amazon. Buy the Anbernic RG351P here!

Anbernic RG351P Quality Of Build Overview

My first impression of the RG351P from a physical standpoint is that it’s a good-quality device.

Being the first handheld I purchased from China, I was nervous about the plastic quality. But after unboxing, I was pleasantly surprised that the plastic felt like a premium design. 

Honestly, I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the RG351 and something Nintendo built. 


The buttons also feel solid and surprisingly not clicky. The joysticks were also of the same quality you would expect from a Nintendo Joycon controller (Although they’re a slightly different color than the rest of the buttons which bothers me!)

All in all, it’s a great quality device. I almost prefer the plastic over the more expensive metal designs of other retro handhelds. 

Hardware Review

As I stated early, my first impression of the system is a feeling of overall good quality. But let’s take a closer look at the hardware.

Buttons and Joysticks

Close up of RG351P D-Pad

The D-pad and buttons feel great when pushing them and this is due to the rubber membrane underneath. Basically what that means is that between the plastic buttons and the contact points on the circuit board, there is a mushy rubber membrane that acts as a buffer. 

This is the same technology that companies like Nintendo use on their controllers giving you that premium feel. 

The shoulder buttons are not stacked like most modern controllers which does make it a little challenging when playing games that do require the L2 and R2 bumpers. 

RG351P Joystick

The joysticks have an identical feel and look to the new Nintendo Joycon controllers. Additionally, Anbernic made it easy for you to replace these joysticks by not soldering them to the circuit board. This is convenient should you ever develop something like stick drift. 

Inputs, Outputs, and Speakers

Top inputs of RG351P

On top of the RG351P we have two USB-C ports. One for charging and the other for a Wifi dongle. There is also a headphone jack. 

It would have been nice if the headphone jack was on the bottom of the device so that the chords of your headphones were more hidden. But that’s just a minor detail and not a deal breaker.

Bottom of RG351P

On the bottom of the system, we have a slot for the microSD card. Unfortunately, there is no cover for the SD slot. 

Additionally on the bottom we have two speaker outputs. It would have been helpful to have speakers pointing out at you on the front. But given the design, I can see why they opted to have speakers pointing down. 

Note: In my video review I mentioned that the speaker output was not great. Turns out that was a software problem, not with the system alone. Speakers on this device work just fine. 

Battery life

The RG351P uses a fairly standard 3500MAH battery. This should give you around 5 hours of gameplay depending on your settings. 

Like most retro handhelds, the battery power indicator on your screen shouldn’t be taken too seriously. When you get to around 30% of power, you should start charging it. 

Under 30% the readings are not very accurate and you may end up unexpectedly draining your battery. 

This is because this device has no hardware in it to monitor battery percentage so the software has to basically guess the percentage based on the device’s voltage use.


When emulating retro consoles that were originally intended for different aspect ratios, your retro handheld is going to function differently depending on the screen it was built with. 

The RG351P uses a 3.5” IPS display with a 3×2 aspect ratio. This screen size and display make GPA games look amazing. 

RG351P Playing GBA

Other systems like SNES, NES, N64, and Gameboy will look nice as well but you will have to deal with borders around the image since the aspect ratios don’t match the full screen. 

Anbernic RG351P Specs

Here are the specifications of the RG351P:

  • 3.5″ IPS Display (320 x 480) 3 by 2 aspect ratio making it perfect for GBA 
  • Quad Core 1.5GHZ CPU (RK3326)
  • Mali-G31 MP2 GPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • Open Source Linux System
  • 3500MAH Battery
  • Vibration Pack

Anbernic RG351P Performance 

Alright, let’s get into the meat of the conversation. The performance.

Because this is what’s going to turn some people off. And that’s ok. Let me start off by saying that if you are wanting something that can play every retro console from NES all the way up to the Nintendo Wii flawlessly, you’re looking at the wrong device. 

But if you’re only wanting to play NES up to PlayStation 1 flawlessly with some ok Dream Cast and N64 emulation, keep reading. 

Again, the RG351P is an older device with an older, less powerful chip. The RK3326 CPU it comes with was pretty popular at the time but it did come out almost 3 years ago in 2020 which is right before the explosion of more advanced retro handhelds that we are seeing today. 

What Systems Can The RG351P Play/Emulate?

Here is a list of consoles that the RG351P will have no problem emulating:

  • Nintendo Entertainment System
  • Super Nintendo Entertainment System
  • Nintendo Game Boy
  • Nintendo Game Boy Color
  • Nintendo Game Boy Advance
  • Nintendo Virtual Boy
  • Sega Master System
  • Sega Genesis / Mega Drive
  • Sega CD & Sega 32X
  • Neo Geo Pocket & Color

Considering this device is only around $100, that’s a lot of gaming you can do without any problem. 

The following consoles can also be played on the Anbernic RG351P but you are going to have a lot more lag/sound issues. You can fix a lot of these problems by tinkering with the settings, but you won’t get the smoothest gaming. 

