Nintendo Switch VS Switch Lite - What To Buy This Black Friday
Trivia Nintendo Switch VS Switch Lite - What To Buy This Black Friday

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Nintendo Switch VS Switch Lite - What To Buy This Black Friday

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Ty Richardson
So you want to make the Switch, but which version should you grab? Welcome to WatchMojo, and today, we're judging which model of Nintendo's popular console you should purchase - the standard Nintendo Switch or its newest version, the Nintendo Switch Lite!
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Nintendo Switch vs. Switch Lite

So you want to make the Switch, but which version should you grab? Welcome to WatchMojo, and today, we're judging which model of Nintendo's popular console you should purchase - the standard Nintendo Switch or its newest version, the Nintendo Switch Lite!

Round 1: Size

Compared to Sony and Microsoft's behemoths - the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, the Switch is a surprisingly small console already. Thanks to its tablet-like size, users can pack lightly when heading out and not have to worry about lugging around a hefty box. When in Handheld mode, the Switch holds a little more weight than Nintendo's previous handhelds, but that's something you have to expect for how much power is packed into the system. Unfortunately, the Switch's size is big enough to where it doesn't fit in pockets, making it necessary for owners to fork over and grab a case for when they're gaming on the go.

The Switch Lite is smaller than the standard model, but not by a huge margin. It’s big enough to allow 720p visuals to flourish, and as the name implies, it weighs less than the standard Switch. The console still feels comfortable in your hands without carrying its predecessor's heft. On top of that, the Lite is small enough to fit in just about any ordinary pocket, making it even easier to store.

Needless to say, the Lite accomplishes what its title suggests. The console is less heavy than the standard Switch, and the added bonus of fitting in our pockets lets the Lite steal the win.

WINNER: Nintendo Switch Lite

SCORE: Nintendo Switch 0 / Nintendo Switch Lite 1

Round 2: Visuals

We all want our games to look the best they can possibly be, and while it doesn’t support 4K resolution, the Switch manages to bring games to life in two distinct ways. When in handheld mode, the console can support a resolution of up to 720p, which is remarkably higher than any of Nintendo’s previous handhelds. However, games get far more immersive once the Switch is stationed in its dock! In glorious 1080p resolution, Nintendo’s magnificent worlds spring to life with great detail. This flexibility allows users to enjoy the visual fidelity of games like “Super Mario Odyssey” or “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” without sacrificing much in resolution.

Although, if you don’t really care about a boost in visuals and still want a Switch, maybe you should look into getting the Lite. The highest resolution the Nintendo Switch Lite can display is 720p, and the system does not support a TV mode whereas the standard model does. While the games look good enough in handheld mode, there are some titles that are worth experiencing on a bigger screen. So, the loss in graphical quality is a little hard to justify.

There’s no doubt about it - the standard Switch model won this round. Its TV and Handheld modes allow games to be experienced however the user sees fit. So, if you want to play “Luigi’s Mansion 3” on your big TV in the living room or play it while on your lunch break, you have that option. With the Lite, you only have the handheld mode.

WINNER: Nintendo Switch

SCORE: Nintendo Switch 1 / Nintendo Switch Lite 1

Round 3: Price

Consoles can get very pricey, and the Switch is certainly no exception. The standard model holds a beefy price tag of $300 USD, which is around the same price as its competitors the Playstation 4 and Xbox One. Though if you take in to consideration that the Switch can be both a home console and a handheld then this is quite the deal.

If you’re looking to save some money though, then the Switch Lite might be what you’re looking for. Unfortunately, the Lite comes with a few sacrifices. Sure, the $200 USD price tag is much more friendly for those on a budget, but you actually aren’t getting a lot of bang for your buck. The Lite does not have detachable Joy-Cons and instead has them built into the console. So, you’re practically getting just one controller. If you’re looking to buy some games to play with friends, you’ll have to go looking for a two-pack of Joy-Cons. At this point, you’ve almost spent the same amount of money as you would spend on a standard Switch.

It may be better to fork over the extra hundred dollars and get the two detachable Joy-Cons. Sure, it’s more expensive, but at least it won’t make things awkward if someone asks to play “Smash Bros” with you.

WINNER: Nintendo Switch

SCORE: Nintendo Switch 2 / Nintendo Switch Lite 1

Round 4: Battery Life

In an age where portability is everything, battery life is more important than ever. Nothing is more annoying than playing a game for an hour or two only to be met with a “Low Battery” notification. At first, the standard Switch did not have a tremendous battery life, lasting between two and a half to six and a half hours. Luckily, Nintendo put out a newer version of the standard model between July and August 2019 that boasts a much longer battery life, increasing the lifespan between four and a half to a whopping nine hours! That’s quite a bit of game time to squeeze in and enough to last an entire afternoon!

Once again, getting a Lite all depends on how you spend your time gaming. If you don’t typically spend long afternoons powering through a meaty game, then you may not mind the Lite’s battery life. Clocking in at three to seven hours, the Lite has a smaller time frame than the standard Switch, but it is slightly better than the original model. That being said, a Lite is best for those of you who don’t spend extensive hours chugging down something as long as “Fire Emblem: Three Houses”. This might be better for a long car ride or if you need to kill an hour or two.

Really, this all boils down to personal preference, but the standard Switch takes this round, too. The console lasts much longer than the Lite, which makes it perfect for some quick plays AND long afternoons! You can say the same for the Lite, but come on - who doesn’t want more game time?

WINNER: Nintendo Switch

SCORE: Nintendo Switch 3 / Nintendo Switch Lite 1

Round 5: Portability

Imagine this - you’re playing your Switch by yourself when a stranger comes along and asks if they can play a round of “Mario Kart” or “Smash Bros” with you. Thanks to the Joy-Cons being detachable, you hand one of them to the stranger and enjoy a few rousing games before they leave. This was one of the biggest selling points of the Switch and probably the main reason why so many people grabbed one. Two controllers that double as a singular one? As if that wasn’t good enough, the standard Switch included a kickstand so you could set the console on a table without having to prop it up against anything. How cool is that!? You basically have a party in the palms of your hands!

And this is where the Lite utterly fails to impress. As we mentioned before, the Joy-Cons are built into the console, which makes it very difficult to play with others in a moment’s notice. On top of that, the built-in Joy-Cons make certain games like “Snipperclips” and “Super Mario Party” practically unplayable. While the Lite does allow regular Joy-Cons to connect to the console, the system lacks a kickstand, which means you’ll have to play the Lite on a flat surface or prop it up against something. In other words, setting up is more of a hassle. Oh, and you cannot use a charging dock with the Lite since it doesn’t support a TV mode. Sadly the “Switch Lite” totally misses what made the Switch such a must-have.

The Lite may be a convenience for people on a budget, but the system fails miserably to deliver the same experience that the standard Switch has.

WINNER: Nintendo Switch

SCORE: Nintendo Switch 4 / Nintendo Switch Lite 1

Still thinking about getting a Lite? Or have we sold you on the standard Switch? Let us know which model you plan on getting in the comments below, and don’t forget to subscribe to WatchMojo for more thought-provoking versus battles!
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