Yeah, it’s time for another look into the abyss that is my neverending collection of handhelds. Last time it was a fairly standard affair. A DS, a Retroid device, a Powkiddy, and then something odd like the portal. Today though I spun the wheel and landed what I’d consider a bit of an odd group of devices. So let’s talk. What are these? Do I still use any of them? And should you even try finding one to buy?

Oh — and how do they stack up on my personal tier list of handhelds? 

New Nintendo 3DS XL

Starting off with another Nintendo Console, another DS. But by comparison, they’re in completely different leagues. The New Nintendo 3DS XL was the last big DS that had 3D to come out from Nintendo. It was followed up by the New 2DS XL, but as the name implies. No 3D. This is probably the most comfortable DS I own and is the sole reason I no longer use grips on handhelds. I owned one, but I didn’t like it, and I stopped doing it ever since. 

Most of the time, you’ll find people freaking out about IPS or TN screens on it, but honestly? I don’t really care enough to check, and if you do; great, hopefully you get the 3DS of your dreams that you likely overspent on to receive. I didn’t mod this 3DS. I modded my 2DS XL, but not this one. Keeping a system stock is sometimes just a nice experience to come back to. You pop in your game, and that’s all you get. Unless you have a few dozen eShop games installed.

Are there issues? Yeah. The C Stick sucks, and the Slider is meh, but this is the best way to play 3DS games in my opinion. If you buy a 3DS and you want a big one, it’s either this or the N2DS XL. I would recommend modding it even if I haven’t on this one. And considering I’ve had it for about 8 years now, I probably won’t. 

I love the 3DS.

Hardkernel Odroid Go

I’ve already made an article dedicated entirely to the Odroid Go, so maybe I’m a little bit biased, but also, maybe I don’t need to write an entire massive section for it. 

The Odroid Go is simply a tiny low-powered ESP32 handheld. With cheap Game Boy Color feeling buttons a thin body and enough power to play up to NES games, I didn’t expect much from it, but if this wasn’t a great Tetris DX machine, I’m not sure what else would be. It’s one of the few places I still have a 4GB microSD card running because it truly doesn’t need more than that. 

Should you buy one? Well if you can find one yeah. They’ve been discontinued for a while, and aren’t too expensive. But you can also get more power from anything nowadays. The V10 at $35-$40, or just an R36S. But they’re definitely going to be thicker too. The simple OS though makes it a breeze for just playing games. I really like this thing. 

Chicken Boy

Yet another odd device in my collection. Why do I have this thing? Stubbs. It was such a big thing last year that when it finally came back in stock I just had to grab one on the cheap. For $15 how could I say no? It was even cheaper than my Tetris McNugget handheld!

So what can it play? The “99” games are built in of course. It has all of your favorites on it. Dr. Mario, Tetris 2, Mario 18? Games Mars of JJ? Well, they can’t all be winners in my eyes can they? The one thing that really gets me with this device is the battery on it. I don’t know what magic is placed inside of this thing. But ever since I got it a few months ago I haven’t tried to charge it once. It just keeps on running endlessly. For some reason.

Maybe it’ll die, but probably not before me at this rate. Don’t buy it, it’s not really worth the 4 week wait on Aliexpress.

Nvidia Shield Portable

Well before most of the handheld market we know today, there was a tiny underdog company known as Nvidia. Well, not really an underdog, just under the giant stacks of money they have today. The Nvidia Shield Portable was released in July 2013 nearly 11 years ago to date. With a beefy Tegra 4 processor and a whopping Android 4.2.1 OS, it was spec’ed to the bones back in the day. Even if a bit lacking by modern standards. 

Out the gate, this thing is super comfortable to hold even if the back coating leaves me feeling a bit uncomfortable. I’d call it a clamshell, even though it’s just a console-level controller with a screen attached. Full clicking sticks and stacked analog triggers? Some handheld companies struggle to do that today. Ahead of its time but still solid, the one thing I’ve been trying to get it set up with has been game streaming. For its size, it could be quite nice, though it’s all a matter of getting everything to load and work. 

Should you buy one? I don’t think it’s necessary in 2024, but if you wanna know how it feels, I highly recommend grabbing one to see these glorious ergonomics. I don’t use it too much, but I want to get some more time into it sooner rather than later. Because any later and I might have a dead battery. It is 11 years old, after all.  

Final Words


And there you have it, four more handhelds that just feel like they came out of nowhere to end up in my collection. Whether or not you think you should own something is up to you, but personally, I like owning everything I possibly can. Even the stinkers, if only for a little while. Surely the next Bins will be a bit weird, but they couldn’t possibly have such an eclectic mix of handhelds, right?


Well, I guess I’ll find out once I reach that point, won’t I? And that only instills a little bit of fear as I continue to buy more devices.

  • S Tier – Nintendo New 3DS XL
  • A Tier – Nintendo DS Lite, Retroid Pocket 3+
  • B Tier – Powkiddy V90, Odroid Go, Nvidia Shield Portable
  • C Tier – 
  • D Tier – Pimax Portal
  • F Tier – Chicken Boy

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