Hardware: first impressions

As my Playdate charges here are my first millisecond’s impressions after opening the package:

  • The packaging is great: Simple, no papers or other bits of litter.
  • I love that the corners are rounded but the face and back are sharp-edged (no idea why this pleases me.)
  • Love how thin the unit is. Wants to be in my pocket!
  • The crank feels solid and smooth. Tucked away nicely until used.
  • Charged enough to turn on the display… the Display looks way better than I thought. Razor-sharp black and gray, yay for one bit per pixel.
  • Buttons have A and B labels, hard to see the white print on the yellow buttons.
  • Simulated playing while cranking, feels a bit awkward to control the d-pad while cranking. Button presses while cranking seems like it will work better. I need to try it on a real game.
  • Overall it feels and looks great!

Now that it has charged for a while, I’ll try to make it work with some of the examples.


Hi Eda!! Thanks for sharing your first impressions and glad that you’re liking it so far :slight_smile:

Keep us updated on any more thoughts you have as you start using it more!

After a few weeks of use here are my suggestions:

  • Make the crank better somehow, mine squeaks already!
  • Make the crank detachable easily for DIY projects.
  • PLEASE make the black and gray display more black & white! Please!
  • On-off switch that turns the unit OFF. It’s stressful that the clock insists on using the battery when off.
  • Let devs access the LED on the power switch, looks like fun to be had.
  • Consider adding an RFID reader, this opens up a lot of creative possibilities!


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Thanks for the feedback!

About the Clock battery usage… That code runs at 1 fps (naturally) and our display’s energy usage when not redrawing is minimal. You can keep your Playdate in the Clock mode without plugging in for many weeks.

It’s a bit of a mental leap to make when we come from the world of smartphones, but Playdate is a little different :slight_smile:

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My feedback after one day with the device, sticking to the hardware aspects:

  • I’m not a fan of the sharp back, when I hold it, the back bottom edge rests on my ring fingers and the edge digs in a little.
  • Otherwise, fit and finish was good on mine.
  • I still haven’t really figured out how the LED on the top works. It seems to have various colors and on/off states but not sure what it all means.
  • A little light attachment would be cool. I’m going to have to figure something out. I didn’t realize how dark my office is until I got the physical device :grimacing:.
  • Buttons and crank all feel good on my device so far.
  • It definitely has a home-brew/indie feel with the hardcore screws on the front - which I really like.
  • Yellow definitely says I’m here for fun, yellow cable is a great addition.

Very much agree with this. Might be a bit late for revisions like this, but if that edge can be at all beveled or rounded, even by a little, it would really help. The edge is tolerable, but not pleasant.

some issues from me: serial number in photo

  • the edges are indeed sharp
    • it was uncomfortable at first but i tend to not notice now
    • first impressions, though!
  • the yellow body is lovely, but mine is patchy and shiny by now
    • the body texture, not so much the buttons
    • i guess i have oily skin?
  • my crank also squeaks
    • this is making me avoid using it
    • also feels like it could/should rotate more smoothly? too much resistance?
  • some glue(?) visible at screen edges under lens
    • near bottom-left and bottom-right corners of screen
    • see photo for bottom left instance
  • i have a discoloured spot on the bottom-left of the screen, see photo
    • it’s yellow/orange on grey, and blue/grey on black
    • is there a heat-producing component underneath this spot?

I have that same discoloration problem with my screen, in that same spot. It seems to be the reflective layer of the screen as it depends on the viewing angle-angle of incoming light. In very specific light conditions (viewing unit head on with main light sorce from behind head) it is unnoticeable. But when the light hits the screen at any other angle it can be almost as white as when the pixels are off/white. Could this be a manufacturing issue?

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Matt, the PVT3 round of devices — which is what the Dev Preview is drawn from — does sometimes exhibit one or more of the issues you are mentioning:

  1. Smudgy texture on case
  2. Squeaky crank
  3. Discolored spot in lower left

We’ve analyzed each of these problems, and they will be corrected in the final models that ship to customers!


Awesome! I expected as much having read Playdate tweets and production updates. Great to read these issues are already being resolved.

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