Author Topic: Review of the A380  (Read 19055 times)

Offline pcercuei

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Review of the A380
« on: June 26, 2011, 04:12:13 PM »
omgmog edit

Whoops this didn't split well. Anyway, this is the A380 review by Emu-Lator, from their other topic. Probably better to give it its own space!

Apologies for the confusion folks  8)
« Last Edit: July 14, 2011, 08:27:14 AM by omgmog »

Offline Emu-Lator

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Re: Review of the A380
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2011, 10:30:46 PM »
Review for the Dingoo A380
Manufacturer Specs:
Specifications
Model: Dingoo-Tech A380
CPU: Ingenic 4755 running at 500Mhz
Ram: 64MB
Display: 3.2" TFT QVGA LCD Resolution 400x240
Internal Storage: 4GB NAND
External Storage Card Slot: MicroSD/TF up to 32GB
G-Sensor with Vibration Motor
Receiver: Internal 2.4GHz receiver module that supports two wireless game controller for tv-out and wireless link between to Dingoo-Tech A380 consoles.
Controller Design: Based on Dingoo A320 same features and controls
Video Port: A/V Out
Audio Port:  3.5mm Stereo Audio Output
Audio: 2 x 1in Stereo Audio Speakers
USB Port: USB 2.0 Port/Charging Port
Battery: 1700mah Lithium Ion Battery
External Power Supply: DC5V 500mA
Weight: 120g
Dimension: 132X57X15 (Length x Width x Height, in mm)
Available Colours: Black / White / Pink
Language Supported: English, Chinese Simplified ,Chinese Traditional Japanese, Korean, Russian, German, French, Spanish, Turkish, Portuguese, Polish
Gaming Console Emulation Formats:
GBA\SFC\SNES\FC\NES\MD\MVS\NEO-GEO\CPS-1\CPS-2\Atari Lynx\GBC\SMS\OpenBOR\MAME\PS\Java\DOS
Audio Formats:
MP3、WMA、WAV、APE、FLAC、M4a
Video Formats:
RM、RMVB、MP4、3GP、AVI、ASF、MPE、FLV、MPEG、MPG、Flash
MPEG1、MPEG2、MKV(H.264、DIVX、XVID)、AVI(H.264、DIVX、XVID)、VOD
Other Functions included:
Audio Recorder
FM Radio
Image Viewer
E-Book Reader
Stopwatch
Calculator
System OS: Typical Tweak Native OS / Custom version of Dingux

Box and contents:

I received my Dingoo A380 in a box that is slightly smaller than the one the A330 comes in. I also ordered a couple of F16 wireless controllers to test out.

The box contents were well wrapped up and the Dingoo A380 is factory sealed in a protective cover that peels off.

Included in the box were:

Instructions – Chinese and English
Stereo headphones
 AV cable
USB cable – This charges the device and also provides connectivity to your PC/Laptop
USB charge kit - (The charge kit has a Chinese plug so I recommend buying a cheap USB charger from Ebay for a couple of pounds. This will do the same job with no need for an adapter.)


First Impressions

The unit seems to be reasonably well made, it fits snugly into your hands when you hold the buttons and is comfortable to hold. I personally think the unit looks good, has a nice glossy finish and feels well made.

The power button is held upward to switch the console both on and off.  If you slide the power button downward you find a hold button whose function seems to be to either lock the console on, or lock it off.

The power button can take a few seconds to register an action so be patient! Also the unit “sleeps” if on the main menu and no activity for a while. Pressing start wakes it up again.

When tested the hold button did not stop any of the other buttons from working.

The D-Pad and buttons are responsive and navigation through the menus is quite easy and responsive.

The volume control is software, you press R1 and up to increase volume and yep you guessed it: R1 and down to lower volume (can also be done another way whilst in emulators pressing select and back to access in game settings.

The device also has a tiny reset button hole should the unit freeze up for whatever reason (handy since you cannot remove the batteries.)

