Do NOT buy this retro console – X16 handheld for $55

One of those many “retro” consoles that you probably shouldn’t buy. Why it’s hard to keep track of the emulator handheld console market.

X16 Retro Console 2-1

Why write about such a device at all? Isn’t it better to just ignore it? Maybe, but the design had aroused my curiosity, the product description then my anger, and a few hundred words are quickly written. Let’s have a look then.

The design, as with many similar devices, is of course copied from the Nintendo Switch. And I don’t even mean the layout and/or shape of the buttons – their placement around the display is more or less predetermined. But the colors of the two sides give it away, of course. Powkiddy, from whom we have already tested quite good devices, are apparently pioneers here and have some devices on the market that are based on the Switch design. More people click on them (it worked for me, too) and some unsuspecting people might just buy them. “Looks like the Switch? Well, it can’t be that bad then.”

Retro Consoles Collage
The main thing is red and blue – at least in terms of color, many consoles are based on the Nintendo Switch.

I cannot say conclusively whether this model comes from Powkiddy. On some pictures you can find an “X16” as a product description, and Powkiddy has a range of “X” consoles, but the Powkiddy X16 looks different from this model here. In a picture on AliExpress, you can see that it says “Black Hawk” on the box. But that brings us to the first problem: there are so incredibly many models from different manufacturers that if you’re a clueless video game fan who just wants to play some old games, you’re completely overwhelmed if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

The next point are the absolutely misleading product images. Here again, the coolest and most technical sounding English terms are simply slapped onto a picture of the console, along with a high-resolution picture on the display that has nothing to do with any of the games that run on the device – and that’s the end of the product graphics. The whole thing is then best in twentyfold execution, so that you also have something to look at.

X16 Retro Console 1
Who needs a smartphone – everything is possible with the “console”.

However, there is no real information; neither the processor nor the display resolution is mentioned. We only know that the display is 6.5 inches, that an SD card can be inserted, and that the battery is 6,000 mAh. And there is a camera! Finally, after video game fans worldwide have been wishing for it for years. A 0.3 MP camera in my retro console.

X16 Retro Console 3
Whatever exactly this graphic wants to tell us.

There may be hobbyists who are happy about such devices just because of the installed parts. Or who have fun optimizing a bit themselves. And some of the 8-bit and 16-bit games that run on this device might even play quite well. Still not enough for me. What little information I can find online about the device suggests that not even all the buttons work.

Most of you will know, but please don’t buy the first console on AliExpress just because some graphics promise the ultimate gaming experience in HD or the console looks like it comes from Nintendo. Don’t buy this console either, but for example one of the 351s from Anbernic. Or inform yourself thoroughly beforehand by watching videos and reading reviews about the consoles – fortunately, there is enough information online.

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Jens

After joining the team in late 2015 I quickly fell in love with aerial photography. Today I review most of our drones. I'm also interested in gaming related gadgets.

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