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Best handheld gaming consoles

Best Handheld Gaming Consoles to Game On-the-Go

Products Reviewed:

Best Overall: Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld 

Best Budget: HIJJJPS Retro Handheld Video Game Console

Best Splurge: Valve Steam Deck 512GB Handheld Gaming Console

Best for Emulation: Miyoo Mini Plus Handheld Game Console

Best for 5-year-old: My Arcade Pocket Player Handheld Game Console

Handheld game consoles have redefined how we play period. We can carry our favorite games wherever we go, whether it’s a long commute, a relaxing vacation, or simply lounging at home.

These devices offer access to a wide range of games, from casual titles to complex adventures. You have a diverse gaming library at your fingertips.

In addition to personal entertainment, handheld gaming consoles also foster social interactions through multiplayer gaming and online connectivity.

In this blog, we’re going to take a closer look at the best handheld gaming consoles out there. But before that, here’re a few things to consider before buying one.

How Do We Choose the Best Handheld Gaming Consoles

  • Game Library: Start by looking at the games available for each console. Consider the types of games you enjoy playing. Some consoles have exclusive titles, so if there’s a specific game you’re interested in, make sure it’s available for the console you choose.
  • Performance: Look at the hardware specifications of the console, including the processor, RAM, and graphics capabilities. Higher performance usually results in better graphics and smoother gameplay.
  • Portability: Consider how often you plan to carry the console with you. Some handhelds are more compact and lightweight than others, making them more suitable for on-the-go gaming.
  • Battery Life: Battery life is crucial for portable gaming. Check the estimated battery life for each console and think about how long you typically play games in one sitting.
  • Game Controls: Consider your preference for game controls. Some handhelds have physical buttons, while others rely on touchscreen controls. Decide which type of controls you’re most comfortable with.
  • Exclusive Features: Look for unique features that set each console apart. For example, some consoles offer augmented reality (AR) gaming experiences, while others focus on retro gaming with a library of classic titles.
  • Multiplayer Options: If you enjoy playing games with friends, check if the console supports local multiplayer or online multiplayer gaming.
  • Budget: Determine how much you’re willing to spend on a handheld gaming console. Prices can vary significantly, so it’s important to stick to your budget.
  • Accessories: Consider the availability of accessories such as cases, screen protectors, and additional controllers. Accessories can enhance your gaming experience and protect your console.
  • Online Services: Investigate the online services and ecosystems associated with each console. Some offer subscription services that provide access to a library of games or exclusive content.
  • Future Prospects: Consider the future outlook of the console. Check for announcements of upcoming games, system updates, or potential hardware upgrades.
  • Brand Preference: If you have a preference for a particular gaming brand (e.g., Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft), it may influence your decision.

Best Overall

Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld

Logitech G Cloud Gaming Handheld

Why We Love It

Introducing the Cloud Gaming System where you can immerse yourself in a vast library of AAA video game titles without the hassle of downloads or costly hardware upgrades. You can enjoy gaming at up to 1080p and 60 frames per second, all delivered via WiFi and cloud gaming subscriptions.

What makes it the overall best handheld gaming device is its compatibility with multiple cloud gaming services, including Xbox Cloud Gaming (Beta) and NVIDIA GeForce NOW. Moreover, access to additional cloud services can be easily acquired through the Google Play store app, expanding your gaming horizons.

What You Should Know

You can also utilize the Xbox Remote Play app and Steam Link app for remote gameplay, granting you the flexibility to enjoy your favorite games from anywhere.

The design of the device is engineered for your convenience. Its “Stow and Go” feature ensures that you can transport your Logitech G Cloud Handheld securely, making it your ideal travel companion.

The attached hand strap provides comfortable carrying, allowing you to pick up and play wherever your gaming adventures take you. Furthermore, the detachable and size-adjustable strap offers versatility, enabling you to carry and secure your Cloud Handheld device in a way that suits your preferences.

With the Cloud Gaming System, your gaming world is now at your fingertips, wherever you may roam.

Best Budget

HIJJJPS Retro Handheld Video Game Console

HIJJJPS Retro Handheld Video Game Console

Why We Love It

The HIJJJPS Retro Handheld Video Game Console is a budget-friendly device, making it an attractive choice for gamers who want to enjoy retro gaming experiences without breaking the bank. It comes with its extensive game library, preloaded with a diverse collection of classic retro games, offering nostalgia-inducing gameplay.

This means that players can relive iconic titles from the past without the need for additional game purchases, which is a significant cost-saving advantage.

Its compact and lightweight design allows it to fit comfortably in your pocket or bag, making it an ideal choice for gaming on the go. Whether you’re on a long commute, waiting in line, or traveling, this console ensures that you have access to your favorite games wherever and whenever you want, without the requirement for a TV or monitor.

What You Should Know

The HIJJJPS Retro Handheld Video Game Console is user-friendly and straightforward to operate, making it suitable for gamers of all ages. Its intuitive controls and menu system ensure a hassle-free gaming experience, even for those who may not be tech-savvy.

Many models of this console come equipped with a built-in screen, eliminating the need for external displays. Budget handheld consoles often prioritize efficient power usage, resulting in extended battery life. For those interested in playing with friends and family, some models of this console offer multiplayer capabilities.

While these consoles may have limited built-in storage, many of them support expandable memory via memory cards or USB drives. This flexibility enables you to add more games to your collection, ensuring that you always have a variety of gaming options at your fingertips.

Best Splurge

Valve Steam Deck 512GB Handheld Gaming Console

Valve Steam Deck 512GB Handheld Gaming Console

Why We Love It

The Valve Steam Deck 512GB Handheld Gaming Console is a splurge-worthy handheld gaming console as it offers an unparalleled gaming experience, boasting a powerful AMD APU and high-end graphics capabilities, allowing gamers to enjoy a wide range of demanding AAA titles with impressive performance and visuals.

