Review Dingoo A330 Review

Another World

Emulate the Planet!
Former Staff
Jan 3, 2008
From Where???
<font color="red"> review of the...</font>

<font size="5"><font color="#000080"><b>Dingoo A330</b></font></font>

Manufactured by: Dingoo Technologies
Review by Another World - completed 5/30/2010

<b>Review Contents & Index:</b><ul><li> <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#a">Review Introduction</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#a1">- Dingoo Technologies</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#a2">- Dingoo A330 Upgrades</a></li><li> <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#b">Dingoo Information</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#b1">- Official Product Description</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#b2">- Official Product Details</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#b3">- Technical Information</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#b4">- Official Optional Game Controller Description</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#b5">- Official Emulator List</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#b6">- Homebrew Emulator List</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#b7">- Official Game List</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#b8">- Homebrew Game List</a></li><li> <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#c">Contents and Packaging</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#c1">- Dingoo A330</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#c2">- Game Controller</a></li><li> <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#d">Design and Impressions</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#d1">- Dingoo A330</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#d2">- Game Controller</a></li><li> <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#e">Set-up</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#e1">- Firmware Updating</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#e2">- Un-bricking</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#e3">- Default File Structure</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#e4">- PC Syncing</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#e5">- Charging</a></li><li> <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#f">Emulator Discussion</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#f1">- Official Native O/S Emulators</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#f2">- Official Homebrew Native O/S Emulators</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#f3">- Overclocking</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#f4">- Dingux (Dingoo Linux)</a></li><li> <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#g">Usage</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#g1">- Game Center</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#g2">- Music Hall</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#g3">- Movie Theater</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#g4">- Radio</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#g5">- Record</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#g6">- Picture</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#g7">- Library</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#g8">- T.V.</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#g9">- Browser</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#g10">- System Set-up</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#g11">- Game Controller</a>
<a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#g12">- Usage and Impressions</a></li><li> <a style="text-decoration: none;" href="#h">Conclusion</a></li></ul><div class="reviewbreak"><a name="a"></a>Review Introduction</div>
The Dingoo A330 is Dingoo Technologies' successor to the Dingoo A320. This small portable handheld gaming system is manufactured in China and distributed all over the world. The system supports a variety of retro emulators, applications, multimedia functionality, and an optional wireless game controller. The Dingoo A330 is backwards compatible with Dingoo A320 “HK” patched Native Operating System software, games, applications, and homebrew. The Dingoo A330 is approximately priced around $110 USD with the optional wireless game controller approximately priced around $30 USD.

This review will focus on changes from the Dingoo A320 in regards to new features, new casing and design, and the successful implementation of these changes. As the internal hardware is almost exactly the same as the Dingoo A320, this review will not include any new compatibility testing, set-up information, or guides.

This review is a follow-up to the Dingoo A320 review, in as much of a sense as the Dingoo A330 is a follow-up to the Dingoo A320. I recommend that users familiarize themselves with the Dingoo A320 review before reading this review.

<p><b>Dingoo A320 Review Link:</b>

Dingoo A320 Review by Another World
<a name="a1"></a><b>Dingoo Technologies:</b>
Dingoo Technologies has attempted to pull themselves away from the Dingoo Conspiracy through the release of the Dingoo A330. This new unit features the internals of the currently produced Dingoo Technologies’ Dingoo A320, with a new design and logo attempting to distinguish the Dingoo A330 as its own entity. The native Dingoo Digital applications have been removed in favor of newly compiled Dingoo Technologies offerings. The case features a new Dingoo Technologies logo on the back in place of the old “Paw” print logo, and the firmware has a new theme further distinguishing it from the Dingoo Digital A320. I commend Dingoo Technologies on their attempt to “do their own thing” but fault them for the poor execution of a device with such potential. Dingoo Technologies clearly has a great concept but as a company it is my opinion that they need to spend more time with design, development, and product testing.

<a name="a2"></a><b>Dingoo A330 Upgrades:</b>
The Dingoo A330 features almost the exact same internals as the Dingoo A320, with only two mentionable improvements. The Dingoo A330 has been upgraded from 32 MB of RAM to 64 MB of RAM. Currently, only a Dingoo A330 specific build of Dingux is making use of the extra RAM. Support for larger files, bigger games, etc, is the expected result of this improvement. The 2.4 GHz wireless receiver is the second mentionable improvement. This receiver accepts transmissions from an official optional wireless game controller. Due to a hardware limitiaton there is no two player support from either two controllers or a combination of one controller and the Dingoo A330.

The Dingoo community has speculated that the Dingoo A330 features a better display which supports 16 million colors over the alleged previously used 65 thousand color display. I can not comment on the factuality of these claims and a side-by-side real time comparison of the same files running on both a Dingoo A320 and a Dingoo A330 looked identical.

<div class="reviewbreak"><a name="b"></a>Dingoo Information</div>
<a name="b1"></a><b>Official Product Description:</b><ul><li>Games - Play games in 8 bit, 16 bit, 32bit. Support for thousands of GBA, SFC, SNES, FC, NES, MD, MVS, NEO-GEO, CPS1, CPS2, LynGOO, GBC, SmsGOO games.</li><li>AV-OUT - AV-OUT technology gives you DVD output quality. Console can be connected with TV thus you can either enjoy playing games or watching movies.</li><li>2.4 GHz Wireless Receiver - With 2.5 GHz Wireless Receiver module built-in, equipped with specialized 2.4 GHz Wireless Game Controller.</li><li>Video Player - Video function supports in various formats such as RMVB, RM, AVI, WMV, FLV, MPEG, DAT, MP4, ASF and help users encode video files in an easy and convenient way.</li><li>MP3 Player - Audio function supports MP3, WMA, APE, FLAC audio format, synchronous lyrics display function, multiple EQ options, 3D virtual sound field, surround sound effect and play mode options. Music can keep playing while using other application.</li><li>FM Radio - Wide channel range from 76.0Mhz-108.0MHz, support manual/auto channel scanning and can keep playing while using other application. FM recording function available. User can save up to 40 channels.</li><li>Digital Recorder - HI-FI voice recording and supports MP3/WAV formats.</li><li>Image Browser - Image browsing formats includes JPG, BMP, GIF, PNG, with zoom, rotate and image slide show function.</li><li>E-book - Further functions include bookmark, auto browsing, font sizing, TTS oral reading. You can read while playing music.</li><li>U-Disk Virus Protection - Built-in anti-virus software protects and keeps the system at its best performance</li><li>USB 2.0 Transmission Interface - Support Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, and Mac Operating Systems.</li><li>Capacity - 4 GB internal memory. Supports insert Mini-SD card to expand capacity.</li></ul><a name="b2"></a><b>Official Product Details:</b><ul><li>Game - Support 3D and 10000+classical (8 bit/16 bit/32 bit) games.</li><li>Voice Format - Support RM, RMVB, MP4, 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPE, DAT, FLV, MPEG, MPG format.</li><li>Music Format - Support MP3, WMA, APE, FLAC, RA, etc, format.</li><li>Picture Format - Support JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP, etc, format.</li><li>Sound System - Normal I, Jazz, Rock, Classic, Vocal, Bass</li><li>Broadcast System - Multi broadcast model, shuffle, shuffle repeat, normal, repeat track, repeat all.</li><li>LCD - 2.8 inch color LCD, 1600 million colors (320x240 pixels).</li><li>Recorder - MP3 record function.</li><li>SD Card - SD Card connection</li><li>PC Connect - USB 2.0 (High Speed).</li><li>Software - Download software support.</li><li>Wireless Receiver - With 2.4 GHz wireless receiver</li><li>Software Supported System - Windows 98, 2000, XP (Windows 2000, XP, 7, or up).</li><li>THD - <u><</u> 3%</li><li>Max Output Frequency - <u>></u> 10mW x2</li></ul>At this point one should note that each list above is contradicting the other. The product description states that the voice recorder supports both MP3 and WAV formats, but the product details list only states MP3 support. The product description states that Mini-SD support is included while the product details list states only SD support. The product details list has an entry for “voice format” which I must assume, based on the listing, should read “video format”. The product description for video format includes WMV and ASF, while the product details listing does not include those and further adds 3GP and MOV. The product details listing includes RA as a supported music format, a format missing from the product description listing. The product description includes the Mac Operating System as a supported method for syncing the Dingoo A330, yet the product details does not and further adds Windows 98.

