Nintendo Switch vs Switch Lite – Which Console is Best?

Nintendo Switch vs. Nintendo Switch LiteWhen the Nintendo Switch was first released the only big decision you needed to make when buying the console was what colors you wanted your Joy-Cons (controllers) to be. Now that we are a few years past the initial release of the Switch, Nintendo has a few different options out there for people to choose from including the new Nintendo Switch Lite.

So what are all of the different options available? What are the differences? How can we compare the Nintendo Switch vs. Nintendo Switch Lite? How are we supposed to choose which new Nintendo Switch console is best for us?

Don’t worry. We have already done the heavy lifting for you. So let us point out the differences between the available options that are out there and explain what type of user is best suited for each option.

The Original Nintendo Switch Has Been Upgraded

The first thing that you need to be aware of is that the original Switch has been updated. The big difference is that the upgraded Switch has a more efficient processor which allows it to have a longer battery life. The original Switch had a battery life that could last anywhere from 2.5 to 6.5 hours on one charge depending upon how you were using it. You expect to get between 4.5 to 9 hours of battery life from the updated version of the Nintendo Switch.

How Can You Tell If You Are Buying the Updated Newer Version of the Switch?

Unless you are getting a very substantial discount on the original version of the Switch there is no reason why you wouldn’t want to get the updated Switch. After all, who wouldn’t want the longer battery life?

So how can you make sure that you are buying one of the updates Switch consoles? To be honest, most retailers should be selling the updated console at this point, but there are a few ways you can tell for sure.

  • The updated Switch has a model number (HAC-001(-01))
  • The serial number will start with “XKW”
  • The updated Switch will have an all-red box

Here are both of the updated Nintendo Switch Consoles that are currently available for sale. The only difference between the two options is the colors of the Joy-Cons that are included.

Nintendo Has Introduced a New Nintendo Switch Console Called Nintendo Switch Lite

In September of 2020, Nintendo released the Switch Lite. The Switch Lite is designed for people who are looking for a handheld gaming device. It isn’t quite as versatile as the regular Switch, but its smaller size makes it ideal for people who are on the go. With the Nintendo Switch Lite, you can play all the Switch games that support handheld mode, which is most of them. Plus, the Switch Lite is priced $100 less than the Switch, which adds to its appeal.

The Switch comes with a gray console and you can choose the color of your detachable Joy-Cons. The Switch Lite currently comes in 3 colors and the Joy-Cons are built-in (not detachable).

Here are the turquoise, gray, yellow, and coral Switch Lite options.

Nintendo Switch vs. Nintendo Switch Lite

Learning that the Switch Lite was designed with portable gaming in mind might be kind of confusing because the Switch can be used as a handheld gaming system and is very portable as well.

So let’s dive a little deeper into the differences between the Switch and Switch Lite.

Dimensions of Nintendo Switch vs Switch Lite

The dimensions of the Nintendo Switch is 4 inches x 9.4 inches x 0.55 inches and weighs just 0.88 pounds.

The Switch Lite measures 3.6 inches x 8.2 inches x 0.55 inches and weighs 0.61 pounds.

As you can see the Switch Lite is a little bit smaller and lighter, but the difference isn’t that much. However, if you are always on the go the more compact Switch Lite is probably a bit more attractive to you.

So if compact size important to you the winner here is the Switch Lite.

Screen Size of Nintendo Switch vs Switch Lite

Knowing that both the Switch and Switch Lite can be used for handheld gaming screen size is something that is very important to think about.

The Switch has a 720p touch screen that measures 6.2 inches diagonally. By comparison, the Switch Lite also has a 720p HD touch screen, but it measures only 5.5 inches. The difference in screen size doesn’t sound like much, but it is certainly noticeable.

The result here is a tie. If you like handheld gaming but usually play at home you will enjoy the larger Switch. If you are constantly on the go you will probably be willing to sacrifice some screen size for the more compact design of the Switch Lite.

