Retroid Pocket 3+ Review (Best Bang For Your Buck?)

The world of retro gaming has seen a resurgence in recent years, with many enthusiasts seeking the perfect handheld device to relive the classics. 

A few months ago I purchased the Retroid Pocket 3+ because I wanted an upgrade to my Anbernic RG351P. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Anbernic RG351P, but there were a few quality-of-life enhancements I was seeking:

  1. Internal Wifi: This is important to me because I frequently play retro video games with retro achievements turned on.
  2. The ability to play 3D games up to GameCube: N64 and Gamecube are some of my favorite retro handhelds of all time.
  3. Compatibility with more challenging-to-emulate consoles like the Nintendo DS and 3DS: There are several Pokémon games I’ve been wanting to play from the NDS and 3DS lines.
  4. An efficient sleep mode function: With my Anbernic 351P device, I was unable to put the console into sleep mode without causing an in-game crash 30% of the time.
  5. Bluetooth capabilities: I like the idea of being able to connect my AirPods to my retro handheld.

Based on my initial research, it looked like the Retroid Pocket 3+ was going to fulfill those needs. Plus it was less than $150 which in my mind was a steal. 

For this review, I spent over 120 hours exploring the Retroid Pocket 3+’s capabilities and quirks.

So sit back, have a cup of coffee or tea, and enjoy this written review of the Retroid Pocket 3+!

Purchase the Retroid Pocket 3+ on Amazon here!

The Retroid Pocket 3 Plus Saga

Quick side note, the Retroid Pocket 3 Plus is an updated version of the original Retroid Pocket 3, and its swift release, just two months later, stirred up controversy among retro gaming fans.

Imagine purchasing the original RP3, only to discover that a superior model was on the horizon, available for just a slightly higher price. It’s safe to say that this move left many feeling frustrated.

Now that we’ve addressed the drama surrounding its release, let’s dive into what the Retroid Pocket 3 Plus has to offer.

Unboxing the RP3+

If you’re interested in learning more about the unboxing experience of the RP3+, check out this video below:

In a nutshell, here is the list of items that were included in my purchase of the RP3+:

  • The console
  • USB Type C charging cable
  • User Manual (very limited)


Before delving into the device’s physical aspects, it’s essential to understand its core specifications. In a nutshell:

The Retroid Pocket 3 Plus boasts the Unisoc T618 chip, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of internal storage, and a 4500mAh battery. It features an IPS LCD touchscreen display with a resolution of 1334 by 750 and a 16:9 aspect ratio. The device also offers Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, an HDMI 720p video output, USB-C charging, a microSD slot, and a headphone jack. It runs on Android 11 OS.

Technical specs below:

  • CPU: Unisoc Tiger T618 with 2x A75 @2.0GHz and 6x A55 @2.0GHz
  • GPU: Mali G52 MC2 @850MHz
  • RAM: 4GB LPDDR4x @ 850MHz
  • Storage: 128GB internal eMMC 5.1, plus a Micro SD Card slot for additional storage
  • Communications: WiFi 5, Bluetooth 5.0
  • Battery: 4500mAh

Physical Specs and Build Quality

When it comes to the physical attributes of the RP3+, it’s a mixed bag. On one hand, the device feels comfortable to hold and use, with a size that suits my preferences. However, some might argue that it’s not very pocket-friendly. 

You’ll have to be the judge of that. Here is how it compares to a Nintendo Switch and an iPhone 14+:

The plastic material used in the device feels decent but lacks the premium quality of some other retro handhelds. Picture lower-end smartphone plastics, which might disappoint those seeking a more solid feel like you get with the Miyoo Mini Plus. 

On a positive note, the buttons and D-pad on the RP3+ are exceptional. They provide great tactile feedback and responsiveness. The D-pad’s shallow travel and minimal protrusion from the console make it well-suited for precise diagonal controls.

The joystick placement, at the bottom of the console, feels intuitive especially if you are used to PlayStation controllers. 

The stacked shoulder buttons are robust and easy to distinguish between R1/L1 and R2/L2. Also, not too clicky and feels great to the press!

The placement of the home button on the right side is a little awkward. It can lead to accidental presses, but the default setting for games requires you to press the home button twice.

The IPS display is a highlight, enhancing the visual experience for games like Pokémon Emerald, which looks stunning on the RP3+. The aspect ratio is designed for modern gaming so you will end up with black bars when playing retro consoles. However, this didn’t bother me at all. 

The Setup Process

Unlike some retro handhelds that come pre-loaded with games, the Retroid Pocket 3 Plus requires a setup process to play classics like NES, SNES, GB, and GBA. If you’re tech-savvy and don’t mind some initial work, this won’t be a problem. However, it may not be the right choice for those looking to start playing the system right out of the box.

I followed Retro Game Corp’s setup guide which made the process pretty straightforward. If you plan to play retro consoles, you will need to purchase a microSD card with this device. 

I recommend this micro SD here

My setup was pretty simple.  I downloaded Citra for 3DS, Dolphin for Gamecube, PPSSPP for PSP, and Retroarch for pretty much everything else. 

Performance and Gameplay

Now, let’s delve into the heart of the matter: gameplay performance. 

The RP3+ is going to be able to play every retro console through N64 without any hiccups. 

More demanding consoles, like Gamecube, NDS, N3DS, PSP, PS2, and Nintendo Wii are playable on the Retroid Pocket 3+. However, while some games on these consoles will run perfectly fine others struggle greatly, it really depends on the game. 