The box and manual contain “Engrish” language and misspelled words. It is one thing for a company to not seek out a native English speaker for help or to spell check, and it is something completely different to contradict ones own product descriptions. The argument can be made that separate people or companies compiled each list. However, I must ask why Dingoo Technologies did not proof read the packaging and materials before they went to print.

The Product list includes two homebrew community Native O/S emulators. I was unable to receive confrimation that Dingoo Technologies received permission to include these emulators. They have stated that these emulators were to be included in ad campaigns and in the official product description. However, at the time of shipment they have not been included on the internal 4 GB of memory with the default Native O/S emulator pack, yet they are officially listed on the back of the box.

<a name="b3"></a><b>Technical Information:</b>
The following list of information has been compiled from research conducted for this review. This information may be incorrect.<ul><li>CPU - Ingenic JZ4732 @ 336MHz, reported to clock up to 470MHz (MIPS architecture) </li><li>RAM - 64 MB</li><li>Internal Storage - 4 GB flash</li><li>Additional Storage – Mini-SD (microSD/SDHC via adapter) </li><li>Input - D-Pad, 2 shoulder buttons, 4 face buttons, Start and Select buttons, Microphone</li><li>Outputs - Stereo Speakers, Headphone Jack, and TV-out w/ included cable </li><li>I/O - USB 2.0</li><li>Display - 2.8" color LCD, 320x240 resolution, 16 million colors</li><li>Software Support - Free official and unofficial SDKs Available</li></ul><a name="b4"></a><b>Official Optional Game Controller Description:</b><ul><li>For Dingoo A330 handheld game player</li><li>Built-in 2.4 GHz wireless transmitter, adapt for remote controlling Dingoo A330 handheld game player</li><li>Uses 2xAA alkaline batteries</li><li>Working distance up to 8m, maximum is 10m</li><li>6-axis inductive movement function</li><li>Channel-mating function between the game pad and the receiver</li><li>Rubberized grips providing a comfortable feeling when used</li></ul><a name="b5"></a><b>Official Emulator list:</b><ul><li>3D </li><li>CPS1 </li><li>CPS2 </li><li>GBA </li><li>Neo Geo </li><li>NES</li><li>Sega Mega Drive/Genesis </li><li>SNES</li></ul><a name="b6"></a><b>Homebrew Emulator list:</b>
New homebrew compiled emulators are released often, this list may be incomplete.<ul><li>Amiga 500</li><li>Amstrad CPC</li><li>Atari 2600</li><li>Atari 5200</li><li>Atari 7800 </li><li>Atari 800 8-bit computers </li><li>Atari Lynx </li><li>Atari ST</li><li>ColecoVision </li><li>Commodore C64</li><li>DOS </li><li>Dreamcast VMS</li><li>Intellivision</li><li>Magnavox Odyssey 2 </li><li>MAME</li><li>Mikie arcade</li><li>MSX </li><li>Neo Geo Pocket </li><li>Nintendo Entertainment System</li><li>Nintendo Game Boy</li><li>Nintendo Game Boy Advance </li><li>Nintendo Game Boy Color </li><li>Nintendo Virtual Boy </li><li>Pacman Arcade</li><li>PC Engine (TG-16) </li><li>PlayStation 1 </li><li>Sega Game Gear</li><li>Sega CD</li><li>Sega Master System </li><li>Sega Mega Drive/Genesis</li><li>Super Nintendo</li><li>Thomson TOx</li><li>TI Calculator</li><li>TI-99 Calculator</li><li>Wolf3D</li><li>WonderSwan</li><li>WonderSwan Color </li><li>ZX Spectrum</li></ul><a name="b7"></a><b>Official Game list:</b>
Please note that the "Dingoo Digital" software has been removed from this release. The Dingoo A330 includes ten all new "Dingoo Technologies" software releases, where the Dingoo A320 included only 8 official titles.<ul><li>1Zhao Yun Chuan</li><li>Centipede</li><li>E-base plate</li><li>Landlords</li><li>Ming Qi</li><li>Monopoly</li><li>Puzzle Bobble</li><li>Racing</li><li>Rupee Rupee</li><li>Sudoku</li></ul><a name="b8"></a><b>Homebrew Game list:</b>
New homebrew compiled games are released often, this list may be incomplete.<ul><li>AstroLander</li><li>Chip World</li><li>Doom</li><li>Duke Nukem 3D</li><li>Formula1 </li><li>Manic Miner </li><li>MineSweeper </li><li>Quake</li><li>Rick Dangerous </li><li>Rubido</li><li>SameGoo</li></ul><div class="reviewbreak"><a name="c"></a>Contents and Packaging</div>
This section will contain information for both the Dingoo A330 and the optional wireless game controller.

<a name="c1"></a><b>Dingoo A330 Contents:</b><ul><li>1x Dingoo A330</li><li>1x mini-USB cable</li><li>1x USB-to-Wall charger adapter</li><li>1x AV-OUT cable</li><li>1x Ear-bud headphones</li><li>1x English Manual booklet</li></ul><b>Packaging:</b>
The Dingoo A330 ships in a thin matte finish cardboard box. The box measures approximately 7 and ½ inches by 3 and ½ inches by 4 and ½ inches. The box is dressed up with glossy images of the included black shell colored unit, the optional game controller, and an official product description listing. The box interlocks on the bottom to form a flimsy seal, while the top folds into self and is secured by a cardboard tab. My reseller shipped the box flat to help save space and to ensure I received the materials for this review. I can not comment on the security of the box as shipped within a common bubble mailer. I have to assume it would hold up just as well as the Dingoo A320, which ships in a smaller but similar style cardboard box. The Dingoo A330 itself ships in a Styrofoam bag that is placed inside a double folded cardboard insert. There is no way for the Dingoo A330 to shift during shipment, which makes this a much more secure method than the cardboard shelf used for the Dingoo A320.

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The Dingoo A330 comes with 4 GB of internal NAND memory. In order to access this memory the user must make use of the included mini-USB cable. I connected the Dingoo A330 to both a Windows 2k and Windows XP machine. I experienced no problems when interfacing the Dingoo A330 with the Operating Systems. The Dingoo A330 has a special AV-OUT female connector on the bottom of the unit, which doubles as an extra headphone jack. The universal plug has flip-out prongs, much like modern day Nintendo adapter plugs. The Dingoo plug itself is just a head unit which must be attached to the mini-USB cable. Users can charge the Dingoo A330 using a wall socket or by a powered USB port.

Under the Dingoo A330 are individually wrapped accessories, including the mini-USB cable, ear-bud style headphones, wall charger head unit, and the AV-OUT cable. Each piece is secured inside of, what feels like, a static free package bag.

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<a name="c2"></a><b>Game Controller Contents:</b><ul><li>1x Optional Wireless Game Controller</li><li>1x Manual Booklet (1 side in English, 1 side in Chinese)</li></ul><b>Packaging:</b>
The optional game controller ships in a thin matte finish cardboard box. The box measures approximately 9 inches by 3 and ¼ inches by 6 and ¼ inches. The box is dressed up with glossy images of the game controller and an official description list. The box folds across itself using cardboard “teeth” to form a moderately secure base, the top of the box folds into itself and is secured by a cardboard flap. The optional game controller rests security in a form fitting plastic holder. The plastic is very thin but will keep the controller from moving freely inside the package. There is hardly any crush proof security for this package, and I recommend that users contact their resellers to establish what type of shipping containers are used. I would not want this controller to arrive in a common bubble mailer, for example.

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<div class="reviewbreak"><a name="d"></a>Design and Impressions</div>
<a name="d1"></a><b>Dingoo A330:</b>
The Dingoo A330 is sold in a two-tone black and silver shell, the silver color splits the top from the bottom of the shell. The unit measures approximately 5 and ¼ inches by 2 and ¼ inches by ½ inch. The top and bottom halves of the shell have a clear glossy finish which quickly and easily picks up finger prints. The LCD is under the shell and protected by a thick clear plastic layer. The speakers are located on the back side under a contoured raised meshed area. The Dingoo A330 features a wrist strap area located on the bottom right hand corner of the shell.

The Dingoo A330 has the exact same inputs as the Dingoo A320. Users will find the familiar left and right shoulder buttons, start and select buttons, a directional pad, and 4 gaming buttons titled A, B, X, Y. The bottom of the unit has a mini-USB plug, a Mini-SD slot, and an AV-OUT female connector. The left side of the unit has an emergency reset button and a microphone. The right side of the unit has a headphone jack and the power slide switch.

