After months of playing the Miyoo Mini Plus, I think it would be my new favorite retro handheld emulator. It continues the novelty of its brother – the Miyoo Mini with better screen, design and new features. These upgrades are worth your money, especially when the Miyoo Mini Plus doesn’t increase the price from its predecessor. In my Miyoo Mini Plus review, we will try to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the hottest retro handheld emulator at the moment.
Miyoo releases the Miyoo Mini Plus (which somebody called Miyoo Mini v3) to replace completely the standard Miyoo Mini. It is a great retro handheld to emulate gba, snes and psx games.
Other Miyoo Reviews:
Miyoo Mini Plus Review: Price
- Commonly found at: $75
- The same as the standard Miyoo Mini
- Costs 1.12 times the Anbernic RG35XX
The Miyoo Mini Plus’s launch price is the same as the standard Miyoo Mini, making it a better value thanks to bigger screen and new features. Other specs remain the same as the standard, so I think of the Miyoo Mini Plus as an actually “Plus” device (I’m an iPhone user).
Again, at the same price, you will commonly find the Miyoo Mini Plus as a more expensive option of the Anbernic RG35XX, which is also a popular vertical retro handheld. Compared with the Anbernic product, the Miyoo Mini Plus will have a slightly smaller form, but its screen is exactly the same. For me, I feel the Miyoo Mini Plus as an overall more premium product, because I really like its infinity screen and buttons’ placement.
If you’re looking for the most value for your money, the Miyoo Mini Plus can’t compare to the RG35XX. But if you’re looking for a stable device with a lot of support from the community (as well as more chance to show off your photos), the Miyoo Mini Plus is a mile better. That’s it, I will say that loud and clear. The direct comparison of Miyoo Mini Plus vs Anbernic RG35XX, I will write in more detail later.
In the local where I live, I find less people selling their Miyoo Mini Plus than the RG35XX. Gaming experience with the Miyoo Mini Plus is a great contribution to this success. In conclusion, people who don’t like to experience from handheld to others to find out their most favorite ones, just buy the Miyoo Mini Plus.
Related post: Best handheld gaming console.
Miyoo Mini Plus Review: Design and Build Quality
|Miyoo Mini Plus||Features|
|Dimensions||78.5 mm x 108 mm x 22.3 mm|
|Screen||3.5 inch IPS, 640 x 480, 228 PPI, 4:3 aspect ratio|
|Colors||White, Retro Gray, Transparent Purple, Transparent Black|
|Speaker placement||Front facing|
|Audio output||3.5mm headphone jack|
- Mini form, pocketable
- Better form than the Miyoo Mini
- Lighter than the RG35XX, while feeling better
- Great screen: both quality and design
- Screen is retro-purist, meaning NES, SNES and PSX games have good scaling
- Build quality is decent
As a vertical retro handheld emulator mainly for GBA and SNES, the Miyoo Mini Plus has a very pocketable form, reminding us the old design of a Game Boy. It is slightly smaller than the RG35XX which I really like as a GBA emulator, but the more compact, the better. One reason that I chose the Miyoo Mini Plus over the RG35XX.
It isn’t as small as the Miyoo Mini or Anbernic RG280M, which is only fine for one-handed gaming. I am able to play the Miyoo Mini Plus with two hands, and I think the reason is because of its width is quite similar to the Game Boy Advance SP, which is the best way to play GBA in my opinion. However, the main controller board is a bit shorter than the Game Boy Advance SP, so it’s inevitable to avoid hand fatigue after long gaming sessions. Sadly, the only thing that can recreate nearly the vertical Game Boy Advance SP is a cheaper PowKiddy V90.
So, the Miyoo Mini Plus is not really perfect, but its size is necessary to keep it pocketable, so guess we have no choice. Maybe there will be another PowKiddy V90 v2 that targets directly at GBA emulation for Nintendo fans. And don’t forget the Anbernic RG351P or RG351M that has the same 3:2 screen as the original Game Boy Advance.
Still, you don’t buy the Miyoo Mini Plus for only emulating Game Boy Advance, right? Then the aspect ratio 4:3 is the most retro-purist, as it captures the correct aspect ratio from your old console’s CRT monitors. As a result, when buying a retro handheld emulator, people are looking to buy the 4:3 emulator.
