The Chinese market is full of replicas of popular electronic devices that are sold like crazy world over. There are replicas of iPhones, Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo consoles and many more. Sometimes, the replicas may not function exactly like the original device. Although they might look like they do, they do not not keep up with the performance. A good example is the Chinese Samsung USB charger which is so hard to distinguish from the original one, but fails to deliver the power. We even reviewed fake headphones some time ago and saw how it was absolutely difficult to identify whether they were real or fake. Not all devices fail to deliver the performance. Take this example; GPD XD gaming console looks exactly similar to the Nintendo 3DS XL. While Nintendo operates on its own operating system, GPD XD is an android device with great hardware specs that would run all the latest games for android. That is exactly what we are going to review today.
Comparing the GPD XD Gaming console with the Nintendo 3DS XL, we come to see the similarities instantly. The body is identical and so is the location of the power LED. The only difference here is that the power LED on Nintendo is cool blue, whereas it is green on the GPD XD. The plastic body on most replicas is low quality and it is not rare to find cracks near the joints. Apparently, GPD has taken care to build this plastic body with good material. The lid feels to be slightly more tight and produces a squeaking noise while opening it. Another thing to mention here is that there are no rattling parts inside that would otherwise make noise when you shake the device.
Speaking of control, there are two joy sticks which are quite sensitive and work smoothly. According to the specifications, the joysticks come from the Japanese Alps factory and they are not Chinese replicas. There do not seem to be any dead zones where the stick becomes unresponsive. There are the usual A,B,X and Y (Additional symbols: X, Δ, °, □) for the right hand controls and also an NDS style cross key structure for the left hand controls. All the physical controls will last for quite a long time and are unlikely to stop working after a month or two. On the left and right corners at the back, there are trigger switches that produce a nice clicking sound. Specifications say that they are again coming right from the Japanese company, Omron and they are world renowned for producing high quality switches. Comparing these switches with the Nintendo 3DS XL, we can see that GPD has better physical buttons while the Nintendo’s buttons feel a little mushy. Under normal circumstances, this should have been opposite. In addition to that, there are volume control buttons, menu button and a select button.
Connectors and display
On the back, you will find a 3.5 mm audio jack, USB jack and an HDMI jack. You can use HDMI to project the display on your large screen TV and this could be an interesting thing to do while playing in multiplayer mode.
Usually, cheap devices come with mediocre displays with not so great colour accuracy and mostly having a low resolution display. On the GPD XD, you will find a chunky 5.0 inch display with 720p resolution that results in a figure of 160 pixels per inch. Definitely not too high, but not that bad either. The colour accuracy is excellent and the contrast ratio is immediately noticeable when you pull down the usual android notification slider down. The colour of the bezel and the notification slider are perfectly black whereas the white appears to be truly white. Such good colour accuracy comes as a result of using Hitachi’s IPS panel, which again is a Japanese company.
Electronic hardware specs
With 2GB of RAM and some Chinese made Quad core ARM cortex processor running at 1.8GHz clock speed, the device seems to offer promising performance. There is a Mali T764 GPU as well which handles all the graphics processing required for the game graphics. Out of the box, the system comes with Android 4.4.4 and should run all the android games out there. On top of that there is a NDS and PSP emulator installed on the device which allows you to play Nintendo DS and PSP games as well. The screen can also receive touch inputs and you can play your games with the touch screen as well in case you do not want to use physical keys. Being a whole Android device, it can be used to browse the internet and you can install your favourite apps on it.
We will not talk much about the usual features. Let us have a look at what special things this console has for us.
You can play multiplayer games with a bunch of friends connected on a local p2p network over Wifi and the experience is just great. You can definitely do local multiplayer games on Wifi on any android device, but playing with physical controls invoke some good old memories! To top it off, you can stream the game onto a large screen through HDMI and let the audience enjoy as well.
Now, with the GPD XD being quite a powerful device with Android OS, you can stream movies on the device as well as project them on to your screen with HDMI which works very well. As usual, you also have an option to use a Chromecast or similar device like an Easycast to do the trick.
Online multiplayer games become more fun with team speak and thus, the option to plug in a pair of headphones at the back is available. With nothing plugged into the audio jack, the device automatically switches on the on-device loud speakers of which one is located on the bottom of the A,B,X,Y keys and the second one under the cross keys at the left hand side.
Another important thing we need to look at is game streaming support. This feature on most devices work great when there is plenty of bandwidth available on your Wifi router. That is usually possible only on 5GHz band because 2.4GHz lacks the desired bandwidth required to stream heavy games such as Far Cry 4 and GTA V. GPD XD comes with only 2.4GHz support but that does not mean game streaming will fail altogether. It simply means that there may be intermittent glitches during the game play.
Almost all the games work just fine on the GPD XD. The PSP and NDS emulators work with no flaws whatsoever. The only real problem some people may have is that the L3 and R3 buttons which are usually triggered by pressing the joystick come as separate buttons on GPD which are located right besides the joystick. To press them, you have to move your thumb away from the stick which may not be very efficient for everyone, especially while playing fast action multiplayer games
GPD XD also lacks Bluetooth which can be a big turn off for those who like to put on wireless bluetooth headsets.
The other big thing that we have missed out so far is the battery. GPD XD comes with a massive 6000mAh battery that will definitely last for long hours of intense gaming. According to the specifications, the background services take care of throttling the GPU and the CPU if temperatures go too high. Under usual circumstances, you will never experience the device getting too hot although it may get quite warm at times.
The massive battery is one factor that makes GPD XD significantly heavier than the Nintendo 3DS XL and it gives that feel of holding a sturdy device which you don’t get while holding a Nintendo 3DS.
Coming at only $159 from Gearbest.com it is a great mobile gaming console which will not let you down and will keep you hooked up for hours to come.
The GPD XD can function just like the good old Nokia Qwerty phones and all they have to do is replace the controls with a Qwerty keyboard.
The buttons on the GPD XD also feels nice, similar to a 3ds xl but with double analogs that feels really smooth like a ps vita as well.
Interesting device. It’s a new market, other companies believe in this potential
GPD has been pretty good with software support so far.
There’s only a gravity sensor in it as far as I know, which is a shame
Core: Quad core 600MHz
RAM + ROM: 2GB + 16GB offers ultrafast surfing online, video playing and 3D gaming experience enhanced with DDR3 memory which makes all applications faster. Whether it is needed for work, study or play this tablet will suit your needs and 16GB internal memory slot for all your apps and media.
Gravity sensing system: Can fluently and sensitively run various applications.
5 inch screen: 1280 x 720 IPS screen with full viewing angle delivers ultimate detail and lifelike color for a crystal-clear picture.
6000mAh battery: Can multimanage the current, power and the temperature and increase the performance dynamically.
Android 4.4 system: Latest system with more excellent interface, compatibility and running effect.
Support 2 operation ways: Touch screen + keys
Machine buttons are similar with PS4 one professional console/gamepad cross button layout, the operation is more accurate, more perfect, the full functional keys are according to human body engineering design, advanced key mapping function can let all android touch
Perfect NDS emulator lets you play NDS games smoothly.
Building in Kawaks; aFBA; MAME etc emulators allows you to play arcade games freely.
Multi points action games, giving you a perfect feeling experience.