The Dingoo A330 is approximately 2/8ths of an inch wider than the Dingoo A320. The Dingoo A330 fits comfortably in a front pocket and can easily be carried in a variety of cases. The Dingoo A330 is using a new “PSP” influenced design, protective cases may not fit this new design and may not offer cut-outs for the newly placed internal speakers.

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The Dingoo A330 is the same width as the bottom half of the NDS Lite. The unit fits perfectly into the Game Boy Micro bag and hardly takes up any pocket space.

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The Dingoo A330 feels slightly heavier than the Dingoo A320. The extra weight of the unit gives a false impression of a higher build quality. While the unit does feel sturdy it suffers under the weight of heavy thick clear plastic buttons. The buttons feel as though their design was borrowed from a $1 children’s toy. The shoulder buttons are ¼ inch thick rectangular plastic boxes, they are uncomfortable to use and feel cheap. At times I have pressed them quickly, while gaming, and paused to make sure the heavy button did not damage anything after an extremely loud “clicking” sound. I have received confirmation by a few users that their shoulder buttons have broken or malfunctioned after less than 30 minutes of play time. The A, B, X, Y buttons are made from the same thick material as the shoulder buttons. At first glace they look very professional, they are clear and a colored letter appears deep within the plastic. However, they tend to stick or rise out slowly after a button press. They can also catch along the side of the casing and make a loud clicking noise at unexpected times. The Start and Select buttons are made of the same materials, they are very thick, and have the same loud clicking sound. The Start and Select buttons can be painful to press if they are hit from the wrong angle. I have quickly pressed these buttons with the edge of my thumbs and experienced a sharp nerve-ending pain. The d-pad suffers from the same problems that plagued the Dingoo A320, and this is not surprising as the Dingoo A330 uses the same internals as the Dingoo A320. As a result my first few hours of gaming were ruined by the lack of the UP+LEFT diagonal position.

Dingoo Technologies is secretly telling retailers that the buttons need to be “broken in". When those words are used I instantly think of cheap junk that I do not want to spend my money on. I will admit that after aggressively abusing the d-pad it appears to be more responsive in regards to the previously mentioned diagonal position issues. It is by no means perfect, but I am experiencing less of an issue then when I first began to test out this new system.

Clearly Dingoo Technologies has a great concept and they are attempting to corner the market with a “do it all” affordable handheld portable gaming system. The big issue here is the execution of this system and the obviously poorly tested design. I will not fault this system for being a rebranded and re-shelled Dingoo A320, but I will fault the company for not making changes. Resellers and users have been complaining about the d-pad issue since the first Dingo A320, and the company has never addressed the issue. One can only hope that their next design actually fixes these issues by implementing quality buttons and a sensitive and responsive directional pad.

The Dingoo A330 uses the same internals as the Dingoo A320 “HK” revision, with the only confirmed upgrades being more RAM and the 2.4 GHz wireless receiver. This means that all Dingoo A320 applications will need to be patched to work on this unit, patching extends to older homebrew software as well. The native Jungletac ROMs which ran in the Dingoo A320 GBA EMU will not work on the Dingoo A330, they freeze at the “loading” screen. Additionally the A330 has the same Neo Geo sprite scaling issue as the Dingoo A320 “HK” revision. This issue results in garbled graphics for any sprite which is rotated or scailed, and can be seen on the Neo Geo BIOS logo as well as in most games.

The reset button is placed down and to the right of the access hole. This placement causes it to be harder to hit and usually requires 3 or 4 tries to find the exact spot to reset the Dingoo A330.

The speakers have been moved to the back of the unit and this is not for the better. The speakers have the same sound quality as on the Dingoo A320. They are still good for gaming and continue to sound metallic with audio or video at moderate to high volumes. Their new position means that the user’s hands will usually cover the 14 holes which have been pressed through the shell to allow the audio to escape. I find that normal gaming is now enjoyed at 90% to 100% volume where on the Dingoo A320, and its bottom placed speakers, I could comfortable keep the volume at 50% to 60%.

The LCD screen is bright and I can not see a difference between the Dingoo A330 and the Dingoo A320. Users have speculated that the Dingoo A330 has a better LCD, and from a side-by-side comparison I was unable to confirm this. The underside of the clear plastic LCD protective layer has black paint or plastic flashing left over from the manufacturing process. The top right area of the LCD has a line about ¼ of an inch wide of faulty pixels. While these issues are probably only present on my test unit, this unit did come from a retail shop and was not hand picked in any way. This is a serious problem that any user could expect to experience and thus be forced to spend time trying to argue their way to a replacement.

The Dingoo A330 has a strong pungent odor of paint and plastic. The odor of the outer shell sticks to my fingers and I can smell it on my hands even after washing up. After a week of sitting out the smell has somewhat dissipated but it is still present and just as revolting.

<a name="d2"></a><b>Game Controller:</b>
The optional game controller is sold in a flat black matte finish with rubberized grips. The game controller measures approximately 6 inches by 1 and ½ inches by 4 and ½ inches. The unit has a directional pad, two directional sticks, L1, L2, R1 and R2 shoulder buttons, Start and Select buttons, 4 face buttons titled A, B, X, Y, and a radio transmitter syncing button. The back of the game controller has an on/off switch and an area to place two AA alkaline batteries. The front center of the controller has a see through blue plastic Dingoo Technologies logo.

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The controller looks, feels, and responds like a 3rd party X-BOX controller. The directional pad is rather responsive and the buttons are sufficient enough for an enjoyable gaming sessions. The controller feels comfortable and did not cause any cramping while gaming.

The left directional stick doubles as a second d-pad by mirroring the same UP, RIGHT, DOWN, and LEFT movements. The right direction stick mirrors the four face buttons, where UP is X, RIGHT is A, and so-on. The box states that the controller has a 6-axis control scheme, but there is currently no software on the Dingoo to test this.

The Dingoo A330 only supports 1 controller at a time through a hardware limitation. There will never be support for 2 player games or co-op play of any sort on the Dingoo A330's current hardware revision. The controller does have a blacked out area on the top that looks to be a manufacturing cutout for LED position lights, hinting that perhaps up to 4 players would be supported by a firmware revision and the optional game controller. It was explained to me by the Dingoo A330 Dingux porter that the hardware limitation comes down to the button switches. The game controller accesses the hardware directly, as though the button was pressed on the Dingoo A330 itself. After the button is pressed there is no hardware to flip the switch back off. If a second controller were to press the same button that button press would not be recognized.

The controller works well within a 30 foot range. I was able to game from across the room with no issues. Once I stepped outside a 40-50 foot area the controller’s signal was delayed, where the Dingoo A330 respond to button presses a fraction of a second later.

Anyone who picks up the Dingoo A330 will want the optional game controller. Using the controller does tether the unit to a T.V. but it helps to offset the directional pad and button problems of the Dingoo A330. The controller also makes the Dingoo A330 the smallest gaming console in my collection! Recent news from the porters behind Dingux states that they are now able to access the TV-OUT chip from outside the Native O/S. I remain hopeful that I will eventually be playing Dingux related emulators on my television.

<div class="reviewbreak"><a name="e"></a>Set-up</div>
I have scanned the English manuals for both the Dingoo A330 and the optional game controller. Before setting-up the device, users should familiarize themselves with both manuals.

<p><b>Dingoo A330 and Game Controller English Manuals:</b>

Dingoo A330 English Manual 5.13 MB
Dingoo A330 Game Controller English Manual 690 KB
<a name="e1"></a><b>Firmware Updating:</b>
The Dingoo A330 supports custom firmwares, a Linux port, and its official Operating System. To discuss each of these would be too great of an endeavor, so this review will focus on the official Native O/S. The Dingoo A330 comes preinstalled with the latest official Native Operating System, version 1.2. This revision features the Y+B button fix and new multi-language support. There is no reason to downgrade the firmware to an older Dingoo A320 version, users who find they need to reinstall the Dingoo A330 v1.2 themed firmware can find the file linked below. Users who wish to use the old theme can install the Dingoo A320 v1.2 themed firmware. Users are advised to research un-bricking methods before attempting to re-flash their Dingoo A330.

