Nintendo Switch Vs Switch Lite

Nintendo Switch Vs Switch Lite: The Showdown

All you need to know about Nintendo Switch Lite vs Nintendo Switch

You might be wondering why the featured image for this article is the same product on both sides. Well, when comparing the differences between Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite, they are almost identical in physical appearance.

If you are shopping for a portable games console, you may have your eyes on the Nintendo Switch. With this, you have 2 options to choose from with the versatile Nintendo Switch or Switch Lite and its dedicated handheld nature. Choosing between the two can be a big decision and therefore we have assessed the pros and cons of each device.

So, without further ado, scroll down to watch the showdown unfold with this Nintendo Switch Vs Switch Lite review as we pit two of the best consoles to come out of Nintendo head to head.

Gather your weapons, it’s about to go down.

→ {TL;DR} Skip to review summary

Nintendo Switch Vs Switch Lite
Release Date
20th Sept 2019
Switch Lite
View Prices

Nintendo Switch Vs Switch Lite – Design

Eluded to above, there is a scarce difference in the design of the Nintendo Switch over the Switch Lite. Both come with vast colour options and, other than the physical size, you could mistake the Switch for the Switch Lite when the controllers are attached. Simply put, the Switch Lite is a lighter and more portable version of the Switch.

However, as the infantile cousin of the Nintendo Switch, the Nintendo Switch Lite does come with one small drawback. It does not allow you to Switch. Missing from the product title, the Switch Lite does not allow you to disconnect the Joy-Con controllers. Therefore, players are forced to constantly use the Switch Lite as a handheld console. There is a small workaround for this, however, the Switch Lite is meant to be played on the move.

For physical presence, although the Nintendo Switch is not exactly large, some players may struggle to fit the original smoothly into their pockets. Therefore, the Nintendo Switch Lite, despite being unable to actually switch, is much better for when playing on the move.

Perhaps the Nintendo Switch Lite should have been called the Nintendo Stay Put?


Nintendo Switch Vs Switch Lite Comparison

Nintendo Switch Vs Lite – Screen & Display

Despite the smaller nature of the Nintendo Switch Lite, players will be pleased to know that there is no compromise with screen resolution. However, rocking a 5.5 inch LCD touchscreen, you do miss out on 0.7 inches of actual screen size when comparing to the Nintendo Switch. That said, there are very close similarities between both the Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite where colour depth and brightness is concerned.

Although bigger screens usually result in better gameplay (except for competitive FPS), we actually prefer the petite nature of the Switch Lite. The reason for this is because the Switch Lite makes use of thinner bezels and a more uniform design. This results in the screen looking much more seamless.

Switch Lite Vs Switch Specifications

When comparing Nintendo Switch Vs Nintendo Switch Lite specifications, there is not much to separate the two. Both consoles are powered by NVIDIA Custom Tegra processing and present gameplay with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels.

The Switch Lite has a few hours longer battery life than the early versions of the Switch, however, this was rectified with later models. As for the physical size and price, the Switch Lite is smaller, lighter and cheaper to purchase.

Full Specifications – Switch Lite vs Nintendo Switch

Specification Nintendo Switch Switch Lite
Starting Price $409 AUD $298 AUD
Processor NVIDIA Custom Tegra NVIDIA Custom Tegra
Screen Size 6.2 Inch LCD 5.5 Inch LCD
Screen Resolution 1280 x 720 1280 x 720
Battery Life 4 to 9 Hours 3 to 7 Hours
Games All Switch Games Handheld Switch Games 
Physical Size 9.4 x 4 x 0.6 Inches 8.2 x 3.6 x 0.6 Inches
Colours Multiple Options Multiple Options

With both the Nintendo Switch and Lite embodying the same processing power, similar battery life and colour options, the overall performance of each device will be parallel. The biggest factor here is once again the price difference with the smaller and more portable Switch Lite being the better option.

Further to that, not all Nintendo Switch Games can be played on the Switch Lite and therefore this is a consideration before you purchase.

Editor Note: Only the more recent Mid-2019 Nintendo Switch comes with 4 to 9 hours battery life. As for earlier models, players should expect around 2 to 6 hours of gameplay.

Switch Lite Or Nintendo Switch - Which Is Better?

