Nintendo Swap Versus Swap Lite


The Nintendo Swap is a 2-in-1 online game system that “switches” between a house console performed on a TV and a conveyable gaming handheld unit. At its core, the Swap is a standalone pill with a touchscreen show very best for watching YouTube or enjoying an informal recreation. Sliding the 2 included Pleasure-Con controllers onto the best and left sides of this display screen gives analog sticks, buttons, and triggers—changing the pill into a conveyable recreation system with console-like controls. It has sufficient energy to play a number of the hottest open-world video video games from Skyrim to The Witcher 3 on the go. When you’re residence, the Swap clicks into its included docking station as a way to play your video games on the massive display screen of your TV whereas charging up the system and its linked controllers.

Nintendo Swap Versatility Comes At A Price

The Swap shakes up the normal gaming panorama by eradicating the barrier between residence and moveable gaming methods. Up to now, you would need to shell out for a house recreation console just like the Nintendo Wii and a separate, lower-powered moveable console just like the Nintendo DS. Video games on handhelds didn’t look or play the identical as their residence console counterparts. When you might commerce gadgets between sure video games, your progress didn’t carry over.

With the all-in-one design of the Nintendo Swap, you can begin a recreation at residence, take away the console from its dock, and proceed the identical expertise on the go. And the entire headway you make when you’re out picks up proper the place you left off in your TV if you return residence. That applies to not solely a number of the hottest third-party video games but in addition Nintendo’s exclusives like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Pokemon. Switching between configurations is seamless—you’ve gotten the facility to decide on when and the place you play your video games.

Nevertheless, this versatility leaves the system comparatively underpowered. In case you care about enjoying the most recent titles on the highest graphical constancy or body charges, the Swap falls behind. Whereas different online game consoles such because the Xbox Sequence X and PlayStation 5 goal a 4K decision at 60 frames per second video high quality, the Swap is caught at 1080p at 60 fps on a TV and simply 720p at 30 fps in handheld mode. Regardless of the Swap’s toned-down graphics, its recreation costs development towards costlier. Sometimes called the “Swap Tax,” these greater costs correlate to buying a recreation that runs on the TV and on the go.

How We Examined

We referred to as in and evaluated all three present Nintendo Swap methods to check them side-by-side in our labs. Nintendo’s Swap lineup has advanced into three fashions: the usual Swap, Swap Lite (handheld mode solely), and the brand new Swap OLED. Every mannequin provides the identical degree of efficiency, sharing the identical recreation library and interface. We checked out areas like dock connectivity, display screen efficiency, and battery life. We benchmarked battery life by absolutely charging every system, then enjoying Animal Crossing: New Horizons at 50 % brightness in handheld mode till the system died. We repeated this 3 times to get a mean runtime for every Swap.

Finest Worth


Finest Worth

Swap (Neon Pink/Neon blue)



  • Better of each residence and moveable options at a great worth
  • Three USB ports on dock
  • Chunky bezels on LCD display screen

Key Specs

Display 6.2-inch LCD
Weight 0.88 kilos
Battery Life 4 hours 47 minutes (examined)

The unique Nintendo Swap is probably the most well-rounded mannequin within the lineup. It provides a seamless dock-and-go expertise, snappy person interface, and even features a tiny kickstand for propping it up on a floor for multiplayer gaming on the go. At $299 it sits comfortably in the midst of the budget-oriented Swap Lite ($199) and top-of-the-line Swap OLED ($349) whereas retaining almost the entire options of the pricier flagship. The truth is, should you plan to make use of your Swap primarily linked to the TV, then this provides the identical expertise whereas supplying you with an additional USB port for charging equipment.

In case you plan to spend so much of time on the go, you will see the 6.2-inch LCD show the weakest within the pool. The 720p visuals look sharp on the small display screen however the chunky 0.5-inch facet and 0.25-inch prime bezels are far more distinguished than on the massive-looking OLED and smaller 0.1-inch bezels of the Lite. The dimmer backlight and extra washed-out colours are value mentioning should you’re somebody who prefers enjoying on a display screen with the boldest colours. As you possibly can see within the Animal Crossing pictures beneath, the greens within the grass and the blues within the ocean fall flat, and the brand simply doesn’t pop as laborious on the bottom Swap versus the Swap OLED immediately above it.

nintendo switch oled and nintendo switch with animal crossing on display

Trevor Raab

Seemingly, you received’t discover this deficit should you aren’t placing it alongside an OLED telephone or Swap OLED, and it’s laborious to justify spending extra on an OLED version should you plan to spend lower than half your time in moveable mode. This barely dimmer display screen retains a formidable battery lifetime of 4.5 hours—inserting it a full hour forward of the portable-only Swap Lite and only a half hour beneath the runtimes put up by the OLED in our assessments. And whereas docked to a TV, there isn’t a graphical distinction from its pricier huge brother. The truth is, we most well-liked this base over the OLED fashions as a result of its darkish colours higher combat off mud and fingerprints whereas offering an additional USB port which supplies you extra room for charging equipment like controllers and headphones.

animal crossing on nintendo switch display

Trevor Raab

General, the common Nintendo Swap is a powerful console that blends the most effective of each a house system and a handheld in a light-weight format. Now should you desire to play aggressive on-line video games like Tremendous Smash Bros. utilizing a wired ethernet connection, then the Swap OLED comes with that connector constructed into the docking station. Buying that adapter on your base Swap is an additional $30—and at that time, you may as effectively simply get the Swap OLED for the higher display screen and improved battery life in handheld mode.

