I got into opensource handheld game consoles recently and bought an Anbernic RG350M to use with emulators. I was very frustrated by the poor quality of the stock software and menu system and actually preferred the original Dingoo experience from 10 years ago.
The point of these devices is to tinker so I set out to fix it.
A variety of frontends exist such as SimpleMenu and Emulation Station, but they either didn’t work, or required a tremendous amount of work to configure to be usable. I eventually found a new option that was much easier for me: Esoteric.
Esoteric is a fork of the stock gmenunx frontend with many quality-of-life improvements including the UI design as well as the ability to rename or hide sections and apps, and a simple install option to make it auto-boot.
I had to run Esoteric twice to get it to start properly but after that it worked fine.
The RG350M is a nice device once you get it set up. The hardware, especially the analog sticks, feel good for the size and the screen is bright and colorful with good viewing angles.
It can emulate every 8-bit or 16-bit console and handheld and even the PSX at close to full speed. On the other hand, it’s not the most reliable or fast device in the world. It’s based on the aging Ingenic JZ4770 MIPS platform and OpenDingux. I experienced frequent crashes (there is a hardware reset button for this reason). But once I got it working, it’s been fine with most games. Here is a more thorough review.
Make sure to learn the hardware shortcuts for screen scaling, filtering, and enabling the analog stick dpad mode. Unfortunately these settings need to be set again every time you start an emulator.
There is no standard setup or installable software pack right now that is decent for most people. Here are some resources that might help you customize yours:
- Official emulators
- Other official applications and links to alternative emulators
- More alternative emulators
- Even more alternative apps and emulators
- Official firmware
There is now a much better option to get this device up and running, including games, a great SimpleMenu configuration with game previews, etc.
Search for “CBMT Final RG350M image” and you will find it.
There is also an active Reddit community.