The Nintendo Switch is one of the most popular consoles of our time. After its release in 2017, the platform has had one hit game after another. In 2019, the company decided to change things up and provide a cheaper, more compact alternative to the hybrid Switch console in the form of the Nintendo Switch Lite. Take a look at this Nintendo Switch Lite Review.
Nintendo Switch Lite Review
The Switch Lite is the smaller, lighter version of the original Nintendo Switch
If you enjoy the flexibility of playing the Switch handheld and on the TV, the Switch Lite isn’t for you, since playing video games docked is not an option here. However, if you are looking for a handheld gaming device or continually use the Switch handheld, but find it a bit clunky for on-the-go gaming, the Switch Lite could be the right device for you. But, as with any device, there are some pros and cons that you should weigh out before deciding to purchase the Nintendo Switch Lite. Let us quickly go over the features of the device in this Nintendo Switch Lite Review, and help you figure out if it is worth your money.
The difference between the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite is that the Switch Lite is solely a handheld device. There is no option for playing games on your TV, and this makes for a more compact and lightweight design. Its dimensions are 91.1mm x 208mm x 13.9mm, and it weighs 275g, which is much smaller and lighter when compared to the 102mm x 239mm x 13.9mm dimensions and 297g weight of the original Nintendo Switch. The Switch Lite comes with a smaller LCD touch screen, measuring just 5.5 inches with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels.
In other words, the screen is smaller than the original Switch’s 6.2-inch screen, but the resolution is the same. Therefore, you don’t lose anything in terms of picture quality. The Switch Lite has a higher pixel density of 267 pixels-per-inch, making it a little sharper than the original Switch, which has a pixel density of 236 PPI. However, there is a trade-off – it can sometimes be difficult to read the small in-game writing on the screen. The Switch Lite feels more comfortable as a handheld device. The smaller size makes it more portable and convenient to use when compared to the original Switch.
To play video games on the Switch Lite, you need less elbow room, and the device itself can fit in a (large) pocket. If you have smaller hands and have used the original Nintendo Switch, you will know that it can be uncomfortable to use in handheld mode, since the device is large by handheld standards. The Lite, on the other hand, is considerably more compact and portable and fits in your hands snugly. However, the device is still quite broad and doesn’t feel quite as comfortable as the Nintendo 3DS did. Furthermore, the Switch Lite comes with controls integrated into the device and does not use Joy-Cons. You can connect up to four Joy-Cons to the Switch Lite wirelessly, but you don’t get any Joy-Cons in the box with the Lite.
Despite the controllers being fixed, most buttons remain in the same layout. Only the left, right, up, down buttons have been replaced by a D-Pad. The D-Pad feels natural – almost like it’s always been there. It is undoubtedly more suitable for handheld play than the older layout. The ZR and ZL triggers are a perfect size and help cement that compact design. The L and R buttons are a bit leaner than those on the original Switch, and your fingers may slip off them at times.
The Switch Lite allows wireless connectivity and has Bluetooth, but you cannot use wireless headphones with it. You can also use a MicroSD card to add the 32GB of internal storage. With the Lite, you aren’t missing out on many features aside from docked mode. The Switch Lite comes in turquoise, grey, and yellow colours.
The Switch Lite essentially performs just like the Switch, except that it has a slightly longer battery life. What is definitely worth noting is that the Switch Lite does not come with HD Rumble or the IR Motion Camera. The device is designed solely for handheld use, and therefore, can only play Nintendo Switch games that support handheld mode. You can play games that don’t support handheld mode; however, to play these games, you will have to purchase Joy-Cons (and the charging grip separately) and connect them to the Switch Lite wirelessly. Connecting Joy-Cons to the Switch Lite allows you to use HD Rumble.
According to a Nintendo representative, the Switch Lite will be compatible with more than just the Joy-Cons, but we don’t know what exactly these devices are. Super Mario Party, 1-2 Switch, and Nintendo Labo accessory kits are not suitable for the Switch Lite. These games don’t suit the Switch Lite, because although the device can be paired with the Joy-Cons, playing with more than one person is not practical on the small screen.
The Switch still has an accelerometer, a gyroscope, and a brightness sensor. You can use gyro controls in games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. For instance, you can tilt the Switch to aim the bow in the game.x The screen’s brightness adjusts itself automatically depending on your surroundings. The wireless online play feature enables you to play games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe with your friends. Sadly, since it cannot be connected to your TV, there is no opportunity for couch co-op.
Verdict: Nintendo Switch Lite Review
The Switch Lite is compact and light, which makes it feel much less clunky and considerably more polished than its predecessor. It is easy to transport and takes up less elbow space on commutes. It fits your hands snugly. Although it’s not as comfortable as the 3DS, it does pack some great features and performs well for its price. The Nintendo Switch Lite feels like the perfect console for those who enjoy comfortable handheld gaming.