The all-in-one design of the Nintendo Switch Lite ditches the original premise of the Nintendo Switch — a portable gaming device that can also be connected to your TV. Instead, the new unit is strictly a dedicated handheld system. Unable to ‘switch’ into a docked mode or remove the detachable Joy-Cons, the Switch Lite instead comes in a much lighter, compact design, making it easier for gaming on-the-go. After owning the Nintendo Switch since its launch, the Switch Lite is a most welcome addition to the Nintendo Switch family.
The Same but Different
Released earlier this month on November 8th, the Nintendo Switch Lite launched in 3 colors: gray, yellow, and turquoise. A special Pokemon Sword and Shield Zacian and Zamazenta Limited Edition was released on November 15th.
Even though the Nintendo Switch Lite is $100 cheaper than the original Switch, it does so at a cost. With the Lite, you’re no longer able to play games in docked mode on a TV. The controls themselves are now attached to the system, which means you can no longer remove and interchange Joy-Cons. There’s no longer an IR sensor. It does not come with HD Rumble functionality, but it does still have an accelerometer and gyroscope. The Lite is also only compatible in handheld mode, which means games like RingFit Adventure, 1-2 Switch, Nintendo Labo, and Just Dance will have compatibility issues.
Other than the listed differences, the Lite is a fantastic beast of a machine. The screen is a bit smaller at 5.5 inches compared to the regular Switch’s 6.2 inches; the Switch Lite boasts a better PPI (pixels per inch), which gives it a slightly sharper image than the original. It also replaces the directional buttons on the Joy-Cons with a nice D-Pad. Did we mention it’s 30% lighter? It may not sound like a lot, but after carrying around the original Switch everywhere since launch, I can certainly say that it makes a huge difference.
Which Switch is Best for Me?
I think the system you decide to go with ultimately depends on your budget. One thing to keep in mind is that along with the Switch Lite, Nintendo stealthily dropped a second version of the Nintendo Switch that boasts a better battery life. So even though the Switch Lite has a longer battery life than the original Switch, Switch ‘v2’ has an even longer battery life than the Lite.
Personally, I recommend purchasing the Nintendo Switch ‘v2’ over the Nintendo Switch Lite. The versatility of the Nintendo Switch makes it difficult to recommend the Lite if you have the choice between the two. The ability to play games on your TV and take your experience on the go is what the Switch, well, the Switch.
If you’re strictly looking for a dedicated handheld console and aren’t planning on playing your Switch in docked mode very often, then the Switch Lite is most definitely the way to go. It’s smaller size makes it easier to carry around, feels great during longer play sessions, and it’s only two-thirds the price of the original Switch!
It’s lower price point, portability, and integration even makes for a great secondary device. Allowing cloud saves to be pulled effortlessly from your Switch to your Switch Lite in order to continue your progress when you’re away from your dock.
The Nintendo Switch Lite is a fantastic addition to the Switch family and a perfect match for those looking for a fully portable gaming device. Its more comfortable design compared to its slightly larger and heavier counterpart and its fantastic growing library of first and third-party games, make the Switch Lite the best fully handheld gaming device since the 3DS.
- Slimmer and lighter
- Color selection
- Longer battery life than the original Switch
- No TV Output
- Limited to handheld games only