I own an Xperia Play and backed the GCW Zero, is the Pandora worth it?


Haze

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Hello

Right now my mobile emulator of choice is the Xperia Play. Overclocked to 1.4ghz it handles anything from the 16bit console era perfectly and has great speakers but unfortunately the screen leaves much to be desired. Colour reproduction isn't great and ghosting on moving dark objects is almost PSP bad. Battery life isn't great either. Also the less said about the quality of androids Amiga emulators the better. 

I backed the GCW Zero so that should be added to my collection around March. It looks great for the 16bit era, dos and early PC stuff. The lack of a second analogue stick is going to be an issue for PSX games however and it simply doesn't have enough buttons for the N64.

So here is my question is the Pandora worth it for me. There is a lot of information out there about the 600mhz version, not so much on the 1ghz. Just how good is PSX and N64 emulation on it? Is Majora's Mask acceptable? How does the screen and speakers measure up to an Xperia Play?

To be honest I've had a love of obscure handhelds since my GP2X but the Pandora isn't a trivial investment, I need some info on how it measures up to the competition before I can decide whether to lay down my cash.

Thanks :)
 

TrashyMG

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For PSX, we have what could be the best Emulator for the handheld market.. N64 however needs a bit of work, sure most of the big games work fine.. but it could be better.

But this aside, is it worth it? Depends on what you need.. If your just interested in game emulation then maybe it's not as there are other handhelds that can run emulators just fine for a lower price.. if your looking for a handheld mini computer that has a wide variety of uses (Gaming, Office, Software development, Android apps, native Linux programs) then maybe it's just what you need.
 
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Exophase

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The speakers on Pandora are pretty good, and the audio hardware is very good (if you want to listen with headphones). The screen has some ghosting, it seems to vary from unit to unit (or at least the reports people give vary a lot). On mine it's visible and can be annoying but nowhere near as bad as PSP-1000 so probably better than your Xperia Play.

A 1GHz model will probably have an intrinsic performance advantage vs GCW Zero and the emulators will generally be better optimized. AFAIK GCW Zero doesn't have working 3D drivers yet and for that reason it's unknown when it'll really have viable N64 emulation. They're holding out on 3D acceleration to help PS1 emulation as well but I wouldn't hold my breath.
 

Haze

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Good info so far. One thing I forgot to ask, does the Pandora have a port of Frotz? Seems like that keyboard would be very nice for some portable text adventure action.
 

apersonthinks

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I have both an xperia play and a pandora. N64 emulation is better on android as of now (especially because the pandora port of mupen keeps segfaulting on mine). Pandora does have a much better battery life than the play. Amiga emulation is also very nice on the pandora. However, at least for the nes, ghosting is much worse in dark games like metroid or kid icarus.
 

TrashyMG

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I have both an xperia play and a pandora. N64 emulation is better on android as of now (especially because the pandora port of mupen keeps segfaulting on mine). Pandora does have a much better battery life than the play. Amiga emulation is also very nice on the pandora. However, at least for the nes, ghosting is much worse in dark games like metroid or kid icarus.
I've never had Mupen segfault on me.. sluggish on some games maybe, but never segfault. Also never noticed ghosting on any games on both my Pandoras.. but I've been told some people have got LCD screens where it was more noticeable.
Hmm how is build quality on the 1Ghz version?

The new casing is better than the original black ones, no cracking and such.
 
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Fworg64

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I have an Xperia Play too, and a Rebirth edition pandora.

I've noticed that for light gaming (gameboy, SNES, NES, Temple Run, Tertris) during class, on a short bus ride, in line or whatever else situation, my phone holds up just fine if I have less then an hour of consecutive free time and charge it everyday. The phone is nice too because it fits in my jeans pocket everyday and has a reliable internet connection over 3G and or Wifi.

