21 October 2014

GPD G7a review

REVIEW:


It's a portable game from GPD company, you can visit their website on http://www.gpd.hk

It's a Chinese company (hong kong to be exactly) that came to compete with JXD (In my honest opinion, I think the quality is way better because I have bad experience in the past).





It's a way open console (in open source meaning), and fortunately the company is quite transparent about this (like respecting GPL).

The console uses a Rockchip processor RK3188 (Quadcore using 1.6Ghz but indercloced to 1.2), 1Gb of RAM and 8Gb of internal storage. Mine came with android kitkat 4.4.2, but I've updated to 4.4.4 with a lot of wonderful features that I'll describe below.

On my tests, they was easily able to emulate even N64 (for me, it was able to fulfull my needs as an portable emulator, since my PSP can't do that with some effort). I've tried some N64 games (using mupen64) and here is my review about it:

- Conquer's Bad Fur Day: Tested and Working Very Well. I can't notice the difference from the native console.
- Donkey Kong 64: The game works perfectly, but there's some problems related to emulator (like you being able to walk throught the walls).
- Perfect Dark: Sometimes they're faster than normal, and sometimes not. I'm not sure but I think is an emulation related problem.

Since ends here, let me talk about Dolphin now:

- Super Mario Sunshine (GameCube): Yes, it can emulate and very nice! But since the emulator is on alpha stage, I had different (weird) results.
- The Legend of Zelda - Skyward Sword (Wii): Yeah it can do it, but have a lot of render emulation, isn't playable, and this time you can notice the emulation problem. Maybe in the future we can play this game on this device.

The other emulators like 8, 16 and 32 bit works perfectly. Just to compare, Final Fantasy Type-0 can have the same speed as natively on PSP. The major part of PSP games works without any problem.

PROS:

1) Controls feels the same as the default xbox360 controller.
2) The dpad is quite fine.
3) There's a lot of software to customize the controls, so you can't be afraid of playing, for example, Sine Mora using the hw controls (tested, worked and it's awesome)
4) I don't like to evaluate software (since you can customize that if you have the knowledge), but the native rom is pretty decent, without spam or whatever else, it's almost a vanilla ROM.
5) The performance is something wonderful, even comparing with good smartphones. Just to compare, they can beat my Motorola MotoG 4G easier.
6) I was able to get a good performance even with software that ask for special chips (NVidia shield), for example, I was able to make remote play using Limelight (remote play using nvidia+android)
7) The keymap is nice. And you have alternatives if you don't like the stock one.
8) If 1Gb of RAM isn't enought for you, there's a 2Gb version.
9) Up to 128Gb SDXC (only with 4.4.4)
10) HDMI: Yes, and 1080p. I didn't make a lot of work with this but it was able to transmit flawless Ocarina of Time on N64 with 720p and 1080p without any visible problem.
11) Buttons: 6 front buttons (4 in the diagonal position like the SuperNES controller and 2 extra for fighting games, as you can see in pictures), 4 shoulder buttons, dedicated SELECT and START, dedicated volume buttons, dedicated power button, 1 dedicated D-PAD and 2 analog controls.
12) 5000Mah battery: I don't made a test using the entire batery because of my lack of patience but was enough to play 2 entire hours with N64 and using just 10%.
13) Screen for 10 simultaneous fingers.

COS:

1) SD can only work with vfat: Yeah, for me it's a problem. There's others way better FS that was transparent for the OS (Windows can handle MTP, the OS handles the FS). For example, I use F2FS on my smartphone and the performance to manage files is way way better. F2FS and EXT4 or EXT3 have journaling, that means you have an extra security if your device have an extra problem. And vfat... well.. doesn't had and update from 20 years or more...
2) Bluetooth: Isn't a problem for me but a device able to do a FullHD via HDMI should have this option.
3) Doesn't charge via USB: Yeah, you need a external charger (btw, he uses that old nokia style charger).
4) Headphone port: The headphone jack is that one that doesn't have microphone line (and a very bad one), so if you have one of this kind of headphones, you'll have some problems (Ugly design).
5) Updates: I don't know why, but I got my device with 4.4.2 and saying "your device is up to date" and I've got an oficial image in dingoonity that updated my device to 4.4.4. Why this update doesn't came over the air?
6) Screen: Some people are hungry about this because of brightness, but I think is quite fine (even when isn't IPS).
7) Shoulder buttons: Nope, they're not triggers.
8) No force feedback: Isn't a problem for me, but there's people that love this feature. I really don't care.

OVERALL:

I think is a very nice device. Even with the problems, I think is a good aquisition. The functionality and the capability of good emulation made him a nice option for people that want a portable emulation device.

2 comments:

  1. Hi
    Where exactly did you find the updated firmware version 4.4.4?....I just cant seem to find it on dingoonity , can you please give me a link
    Thank you
    Laszlo

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    Replies
    1. I don't have the device anymore... Even the files I don't have anymore, sorry :/

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