retroid pocket 3+

Retroid Pocket 2S or 3+: Choosing the Best Retro Handheld

Retroid Pocket 2S or 3+: Choosing the Best Retro Gaming Handheld

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Handheld gaming has seen a significant resurgence, with devices like the Retroid Pocket 2S or 3+ leading the charge. These dedicated gaming handhelds aim to provide an all-in-one solution for classic emulation and on-the-go gaming.

Understanding the intricacies of each model is crucial for gamers who value portability without compromising on a vast gaming library.

retroid pocket 2s or 3+

The  Retroid Pocket 2S and the  Retroid Pocket 3+ offer distinct features that cater to different preferences. The newer  Retroid Pocket 3+ boasts a larger screen and improved performance over its predecessor, catering particularly to players interested in emulating more demanding games. Meanwhile, the  Retroid Pocket 2S remains a strong contender, especially for those who prioritize a balance between cost and capability.

Making an informed decision between the two requires an evaluation of their design, hardware specifications, gaming experience, and price.

Key Takeaways – Retroid Pocket 2S or 3+

  • Choosing between the Retroid Pocket 2S and Retroid Pocket 3+ depends on your gaming needs and budget.
  • The Retroid Pocket 3+ offers enhanced screen size and performance for a superior gaming experience.
  • The Retroid Pocket 2S provides a cost-effective solution without sacrificing quality for less demanding games.
  • The Retroid Pocket 2S doesn’t compare to the Retroid Pocket 3plus when it comes to the quality of Nintendo 3DS emulation.
  • Both Retroid handhelds will play consoles up to PlayStation 3 & Nintendo Wii U very well. Those two will not be as good quality.

Design and Build Quality

When choosing a handheld gaming device, the design and build quality are critical factors in ensuring a comfortable and durable gaming experience. You’ll want to pay attention to the ergonomics, the quality of the display, and the overall robustness of the device that can withstand regular use.

Ergonomics and Button Layout – Retroid pocket 2 vs Retroid pocket 3+ handheld

The Retroid Pocket 2S is designed with a focus on ergonomics, featuring a compact form that fits comfortably in your hands. The button layout is intuitive, with a well-placed d-pad and action buttons that are easily accessible, minimizing hand fatigue during extended gaming sessions.

The Retroid Pocket 3+, on the other hand, offers an improved ergonomic design with a slightly larger body, which might be more suitable if you have larger hands. The buttons are sized appropriately, and the analog sticks are positioned to reduce strain on your thumbs.

Display and Touch Screen – Retro gaming pixels

Your gaming experience is significantly enhanced by the display quality. The Retroid Pocket 2S has a smaller screen, but it does not compromise on the display quality, providing clear and vibrant visuals. The 4.3-inch aspect ratio (640 x 480 pixels) isn’t as good as the 4.7-inch aspect ratio (1334 x 750 pixels) of Pocket 3+.

The Retroid Pocket 3+ sports a larger and brighter screen, which offers a more immersive gaming experience. The touch screen capability in the RP3+ adds a layer of convenience when navigating through menus or using apps that benefit from touch input. The 4.7-inch aspect ratio is a much better experience and worth the upgrade.

Durability and Protection

Durability is vital for handhelds, and both models sport a solid build. However, it’s always advisable to use a screen protector with these devices to guard against scratches and wear. The Retroid Pocket 2S has a sturdy build, but due to its smaller size, it’s more susceptible to screen damage without proper protection.

The Retroid Pocket 3+ has a comparably robust design, and its larger screen may require extra diligence to protect. Despite this, the build quality on both models feels reliable and they are structured to endure regular gaming activity.

Technical Specifications

In this section, you’ll dive into the core attributes that give the Retroid Pocket devices their capability – exploring the chipset that powers your games, the memory that keeps things smooth, and the various connectivity options that enhance your overall experience.

retroid pocket 3+

Hardware Performance

The Retroid Pocket 2S is powered by an Unisoc Octa-core T610 processor, which means your gameplay is supported by a reliable and responsive chip. This chip integrates a Mali G52MC2 GPU to handle graphics-intensive retro games with ease. The performance is further complemented by 3GB LPDDR4x RAM, providing you with smooth multitasking capabilities and quick access to your favorite titles.

The Retroid Pocket 3+ is powered by an Unisoc Octa-core T618 processor and a Mali G52 MP2 GPU @ 850 MHz. On the other side of things, the Pocket 3+ is complemented by 4GB LPDDR4X RAM, providing you with smooth multitasking capabilities and quick access to your favorite titles.

For single core performance the scores are not far off from the T610 in the Pocket 2. T618 processor. However, in multi-core performance, we can see a higher performance difference between the T618 and T610 in the Pocket 2S.

Storage and Memory

For storage, the Retroid Pocket 2S offers 32GB EMMC, which ensures faster data transfer speeds and robust storage for your games. If you require more space, the device includes a micro SD card slot, allowing you to expand the storage capacity so that you can carry even more games with you on the go.