So let’s begin working our way through the menu system:

Game Rooms – the section that loads emus and games

This menu contains two folders:  “Simulation Games” and “Transplant Games”

Transplant Games

I laughed when I saw the Transplant Games menu – this menu seems to have been badly translated. From what I can tell this menu is used to launch games directly. For example if you navigate to a Rom file of game file saved either on internal NAND or SD memory it will directly launch the Rom or game you select.

Simulation Games


This part of the menu leads to the emulator section:

CPS1 – Every game tested works fine (even tried using the G-sensor, works well surprisingly.)

CPS2 – Every game tested was playable, some of the bigger titles take a few seconds to load.

GB (Gameboy) – Works great!

GBC (Cameboy colour) – No problems here

GBA (Gameboy Advance) – Also no complaints, every game tested was running ok.

SFC (Super Famicon or SNES) – Again it works fine, thought i’d try out starfox as a real challenge and as expected there was some choppiness here and there but still surprisingly playable! Super Mario World etc worked well.

MD – (Megadrive) – No problems, every game tested up to scratch.

FC – (Famicon) – Games play well but some seem to have sound issues, super Mario bros 3 plays well but the sound seemed to be lagging slightly. Not really much of an issue since most good games are available on SNES (eg all Marios are in Mario Allstars, Mario 3 plays great from here!) or GBA can pick up the slack slightly too.

NeoGeo – I tested the sample game that comes with it (breakers) it works well.

GG – (Game Gear) – Again no problems here.

Summary of Emulators

With some community love and maybe a custom emulator or two released this handheld shows real promise! The stock emulators are a decent stab at producing a completely useable system straight out of the box.

From what I can tell the system native firmware seems to be a modified version of Dingux with the menus changed.

The emulators are crying out for an overclocking feature but again with some community love or a decent Firmware update or two these issues should be addressed given time.

Next menu is: Music

Two menus in here:

Playlists

Plays music from the music folder on the device internal memory, or external memory if preferred, the file system can be navigated through to select music.  Music playback is loud and clear, you can skip, fast forward, rewind, pause, raise and lower volume etc.

Play Set

Settings for music:  Play mode, Equalizer and Virtual sound field.

Next menu is: Video

Free Play

Plays videos from the video folder on the device internal memory, or external memory if preferred, the file system can be navigated through to select a video.  Video playback seems ok. Standard seek and rewind functions are included. The player supports many codecs but I think some may need converting if the bitrate is too high.
Play Set

Setting for the video menu: Displaymode

(full screen or real size) Continue (off, on.)

Next menu is: Radio

Radio

The radio is well, a radio! Works fine with station lists etc.

Radio Set

Included options: Signal Strength Setting (the threshold for locking onto a station when seeking) and listening area (set mine to Europe.)

Next menu is: Recorder

Recorder

Records voice into .wav format. Works well but not too sure why they chose the format as .wav, certainly high quality recording but a conversion may be required afterward to make the filesize more manageable for long recordings.

Next menu is: Applet

Calculator

Again I was surprised with this nifty little calculator.

Stopwatch

Stopwatch countdown seems to be a bit flawed, it only counts down from 99 mins, I cant figure out how to change it, bit weird!

The actual stopwatch itself seems to work well, suitable for timing your friends as they run around the block ;)

Next Menu: Picture

No need to explain, does what is says on the tin, supports many extensions such as jpeg. Supports zoom, rotate, slideshow and you can set a background picture from here.

Next Menu: Ebook

This may interest some of you bookworms out there! Includes PDF and TXT reader (may be good for checking out game manuals you’ve downloaded for those complicated games.) Supports features like zoom, goto, bookmark, auto page turn etc.

Last but not least is System Settings

About this unit

Firmware and free space info.

Handle set

Turn on and off to register your F16 wireless controllers. Leave off to save power.

Language settings

Does what is says on the tin.

Background settings

Change background etc.

Sounds settings

Choose different sound themes for the menus.

Backlight time

This seems to control the sleep function I mentioned earlier.

Backlight settings

Backlight brightness levels.

