The makers of the Retroid Pocket line of handheld gaming products are showing off a new model featuring a clamshell design. The upcoming Retroid Pocket Flip is about the size of a Nintendo DS, and like Nintendo’s discontinued handhelds, the Pocket Flip can fold in half like a book when you’re not using it. But instead of two screens, this handheld has a game controller on the bottom and a single display on top.
It’s goes up for pre-order March 21 for and it’s expected to begin shipping April 10th. Retail prices start at $159, but customers who pre-order will be able to save up to $10.
One advantage to a clamshell design is that the hinge allows you to open the display to any angle you find comfortable. You also get a bit of screen protection when you’re not using the device.
For the most part the Retroid Pocket Flip has the same specs as the Retroid Pocket 3+. The key differences appear to be the form factor and price: the Pocket 3+ is more of a candybar-style design with a display sandwiched between the game controllers and it sells for $149 and up. The Pocket Flip also has a slightly larger battery.
|Retroid Pocket Flip specs|
1334 x 750px
2 x ARM Cortex-A75 cores @ 2 GHz
6 x ARM Cortex-A55 cores @ 2 GHz
|Graphics||Mali-G52 MC2 @ 850 MHz|
microSD card reader
|Ports||1 x USB Type-C|
1 x micro HDMI
1 x 3.5mm audio
1 x microSD card reader
|Audio||2 x 1-watt speakers|
3.5mm audio jack
|Size||139 x 82 x 25.4mm|
|Price||$159 (black, indigo, or 16-bit colors)|
$164 (watermelon or sport red colors)
The Retroid Pocket Flip’s game controllers include a D-Pad, two analog sticks, A, X, Y, and B buttons, L1, L2, R1, and R2 shoulder buttons with analog triggers, and user-programmable M1 and M2 buttons. The analog sticks feature hall sensors and also act as L3 and R3 buttons when you click them.
The company says the Pocket Flip will be available in five color options. There’s a “sport red” version that’s red with black buttons, an all-black model, a “16-bit US” version with a Super Nintendo-inspired grey and purple color scheme, a Gamecube-inspired “Indigo” model, and a “watermelon” version with a semi-transparent red case.
The Sport Red model is said to be a limited edition model: only up to 1,500 units will be produced in that color.
via Retroid Pocket (YouTube) and Retroid Pocket on Facebook (1)(2)(3)(4)
This article was first published March 15, 2023 and most recently updated March 17, 2023.
When are device makers doing to answer the call for an 8.4″ device like this?
Seriously, make this device with a 1080p 8.4″ screen. Leave everything else the same, just scale the chassis up! An extra $45 for that system and I would buy 3. But I’m not buying ANYTHING with 4.7″ screen, no matter how cool and well built it is.
That doesn’t sound comfortable at all to hold.
I would sooner buy a tablet of my own choice, get a kickstand case for it, and connect an Xbox controller via bluetooth.
That’s you. Sounds perfectly comfortable to me. I already have a 7″ device and it fits in the hand fine. Also, why carry around a “kickstand” and controller? Kinda defeats the point of having it all built in, doesn’t it. Think that through a bit more, eh?
I’ve thought it through thoroughly. I’ve been using that configuration for portable gaming for years. Sure it can’t be used in a handheld fashion, but I wouldn’t use an 800-900g handheld anyways.
I can freely swap the controller, or upgrade tablets. I don’t need to wait around for some fly-by-night company to make a new model of some weird form factor that only a few people like.
An 8.4″ clamshell handheld would probably weigh over 800g (based on the weights of similar products).
Again, that’s YOU. Not everyone thinks and reasons the same. Some of us want a device like the one in this article but with an 8″ screen. We really don’t care if your sensibilities are put off by what we want.
The wasted space on the deck (where the second screen would be on a NDS) is just too jarring for me. I personally find it visually offensive from a design standpoint.
I get that they probably didn’t want to put a second screen there because 1. It would require extra programming to modify the UI for it, and 2. Nintendo would sue them for copyright infringement.
That being said, putting SOMETHING there (maybe a touchpad?) would have been most welcome. Even a logo would have been welcome.
this is what gaming could be if you join the army retirement pension plan
Lots of people in the handheld emulation community are crying about the fact that they didn’t put a 2nd screen on this thing. I don’t agree at all.
People who want to play DS, and 3DS games are better served by buying an actual 2DS XL, or 3DS XL. They’re very cheap right now, and they’re still recent enough to buy them “like-new”. It’s the best possible experience you can get.
I don’t believe that many DS fans will actually buy one. They say they want one, but when it comes to paying $200+ for such a niche product, they’re all going to say “a 3DS XL is cheaper and better”.
Also a second screen means more money, more electricity, and smaller battery. Not to mention the extra QC that needs to go into it. Even if all those barriers were done, there’s still the issue of a second screen. Maybe on x86 Linux or Windows, but it’s not easy to do on Android.
