The best portable consoles in the UK 2023

The home console is powerful, but impossible to take it everywhere. The solution for mobility remains the portable console. Simple, light, compact and fun, the Nintendo Switch Lite dominates the category. It stands out by offering a very rich catalog of games, a new gaming experience and an excellent quality/price ratio.

Nintendo Switch Lite 1

Best value for money

Nintendo Switch Lite

The best handheld console in 2021

The Nintendo Switch Lite is the best portable gaming system on the market. In fact, it's the only one, and it has a fantastic catalog of games. The dimensions of the console will not suit large hands.

157 £ on Amazon

The main difference between the Nintendo Switch Lite and the original Nintendo Switch is that the Switch Lite is exclusively a portable console. As a result, the Switch Lite is much more compact and lighter than its predecessor. This means that the device has a smaller LCD touchscreen, measuring only 5.5 inches but still offering HD resolution (720p).

The Nintendo Switch Lite displays the same performance as the original Switch, except that the Lite model has a slightly longer battery life of around 30 min more. However, it should be noted that the Lite model does not come with Rumble HD or the IR motion camera. The device is designed to play portable games only, so it only supports Nintendo Switch games that support portable mode.

Anbernic RG350 2

Best value for money

Anbernic RG350

The best entry-level handheld console

The Anbernic RG350 continues to attract new gamers. This portable console with a retro look has nothing to envy to high-end models. In addition to the 3D game emulation function, it has the advantage of offering a rich catalog.

88 £ on Amazon

With the Anbernic RG350, you will play not only 2D (16 bits) video games, but also 3D. It has the ability to emulate the various games usually found on Super Nintendo, Megadrive, Game Boy, PS1 and Neo Geo consoles. Enjoy the presence of its integrated speaker, its translucent quality manufacturing material and its 3.5 mm headphone jack.

This portable console comes with 2,500 games available for free in its catalog. Its storage capacity reaches 16 GB, and a micro SD port allows to extend it up to 128 GB. Equipped with a 3.5-inch IPS screen with a resolution of 320 x 240 px, the Anbernic RG350 benefits from a 6-hour autonomy thanks to its 2500 mAh lithium battery. Note that the device can also serve as a video and audio player, e-book reader and camera.

PS Vita Slim PCH-2000 ZA11 3

Best high end

PS Vita Slim PCH-2000 ZA11

The best high-end handheld console

Still thinner and more powerful than other portable consoles, the PS Vita Slim PCH-2000 ZA11 is definitely the most elegant of this comparison. This Sony pocket console remains discreet and is suitable for frequent travel.

312 £ on Fnac

The PS Vita Slim PCH-2000 ZA11 has 2 analog joysticks to guarantee a very conclusive experience. Its motion detection system guarantees an easy progression during your gaming sessions. Simply touch, tilt or turn the screen to the angle of your choice. Thanks to the cross-platform options, you'll be able to play continuously from your PlayStation 3 or 4 home console and resume on your PS Vita 2000. Wi-Fi and Remote-Play are there for the taking.

In addition, you'll have to take advantage of its large 5-inch OLED screen that ensures total control of the actions performed and its 2 cameras (front and rear). You will be conquered by the quality of the color level and the definition of the screen. Easy to connect to the Wi-Fi network, download new games at any time. Also play with your friends online and in multiplayer mode.

Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Portable 4

Retro-gaming handheld console

Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Portable

The best retro-gaming handheld console

If you're looking to play Mega Drive games, the Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Portable is the must-have for doing so. This simple and affordable package comes with 80 games, and the SD card reader allows you to add lots more.

112 £ on Fnac

The Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Portable console is the same length as an iPhone 6s Plus, and about the same width. On the other hand, it is twice as thick, but fits in any jeans pocket without any problem. It has a nice white matte plastic finish that offers a nice grip. The buttons are pretty standard, but they are all nice and intuitive.

The Mega Drive Portable runs games without slowdowns. However, the screen is not perfect. The 3.2-inch size is decent, but the brightness seems a bit off. Despite this, the colors are beautiful, bold and vibrant. Battery life is solid and a full charge only takes about an hour. While the box promises 80 games, keep in mind that only 30 of them are Mega Drive games.

Buying guide • November 2023

Best portable console

Any specific needs?

