Nintendo hit a gold mine with the Switch hybrid handheld console to satisfy both console and handheld gamers. The main feature of the device is easy switching from portable games to TV. However, the manufacturer decided to go even further with the introduction of the Nintendo Switch Lite.
Nintendo Switch Lite design
The Nintendo Switch Lite console is lighter than the original version. Therefore, it is more compact, while not looking fragile. You can easily take it with you by putting it in your bag or backpack pocket.
Despite its compact size, the new portable device is more convenient to use than its predecessor. The layout of the controls is slightly different, which is also due to the size. The Switch Lite’s triggers are taller and the trigger buttons are more elongated than the original version. In addition, instead of the usual four independent buttons with the depicted arrows, the developer implemented a D-pad, thus achieving more accurate input.
The new Nintendo handheld game console is available in three colors – gray, turquoise and yellow – combined with ivory buttons that beautifully complement the yellow and turquoise parts of the device and contrast with the gray. Overall, the Switch Lite looks very aesthetically pleasing, and thanks to the variety of color variations and small size, it will appeal not only to Nintendo fans, but also to children.
Features and performance
Nintendo Switch Lite works as smoothly as other Nintendo game consoles. However, all the problems that arose in terms of gaming performance with the original version of this controller migrated to the new model. So, you can still enjoy the smooth movement around the castle in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, but in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 the problems with loading textures remained unresolved, and in Link’s Awakening, there is still occasional slightly random frame rate drops.
During testing, I compared how the games look on the Switch Lite screen compared to the original version. I’ve noticed that the Lite’s 5.5-inch 720p display provides a sharper, more vibrant picture. Overall, the Switch Lite has most of the same features as the original. Also, given that the operating system is the same for both consoles, the new version still lacks internal support for chat and Bluetooth for audio.
Some users may be scared off by the console’s lack of Bluetooth support for pairing with wireless headphones, but there is a port for connecting a wired version, thus you provide yourself with better sound. In addition, if it is of principle for you that audio transmission takes place via Bluetooth, you can always purchase an adapter – a special accessory.
All potential buyers should also be aware that Nintendo Switch Lite does not support the entire catalog of games in the Switch library, but only those that can be run in handheld mode. And this is understandable, since the new model cannot be connected to a TV, so it does not have an HDMI output. In addition, there are no motion sensors, as a result, the docking station and Joy-Cons controllers are not included in the package. You won’t be able to play Just Dance or Nintendo Labo with this console; you’ll need to purchase the original Switch for them.
The Switch Lite has a small but energy-efficient Tegra chip, which the manufacturer claims to increase battery life. This configuration is due to the key feature of the model – mobility.
Nintendo claims the Switch Lite’s battery lasts 3-7 hours of play, while the original Switch provides 2.5-6.5 hours. During testing, I ran Link Awakening at 50% brightness, resulting in about a four hour gaming session on one battery charge, and about three and a half hours at full brightness.
Of course, the battery in Lite is not enough for a long flight, but to keep the kids busy or diversify their leisure time during the trip, it is quite enough.
Switch Lite alternatives and guarantees
It could compete with the Nintendo 3DS, but it offers a much smaller variety of games. Sony’s PlayStation Vita is no longer supported and the manufacturer is not updating this platform, and both devices are already out of date.
Nintendo Switch Lite will delight any portable gamer. Its compact size makes it more mobile than the original version, and its ergonomic shape ensures comfort even during long sessions. Improvements and the replacement of the four arrow buttons on the D-pad, as well as a sharper display, have added to the Switch Lite’s appeal, making it Nintendo’s best portable gaming device.
However, portability requires sacrifice, as a result, equipment cannot be connected to a TV or docking station, and you cannot use the Joy-Cons controllers as in the original. But the battery life is longer than the original version.
Should you buy?
Yes. Nintendo’s Switch Lite is by no means the best in its category, it is the best portable console ever made.
- Convenient design.
- Sharp and bright display.
- Has the legendary D-Pad.
- Improved battery life.
- Smaller library of games.
- No TV mode support.