5 Best Retro Handhelds Under $100 in 2022

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Written By Paulo Papa

Father, nerd, writer.

While the surge of retro handheld products could be exciting for a seasoned emulation gamer, it could be overwhelming for newcomers to the platform. That said, we’ve compiled a list of the best retro handheld consoles under $100 to help those who are in the market for a capable yet affordable device.

So, let’s get into it.

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Retroid Pocket 2+

First on our list is the Retroid Pocket 2+. This device is manufactured by a company of the same name and is the successor of the Retroid Pocket 2.

The Retroid Pocket 2+, one of the best-selling retro handhelds
The Retroid Pocket 2+, one of the best-selling retro handhelds

This device has earned quite a mixed review with most owners praising its good build quality and respectable emulating capacity. It also has a nostalgia-inducing design that appeals to most customers.

Where to buy the Retroid Pocket 2+? How much does it cost?

You can pick up a Pocket 2+ for about $140-160 including shipping. If you are in the US, Amazon is your best bet.

You can pick up the Retroid Pocket 2+ from the following sellers:AmazonAliExpress

Retroid Pocket 2+: Specifications

  • 3.5-inch 480p touch screen display
  • Unisoc Quad-core Tiger T310
  • 1 x A75 + 3 x A55 + PowerVR GE8300
  • 2GB LPDDR4x + 32GB EMMC
  • Android 9
  • WiFi 2.4G/5G + BT 5.0
  • 4000mAh battery

What can the Retroid Pocket 2+ emulate?

The Retroid Pocket 2+ can emulate a wide range of platforms thanks to its decent chipset. It easily plays games from NES to PS1. It can also run several N64, Nintendo DS, Dreamcast, and PSP titles. Playing PS2 games on this handheld is possible although you cannot expect it to run as smooth as games from less demanding platforms.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Good build quality
  • Controls are responsive
  • Has integrated rumble motors
  • Suitable for long gameplay
  • Android OS

Cons:

  • Analog slider could be difficult to manage

Miyoo Mini V2: Best bang for your buck

The Miyoo Mini is also a great option for those looking for a retro device. It bears striking similarities with the GameBoy and therefore brings to the table unprecedented portability and compact form factor.

Miyoo recently gave the Mini a bit of an upgrade with a better screen along with all-round improvements. They’re calling it the V2.

What also works in favour of the Miyoo Mini is a thriving community. We’ve written a full-fledged Miyoo Mini guide, along with tutorials such as how to change the boot screen on Miyoo Mini.

The Miyoo Mini is arguably the most popular best retro handheld under $100
The Miyoo Mini is arguably the most popular retro handheld under $100

Despite its size, it provides decent emulation and offers unparalleled levels of personalization. That said, the Miyoo Mini is considered by many as one of the best bang-for-your-buck retro handheld devices.

Where to buy the Miyoo Mini V2? How much does it cost?

Thanks to a lot of competition amongst sellers, the Miyoo Mini V2 is available at a great price across sellers. You can buy one for under $60 from most sellers.

You can pick up the Miyoo Mini V2 from the following sellers:AmazonAliExpressGeekBuying

Miyoo Mini (V2): Specifications

  • ARM Cortex-A7 Dual-Core 1.2G
  • 128MB RAM
  • 2.8-inch IPS screen
  • 2000mAh battery

What can the Miyoo Mini (V2) emulate?

The Miyoo Mini has a limited library of games and can only handle up to PS1. Nevertheless, it offers a smooth performance on most games thrown on it. Because of its design, the Miyoo Mini is perfect for playing games made for the Game Boy and Game Boy Advance titles, almost all of which run perfectly on this handheld.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Portable design
  • Durable build
  • Highly customizable
  • User-friendly
  • Affordable
  • Thriving community

Cons:

  • Size not suitable for long gameplay
  • No analog controls

Anbernic RG350P

The RG350P is a solid retro handheld device that offers decent features for its price. It has been the go-to emulation device of most gamers thanks to its mix of capable software and reliable hardware.

Anbernic have been around for a long time, and seem to understand the retro handheld landscape a lot better than some other makers out there.

We’ve even put together a list of the best Anbernic handheld consoles in case you wish to delve deeper.

The Anbernic RG350P remains a popular choice in the sub-$100 mark
The Anbernic RG350P remains a popular choice in the sub-$100 mark

Where to buy the Anbernic RG350P? How much does it cost?

The Anbernic RG350P sells at around the $90 mark, and can be picked up from a variety of sellers, including the official Anbernic store.