Battery Life of Nintendo Switch vs Switch Lite

When the Switch was originally released it had a battery life that ranged from 2.5 to 6.5 hours. So the Switch Lite was a modest upgrade, but an upgrade nonetheless with its 3 to 7-hour battery life range.

However, the V2 of the Switch beats both the original version of the Switch and the Switch Lite with its impressive 4.5 to 9 hours of battery life, which is fantastic when you are on the go.

So if you are looking for the option with the longest battery life the winner here is the Switch.

D-Pad is an Actual D-Pad

One of the complaints some people have of the Switch is about the D-Pad, which consists of 4 directional buttons.

The Switch Lite has the more traditional connected D-Pad that many gamers prefer. You can see the difference in the pictures below.

D-Pad on Nintendo Switch D-Pad on Nintendo Switch Lite

That being said, a lot of serious gamers will get a Pro controller. Not only does it have the connected d-pad that many people prefer, but they love the feel of the Pro controller in their hands.

So the winner here for fans of the connected d-pad is the Switch Lite.

Versatility

While the Switch Lite is a fantastic device for handheld gaming it is not as versatile as the Switch. There are a lot of things that the Switch Lite doesn’t have or can’t do:

  • It doesn’t have a TV mode (can’t be connected to or played on a television) and can’t be used with the Nintendo Switch Dock
  • It doesn’t have detachable Joy-Cons. Not having detachable controllers mean more wear and tear on the hardware for the Switch Lite.
  • The Switch Lite doesn’t have the HD rumble feature or the IR motion camera like the detachable Joy-Cons on the Switch. So you will need to buy additional Joy-Con controllers to play games that require motion controls.
  • It doesn’t have a kickstand to prop itself up like the Switch does for when it is being used in tabletop mode
  • It doesn’t have auto-brightness sensors that tune brightness without having to go into settings.
  • The Switch Lite won’t fit with much of the Nintendo Labo Kits.

When it comes to versatility the clear winner is the Nintendo Switch.

Price Difference

Another area where the Switch Lite wins is the price. It is typically priced $100 less than the Switch. You can be excited to pocket the savings or using it to buy a couple of games.

Conclusion

All of the things we just talked about should have helped you to understand the differences between the Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo Switch Lite, but you still may not know which new Nintendo Switch Console is best for your situation. So let’s try to clear that up.

So Who Should Buy the Switch?

The majority of people will probably gravitate to the Switch. The fact that you can connect the Switch to your television to play it, which is something the Switch Lite cannot do, is reason enough for most people to choose the switch.

Its’ versatility, longer battery life, and extra features make it worth the extra expense for most people. Plus, it is still very portable and its larger screen size and bigger dimensions will be preferred by many people.

So Who Should buy the Switch Lite?

If you are always on the go and are looking for a handheld gaming device the Switch Lite is a great choice. This is even truer if you want to keep the size and weight to a minimum. Some people who already have a Switch might also be interested in getting a Switch Lite to use for when they are on the go.

Hopefully, this helped to make your decision easier. Happy Shopping!

