At just $150, the newly available Anbernic RG503 gaming handheld is certainly undercutting the likes of the Steam Deck and AyaNeo Next on price, but its specs – as reported by CNX Software – point more toward an emulation and streaming deck than a portable PC.
At its heart sits Rockchip’s RK3566 SoC (featured in boards such as the Station M2 and considered a step up from the chip found in the Nintendo Switch and Raspberry Pi 3B+), which contains four Arm Cortex A55 cores ticking over at 1.8GHz. These are backed by just 1GB of LPDDR4 RAM and a Mali G-52 EE GPU. Storage comes in the form of two Micro SD slots, and the screen is a 4.95in OLED with a 960×544 resolution but isn’t a touchscreen.
To interact, you’ll need to use the D-pad, pair of analog sticks (in a PlayStation configuration at the lower edge of the chassis), four face buttons, and triggers. There’s wireless communication in the form of Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 4.2, and a 3,200 mAH battery apparently good for six hours of use. The video out port comes via a micro HDMI 2.0a socket, there’s a USB port for charging, and the whole thing weighs just 235g (8.3oz) in a package measuring 19 x 8.4 x 2.1 cm (7.4 x 3.3 x 0.8 in).
Now, with one eye on our lawyers, we should tell you that the device is available with a 64GB Micro SD card stuffed with games – 4,193 of them – which, judging by video reviews we’ve seen, appear to be of the copyrighted variety. Of course, we couldn’t possibly suggest buying one for that sort of thing, but the Linux OS the device runs (a fork of EmuELEC) sets it up nicely as a streaming unit, perhaps running Moonlight to stream Steam games from a gaming PC on the same network, and pretend it’s a Steam Deck, or Chiaki to stream your PlayStation 4 games. Alternatively, Kodi functionality is advertised, so you could use it as a media streamer, though that screen is likely to be as limiting as the small amount of RAM.