Nintendo switch lite can’t “switch”, but it certainly impresses with a sturdy build, a slightly better battery and a responsive d-pad. It is essentially a budget switch, intended to be more portable. However, the portability comes at a cost – downgrades. More on that will come later. Switch lite is comfortable, compact, and a delight to play games on. Furthermore, it can access Nintendo Switch’s enormous game library. At just 199 USD, the Nintendo Switch lite is a triumphant return to handheld dedicated gaming. Let’s go through some key features of the latest Nintendo release.
Physical features: Impressive
It is the most adorable handheld gaming device I have seen in a long time. I’ll go one step further, and say that its design is actually better than the OG Switch. It is small, light and portable measuring 91.1mm x 208mm x 13.9mm and weighing just 275g. The shorter form factor makes it perfect for frequent travellers. Besides, the white buttons provide a nice contrast to the colourful body and the matte finish adds extra grip.
No Switching unfortunately
Nintendo has removed a vital aspect of the OG Switch. The new device cannot be played on a TV. Why call it Nintendo “Switch” lite when it can’t switch between the handheld mode and TV mode, right? We asked ourselves the same question. It also means that it is compatible only with handheld games from the Nintendo library.
Display: Smaller the better
A 5.5-inch screen is perfect for handheld games(like any modern smartphone), but it might be a tad smaller for some people. The LCD display is lovely, and the graphics look improved due to a higher pixel density. Also, the display bezels are thin and colourful, so you know exactly where the screen ends.
Joycons: More joy, less cons
The switch lite has fixed joycons that make it is a single sturdy kit of plastic like a real handheld gaming device. It’s downside? No more splitting up controllers to let friends play with you. The good thing is, it supports external wireless joycons so you can always buy some or attach OG joycons though we don’t see the point of it. Furthermore, it also eliminates the notorious joycon drift issue of Nintendo consoles.
Welcome back D-pad
Fixed joycons also mean that Nintendo can be more flexible with designing the two ends. Taking full advantage, Nintendo reintroduces the d-pad and oh boy do we love this little tweak. The four-way button feels more satisfying, tactile and noise-free while playing.
Battery: Improved, but not so much
Nintendo promises a 3-7 hour battery life. It is slightly better than the original but unacceptably shorter than the latest Switch version. Better invest in a portable charger for longer trips, folks!
Colours: Bright and attractive
The console comes in three different colours, Yellow, Turquoise, and Gray. Each colour is bright and attractive. I particularly loved the turquoise console. If Nintendo’s previous track record is anything to go by, more colours should be coming in the next few months.
Lite’s most significant flaw comes down to account management and digital ownership. While setting up lite as the new console to transfer your OG account is easy, playing on it as a supplementary gaming device to the original isn’t. In such cases, if you set up your account as primary and transfer all of your game data from the OG switch, it permanently deletes all data from the original. Thankfully, cartridge games aren’t affected the same way. Alternatively, if you set up a secondary account, it needs to verify permissions every time you launch a game. What’s more, you need an internet connection for the verification.
All things considered, the alternative take on Nintendo Switch is superior in some ways and inferior in others. It is cheap, portable, graphics are way better, and has a very aesthetically pleasing design that is hard to resist. However, it cannot be played on tv, has no instant multiplayer and has some weird account management rules. Both devices are intended for different audiences. The Switch lite is a good buy for gamers on the go or people who want a portable Nintendo and are okay with downgraded features. But, if you are a hardcore gamer, better go for the latest upgraded Nintendo Switch.