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More Portable Android Gaming with the GPD G7

Hot on the heels of my last Android device review I’m back with another device: The GPD G7 Quad-core from GamePad Digital.

The G7 is very similar to the JXD 7800B, but with a more ergonomic game-controller shape to it.

Geekbuying generously supplied me with a GPD G7 to review. I’ve got the “GPD G7 RK3188 1.6GHz 7 inch GamePad Android 4.2 Quad Core Capacitive Touch Screen 1024*600 1GB/8GB Tablet PC”.

Specification

  • CPU: RockChip 3188, Quad Core, 1.6GHz (cortex A9 CPU, ARM mali400 mp4 GPU)
  • Memory: 1GB DDR3
  • Storage: 8GB internal, microSD up to 32GB
  • Screen: 7” TFT, 1024x600
  • OS: Android 4.2.2 (4.4 on the way!)
  • Battery: 5000mAh

This spec is very similar to the JXD 7800B, and I’m sure many other Android consoles that are available at the moment. It would have been nice to have more than 1GB of ram in the G7, but 1GB should be enough for most things.

The G7 comes with Android 4.2.2 and at the time of writing this review there is a beta Android 4.4 rom available.

As with other Android devices of this kind, the OS came bundled with some dubiously sourced games, game downloaders, and emulators.

Bundled on the device were emulators for Dreamcast, PS1, Nintendo 64 and Mame, as well as games for each emulator to really show off the button binding and performance of the device.

After playing Mario Kart 64 for an hour on Mupen64 I was pretty impressed. Besides emulating classic consoles, it also handles newer games just fine.

GTA 3 runs very nicely, with only accasional mild lag. The default keybindings are nearly perfect, so it plays just as on the PS2.

So how does the GPD G7 compare to other devices? take a look:

Google Nexus 7 (2012 model)

Sony PS3 controller

Nintendo DSi

Dingoo A320

As you can see, it’s another large device. The size and weight are as follows:

  • Length: 140 mm
  • Width: 240 mm
  • Height: 35 mm
  • Weight: 487 g

Again, as I’m now used to with these Chinese Android handhelds, it doesn’t charge via the included micro-USB port, but it has it’s own dedicated DC jack.

The G7 came with an EU plug, with an adapter to US bundled in the box, and an adapter to UK bundled in the packaging from Geekbuying – so at the moment I’m charging with a precarious stack of plug adapters.

Hopefully the manufacturers of these handhelds will realise that using a proprietary DC charger is silly when micro-USB chargers are everywhere.

There are two front-facing speakers, they sound pretty good with the games I’ve played on the GPD G7. I was worried that their location meant that my hands would cover them as I played games, but it’s actually no problem.

The battery lasted for a couple of hours, so it’s perfect to take on long car journeys or flights, or wherever.

The screen brightness isn’t great out of the box, but you can increase it, and the upcoming Android 4.4 rom will default with a brighter screen brightness setting.

The buttons feel very good, and though the d-pad isn’t a typical cross d-pad, it works nice enough on classic games.

In conclusion, I’m really enjoying the GPD G7. I’m continuing to be surprised by the quality of the Android consoles coming out of China these days. It’s a huge jump from the days of the Dingoo A320 back in 2009.

The GPD devices board on Dingoonity:

More information about the GPD G7 on the Dingoonity Wiki:

If you do buy a GPD G7, you can get 10$ off of your order from GeekBuying, using the following coupon code: MMITLRCJ. Buy the GPD G7 from GeekBuying here:

About the author

A photo of Max Glenister

Max Glenister

Max Glenister is a Front-end Developer based in Oxfordshire. For work he spends his time designing, validating and implementing user interfaces. For fun he tinkers with Virtual Reality, 3D printing, embedded systems, game development and many other things.

You can keep up with Max on Github, Twitter and Reddit