After you made a purchase earlier on Smart watch with full Android systemJust to find out what it’s like, I ended up on a shopping trip, buying a whole lot of different Android devices. Note that the word is “devices” and not “phones”.
Google’s Android operating system (OS) is known almost universally as “this thing on my phone,” but it actually supports all kinds of fun tech games — from TVs and media players to digital cameras and game consoles.
And I thought it would be especially cool on a portable game console, like the Nintendo Switch!
Earlier this year, I already wrote about the niche market, but it is surprisingly fast growing in the old mobile market When you covered SteamOSSince then, I have become an active part of this community.
As an Android fan who is particularly interested in mobile technology, I kept searching for the best Android mobile device… of course the best, in my opinion, is something thin and light, with a simple, clean design and a good touch screen, running Android 11. And I found it – Retro Pocket 3.
Now, this is not going to be a review, nor do I encourage you to buy it; But it’s a look at how great Android can be as an actual gaming console operating system. Because it really is!
The Journey of Buying a Device from China, From a Brand You’ve Never Heard of
There is a good chance that any time you decide to purchase a specialized device, it will not be available at your local retail store. It won’t be available in your entire country, in fact. Or your entire continent!
Almost exclusively, you’ll buy it from a Chinese brand you’ve never heard of, shipped from China, and it will take several long weeks to arrive at your doorstep.
The tech enthusiasts among you who are used to buying weird and niche tech stuff already know what’s normal. It’s not perfect, but hey – I hope it was worth the wait, right?
If you’ve done your homework well enough – talked to people who have already bought from the brand in question and were happy, or at least read or seen user reviews, in order to know what to expect – the wait is actually worth it – it is.
And you should always do all these things, since the looming threat of shopping scams is all over the internet. But, assuming you’re as careful, as I am trying to be, and you end up getting a new Android mobile device, which in my case is Retroid Pocket 3 – that’s what it’s like…
This is basically a phone without the basic phone elements – it even uses a phone screen that is flipped horizontally
This mobile phone runs Android 11, has a 4.7 inch touch screen, the size of iPhone 13 mini. It’s not the highest resolution screen with a resolution of 1334 x 750 pixels, but for its purpose of being just a retro gaming machine (and Android games in general) – it makes sense. This makes sense, and the 4,000mAh battery powering the device benefits from a display that doesn’t require much effort, providing solid battery life.
Obviously, what makes this device not a phone is the fact that it cannot make or receive phone calls, although it has Wi-Fi, Android and the Google Play Store, you can use it to send text messages over the web. You can actually download all your social media apps on it. It wouldn’t make sense, since that’s not the purpose of this device, but you can do it!
Unlike your regular phone, this is not just a screen with volume keys and power button. There is a lot to squeeze in here! We have a variety of physical buttons, including triggers, a thumb stick and a D-pad. I’ve always wished we had modern smartphones with some lower physical buttons, for casual gaming on the go, and this is pretty close to my dream design.
Fun fact – actual Android phones with built-in gamepads were once a thing, but they were clearly very suitable (and as I remember – very expensive), at least at the time, to make waves. So even though the trend is dead, this new trend of mobile OS devices is only on the rise now.
Android games at their best
So what do you do when you get a device like this? Well, set up your Android, go to the Google Play Store and start downloading your favorite Android games and emulators, right?
Yes, from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Max Payne, through the good Jetpack Joyride, to my favorite DOS emulators – I’ve managed to cram it all inside. I even threw in a huge SD card full of my movie library for good measure, so whenever I carry this thing with me – I carry (almost) every entertainment from my childhood with me.
Now, whether I actually have the time to run this Android console (spoiler: no), or even the desire to do so (nothing else), that’s a different story. Just like these The old iPad mini I bought recentlyOr that Android smartwatch, that was nothing but a pet project. I will likely end up customizing this device and gifting it to one of my nephews or nephews, as I recently did with a similar but Linux laptop I bought.
But right now, when I’m playing with my Android game console, I’m excited and happy. As I mentioned, Android’s massive library of mobile games, ports and emulators, and in general the fact that it’s customizable and able to do just about anything – paired with those convenient physical keys…it’s a dream for my 10-year-old.
But hey – while most of the big games, like the GTA series, have console support from the start, so you can just buy them and play them as you would on your Xbox or PlayStation, how can you play so many, many touch-only Android games?
Well, again – Android can do just about anything, and it’s very customizable. So the company behind this device has implemented a smart and simple overlay, which lets you map every physical key to any game’s controls on the screen. All it takes is a minute or two of setting things up, and there you go to play mobile games with physical keys, despite the fact that they are only designed for touch screens!
In conclusion, pretty much any Android device I’ve used thus far, in addition to the usual phones and tablets, I’ve had the pleasure of messing with.
Unlike Windows, which can be slow and cumbersome on low-powered devices, and iOS, which Apple kept only for itself and its smartphones, Android is very capable, but light. Giving anyone the freedom to do anything with it, and allowing many small businesses and groups of tech enthusiasts to do more than they could otherwise.
Nowadays, it’s the go-to operating system for any small business who can’t create their own from scratch. Just customize it and you are good to go!
So – congratulations to Android for making so many fun things possible!
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