Nintendo Switch vs. Lite: Which Should You Buy?

March 26, 2023 • Devin Partida


Nintendo Switch vs Lite — which one should you buy? The Switch has a fantastic library of games, but you need to choose a console before playing any of them. The regular Switch and the Switch Lite have a lot in common. For most people, either device will be a lot of fun. However, there are a few differences that are important to know before buying a Switch.

Nintendo Switch vs. Lite: Design

The Nintendo Switch has a few different designs. The original Nintendo Switch has removable joycons and docking and casting capabilities. The OLED Nintendo Switch is much the same — it’s convertible from a console to a handheld, but the screen is larger and its stand is more stable. On the other hand, the Switch Lite is not convertible and has one nice shape that allows it to fit perfectly in your hands.

The winner of the Nintendo Switch vs. Lite battle isn’t clear in this category. It’s all about what you feel more comfortable with as a gamer. If you prefer console games to handheld, pick the original Switch. If you see yourself gaming in handheld mode more often, the Switch Lite might be more your speed due to how it feels in your hands. 

Nintendo Switch vs. Lite: Battery Life

Because people only spend about half an hour on video games per day on average, battery life may not be a make-or-break deal to many gamers. To others, good battery life is a necessity that can’t be overlooked. In the Nintendo Switch vs. Lite battle, the Switch Lite takes this category.

The Switch Lite was designed for better battery life. While later editions of the Nintendo Switch improved its battery life from 6.5 hours max to 9 hours max, the Switch Lite has always been optimized for battery usage. Its max is 7 hours, which can be great on a long car ride or just a day full of gaming. When you’re close to your charger, battery life doesn’t matter, but every minute of life counts when you’re away from home.

Nintendo Switch vs. Lite: Display

One of the biggest factors for many people in the Nintendo Switch vs. Lite decision is how the two platforms display games. The Switch’s screen is almost an inch bigger than the Switch Lite’s screen, making it easier to see what’s happening in your games. That’s not all: the Nintendo Switch’s original edition can connect to the television so that you can play on an even larger screen without any distortion.

People also prioritize the portability of games now that they’re traveling more. If the Nintendo Switch were just a console, it would be easy to say that the Switch Lite is the winner.

Since the Nintendo Switch has a bigger screen and can be used as a console or handheld device, it’s the winner of this category. You may prefer a smaller handheld device, but the Nintendo Switch has a bigger and better display — even more so when you play it on your television — and you can take it with you anywhere, just like the Switch Lite. It also matters what types of games you play on your device.

Nintendo Switch vs. Lite: Price

The price category of the Nintendo Switch vs. Lite choice is easy to solve. Just ask yourself which one is more budget-friendly. The original Nintendo Switch is around $300, while the Nintendo Switch Lite is about $200. These prices reflect all that the consoles can do. Keep in mind, you’ll also need to purchase your Nintendo Switch games in order to play.

Since the original Nintendo Switch can be a console or handheld gaming device, coupled with the fact that it’s larger, makes it cost more. The OLED model of the Nintendo Switch is $350.

If you’re on a budget, it’s clear which Nintendo Switch variation you should go for. The Switch Lite can do everything a Nintendo Switch can do, but only in handheld mode. If you don’t mind spending more to have the console option, choose the Nintendo Switch or its OLED model. If you foresee yourself only playing handheld, buy the Switch Lite.

Who Wins the Nintendo Switch vs. Lite Battle?

The Nintendo Switch vs. Lite conversation comes up a lot during gift seasons. Unfortunately, there’s no clear winner. Instead, you have to ask what the recipient of this gift — whether that’s you or someone else — prioritizes most. 

Handheld gamers will definitely enjoy the graphics, size and price tag of the Nintendo Switch Lite. Others who prefer to game at home rather than on the go will love the original Nintendo Switch. Discover what you need out of this gaming system before purchasing it. Who knows? In the future, you may choose to upgrade or downsize depending on your preferences.