Finest Handheld


Finest Moveable

Swap Lite



  • Most snug Swap
  • Widest number of colours and designs
  • Shortest battery life
  • Can’t be displayed on TV

Key Specs

Display 5.5-inch LCD
Weight 0.6 kilos
Battery Life 3 hours 31 minutes (examined)

The Swap Lite is half the console of a typical Swap. We imply that fairly actually as it’s unable to output a video sign to a TV and may solely be used as a handheld. On the flip facet, its 8-inch physique is extra pocketable, the $199 price ticket is far more reasonably priced, and its smaller display screen has thinner bezels for improved immersion. Whereas the smaller Pleasure-Cons are constructed immediately into the system and there’s no kickstand for desk play, this trims the fats for an improved single-player expertise on the transfer. In case you’re both an present Swap proprietor searching for a extra light-weight secondary system or should you solely desire a moveable gaming console, the Swap Lite is smart.

playing yellow nintendo switch lite

Trevor Raab

In our testing, the Lite beat out each different fashions in consolation, becoming greatest in a wide range of hand sorts. We discovered that the smaller physique and controllers of the system have been a lot simpler to make use of over prolonged play periods. You’ll spend much less time extending your thumbs and fumbling fingers across the again of the console, and grip with much less drive because it’s a lot simpler to carry. The intertwined display screen and controllers are available a greater diversity of colours and designs than the opposite Switches. Illustrations on particular editions of the Swap Lite wrap across the Pleasure-Con handles into the physique and the boldly contrasting colours of the usual Swap Lite stand out from the lineup.

playing nintendo switch lite

Trevor Raab

The smaller 5.5-inch LCD display screen retains up with the usual Swap above due to the a lot thinner 0.1-inch bezels making probably the most out of the house. You’ll have to tradeoff battery life should you desire the Lite’s extra pocketable physique. It dies in 3.5 hours on common—the bottom within the pool. However that’s a lot for binging by way of even the longest of video games. We most well-liked the Lite for knocking out facet quests in Breath of the Wild and accumulating Pokemon from mattress, the passenger seat of a automobile, and even the workplace. The console works effectively in vibrant areas and provides unmatched consolation. However if you’d like the most effective show and battery life on a handheld, then the Swap OLED beneath provides richer colours whereas retaining compatibility with a TV.

Finest Efficiency


Finest Efficiency

Swap – OLED Mannequin w/ White Pleasure-Con



  • Vibrant OLED display screen
  • Finest audio system
  • Improved kickstand and dock with built-in ethernet

Key Specs

Display 7.0-inch OLED
Weight 0.95 kilos
Battery Life 5 hours 14 minutes examined

Nintendo’s Swap OLED is the most recent addition and flagship of the lineup. It provides all the things the bottom Nintendo Swap does along with longer battery life, higher ergonomics, and a bigger, vivid OLED show that gives the best-looking display screen on a handheld. In case you’ve by no means owned a Swap, that is value the additional dough, however the colours and barely longer battery life will not be as interesting to these already within the ecosystem.

At 7 inches, the display screen is the largest within the lineup, with paper-thin bezels so it finally ends up trying a lot bigger than both show of the fashions above. Not like LCD shows, the OLED panel on this mannequin turns off every particular person pixel for true blacks, creating larger distinction and extra vibrant colours. You’ll be able to see what I’m speaking about within the footage beneath; the display screen is totally black whereas the Lite and base fashions have a gray backlight. In comparison with the Swap and Swap Lite, this widens the colour vary and will increase brightness ranges for a lot sharper visuals in handheld mode.

nintendo switch, oled, lite

Trevor Raab

Like the unique Swap, the OLED is a bit weighty at 0.95 kilos, which turns into noticeable in prolonged handheld play periods. It’s not a giant step up from the bottom Swap’s 0.88 kilos however extra weight on a handheld will not be very best. However with nice weight comes nice positive factors in high quality of life enhancements all through the design. Probably the most notable is the improved battery that lasts effectively over 5 hours on a cost. Its bigger audio system additionally produce extra sturdy sound. Whether or not it is the strings of background music or character dialogue, all the things sounds crisper. You’ll be able to obtain extra video games earlier than operating out of reminiscence due to the bumped-up onboard storage capability, which is double—64GB to 32GB—what’s discovered on the Swap and Swap Lite. Lastly, the kickstand spans the complete physique and is fabricated from metallic for robust assist.

nintendo switch oled dock with ports

Trevor Raab

docking nintendo switch oled

Trevor Raab

If you’d like the most effective visible handheld expertise that may dock with a TV, the Swap OLED can’t be topped. Regardless of releasing simply final yr, the interior parts are largely the identical as these of the unique Swap. The upgrades are appreciated however don’t buy the Swap OLED considering it should produce greater decision visuals or body charges.

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