It’s just not worth it. Even the idea of a clamshell isn’t worth it to be honest. The GBA/PSP style dominates the modern requirements. Clamshells compromise the shoulder pads and joysticks, which are the most important aspects of a controller. The D-Pad and Action Buttons are mostly for older games, so perhaps it doesn’t matter to some people.
Regardless, there’s a vocal minority but they always complain and never put their money down. Even when the perfect device comes, there will be a new excuse.
“Clamshells compromise the shoulder pads and joysticks” – the Dragonbox Pyra shows how to do these properly on a pocketable clamshell handheld, whilst at the same time featuring a full keyboard…
Too bad it’s an ARM device.
I hope x86 pocketatable clamshells like an upgraded Win 2 comeback.
I agree on the pocketable and clamshell, Aya neo mentioned a Flip model sometime back but no updates since.
Yeah, sucks that it’s an ARM based handheld.
I want to see a real Win 2 successor. Keep the same size (no bigger), upgraded x86 CPU and, of course, the keeping the keyboard.
You’re missing the point. This being an ARM/Android device is a big point in it’s favor. What is missing is a 7″+ screen. Every other aspect of this device is excellent except the screen.
Yup. ARM sucks.
I want a pocketable clamshell handheld to play some of my PC games on the go.
Yup, you’re missing the point. Many people DON’T want a steam deck type device.
who cares 99.999% most games suck anyway
A new update from Retroid confirms that it has analog triggers. That makes it the 2nd handheld to offer this, after the AYN Odin.
screen to body ratio: 25 percent 🙂
Can it run PlayStation 2 or 3 games? Thanks in advance
Probably PS2. I will go ahead and say no to PS3.
Retroid likes to use arm chips and android. So you would use AetherSX2 for PS2.
I have and like the Retroid Pocket 2+. Runs N64 perfectly (minus one game, but it seems to be an emulator issue), and runs a decent amount of the Gamecube games I like. The 3+ is slightly better, so I would expect this next one will be pretty good for Gamecube and PS2.
There is always the Odin if you want a “sure thing” for PS2
Hoping to see a pocketable Win 2 successor. I need x86. Unsubstantiated rumors say it may come out/be announced this year.
At the very least “kendy” (GPD corporate Reddit account) says it’s “on the way” but “kendy” has all too often just provides lip service as part of GPD’s pretend community interaction.
A rebaked Nvidia design
“Nvidia Shield Portable Console Gaming System with Android Jelly Bean”
Comes to mind
Nvidia was borrowing the design from the Nintendo Game and Watch.
Hard disagree, they’re nothing alike. Nvidia Shield Handheld vs Nintendo Game&Watch.
What do you need the Analogue Triggers for? Which games? Remember this is meant to be pocketable, it’s not a PS5 Controller.
Most important question I wanted to ask you, what specifications do you want as a minimum? Don’t say “Wii” games as that’s vague. There’s a lot of people on the internet that always say the same thing “I’ll buy it when it’s a bit faster”. They never specify how much faster. I’m asking for the specific chipset. It could be from any chipset manufacturer: UniSoc, RockChip, HiSilicon, MediaTek, Samsung, or Qualcomm (worst to best, imho, in that order).
PS: I’ve thought about this, and have my own preferences, but I don’t want to contaminate your thinking.
I’ll buy one immediately if it has analog triggers, and a more powerful SOC than the Retroid Pocket 3+.
The RP3+ was unfortunately just slightly underpowered for my taste. I’d like to play Gamecube.
Oooh is 2023 the return of the clamshell?! 🤩
So long as you are not a digital artist Clamshell is the superior form factor in both 3d and 2d, it also offers superior screen protection while not in use and does not require 3d googles or a brain implant. It is simply a no brainer.
Absolutely! Though if you have a smartphone VR/AR headset, you could benefit from the protection it would afford your screen…I wouldn’t carry my PinePhone around with me before getting the keyboard case 😂
2023 looks like being the year when most Dragonbox Pyra pre-orderers will finally get their unit.
🤞🏼 more phone and gaming handheld manufacturers go for the clamshell design
So awesome bro, my pinephone is also working so flawlessly and is running almost every Android a’pp too. It works on multi-monitor desktops with my tiling windows manager almost perfectly and with only a few occasional but easy to fix glitches.
Nice! You using Waydroid? Which OS?
Hopefully Megi updates his multiboot image soon…it’s been a while! He could include the LibreELEC image he showed working a while ago, as well as NixOS and the recently released Sculpt OS / Genode.
Also, I’d love to see a Waydroid build based on DivestOS, rather than standard LineageOS, as a much more secure, private and freedom-respecting AOSP fork that comes with f-droid preloaded to use on Linux phones…