When Nintendo announced the Switch Lite earlier this year, gamers expected it to be just a cheaper stripped-down version of the original Switch. With a new Switch coming up with longer battery life, why buy the smaller version except for better portability?
The Switch Lite is more than just a smaller, budget version of the Switch, it turns out. The Lite was released to rave reviews from respected gaming sites. Let’s look at some of the best features Switch Lite offers for about $200 (compared to about $300 for regular Switch):
Here are the best reasons to buy a Switch Lite:
The main selling point of Switch Lite is that it’s a more compact version of the original. Switch Lite has a smaller screen size than the original. However, it still comes at 5.5 inches. That’s not too small considering the original screen is only 6.2 inches anyway. The Lite screen is the same as a standard smartphone screen. Gamers are not giving up much in terms of screen size with Switch Lite for a price cut of about a $100.
As expected, not only is Switch Lite small, but it weighs next to nothing. The specified weight is only 61 ounces. The newest Switch version would weight about 90 ounces. That doesn’t seem like a major difference in weight. At least, not until you actually start playing games. The Switch Lite is much easier to hold on to for long gaming sessions. It would feel more comfortable than gaming on your smartphone.
If you expected the smaller Switch to have a small battery and thus shorter run time, you’re wrong. The battery life on Switch Lite is actually better than the original and is on par with the newest model of the larger Switch. According to Nintendo, the Switch Lite can last between 3 to 7 hours, which is impressive for a small device.
Initial testing, so far, has been consistent with Nintendo’s claims. Battery life really depends on the game you play. You can play Fire Emblem: Three Houses for about four and a half hours straight on the Switch Lite. The Switch edition of Final Fantasy does last up to 7 hours. It’s pretty consistent with what you expect.
In general, you would need to charge the Switch Lite every 6 hours or so depending on your gaming needs. That’s just about the same as the new Switch so you are not losing anything on this front.
The Nintendo Switch Lite has the same screen resolution as the base model. The graphics are just as great, if not crisper. Games appear sharper on the Switch Lite, perhaps because of the highly efficient design. So there’s nothing to worry about on the graphics front. You even get the same frame rate as the bigger Switch.
The Switch Lite sports a much sleeker design than the original. There are some new design choices that actually make gaming easier. Switch Lite has a matte plastic body that won’t retain greasy handprints. It lacks the garish black border of the original around the screen. Plus, it comes in more attractive colors.
Some iconic features that made the original Switch great are missing from the new Lite version. Here are the main downsides of the Switch:
The most notable feature of the original Switch was the Joy-Cons you could detach for multiplayer sessions. The Switch Lite lacks this feature. The Lite is a singular gaming device, similar to the DS of the past. So if you are a fan of removable Joy-Cons, you may not like the Lite very much.
One crucial feature that’s missing is the lack of a TV connection, which was what made the original a lot more fun to play with friends. The new Switch Lite doesn’t connect to screens. It’s mainly intended for a single user on the go.
The Switch Lite doesn’t come with a kickstand like the original. It’s primarily for handheld gaming. While this is fine when travelling, it would have been nice to have a kickstand when gaming at home.
Some gamers might want to hold out for the new version of the Switch. But if you are on a budget and love playing games en route, Switch Lite would be a great investment.