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I LOVE this Handheld!

by Joey's Retro Handhelds 06 Nov 2023 0 Comments
TRIMUI SMART PRO-LITNXT

Hey, everyon! I'm Joey and today we're going to be taking a deep dive look into the Trimui Smart Pro.

Basic Parameters

🎮The key thing to note about this handheld is that it looks like a Vita and it's pretty much the exact same size as a Vita. And it's extremely light. This is 230G, and this is a bit smaller. It's a few millimeters off in every direction as far as compared to the Vita goes. But for today, it's basically a Vita now. The absolute standout feature of this device is the screen. It's a 4.96 in 720x 1280 screen and that's a 16x9 aspect rate ratio for those that are counting playing Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS games on. This screen is the best experience you're going to have for under $100. With no competition, they just look fantastic and that continues with other systems as well. 

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🎮But I find these two to be the most unique ones in this price range power-wise. This is a tough one to pin down you can easily play up to PlayStation 1 and comfortably with enhanced resolution on. If you wanted, then you can do some Nintendo 64 Dreamcast and PlayStation Portable here. With this aspect ratio, PSP is one of the consoles that you'll likely want to be able to emulate. And that's going to be game dependent on how much effort you want to put in.

🎮The easiest obviously is adding frame skip, but some others needed a bit more. So let's just jump into a tour of the device, and you will know what you're getting into. First, we have a smaller than usual d-pad. But surprisingly, it's a very accurate d-pad pulling up the Pokemon test to see. If the character moves in any other direction, and it doesn't. Honestly, I've enjoyed this d-pad quite a bit while playing Super Mario World as well as some other games. And there's no real complaints on my end. 

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Buttons

🎮It's definitely a good-d-pad to use that continues into the face buttons. Despite that, they're a bit on the smaller side than. I'd like the buttons actually, it feel really good and they're easy to push. These are clicky buttons with basically no travel, and I've been told that they're the same ones that are on the Trimui Smart. Again, I've never had that device, so I can't really comment. Then we move down to the other buttons here and we have menu select and start. 

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🎮It's a nitpick but I would have liked to see start and select up top and on separate sides. But these are big enough buttons and easy to press. And I have no complaints. The menu button is one that you're going to be using a lot, as you save load or change settings through it. Then, we get to the sticks and remember the VA comparison. There's no L3 and R3 here. The sticks don't push down. These sticks aren't my favorite in the world. I think they could have done a lot better in all honesty I might say this a few times today but I would just avoid any games that use the sticks and just forget they exist in my personal opinion.

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🎮I just assume that this device only has a d-pad and face buttons. Another weird thing is that the speaker cutouts here on the front. But that's actually not where the sound comes out of. It does but that's not actually where the speakers are located. My wife and I were playing a game of locate the speakers with this device for a good 10 minutes, but we came to the conclusion that there behind the back and in the middle of the device. Surprisingly, the device doesn't sound bad at all. With that in mind, it's a weird design decision continuing that thought and we moved up to the top here. We have the L1 and R1 buttons power button a host USBC Port which I haven't found a use for. And we have volume buttons power and volume buttons feel pretty great basically, exactly what you'd want them to do. 

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🎮They're fine enough to use for hot keys, but even that is pushing it a little bit in my opinion on the bottom. we have a function slide which I have to keep enabled as if you turn this off. It puts the system them in a battery saver mode, and that down clocks the CPU you want FN mode on at all times, unless you'll only be playing something like just Game Boy. But even something like Game Boy Advance has some slowdown, even in power save mode. There's a covered up Port which I'm not sure what.

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🎮It is USBC charging slot a microphone input, which is weird to see SD card slot and headphone jack on the back. We have nothing, nothing but nice curved sides. They really went for ergonomics here first, and you can definitely feel that as a whole. This device rivals my Anbernic RG353PS for most comfortable device that I think I've ever used and own. I just can't understate how nice this feels from the curves to the back, which feels nice and just the way that you can hold it. 

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🎮This is extremely comfortable and it's extremely lightweight as well. They did a fantastic job here. If you saw my Powkiddy RGB30 review, you know that I wasn't exactly happy with that device. But I thought the screen was pretty nice. Here, you have an equivalent or better screen, a better ergonomic device, more comfortable by a large margin. And it can do everything that the RGB30 can do for around the same price. This is everything I wanted the RGB30 to be. Thankfully, now I have it. Let's do some size comparisons so you can see where this fits in.

