EXEQ GameBox Game Boy Advance SP , Real Game Boy Advance Hardware Clone - Red
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Exeq GAMEBOX is a gaming console in the clamshell type, an analog of the iQue GameBoy portable gaming system. However, unlike the latter, Gamebox has a number of modern improvements: the screen resolution is increased to 320 * 240, the presence of an illuminated LCD screen, thanks to which you can now play in any lighting. Another important feature of Gamebox is compatibility with all Game Boy Advance games: the prefix has been tested with all types of GBA cartridges (single-player and multi-player, cartridges with different memory sizes).
Display 3 '' LCD, resolution 320 * 240 px Built-in games are not compatible with all Game Boy Advance games (single-player games and collections, cartridges with different memory sizes) Power supply lithium polymer battery with a capacity of 800 mAH Operating time without charging about 18 hours Features Compatible with games for consoles Game Boy, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance Interface Connectors Video output - AV (video + audio) General characteristics Part number VG-1632 Configuration console, network adapter, instruction, warranty card Console weight 130 g Overall dimensions of the console 83.0 * 82.0 * 25.0 mm Packing box
Charger x1 Game machine x1 Instruction manual x1
This is one of the cheap handheld clone devices that delivers on its promise. It CANNOT play Game Boy or Game Boy Color games, but it doesn't say it can -- just remember to do your research about products like this. The loss of that functionality is what makes my rating go down, not to mention incompatibility with a standard GBA SP charger. If you get the wrong regional plug (which was my mistake), you can still use a real GBA SP to charge it, or a different device using the same kind of battery. Oh well. At least it comes with a solid, long-lasting type of battery.
There's a lot more good than bad about this console. Its screen matches the brightness of a real GBA SP AGS-101 (the backlit model) and hardware emulation is perfect and played at full speed (watch out for the Sleep function of some games, however, as using this may occasionally crash the system, and depend on which game you're playing). Sound quality is good and the speaker is louder than on a real GBA SP. The power LED matches the intended function, properly turning red when power goes down.
A couple things you may have to get used to -- the lower brightness settings reduce the backlight frequency, which can cause headaches if you can't stand that (think of an old fashioned CRT monitor running at 50Hz). The effect isn't so bad though due to the low brightness of those particular settings, and if you don't like it, playing at brighter settings keeps the backlight constant. Also, the image has a slight up-and-down vibration to it, suggesting an interlaced display. That's only noticeable at some times, mostly with horizontal lines onscreen; it isn't always obvious.
The aspect ratio is 4:3, such as you'd find on an older TV, but the slight fuzziness and vertical distortion isn't very noticeable; I've gotten used to it myself and can find very little difference between this and the real thing. It shouldn't be enough to stop you from enjoying the games. Colour contrast is another thing; it isn't very good with all games, and you may notice blacks appearing as light orange-grays and other colours sort of turning pale and washed out. Occasionally but rarely, a barely noticeable light stripe can be seen moving slowly across the display, but only when looking at the darkest colours is it really noticeable. On my copy of Pokemon Ruby, these effects were visible. Metroid Zero Mission, on the other hand, has perfect blacks and whites, and there's no sign of that stripe. I guess we can't expect to really predict the functions of a clone device.
The power switch, L/R triggers, Start + Select and the brightness control are stiff. The A/B buttons and D-pad are all smooth as on an original device. Also, trying to move the screen further back than the standard "fully-open" setting will not be very smooth as it is on the original system; it feels as if the GameBox isn't meant to open that far, but nevertheless, it perfectly matches the open position of the original system and playing angles are perfect.
All games are a bit difficult to insert and eject, but nothing on my system has broken yet. Every game I've played has shown compatibility, but WATCH OUT FOR POWERFUL GAMES. If it's heavy on the RAM, like a GBA video cartridge, it may not function. Cartoon GBA carts sometimes work and sometimes don't, and movie carts do not play video at all (Shrek II always freezes after I click Play or select a chapter). I'm not sure if any regular games share this issue, because video carts are the biggest file-sized games I know of. Try games like Happy Feet to see if regular gameplay is affected; that one's a resource eating game for sure.
I haven't been able to properly use the charging and linking functions on the top with my limited equipment, so I can't testify on their ability.
In all, it's an adequate replacement for a GBA SP AGS-001 that outshines the 101 mostly with its cheap price tag, usually for around or just under £30 (about $40). Given the options without the price, I'd still call the true 101 my favourite, but the GameBox doesn't struggle to keep its head up. As far as clone/knockoff handhelds go, this clone is one of the better kinds that was constructed with care and adequate compatibility, and it meets my standards.
Just be sure to have another system in backup for your older 8-bit games. For instance, I can sure recommend Kong Feng's GB Boy Colour, another hardworking clone this time representing the Game Boy Color--but ALSO with a backlight. Who knew?!
I just don't see why anyone would buy this item. It doesn't play original gameboy or gameboy color games. If you want a handheld that will play gameboy advance games in a clamshell design, just buy a DS. They are around the same price, and play DS games as well. Its a no brained.