Today we are going to review the X6 retro console, a portable gaming device that you can find from international sellers for around €23-24.
Retro consoles are in vogue. It’s not a recent trend. The nostalgia for the classic essence of retro games, combined with modern technology, delights those in their 30s and 40s.
In my case, I already had a console with EmuElec/RetroPie connected to the living room TV. It works quite well, but of course… using it means taking the TV away from the whole family. So, I didn’t use it much.
Therefore, taking advantage of a recent gift, I was looking for a handheld console with a screen. Something you can use alone on the couch, or while traveling, or during those “idle” moments.
Of course, there are a lot of consoles, ranging from €8 to €200. And you never know which one will work, or which one is a scam. While searching, I found the retro console X6, and honestly… I wasn’t sure if it was worth the money. But (spoiler alert!) I was surprised by how well it performs.
Let’s start with the important part, the power. The X6 console has an ATJ2273 32bit RISC @450Mhz SoC. An unusual and very interesting SoC that incorporates a GPU, designed for multimedia applications.
But what matters here is: How does it perform? Well, this small processor is capable of running even the most demanding GBA games completely smoothly. They run really well, no FPS drops or stutters.
Regarding software, the Retro X6 console internally runs RTOS with manufacturer firmware. It’s compatible with 11 types of emulators, including SFC, GBC, GBA, GB, FC, NES, MD, MAME, SMC, CPS, SMD.
I have to highlight the software because they’ve done a good job here. It has a menu to choose the emulator, the game, save game state with 8 slots for each game… very impressive.
Another interesting point is the huge 3.5-inch IPS screen at 640x480px. It’s an advantage compared to other consoles, even much more expensive ones, that run at “400 and something pixels” resolutions.
Overall, the screen looks pretty good, it’s clear and detailed. The colors and lighting are correct. Although I would have liked a tad (just a tad!) more contrast. But overall, it’s very good.
Regarding controls, the console has two analog joysticks for precise control, a direction pad, six buttons, and two triggers. They all work very well, except the direction pad, which I noticed is a bit slow or lacks sensitivity. I prefer using the analog stick, which also has a better position.
For sound output, the X6 console has a 2W speaker, which reasonably fulfills its function. Obviously, it’s not Hi-Fi, nor particularly powerful. It’s more or less what you’d find in a GameBoy.
Moreover, the console allows adding a controller for two players and supports output to a big screen with a composite video cable. I haven’t tried it because I’m not very interested, so I can’t tell you how well it works.
On the other hand, it also has functions like movie playback, music playback, calendar, image library, and stopwatch. I don’t find it particularly useful, but hey, it’s there.
Regarding battery life, it has a 2,000 mAh Li-Po battery, rechargeable via a USB Type-C connector. According to the manufacturer, it has a battery life of up to 6 hours, although practically it’s more like 3-4 hours. Which isn’t bad.
In terms of applications, the X6 console comes with a TF card with a maximum support of 128GB. In my case, it came with a 32GB card with about 6,000 games.
Don’t be “impressed” by the 6,000 games. As usual, 98% of them are worthless. There are even duplicates. Personally, I recommend adding your own ROMs. It’s much better to have 50 “good” games than 6,000 duds. Otherwise, it turns into a continuous cycle of “try, don’t like, try, don’t like”.
The other important point I liked is the overall appearance and portable design. The finish is quite good, sturdy. The Retro X6 Console is comfortable to use and easily fits in your pocket or bag, allowing you to take your games wherever you go.
In conclusion, is it worth it? The answer is… it depends. Keep in mind that there are emulators for Android and it’s probably more convenient to use your mobile directly. The screen is bigger, you have more battery, and you always carry your mobile with you.
However, if you really feel like treating yourself or giving a gift, for €23-25 the Retro X6 Console is a very interesting option to relive the excitement of classics. It pleasantly surprised me, at least.
Emulating ROMs for games you don’t own the rights to may infringe copyright and intellectual property laws. If you do it, it’s “up to you”.