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The GPD-G5A is an interesting and reasonably priced gaming handheld. It features two control sticks, a game pad, four main buttons, and four shoulder buttons. It has a fast quad core processor that delivers decent performance, a surprisingly good 5 inch display, and two options for adding external storage (an OTG USB port and a MicroSD card slot).

The controls are ok, with the sticks being much better than the control pad. I did find that they worked natively with just about any Android game or emulator that supports hardware based controls. Additionally a utility is included to map the controller to games that only feature touch controls which is an interesting.

As an emulation platform it’s great for MAME and some of the more modern system emulators. I found it ran newer arcade titles, a Playstation 1 emulator, and a Dreamcast emulator at speeds at or very, very close to the original hardware. Given it’s fully Google Play compatible it supports the full suite of Google apps (including emulators) that will be released in the future. Apps can also be side loaded from memory cards. It’s running Android 4.2.2 which is slightly behind the current version but there appears to be a growing user community that may be porting over newer versions of Android for the platform.

Overall? It’s good. I wish the controls, especially the gamepad, were a little better but it’s definitely playable. For playing older classic games (think 16 bit and earlier) I really like the GCW Zero handheld which has a screen and controls better tuned for that older hardware.

DISCLOSURE: I purchased this product with my own funds

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