<p><b>Dingoo A320 Official Native O/S v1.2 File:</b>

Dingoo A320 v1.2

<b>Dingoo A330 Official Native O/S v1.2 File:</b>

Dingoo A330 v1.2

Please Note:
• The Dingoo A330 makes use of the Dingoo A320 "HK" hardware, both firmware files will work on either system.
• The Dingoo A330 Official Native O/S v1.2 file uses a new theme. Flashing with the Dingoo A320 firmware file will install the old theme.
• The Dingoo A330 Official Native O/S v1.2 file uses a new power-on and power-off animation, different from the animation which came preinstalled.
Updating instructions:<ol type='1'><li>Extract the contents of the archive to your local harddrive</li><li>Connect the Dingoo A330 to your computer using the included mini-USB cable</li><li>Place the A330.HXF file into the internal 4 GB ROOT directory</li><li>Disconnect the USB cable and turn off the Dingoo A330</li><li>Press and hold Down on the directional pad while powering up the Dingo A330</li><li>The Dingoo A330 will immediately start the update process</li><li>After the update is complete, navigate to the last menu option and then arrow down 5 lines and press right. From this menu select “English”</li></ol><a name="e2"></a><b>Un-bricking:</b>
Custom firmware updating can present itself as problematic on the Dingoo A330. Other instances may also arise which could result in a bricked hardware.

Un-bricking can be a time consuming issue with some handhelds; thankfully the Dingoo A330 is relatively easy to un-brick. The Dingoo A330 uses the Dingoo A320 “HK” version hardware. The official un-bricking tools are unsupported and will not un-brick the “HK” hardware. The community hacked universal un-bricking tool is the only supported un-bricking alternative.

Before attempting to un-brick a Dingoo A330, specific instructions must be followed. There are reported issues with 64 bit Operating Systems and the un-bricking tool drivers, the drivers appear to be 32 bit and unsigned. I leave further research up to the user and I have compiled some links which should provide help the user.

<p><b>Un-bricking Tool:</b>

Universal (All Version) Dingoo A320 un-bricking tool 12 MB

Remember: the Dingoo A330 uses the Dingoo A320 "HK" hardware
There are a few different guides for un-bricking the Dingoo and I recommend that users poke around <a href=" for more information.

<p><b>Additional Information:</b>

Dingoo “HK” information
Custom Firmware Flashing Guide (includes unbricking information)
After un-bricking, users may want to return their Dingoo A330 back to the factory file structure. The first link below contains the default files as found on Dingoo Technologies’ Dingoo A330. The second link contains Dingoo A320 “HK” pre-patched files, most of which can be executed on the Dingoo A330.

<p><b>Default Software Packs:</b>

Dingoo A330 Default Software Pack 54.4 MB
Dingoo A330 (Dingoo A320 "HK" hardware univeraslly patched) Software and Homebrew Pack 99.3 MB by Dingoo-Digital-USA
The “HK” patch has been added into the unofficial Dingoo SDK, future homebrew projects which use the updated SDK will be pre-patched when compiled.

<a name="e3"></a><b>Default File Structure:</b>
The Dingoo A330 has been stripped of all copyrighted Dingoo Digital Dingoo A320 software, applications, and games. The native Jungletac ROMs which ran in the Dingoo A320 GBA emulator have been officially removed. The native .APP games found on the Dingoo A320 have also been officially removed, but these files have been replaced with 10 new offerings. The folder structure is virtually identical to the Dingoo A320, only the previously mentioned files and the Chinese FM.ini file have been removed. Dingoo Technologies has, not so cleverly, renamed ROM files as “demos” and placed them into organized directories. These directories will be included in the list below as they are present on the factory flashed Dingoo A330.

<!--c1--><div class='codetop'>CODE</div><div class='codemain'><!--ec1-->| + FLASH
| + GAME
| + TXT
| + VIDEO<!--c2--></div><!--ec2-->
The “Flash” directory holds .SWF files for playback. The “Game” directory holds the Native Operating System’s emulators, application, and default illegal retail ROM files. Native emulators use a .SIM extension while 3D games and applications use an .APP extension. The ”Music” directory holds audio files for playback. The “Picture” directory holds all supported image formats. The “Record” directory stores voice recorded files made using the onboard microphone. The “TXT” directory holds text files and E-books. The “Video” directory holds the supported video format files for playback.

The following emulators are included by default:<ul><li>CPS1 - Capcom Play System 1 (.Zip MAME ROMs)</li><li>CPS2 - Capcom Play System 2 (.CP2 converted MAME format, XOR decryption tables are required)</li><li>GBA - Nintendo's Gameboy Advance (.GBA)</li><li>MD - Sega's MegaDrive/Genesis (.SMD)</li><li>MVS - NeoGeo (.VMS converted MAME format)</li><li>NES - Nintendo Entertainment System (.NES)</li><li>SFC - Super Famicom (.SMC)</li></ul>The Neo Geo emulator requires the bios file archive. The bios files are copyrighted and users may need to locate these files on their own. Once acquired the file is placed inside of the "GAME" directory and must remain zipped.

CPS2 and Neo Geo ROMs require converting in order to function with the included default emulators. CSP2 ROMs also require compatible XOR decryption tables. All required applications can be downloaded from the following links.

<p><b>ROM Conversion Software</b>

CSP2 English Translated Converter (+XOR Decryption Tables) 77.2 MB
CSP2 English Translated Converter Only 45.1 KB
NeoGeo Converter Tool MOD (With Example Text) 390 KB
The Neo Geo VMS MOD emulator adds support for accessing the dip-switch menu. Sadly the uni-bios are not supported by the official Dingoo A320 Neo Geo emulator, yet the VMS MOD's functionality remains useful with the standard bios files. The following file has been pre-patched for the Dingoo A330’s hardware revision. This same file can be used on the Dingoo A320 “HK” build.

Neo Geo MOD EMU (pre-patched) 309 KB
<a name="e4"></a><b>PC Syncing:</b>
Windows 2k and XP should recognize the China Chip drivers automatically. Windows Vista and 7 should also recognize the drivers automatically. It has been reported by users that Linux fails to see the internal memory and expansion slots as USB drives and attempts to access the hardware directly. I tested only using Windows 2k and XP and had no problems. The unit connected each time, the first time, and I was able to access both “drives” simultaneously.

Files can be added to the Mini-SD card expansion slot. The expansion slot supports up to 8 GB Mini-SD or microSD/SDHC via a Mini-SD adapter, however, users have reported 16 GB SDHC cards as fully working.

After files have been accessed and the unit has been safely removed from the Operating System, the Dingoo’s Native O/S will scan for new files automatically. This can become annoying when storing numerous amounts of music files with ID3 tags. The Native O/S will not only scan for new files you have loaded but will rescan every ID3 music file each and every time it is unplugged from the USB port.

Following the scan of new files and music the Dingoo A330 boots back into the Native O/S.

If you connect the Dingoo A330 to a computer and hold down the B button, the China Chip drivers will be removed from the computer system. Users may have to perform this step more than once to remove all related drivers from their system. This can be used as a debugging tool if the computer has issues with the included drivers and as a necessary step before running the universal un-bricking tool.

<a name="e5"></a><b>Charging:</b>
It has been reported that the Dingoo A330 ships with the same 1700/1800 mAH 3.7 volt Li-Ion rechargeable battery pack as the Dingoo A320 "HK" build. Placed under the rubber feet are 4 tiny screws which hold the shell together. In case a replacement is required, the battery is on the bottom side and should face forward making it easy to read any manufacturing markings.

The following guide was written for the Dingoo A320 and most aspects can be applied to the Dingoo A330.

<p><b>For users who wish to replace their battery:</b>

Dingoo A320 Disassembly Guide
The Dingoo A330 can be recharged from a powered USB port or by using the included AC adapter. The adapter is of Chinese make with Chinese characters on the label and two equally sized universal plugs. The metal plugs fold out and away from the body of the adapter. The adapter uses the Mini-USB cable as an electrical cord, one end fits into the back of the adapter and the other end into the Dingoo A330.

I have charged using both methods and found that the adapter results in a faster recharge. Fully charging the unit using the adapter takes around 3-4 hours. After the Dingoo A330 is fully charged playtime will range between 4-8 hours. The length of uptime depends on what the user is doing. 8 bit and 16 bit gaming appear to use the least amount of power, while arcade emulation and movies use power more quickly. However, I have managed to watch a 2hr movie and then game for 4 hours, and the unit continued to show battery life.

When the battery runs out of power the Dingoo A330 will shut itself off. When charging the unit is fully accessible. During wall charging, if the unit is left alone a green battery icon will appear. When the unit is fully charged the green battery icon will cease to animate and remain on the screen. Users who worry about LCD burn-in may not want to charge the unit over night, because the still image of the fully battery will continue to be displayed. During USB charging the unit displays a “+” symbol towards the very right of the power bars. The “+” will only be displayed after de-syncing the unit from the Operating System, during a sync the “USB” icon will be displayed. However, when charging through a powered USB port the screen will turn off as per the backlight settings.

