The battle between Nintendo Switch Lite and Nintendo Switch isn’t really a real fight, rather it is a decision you have to make on which one best suits your needs. Or you might already have the Switch and want to assess whether a Lite version is also worth using for commuting.
As such, we’ve picked out the main pros and cons of both Nintendo’s console versions, along with their specs, to help you see how they stack up against each other.
Then read on for our Nintendo Switch Lite vs. Nintendo Switch head-to-head.
- Nintendo Switch Lite vs Switch: Specifications
- Nintendo Switch Lite vs Nintendo Switch: Design
- Nintendo Switch Lite vs Nintendo Switch: Display
- Nintendo Switch Lite vs Nintendo Switch: Games
- Nintendo Switch Lite vs Switch: game modes
- Nintendo Switch Lite vs Switch: Battery life
- Nintendo Switch Lite vs Switch: price and value
- Nintendo Switch Lite vs Nintendo Switch (OLED model)
- Nintendo Switch Lite vs Nintendo Switch: Accessories
- Nintendo Switch Lite vs Switch: Our recommendation
Nintendo Switch Lite vs Switch: Specifications
|Nintendo Switch Lite||Nintendo Switch|
|Starting price||$ 199||$ 299|
|Processor / GPU||Custom NVIDIA Tegra processor||Custom NVIDIA Tegra processor|
|Filter||5.5 “(1280 x 720) LCD screen||6.2 inch LCD display (1280 x 720)|
|Battery life (nominal values)||3 – 7 hours||Switch 2017: 2.5 – 6.5 hours | Switch mid-2019: 4.5 – 9 hours|
|Weight||9.8 ounces||14.1 ounces|
|Dimensions||8.2 x 3.6 x 0.6 inches||9.4 x 4 x 0.6 inches|
|Games||Switch games that support portable mode||All Switch games|
|Colors||Yellow, Gray, Turquoise and Pokémon Sword and Shield editions||Gray or red and blue Joy-Cons; several options available|
Nintendo Switch Lite vs Nintendo Switch: Design
The Nintendo Switch Lite is so called because of its drop in size and weight compared to its larger, older sibling. But what the name doesn’t tell you is that the Joy-Con controllers no longer detach from the console, making it a Switch that doesn’t flip. The controller / left side of the console now has a suitable D-pad, which many people will find useful.
While the Switch isn’t difficult to carry, it’s not exactly a console that you can easily slip into a pocket. So, for people who like to carry a console with them all the time, the Switch Lite (8.2 x 3.6 x 0.6 inches) has the advantage of taking up less space than the Switch (9.4 x 4 x 0.6 inches). And at 9.8 ounces, the Switch Lite is 30% lighter than the 14.1 ounce Switch.
Nintendo Switch Lite vs Nintendo Switch: Display
The Switch Lite’s reduced size also applies to its screen. The Switch’s little brother cradles a 5.5-inch touchscreen that’s scaled down compared to the 6.2-inch touchscreen of its predecessor. Both LCD screens feature a resolution of 1280 x 720.
Despite its small size, the Switch Lite’s screen is comparable to that of the Switch in terms of color and brightness. And thanks to the Lite’s thinner bezels and more uniform design, the screen is even a little more transparent and immersive.
Nintendo Switch Lite vs Nintendo Switch: Games
Nintendo Switch Lite and Standard Switch run the same games. They have the same internal hardware, so playing The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening and Super Mario Maker 2 will be the same experience, at least in terms of performance.
Since you can’t remove the Joy-Cons from the Switch Lite and the screen is smaller, the original Switch will ultimately deliver the best overall gaming experience, but then again, you can pair separate Joy-Cons or a Pro controller with the Switch Lite opening up the potential for local multiplayer action.
Nintendo Switch Lite vs Switch: game modes
While the Nintendo Switch docking station lets you switch between TV mode and handheld mode, and even detach the Joy-Con controllers to keep them separate when the Switch is on a table, the Switch Lite does not play. not at this game.
Instead, the Switch Lite is a non-detachable brick with controllers permanently attached, making it playable in portable mode only. It also doesn’t work with Nintendo’s dock.
Nintendo Switch Lite vs Switch: Battery life
The Switch Lite is designed to last 3-7 hours, which is better than the original Switch (around 2.5-6.5 hours) from 2017.
In our Switch Lite battery test (which was a continuous 8-player Super Smash Bros. Ultimate battle), the handheld lasted 3 hours and 50 minutes of continuous play. That’s an hour longer than our result at the Switch 2017 launch (2:45), but an hour shorter than our Nintendo Switch 2019 battery test result (4:50).
Nintendo Switch Lite vs Switch: price and value
The Switch Lite is definitely appealing to price-conscious gamers (as well as parents of price-conscious gamers). According to the RRP, at $ 199 the Switch Lite costs two-thirds the price of the original, and as we noted above, there isn’t much it can do to play most games. Switch library games. However, $ 299 offers more ways to play for the extra $ 100, so you’ll have to weigh which game modes are most important to you.
Check out the best prices for your region in the widgets below.
Nintendo Switch Lite vs Nintendo Switch (OLED model)
The Nintendo Switch Lite vs Nintendo Switch battle gets a bit more complex with the introduction of the Nintendo Switch OLED, or Switch (OLED model) to give it its goofy official name.
As the name suggests, the OLED Switch comes with an OLED display, which measures 7 inches, making it larger than the original Switch’s screen and significantly larger than that of the Switch Lite.
Other upgrades include a much better kickstand, 64GB of onboard storage, and improved sound. There is also a new docking station that does away with a USB port in favor of an Ethernet port for a wired Internet connection.
We haven’t tried the OLED Switch yet because it’s not due until October 8. But since it costs $ 50 more than the original Switch, we risk guessing that this will be the model you’ll want over the standard Switch. It won’t be as portable as the Switch Lite, so if that’s what you want, the smaller Switch might be the better choice.
We’ll have to wait and get our hands on the OLED Switch before making a final judgment. So be sure to check back with Tom’s Guide when fall arrives.
Nintendo Switch Lite vs Nintendo Switch: Accessories
When it comes to accessories, the Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite are pretty well equipped. Both support the Nintendo Switch Pro controller, additional Joy-Cons, and wireless headsets like the Razer Barracuda X and SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless.
But an easy comparison is to simply compare our best Nintendo Switch accessories list to our best Nintendo Switch Lite accessories collection; the full-size console simply has more options and better features, thanks to its detachable Joy-Con controllers.
And thanks to the removable Joy-Cons, you can more easily use the Ring Fit Adventure game and accessory kit, without the need to purchase additional Joy-Cons or know how to use it with a smaller screen that doesn’t cannot be played on a TV.
That’s not to say the Switch Lite is left out, as it has plenty of accessories focused on its more portable form. But if you want the biggest and best range of accessories, you’ll have to go with the stock switch.
Nintendo Switch Lite vs Switch: Our recommendation
As you can guess, the Nintendo Switch Lite is best for people who primarily want and will play on the go. It’s also $ 100 cheaper, but its $ 199 price tag is still not something I would call a cheap impulse buy.
The Switch Lite is lighter and smaller, but all of its tradeoffs will make it a tough sell for gamers who prefer to play on a TV (or want to be able to easily start a tabletop gaming session). The Lite’s battery life is longer than that of the Launch Switch, but the Switch 2019 refresh has the best battery life of them all.
So if you’re playing games on your TV, you’ll probably want to stick with the standard Nintendo Switch. And finally, having a Switch that shifts all the interest of these consoles. But you also can’t go wrong with the Switch Lite, which is arguably Nintendo’s best handheld console yet.