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Comparisons

🎮Unfortunately, I don't have a Vita on hand. But from what I pulled up spec-wise and dimension wise, they're basically the exact same again, just a few millimeters of difference. The closest comparison that I have on hand is the Anbernic RG353PS. This is just slightly bigger than that on the width. But it's about the same height, and it's a similar story for the Anbernic RG405M. This is wider by maybe half an inch on both sides, and about the same height with the Trimui, just a bit taller then we have the Retroid Pocket 2S.

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🎮While they're just about the same height, the Trimui is about an inch or so wider than that is the real story. Here is just how thin and light this feels. I'm a big fan of that I'm not sure I would classify this as pocketable with how most people define. It would definitely call it portable and something that you can bring with you on the go. For me, that means just throwing this in my sling bag.

🎮The first device I want to compare it with is the Retroid Pocket. The colors are wildly different on both the flips, and the Trimui with the flip has a much brighter screen. But the Trimui doesn't look as washed out in comparison. With the Ayaneo 2 Pro, which I find the colors on the Ayaneo 2 Pro to be much nicer looking, but obviously these are in two much different weight. 

🎮Lastly, with a device that has been mostly a dedicated Game Boy advaned Machine up until now, the Anbernic RG351P there's so very close here. I's just easy to call this the big brother to the Anbernic RG351P. The screen, like I shared before, is just the standout here. And it looks fantastic, despite it being 16x9. It is a fantastic way to play a lot of retro games, as long as you don't mind the black bars moving over to the sound portion.

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🎮Let's have a quick listen to the speakers, like I said before, these aren't the worst speakers for under $100, but they're not the best either, especially for them being. At the back of the device, they sound better than they have any right to be. But I wouldn't consider these top-of-the-line speakers on the battery front. They stayed about 5 hours for this battery, and I'd say that's pretty accurate with what I'm seeing in my testing. I will say that I barely lost any charge, leaving it overnight in sleep mode, which is a good thing to see especially on Linux operating system wise. 

System

 🎮We're running a custom Linux build from Trimui. It's pretty Bare Bones at the moment, and it basically acts as a front end for retro arch drastic. You can change brightness, the LED brightness of the sticks volume Wi-Fi key map to rotate 90, and CPU frequency as well. If you want to keep it at a certain range, Wi-Fi means retro achievements for my fellow Achievement Hunters. 

🎮I'd love to see the ability to adjust brightness in the menu. While in game, it doesn't have that option and the only way to adjust brightness is through the menu outside of the game. But again, there might be a hotkey for this. That I'm missing most of the systems locked down with core overrides and other things, which make it just a bit difficult to adjust settings for. As long as you're familiar enough with how retro Arch works with core overrides, and all of that you can open things up a little bit.

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Files

🎮But for instance, if you wanted to use gpsp instead of mgba for Game Boy Advance, there's no current way to do so, or at least no easy way. I found this device has Wi-Fi and I wasn't able to get my retro achievements username and password saved in retro arch, without editing the file directly on my computer. 

🎮This is my first Trimui device, so if you've had one before you might be familiar with how all this works. For example, knowing the folder structure to add new systems or new games I wanted to add Game Gear and that folder wasn't there. 

🎮So I created a folder called GG and added my games in there. It didn't show up, then I tried Game Gear written out and that didn't work either. I asked them for support, and they just told me throw it in the MS folder because it uses the same core. So it's little things like that that I don't have documentation for because I don't have a manual, which might be in there and it might not be.  

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🎮I'll show you what runs perfectly first before we jump into the systems that need some tweaks. First up is Game Boy, and it just looks great here on this screen. I won't be stretching any of the systems I'm playing. They're all just going to be in their native aspect ratio and no widescreen hacks or anything like that but like I mentioned. I do want to remove all of the overlays from all of the systems. Next up is Game Boy Color and it's more of the same as long as you don't mind the bars on the side which the beauty of the screen more than makes up for.