Staying connected is effortless with the Retroid Pocket 2S’s Bluetooth 5.0 functionality, offering improved range and connectivity speed, which is perfect for connecting external controllers or headphones wirelessly. You have the flexibility of dual-band Wi-Fi, working on both 2.4GHz and 5.0GHz frequencies, ensuring stable and fast internet connections. The device also includes a 3.5mm headphone jack and USB-C 2.0 in for charging and data transfer along with micro HDMI out for connecting to an external display.

Gaming Experience

When choosing between the Retroid Pocket 2S and the Retroid Pocket 3+, consider the types of games you wish to play and how each device caters to different aspects of retro and modern gaming experiences.

Emulation Capabilities

The Retroid Pocket devices shine in their ability to emulate a vast array of classic gaming consoles. Your Retroid Pocket 2S can easily handle NES, SNES, GameBoy, Sega Genesis, and even PlayStation 1 titles, providing a satisfactory nostalgia trip.

While similarly capable, the Pocket 3+ boasts better performance with more demanding systems like the Nintendo 64, Dreamcast, and PSP, thanks to upgraded hardware. You can utilize RetroArch on both for a centralized emulation experience, and the Pocket 3+ also supports Dreamcast games with improved stability.

Native Android Gaming

Running Android 11, Retroid devices give you access to the entire Google Play Store, unlocking a world of Android gaming possibilities.

The Retroid Pocket 2S is adequate for many Android titles, but the Pocket 3+ pulls ahead with its beefier specifications, ensuring newer and more resource-intensive games run smoothly. Enhanced screen resolution and size on the 3+ make for a more immersive gaming experience.

Game Streaming and Online Features

Both devices come pre-loaded with emulation and game streaming apps, broadening your gaming options significantly.

With apps like Moonlight and Steam Link, you’re able to stream games from your PC directly to your handheld device. Thanks to these features, you can even indulge in GameCube and PS2 games via streaming, as running them natively is challenging for the hardware.

Meanwhile, the Aethersx2 emulator is making strides, and users looking to experiment with it may find better results with the Retroid Pocket 3+, owing to its updated specs.

For online features, the Android platform provides the facility to connect and play with others, download ROMs, update emulators, and more.

Pricing and Value for Money

When deciding between the Retroid Pocket 2S and the Retroid Pocket 3+, it’s important to consider the balance of cost and features. Your choice should offer the best value for your investment in terms of gaming experience and functionalities.

Comparative Market Analysis

The Retroid Pocket 2S can be found at a competitive price point directly from Retroid for around $90. In comparison, the Retroid Pocket 3+ is a newer model with improved specifications which might justify a higher cost.

These devices compete with other retro handhelds like the Anbernic or PS Vita, typically offering a satisfactory balance between cost and the capability to emulate games up to the SNES or even PlayStation 2 era. While not as powerful as a Nintendo Switch, their affordability makes them attractive to budget-conscious customers.

Cost-to-Performance Consideration

The upgrade from the Retroid Pocket 2 to the Retroid Pocket 2S introduced a new CPU and added functionalities while staying under $100.

However, the Retroid Pocket 3+ presents a larger screen and better quality display, which may be worth the extra cost for a premium handheld experience. Your decision should weigh the importance of these enhancements against the price, especially if you’re looking for a device that can double as a Bluetooth controller or comfortably run more demanding games.

Frequently Asked Questions

A retro gaming device surrounded by question marks, with "FAQ: Retroid Pocket 2s or 3+" displayed on the screen

When deciding between the Retroid Pocket 2S and the Retroid Pocket 3+, there are some key differences you should be aware of regarding performance, emulator support, battery life, features, and user experience.

What are the main differences between the Retroid Pocket 2S and the Retroid Pocket 3+ in terms of performance?

The Retroid Pocket 3+ boasts better performance with its updated processor and increased RAM, allowing for improved gameplay and smoother emulation of more demanding systems. Compared to the Retroid Pocket 2S, it provides a more robust experience for advanced emulators.

Can the Retroid Pocket 2S handle the same emulators as the Retroid Pocket 3+?

While the Retroid Pocket 2S supports various emulators, the Retroid Pocket 3+ extends this compatibility to include more resource-intensive systems, making it a better choice for emulating platforms like the PSP.

How does the battery life compare between the Retroid Pocket 2S and the Retroid Pocket 3+?

The Retroid Pocket 3+ includes an upgraded battery. This results in longer playtime compared to the Retroid Pocket 2S. You can game for extended periods without needing to recharge as frequently.

What improvements were made in the Retroid Pocket 3+ compared to the Retroid Pocket 2S?

The Retroid Pocket 3+ features a larger screen with a brighter display. It also has enhanced internals that offer improved gaming performance and a more seamless emulation experience.

Are there any exclusive features available on the Retroid Pocket 3+ that are not on the Retroid Pocket 2S?

Yes, the Retroid Pocket 3+ includes exclusive features like a higher-resolution display and a faster chipset. These are not present on the Retroid Pocket 2S. They enable better graphics and a smoother gaming experience.

How user-friendly is the upgrade from Retroid Pocket 2S to Retroid Pocket 3+?

Transitioning to the Retroid Pocket 3+ from the 2S is straightforward. The system provides a familiar interface with additional enhancements for an overall smoother interaction and setup process.

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