TV Settings

Used to activate the AV out function

G-sensor set

Turn G Sensor on or off (G-Sensor only works in games not in menus)

Restore Default Settings

Do I need to explain ;)

Auto Uprade

If you place firmware files in the root of the on board memory of the device this function will automatically install them

The F16 wireless controllers!

These controllers are great! A decent rival to any gamepad i’ve tried. Once both controllers are connected to the device via the “Handle set” menu and a double click on the connect button of both controllers you can control the device wirelessly.

This works especially well if the unit is connected to a television, both controllers work upto ten metres away too.
Basically you can connect the device to your TV, sit back and watch movies, listen to music or for some real fun have a two player game with your friends!!

At this time the controllers two player function will work with CPS1, CPS2, Neo-Geo and Megadrive games. The SNES is conspicuous by its absence! I can only imagine at why SNES is not included but for the time being at least we will have to make do with these systems. Not too shabby as this is the only make of handheld to support two players AFAIK. One player wireless controller works well with every system.
The controllers are responsive and ergonomic, I really like them!

Conclusions and final thoughts

Overall the stock emulators bundled with this device will suit the needs of most gamers without the need for an upgrade. This being said the hardware will no doubt be receiving some updates either from Dingoo Tech or from the extremely intelligent and innovative homebrew community who often put handheld manufacturers to shame.

It is too soon to say just yet but I have hope for this outcome.

I did not test Playstation as I do not own any ISOs, I believe 3d would struggle but 2d would probably work ok.

I did not test MAME either, the handheld comes with a MAME emulator as stock so I assume this works ok too.

Yet to be tested are OpenBor, Java Games and DOS games. I would love to see Monkey Island 3 working on the handheld, I may try this if requested.

In the meantime the thousands of games that fit on the internal memory running on the stock emulators should be enough for even the most hardcore of retro-gamers! (I managed to get a full NES, SNES, MD, GG set on there with room for lots of top games for all the other systems, which is impressive!)

The D-pad an buttons work fine, contrary to popular belief. I was pulling off fireballs and dragon punches in SFII no problem, even without "breaking in" the D-Pad.

I have also read complaints about the shoulder buttons on previous Dingoo products and am happy to report that the shoulder buttons seemed fine to me.

The games work well but need some “homebrew love” i.e. maybe some new emulators with overclocking built in.

I am still waiting for some more technical questions to be answered by Dingoo Tech and will post here once they are received. Their representative Mark Zhu is going to pose my questions to the technical team and I will report back when I hear from him.

The unit has lots of built in features, the battery life is good (still going strong after hours of testing,) there are loads of features built in such as FM radio, Calculator, G-Sensor, PDF reader, TV out as standard, wireless controllers, two player support which make the unit great value for money.

Not to be overlooked is the fact that two A380's can actually communicate in 2 player via the server function so you can play 2 player with any friend who owns an A380 - genius! I will be sure to test this once I have more than one handheld in my possession.

Overall I give this unit the thumbs up, it is a nice little handheld with loads of character. I am quite fond of mine already and look forward to unlocking more of its already impressive ability in the future with the updates which are sure to follow.

In the meantime the stock features are definitely worth a go!
« Last Edit: July 14, 2011, 08:24:14 AM by omgmog »
"EMULATION is the whetstone of talent"

“EMULATION is the whetstone of wit.”

“EMULATION begets EMULATION.”

 - Latin Proverbs

Offline Meneer Jansen

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Re: Review of the A380
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2011, 12:59:46 PM »
Thank you for your review. Clarifies a lot from my initial confusion (see this Dingoonity topic by me). However I still have a few questions and remarks:
  • It's not one of those 'Electronix Mart' prototypes you are trying to sell, is it? He asked very stricktly.
  • Is two player gameplay possible with one F16 controller (that is: you using the DT-A380 and your friend the F16?)
  • THE single most important application in the Universe, bar NONE, is MAME!!!!!!!! How does it work?
  • Remark: 1: Beware: some developers from the community seems to have banned this device because their work was "stolen" and put to commrcial use. So what there is will probably remain all there is!
  • Remark 2: Dingux applications have to be recompiled because the 380 uses a different CPU from the 320. Today Dingoo Technology seems to have released an SDK (see this Dingoonity topic). If its of any use remains to be seen...