🎮You would have a great time here. The quintessential experience on this device is Game Boy Advance. And it's all thanks to the screen and the controls for years we've been asking Anbernic to make a better RG351P with a 3x2 aspect ratio and more power well. With this, we have the power part and the larger screen. And it's close enough with the aspect ratio. For Pokemon fans, you can easily three times the frame rate for fast forward in Game Boy advaned games. It makes it easy to grind out some Pokemon.

🎮Don't worry! If I haven't hit you over the head with it enough already, I'm going to keep doing so. Game Boy Advance on this is fantastic looking at Nintendo DS and again this might be the best way to play both of these systems for under $100. As long as you don't mind the lack of touchcreen. For some reasons, I can't show the speed as it's bugged currently. So I'll just have to share how I feel and if that wasn't reason enough. You can fast forward and you can see how much Headroom we actually have and how much faster you can grind in Nintendo DS Pokemon games.

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🎮Honestly, the only thing missing from this experience for Nintendo DS is retro achievements. Hopefully, drastic can add it at some point. Now if you don't mind the bars, I'd argue that Super Nintendo NES and other systems are grade here, as well. And it just always comes back to how nice the screen is combined with these controls and the ergonomics. The whole package just feels great and Super Nintendo looks and feels great jumping into PlayStation 1.

🎮You'll have a great time here, just out of the box nothing special to change. But you can enable enhanced resolution, if you'd like as is though you can safely and easily play everything that I've shown so far. Let's jump into the bonus consoles here. We can start with Nintendo 64 and as always Nintendo 64 will be a bit of a mixed bag. Surprisingly, this runs Nintendo 64 out of the box a lot better than pretty much any custom firmware that I've used.

🎮So it has that going for it. There's going to be some games that just won't run or need heavy tweaks to run. But as long as you're okay with that you could have a good time here. Next up we have Sega Dreamcast, and it's a similar story to Nintendo 64. There's a lot that's playable here out of the box without issue and while it's not always at full full speed. 

🎮It's close enough for a lot of people. Let's take a look at PlayStation.This matches the device's 16x9 aspect ratio and should technically be a good way to play. In reality, I struggled a bit with PSP and I couldn't find the right settings to get the games to be completely playable. The out of three box EXP experience isn't great. In my opinion, you'll likely have to play with some tweaks to get a good experience

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Conclusions

🎮But I do think it is possible. I'm not the tweaking person and especially for PSP so besides Auto frame skip. I wouldn't even know where to start but if you are that person I think. There's room here to do those type of things now as always Nintendo 64 Dreamcast and PlayStation Portable are.

🎮Let's wrap up my thoughts. So I'm kind of in love with this device. And it shouldn't come as a shock to anybody that's been following my channel to know that I like a device that has comfort and ergonomics first, and just feels great to play on the d-pad the screen the face buttons. All of that for under $100 just makes this a no-brainer to me I think software-wise. There's still some work to do but if you follow my recommendations for what I think is the best out of the box. Then none of those problems should affect you for the most part.

🎮The only things that are missing are quality of life improvements and little additions and things like that. It would be awesome to see the ability to transfer ROM files over HTTP like you can do. As usual, I don't ever recommend anything based off of future potential. That's gross to me. I'd rather review something based off of what it is today and not what it's going to be in the future. Because a lot of times projects getting abandoned, devices get abandoned.

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🎮It's just not a good time for anybody. Based off of today and the way the device acts today, I can confidently recommend it as a Game Boy Advance Nintendo DS and that type of device.You can even include 4x3 aspect ratio games in this as well. So all of your Super Nintendo Nintendo Genesis and all of that I think they play really well here. This is a great horizontal device to do all of that in. This honestly just feels like a better Anbernic RG351P or Anbernic RG353P. It has that same sort of design as the 353P does. So it's a lot more comfortable too, but it just feels like that with a much better screen I know I've said it a few times. Before this. I wouldn't have recommended anything in that Miyoo Mini Plus to Retroid Pocket 2S, price ranging so between $50 and $100. 

🎮I think those are the best tiers but after seeing this device. I can easily and confidently recommend it in that price range in that middle little scenario. And I think it's a really good device for a lot of people.👏👏👏

🛒Trimui Smart Pro: 

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