The best handheld console in 2021

The best entry-level handheld console

The best high-end handheld console

The best retro-gaming handheld console

Your guide : Samuel

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Comparison table of the best portable consoles

Nintendo Switch Lite 5
Anbernic RG350 6
PS Vita Slim PCH-2000 ZA11 7
Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Portable 8
Nintendo Switch Lite
Anbernic RG350
PS Vita Slim PCH-2000 ZA11
Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Portable
The Nintendo Switch Lite is the best portable gaming system on the market. In fact, it's the only one, and it has a fantastic catalog of games. The dimensions of the console will not suit large hands.
The Anbernic RG350 continues to attract new gamers. This portable console with a retro look has nothing to envy to high-end models. In addition to the 3D game emulation function, it has the advantage of offering a rich catalog.
Still thinner and more powerful than other portable consoles, the PS Vita Slim PCH-2000 ZA11 is definitely the most elegant of this comparison. This Sony pocket console remains discreet and is suitable for frequent travel.
If you're looking to play Mega Drive games, the Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Portable is the must-have for doing so. This simple and affordable package comes with 80 games, and the SD card reader allows you to add lots more.
Screen size
5.5 inch
3.5-inch IPS
5-inch LCD
3.2 inch LCD
9.11 x 20.8 x 1.39 cm
17.1 x 9.9 x 4.9 cm
18.3 x 8.51 x 1.5 cm
16 x 6.7 x 2 cm
Internal storage
32 GB
16 GB
8 GB
Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac compatible) / Bluetooth 4.1 / NFC
USB type C, mini HDMI port and 3.5 mm jack port
Wi-fi (802.11 b, 802.11 g, 802.11n)
3,570 mAh 3 to 7 hrs
2500 mAh lithium battery6 hr
2210 mAh Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery4 - 12 hr.
Lithium-ion NP-60 1500m Ah / 6 h

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Buying guide - portable console

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How to choose your portable console

Choosing a good portable console is not always easy. Between the technical characteristics, the available colors, the designs and the brands, it is easy to get lost. In order to guide you, our team suggests that you take into account these important criteria before making your purchase.

#1 - Available games

Nintendo offers a catalog of exclusive games and gives you access to a world full of nice characters like Mario or Pokémon. Sony, on the other hand, offers you a paradise of action and racing games. In addition, some handheld consoles havean emulation system that can take over the most popular games to reproduce them and adapt them to the console of your choice. Before choosing one model or another, consider all the types of games you prefer to play.

#2 - Battery life

Like any portable device, the console has a rechargeable battery. This system is very practical due to the fact that you can take the device with you wherever you go. However, you have to take into account the capacity of the battery in order to determine its autonomy. In general, it is 4 hours on average. You will be able to increase its capacity by decreasing the brightness intensity or disabling the 3D option.

#3 - Storage

The current portable consoles have the ability to download games via a digital storefront. However, you'll need more internal memory if you plan to build up a large catalog of games. Storage capacity varies by model and brand (often from 4 to 32 GB), but in most cases it's expandable with a TF card.

#4 - Screen size

Mini handheld consoles are usually cheaper, costing a few dozen euros less than larger models. Yet they benefit from the same game catalog. So your choice will be based more precisely on what you plan to do with your handheld. An ultra-compact model

will suit you very well if you are looking for a pocket console, while to enjoy your games at their best and enjoy total immersion, prefer the larger models.

#5 - Accessories

A lot of accessories often come with your handheld console when you buy it for a richer, more immersive and more complete gaming experience. It can be a device allowing an extension of its autonomy (an additional battery), a memory card offering the possibility of storing more games, figurines to connect to the console... Note that in the case of some consoles, the compatible memory cards are proprietary.

How to maintain your portable console?

Compared to home consoles, the portable console is much more exposed (dust, shocks, falls...). Whether it is a mini or a large one, it can be carried everywhere you go. Apart from the fact that the screen can be the most risky part, the other parts of the device can also get dirty because of the grip.

For its general cleaning, first go to a well ventilated area. Start by dusting the body of the console with a low pressure blower. Do not hesitate to insist on the areas around the buttons. Indeed, some small crumbs could block them. It is recommended that you make a habit of it so that dust does not pile up.