Valve Steam Deck comes with its extensive game library. It runs on SteamOS, giving users access to the vast Steam gaming platform, which boasts an extensive catalog of games, including both modern hits and classic titles. With the 512GB storage capacity, it offers ample space to store a substantial game collection, allowing you to carry your gaming library with you wherever you go.

It offers multiple control options to cater to different gaming genres and preferences.

What You Should Know

The Valve Steam Deck is a full-fledged PC in the form of a handheld console, allowing users to access and install various applications and game stores outside of Steam. This opens up possibilities for running emulators, using productivity software, and customizing the device to suit personal needs, making it a versatile and multi-functional device.

The Steam Deck supports various peripherals and accessories, allowing you to connect it to a TV or monitor for a larger-screen gaming experience or use it as a traditional PC with the optional docking station.

The Steam Deck’s large 7-inch touchscreen display, combined with its ergonomic design and built-in thumbsticks and trackpads, provides an immersive and comfortable gaming experience.

Best for Emulation

Miyoo Mini Plus Handheld Game Console

Miyoo Mini Plus Handheld Game Console

Why We Love It

The Miyoo Mini Plus Handheld Game Console emerges as the best handheld game console for emulation enthusiasts due to its wide-ranging compatibility with emulators, allowing users to play games from a multitude of vintage gaming systems, spanning from classics like the NES and SNES to more advanced platforms like the PlayStation Portable (PSP).

Another notable aspect is its compact and portable design, making it incredibly convenient for gaming on the go. Moreover, the Miyoo Mini Plus boasts an intuitive interface and user-friendly controls, allowing for smooth and hassle-free emulation experiences. Its responsive buttons and responsive touchscreen enhance gameplay, ensuring that you can enjoy these retro titles with ease.

What You Should Know

The device’s battery life is well-suited for extended gaming sessions, providing hours of gameplay on a single charge. This ensures that you can immerse yourself in your favorite retro games without frequent interruptions.

It features a fine-tuned system that prioritizes enhanced stability and efficient operational speed, it encompasses essential functions like game save/load, favorites, and a recent folder, ensuring an optimal gaming experience.

The package comprises 1x Miyoo-mini+ Retro Gray handheld console, 1x portable case for added protection, 1x screen protector to keep your display pristine, 1x USB-C charging cable for convenience, 1x TF-card reader for easy data transfer, 1x user manual for guidance, and 1x sticker for personalization.

Best Handheld Gaming Console for 5-year-old

My Arcade Pocket Player Handheld Game Console

My Arcade Pocket Player Handheld Game Console

Why We Love It

The My Arcade Pocket Player Handheld Game Console stands out as the ideal handheld gaming console for five-year-olds because of its tailored design and features for young gamers. One of its most prominent attributes is its simplicity. The console offers a straightforward gaming experience with a user-friendly interface, making it easy for young children to navigate and enjoy. Its large, colorful buttons and responsive controls are perfectly sized for small hands, ensuring that kids can play comfortably without frustration.

Furthermore, the My Arcade Pocket Player comes preloaded with a selection of classic arcade games that are both entertaining and age-appropriate. These games often feature simple mechanics and vibrant graphics, capturing the attention and imagination of young players. Parents can rest easy knowing that the content is suitable for their child’s age group.

What You Should Know

The handheld console is designed to withstand the wear and tear associated with young children. Its robust build can endure accidental drops and rough handling, offering a level of resilience that is essential when considering devices for kids.

Moreover, the device often includes built-in parental controls, allowing parents to manage screen time and game content, ensuring a safe and controlled gaming environment. This feature provides peace of mind for parents concerned about their child’s gaming habits.

It is equipped with a front-facing speaker, convenient volume controls, and a 3.5mm headphone jack for versatile audio options.

Power Options are flexible. You can choose between powering it via Micro USB or four AAA batteries (sold separately) for flexibility in your gaming setup.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are handheld consoles suitable for serious gamers, or are they primarily for casual gaming?

Handheld consoles can cater to both serious and casual gamers. They offer a variety of games, including highly engaging and deep experiences, making them suitable for a wide range of gaming preferences.

What is the battery life like on most handheld gaming consoles?

Battery life varies from one console to another. On average, you can expect handheld consoles to provide anywhere from 3 to 8 hours of gameplay on a single charge. The actual duration depends on factors such as screen brightness, game intensity, and settings.

Can I play multiplayer games on handheld gaming consoles?

Yes, many handheld consoles support multiplayer gaming. Some allow for local multiplayer using built-in wireless connectivity, while others offer online multiplayer options for playing with friends or other players worldwide.

Are there any parental controls available for these consoles?

Yes, most handheld gaming consoles have parental control features that allow parents to set restrictions on game content, screen time, and online interactions to ensure a safe gaming experience for children.

Can I connect my handheld gaming console to a TV or monitor?

The Nintendo Switch and some other consoles with similar hybrid designs can be connected to a TV or monitor for a larger-screen gaming experience. However, most traditional handheld consoles are designed exclusively for portable play.

Do I need to buy additional accessories for my handheld gaming console?

It depends on your preferences and gaming style. While the basic console is enough for most gaming, you may want to consider accessories like a protective case, screen protector, or additional controllers for a more tailored experience.

Are there ongoing costs associated with online gaming on handheld consoles?

Some handheld consoles require a subscription service to access online multiplayer and additional features. For example, Nintendo Switch Online is a paid service for online play, but it also offers a library of classic NES and SNES games.

Can I play older games on modern handheld gaming consoles?

Some modern handheld consoles offer backward compatibility or access to digital stores with a library of older games. However, compatibility varies, so it’s essential to check each console’s capabilities.

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