After weeks of rumors and leaked images, Retroid has finally revealed its new handheld. The Retroid Pocket 3 is a new iteration of the company’s mainstay portable. Not only is the hardware beefier, but the handheld also sports a bigger screen this time around.
Here are the fully announced specs for the Retroid Pocket 3:
CPU: 1x ARM Cortex-A75 + 3x ARM Cortex-A55 CPU
GPU: PowerVR GE8300 GPU at 800MHz
RAM: 2GB LPDDR4x RAM (3GB upgrade available)
Storage: 32 GB eMMC
Display: 4.7-inch touchscreen (1334×750 at 60fps native, 16:9 aspect ratio, 450 nits of brightness)
Battery: 4000mAh battery
Operating System: Android 11
Connectivity: WiFi 2.4G/5G, Bluetooth 5.0, and HDMI video output (720p)
The Retroid Pocket 3 will cost you $119 USD for the model with 2GB of RAM, while the 3GB model is only slightly more at $129. Retroid touts a new metal frame and aluminum heatsink for better passive cooling and they’ve added dual clickable analog sticks, rather than the single clickable stick on the Retroid Pocket 2+. It’s wider and thinner than that previous Pocket, coming in at 184.65mm x 81.38mm x 24.23mm (7.27 inches x 3.2 inches x 0.95 inches).
That CPU/GPU combo is actually the same as the Retroid Pocket 2+, which was released in March of this year. That model is still available for $99, only a bit less than the new Pocket 3. What you’re gaining this time around is updated design, performance improvements from switching to Android 11, the dual clickable analog sticks, and the performance gains for grabbing the 3GB RAM version.
There is a new frontend game launcher, so you should be able to play your emulated games right out of the box. Unfortunately, without seeing a review unit, we can’t tell how this frontend has improved over the Pocket 2+. Given the innards, emulator fans should expect to emulate up to PlayStation, Nintendo 64, and Dreamcast pretty easily, with the occasional PlayStation 2 and GameCube titles. The 3GB of RAM should be able to push a bit further into the PlayStation 2 and GameCube space.
If you already have a Retroid Pocket 2+, the upgrade is a little hard to justify. There’s also the fact that the portable handheld space has gotten more competitive recently. I think this Retroid Pocket 3 competes handily with Anbernic’s RG503 ($149 MSRP), but the higher end is beginning to see more options, like the Ayn Odin Pro ($287 – $328) or Ayaneo Air ($500+). All that is before you get to the Valve Steam Deck, which ranges from $399 to $649, but isn’t readily available as Steam is deep in the middle of fulfilling reservations at the moment.
If you don’t have any of those other devices though, the Retroid Pocket 3 looks like it’ll be a solid, cheap retro gaming device. And unlike some of those options, it seems like you’ll be able to get a Pocket 3 much sooner. The device is available for pre-order right now in six colors: Black White, Indigo, Orange, 16-Bit, and Retro. Retroid says shipments of the devices will begin on August 20 and if I were you, I’d pony up the extra $10 for the 3GB model.