When it comes to the more demanding systems like Gamecube, PSP, 3DS, PS2, and Wii, you should check out this Reddit thread for a list of games and their compatibility with the RP3+.  

I tested a variety of games across different consoles, playing them to completion. Here are some highlights:

  • GBC: Pokémon Crystal on the Game Boy Color ran flawlessly, and the microHDMI output allowed for easy capture of gameplay footage.
  • GBA: Pokémon Emerald for the GBA looked stunning on the RP3+, particularly when using the GBSP emulator. However, some emulator-related crashes occurred, and reliance on the sleep mode while playing could lead to issues with game resets.
  • SNES: Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island for the SNES posed no emulation problems, running smoothly.
  • NDS: Pokémon Platinum for the DS played well overall, with occasional frame drops in specific screen orientations.
  • Dreamcast: Crazy Taxi for the Dreamcast ran smooth as butter. 
  • Gamecube: The Legend of Zelda Windwaker ran surprisingly smoothly on the RP3+. I also tested OO7: Nightfire which was playable but clearly had some frame drops. 
  • WII: I tested out the New Super Mario Bros. Wii and this game ran very smooth. 
  • PSP: I played God of War Ghost of Sparta which ran smooth as butter. 
  • 3DS: I tested out Pokemon Omega Ruby. This game was definitely playable but had some very noticeable frame drops. 

What Else Can The Retroid Pocket 3+ Do?

Throughout my 120 hours of gameplay on the RP3+, I learned about other features this device has which makes it even more of an attractive purchase. 

Turning your Retroid Pocket 3+ into a mini retro home console

Thanks to the RPS+’s Bluetooth feature, you can connect any Bluetooth-based controller to the console. Own a PS5? Your Dualsense controller can connect with no problem. 

After connecting your RP3+ to a controller, you can then connect the device to a TV via the Micro HDMI out capability. 

Once you do this, you essentially have a mini retro home console that you can enjoy on your TV!  

Playing local multiplayer on your Retroid Pocket 3+

We’ve talked about how you can connect a controller via Bluetooth to the RP3+, but can you connect multiple controllers?

The answer is yes you can! You can connect multiple Bluetooth-based controllers to your Retroid Pocket 3+ to play local split-screen games with your friends. 

Connecting external speakers to the Retroid Pocket 3+

The Bluetooth feature on the RP3+ is amazing. Before purchasing this device, I had no clue how much I would be utilizing this feature. 

One thing that came in handy was the fact that it could connect to my external Bluetooth JBL speaker. 

Why was this helpful? Well, I was playing the Retroid Pocket 3+ on a TV that did not support audio from this device (Not sure why this was the case, it seemed to occur with certain Vizio TV models).

To remedy this, I connected my external speaker to the RP3+ to recieve audio from this speaker while playing the device on a TV.

Honestly, I ended up receiving better audio quality through this method because I could put the speaker right behind my head giving me that immersive feel. 


The touchscreen features are very helpful. 

When I was purchasing the RP3+, touchscreen features were not on my radar. After purchasing the RP3+ I realized how handy they are. 

If I wanted to change the game’s brightness, it was a quick swipe from the top of the screen. Also, navigating the menu via touch screen has proven to be much more efficient. 

It’s the little things about this device that make it shine. 

Things I Like About The Retroid Pocket 3+

Here is a list of everything I like about the RP3+: 

  • Exceptional GBA emulation.
  • Impressive performance for its price, allowing for GameCube and even Wii gameplay.
  • Efficient sleep mode functionality.
  • Bluetooth capabilities for headphones, speakers, and controllers.
  • The versatility of connecting a PS5 controller and using the micro HDMI out for a home console experience.
  • Local multiplayer support via Bluetooth controllers.
  • The convenience of the touchscreen for quick access to settings.

Things I Don’t Like

While the Retroid Pocket 3 Plus offers an impressive retro gaming experience, there are a couple of minor downsides:

  • It lacks the nostalgic retro feel of some other devices.
  • The setup process may deter those seeking a plug-and-play solution, though it’s manageable with the right guide.

Who Should Consider the Retroid Pocket 3 Plus?

Every retro handheld is going to have its pros and cons. Instead of searching for the “best retro handheld”, I recommend people search for the retro handheld that best fits their needs. 

The Retroid Pocket 3 Plus is an excellent choice for retro gaming enthusiasts who:

  • Are comfortable with the initial setup.
  • Enjoy 2D retro games
  • Do you want to play NDS and 3DS?
  • Seek a device that can handle PS2, PSP, GameCube, and even Wii games.
  • Wish to use retro achievements and record gameplay.
  • Have a budget of $150 or less

Final Verdict

After more than 120 hours of gaming on the Retroid Pocket 3 Plus, I can confidently recommend it to people interested in retro video games.

Its impressive capabilities, from GameCube emulation to Bluetooth connectivity, make it a versatile and enjoyable handheld.

The RP3+ has been my go-to device as of late. It’s convenient to use, plays everything I need from a retro handheld, and feels very comfortable in my hands. 

The choice between purchasing from Goretroid or Amazon depends on personal preferences, but the convenience and reliability of Amazon’s shipping may sway the decision in its favor. Whether you’re revisiting classic titles or exploring new retro adventures, the Retroid Pocket 3 Plus has much to offer in retro gaming.

Leave a Comment