The KT-R1 is a handheld game console that’s been in development for quite some time, and now it’s finally available for purchase. Prices start at $169 for a WiFi-only model with 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and a plastic body.

But you can pay extra for more memory and storage, a metal cases, and a 4G cellular modem. One of the things that sets the KT-R1 apart from other handheld game systems is the number of customization options – you can even choose from one of two different gamepad layouts (one with the D-Pad above the left analog stick, and the other with the D-Pad below the stick).


All models are pocket-sized gaming devices with a 4.5 inch, 1620 x 1080 display with a 3:2 aspect ratio that allows you to play Game Boy Advance titles with no letterboxing or pillarboxing. And older games designed for TVs with 4:3 aspect ratios should have relatively slim borders along the sides.

The KT-R1 ships with Android 12 software and features a MediaTek Helio G99 processor, which should provide enough horsepower to emulate classic game consoles including the PlayStation 2 and Nintendo 3DS.

While entry-level configurations have 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, there are also 6GB/128GB and 8GB/256GB options available for those willing to pay extra – the most expensive versions available at the moment are WiFi-only models that sell for $279 and feature metal cases and 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.

Color options include white, yellow, red, and grey.

The MediaTek Helio G99 processor is an octa-core chip with two 2.2 GHz ARM Cortex-A76 CPU cores and six 2 GHz Cortex-A55 cores and Mali-G57 MC2 graphics. In a preview of a pre-production KT-R1 handheld, the Phawx says it’s powerful enough to handle many PlayStation 2 games with ease, although Game Cube titles may be more hit or miss.

The KT-R1 features LPDDR4 memory and UFS 2.2 storage, support for WiFi 5 and Bluetooth 5.2, a fan for active cooling as well as a heat sink, stereo front-facing speakers, dual vibration motors, dual microphones, a USB Type-C port and microSD card reader, and a 5,000 mAh battery that The Phawx says is good for six to ten hours, depending on usage.

He also describes the game controllers as… fine. The D-Pad can be a little wonky at times, the shoulder buttons don’t offer a lot of travel, and the analog sticks are designed for circular input rather than a full range of motion (although you may be able to adjust that in the settings for some games and emulators). But overall he concludes that the $169 starting price makes the KT-R1 a pretty attractive device.

According to specs listed on the KT-R1 website, models with at least 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage come with a 35 watt fast charger and feature support for NFC as well as a 6-axis gyroscopic sensor, electronic compass, and gravity sensor. Entry-level models with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage lack those sensors and come with an 18 watt charger.

The KT-R1 measures 169.8 x 79.5 x 18.3mm (6.9″ x 3.1″ x 0.7″).

This article was first published December 7, 2022 and most recently updated February 9, 2023. 

via /r/SBCGaming

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  1. So far, the only capable handheld with stacked triggers buttons and good Select and Start is still the Odin. RP3+ is cute and inexpensive but why the Select and Start are on the top? KT-R1 has inline triggers, why?

    But the Odin is quite large and for those who are OK with large handhelds, nothing beats the Steam Deck.

  2. I was really interested in getting one of these, but I’m afraid the lack of analog trigger buttons will be a barrier for me.

    I don’t know what kind of systems they think people will be playing that need two analog sticks, but don’t need analog triggers.

    I don’t see any point in getting anything this powerful unless it offers the controls necessary to play games at this level. Most of the Dreamcast, PS2, and Gamecube games I play require analog R1/L1 triggers.

  3. Are there any MediaTek Helio G99 boards already running game emulation on the market? Otherwise, independent benchmarks are needed before buying.

    1. G99 wont run ps2 only few Games and 3ds even Mtk flagship soc struggle G99 will struggle too. For this price Ayn Odin is better choice, even Base model with Dimensity 900 is better than this G99.

      1. Well this is completely false, the G99 beats the Retroid T618 in the 3+ and the Retroid runs 60% of PS2 and 40% GameCube, and you’re saying the Helios G99, which is 60% faster is not going to be able to do this? Yeah right.

  4. That one colour scheme almost looks like a Sega Dreamcast theme, except that they don’t have the same colour pattern on the ABXY buttons. Strangely they have two different button colour arrangements on both examples in the same picture.

    This is definitely a device I would buy. The 3:2 screen is one of the biggest selling points for me. If this is available to order immediately I’ll grab one. But if they’re doing crowdfunding, or pre-orders, I’ll pass.

  5. This is an excellent first try for them. They’re close, but not quite there. Should have stuck to a Single Configuration. That would simplify their project. It would make it easier to develop and squash bugs and imperfections. For instance:

    One Material (Matte Plastic), One Colour (eg Hot Yellow), One Form-factor (Joystick placement), One Feature set (Gyro, NFC, GPS), One Processor (4GB/64GB), and One Price (USD $149).

    …this would make it a defacto buy over the Retroid Pocket 3+ and Anbernic RG 505. As it sits, this is competitive but not necessarily better.

    What I liked a lot: very pocketable, great speakers, good ergonomics, full of features (in higher tier), good build quality and did I mention it is actually pocketable. Can’t say the same for AYN Odin or cheap products.

    They should have done a few other modifications and improvements to really drive it home. Firstly go 16:9 this ensures better App Support, Game Streaming, and certain Widescreen Emulation. It does not detract from other emulation like 4:3 or 5:3 it merely gives you bezels on the sides. Next have both Joysticks above for better 3D-Style gaming, with the Action Buttons and D-Pad placed upsidedown. Requiring you to pull down the Notification Shade and toggle the Screen-Rotation which then makes the speakers and buttons in the correct placement for 2D-Gaming. It would be neat for them to fix button placements for Power, Start, Select, Back, Home, Menu, and maybe Volume as well. Get rid of that Active Cooling design and focus on making it a great Passive Cooled Handheld like other pocketable devices. Lastly they need a microHDMI Out port on the bottom, Google PlayStore access, an Unlockable Bootloader, and to be able to make/sell these at a high volume.