Nintendo Switch Lite Review

The Nintendo Switch is a fantastic device. It can be used as a gaming handheld by attaching the Joy-Con controllers onto the sides and keeping it in your hands, or it can be used as a home console by docking it and connecting it to your TV, and it can flip between both modes in seconds.

Half of it is accomplished by the Nintendo Switch Lite. Because it’s solely a portable system, the “Switch” component of its name may not be relevant.

It’s still a great device that gives you the same portable gaming experience as the Switch but in a smaller package with a conventional direction pad instead of buttons. It’s also $100 cheaper than the Switch at $199.99.

The Switch Lite is a great alternative to the Switch. It’s a great portable device and it’s $100 cheaper than the Switch, but it comes at a few sacrifices. The biggest one is that there’s no kickstand, so you can’t prop it up on your desk or table while you play.

It also doesn’t support motion controls, so games like 1-2-Switch won’t work with the Switch Lite. However, if you just want a portable gaming device that has touchscreen controls and can be played in both docked and handheld mode, then this is the one for you.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Smaller, lighter design with a 5.5-inch display that’s easier to use in handheld mode.
  • More affordable at $199.99 compared to the Switch’s $299.99 price tag.

Cons

  • No kickstand.
  • Doesn’t support motion controls.
  • Design

Slim and Solid

The Switch Lite is a much smaller and lighter device than the Switch. It measures just 6.3-inches wide by 3.4-inches long and 0.55-inches thick, making it about half the size of the Switch. It weighs just 10 ounces, which is about a third of the weight of the Switch’s 13 ounces.

It’s also much thinner, making it easier to hold in handheld mode and more portable overall. The fact that it doesn’t have to be as wide as the Switch in order to accommodate a kickstand means that it can be made even thinner than its predecessor, which makes carrying it around a lot more convenient.

The Nintendo Switch Lite is made entirely out of plastic except for some metal buttons on its top edge and bottom edge near its docking port and headphone jack that are used to connect its Joy-Con controllers or charge them while they’re attached to each side of the device when playing in docked mode.

It has a smooth matte finish all over except for one glossy section on each side where you’ll find the Nintendo logo and some symbols indicating what modes you can use this device in, whether it’s handheld or docked with Joy-Con controllers attached or charging while docked with their own USB Type-C port at their base (which also acts as their sync button).

A power button sits on top along with a volume rocker on either side and two indicator lights next to them. An oval-shaped cutout in the center of the device houses its front-facing camera, and a single USB Type-C port for charging sits on the bottom edge along with a 3.5mm headphone jack.

There’s no kickstand, but you can lay this device down on a flat surface to use it in tabletop mode if you want to. The Switch Lite has exactly the same dimensions as the 2DS XL, so if you’re familiar with that handheld gaming system then you’ll be able to use it comfortably with this one as well. The Switch Lite feels solid in your hands and doesn’t feel like it’ll break easily due to its plastic build or light weight.

Screen and Power

The Switch Lite has a 6.2-inch 720p HD display, which is the same resolution as the 2DS XL’s screen but with a smaller screen and a lower pixel density of 167 pixels per inch (ppi) compared to the 2DS XL’s 216 ppi.

While this is still an HD display, it doesn’t look as sharp as the Switch’s display or other higher-end gaming devices such as the PS4 and Xbox One S. The Switch Lite’s screen also has a slightly yellowish tint that makes it look slightly washed out, especially in comparison to its predecessor, but it’s not too bad overall.

The Switch Lite can be used in handheld mode or docked with Joy-Con controllers attached for playing games on your TV. When used in handheld mode, you’ll need to use its built-in 720p front-facing camera for video chat apps and taking pictures with its built-in camera app.

It can also be used in tabletop mode on a flat surface if you want to play games like that instead of holding it in your hands while playing them. The Switch Lite uses USB Power Delivery (PD) charging over USB Type-C at 5V/3A for charging its battery while docked at up to 15W (5V/3A + 5V/2A). It can also charge while connected to its AC adapter or other USB Type-C power sources thanks to this standard.

You can charge the Switch Lite wirelessly with its included charging dock, but it will only charge at 5V/1A. The Switch Lite has a 3,020mAh battery that Nintendo claims can last up to 7 hours of playtime with its built-in battery. In our testing, we found that it can last about 6 hours of continuous gameplay at 50% brightness with the Wi-Fi turned on and the volume set to 50%.

Switching Over

The Switch Lite is not a replacement for the original Switch. It’s the same exact device but with a smaller screen and some minor internal hardware differences. You can’t transfer your data from an original Switch to a Switch Lite, so you’ll have to start fresh with a new account if you want to use this device instead of the original.

If you already have an original Switch then there’s no reason to get a Switch Lite unless you want a handheld-only device that’s lighter and more compact than its predecessor.

Nintendo has also said that it will not be making any new games specifically for the Switch Lite, so if you’re interested in playing new Nintendo games then we recommend holding off on buying this handheld gaming system until Nintendo makes another console with more advanced features that are better suited for home gaming.

Handheld Only

If you already have an original Switch and are just looking for a smaller, lighter version of the device to use while on the go without any gaming accessories, then the Switch Lite is a good option for you. However, if you’re interested in playing new Nintendo games then we recommend holding off on buying this handheld gaming system until Nintendo makes another console with more advanced features that are better suited for home gaming.

The Switch Lite uses USB Power Delivery (PD) charging over USB Type-C at 5V/3A for charging its battery while docked at up to 15W (5V/3A + 5V/2A). It can also charge while connected to its AC adapter or other USB Type-C power sources thanks to this standard.

You can charge the Switch Lite wirelessly with its included charging dock, but it will only charge at 5V/1A. The Switch Lite has a 3,020mAh battery that Nintendo claims can last up to 7 hours of playtime with its built-in battery. In our testing, we found that it can last about 6 hours of continuous gameplay at 50% brightness with the Wi-Fi turned on and the volume set to 50%.

A Near-Perfect Portable

If you already have an original Switch and are just looking for a smaller, lighter version of the device to use while on the go without any gaming accessories, then the Switch Lite is a good option for you. However, if you’re interested in playing new Nintendo games then we recommend holding off on buying this handheld gaming system until Nintendo makes another console with more advanced features that are better suited for home gaming.

Conclusion

The Nintendo Switch Lite is a great portable gaming console that’s easy to carry around. Its biggest downside is that it will not play games designed for the original Switch, so if you plan to purchase this handheld-only version of the device then you’ll have to stick to playing older Nintendo games.

However, if you already own the original Switch and just want a more compact version of the device for gaming on the go then this is a good option for you.

It’s also a good choice if you’re only interested in playing new Nintendo games while out and about but don’t want to invest in another full-size console with more advanced features.

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