Current Nintendo Switch Consoles & Bundles

Nintendo Switch - Animal Crossing: New Horizons Edition - Switch
85,550 Reviews
Nintendo Switch - Animal Crossing: New Horizons Edition - Switch
  • The console is also decorated with images of recognizable characters: Tom Nook and Nooklings Timmy and Tommy
  • Includes a Switch console, Switch dock, Joy-Con (L) and Joy-Con (R), and two Joy-Con strap accessories
  • Game not included
Nintendo Switch with Neon Blue and Neon Red Joy‑Con - HAC-001(-01)
87,577 Reviews
Nintendo Switch with Neon Blue and Neon Red Joy‑Con - HAC-001(-01)
  • 3 Play Styles: TV Mode, Tabletop Mode, Handheld Mode
  • 6.2-inch, multi-touch capacitive touch screen
  • 4.5-9+ Hours of Battery Life will vary depending on software usage conditions
  • Connects over Wi-Fi for multiplayer gaming; Up to 8 consoles can be connected for local wireless multiplayer
  • Model number: HAC-001(-01)
Nintendo Switch with Gray Joy‑Con - HAC-001(-01)
87,586 Reviews
Nintendo Switch with Gray Joy‑Con - HAC-001(-01)
  • 3 Play Styles: TV Mode, Tabletop Mode, Handheld Mode
  • 6.2-inch, multi-touch capacitive touch screen
  • 4.5-9 plus Hours of Battery Life Will vary depending on software usage conditions
  • Connects over Wi-Fi for multiplayer gaming; Up to 8 consoles can be connected for local wireless multiplayer
  • Model number: HAC-001(-01)
Nintendo Switch w/ Red & Blue Joy-Con + Animal Crossing (New Horizons) Game Bundle
911 Reviews
Nintendo Switch w/ Red & Blue Joy-Con + Animal Crossing (New Horizons) Game Bundle
  • This Bundle Includes The Nintendo Switch Console, Dock, Blue Joy Con (L) And Red Joy Con (R), 2 Joy Con Straps, 1 Joy Con Grip, HDMI Cable, AC Adapter, Game: Animal Crossing (New Horizons)
  • Includes original Nintendo Switch model hac-001, battery performance ranges from 2.5 - 6.5 hours. For more information, see support.Nintendo.Com/Switch/battery
  • At home the main unit rests in the Nintendo Switch dock, which connects the system to the TV and lets you play with family and friends in the comfort of your living room.
  • Lift Nintendo Switch from the dock and instantly transition to handheld mode for on-the-go gaming. By sharing Joy-Con controllers, players can go head-to-head while away from home.
  • TV Mode supports 5.1 channel surround sound. Through the system's built-in audio jack, stereo speakers or headphones can be used when playing in handheld or tabletop modes.

Current Nintendo Switch Lite Consoles

Nintendo Switch Lite - Turquoise
63,458 Reviews
Nintendo Switch Lite - Turquoise
  • Handheld Nintendo Switch gaming at a great price
  • For every member of your family, there’s a member of ours
  • Optimized for personal, handheld play, Nintendo Switch Lite is a small and light Nintendo Switch system
  • Features a sleek, unibody design with fully integrated controls and a built-in plus Control Pad
  • Compatible with all physical and digital Nintendo Switch games that support Handheld mode
Nintendo Switch Lite - Yellow
63,458 Reviews
Nintendo Switch Lite - Yellow
  • Handheld Nintendo Switch gaming at a great price
  • For every member of your family, there’s a member of ours
  • Optimized for personal, handheld play, the Nintendo Switch Lite is a small and light Nintendo Switch system
  • Features a sleek, unibody design with fully integrated controls and a built-in plus Control Pad
  • Compatible with all physical and digital Nintendo Switch games that support Handheld mode
Sale
Nintendo Switch Lite - Coral
63,458 Reviews
Nintendo Switch Lite - Coral
  • Handheld Nintendo Switch gaming at a great price
  • For every member of your family, there’s a member of ours
  • Optimized for personal, handheld play, Nintendo Switch Lite is a small and light Nintendo Switch system
  • Features a sleek, unibody design with fully integrated controls and a built-in plus Control Pad
  • Compatible with all physical and digital Nintendo Switch games that support Handheld mode
Nintendo Switch Lite - Gray
63,458 Reviews
Nintendo Switch Lite - Gray
  • Handheld Nintendo Switch gaming at a great price
  • For every member of your family, there’s a member of ours
  • Optimized for personal, handheld play, the Nintendo Switch Lite is a small and light Nintendo Switch system
  • Features a sleek, unibody design with fully integrated controls and a built-in plus Control Pad
  • Compatible with all physical and digital Nintendo Switch games that support Handheld mode

Last update on 2021-07-30 at 15:53 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API