Not only the aspect ratio, the IPS screen of the Miyoo Mini Plus is also beautiful in my eyes, mostly because the “infinity” screen tricks me. Comparing side-by-side, I still feel the Miyoo Mini Plus to be much more enjoyable than the RG35XX, though both screens are technically the same in paper.
Thanks to the success of the original Miyoo Mini, the Miyoo Mini Plus knows exactly which color variant should it use, and you have quite the same color options: white, retro gray, transparent purple and transparent black. This time, I choose a transparent purple unit, as I always prefer the transfer system (the reason why I bought a Nintendo 2DS transparent black). Sadly, Nintendo stopped making transparent units after the old Nintendo 2DS.
Again, the Miyoo Mini Plus has only a mono speaker, which is not that bad because I only have mono speaker in the retro Game Boy Advance SP. Also, loud speaker will drain battery faster, and even more expensive retro handheld emulators don’t do sound justice. So, capable earbuds are truly what I need to enjoy game’s sound.
Let’s talk about build quality. I always talk about this later, because I don’t have tradition to abuse my handheld devices. But I find a lot people breaks the Miyoo Mini more often than others. My wild guess is, perhaps, the device is so cheap and so small that people can accidentally drop it from their pockets. If you love the device, you should take care of it with a small case, though it deletes the concept of portability.
Miyoo Mini Plus Review: Gaming Experience
|Miyoo Mini Plus||Features|
|CPU||SigmaStar SSD202D (Cortex-A7), 2 cores 2 threads @ 1.2 GHz|
|Memory||128 MB DDR3|
- Targeted system emulator: GB, GBC, GBA, SNES and PSX
- Targeted game genres: all game genres
- Battery life is exceptional
- Experience with Onion OS is great
Related post: Best retro handheld emulator.
- Game Boy Advance: Metroid Fusion, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance
- SNES: Star Fox! Starwing
- PS1: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Metal Slug X
While the Miyoo Mini Plus has a better design, it doesn’t include any changes in power specifications. So we have the same CPU and RAM inside the Miyoo Mini. However, considering they share the same price, I don’t think it would be a surprise for no change.
However, for retro gaming, I think why fix what ain’t broke? The Miyoo Mini Plus targets at emulating GBA, SNES and a bit PS1 games, and it did this job nearly flawlessly. I would say we will have framedrops somewhere, but that’s only for hard-to-emulate games like SNES games using FX chip or 3D PS1 games. For my library, I really like the Miyoo Mini Plus.
In paper, the Miyoo Mini Plus have a weaker processor and no GPU, in comparison with the RG35XX. In reality, they do quite the same job. I feel like playing PS1 in Miyoo Mini Plus is a little bit better, even better than the Miyoo Mini, but it could be my imagination. You can read my Miyoo Mini Onion guide to know how to toggle FPS, and check whether my imagination is true or not.
People will argue that if both can do the same task, why don’t choose the better in hardware, and wait for an update that increases performance. Sadly, both the Miyoo Mini Plus and RG35XX seems to limit at playing PS1 games. You can play nds on Miyoo Mini Plus now, but the experience isn’t really smooth as a more powerful system (still I recommend getting a real Nintendo DSi XL or Nintendo 2DS for DS games). I recommend you to check this Miyoo Mini Plus’s NDS compatibility list before trying.
I wrote an extensive guide on What systems can Miyoo Mini emulate? You should check it out.
The SigmaStar SSD202D SoM board is currently selling at $38, so in terms of pricing, the Miyoo Mini Plus and its brother – the Miyoo Mini are well-priced. In fact, I always want a newer processor, so the Miyoo Mini Plus is my choice instead of the RG35XX that uses a 2013 processor.
Related post: Best handheld gaming PC.
The Miyoo Mini Plus expands the size and the experience for long gaming session from the Miyoo Mini. Its vertical form is still not the best option to enjoy action games, but the bigger area to hold really reduce the number of hand fatigue I suffered. It is a great “mini” retro handheld emulator, that you can play some GBA or SNES games on the go.