When the unit is plugged into any power source it is impossible to shut it off. If the unit is powered down it will act as a soft-reset and power back up into the charging mode.

The included charger tends to get hot quickly and on occasion will emit a warming plastic/electrical fire odor. I honestly do not trust this charger, and only used it a handful of times while collecting data for this review. I am currently making use of a USB charger that came with a MP3 player. The Dingoo itself gets warm, on the back side where the battery is located, while charging. It appears to get warmer while using the included charger than other alternative charging methods.

<div align='center'>
<div class="reviewbreak"><a name="f"></a>Emulator Discussion</div>
Official Native O/S .SIM emulators support an associated file system. ROMs can be located anywhere on the internal or external storage media. Users simply click on a ROM and it will be automatically emulated based on file extension. This is a very useful feature which allows the file structure to remain organized. Additionally, time is saved while the user is not forced to load an emulator first and then browse for appropriate ROM files. Many Native Homebrew emulators have embraced this methodology, making the integration of new emulators into the Native O/S as easy as dragging and dropping.

The 3D emulation supports a variety original Dingoo Digital .APP titles. Homebrew authors have used this area to host Native O/S applications and games. The included titles include puzzle games, an R.P.G., and more. The Dingoo Technologies titles are not as impressive as the Dingoo Digital A320 offerings. The Dingoo A330's titles appear to be quickly put together hacks or ports of pre-existing buggy software. Unfortunately most of the Dingoo A330 native games are in the Chinese language and a few games can not be soft-reset back to the firmware. The Dingoo A320 files were translated to English and optimized for the hardware. Files with the .APP extension can not be associated with other files, emulators running in this mode will usually present the user with a list of compatible ROMs (IE: Native O/S MAME4ALL).

Official Native O/S GBA games with the .JGC extension have been removed from the Dingoo A330. These games are not supported on the Dingoo A320 “HK” build, and thus will freeze on “loading” during Dingoo A330 execution. There is currently no way to get these files working on the Dingoo A330.

Official, and some Homebrew, Native O/S .SIM emulators offer an in-game menu. This menu can be accessed by pressing Start+Select at any time during emulation. The menu provides options features such as volume adjustment, frame skip settings, saving, loading, soft-resetting back to the Native O/S, button remapping, and more.

<div align='center'>
<a name="f1"></a><b>Official Native O/S Emulators:</b>
It is very difficult to discuss emulator compatibility when so many emulators are available for testing. Focusing on just the official Native O/S emulators there are more than five thousand ROMs to run tests on. Instead of a detailed compatibility list I will talk about each emulator and mention a few interesting or key points.

<b>CPS1 - Capcom Play System 1</b>
Most CPS1 games are fully playable. The Dingoo A330 does not currently have a way to connect two units together or to make use of more than 1 game controller, so there is no co-op play available. I have tested 34 games and only experienced the occasional graphic glitch. Games must be left in their original .Zip MAME format.

[title:Partial list of working N. American CPS1 ROMs]
1941 - Counter Attack
Dynasty Wars
Final Fight
King of Dragons, The
Knights of the Round
Punisher, The
Street Fighter II - Champion Edition
Street Fighter Zero
U.N. Squadron
Warriors Of Fate
<b>CPS2 - Capcom Play System 2</b>
CPS2 ROMs must be converted using a Windows based software application, and .Zips must include compatible XOR decryption tables. Most CPS2 ROMs are fully playable. The occasional graphic glitch or unsupported game does exist.

[title:Partial list of working N. American CPS2 ROMs]
19XX - The War Against Destiny.
1944 - The Loop Master
Alien vs. Predator
Armored Warriors
Darkstalkers - The Night Warriors
Dungeons & Dragons - Shadow over Mystara
Dungeons & Dragons - Tower of Doom
Giga Wing
Marvel Super Heroes
Mega Man 2 - The Power Fighters
Night Warriors - Darkstalker's Revenge
Street Fighter Alpha - Warriors' Dreams
Street Fighter Zero 2 Alpha
Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix
Super Street Fighter II Turbo
X-Men - Children of the Atom
X-Men vs. Street Fighter
<b>GBA - Nintendo's Gameboy Advance</b>
GBA compatibly is very high. Everything I tested worked and saved without issue. Hacked ROMs I tested did not cause any problems. FluBBa’s GBA based emulators that I tested worked surprisingly well on the Dingoo A330.

<b>MD - Sega's MegaDrive/Genesis</b>
Genesis support can be hit or miss. A large majority of ROMs work just fine, while other ROMs will not load or suffer from constant black line flickering. I experienced minor slowdown in many Genesis games, and even with frame skip I was not able to tweak some games into working order. Many of the popular titles work just fine, and users should be able to keep a nice variety of working Genesis ROMs on their Dingoo A330.

<b>MVS – Neo Geo</b>
Neo Geo ROMs must be converted from their original MAME format using a PC based utility. There are some Neo Geo games which will not work on the official Native O/S emulator. Most of these problem games had graphical issues and user speculation is that of hardware based problems. Due to the Dingoo Technologies hardware revision (Dingoo A330/“HK” build) any game that use sprite scaling or rotating will display graphical errors. These errors look like pixilated nonsense and do not clear up until the effect has ended. Because of the hardware revision the compatibility list has been severely reduced, and no official emulator updates have been announced.

ROMs not found in the list below are working to some degree. Sprite issues only affected a small amount of games to the point of rendering them unplayable. Users who purchase the Dingoo A330 strictly for Native O/S Neo Geo emulation may be disappointed.

[title:Partial list of unsupported NeoGeo ROMs]
3 count bout aka Fire suplex
Art of Fighting / Ryuuko no Ken
Bakatonosama Mahjong Manyuki
Chibi Maruko-Chan Deluxe Quiz
Kabuki Klash - Far East of Eden
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon 2003 'The King of Fighters 2001 bootleg'
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon 2003 Super Plus 'The King of Fighters 2001 bootleg'
Fighters Swords 'Korean release of Samurai Shodown III'
Jockey Grand Prix
Jyanshin Densetsu - Quest of Jongmaster
King of Gladiator 'The King of Fighters '97 bootleg'
King of the Monsters 2 - The Next Thing
Lansquenet 2004 'Shock Troopers - 2nd Squad bootleg'
Mahjong Kyoretsuden
Metal Slug 6 'Metal Slug 3 bootleg'
Minnasanno Okagesamadesu
Neo-Geo Cup '98 - The Road to the Victory
Quiz Daisousa Sen - The Last Count Down
Quiz King of Fighters
Quiz Meitantei Neo & Geo - Quiz Daisousa Sen part 2
Riding Hero
Sengoku 2 / Sengoku Denshou 2
Super Sidekicks / Tokuten Ou
Super Sidekicks 2 - The World Championshipo / Tokuten Ou 2 - Real Fight Football
Super Sidekicks 3 - The Next Glory / Tokuten Ou 3 - Eikoue No Michi
The King of Fighters 2003
The King of Fighters 2004 Plus / Hero 'The King of Fighters 2003 bootleg'
The King of Fighters 2004 Ultra Plus 'The King of Fighters 2003 bootleg'
The King of Fighters Special Edition 2004 'The King of Fighters 2002 bootleg'
The Last Soldier 'Korean release of The Last Blade'
Ultimate 11 - The SNK Football Championshipo / Tokuten Ou - The Honoo no Libero
World Heroes
<b>NES - Nintendo Entertainment System</b>
NES compatibility is very high in regards to the official Native O/S emulator. Hacked, translated, and altered ROMs work great. I found only a few games which did not load, in most cases these ROMs used an obscure or severely hacked mapper. I have played roughly 20 “popular” games, from start to finish, with no issue.

<b>SFC - Super Famicom</b>
SNES emulation, much like the Genesis emulation, can be hit or miss. Some ROMs either failed to load (black screen) or had graphical issues. A majority of what I tried did function as expected. I have played through 10 “popular” games from start to finish without any slowdown or other serious issues. The official Native O/S SNES emulator does not offer support for specialty chips, meaning games like Star Fox will not even load.

Save-states functioned well for each of the official emulators. Frame skipping is a necessary evil, but when it works it really helps out the performance. There is no built in method for cheating in any of the official emulators. Other than save-states there are no extra features such as slow-motion, in-game guides, fast-forward, or rewind.

