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    Nintendo Switch vs Nintendo Switch Lite: which one to choose?

    Who I am
    Carlos Priora
    @carlospriora
    Author and references
    Summary
    • Screen size
    • Switch games catalog
    • Modes, features and services
    • Battery life
    • Getting started
    • And this Joy-Con problem then?
    • Price
    • Conclusion
    • Bonus question: should we wait for the release of a more powerful Switch?
    • Comments

    Are you hesitating between buying a Nintendo Switch or a Switch Lite? Then this guide is for you. Depending on your uses and habits, each of the two consoles may be suitable for you. Find out which one is right for you and which one we believe offers the best value.



    Nintendo OLED Switch

    Best prices

    • 319.99 € See Baker
    • 319.99 € See Fnac
    • 329.99 € See Cdiscount
    • 449.00 € See Amazon
    These prices were updated on 01/02/2022 by All4affiliates. They are listed in ascending order and excluding delivery costs. Only the prices displayed at the merchants are valid.

    Nintendo Switch

    Best prices

    • 253.91 € See Amazon
    • 269.99 € See Fnac
    • 279.98 € See Baker
    • 299.99 € See Cdiscount
    These prices were updated on 01/02/2022 by All4affiliates. They are listed in ascending order and excluding delivery costs. Only the prices displayed at the merchants are valid.

    Nintendo Switch Lite



    Best prices

    • 199.99 € See Fnac
    • 199.99 € See Cdiscount
    • 209.99 € See Baker
    • 230.15 € See Amazon
    These prices were updated on 01/02/2022 by All4affiliates. They are listed in ascending order and excluding delivery costs. Only the prices displayed at the merchants are valid.

    In March 2017, Nintendo hit hard on the video game market by launching its Switch, a hybrid console that allows you to play in portable mode, but also on a TV like a home console using from a dock. Well he took it, since the Nintendo Switch was a hit. To ride on this success, Big N then decided to decline it and market a Switch Lite which is intended to be smaller and only portable. For consumers, a question then arises: which of the two is made for me? We help you in this paper to find your way around and choose which console best suits your needs.

    Screen size

    Large diagonal lovers, take into account that the Switch Lite offers a 5,5-inch screen, smaller than the 6,2-inch screen of the Switch. This is necessarily a parameter to take into account at the time of purchase. The two sizes may look close on paper, but once in hand, the difference is there. The definition, however, remains unchanged: the panel can display HD up to 1280 x 720 pixels on both models. Some particularly greedy titles like The Witcher III are only playable in 540 pixels.



    Small advantage for the Switch Lite, it offers a slightly higher resolution since it benefits from the same number of pixels on a smaller surface. It is entitled to 267 pixels per inch (ppi) against 237 dpi for the Switch. Compared to current smartphones, this is not much, but enough to play on the console.

    Winner: Nintendo Switch

    Switch games catalog

    In theory, the Switch Lite benefits from the same catalog of games as the Switch and itself does not benefit from any exclusivity. In practice, it's more complicated: certain limitations of the Switch Lite make access to certain titles impossible to play.

    First of all, only titles that have a portable mode are supported. This is certainly the majority of them, but it still excludes a few major games. We think in particular of Super Mario Party, which is designed to be played on a TV with several people like a board game. Its mini-games absolutely require Joy-Con motion control and HD rumble functionality. For the same reasons, don't plan to play Just Dance, Fitness Boxing or 1-2-Switch with the Lite. The console is also deprived of Nintendo Labo and the Ring Fit Adventure accessory. The latter indeed use the Joy-Con independently and those of the Switch Lie are glued to the screen.

    Afterwards, we also have the case of playable productions, but with a largely deteriorated experience. Perhaps the most glaring example is Super Mario Odyssey, whose controls become very complicated without Joy-Con and motion control. On Pokémon Go, the capture of small creatures had to be adapted and may be less fun. Ditto for Mario Tennis Aces, Splatoon 2, Okami HD, all playable on Switch Lite but less appreciable because designed to be played with Joy-Con. We can also mention The World Ends With You: Final Remix and Astral Chain, whose cooperation modes are unusable on the portable console only. We also recommend that you read our guide to the best Switch games of the moment.



    Winner: Nintendo Switch

    Modes, features and services

    On the Nintendo Switch, the player has the choice between three game modes:

    • TV mode: placing the console on the included dock, itself connected to the TV, allows you to play on the big screen in the living room or bedroom
    • Table mode: a foot allows you to hold the portable console on a flat surface and play with the Joy-Con detached
    • Handheld mode: Joy-Cons are attached to the screen, and everything fits in the hands of the player.