Switch Vs Switch Lite – Play Modes & Games

A downfall of the Switch Lite is that you cannot switch between TV mode and handheld mode. Playing the Nintendo Switch on your tabletop is one of the biggest positives about the Nintendo Switch, however, the Switch Lite does not enjoy the dining room table. Instead, the Switch Lite constantly uses handheld mode. This means that the controllers are permanently connected to the Switch Lite.

Should you really want the Switch Lite but would dearly miss the TV mode, there is a workaround. By pairing your Joy-Cons or Pro Controller with the Switch Lite, you can still enjoy local multiplayer so long as you can prop the Switch Lite up.

When comparing Nintendo Switch Vs Switch Lite games, you are limited to handheld only games on the Switch Lite. Although the thought of limited games might be a huge downturn for the Switch Lite, this is not the case. Nearly all of the same games are playable on both consoles. Therefore, you can still enjoy huge titles such as Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda.  

Nintendo Switch Vs Switch Lite – Price & Value

Appealing very much to the price-conscious gamer, the Switch Lite is over $100 cheaper than the Nintendo Switch. Starting from $289, the Switch Lite is almost two-thirds of the original Nintendo Switch which is valued at $409. With little difference between the Switch Lite vs the Nintendo Switch, this is a huge victory for the Lite.

Yes, a few games will not be playable and you cannot port to your television. However, with such a vast library of some of the best switch games in recent times, you will not be short for choice. The performance is almost identical and you may enjoy the more tactile console. When choosing between the Nintendo Switch or Switch Lite, carefully consider whether the additional ways to play using the Nintendo Switch are of importance to you. If not, it’s time to go light.

Switch Lite Vs Switch

Switch Vs Switch Lite Review Summary

Ultimately, choosing between the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite boils down to the price, the ability to play on your TV and the size. Most suited to anybody who will be gaming on the go, The Switch Lite is around $100 cheaper than the Nintendo Switch, is lighter and of course, smaller. However, do not be fooled by the word ‘Lite’ as this console still comes powerpack with almost everything the Nintendo Switch offers.

For those of you who like to play games on your TV, the Nintendo Switch is your only option as the Switch Lite does not come with this functionality. Ultimately, the core concept for the Switch was that the device could switch from handheld to TV gameplay. But, the experience is still stellar without the big screen.

Frankly, we believe that the Nintendo Switch Lite is the best console to ever come out of Nintendo. The price, the functionality and the endless hours of fun to follow make this portable console a much purchase. If you can forego the primary benefits of the Nintendo Switch, the Switch Lite is a much better purchase for you.

Are you team Switch or Switch Lite? Share your comments below.

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Nintendo Switch & Lite FAQs

Are you still undecided between the Nintendo Switch & Switch Lite? Here are some of the most commonly asked questions that will hopefully help you make the right decision.

Can the Switch Lite play all Switch games?
Yes. The Switch Lite can play all Switch games. Up until now, and presumably so in the future, there has been no problems with playing Switch games on the Switch Lite. The difference between the consoles is the hardware that ports your screen to the TV, not the hardware that processes the games. All Nintendo Switch cartridges should work within the Switch Lite.
What games don't work on Switch Lite?
While all games work on Switch Lite, there are a handful of games that cannot be played on Nintendo Switch Lite without Joycon controllers. These are the games that do not support handheld mode:

  • 1-2-Switch
  • Just Dance (all of them)
  • Super Mario Party
  • Fitness Boxing
  • Fitness Boxing 2: Rhythm & Exercise
  • Ring Fit Adventure
  • Nintendo Switch Sports
  • Nintendo Labo (all sets)*

As you will notice, the majority of these games require plenty of movement and therefore cannot be played without joycon controllers. You are going to struggle completing fitness adventures with just your switch after all!

Can you connect Switch Lite to a TV?
No. You cannot connect the Switch Lite to a TV. While the majority of hardware within the Switch Lite is similar to the Nintendo Switch, the Switch Lite is solely for handheld use and does not contain the hardware required to mimic your screen onto the TV.
Can Switch and Lite play together?
Yes. Absolutely. You can play local co-op when one player has the Nintendo Switch and one player has the Nintendo Lite. The same applies to online multiplayer game modes. As long as you have either the Nintendo Switch, the Switch Lite or the Switch OLED and a compatible game, you are good to go!

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