Nintendo Switch Lite Hands On Review: Will You Make The Switch?

Since the initial release of the Nintendo Switch, we have seen many developments concerning the console. Is success has reached commendable levels, and it’s not hard to see why. Nintendo has really made its mark in modern-day gaming with this console. Upon considering their unconventional console games, they definitely have the keys to the kingdom of gaming. Today, we will be discussing the latest alternative approach to gaming from Nintendo with our Nintendo Switch Lite Hands-On review.

Nintendo has created a name for itself even with its popular titles that overshadow some of its consoles. Being the home of an industry mascot like Mario is undoubtedly a challenge, and Nintendo is up for this challenge. Recently, they changed things up unconventionally with the release of the Nintendo Switch Lite. Branded as a cheaper but equally great product, what does the Nintendo Switch Lite have in store for us?

Nintendo Switch Lite

Who Is The Nintendo Switch Lite For?

Make no mistake; the Nintendo Switch Lite is not an equal console to the Nintendo Switch. But it isn’t a downgrade either. This device is dedicated to gamers on a budget and players on the go. It gives you most of the full Nintendo Switch experience on a permanent handheld mode for $200. Like the Nintendo 3DS, it is a fully dedicated handheld device, and we are here for it.
If you love switching between TV and handheld mode of the Nintendo Switch, this console may not be ideal. The Switch Lite doesn’t offer an option for those two modes. Instead, you’re given full access to handheld mode alone.

However, if you are someone that prefers using the handheld mode of the Switch, or you have places to be while enjoying your game, then this device might be for you. The Switch Lite is a much lighter alternative to the classic Nintendo Switch. However, it does have its pros and cons which we will discuss.

The Design of The Nintendo Switch Lite

In comparison to the regular Nintendo Switch, the Nintendo Switch Lite has a more compact and unibody design language. The device is also much lighter than the Classic Nintendo Switch. Also, the Nintendo Switch Lite is designed as mainly a handheld console.
The Nintendo Switch Lite is exceptionally compact and weighs 275g. In comparison to the original switch, the Switch Lite doesn’t quite reach the 297g weight of the classic Switch. The console sports a small LCD touchscreen that is about the size of a smartphone in 2019. Alongside this, it comes at a resolution of 1280 x 720p.

Display of Nintendo Switch Lite

The screen of the Switch Lite is definitely smaller than that of the classic Nintendo Switch. But, not by a significant margin, and with the same resolution, the quality of your games are the same in handheld. The Nintendo Switch Lite even holds a bit of an advantage over the Switch in Handheld mode with a higher pixel density of 267 PPI over the 236 PPI on the Switch.

There is always a trade-off, and with our unit in Nintendo Switch Lite hands-on review, we have observed that the text is a lot smaller and harder to read. Because of this, we had to squint to read the text in front of us. It’s still an issue, albeit a minor one.

The Nintendo Switch Lite Hands-On Is Much Easier To Carry

Not to knock down the device because it still shines in many other ways. As an example, the console is exceptionally comfortable to hold for a handheld console. Also, it is really comfortable and easy to carry on-the-go. If the Switch was a pet poodle in your bag, the Switch Lite is a puppy poodle. It’s so convenient that you could carry this in your cargo shorts or a one-strap bag.

On that note, the Switch Lite also boasts its simple ergonomics for players with smaller hands. Many people were put off from the handheld mode of the switch due to the ample space between the buttons. But with the Switch Lite, you’ll feel a lot more comfortable gaming for more extended periods in handheld mode.

The Controls On The Switch Lite

Unlike the Nintendo Switch, the Switch Lite has integrated controls. So instead of attaching Joy-Cons for each gaming session, you just use the controls that are attached to the device. This makes things a lot more comfortable for you on-the-go. However, you can still use the Switch Lite with up to four Joy-Cons wirelessly.

Even with fixed controllers, the Switch Lite comes with basically the same buttons as the classic Nintendo Switch. Everything is pretty much the same apart from the navigation buttons that have been replaced with a D-Pad. The new D-Pad is a natural and welcomed change. It works seamlessly, and it was easy to get used to. A D-Pad is what works best for handheld gaming.

The ZL and ZR triggers are ergonomically comfortable and offer a snug and precise fit. Although, the L and R keys on the Switch Lite are slightly thinner than the classic Switch. Because of this thinness, the buttons can be quite slippery.
Like the classic Nintendo Switch, the Switch Lite also has wireless connectivity. It also comes with Bluetooth capabilities and a MicroSD card for up to 32GB of extra storage. This makes the Switch Lite not too different from the switch. The only real difference is the lack of a docked mode.

What’s In The Box of The Nintendo Switch Lite?

The Switch being a handheld device means that it doesn’t come with a Nintendo Switch dock. Without the dock, the device also doesn’t have an HDMI cable, and neither does it come with a kickstand. In the box, you simply get the console and a charger. This is because the device doesn’t have any functionality to connect to a TV. Therefore, even if you try an HDMI cable, the console simply won’t connect to a TV.

As for color options, the Switch Lite has gray, yellow and turquoise colored models. This is a welcomed change from the red and gray switch models we are used to.

What Is The Performance Like On The Nintendo Switch Lite?

The Nintendo Switch Lite directly mirrors the performance of the default Nintendo Switch. However, it has its own quirks that make it more than a mini Nintendo Switch. This device comes with a larger battery than the Nintendo Switch which gives it a battery life of up to 7 hours. This battery difference is about 30 minutes more than the original Nintendo Switch. However, battery life highly depends on the games you play.

You should note that the Nintendo Switch Lite comes without an IR Motion Camera or an HD Rumble. This means you won’t get access to games like “One Two Switch!” and some other games that require those parts of the device. Nintendo has fully dedicated to the handheld use of this console.

You could still play some games that support handheld mode. However, you’d need to connect some wireless Joy-Cons. But then, is there really a point? A 5.5-inch screen isn’t really ideal for couch co-op. Anyway, the Joy-Cons allow you to use HD Rumble.

What Our Nintendo Switch Hands-On Experience Was Like

At the hands-on event from Nintendo, the representatives from Nintendo revealed that the console has compatibility with a range of devices. These include the Joy-Cons and some that will be announced later on.

The Nintendo Switch Lite hands-on does not work with One Two Switch!, the Nintendo Labo kits and Super Mario Party. The games that require the rumble are playable with the Joy-Cons. However, the experience is not ideal with this method. Instead, it’s best to play with the classic Nintendo Switch for gaming needs involving two or more players. Also, it’s best to avoid party games altogether on this console.
Even without these features, the Nintendo Switch Lite comes with an accelerometer, a gyroscope and a sensor for automatic brightness adjustments. So with the gyroscope, you can use some of the gyro controls within games like The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild. When you aim the bow in-game, the brightness is automatically adjustable.

Playing wirelessly online is the best way to enjoy Switch Lite with friends. Couch Co-op is undoubtedly not ideal for this console. Games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe are much more fun with the Switch Lite. Many games are less clunky because of the compact size of the Nintendo Switch Lite Console.

Final Verdict

The Nintendo Switch Lite is a powerful console that works well as a handheld on-the-go gaming device. You definitely won’t be missing the dock as much as you’d think with the Switch Lite in hand.

The Switch Lite is a much lighter and comfortable device. It trumps the classic Nintendo Switch in all facets of handheld mode. It is much easier to transport and it takes less space than other devices. Also, compared to the 3DS, it packs much more performance and great titles that represent the modern-day Nintendo. So it is definitely a good investment to purchase the Nintendo Switch Lite and with a simple $200 price point, it is an awesome game.