The big issue with the official emulators is the lack of support. Firmware revisions have offered new translations and the occasional bug fix, while compatibility updates to the official emulators have been ignored. This has caused many users to dual-boot Dingux (Dingoo Linux) which offers not only more emulators but updated support. I feel that the few issues found in the official emulators are easily offset by the wide variety of frequently updated homebrew emulators for both the Native O/S and Dingux. The lack of official support was a bigger deal in 2009 when the Dingoo A320 was released with only 7 emulators. However, there are currently more than 30 homebrew emulators for this system, which easily negates this minor complaint. With the occasional issues aside, users can easily carry more than 1,000 working ROMs with them, from a variety of systems, at any one time.

<div align='center'>

<a name="f2"></a><b>Official Native O/S Homebrew Emulators:</b>
The homebrew community emulators are fully supported by the Dingoo A330, emulators which receive frequent updates. Some of the .SIM emulators take advantage of in-game menus and ROM file associations, making them feel just like the official emulators. Systems such as the Atari Lynx, MAME, PC Engine, Sega Game Gear, Sega Master System, Colecovision, and the Atari 800 computer have been ported to the Native O/S. Games such as Manic Miner, Rick Dangerous, and Mine Sweeper have also been ported to the Native O/S.

Homebrew emulation and games continue to experience minor incompatibility issues. Some of the ROM sets are so large that full compatibility lists have not been written. During my testing, for every one ROM that did not work I easily found 10 more that did. So while compatibility is not perfect, the Homebrew emulators have raised the gaming value of the Dingoo A330.

<p><b>Additional Information:</b>

Dingoo A320 SDK
Openhandhelds Dingoo File Archive
icon11.gif Dingoo File Archive
<a name="f3"></a><b>Overclocking:</b>
The Dingoo A330 ships under-clocked at 336 MHz. User speculation was that the system shipped clocked at 400 MHz, this has been determined to be a rumor. Some users have successfully over-clocked the CPU to 470 MHz, while other users were unable to achieve the same results. Many games and applications will benefit from over-clocking. Users should only over-clock at their own risk as the CPU does not contain a heat-sink, fan, or any type of exhaust port. I could find no official documentation or community documentation about the RAM specs of the Dingoo A330. The Dingoo A330 ships with 64 MB of RAM instead of 32 MB and may be under-clocked as well.

The original over-clocking application was designed just for the CPU. An improved version has also been released which allows for the over-clocking of the RAM as well.

Both applications can be downloaded from the links below.

CPU Over-clocking Applications by A600 79 KB
Improved Over-clocking Application by flatmush 29.9 KB
<a name="f4"></a><b>Dingux (Dingoo Linux):</b>
Dingux (Dingoo Linux) has become an answer for the lack of official Dingoo A330 support. Dingux can be installed as a dual-boot system allowing users the freedom to choose between which Operating System they want to run. Dingux is somewhat superior to the Native O/S as bricked units can still boot into Dingux. Dingux’s emulator ports are frequently updated and support a much higher compatibility rate than similar Native O/S emulators. Users have reported issues with the Dingux install package drivers and 64 bit operating systems. Once installed Dingux uses the expansion slot for all operations. A Mini-SD or microSD/SDHC card with a Mini-SD adapter is required to run Dingux. A known bug resides in expansion slot file corruption issues when running Dingux. Users may frequently have to back-up and restore files and information found on the expansion media. It is recommended to do a bit of research to determine not only what to install, but how to install it properly.

A build of Dingux for the Dingoo A330 was released on 5/30/10. This build offers support for 400 MHz CPU default clock speeds and full use of the included 64 MB of RAM. User speculation is for bigger and better games to be supported by the Dingoo A330. In addition the TV-OUT and FM areas can now be accessed, although there are currently no community Dingux based applications which make use of these features.

<p><b>Dingux A330:</b>

Dingux A330 v1.01 1.43 MB

• The file contains instructions and guides for dual-booting Dingux on the Dingoo A330.
• The recommended formatting instructions are format x: /FS:fat32 /A:32K
• This install package is for the Dingoo A330 only!
<div class="reviewbreak"><a name="g"></a>Usage</div>
The usage area of this review will be broken down from left to right and from top to bottom. The first item to discuss will be the “Game Center” which is the left most option. Within this heading are “3D game” and “Interesting game,” which are the top to bottom options. All options will be discussed briefly and include information related to feature testing. The X button acts as a universal "return to main menu" button in all areas, where the B button takes the menu back one level and will cycle through the option to choose files from the Mini-SD expansion slot. Some users have reported that pressing X in the "Album" view will cause the Dingoo A330 to hang, requiring the Reset button to be pressed. As these button behaviors are universal to all features they will not be mentioned below.

<a name="g1"></a><b>Game Center:</b>

<div align='center'>
The “Game Center” is the launching area for applications, games, and emulation. This area has two options, “3D Game” which is used to access and launch .APP files and “Interesting Game” which is used to access and launch ROMs associated with .SIM files.

Pressing A will open each section for file selection with somewhat filtered results. For example, selecting “Interesting Game” and then navigating to the 3D .APP directory will display a “No File Found!” error message.

The following quick commands are also supported:<ul><li>L+Start - quick switch to the TV-OUT playback mode</li><li>Select+Start - loads in-game menu</li><li>Power+UP - Increases volume</li><li>Power+DOWN - Decreases volume</li><li>Power+combination to the left turns on quick archiving for games</li><li>Power+combination to the right turns on a fast file read function for games</li></ul><a name="g2"></a><b>Music Hall:</b>

<div align='center'>
The “Music Hall” contains options for searching, playing, and updating music files. The options found here are Playing, Search Music, All Songs, Folder Once, Favorites, Albums, Artist, Title, Music Set-up, and Update Jukebox.

Selecting “Playing” will display an alphabetical list of all files stored in the “Music” directory or on the Mini-SD card. Highlighting any one file and pressing A will start the playback process, and the direction pad doubles as a navigation tool in this menu.

Once the player has launched, pressing Up/Down will adjust volume while Right/Left will select the previous or next track. Pressing and holding Right/Left will rewind or fast-forward the audio file. Pressing X will display the current track position and pressing X a few seconds later will begin a loop playback process. Pressing Y will switch the speakers on or off. Pressing the Right shoulder button will pause or un-pause the current music file. Pressing A will adjust the EQ settings, and pressing B cancels the playback and goes back one directory or option setting. Syncing the Dingoo a330 to the computer during playback will stop the playback process.

Selecting “Search Music” displays a file list, a blank text area, and alphanumeric characters in groups of seven. Pressing A selects a character and X removes a character. Searching is an on-the-fly process, entering the character A into the box will list files which begin with that character. Dynamic searching is not supported; files with “BOB” in the middle of the name will not list “01_BOB_MARLEY.”

The “All Songs” option lists all supported music files and behaves just like the listing found in the “Playing” menu selection.

“Folder Once” will navigate back to the last accessed folder which contained supported audio files.

The “Favorites” option lists files stored as favorites and is used for selecting lyric files to play back along with your favorite music files. Lyric files must be .LRC format and given the same name as their matching audio file.

“Albums,” “Artist,” and “Title” sort audio files by their selected category, based on ID3 tags.

“Music Set-up” offers various settings for the firmware music player. Users can change the play mode (all repeat, order, shuffle, etc), adjust 3D audio settings (automatic volume balancing, high-frequency compensation, etc), change equalizer settings (normal, jazz, rock, custom, etc), adjust the virtual sound field, and turn on/off background audio playback. When the background option is turned on audio files will play continuously. Users can use this mode to listen to music and read an E-book, for example.

The “Update Jukebox” option scans the internal memory and Mini-SD drive for supported audio formats. This menu choice is a manual alternative to the de-syncing automatic music scan.

Audio files can be played on a television using the included AV-OUT cable and the “Connect TV” option.

<a name="g3"></a><b>Movie Theater:</b>

<div align='center'>
The “Video Theater” selection controls the playback of supported video files. The “Video” option opens a list of supported video files found in the “Video” directory. “Continue Play” will scan the Dingoo A330 for different video formats and display them in a list. Any file which was previously played may be shown an option to continue the playback from the last played frame. “Video Set-up” contains options for video times (on/off), continue play (resume from the last location, on/off), zoom mode (normal, fill box, full screen), and video playlist. Video playlist loads the same file listing as the “Continue Play” option.

