Review: PowKiddy RGB20

Last updated: 02DEC2020

The PowKiddy RGB20 debuted last month, and I finally got my hands on a review copy (thanks to RetroMiMi.com). So watch below for my review video, and here are some handy tips to help you with the device.

Hardware specs and screen

The RGB20 runs the RK3326 chipset, which is the same as the Anbernic RG351P, and many others like the RK2020, RGB10, and the original ODROID Go Advance. This means that the RGB20 can handle the same systems as those devices: everything up through PS1 flawlessly, and about half of PSP, Nintendo 64, Nintendo DS, and Sega Dreamcast games.

In addition to the RK3326 chipset, it has 1GB DDR3 RAM, and a 3000 mAh battery. This is 500 mAh less than the RG351P, but is supposed to provide 5-6 hours of gameplay nonetheless. The RGB20 also has an internal WiFi chip (with no crackling sound!).

The device has a 3:2 aspect ratio display with a 480×320 resolution , which makes it perfectly suited for Game Boy Advance games, but will have a hard time with everything else — most classic consoles ran at a 4:3 aspect ratio, which means that games will either appear squished or strangely pixelated. Luckily, these settings can be configured in RetroArch, the underlying system that runs most of the emulators on this device. My RG351P Screen Config guide will also work perfectly with this device.

One thing to note is that this screen is EXCELLENT. I think that it probably has just as good of a screen as the RG351P, which is the best in its class. It is crisp, clear, vibrant, and has impressive viewing angles. I was very surprised by its quality, especially in comparison to the rest of the device. Speaking of which….

Build quality

As you can see from the picture at the top of this post, the RGB20 is a little…unique. It has a single analog stick that is paradoxically off-center and a little awkward to reach. It also has a front speaker, and two rear speakers (that part doesn’t really make sense to me). In addition to the typical face buttons, there are R1/R2/L1/L2 shoulder buttons behind the device, about halfway up the device. This makes for an experience that is less than graceful in the hand — the device feels a little off balance, because all of you fingers are on the bottom of the device, which leads you to think the device is a little top heavy. Not the end of the world, but it will take some getting used to.

The build quality is so-so on the RGB20. The face buttons feel fine, I would give them a six or seven out of ten. They are a little more recessed than the buttons on the Anbernic devices, and so I often felt like I was pushing the button all the way into the device. All of the little face buttons (SELECT, START, etc.), felt clicky but okay. Some of them would get stuck when I pushed them in.

The shoulder buttons are a different story. I found them to be my least favorite part of the device. Not only do they feel loose, but they *rattle* when you shake the device, which I found annoying.

Overall, the device feels more like a toy than a premium device. While that’s a little disappointing, I also found it somewhat appealing because of the sheer power it had under its hood. You just don’t expect something that feels this cheap to also play PSP/N64/Dreamcast games and have a beautiful display to boot.

Operating system(s)

Because this device is an ODROID Go Advance clone, it can run many different operating systems, and my preferred OS for this device is EmuELEC. It also ships with EmuELEC 3.5, which is fairly outdated. One interesting aspect is that is appears that this version of EmuELEC doesn’t have the right drivers for the internal WiFi chip, because I couldn’t get it to connect to anything. When I updated EmuELEC to version 3.9, the WiFi chip worked perfectly.

To upgrade your EmuELEC version to 3.9, simply go to this page and download the Odroid Go Advance IMG file, then flash it to an SD card using Win32 Disk Imager (PC) or ApplePiBaker (Mac). Once you’ve flashed the card, place it in your device and power it on, and it will resize your partition to take advantage of its free space. At that point you can connect to your WiFi and then connect to your device via WiFi FTP (more info here). You’ll use this FTP method to move games onto your device.

Here are some other pages that will be helpful for you:

The RGB20 is not just limited to EmuELEC. Here is a great guide that lists all of the available custom firmwares for this device.

Final thoughts

I’ll keep this short since I covered most of it in the video above, but I want to point out that this device has a lot of value for its price ($90 retail but has been on sale for $80 already). It has WiFi and all the perks that comes with it (wireless transfer, downloading new themes, updating RetroArch, cheats, RetroAchievments, and even RetroArch NetPlay). The screen is very nice.

But this device is also in a weird spot where it doesn’t dethrone my two favorite devices it is competing with: it doesn’t have the pocketability of the RG280V, and it doesn’t have the quality craftsmanship of the RG351P. So while I think this is a fun little addition to my collection, I don’t think it would be something I would purchase over with the RG280V or the RG351P.

3 thoughts on “Review: PowKiddy RGB20

      1. thanks good to know but, i tried a dozen of reflash, using 2 micro sdcard, rufus,balena, usbit. and i always end up with “no gamepads detected”

        Like

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