My number one use case for the Miyoo Mini Plus is when I need to wait in queue or rest 2 minutes between gym sets. The Anbernic RG35XX and the Miyoo Mini Plus technically do these tasks nearly the same, but I still choose the Miyoo Mini Plus because of better screen in my eyes, as well as better system. Onion is the reason people choose the Miyoo Mini Plus over the RG35XX, which doesn’t have such a mature system with the same amount of support.
Yes, I wrote extensively on how to install Onion on Miyoo Mini Plus, and lots of guides in Miyoo tutorial, which is applicable to the original Miyoo Mini as well. Onion would be developed even better in the near future, so using the Miyoo Mini Plus will be a much more preferable experience.
And Wi-Fi feature! Many people don’t realize that they can’t live without the updating retro achievements (especially fans of Sony PlayStation Trophy, as well as Steam Achievement). Such minor improvement make the Miyoo Mini Plus a dedicated vertical retro handheld emulator, even when the RG35XX asks for a bit less money.
For me, even if I can ignore the existence of retro achievements, Wi-Fi feature of the Miyoo Mini Plus can enable so many things, from FTP server to OTA update, which are my selected the best Miyoo Mini Onion apps. You can even trade Pokemon in Miyoo Mini Plus, a very wonderful and iconic feature that relives memories from lots of people. Again, the reason why I need a Miyoo Mini Plus over the Anbernic RG35XX.
Playing GBA on the Miyoo Mini Plus is an awesome experience, as I compared the Miyoo Mini Plus vs Game Boy Advance SP, I find the Miyoo Mini Plus’s screen is more attractive to my eyes than the Game Boy Advance SP with IPS modding. If you compare with the original system, the difference will be even more to see.
If you are looking to play SNES or PSX a lot, the 4:3 aspect ratio and high resolution of 480p will certainly help. It is pixel-perfect for these games, and overall I enjoy every minute using the Miyoo Mini Plus. As I said earlier, the performance isn’t the best, but for my library, it is really good for a quick run.
What I want to highlight is that the Miyoo Mini Plus has better battery life than both the Miyoo Mini and its competitor, the RG35XX. It has a swappable battery with capacity of 3000 mAh. It means you can exchange battery without waiting, and you can also replace when the battery is dead. The Miyoo Mini Plus can last for more than 6 hours, with brightness about 5/10. To conserve battery, you should reduce volume as low as possible, as I have a record of playing 8 hours with 2D games from GBA and NES. In my use case, I use the Miyoo Mini Plus for days, even weeks.
It also uses common USB type C charger port, which is common at the moment. I recommend to use a 5V 1A charger with an USB A-to-C cable, as it is better for your handheld’s battery life. Normally, it takes 3 hours and a half to fully charge the device from low battery, which is surprisingly similar to the Miyoo Mini Plus with bigger battery capacity.
If I’m allowed to own only one retro handheld emulator, it could be the Miyoo Mini Plus, because I like its portability which is great for a beater handheld. It is perfect to be a GBA and SNES emulator, and the Miyoo Mini Plus is able to play a great amount of biggest PlayStation 1 titles. For these retro games, experience on the Miyoo Mini Plus is brilliant.
Still, I must remind you that the Anbernic RG35XX is cheaper with the same screen size and performance. Moreover, the vertical handheld form isn’t usually my go-to option for playing action games. The Miyoo Mini Plus certainly brings hand fatigue if you focus too much on intense game scenes. However, I don’t want to discourage you, because I even experience such hand fatigue in more, more expensive devices.
So to say, in my opinion, this is the best starter retro handheld emulator, one that does its job very well, and is backed up by a super awesome community. Its screen feels like modern smartphones, with ‘infinity’ edge and IPS screen, so I understand the reason why we have so many Miyoo Mini pictures online, and I know the urge to get one yourself.
- You want a vertical handheld
- You want a GBA, SNES and PSX handheld with great performance
- You want to enjoy a stable system, that allows trading Pokemon with others
- You love it, I mean, you can’t resist the captivating design
- You fear of missing out
- You want a smaller ‘mini’ handheld: Get the Miyoo Mini
- You want a horizontal handheld: Get the Anbernic RG353PS
- You want to play N64 or more: At least get the Anbernic RG353M