Pressing A on a file will begin file playback using the video player. Pressing Right/Left will select the previous or next video file, and holding Right/Left will rewind or fast-forward the current video file. The Right shoulder button is used to pause and un-pause the video file. Pressing X displays information about the file such as playback position, volume setting, and zoom mode. This see-through overlay display will timeout after about 5 seconds. Pressing Up/Down will adjust the volume up or down for a max level of 30.

Video files can be played on a television using the included AV-OUT cable and the “Connect TV” option. The box boasts DVD quality playback, which is dependent on the T.V. and the encode quality of the file. I had some very good results that were clear but did not compare to a DVD player and an HD T.V., for example.

<a name="g4"></a><b>Radio:</b>

<div align='center'>
The “Radio” section is for FM radio playback. Clicking on “Radio” presents the following options, listen radio (jumps to the radio player), FM list (displays stored FM radio stations), and update FM playlist (automatically/manually scans for FM radio stations). “Campus Channel” scans for local University/College radio FM radio stations and offers the same options as the “Radio” section. “Recording Current Radio” uses the voice recording application to record the currently playing FM radio station to the internal memory. To make a recording the background play option must be turned on. “Radio Set-up” section offers options for background play (on/off), choose FM playlist (internal, external), signal power adjust (low, mid, high), and FM region (China, Europe, U.S.A., Japan).

The FM playlist external option makes use of the FM.ini, users can set custom Radio station titles from within the .INI file.

CH02=106100,Rock Radio

The radio can be played on a T.V. using the AV-OUT cables. The AV-OUT red/white audio cables can also be hooked to a stereo receiver for amplified sound output.

<a name="g5"></a><b>Record:</b>

<div align='center'>

The “Record” selection uses the built in microphone to store a voice recording in an .MP3 format. Pressing A starts the recording process while hitting Left on the directional pad goes back one menu and ends the recording process. “Play Recording” opens the “Record” directory and displays a list of supported pre-recorded audio formats which are played back using the music player. “Record Set-up” offers a recording quality options of low, middle, and high.

<a name="g6"></a><b>Picture:</b>

<div align='center'>
Pressing A on the “Picture” option opens a thumbnail view of the “Picture” directory. Images can be selected by using the directional pad and loaded using the A button. Once loaded, images can be scrolled through by using the directional button and the previous/next image in the directory will be loaded. “Flash Play” will playback .SWF files found in the “Flash” directory. .SWF playback is limited to video files, games and interactive movies will not function as such.

<a name="g7"></a><b>Library:</b>

<div align='center'>
Selecting the “E-Book” option will load a list of .TXT e-book files found in the “TXT” directory. Highlighting an E-book and pressing A will open the file for viewing. Once the E-book is open pressing A will bring up an in-book menu. This menu features options which allow the user to change the background, jump around the file, add bookmarks, change fonts, change colors, initiate text-to-sound (TTS), and more. Pressing B will cancel out of this menu. Pressing Up or Down on the directional pad will scroll through the E-book 1 line at a time, while Right and Left are used for fast scrolling. Pressing Select brings up a numerical box, the top row displays the number of loaded "pages" and the bottom row allows the user to set a jump-to point. Using the current Official Native O/S v1.2 the TTS reads the font style and assigns the correct language to it. For example, a Chinese character .TXT file reads in Chinese, and an English character .TXT file reads in English with Chinese for the numbers.

<a name="g8"></a><b>T.V.:</b>

<div align='center'>
The “TV” area is for controlling the AV-OUT settings. “Connect TV” initializes the AV-OUT port and begins to send the video and audio signal. Once this mode is initialized it must be manually turned off or the Dingoo A330 must be hard-reset. Simply unplugging the AV-OUT cable will not interrupt this feature. “TV Set-up” offers options for T.V. standard N system (NTSC), P system (PAL), and T.V. screens set-up (4:3, 16:9 aspect ratio).

The Dingoo A330 outputs the entire G.U.I. to the T.V. allowing games, music, movies, pictures, and E-books to be enjoyed on a television. The AV-OUT cable is approximately 5 feet long, limiting the distance that the Dingoo A330 can be from the television. Some users have successfully used a longer cable without signal loss, I can not comment on this as I only have the included AV-OUT cable for testing.

<a name="g9"></a><b>Browser:</b>

<div align='center'>
The “Browser” allows the user to navigate through the various directories and provides some basic file manipulation options. Options included on (run/play a file), delete (remove the file), copy and paste (self-explanatory), and add to favorites (adds an audio file to the favorites list).

<a name="g10"></a><b>System Set-up:</b>

<div align='center'>
The “System Set-up” contains all of the important system related options. Here the user can view system firmware information, internal memory and Mini-SD storage capacity, choose a colored theme, set font colors, change backlight timeout settings, change language settings, turn on/off the u-disk anti-virus protection, and more.

I can not comment on the reliability of the u-disk anti-virus protection. I have left it enabled and experienced no issues in regards to emulation or other Dingoo A330 features.

<a name="g11"></a><b>Game Controller:</b>
<div align='center'>
The game controller requires 2xAA alkaline batteries, which are placed into the back of the controller. The controller does not include any batteries and for testing I made use of Duracell Rechargeable batteries. The batteries were not fully charged and I have already experienced more than 6 hours of battery life.

The Dingoo A330 can be turned on before or after the game controller. The game controller is turned on by flipping a small on/off switch located on the back of the unit. Once both devices are switched on the user must press the <!--coloro:green--><span style="color:green"><!--/coloro-->radio graphic button twice<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->, this will sync the game controller to the Dingoo A330.

The controller doubles as a portable interface device. Anything you can do with the Dingoo A330 you can mirror with the game controller. This makes the controller useful not only for gaming but as a multimedia remote control as well.

The directional pad is mirrored by the left directional stick and the face buttons are mirrored by the right directional stick.

<a name="g12"></a><b>Usage and Impressions:</b>
Emulator ROM compatibility and impressions have already been discussed. The optional game controller has also already been discussed. In regards to the other features I found them to perform extremely well with a few minor issues.

I experienced no problems while testing supported audio formats. The audio quality was exceptional when connected to a stereo receiver. The music player’s search feature is somewhat useless as it is unable to search dynamically by locating character strings in the middle of a file name. Most of the features are based on ID3 tags, so if your audio files do not support those tags the search features may not function as expected.

The video player performed very well during my testing. Files I tested played with the same look and sound as a comparable Windows PC video playing application. Some AVI based container files dropped frames while playing on the Dingoo A330. These files were from a “set” of similar files, each encoded to the same standards, with file size being the only variation. The greater majority of what I drag/dropped onto the Dingoo A330 played back without issue, but these minor issues deserve mentioning. Users should understand that some files will require re-encoding to perform as expected. Some users have reported that XviD files encoded at 320x240 30fps an MP3 audio stream will playback without any dropped frames. AV-OUT video playback looked very good on a 4:3 CRT-style television. It is very easy to see the imperfections in an encode on a 16:9 HD television. However, I took some time to properly encode a few DVD rips and was able to achieve the boasted DVD quality AV-OUT playback.

The FM radio is able to pick up signals in a variety of settings. I was able to pick up the same local stations while driving, in a basement, and in an attic. The recording feature is useful, and thanks to the .MP3 format will not fill up the internal memory as quickly as a RAW lossless format.

The voice recorder performs very well and while the internal microphone is useful it is not designed for high quality audio recordings.

Image and Flash playback performed as expected. Images look good with little to no pixilation and appear to be a 1:1 render of the original file. Flash is limited to files encoded with Flash 1-6, some Flash 6 files failed to play.

The E-book feature performed well and is able to render Chinese characters. The E-book feature only supports .TXT files in the Native O/S, a limitation which is overcome by Dingux. It is next to impossible to adjust the volume in the E-book readers TTS functionally. The English manual states that Power+UP will raise the volume, unfortunately I was unable to do this and more often then not ended up shutting down the Dingoo A330.

<div class="reviewbreak"><a name="h"></a>Conclusion</div>
Dingoo Technologies’ Dingoo A330 is nothing more than a Dingoo A320 “HK” build in a new shell with 64 MB of RAM and a wireless controller chip. During the design process Dingoo Technologies has managed to distance themselves from the legal issues with Dingoo Digital. They no longer support Dingoo Digital software, they have redesigned the look of the system, made a few hardware changes which make it a “different” system, and stamped their new logo on the back. For $110 any end-user can purchase this portable game system and witness how a concept can fail through execution.