P.S. For all the people that can't tell the 10,000 different model numbers apart: I suggest we don't use them anymore, just use pictures see: ?
« Last Edit: June 29, 2011, 01:22:58 PM by Meneer Jansen »
Finally got me a new Dingoo after I Kentucky ~~::fried::~~ the other one. Yippee! [edit] And lost it!

Offline Emu-Lator

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Re: Review of the A380
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2011, 01:17:52 PM »
Thank you for your review. Clarifies a lot from my initial confusion (see this Dingoonity topic by me). However I still have a few questions and remarks:
  • It's not one of those 'Electronix Mart' prototypes you are trying to sell, is it? He asked very stricktly.
  • THE single most important application in the Universe, bar NONE, is MAME!!!!!!!! How does it work?
  • Remark: 1: Beware: some developers from the community seems to have banned this device because their work was "stolen" and put to commrcial use. So what there is will probably remain all there is!
  • Remark 2: Dingux applications have to be recompiled because the 380 uses a different CPU from the 320. Today Dingoo Technology seems to have released an SDK (see this Dingoonity topic). If its of any use remains to be seen...

P.S. For all the people that can't tell the 10,000 different model numbers apart: I suggest we don't use them anymore, just use pictures see: ?

Thank you for your input. This is why I bought one device to test and not 100 as some people think would be sensible.

The model is not a prototype - I have been assured!

If people have banned developing on this device then that is sad. The community needs to be on board for a device to be really successful, I can see why they would be annoyed if their work was stolen. More info on this would be appreciated!

As far as the apps side of things go I dont think your average user can recompile stuff (I can't) so somebody would have to be kind enough to release that later down the line.

MAME is something I will leave for now as the Dingoo is fully loaded with games already and repacked ready for shipping.
"EMULATION is the whetstone of talent"

“EMULATION is the whetstone of wit.”

“EMULATION begets EMULATION.”

 - Latin Proverbs

Offline jagotu

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Re: Review of the A380
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2011, 02:34:20 PM »
I don't understand one thing: Why is everybody saying "Hey! I wonn't code for a380, they stole my work, violated GNU GPL, blah blah..."? It's known that dingoo a320 default emulators WERE stolen from gpSP etc. Why it worked with a320 and it doesn't work with a380?

OK, I'm expecting that you will hate me after this post, but that's what I think...
Sorry guys for not caring about dingoonity lately. It was nice to be with you, and maybe I'll come back, but not now...

Offline Frank_fjs

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Re: Review of the A380
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2011, 02:35:39 PM »
Dingoo Digital A320 is my handheld of choice. Overall I still think it provides the best emulation experience, even if it doesn't have the features or hardware grunt of the newer devices. The software library and tools available for it really help it to outperform most of these newer devices that have been coming out.

A smart company would simply produce an A320 with extra RAM and a faster CPU that was still compatible with the current range of A320 software. So sick of seeing pointless features that add to the cost of the product significantly yet provide little actual benefit. Gyro sensors, wide screens with stupid resolutions for retro gaming etc, what a waste.

Offline Frank_fjs

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Re: Review of the A380
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2011, 02:38:34 PM »
I don't understand one thing: Why is everybody saying "Hey! I wonn't code for a380, they stole my work, violated GNU GPL, blah blah..."? It's known that dingoo a320 default emulators WERE stolen from gpSP etc. Why it worked with a320 and it doesn't work with a380?

Personally, it doesn't bother me. It's the developers of said software that are upset. The difference between the A380 and A320 is that the A320 didn't steal the software from people in this scene (PMP scene), that's probably how they got away with it, so to speak.

Offline jagotu

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Re: Review of the A380
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2011, 02:42:16 PM »
Anyway I think that because DT is lazy only changes they made were related to screen and then just compiled it with their SDK...
Sorry guys for not caring about dingoonity lately. It was nice to be with you, and maybe I'll come back, but not now...