    With the Switch Lite, logically only portable mode is supported, which not only poses a comfort problem but also deprives the user of part of the game catalog, as we have seen seen above..

    The Nintendo Switch Online, which notably provides access to multiplayer and a catalog of retro games, is present on both consoles. Local multiplayer for up to eight players is also available on both devices.

    If you already own a Switch and are hesitant to buy an add-on Switch Lite, be aware that saves can be linked to a common account. There's no problem regaining progress when switching consoles (cloud saving is for Switch Online subscribers only).

    Winner: Nintendo Switch

    Battery life

    A part that will interest nomads. When announcing the Switch Lite, Nintendo communicated excellent news to consumers: oriented mobility, the portable console should benefit from greater autonomy than that of the Switch. According to the publisher, the battery of the Switch Lite can last between 3 and 7 hours (3 hours on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild) against between 2,5 and 6,5 hours (3 hours for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild) for the Switch. Either a small gain of up to 30 minutes depending on use.

    Problem: just after the official presentation of its portable console, Nintendo announced that it was marketing a new model of Switch, which replaces the old one. And if it has a battery identical to the version released in 2017, it does on the other hand embed a new, more optimized SoC Tegra X1 from Nvidia. Consequence: autonomy flies away and we now have the right to enter 4,5 and 9 hours (5,5 hours on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild). A huge difference that puts the interest of the Switch Lite into perspective since we end up with a 100% portable console that is less durable than its hybrid counterpart.

    We take this opportunity to warn you to be very careful when buying a standard Switch because the 2017 model is still sold at resellers, especially on marketplaces. Make sure you buy a console with the serial number starting with “HAD” to get the latest Switch and its increased autonomy. If it says “HAC”, it means that it is the 2017 version. If you see a major price reduction on the Switch, it is very likely that it is a “HAC”, so no precipitation.

    Winner: Nintendo Switch 2019 (HAD)

    • To know: How to be sure to buy the new Nintendo Switch with better autonomy?

    Getting started

    With dimensions of 91,1 x 208 x 13,9 mm and a design better suited to mobile gaming, the Switch Lite is more manageable than its big sister and its 102 x 239 x 13,9 mm. The latter is also much heavier: 378 grams against 275 grams for the portable console. Easier to transport and handle, the Switch Lite is also resistant and less fearful of shocks, which may be an advantage if the device is intended for children, you are clumsy, or you plan to leave out and about.

    Credit: Vaedreus Aardimus

    But the Nintendo Switch still has its strengths. Thanks to its Joy-Con, it benefits from HD vibrations which reinforces the immersion. Guaranteed effect if the game developers have been able to take this feature into account as well as possible. Moreover, the next DualShock controllers for the PS5 should also feature similar technology with dynamic vibrations and a haptic motor.

    Of course, the motion sensor infrared camera of the Joy-Con is not present on the Switch Lite either, which also poses some gameplay problems on certain titles which particularly exploit this option. In fact, it becomes difficult to enjoy certain games in the catalog with the Switch Lite.

    Winner: Draw

    And this Joy-Con problem then?

    We have told you about it several times on the site, many users have had part of their experience with the Switch spoiled by the Joy-Con Drift, a bug that appears on certain devices and which causes “ghost actions”: menu which unrolls or character which advances without that one does not touch anything for example. Frustrating. Well on this point, no jealous since the Nintendo Switch Lite also has these joystick problems.

    We thought it would be spared since Nintendo is supposed to master this type of design well and that it would not want to relaunch a controversy that weighs it down a bit with the Switch, but the Japanese manufacturer made the same mistake. Rest assured however, this only affects a small part of the products and Nintendo's after-sales service is very efficient.

    Recurring problems that led to the Nintendo Switch being voted the most fragile product of the year 2019, according to 60 Million consumers. In any case, keep the items well, in particular the invoice, which will allow you to benefit from free customer service and a repair.

    Winner: Draw

    Price

    When it was released, the Nintendo Switch was sold for 329,99 euros. Its recommended price then fell to 299,99 euros. For its part, the Nintendo Switch Lite is marketed at the price of 199,99 euros, a difference of 100 euros. We then have different bundles including limited editions, special colors, games included or a voucher to spend on the Nintendo eShop which can vary the prices.

    Between the two, the Switch Lite is therefore the winner in terms of the price applied. However, the classic Switch remains better in terms of quality / price ratio. It remains to be seen whether you want to use the features related to the Joy-Con or whether the purchase is motivated by the fact of wanting to play 100% in portable mode.

