Should you buy a Nintendo Switch Lite?

The Nintendo Switch Lite, a “lite” version, released in September 2019, is fully portable, with no removable joycons and no TV connectivity. However, is it fair to call the Switch Lite a stripped-down version of the Nintendo Switch? Only partly. Why so – we will tell in our material.

The original Nintendo Switch is marketed as a multifunctional console. You can take it on a trip, to study, work or a party: this is confirmed by the detachable joycons with an accelerometer and gyroscope, as well as many games designed for a group of friends. After all, using the Nintendo Switch docking station can be connected to a TV. Then it will turn from a portable to a regular console. For this ability to switch, it got the name “Switch”.

In turn, Nintendo Switch Lite uses the word “switch” only to indicate the relationship between the two consoles. The handheld console is designed for those who do not need the full functionality of the original version. Switch Lite is lightweight and comfortable. It can be played both in public transport and lying on the couch. Due to its availability, the console can be a good excuse to get to know Nintendo games for the first time.

Nintendo Switch vs Nintendo Switch Lite

Let’s go through the main differences between the two versions. First of all, the difference in price is striking. If the original console costs about 23,000 rubles, then the Lite version will cost an average of 16,000 rubles. But it should be borne in mind that joykons are not included in the budget version, since it is equipped with built-in controllers. In addition, Switch Lite is not compatible with Nintendo Switch Dock and does not support TV output, so it does not come with a dock, HDMI cable, or stand.

The portability of the Switch Lite opposes the versatility of the Nintendo Switch . As mentioned above, the Switch lite is a purely portable console that does not include detachable joycons or TV-out functionality. Lite does not have a stand and vibration, since the vibration motor is located in the joycon, which this model does not have. Meanwhile, some games use vibration to indicate the location of hidden objects or to convey useful information.


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In terms of dimensions, the original console measures 102mm x 239mm x 13.9mm, while the Switch Lite measures 91.1mm x 208mm x 13.9mm. Weight – 399 and 276 grams, respectively. In practice, Switch Lite is more compact and more convenient both when playing games and for transporting, especially since the console is 30% lighter than the original.

Along with the reduction of the prefix, the size of the display was also cut, the diagonal of which is not 6.2, but 5.5 inches. At the same time, the resolution is kept at 1280×720. However, small objects or text are harder to see on a small screen, so your eyes will tire faster.

Nintendo Switch Lite Handheld Game Console

In stores: in 26 stores
When you buy a Nintendo Switch Lite, you will have to spend extra money to buy a case that comes with a screen protector. The cover will protect the matte surface of the console from scuffs, and the film is a must for the display, which is prone to collect small scratches.

Nintendo Switch Lite Starter Kit White 1 699 *
Unlike the original Nintendo Switch, the Lite is a monolithic construction. This solved the problem of joycon backlash, which many users of the classic Switch complained about.

However, the problem of stick drift remained unresolved, which migrated from the original to the light version of Switch. So, even if you do not touch the controller, it can provoke movement on the display.

And if in the usual version the problem was solved easier: you can remove and repair or, in extreme cases, replace the joycon, then in Switch Lite, for obvious reasons, such a trick cannot be performed. If a problem occurs, the console will have to be sent to a service center. The advantages of the Nintendo Switch Lite can be written down to softer buttons that do not emit as loud clicks as the Nintendo Switch.

Nintendo Switch Lite Handheld Game Console

If you plan to use the console regularly, you should consider buying an SD card, because the built-in memory (32 GB) is unlikely to last long. However, the Nintendo Switch received the same 32 GB. Only the Nintendo Switch OLED version has the increased storage capacity (64GB).

The battery capacity of the Nintendo Switch Lite is 3570 mAh, while the manufacturer claims a runtime of 3-7 hours. So, in demanding games, for example, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the battery will last for about 4 hours. For comparison, the battery capacity of the Nintendo Switch is 4310 mAh. Opening hours are 4.5-9 hours. In The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, the battery will drain after approximately 5.5 hours.

Nintendo Switch Nintendo Switch Lite

The weight 399 grams (421 grams for Switch OLED) 276 grams
Battery capacity 4310 mAh 3570 mAh
Battery life 4.5-9 hours 3-7 hours
Controllers Removable joycons Built-in controllers, but joycons or other compatible controllers can be installed
Memory cards microSDHC, microSD microSDHC, microSD
Dock station Included, includes USB ports and an HDMI connector for connecting to a TV. Dock for Switch OLED has a LAN port No connectivity, not included
Games All games Portable Games
Games library

Nintendo Switch came out 4 years ago. At the start of sales, the main reason for refusing to buy the console was the lack of games. To date, the Switch game library is replete with many interesting titles. On Switch, you can buy exclusive games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Super Smash Bros and more, as well as ports of famous games: The Witcher 3, TESV: Sryrim, Dark Souls: Remastered. The Nintendo eShop digital store includes not only famous projects, but many other games created in a variety of genres.

These are often cute and kind games with addictive gameplay, such as Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which is perfect for the Lite version. The game does not require a lot of time, with it you can pass the time on the way to school or work: just turn on the console and check how life is going on your island in a couple of minutes.

Nintendo Switch Lite Handheld Game Console + Animal Crossing: New Horizons 18 499 *
A solid game library, however, is overshadowed by the relatively high cost of games in the digital store. Not everyone can buy a game on a portable console for 4000+ rubles. Physical games, however, are priced slightly lower, and eShop regularly offers many discounts.

Both versions come with an NVIDIA Custom Tegra processor. However, the entire set of games can be played on the Nintendo Switch console, and only those that support handheld mode are available on the Nintendo Switch Lite. Among them are the most popular Nintendo games: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Pokemon Sword and Shield, Super Mario Odyssey, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Cannot play Nintendo Labo, Ring Fit Adventure, or 1-2-Switch.

Game console Nintendo Switch 32 GB Neon Red / Blue + Ring Fit Adventure
In order to play games that do not support portable mode, you will have to buy compatible controllers. They connect wirelessly. In addition, you will need a device to recharge the controllers.

Multiplayer games can also be played with Nintendo Switch Lite. This is done over a local wireless connection, with which you can connect up to eight Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite. But since there is no TV-out, you will have to look at the same 5.5-inch display in multiplayer gaming sessions.
Lack of some useful features (vibration, support for wireless headphones).
Reduced display.
Some accessories will have to be purchased separately.
So is the Nintendo Switch Lite worth buying?
It is appropriate to divide the answer to this question into two parts:

Should you buy a Nintendo Switch game console at all, regardless of version?
Should you buy a Nintendo Switch Lite over the original Nintendo Switch?
The Nintendo Switch is definitely worth buying. The console offers a large selection of games with an eye-catching style and gameplay that you can get lost in for a long time. When choosing between the two versions, you need to focus on the style of play that you prefer. The Switch is primarily chosen as a console for games streamed to a TV, as well as if you prefer to play games with friends.