Offline Meneer Jansen

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Re: Review of the A380
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2011, 02:54:21 PM »
Dingoo Digital A320 is my handheld of choice. Overall I still think it provides the best emulation experience, even if it doesn't have the features or hardware grunt of the newer devices. The software library and tools available for it really help it to outperform most of these newer devices that have been coming out.

A smart company would simply produce an A320 with extra RAM and a faster CPU that was still compatible with the current range of A320 software. So sick of seeing pointless features that add to the cost of the product significantly yet provide little actual benefit. Gyro sensors, wide screens with stupid resolutions for retro gaming etc, what a waste.
Couldn't agree w/ you more. Except for one thing. The A320's build quality is bad. Things on it break too easily. Meaning you have to buy a new one every once in a while. And that new LCD screen that renders all kinds of Linux kernels and unbrick tools useless. Brrrrr. I cannot buy me a new Dingoo now. Dunno which screen I'll get!

So I like the concept of an A320 like machine w/ Dinux support out of the box and improved build quality. But this flavour of Dingux? And for this price? Wouhar!  8)
« Last Edit: June 29, 2011, 02:56:37 PM by Meneer Jansen »
Finally got me a new Dingoo after I Kentucky ~~::fried::~~ the other one. Yippee! [edit] And lost it!

Offline Emu-Lator

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Re: Review of the A380
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2011, 03:15:52 PM »
I hear your concerns!

I have spoken to Dingoo Tech on MSN (good old Mark Zhu - is a nice guy) I told them to read this forum.

We all want the Dingoo products to get better so if they got more involved in the community side of things we could all be happy.

Anyway thanks for the comments guys plenty of food for thought! Dingoo Tech are actually going to have a meeting about this so who knows? maybe this means good new for all of us?

I will let you know if I hear anything else.

Suggestion for Dingoo Tech would be: heal the rift with the community by working together and tailor a product directly for the market. They are reasonable people so im sure everything will be fine :)
« Last Edit: June 29, 2011, 06:39:50 PM by Emu-Lator »
"EMULATION is the whetstone of talent"

“EMULATION is the whetstone of wit.”

“EMULATION begets EMULATION.”

 - Latin Proverbs

Offline Claudiu

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Re: Review of the A380
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2011, 10:32:49 PM »
Hi,

First of, i will like to thank you for your awesome review of the A380.

I have a question, can you turn off the two internal speekers from the system settings?

That is one of my favorite features in A320, because i was able to use my headphones with the A/V Out port :)

Hoping to see this handheld in my country as well ;)

Cheers

Offline MPQC

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Re: Review of the A380
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2011, 02:42:22 AM »
Do you think it's worth upgrading from the A320?  :D

Offline Meneer Jansen

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Re: Review of the A380
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2011, 09:11:58 AM »
Do you think it's worth upgrading from the A320?  :D
No MAME no glory! So a super duper NO to this question as far as I'm concerned.
Finally got me a new Dingoo after I Kentucky ~~::fried::~~ the other one. Yippee! [edit] And lost it!

Offline MPQC

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Re: Review of the A380
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2011, 05:23:37 PM »
Well I don't use MAME. :\

Re: Review of the A380
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2011, 11:27:29 PM »
I was half disappointed and half relieved at how things worked. On the one hand the emus all need to be windowed to a 4:3 aspect and overclocked, since the stock is underclocked to start off. But on the other hand they all worked at least and outperformed some things on the 320. I was very disappointed in the fact that the sound is terrible in almost all of the systems though, and even the music player doesn't have the same features it used to. I really liked that it could play in the background, and that the equalizers WORKED instead of just flipping through presets that don't do anything...And the picture viewer is better, but it doesn't do animated gif's anymore. Obviously these are all things that DT could do easily to the OS, but I feel they're just being really d*** lazy and justify it by saying "it wasn't a problem for us". All in all the poor thing needs an update, but it is a better build and has more potential than the 320. Hopefully the scene doesn't die for it.

 

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