Nintendo likes a hardware revision, and the new Switch OLED gives the company’s hybrid handheld a swanky new screen. However, not everyone knows what makes OLED special, especially when compared against LCD technology. When it comes to the Switch OLED vs. LCD battle, which system comes out on top? More importantly, which model is more deserving of your hard-earned money?
Switch OLED vs. LCD: Which model should you buy?
Comparing overall value for the Nintendo Switch OLED model vs. the LCD model is simple since both systems have so few differences. If cost is the main concern, you should get the base Switch with LCD screen. However, if you want a bigger display and more vibrant colors in handheld mode, you should buy the Switch OLED.
We’ll put this as simply as possible: The Switch OLED doesn’t do anything the normal LCD Switch can’t do. The main difference between the models, aside from enhanced audio playback and wired Ethernet, is the screen. If you want a bigger screen, get the Switch OLED. If you don’t care either way, save 50 bucks and buy the basic Switch model.
Remember: Bigger isn’t always better
If you’re hoping for a more detailed answer, we can help. The base Switch has a 6.2-inch screen running at a progressive 1280×720 resolution, or 720p. The screen is an LCD, or liquid crystal display, which is one of the most common types of flat-panel displays.
The Switch OLED, on the other hand, has a 7-inch OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screen running at the exact same resolution. Compared to LCD, OLED technology provides better contrast, better viewing angles, more vibrant colors, and better response time. Sounds great, right?
Don’t get too excited yet. Unlike LCD, OLED screens are much more susceptible to burn-in, or image retention. This is especially problematic for video games, as many games leave static HUD elements on-screen at all times. Plus, since the Switch OLED runs at the same resolution as the LCD model, its bigger display is technically less sharp than that of its predecessor.
Finally, there’s the matter of TV mode. The Switch works in your hands, on a tabletop, or connected to a TV, unlike the Switch Lite. Since the Switch OLED doesn’t have any extra power, the benefits of the new screen become null once connected to a TV. If you plan to play Switch when connected to a television set almost exclusively, the OLED screen will ultimately be a worthless upgrade.
Put simply, the basic Nintendo Switch system is still the best value. If you want a bigger screen and intend to play mostly in handheld mode, definitely get the Switch OLED. However, that new screen counts for nothing if you usually play at home in TV mode.