  • PlayStation 1 (This one is borderline because most games will play flawlessly)
  • PlayStation Portable 
  • Nintendo DS
  • Nintendo 64 
  • Dream Cast

And if you are wanting to emulate Gamecube, PS2, 3DS, Wii, or Switch. Forget about it, these consoles aren’t even supported. 

What Does The RG351P Come With?

After purchasing and unboxing the RG351P, here is what arrived with my order:

  • The RG351P console
  • Padding to support the console
  • User Manual
  • Screen protector installation kit
  • Microfiber cloth 
  • USB-C charging cable (Block not included)
  • MicroSD card filled with retro games

How Does The Anbernic RG351P Perform Right Out Of The Box?

If you don’t want to be bothered with installing custom firmware or adding your own ROMs, you can simply insert the microSD card the RG351P comes with and start playing. 

What will this experience look like?

Not bad honestly. The card included with my Anbernic device came with a lot of games and honestly I didn’t find any issues with the ones I tested. 

The Linux OS and Emuelect front end are perfectly fine for the causal gamer and the main menu is very easy to navigate. It is installed with Retroarch so you can take advantage of all the features that are normally included with Retroarch. 

However, the microSD card it comes with is a generic brand and you are more than likely going to end up with problems over time. 

I recommend purchasing a name-brand microSD. Something that isn’t going to break on you a few months in. I personally got this SanDisk here and have not had any issues. 

You can copy all the data over from the other SD card or you can install a custom firmware with a little technical knowledge. I recommend this guide for more information on that.

Does The Anbernic RG351P Come Preinstalled With Games?

MicroSD for RG351P

The microSD card that is included with the RG351P comes preinstalled with a lot of games. I can’t speak to the quality of these ROMs and I also can’t confirm the legality of them. 

But ROMs are a legal grey area to begin with right? 

How many games exactly? Well, this might depend on the reseller you purchase from but I can tell you that mine came with several hundred games. More than I could possibly get to. 

Verdict: Is The Anbernic RG351P Worth It?

Even in 2023, the Anbernic RG351P is a great device. For the price point, I do think it’s worth it. 

That being said, I don’t think it’s for everyone. 

In my opinion, the RG351P is ideal for people new to these kinds of devices, casual retro gamers who want to pick it up and start playing, and children. 

This console is also ideal for people who want to play Game Boy Advance above all else. 

If you have experience with retro handhelds, play retro games often, and are big into Retroachiements then you should upgrade into something better. 

Although I loved playing this device, I’m looking into upgrading to the Retroid Pocket 3+ myself. For $50 more, you are getting a lot more out of your device. 

Where To Buy The Anbernic RG351P

If you are new to retro handhelds like the RG351P, you might be confused about where to buy them. Lucky for you, this is a console that is available on Amazon. 

You can always buy it from the Anbernic website or AliExpress, but you’ll have to wait a lot longer for shipping and you miss out on the Amazon customer service. 

Buy the Anbernic RG351P on Amazon here! There are a couple of listings from different resellers but this is the one that I personally went with and had no problems.

Anbernic RG351P FAQ

Can you play RG351P on TV?

Unfortunately no. The Anbernic RG351P does not have an HDMI out.

It’s a bummer I know. I also enjoy playing my retro games on the big screen. 

Does RG351P have WiFi?

The 351P does not come with internal Wifi. That being said, you can still access Wifi on the device by plugging in the Wifi dongle that comes with most models. It’s a standard USB Wifi dongle with a USB-C adapter. 

Personally, I find the dongle attachment makes the console look a little funky. Unfortunately, I’m stuck with using it since you need Wifi for retro achievements.

Does RG351P have sleep mode?

Yes, a quick click of the power button will put the device into sleep mode. 

In my experience, you don’t want to use the sleep mode function for too long. I have had multiple instances where putting the device into sleep mode for too long ended up causing a crash. This led to me losing data on one occasion. 

However, this might be a software setup issue I have as opposed to an issue with the device itself. 

Can the Anbernic RG351P play Gamecube games?

No, the Anbernic RG351P is not capable of playing Gamecube games at all. 

Can RG351P emulate PS2?

Just like Gamecube games, the RG351P is not able to emulate PS2 games. It is only capable of emulating up to PSP. 

How long does it take to charge RG351P?

In my experience, the RG351P takes about 2-3 hours to charge. Make sure you use a standard USB charger, 5v-2A, and not one of those fast chargers we use on our iPhones. 

Can you save games on the RG351P?

Yes, you can save games using the standard save methods that the original games came with or by creating a save state through the emulators that are installed. 

Can you add games to the RG351P?

Yes, you can. If you are not happy with the games that came preinstalled with the microSD card, you can always add your own games. It’s as simple as copying and pasting them into the corresponding game folders on the microSD. 

If your laptop doesn’t come with a microSD slot, purchase an adapter for Windows here or Mac here.

I won’t share links to ROM sites on this site for legal reasons but a quick Google search will help you out. 

Hint: Check out Reddit communities for suggestions first!

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