Using a cloth dampened with a little foam, wipe the entire area around the buttons without touching the screen. It is important to use a cloth impregnated with a special screen cleaner or a wipe specifically designed for cleaning screens to maintain the screen. Note that if you choose a suitable product, it will cover it with an ultra-fine antistatic film that can maintain its cleanliness over a longer period. Likewise, a bactericidal wipe will help you disinfect the whole portable console from time to time.

The different types of portable consoles

We can classify the portable consoles in 2 distinct categories namely the new generation portable console and the retro portable console. Discover in the following article the main differences between these 2 types of models in order to facilitate your research.

New generation handheld console

This type of handheld console lets you play online multiplayer games. It is indeed a model designed specifically to meet the needs of today's gamers. It offers much the same functionality as home consoles

, except that you can use it anywhere.

In addition to being able to play anywhere, the next generation console also allows you to interact with other players online. It has Wi-Fi and often Bluetooth connectivity, a color screen that is larger than that of a Game Boy, a fast processor and a large storage memory. Some models even come with a microphone to make the gaming experience more lively. The only major drawback of this type of console is that you won't be able to play multiple games on the same terminal.

Retro handheld console


versatile, the retro handheld console gives you the opportunity to listen to your favorite music, take pictures, read e-books... besides its main function. It proves to be very practical since it offers a satisfactory autonomy varying according to the models. Generally, this type of console comes with a screen of 4 inches or even a little less

, a correct size that allows you to play classics such as Super Mario, Sonic or Mortal Kombat.

Its particularity lies in the fact that most games are displayed in 2D. The retro handheld console has very few games in its internal storage. Thus, it is essential to always have one or more game cartridges with you. In terms of price, the price can go from 30 to 150 € depending on the games integrated/available and the model.

Handheld or home console?

Portable console

The handheld console offers a wide range of games in its catalog. These are better designed and relatively more complex. It is possible to buy a particular game. For this, count between 10 and 50 €. The main function of the handheld console is to allow you to play video games, but it also has the ability to help you surf the Internet.

Regarding the design, the portable console is very compact. It is easy to carry when you are on the move. The gaming experience is always interesting, whether it has Joy-Cons or joysticks. Like the Nintendo Switch, the console can be used in the living room as well as on the go. Moreover, you will benefit from its internal memory that can store several games. The autonomy of this type of console varies from 2.5 to 6 hours depending on the use you make of it.

Living room console

Almost all video game enthusiasts will confirm that owning a home console is a great advantage. It doesn't require any upgrades and is quite easy to use. With the ability to play with friends in multiplayer mode, both online and offline, the console is quite expensive compared to the portable model. If you want to enjoy a wilder gaming experience, get the compatible wireless controllers.

Installation is very easy since you won't need any special skills. Just connect the device to the TV and start the game. For added convenience, you can connect 2 home consoles or simply add one or more controllers. Fitness, action games, simulation games... all categories of games are now available and every member of the family will find something to enjoy. It is important to specify that the home console has other functionalities such as web browsing, audio and video file playback, online streaming...


It must be said that the home console and the portable console can be complementary. Indeed, you will be able to play quietly at home while charging your handheld console and enjoy at the same time a better comfort of use. When you go out, take your handheld console with you and enjoy your favorite game. Moreover, many titles are available on both, so you can continue playing without interruption.

Why buy a portable console?

A wide variety of games

One of the biggest advantages of a handheld console is probably its huge catalog of games. There are games in all categories: adventure, simulation, combat, strategy, racing... Consoles offer many excellent games that are not available on a laptop or desktop console. Like some of the Super Mario and Mario Kart sagas for example.

Ability to play anywhere

A handheld console is designed to be carried around on the go, which offers the advantage of using it anywhere when you don't have much to do. For example, on public transportation, during a plane ride, or in the doctor's waiting room.

Better time management

With a handheld console, it's easier to find time to play than with a desktop console, which requires a lot of time. If you're studying and decide to take a break, you can quickly turn on your handheld and spend a few minutes on it. It's also easier to turn it off and get back to your work.

Compact and lightweight design

To be easily transportable, a handheld console has a compact size. It fits easily into your pocket, small bag or briefcase without taking up space. It can be carried with one hand because of its small size and light weight, but should be used with both.

More innovations

The main function of a handheld console is to play video games. But it is now possible to surf the web via wifi with modern handheld consoles. This allows gamers to meet other gamers, create communities and play together during a game.

