Review for the Dingoo A380Manufacturer Specs:Specifications
Model: Dingoo-Tech A380
CPU: Ingenic 4755 running at 500Mhz
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
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, PolishGaming Console Emulation Formats:
GBA\SFC\SNES\FC\NES\MD\MVS\NEO-GEO\CPS-1\CPS-2\Atari Lynx\GBC\SMS\OpenBOR\MAME\PS\Java\DOSAudio Formats:
MPEG1、MPEG2、MKV(H.264、DIVX、XVID)、AVI(H.264、DIVX、XVID)、VODOther Functions included:
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
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.)
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.
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 hereGBA (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: VideoFree 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.
Setting for the video menu: Displaymode
(full screen or real size) Continue (off, on.)
Next menu is: RadioRadio
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: RecorderRecorder
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: AppletCalculator
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 SettingsAbout 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 functionG-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!