Anbernic RG552 vs. Anbernic RG503: A Tough Pick

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Written By Shamaila
If you're in the market looking for a mid-range retro console, the Anbernic RG552 vs. Anbernic RG503 comparison is imminent. What's the better pick? Here we try to answer!

With the rapid advancement in the gaming world, we’re also seeing a surge in people wanting to relive the retro gaming life. And to enhance the experience, we’ve got to say thanks to consoles with good hardware and amazing emulation, which continue to maintain the excitement amongst the retro gaming community. 

Anbernic is one such prime manufacturer of retro gaming consoles.

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We understand, it can be quite a task to choose between two of the leading consoles of the same brand. But don’t worry, we did the job for you. 

In this article, we’ll be comparing the Anbernic RG552 vs Anbernic RG503!

Picture  Model Amazon AliExpress Official Store
Anbernic RG552 Anbernic RG552 Check Price Check Price Check Price
Anbernic RG503 Anbernic RG503 Check Price Check Price Check Price

Introduction to the RG552 and RG503

Anbernic RG552 

Anbernic RG552

The Anbernic RG552, released in 2022, is a dual-boot (Linux and Android based) handheld retro gaming emulation console

Being a successor to the RG351 series of handhelds, it’s a larger device and has more powerful hardware. It is also the first portable Anbernic handheld console to have an active heat sink and a fan. 

Anbernic RG503 

Anbernic RG503

The Anbernic RG503 is a more budget-centric retro handheld from Anbernic. 

It one of the few retro handhelds to feature an OLED screen, which makes it a very exciting device. Unlike the RG552, the RG503 uses only a Linux-based operating system.

It comes with a pre-installed custom OS and a bunch of games, and a screen protector, of course, for the fancy OLED

We manually reviewed the RG503. Check it out here.

Anbernic RG552 vs Anbernic RG503: Specifications 

Let’s have a quick look at the specifications of both these handhelds.

Anbernic RG552 

Here are the specifications of the RG552:

  • 5.36-inch, 1920 x 1152 display
  • RockChip RK3399 hexa-core 1.8GHz CPU
  • 4GB RAM
  • 2 x 3200mAh 7.6V battery
  • 64GB eMMC (Android) + 16GB microSD (Linux)

You can find the full RG552 specifications here.

The RG552 is what you can call a chunky console. This is true, especially when comparing it to the previous Anbernic models and other popular handhelds in the market. 

It has a dimension of 20 x 8.5 x 2 cm, with a 5.36-inch LCD touch panel, giving it an aspect ratio of 5:3. It weighs about 367g, which could be a tad bit heavy for some. 

The CPU is an Rockchip RK3399, which is an upgrade from the RK3326, features on the RG351 series models. It has 6 cores and a clock speed between 1.4GHz – 2.0GHz. To go with the 4-core CPU, it has 4GB LPDDR4 RAM. It has 64GB of eMMC storage, available on the Android side. 

With a battery capacity of 2 x 3200mAh, it will last you around 3-4 hours of non-stop gaming. The good thing is that the Anbernic RG552 allows fast charging. 

Coming to the operating system, it runs on Android 7.1, but can also dual-boot into Linux. On the connectivity front, it has 2.4GHz WiFi along with a mini HDMI port to output your gameplay on a larger screen. 

Annoyingly, the RG552 does not feature Bluetooth connectivity.

Using Android, also allows you access to the Google Play Store. Via the Play Store, it’d be possible to download a bunch of apps and emulators and really customise your device your way. Here’s a list of the best PSP emulators for Android.

The real nice benefit of Android OS is that the user interface is nicer to look at, and there are a tonne of customisation options available.

Anbernic RG503 

The RG503 features the following internals:

  • 4.95 inch, 960 x 544 OLED display
  • RockChip RK3566 quad-core 1.8GHz CPU
  • 1GB RAM
  • 3500mAh battery
  • 16GB storage + expandable via microSD slot

You can find the full Anbernic RG503 specifications here.

With dimensions of 19 x 8.4 x 2.1 cm, the Anbernic RG503 is smaller than the RG552. It is also significantly lighter, weighing in at just 235g.

The Anbernic RG503 is the first retro handheld device to have an OLED screen in its category. It has a bigger screen than the previous handhelds. It has more WiFi heft to it with 5GHz WiFi, along with built-in Bluetooth. 

The RG503 runs on a RK3566 quad-core 1.8GHz CPU. This is the first time this chipset has ever been used in an Anbernic retro handheld. One of the advantages of this chip is how efficient it is, and how the device never seems to get hot. That generally means stellar battery life!

It has 1GB LPDDR4 RAM, which is has proved quite capable of running retro emulation.

One of the main attractions of this device is the Samsung 4.95 inch OLED display, which was also used in the original PS Vita. Surely, this takes retro gaming experience to another level, as you can expect really vibrant colours and deep blacks. 

It has a 3500mAh battery, which will let you have long gaming sessions lasting somewhere between 6 to 8 hours. 

