The RG28XX is the newest handheld from Anbernic. My first impression is that I did not expect it to be as small as it is. At a size of 12cm X 5cm or 5in X 2in and a weight of 127 grams or .280 lbs. I am going to agree with Andrew that it isn’t for people with meaty claws. I did not expect to see 2024 being the year of small horizontal devices, but here we are. Let’s see if this one is worth the purchase.

First Impressions of the Anbernic RG28XX

Anbernic RG28XX in Transparent Black


The 2.83-inch IPS screen is pretty nice overall. When testing, I noticed the screen is viewable from most angles. Taking it outside in the sun, it was still possible to play on it, though it was a bit difficult in the direct sun.

One thing I noticed that may just be the one I received is that the speaker will pop and crackle once in a while. Asking the rest of the team, it does seem that this is an anomaly with the one that I was sent. Still, I think it is worth noting in case there are others in the future with this issue. Besides that, the speaker sounds pretty good.

The case you can buy with the RG28XX is also pretty great quality. It feels soft on the inside and hard on the outside. The device fits very well without the case pressing on the buttons. If you fear having this in your pocket without any protection, the case is worth the extra $10.

RG28XX Case

RG28XX Case

I received the transparent black model, with there being other options. The color and plastic feel great and are the standard you can expect from Anbernic products. The buttons feel good, though the trigger buttons are rather difficult to press. You have to maneuver your hands in a non-natural way to press the L1/R1 buttons and in addition, they are very clicky.

Hands-On Use

Before writing this review, I wanted to use this device for a few days to give it a fair shot. At first, I had very little interest in the 28XX. I already have a few small devices and it just didn’t appeal to me. However, after using it for a few days, I can see myself using it way more than I initially expected.

When I was playing for around 30 minutes, I did notice my thumbs would cramp. I am someone with larger hands, so I am not too surprised by this. Stubbs said he has an interesting way of holding his that avoids cramping, so keep an eye out for his video! Still, this could be a great device to pull out of your pocket when you have a few minutes to grind in an RPG or play a round or 2 of Tetris.

As Zu pointed out in his review, it appears the screen is rotated that is placed inside of the RG28XX. I noticed this while testing PSP and turned up the volume so that the interface appeared on its side on top of the screen instead of to the side. This is probably something that can be addressed with CFW down the road.


Back of the Motherboard and Battery

Back of the Motherboard and Battery

Sometimes it is good to see what is under the hood of a new device. I’m not a very technical person, but I was up for the challenge of a small tear-down so you all can see what is on the inside of this machine. There are four 1.5mm hex screws in the corners of the back of the device.

Upon opening the RG28XX, the battery is connected to the back case while the motherboard is on the opposite side. Make sure to disconnect the battery connector before fully opening the device. Inside, you will have to disconnect the ribbon cable for the screen and also unplug the speaker to remove it.

Back of the Screen and Motherboard

Back of the Screen and Motherboard

There are 6 Phillips screws that are holding the motherboard together. After taking those out, you can then lift the board out to see the back of the screen, rubber membranes, and buttons. Be careful as the shoulder buttons, top function buttons, and side buttons are likely to fall out. It is probably best to remove those first.


The performance of the RG28XX was surprising to me. I did not go in with much research on the capabilities of the chip, but was constantly and pleasantly surprised at how well it performed. I tried a variety of games on higher-end systems because the performance of NES, GB, SNES, Genesis, and so on was a given. Also, I did not tinker with settings either because I want to be honest with people who are picking this up with little experience.


For N64, a user requested Pokémon Stadium, but the button configuration was a bit much as the game uses the D-Pad, analog stick, and C buttons. This is a reoccurring problem with N64 emulation is that the button layouts can be a bit to set up because of the lack of buttons. Mario 64 ran pretty well, but there were some graphical glitches. Overall, I would say it was playable. Conker’s Bad Fur Day had many more graphical glitches and some slowdown. I would say it was not very playable.


For Dreamcast, I tried out Crazy Taxi and it worked great! I did not notice any slowdown and the gameplay felt very smooth. I then tried out Marvel vs Capcom 2 with more great results. The gameplay was also very smooth and Dreamcast seemed to be working rather well.


Finally, I tried some PSP games to finish off some of my testing. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories showed some promise and I would consider it very playable. You would have to remap the analog controls to the D-Pad though for this one. I also tried out The 3rd Birthday and just like GTA, the analog controls will have to be remapped, but it worked well too. I finished off my PSP testing with Bomberman and that ran fantastic.

If you want to see some video clips of my gameplay, I included this above. Also, be sure to check out Zu’s video so you can see more gameplay. Stubbs will be releasing his video soon as well so keep an eye out!

Battery Life

My biggest thing when I purchase a device is knowing what the battery life is like. I ran two different tests to see how this held up. First, I ran The Legend of Zelda 2 on the NES with maximum brightness and volume set to the middle range. Next, I had The 3rd Birthday for the PSP running with the same settings. I ran this from 100% battery to 0% and kept a timer to see how long the battery would last.

For my first test, I had the device last for 11 hours and 46 minutes. This is much more than the expected 8 hours stated on Anbernic’s website. If you want a portable system that can play lower-end systems with great battery life, this could be a great candidate.

For my second test running PSP, The battery lasted for 7 hours and 4 minutes. The time it took for me to charge from 0% to 100% using an A to C USB was 2 hours and 31 minutes. Aish confirmed that USB C to C works as well and he got from 50% to 100% in about an hour.

On current firmware, there seems to be an issue with standby mode. You can press the power button to suspend play and pick up where you left off. I wanted to test how well the battery would last in this, so at 100% I opened Klonoa for the PS1 and then put it on standby. I left it overnight and after 12 hours, the battery dropped from 100% to 48%.

Likes and Dislikes

+ Size is great for sliding into a pocket

+ Performance on such a small screen is great

+ I love that Anbernic is adding more colors. The beige/purple and orange cream look great

+ Battery life is great

+ Price is hard to beat

RG28XX and Miyoo Mini

RG28XX and Miyoo Mini

– The trigger buttons are very uncomfortable to press and very clicky

–  May not be for people with larger hands. My thumbs were cramping after playing for about 30 minutes.

-The device I was sent had some speaker issues (popping and crackling)

-The lack of analog sticks makes some N64/PSP games difficult to play without configuring controls

– Suspend mode has some major power drain currently.

Who This Device Is For

Anbernic RG28XX standing

Anbernic RG28XX standing

Who is this device even for and should you buy one? I think this is a great complementary device to a collection if you need a small handheld to take on the go. The lack of analog sticks may be frustrating for some, but it also helps the ease of sliding it into your pocket. I have a newborn at home and found myself using this quite a bit the last few days. The price is hard to beat and I think it would be a great addition to any retro handheld collection. There is word of CFW already being in the works like MinUI, MuOS, and Knulli.

Finally, you can order the RG28XX for yourself from either AliExpress or directly from Anbernic. It costs $47.99, but you will have to pay for shipping. The case is another $10 that you can add to your order as well for some extra protection. Keep an eye on the website and channel for comparisons, more reviews, and firmware news on the RG28XX!

What did you think of this article? Let us know in the comments below, and chat with us in our Discord!



MinUI and Knulli have both been released as CFW options for the RG28XX. Check out our guide for MinUI here and our guide for Knulli here.

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