Categories
Reviews RG280m

RG280M Review RG280M How to buy?

Are you a retro handheld collecter or merely a player? If your answer is the former one, you must catch a glimpse of today’s protagonist, RG280m. Anbernic announced its launch in early June and its appearance reminds us straightly of RG350m. It’s like a little sibling of RG350m, with only one single joystick and smaller size. Other than plain color matches, it has an original color match of a blue and purple gradient.

Down here are some key specs of the RG280m. Obviously, we have another member of the JZ4770 family. That makes RG280m old wine in a new bottle.

Key Specs

CPU JZ4770
Weight 204g
Screen 2.8” IPS
Resolution 320×480
Battery 2500mAh

How it Looks

Color

Anyone get tired of the “Nintendo colors”? I’m so glad to see that finally, some original color options are popping out. This is a matte metal shell with a gradient of blue and purple paint. It’s bright, but not giving me a gaudy feel. If you are a minimalist, you can go for other plain colors. For me, the gradient color match is the biggest selling point of RG280m.

Size and Weight

This device is totally a mini version of RG350m, with a reduced length and width. But it still feels chunky in hands, compared to metal New PocketGo.

If you feel like having a hefty device for a sense of security, this machine won’t let you down. The 204g mass gives it some weight in your hand, and you won’t think of it as a rough toy.

Screen

As the device goes smaller, the screen size becomes a smaller one too. This is a weird size though, with a 2.8” IPS screen, not a 3 or 2.5…Compared to RG350m’s, it shrinks a lot and some people might not be adapted to it. The logo down the screen finally satisfies some players in the community. It goes from orange to white and reduces the size.

Control

The RG280m has almost the same config as the RG350m. It has four shoulder buttons, two type-C ports on the top—one OTG and one charging port, and also two stereo speakers down the bottom. There are two silicone pads on the back.

The biggest difference is probably the missing joystick. Since the device is smaller, and the D-Pad is closer to the joystick. I would worry that a player with bigger fingers would hit the d-pad while manipulating the joystick.

Other details are slightly tweaked. For example, its indicator light goes to the black border of the screen, and the START and SELECT keys went to the lower right corner. It doesn’t have a Mini HDMI port. The internal and external sd card slots also swap their places.

The volume and power-on buttons switched their places. That’s a nice change. I find this position more convenient for me to control in the game. I can adjust the volume without stopping the game.

Game experience

Since it’s a JZ4770, and the system is the same as RG350m, we’re not expecting any performance that surpasses RG350m. The size of the machine is relatively small, it’s certainly not as comfortable as the big machine when holding it. But the best thing about it is the portability. This machine also has the vibration function as its sibling RG350m, you will have the immersive feeling during the game.

RG280m is expected to support these emulators:

  • Playstation 1
  • CPS
  • FBA
  • Game Gear
  • NEOGEO
  • NEOGEO Pocket
  • Game Boy
  • Game Boy Color
  • Game Boy Advanced
  • Atari Lynx
  • Wonderswan Color
  • NES
  • SNES
  • Mega Drive
  • Sega Master System
  • PC Engine

Should I purchase it?

Simply put, though the JZ4770 kind of remains stagnant, and dual-joystick enthusiasts may grumble over the removal of a joystick, I think it’s a JZ4770 collectible after all. This should satisfy someone’s desire for a mini-metal handheld. If you are an avid collector of metal machines or colorful machines, I think this color match is definitely a must-have in your collection. The color match is the only bright spot of this machine. If you have already owned any of these: New PocketGo, GKD350H, RG350, RG350m, and metal New PocketGo, and don’t wish to enrich your collection, then RG280m is not for you.

Also, hold your horses if you’re on a tight budget. RG280m won’t come cheap. After all, the metal New PocketGo goes to a price of $110! We suspect that the RG280m will also hover around this price. As a wage earner, I won’t put my money on this bet.

According to the manufacturer, his naming of the devices goes with branding + screen size + chip code + material. Well, we hope to see some RG702m in the future. But please, we want premium machines with premium power.

Pros and Cons

Pro Ergonomic designStable performance in gamesNice build qualityTwo card slotsPortable  
Con Stumbles in some PS1 titlesCostly
Final words A JZ4770 collectible, a minified RG350m.