Coming to connectivity, as said before, unlike the RG552, it has 5GHz Wi-Fi, built-in Bluetooth 4.2, and an HDMI out port. 

It also has two memory card slots — a 16GB system card and a 64GB expansion card.  

Moonlight Game Streaming is something to look out for. This allows you to stream PC games to the Anbernic handheld, utilizing the 5GHz Wi-Fi. Not only does this massively increase the number of games you can play on the device, but it also makes up for the lack of Android.  

Another interesting feature is the Kodi Media Center. You can add as many videos and movies in the device, and easily turn your retro handheld into a portable video player. 

What systems can the RG552 and RG503 emulate? 

Anbernic RG552 

This handheld comes with select preinstalled default emulators. Since it also supports Android out of the box, you can always go and download additional ones from the Play Store, if you wish to do so. 

You’re free to download and install the Google Play Store, which opens the door for a lot of possibilities. From native Android games to emulators — sky is the limit.

The Linux OS quite straightforward to set up as well, as it comes already loaded with emulators, so you only need to install your ROMs onto an SD card to get started.

Once you get a good grasp of it, and set the cement, the RG552 has a load to offer. N64, PlayStation1, and even Dreamcast games work impressively well on it.

Anbernic RG503 

Anbernic RG503 has a custom, Linux-based operating system.

With 1GB of RAM, the efficiency varies from game to game, but you’d be able to play most of the games from yesteryear. The frame rate changes occasionally, but that’s a fair trade off considering how you’ll be able to play all these games on a portable device, and at this price. 

Overall, you’d be able to run most of the systems fine. The only slight issue would be a bit of slowdown while running PSP and N64 systems. Apart from these, the RG503 does not disappoint you when purely talking about emulation. 

Anbernic RG552 vs Anbernic RG503: Design and Controls 

Anbernic RG552 

The RG552 comes in a plastic body with a metallic finish, and in two colours, Black and Bronze Grey. It has the boxy look, flat shoulder buttons, and the signature back rubbers that provides good grip. 

It has a horizontal factor, as it is easy to hold, and allows long hours of non-stop gaming. 

As for the controls, Anbernic went with a traditional design with this one. It has two durable clickable joysticks, a D pad, start and select buttons, X, Y, B, A buttons, trigger buttons — R1, R2, and L1, L2. 

On the top, we have a mini HDMI out, headphone jack, USB Type-C port that allows data transfer and fast charging. Also, on the top, we can see vents that aid in cooling. 

On the right hand side, we have a power button, and on the left hand side a Volume Control button. At the bottom, we have stereo speakers. 

Also we have a couple of micro SD card slots, a restart button, and a function button.

All in all, the RG552 provides quite an elite ergonomic experience when it comes to the design and controls of the device.

Anbernic RG503 

The body is similar to RG552, plastic with a metallic finish, and smalller and lighter as compared to it. It comes in three color variations, Blue, Black, and Grey. 

The device is somewhat rounded as compared to other devices from this company. The screen is sunken which gives more of a retro vibe and the back side is hollowed, with rounded grips and gritty texture, which allows a nice grasp on the device; definitely a pro for long gaming hours. 

Complimenting the rounded design of this device, the shoulder buttons are rounded, which gives a good feel to hold. 

Rest of the controls and ergonomics are similar to the RG552, without too many differences in this area. 

Anbernic RG552 vs Anbernic RG503: Pricing 

Let’s have a look at how these two consoles stack up against each other w.r.t pricing.

Picture  Model Amazon AliExpress Official Store
Anbernic RG552 Anbernic RG552 Check Price Check Price Check Price
Anbernic RG503 Anbernic RG503 Check Price Check Price Check Price

Anbernic RG552 

The RG552 is priced around $230 (available on the Anberic’s store), making it their most expensive handheld till date. 

As many praised Anbernic for the handheld they put out, many were equally disappointed due to the high pricing of the device.  

Anbernic RG503 

Pricing the RG503 around $150, Anbernic seems to really have surprised everyone with this pocket friendly handheld

The Anbernic RG503 is available from Anberic’s store for $149.99, rising to $157.99 with an SD Card with pre-installed games. 

Anbernic RG552 vs Anbernic RG503: Summary

Both Anbernic RG552 and RG503 have a lot to offer. 

On one hand, the RG552 offers you dual operating systems, and opening wide doors for customisation. That, plus an amazing build quality. All, with the device being slightly pricey, which some might just give up on.

On the other hand, you have RG503 which offers a good experience, with amazing display and build quality, good connectivity, and 5GHz of Wi-Fi + Bluetooth. The drawback of this device being the 1GB RAM.

But if this is your first retro handheld device, and you’re eyeing for the Anbernic RG503, we won’t say it’s a bad choice. This device has a lot to offer, and it won’t even cost you a blow to your pocket. 

We hope this article helped you to choose between the two dynamic handhelds the retro gaming company, Anbernic has to offer. 

Happy gaming! 

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