    Winner: Nintendo Switch Lite

    To know :

    • Buy the Nintendo Switch at the best price
    • Buy the Nintendo Switch Lite at the best price

    Nintendo OLED Switch

    Best prices

    • 319.99 € See Baker
    • 319.99 € See Fnac
    • 329.99 € See Cdiscount
    • 449.00 € See Amazon
    These prices were updated on 01/02/2022 by All4affiliates. They are listed in ascending order and excluding delivery costs. Only the prices displayed at the merchants are valid.

    Nintendo Switch

    Best prices

    • 253.91 € See Amazon
    • 269.99 € See Fnac
    • 279.98 € See Baker
    • 299.99 € See Cdiscount
    These prices were updated on 01/02/2022 by All4affiliates. They are listed in ascending order and excluding delivery costs. Only the prices displayed at the merchants are valid.

    Nintendo Switch Lite

    Best prices

    • 199.99 € See Fnac
    • 199.99 € See Cdiscount
    • 209.99 € See Baker
    • 230.15 € See Amazon
    These prices were updated on 01/02/2022 by All4affiliates. They are listed in ascending order and excluding delivery costs. Only the prices displayed at the merchants are valid.

    Conclusion

     Nintendo Switch LiteNintendo Switch
    Dimensions91,1 x 208 x 13,9 mm102 x 239 x 13,9 mm
    Weight275 g378 g
    Screen5,5-inch 720-pixel touchscreen LCD6,2-inch 720-pixel touchscreen LCD
    Autonomy3-7 hours (4 hours of consecutive play for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild game)4,5-9 hours (5,5 hours of consecutive play for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild game)
    Docking station and TV standNoYes
    Joy-Con controllersNoYes
    Game modesPortableTV, tabletop, portable
    CatalogueOnly Switch games with handheld mode are compatibleAll Switch games are compatible

    You got it, the Nintendo Switch Lite is only Switch in name. It is in fact a portable console which replaces the 3DS and which takes advantage of part of the catalog of games and the functionalities of the Switch. Given the relatively small price difference between the two consoles, most users will want to look to the standard Nintendo Switch, which is more versatile and offers the full experience.

    But in some special cases, the Switch Lite may be a better choice. It is easier to handle and more resistant, ideal for children. If you don't have a TV and don't plan to play in docked mode, this is also a good solution. Too bad for this lower autonomy than the new Switch which does not make it the perfect portable option.

    That's it, you should be able to make your choice now. And if you still have a little doubt, we invite you to consult our complete test of the Nintendo Switch as well as our test of the Switch Lite. Also note that an improved Switch, dubbed Switch Pro, is in the works according to web rumors. Its launch would take place in mid-2020. Which could affect the price of the classic Switch.

    Winner: Nintendo Switch

    Bonus question: should we wait for the release of a more powerful Switch?

    It is therefore better to prefer the Switch to the Switch Lite. But a question still arises: isn't it better to wait for the release of an improved version of the console? Such a version has been rumored for a while now, but no official has yet been announced by Nintendo.

    However, a very credible rumor is now circulating on the net. United Daily News, well-informed on the subject, indicates that Nintendo plans to release a Switch model with an improved Nvidia Tegra X1 chip and the ability to display games in 4K. A way to help developers whose games suffer from a lack of power. However, this model could put owners of older models on the sidelines.

    This is not the first rumor that goes in this direction concerning the Switch Pro. Postpone your Switch purchase in case the Pro comes out one day is not a very sure bet, and therefore we do not advise waiting. If you want to buy a Switch now, proceed to checkout without feeling sorry for yourself.

    Nintendo OLED Switch

    Best prices

    • 319.99 € See Baker
    • 319.99 € See Fnac
    • 329.99 € See Cdiscount
    • 449.00 € See Amazon
    These prices were updated on 01/02/2022 by All4affiliates. They are listed in ascending order and excluding delivery costs. Only the prices displayed at the merchants are valid.

    Nintendo Switch

    Best prices

    • 253.91 € See Amazon
    • 269.99 € See Fnac
    • 279.98 € See Baker
    • 299.99 € See Cdiscount
    These prices were updated on 01/02/2022 by All4affiliates. They are listed in ascending order and excluding delivery costs. Only the prices displayed at the merchants are valid.

    Nintendo Switch Lite

    Best prices

    • 199.99 € See Fnac
    • 199.99 € See Cdiscount
    • 209.99 € See Baker
    • 230.15 € See Amazon
    These prices were updated on 01/02/2022 by All4affiliates. They are listed in ascending order and excluding delivery costs. Only the prices displayed at the merchants are valid.


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