The Anbernic RG503 is a handheld game console with budget specs and a budget price tag: it has a list price of $150, but it’s on sale for $135 during a launch promotion.

But the Anbernic RG503 has one feature that I wasn’t expecting from a device in that price range: an OLED display.

The handheld game console has a 4.95 inch, 960 x 544 pixel OLED display that Anbernic says is the same as the display panel used in the PlayStation Vita, a console which sold for $250 when it launched more than a decade ago (that would be about $320 today when you account for inflation).

But the RG503’s other specs are decidedly less impressive than its display. The device is powered by a Rockchip RK3566 processor, which is a 1.8 GHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A55 processor with Mali-G52 graphics.

It has just 1GB of LPDDR4 memory and just 16GB of onboard storage, although the system has two microSD card slots, each with support for cards with capacities up to 256GB, which means that theoretically you could be able to max out the storage space at 528GB.

Anbernic says the system should be able to handle PSP, Dreamcast, Nintendo DS, Nintendo 64, and PlayStation 1 emulation. But with just 1GB of memory, it’s unclear how well it’ll be able to handle more demanding games.

It’s also a little unclear at the moment what kind of software the device will ship with. I’ve seen rumors that it supports both Android and the Linux-based emuELEC operating system designed for emulating classic game consoles, and that the RG503 may even dual boot both operating systems. But with just 1GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, it’s unclear that the RG503 has what it takes to offer a decent Android experience in 2022.

Other features include a 3,500 mAh battery that Anbernic says offers up to 6 hours of run time, two USB Type-C ports, a micro HDMI port, a headset jack, and stereo speakers. The handheld supports WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 4.2 and comes in black, blue, or bronze grey color options, all of which are coated in with “metallic” paint finish.

Update: Here’s an in-depth video review from Retro Game Corps, which takes a look at the design, functionality, and game play:

via Obscure Handhelds

This article was first published on April 20, 2022 and most recently updated April 23, 2022 when Anbernic began taking orders for the RG503.

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  1. Nice review! I have the RG351V. Amazing little machine. Plays all the games you can dream of, and plays them well. Absolute beauty of an IPS Display. However, the only issue I have is that the SD-Cards they come with are crappy chinese brands that are prone to break. Do yourself a favor and get some sandisk SD Cards, and run Emuelec.

    1. I agree with Joseph…I also have the 351V. The wood grain version actually has quite a large following. I don’t know what it is about that darn wood grain on the plastic..,but it looks cool to me and they did a great job making it look real.

      The 351V is popular, partially because of the guy behind the video review that Brad was so kind to link to his article. He wrote an extensive guide on the 351V. You can find it on his site, or just do a google search with using ‘Retro Game Corp and 351v guide’, it’ll pop up.

      I haven’t watched the review on this new model yet, I’m going to watch it now. If it plays N64 at that price point and has an OLED screen…I’m not seeing a problem here. Unless you don’t like borders. Smile.

      What I didn’t care for was their newest model. The 552? Too expensive for what it is. Way too expensive.

      Steven B.(Liquid Cool)

  2. It’s an attractive looking system, but that 1GB of RAM is more than a little worrisome. I think whether or not this device succeeds will ultimately come down to how polished the software is.

  3. That resolution is unfortunate for emulation of anything aside from PSP, because no other systems use a resolution that scales evenly to 960×544. The only one that does is the PSP, which was the reason Sony used this panel on the Vita.

    Most systems are going appear poorly on that screen. If you aren’t going to use a resolution that scales evenly with other common resolutions, at least use a much higher resolution, as having lots of extra pixels gives you the ability to use some interpolation methods to smooth the image.

    Shame, because past Anbernic models seemed to be very conscious of this, as the used resolutions that scaled perfectly for common retro systems.