You can pick up the Anbernic RG350P from the following sellers:AmazonAnberic store officialAnbernic store (AliExpress)

Anbernic RG350P: Specifications

  • JZ4770 Dual-Core 64Bit 1.0 GHz
  • 3.5-inch IPS display
  • 2500mAh Li-Polymer battery
  • 512MB RAM

What can the Anbernic RG350P emulate?

Like the above mentioned Miyoo Mini, the Anbernic RG350P’s CPU can handle up to PS1 games. However, it does offer playability as it sports two analog sticks at the bottom in addition to the D-pad and the A-B-X-Y buttons.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Robust build quality
  • Comfortable to use
  • Decent battery life
  • Has HDMI support

Cons:

  • Looks can be subjective

Alternatively, check out our list of the best retro handhelds if you are OK spending more than $100.


Anbernic RG280V

The Anbernic RG280V is another retro emulator whose features lean more towards portability. It hits home with its nostalgic Famicom design, and thanks to its size, is a great platform for playing games on the go. It does come with features you won’t expect from such a small device such as dual SD card support and a built-in vibration motor.

The Anbernic RG280V, best known for it's pocketability
The Anbernic RG280V, best known for it’s pocketability

Where to buy the Anbernic RG280V? How much does it cost?

The Anbernic RG280V has been on sale for a few months, and supply is finally stable. You can find the RG280V on sale for around the $90 mark on most places. Like other Anbenic handhelds, the official store has it available as well.

You can pick up the Anbernic RG280V from the following sellers:
Anbernic store officialAnbernic store (AliExpress)Amazon

Given the big difference in price, we recommend buying from AliExpress.

Anbernic RG280V: Specifications

  • JZ4770 Dual-Core 64Bit 1.0 GHz
  • 2.5-inch IPS display
  • 2100mAh Li-Polymer battery
  • 512MB RAM

What can the Anbernic RG80V emulate?

Emulation-wise, the Anbernic RG280V can accommodate games as its RG350P sibling. Its library of titles includes those from popular platforms such as NES and PS1, although its lack of analog control limits its playability to JRPGs and turn-based games.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Portable handheld
  • Good battery life
  • Dual SD Card support
  • Reliable build quality

Cons:

  • Hands can feel uncomfortable during long gaming

PowKiddy RGB20S

The PowKiddy RGB20S is one of the newest retro handhelds on the market. While most of the products on this list bank on nostalgic appeal, the PowKiddy RGB20S simply doesn’t care — just look at the buttons on the center cluster.

The RGB20S might not be the most popular retro handheld console out there. But what it does have going for it are its looks; PowKiddy finally seem to have hit home on the design front with this one.

The PowKiddy RGB20S in White

That said, it has WiFi connectivity and USB-C charging technology.

Where to buy the PowKiddy RGB20S? How much does it cost?

You can pick up the RGB20S from a variety of sellers, most of which sell it for around the $80 mark.

The PowKiddy RGB20S is available from the following sellers:

→ PowKiddy official store

PowKiddy RGB20S: Specifications

  • RK3326 1.5Ghz Quad-Core processor
  • 3.5-inch IPS display
  • 1GB RAM
  • WiFi connectivity
  • 3500mAh battery

What can the RGB20S emulate?

Its powerful processor does offer support for some of the most sought-after platforms including SNES, PS1, N64, and Nintendo DS. It also has both D-pad and analog buttons which means that it can cater to titles that use the said controls.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Good emulation capability
  • WiFi support
  • Long battery life

Cons:

  • Control layout can take a bit of getting used to

The Best Retro Handheld Console Under $100: Summary

Before we move to the summary, we must admit that the upcoming Miyoo Mini 2 looks like something that will definitely make it to this list once it’s out! For the meantime, probably sits better in the upcoming retro handhelds list.

The market for retro emulation is continuously growing. Gamers are now getting more and more options for budget-friendly devices that will not only allow them to play their favorite games as a child but also now share these games with friends and families.

Like other things in life, is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to the best retro handheld console under $100. We’ve done our best to list some of the most popular, versatile retro consoles that have stood the test of time, it is now up to you to find what works best for you.

If you do not have a price limit at $100, do check out our guide for the best retro handheld gaming consoles in 2022.

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2 thoughts on “5 Best Retro Handhelds Under $100 in 2022”

  1. So title is “5 Best Retro Handhelds Under $100 in 2022”

    1st one described is Retroid Pocket 2+ in the price range of $140-$160.

    Brilliant.

    Reply
    • I understand it can seem confusing. However, unlike most other brands, shipping for Retroid devices generally costs a bit more. Which is why the discrepancy. However, I will make a note of this to try and be more transparent.

      Reply

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