This comes as kit, but does not require any soldering. Completing the kit takes maximum 30 minutes. Add another 30 minutes to install the GameHAT OS (Retropie) on a sd card, and you are ready to go !
The features I like
- Good quality lcd screen, but limited in resolution (320x200)
- Has left / right triggers, which does not exist on the Bittboy, and which I consider an essential feature.
- Has a very good pair of speakers ! Sound coming from these small speakers is amazing ! Almost like a "3d" effect!
Things I don't like
Unfortunately, this handlheld has a number of points I don't like (at all)... take a look:
- Battery life is rather bad, but that was to be expected given the fact you have to use a raspberry pi 2/3. I think installing a pi zero is also
possible, but I didn't try. In this case, you could have a better battery life, but worst gaming experience.
- The buttons are very noisy ! I don't like this kind of switches, to be frank. I prefer the GBA/GB style rubber contacts.
- Is quite big
- They chosed to use an analogue stick instead of the traditional D-pad. This is for me a mistake, as the D-pad is better suited to classic games.
- Does not have separate controls for the brightness / sound which is really a pita, specially for the sound. Even the bittboy is better on this regard.
All in all, I'm not convinced by this handheld. The nice part is that you can use a standard raspberry pi on it. But that's pretty much everything.
For a little bit more, I would rather invest in a LDK or or another opendingux based handheld. But if you really want to use a raspberry pi, either:
wait for the GPi Case, or buy the freeplay kit (which is much more expensive, I agree, but a better overall solution).