We’ve been getting a lot of really cool gaming devices sent in through the mail recently, and something that got sent in to us from the folks at Gearbest is a JXD Singularity.
I’ve seen a number of portable Android based video game systems, but I’ve never seen one that looked as cool as this this. The JXD Singularity S 192 game pad has got a seven inch screen right in the dead center of the device, by the way that screen is also at 1080p
that’s right this thing is a full HD portable game system!
Now you might be thinking to yourself “boy this kind of looks like a Nintendo switch, if like Batman made it” and you wouldn’t be that wrong. The differences between a Nintendo switch and this is that the internals are going to be very different and the left and right controllers don’t actually come off like the Joy-cons do. That’s not necessarily a bad thing seeing as how I don’t think there’s any games on this platform that would require removable joy-cons.
What does matter is the quality of these controls?.
Right off the top of the bat these left and right thumb sticks work quite well combined with the face buttons. I’d honestly say that these remind me a lot of what you’d find on an Xbox 360 and Xbox one controller. The system also has some extra buttons as well, like a start and select button, menu button, back button. You’ve also got some physical volume buttons, a power button, shoulder buttons and a d-pad. The d-pad feels a little bit too squishy for my liking. The screen in the center, while also being full HD, is also a touchscreen as well.
So hows the hardware?
The JXD singularity has 32 gigs of flash memory, 2 gigabytes of lpddr3 RAM and an NVIDIA Tegra k1 quad-core chip. You can save a lot of games and programs under the system itself. If you’re planning on emulating consoles with a bunch of ROMs and iso’s and stuff, you’re probably gonna want to expand that memory. That’s when we ran into our very first problem with the device. There’s a micro SD card slot on the bottom but you just can’t use it because in our device, it didn’t work. There’s a chance you might buy this device and it will work totally fine, but for us it was an issue and we didn’t get it fixed.
I couldn’t find any software that really made use of this specific hardware one of the leading causes of this problem is that the operating system on here is locked at android 5.1.1. That’s android lollipop. We are now several generations away from that operating system so there’s a lot of issues that come with downloading software in games. A lot of things require the latest operating system and this one just isn’t up to spec anymore. One specific problem I found while trying to test out the HD screen was downloading something like Netflix; which you can’t do on here because the operating system is just too old. What we found we could do was download another storefront and download it that way and then we did get it to work in a big roundabout way but it’s just insane.
The operating system should be allowed to be updated beyond 5.1.1, but we just couldn’t do it no matter what we tried. Yes, maybe we could flash the hardware and force and install the latest operating system, but we don’t think the average consumer is ready for that. Especially when you consider that you’re spending a lot of money on getting this thing, they should have given you the ability to upgrade a lot easier.
What you can do with the singularity?
But okay, let’s put all that aside right now and talk about what you can do with the singularity. With its current operating system ,first off you’ve got a program on here called “happy chick”. Which is just kind of being one of the most illegal pieces of software I’ve ever seen pre-installed into a system. Not only does it have a bunch of emulators installed that I’m pretty sure they didn’t make or own, but they also have a whole bunch of iso’s and roms you can download from a store without any cost at all. I guarantee they don’t have the rights for any of them. The quality of emulation and roms on here is just totally inconsistent and I don’t recommend using this program at all.
Even though it’s completely free and prefilled in, I’d recommend you delete it because nothing on here works very well and if you do happen to get it to run, it will likely crash on you. It’s just a very bad experience overall so you’re not gonna use that happy chick thing. So let’s say you want to download some games from the Android store?, well you’re gonna be limited because of how old the operating system is. Some games just won’t work at all but they’re gonna be experiences like hitman sniper, which you will be able to download but for some reason, the game runs at a very low frame rate. Which is shocking because it just should run a lot better than this. At the same time you might be playing another game that seems graphically more demanding that runs just a lot better, like Grand Theft Auto San Andreas and Vice City. They ran perfect on here and they even utilized the controls without needing any additional setup.
How do the controls work with games?
Realistically all the experiences you’re gonna have on here are going to be a mixed bag. We played a TON of games and some worked quite well, and others, just didn’t. You never know what’s gonna happen until you try it, and that’s just something weird about this. Simply because you’re just using an older OS there’s also a handful of android games that you would assume would work with the built-in controls, but they just don’t. Even if you try to set them up which is really unfortunate because once that’s happened, you have to use the touchscreen to play those games which defeats the whole purpose of owning this thing. To add one more additional problem sometimes the physical controls had a little bit of a lag to them which really really sucked because even if everything was working perfectly, it just was really slow on its response which just made everything suck.
Everything changed once I tried a third party emulator!
But it was at this lowest moment that I decided to emulate some games using third-party software, and folks, this is when the system really starts to sing! You can take a whole bunch of retro games things like Atari and NES and all that stuff is gonna work great. But when you start to emulate PlayStation 1 games and N64 games, that’s when you start to have a lot of fun. The singularity being used as an emulation device is really the way to go. The screen is really nice and sharp and the resolution being as high as it is means that these games are naturally going to look better than they probably did running on their original hardware.
Now of course emulation is a tricky thing. Maybe some games won’t run as well as others but in general I found the experience to be pretty solid. To make everything even better this system has a HDMI video out which means you can play this on a nice big TV while using the system itself as a controller. Because the system is Bluetooth enabled, you can hook up a bunch of Bluetooth controllers and have a multiplayer party anywhere you go. For some of you out there this might actually be a better purchase than a Nintendo switch because it’s got a much higher resolution screen than the switch does, and it also has a much longer lasting battery at about 10,000 milliamp hours.
Honestly if you are looking to play more modern games, you’re probably better off just sticking with the switch. The JXD Singularity is a pretty cool emulation device but I really wouldn’t recommend it for basically anything else. It’s not very good at a lot of other things yeah it can run some Android games and programs but not all of them. The operating system is just a little bit too old.
At the end of the day though I really would think that this is something that a lot of gamers out there would like to have in their pocket (if they could even fit it in their pockets) personally though this thing just isn’t for me but if you like some of the emulation stuff……. we showed you on there well this one might be for you!