The Dingoo A330 is backwards compatible with the “HK” community patched Dingoo A320 software, games, emulators, and applications. If not for a few members of the Dingoo homebrew community who produced this patch, this would not even be the case. The Dingoo A330 can be un-bricked using the universal community hacked un-bricker tool. If not for the handful of hackers and testers involved, this would again not be the case. Dingoo Technologies has failed to support their products since the Dingoo A320 “HK” build was released. Their lack of official updates, emulator compatibility fixes, and firmware improvements, are the first things I must fault them for.

The new shell of the Dingoo A330 has been influenced by the PSP, although much smaller in size, there is nothing original here. The new design is familiar and the contoured shell fits comfortably in your hands. The speakers have been moved to the back resulting in muffled sound and the need to increase the volume to obtrusive levels. The thick clear plastic buttons feel cheap and uncomfortable after just a few minutes of play time. The directional pad did not respond to the UP+LEFT diagonal during the first 10 hours of gaming. Taking some advice from the company, I worked at the buttons and “broke” them in. The parts are so cheap on this new design that they actually need to be worked-in. The parts are also so thick and clunky that the buttons and directional pad get stuck on the case. This results in buttons sticking, rising back up slowly, or feeling mushy to the touch. The shoulder buttons are nothing more than ¼ inch thick plastic squares. They feel hard and uncomfortable, and have been reported to break after moderate use. The extremely important reset button was misplaced on the test unit, causing me to poke around the mother board area until it could be correctly manipulated.

The optional game controller feels like a quality 3rd party X-BOX style controller. It is comfortable, decently responsive, works well off rechargeable AA alkaline batteries, has a 30 foot range, and offers 6-axis controls and directional sticks. The controller mirrors everything the Dingoo A330’s input devices do right down to the hardware level switches. What this means for the user is that there is no hope of a software solution for 2 player co-op support. The mentioned 6-axis feature which is printed on the box is not supported by any official or homebrew software. The directional sticks mirror the directional pad and face buttons, making their intended purpose useless. The second set of shoulder buttons (L2, R2) are dummy buttons that mirror the first set of shoulder buttons. While the controller has its limitations and faults it does increase the value of the Dingoo A330 by making this the smallest gaming system hooked to a television. If Dingux emulators are eventually coded to use the newly accessible TV-OUT chip, then once again the value of the Dingoo A330 will increase. The current generation of firmware and software which can access the TV-OUT feature is limited to the Native O/S. Even with this limitation users still have more than 10,000 ROMs that they can play on their T.V. by using a combination of the Dingoo A330 and the optional wireless game controller.

On one hand you have a Dingoo A320 in a new shell with more RAM and an optional wireless controller. On the other hand you have the same problems, lack of updates, poor design, and higher price point for the same hardware. How to grade this product has been on my mind since I started to test it. I truly believe that Dingoo Technologies has a great concept, something they could corner the market with, but for all of their efforts and hard work they lacks proper execution. Dingoo A330 could have been a vast improvement over the Dingoo A320; it could have been something new, exciting, and different. Instead it is basically the same hardware in a new shell with mushy feeling thick and uncomfortable buttons.

On a scale of 10 I would rate the Dingoo A330 a 4. It does what the Dingoo A320 does but cost $30 more. There is absolutely no official Dingoo Technologies software that uses the additional RAM. If it was not for the Dingux port to the A330, that hardware would remain unused. The controller is a nice gimmick but with the permanent lack of 2 player support I find it difficult to recommend spending the additional $30. If they had at least used high quality responsive buttons and a directional pad on the Dingoo A330 itself, then I could have easily recommended it over the Dingoo A320. The first time Dingoo buyer will want to stick with the Dingoo A320. You are going to get all the same features and file support with slightly better buttons.

Dingoo Technologies really needs to step it up and release a proper updated version of the Dingoo. The lack of official quality games, 10 months of Neo Geo sprite pixilation issues, the same firmware bugs, and no official emulator compatibility updates are not helping either. At some point a company needs to slow down and tackle one thing at a time. Fixing the software and offering new updates would have been a better use of their time then designing this plastic monstrosity.

I can only recommend the Dingoo A330 for hardcore homebrew enthusiasts. There is some potential for Dingux to support bigger and better games by making full use of the 64 MB of RAM. There is also a small possibility of TV-OUT Dingux support down the line. With the optional game controller, the Dingoo A330 might be worth owning if and when the homebrew community is able to access its full potential.

<b><font color="green">Pros:</font></b>
<b><font color="green">+</font></b> Small form factor
<b><font color="green">+</font></b> Bright, high quality LCD
<b><font color="green">+</font></b> 64 MB of RAM
<b><font color="green">+</font></b> Optional wireless game controller support
<b><font color="green">+</font></b> Full featured (gaming, video, audio, E-books, FM radio, voice recorder, etc)
<b><font color="green">+</font></b> Various codec support
<b><font color="green">+</font></b> Drag/Drop functionality
<b><font color="green">+</font></b> Mini-SD (micro-SD/SDHC via adapter) expandable
<b><font color="green">+</font></b> Active Homebrew scene
<b><font color="green">+</font></b> Complete with all wires and cables needed
<b><font color="green">+</font></b> Retro emulator out-of-the-box support
<b><font color="green">+</font></b> AV-OUT support
<b><font color="green">+</font></b> Native O/S emulator save state support
<b><font color="green">+</font></b> Easy to navigate and use
<b><font color="green">+</font></b> Rechargeable via USB or wall adapter

<b><font color="red">Cons:</font></b>
<b><font color="red">-</font></b> Dingoo A320 “HK” build in a new shell
<b><font color="red">-</font></b> Exact same firmware as the Dingoo A320
<b><font color="red">-</font></b> Inconsistent directional pad build quality
<b><font color="red">-</font></b> Poor speaker placement
<b><font color="red">-</font></b> Poor reset button placement
<b><font color="red">-</font></b> Lack of official 64 MB RAM support
<b><font color="red">-</font></b> No 2 player game controller support
<b><font color="red">-</font></b> Lack of official compatibility fixes
<b><font color="red">-</font></b> Neo Geo sprite pixilation issues
<b><font color="red">-</font></b> Bulky, hard, initially unresponsive plastic buttons
<b><font color="red">-</font></b> Thick, hard, uncomfortable shoulder buttons
<b><font color="red">-</font></b> Lack of official firmware updates and bug fixes
<b><font color="red">-</font></b> Middle range “ear bud quality” internal speakers
<b><font color="red">-</font></b> Windows Vista/7 64-bit un-bricking application driver issues
<b><font color="red">-</font></b> $30 more for essentially the same hardware as the Dingoo A320
<b><font color="red">-</font></b> Game controller has “dummy” buttons and directional sticks
<b><font color="red">-</font></b> Game controller 6-axis support is unused by current official software
<b><font color="red">-</font></b> Game controller is not included, cost $30 more
<b><font color="red">-</font></b> Requires community pre-patched software
<b><font color="red">-</font></b> Wall charger is cheaply constructed and potentially unsafe
<b><font color="red">-</font></b> Shell smells strongly of painted plastic
<b><font color="red">-</font></b> Cheap dirty buggy official software ports
<b><font color="red">-</font></b> Majority of official titles are in Chinese
<b><font color="red">-</font></b> .JGC support has been removed
<b><font color="red">-</font></b> Ships preinstalled with illegal ROMs, which could violate copyright laws in your country
<b><font color="red">-</font></b> Rubber feet are cone shaped and can easily fall out
<b><font color="red">-</font></b> No extra Native O/S EMU options (in-game guide, fast-forward, rewind, etc)

<div class="reviewbreak">
Official Website
Dingoonity Community
GBATemp Dingoo Sub-forum

<b>Where to Buy:</b><ul><li><a href="</li><li></li></ul>

<!--sizeo:1--><span style="font-size:8pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->This review was written for ONLY. The article and included photos are the property of Research was conducted using Dingoonity, and various support forums.

Special thanks to Costello, Shaunj66, Atashi, Dingoo-Digital-USA,, and the Dingoonity community. Without all of you this review would not have been possible.

If you see this review on any other site please let me know via a Private Message to Another World.<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->
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Reactions: xy2_ and VVoltz


The Pirate Lord
Nov 6, 2002
Wonderfully detailed review. Thanks!

In terms of overall ROM performance, how would this one compare with the Gemei MPS A330?
Last edited by VVoltz,
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