Nintendo Switch vs Switch Lite specs | Which Switch should I buy?

The announcement of the Nintendo Switch Lite has been the biggest news of the morning. The handheld version of the Switch is the most recent entry in the Nintendo family and brings to the table some interesting features while offering a cheaper price tag than the Nintendo Switch. So, which one is more worth the money?

For potential Switch buyers, the question of whether or not to invest in the traditional Switch or its handheld little brother is a big one. The Nintendo Switch vs Switch Lite decision comes down to what you’re looking to get out of the console. Here’s a side-by-side comparison to help you decide.

Nintendo Switch vs Switch Lite: Size Difference

Whether you’re after a more easily portable system or a bigger screen, the Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite land similarly. The traditional Nintendo Switch dimensions come in at 4 inches high, 9.4 inches long, and 0.55 inches deep (with the Joy-Cons attached) and a 6.2-inch touchscreen. The Nintendo Switch Lite dimensions are 3.6 inches high, 8.2 inches long, and 0.55 inches deep with a 5.5-inch touchscreen. Both touchscreens offer a 1280×720 resolution. The Switch weighs in at 0.88 pounds and the Lite at 0.61 pounds.

Nintendo Switch vs Switch Lite: CPU/GPU

Both the Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite have an NVIDIA customized Tegra processor. At time of writing, no more specifics about the Switch Lite processor have been revealed. Both systems also offer 32GB of storage space. Battery life is arguably the most important spec for a handheld device, and the Switch Lite offers longer battery life than the Nintendo Switch.

Both batteries can last over six hours depending on the games played, with the Nintendo Switch averaging 2.5 – 6.5 hours and the Switch Lite 3 – 7 hours. Side-by-side comparisons while playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild have the Nintendo Switch at 3 hours of battery life and the Switch Lite at 4 hours.

Nintendo Switch vs Switch Lite: Features

So far, the two systems may seem almost exactly the same. The main difference comes in the features boasted by the Nintendo Switch and left out of the Switch Lite. The biggest difference is in how you use them: Nintendo Switch gets its name from the ability to go between TV mode, tabletop mode, and handheld mode. The Switch Lite only has handheld mode and it does not support output to a TV, therefore it does not include a dock or HDMI port.

The Switch Lite also does not include Joy-Con controllers, nor does it support HD Rumble or include an IR motion camera. As such, the Switch Lite can only play games in the Nintendo Switch library that have handheld modes.

If you’re after a game that’s not traditionally handheld, the Switch Lite can still play it if you purchase Joy-Cons separately. Joy-Cons can often be found on sale, but the MSRP for a pair is $79.99. Just remember to pick up a Joy-Con charger as well, such as the $29.99 Joy-Con charging grip.

If style matters to you, the Nintendo Switch comes in gray with neon Joy-Cons, an entirely gray package, or a special Pikachu and Eevee edition. The Switch Lite offers a more colorful lineup of yellow, gray, or turquoise, as well as the special Zacian and Zamazenta Edition with cyan and magenta hues.

Nintendo Switch vs Switch Lite: Pricing

The size of your wallet is always a major factor in which console to purchase. While the Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite are relatively close, there’s still a decent chunk of change to be saved depending on your purchase. The Nintendo Switch is priced at $299.99, whereas the Switch Lite is $199.99.

Here ends the rundown of the Nintendo Switch vs Switch Lite buying guide. Depending on whether you’re after a purely handheld system or a more robust console, Nintendo has offered up something to think about when purchasing your next system. Enjoy the new consoles and best of luck in your purchasing.