Today I’m going to be dishing out another review but it isn’t a game review, nope this is a look at the Supaboy S. A handheld console of the retro kind. This is a revision of the original Supaboy & it’s a handheld of my favorite Nintendo console ever. The Super Nintendo Entertainment System or as we all know it, a SNES. It is made by Hyperkin so let me start by thanking them for supplying the unit for review. Let’s get into it though shall we? There is a lot to cover for such a small device.
Usually, I start off by naming everything I like about a game and give my opinions, but today we are going to take the reverse approach since this is a console. I’m going to list all the bad before going into the good. Doing this mainly because there is little bad that I’ve noticed compared to the good. First off, let me address the horrible cartridge slot. While it is wonderfully crafted, cosmetically speaking (especially with the replica plastic flaps that would keep dust out when a game was not inserted much like the original),
When I say super tight, I mean like bear hug I-don’t-want-to-let-go tight. This has been a problem before with Hyperkin’s clone consoles of the past, most recently it was present in the Retron 5. But this isn’t as bad. You won’t ruin the pins in the cartridge slot as long as you remove the game gently. I have found lightly pushing upward on both edges in a kind of wiggling manner works best. Also, when inserting a game, you’re going to wonder if you are inserting it right. I know I did when I heard what sounds like what I can only describe as aluminum being crushed. It implies the pins giving way to the cart. Nothing more on this matter, although I would still be as gentle as I could be.
That being said, the other thing I have found is the battery life seems to be a little confused on how long it wants to last on a full charge. After 4 days of timing constant on status, I have had 4 different times of when it died. My first was an amazing 12 hours of ON time, which blew me away. The second was 9 hours. I am thinking OK, just lost a few hours not too bad. The third was 6 hours. I immediately thought it was a cheap or defective battery. However, my last and final charge was 8 hours of being on constantly.
The only variables were this: the games, and two of the four times I was actually playing the games, whereas the other two it was simply cycling through intros/sitting at title screens. So take that as you will. My assumption is a Supaboy S is going to vary in a full charge battery life from 6 to 8 hours on average. This is also considering what level you have your brightness set at, which brings me to the screen.
Yes, the screen which is to me the main focus of the revision. The original Supaboy had issues. Sometimes it was the screen going bad, others reporting their sound going out. But from what I have played neither of those things are an issue. At least not with the unit I was provided. Not only is the screen bigger and of better quality, but that goes for sound as well.
Let me tell you do NOT turn up your volume all the way on this little handheld at night unless you want to wake up the entire house. The quality of the speakers in this thing are amazing. Maybe not the best in sound quality, but volume it does and it does well. The screen has 3 different brightness levels, and a 4th that turns the screen off so when you hook it up to your television set, the battery isn’t working more than it needs to. The only drawback to the screen is since it’s a bit bigger, it slightly stretches the image. Not to an unbearable level mind you, but it is not 100% pixel perfect as they say.
I found that the feel of the Supaboy S was rather comforting. It’s not too big yet at the same time, contains enough bulk for your hands to have plenty to hold on to. Unlike the older handhelds like the Gameboy or newer ones like the 3DS or Vita, where your thumbs or fingers would touch trying to hold the console, at least for people with larger hands anyways. No fear here with that issue, you’ll have no problems with your fingers touching each other or not knowing where you can rest them.
The Supaboy S does quite a good job at giving you plenty to fondle. The buttons work as you think they would and feel almost exactly as good as an original SNES controller. Most people won’t be able to tell a difference at all, but there is a slight difference in feel. The control pad is very nice and I didn’t get an issue with sore or worn thumbs playing Street Fighter II or Killer Instinct on it.
See, as I said, more good than bad with this thing. Only a few cons so far and look at all those pros. I guess I should give just one more con then, huh? Everything I played on the Supaboy S ran without a hitch, the only major issue I had was when connected to a TV. Remember the old days of warning people not to bump the game sticking out of the top of the SNES? Mainly because it might mess it up. It may just be me, but I know I did. Well, The Supaboy S is no different. While it can sit up on its on in a kind of so-so way, lets be real here. Getting into a heated game of Mario Kart or any fighter those controllers might move around a bit, controllers that are tethered by those cord thingies.
Now I know most of you young whipper snappers will be confused at controllers having cables always attached, but the SNES controllers do. With no rubber feet or suction cups to attach to the Supaboy S, or a stand to dock it in, you have to be extra careful when connecting it to a TV. You’ll surely pull it into the floor if it’s not already, and/or cause that game to get bumped and then boom, time to reset.
It would have been nice if Hyperkin made a type of say, charging dock that connected to the Supaboy S so you could play on the TV while it charged. But, to my knowledge, no such add-on exists. In my opinion, Hyperkin did very well with the device as a whole. No handheld or console is perfect, they all have some type of flaws or issues. But thankfully as far as handhelds go, none of those issues apply to actually playing the games on-the-go. Which is what the Supaboy S is intended for.
The device charges fairly quickly, last a considerable amount of time, plays any SNES cart you throw in it, be it NTSC or PAL. Has great volume levels, you’re able to replace the battery when it needs it, and great screen quality. All around, I’d have to say, if you are a fan of retro and want to play SNES on-the-go, then this is the closest to purest form you’re gonna get it. Pick up a Supaboy S and you won’t regret it. On a scale of 1-10 I rate the Supaboy S by Hyperkin an outstanding 9/10.