The best brands of portable consoles

In our opinion, the best brands of portable consoles in 2022 are :


Nintendo Co, Ltd. is a Japanese multinational consumer electronics and video game company headquartered in Kyoto. The company was founded in 1889 as Nintendo Karuta by craftsman Fusajiro Yamauchi and originally made hanafuda playing cards by hand. Today, Nitendo is one of the most sought-after games on the market.

The PlayStation Vita is a portable video game console developed and marketed by Sony Computer Entertainment. It was first launched in Japan on December 17, 2011, and in North America, Europe, and other international territories starting February 22, 2012. The console is the successor to the PlayStation Portable and is part of the PlayStation brand of gaming devices. The console has an excellent reputation.

The Sega Genesis, known as the Mega Drive outside North America, is a fourth-generation 16-bit home video game console developed and sold by Sega. The Genesis was Sega's third console and the successor to the Master System. The brand is not as well known as its predecessors but has forged its reputation and produced successful items.

Microsoft is a household name in the computer and video game world. Gamers all over the world clamor for its Xboxes, which are regularly out of stock. And for the past few years, the Surface Duo has been available on the market: a tablet with two screens that has become a portable Xbox console.

Anbernic is a Chinese company specializing in the design, manufacture and distribution of retro game consoles. Founded in 2017, it has since made a name for itself with the Retrogame (RG) series, as well as its many portable game console products.

What is the price for a portable console

The diagram below will help you to get an idea of the typical prices for each price range (entry-level, mid-range and high-end).

However, more expensive does not necessarily mean better.

We therefore advise you to always consult our ranking before deciding, rather than blindly relying on price ranges.

20 £ to 50 £
50 £ to 100 £
more than 100 £
Price range diagram


Play with friends on your PS Vita portable console and your PS3 or PS4 home console

Did you know that it is possible to play multiplayer without having the same console? Just connect your PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 3 to your PS Vita portable console and interact without any difficulty.

Learn about the product


options differ from manufacturer to manufacturer and depending on the portable gaming console. If you want to avoid possible errors and blockages at all costs, educate yourself about the product. In practice, this means carefully reading the features as well as the instructions for the device at your disposal. You will learn how to use it well and of course to know its limits.

Check the compatibility of the game of your choice with the console you own


list of games compatible with each model is usually found in the user manual. You should know that not all games are always supported by your model. However, the most famous games are usually available on all platforms.

Charge your portable console before using it


means that the game console is equipped with a rechargeable battery so that it can be used. The charging time is different depending on the model, but as a general rule, it varies from 2 to 3 hours. The autonomy offered will be on average 6 hours. As soon as the device is charged, remove it immediately to preserve the state of its battery.

In order to play, install your favorite games first


must install your favorite games once you have the portable console. To do this, use an SD or micro SD card to transfer the data. Some models have Wi-Fi connectivity so you can download games directly to your console. Then just activate them and you're done.


What is the best handheld console?

The best handheld console depends on your needs and your budget. Read our buying guide for the best products out there.

How to protect the screen of your handheld console?

Just like

a smartphone screen, a handheld console screen is also fragile. Get a transparent protective film to ensure it is as resistant as possible to bumps and drops.

Can you buy an insurance for your handheld console?


, portable consoles come with a manufacturer's warranty of 12 to 24 months on average. However, you will be able to take out an insurance policy against theft, breakdown and breakage with your insurer.

How many games could you install on a handheld console?


number of games that can be installed on your handheld console depends on its storage capacity, the possibility of memory expansion, and the model and size of each game


How to maintain the battery of a handheld console?


battery in a handheld console needs to be recharged on a regular basis. You should not wait for it to discharge completely. Also, if the console is put in the closet, be sure to recharge it at least once every 6 months.


Note: Below are some of the sources we have consulted in writing this article. Links to other sites are not continuously updated. It is therefore possible that a link may not be found. Please use a search engine to find the desired information.
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See more


March 2022 : Translation of this buying guide from our partner

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Our selection
Nintendo Switch Lite 9
Nintendo Switch Lite
Anbernic RG350 10
Anbernic RG350
PS Vita Slim PCH-2000 ZA11 11
PS Vita Slim PCH-2000 ZA11
Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Portable 12
Sega Mega Drive Ultimate Portable


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