Nintendo Switch OLED vs Nintendo Switch Lite: What's The Difference?

The new Switch OLED is coming in October. In case you're in the market for a new Switch, here are the key differences.

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Nintendo has announced the second revision to its popular console-handheld hybrid, the Nintendo Switch. The new Switch OLED joins the standard Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite in what the company is calling its family of Switch systems. The Switch OLED will launch on October 8. If you're in the market for a new Switch system and considering holding out for the OLED model, here's how the systems compare. Though, if you want insight into how the model stacks up so far, be sure to read our Switch OLED hands-on impressions.

Key Differences

Essentially, the two Switch hardware revisions can be thought of as branching paths from the original model. The standard Switch has detachable Joy-Con controllers, an LCD touchscreen, and the ability to switch (hence the name) between a "docked" TV mode and a handheld mode.

The Switch Lite is a less expensive, slimmed-down model that removes some features in favor of a purely handheld focus. Its control scheme is similar to a standard Switch with attached Joy-Cons, but they're built onto the body of the device and no longer removable. It also removes the ability to dock the system to your TV to play on a big screen. As the trade-off for these concessions, though, it's a smaller, lighter device built to function as a handheld, and comes in three varieties of body colors.

The newly-announced Switch OLED, by comparison, goes the other direction. Rather than strip out features from the standard Switch for a cheaper handheld-only system, it makes some minor upgrades to the original, and adds more to the price tag. Its main revision is an OLED display, similar to the kind you find on many modern mobile phones. It also features enhanced audio, double the internal storage, and a built-in LAN port in docked mode. The standard Switch could only use a hardwired internet connection with the addition of a separate dongle.

Aside from those differences, though, the Switch family is fairly cohesive. They all use similar control schemes and play the same games, and each model can expand its storage with a microSD card. They all offer similar hardware architecture, so none of them seem to have a significant performance boost over the others. Your choice will come down to form factor and functionality, not software performance or library.

Price

Because the Switch Lite and Switch OLED branch in two different directions--one a budget version and the other a premium version--the main difference is the price. The original Switch is $300, where it has been priced since launch in 2017. (Nintendo has since released some bundles that include digital copies of games.) The Switch Lite is $200, while the Switch OLED is $350.

It's worth noting here that the Switch LAN adapter is $30, so if having a wired internet connection is important to you, that brings the base cost of an original Switch up to $330. At that point the $350 Switch OLED is only a slight price bump from the standard Switch, though still a significant step up from the Switch Lite.

Specs

The three models of Nintendo Switch have similar internal hardware and other technical specifications, and are similarly sized. The Switch Lite is the smallest and lightest of the bunch, while the OLED adds a minimal amount of bulk to the original form factor. The Switch and Switch OLED also have removable Joy-Con controllers, which is why the official tech specs do not list the Joy-Con buttons as part of the device.

Nintendo SwitchSwitch LiteSwitch OLED
Size

Approximately 4 inches high, 9.4 inches long, and 0.55 inches deep (with Joy-Con attached)

*The depth from the tip of the analog sticks to the tip of the ZL/ZR buttons is 1.12 inches

Approximately 3.6 inches high, 8.2 inches long, and .55 inches deep

*The depth from the tip of the analog sticks to the tip of the ZL/ZR buttons is 1.12 inches

4 inches high, 9.5 inches long, and 0.55 inches deep (with Joy-Con attached)

*The depth from the tip of the analog sticks to the tip of the ZL/ZR buttons is 1.12 inches

Weight

Approximately .66 lbs

(Approximately .88 lbs when Joy-Con controllers are attached)

Approx. .61 lbs

Approximately .71 lbs

(Approximately .93 lbs with Joy-Con controllers attached)

ScreenMulti-touch capacitive touch screen / 6.2-inch LCD Screen / 1280 x 720Capacitive touch screen / 5.5 inch LCD / 1280x720 resolutionMulti-touch capacitive touch screen / 7.0 inch OLED screen / 1280x720
CPU/GPUNVIDIA Custom Tegra processorNVIDIA Custom Tegra processorNVIDIA Custom Tegra processor
Storage32 GB of internal storage, a portion of which is reserved for use by the system. Users can easily expand storage space using microSDHC or microSDXC cards up to 2TB (sold separately).32 GB of internal storage, a portion of which is reserved for use by the system. Users can easily expand storage space using microSDHC or microSDXC cards up to 2TB (sold separately).

64 GB

Users can easily expand storage space using microSDHC or microSDXC cards up to 2TB (sold separately).

Wireless

Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac)(*)

Bluetooth 4.1

(*In TV mode, Nintendo Switch systems can be connected with a wired LAN adapter - sold separately)

Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac

Bluetooth 4.1 / NFC (near field communication)

Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac compliant) / Bluetooth 4.1
Video output

Up to 1080p via HDMI in TV mode

Up to 720p via built-in screen in tabletop mode and handheld mode

N/A

Up to 1080p via HDMI in TV mode

Up to 720p via built-in screen in Tabletop mode and Handheld modes

Audio output

Compatible with 5.1ch Linear PCM output

Output via HDMI connector in TV mode

N/A

Compatible with 5.1ch Linear PCM output

Output via HDMI connector in TV mode

SpeakersStereoStereoStereo
ButtonsPower button / Volume button

Left Stick

Right Stick

A B X Y L R ZL ZR + - Buttons

+ Control Pad

Power Button

Volume Button

HOME Button

Capture Button

Power button / Volume button
USB connector

USB Type-C

Used for charging or for connecting to the Nintendo Switch dock.

USB Type-C

Used for charging only.

USB Type-C

Used for charging or for connecting to the Nintendo Switch dock.

Headphone/mic jack3.5mm 4-pole stereo (CTIA standard)3.5mm 4-pole stereo (CTIA standard)3.5mm 4-pole stereo (CTIA standard)
Game card slotNintendo Switch game cardsNintendo Switch game cardsNintendo Switch game cards
MicroSD slotCompatible with microSD, microSDHC, and microSDXC memory cards *Once the microSDXC card is inserted, a system update will be necessary. An Internet connection is required to perform this system update.

Compatible with microSD, microSDHC and microSDXC memory cards.

*Once the microSDXC card is inserted, a system update will be necessary. An Internet connection is required to perform this system update.

Compatible with microSD, microSDHC, and microSDXC memory cards

*Once the microSDXC card is inserted, a system update will be necessary. An internet connection is required to perform this system update.

SensorAccelerometer, gyroscope, and brightness sensorAccelerometer / gyroscopeAccelerometer, gyroscope, and brightness sensor
Operating environment41-95 degrees F / 20-80% humidity41-95 degrees F / 20-80% humidity41-95 degrees F / 20-80% humidity
Internal batteryLithium-ion battery/4310mAhLithium ion battery / battery capacity 3570mAhLithium-ion battery / 4310mAh
Battery life

Approximately 4.5 - 9 hours

*The battery life will depend on the games you play. For instance, the battery will last approximately 5.5 hours for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Approx. 3.0 to 7.0 hours

*The battery life will depend on the games you play. For instance, the battery will last approximately 4 hours for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Approximately 4.5 - 9 hours

The battery life will depend on the games you play. For instance, the battery will last approximately 5.5 hours for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Charging time

Approximately 3 hours

*When charging while the hardware is in sleep mode

Approximately 3 hours

*When charging while the hardware is in sleep mode

Approximately 3 hours

*When charging while the hardware is in sleep mode

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