But if im going to have any more than an hour of free time, and am gonna have some cargo shorts/pants on I'll definitly bring my pandora and use it for all sorts of games (N64, PSX, SNES, NES, Homebrew) over my phone because of the superior controls and not have to worry about draining the battery, ill also use it over my phone to watch movies since the screens bigger and not full of fingerprints, the audio is also better through headphones then my phone. Also im into coding and hacking and general kinda nerdy things (about everyone here is though) so ill use it to play around with stuff like that. Ive used it before to write papers (also used my phone once, Pandora definatly beat phone because of bigger screen and better keyboard, but niether compare to full laptop or desktop) and it was useful enough, usb out made it easy to put on a flash drive and transfer to other places. If you keep your music downloaded locally, pandora has better audio and battery life, but the phone is better for streaming.

In conclusion, Pandora makes a great supplement to the phone and can stand in place for a linux laptop if space is limited, and it can run android too so theres that. Phone by itsself is great for when you wear jeans or will only have less then 1 consecutive hour of free time at a time.
 

ingoreis

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My Xperia Play is broken.


I had the R800i Version.


Had Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and not overclocked.


My Pandora is very better,because more playtime,more things to test,


more possible Things like DVBT TV,


More Games,More emulated Systems,better Nubs.


I use now the cheapest Motorola Fire and for the rest(phoning,short messaging,internetsharing to Pandora)ist it very ok.


Xperia Play is not bad but reaches no Pandora realy ;-)
 

Haze

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How is the screen on the 1ghz Pandora in general? I know its probably not the highest quality panel but does it look "cheap".
 

TrashyMG

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How is the screen on the 1ghz Pandora in general? I know its probably not the highest quality panel but does it look "cheap".
It looks fine to me, It does have double the resolution of the GCW Zero. I'd say my first batch Pandora has better contrast compared to my rebirth Pandora, but outside of that it's great and on par with my Motorola droid X if not better.
 
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Haze

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One last big question, how is SNES emulation. Can it handle the hard games like Yoshi's Island and StarFox?
 

TrashyMG

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Yoshi's Island plays fine even on my old 600mhz Pandora.. StarFox seems to fully playable but a bit slow. Perhaps a 1Ghz Pandora can play it closer to full speed.
 

kirkanoss

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i have over year old black rebirth pandora 600mhz model so far with almost daily use no cracks in the case, haven't seen any ghosting on the screen  myself. sound is great even with the built in speakers nothing like listening to my beatles albums in flac format when playing some GT2,ff7 or thps4 on the best ps1 emul i have seen. just got done playing some starfox for snes and the game speed is fine but the audio from mainly fox's friends slows down abit but just the audio and can fine tune it with afew options.would take awail and look at the repo site has alot of other great ports/homebrew games and such

ps welcome to the forums
 

_wb_

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The Pandora screen is quite good: the resolution is very nice (800x480, so 5 times as many pixels as the GCW Zero, but slightly less pixels than the 854x480 Xperia Play), the contrast is pretty good, the touch is accurate, the color depth is full 24bit, the ghosting is acceptable, the power consumption is very low.

SNES emulation is pretty much perfect on the Pandora, maybe you'll need a tiny bit of overclock for the really demanding games, but that's no problem, even the cheap refurbished CC models can all reach 850MHz.

If you are only going to use it for playing games, I don't think the Pandora is worth the cost if you already have those two other devices, unless you're a very serious gamer and you want to have the best mobile PSX emulation in the world. For mobile PSX emulation nothing beats the Pandora: besides lacking L2/R2, it has the perfect controls, and notaz and Exophase did an amazing job with PCSX ReARMed. Really "emulation better than the original", and also having dual SD slots is really nice if you're heavily into PSX games, because they tend to take up quite some space. And of course for C64/Spectrum/Amiga/.../DOS/Windows emulation, having a keyboard is quite nice.

Also it's quite possible that Pandora will be the first handheld on which Nintendo DS emulation works well.
 
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