What are the different Nintendo Switch models?

What are the different Nintendo Switch models?

Released worldwide in March 2017, there was only initially one model of the Nintendo Switch available for people to buy. Since then, players the world over have been enjoying the ability to play delightful games either at home or on the go at their leisure, immersing themselves in the wonders of Breath of the Wild, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Super Mario Odyssey and more. Nowadays, two new models have been added to the console family, with retailers still stocking the original Nintendo Switch (albeit a slightly revised version with better battery life), a sleeker, more affordable iteration known as the Nintendo Switch Lite and the slick new Nintendo Switch OLED. That’s three different models in total for the Nintendo Switch – each boasting their own slight differences.

But what are the different Nintendo Switch models and which of the three should you buy? The answer, of course, will entirely be subjective depending on your needs. Are you someone that wants to play games on the move for longer? Maybe, just maybe, you’re someone that could live without ever needing to play your Nintendo Switch on the big screen, happy to save some money for the privilege. Whatever the type of player you are, there’s a Nintendo Switch model for you.

If you know which console you're interested in, please click below to jump to your console of choice:

Nintendo Switch OLED

Console Lifespan: 2021 – present
Release Price: $349 / £309

The OLED model of the Nintendo Switch was released in October 2021 and is seen as a "deluxe" version of the standard Switch model. The most significant difference with this model is its all-new 7.0” OLED screen, hence the model name "OLED".  Some of the OLED's key features include a more vibrant and saturated image, significantly reduced ghosting and blurring around fast-moving objects, and a wider viewing angle on the screen. The OLED panel also consumes less power than the previous LCD screen used on other models, resulting in increased battery life that is claimed by Nintendo to last for up to 9 hours.

In addition to the improved visuals, the Nintendo Switch OLED also has double the internal storage when compared to its predecessors (64GB in the OLED, 32GB available on the Lite and Standard models).

The OLED has better audio quality, with stereo sound that is clearer and more immersive, a built-in LAN port on the docking station (eliminating the need for an adapter) and enhanced temperature regulation for less overheating on longer play sessions.

Another additional feature is an improved kickstand which is a lot more sturdy than the original standard model version (the original kickstand was very flimsy). The OLED is currently available in all-new white or existing neon red/blue colours, its sleek design makes it a stylish addition to any gaming setup.

Nintendo Switch OLED Tech Specs

Size 4 inches high, 9.5 inches long, and 0.55 inches deep (with Joy-Con attached)
Weight Approximately .71 lbs
Screen Multi-touch capacitive touch 7.0 inch OLED screen at 1280x720 (720p)
CPU/GPU NVIDIA Custom Tegra processor
Video Up to 1080p via HDMI in TV/docked mode / Up to 720p in tabletop and handheld modes
Storage 64 GB, expandable via microSD cards
Battery life Approximately 4.5 - 9 hours
Battery charging time Approximately 3 hours
What's in the box? Console, Joy-Con pair, TV dock, Joy-Con holder, USB-C Charger

Nintendo Switch OLED FAQs

What are the benefits of the Nintendo Switch OLED model?

The OLED model includes a number of new features:

  • Its all-new 7.0” OLED screen offering a more vibrant image and reduced ghosting.  
  • 64GB of internal storage which is double the size when compared to previous models.
  • Up to 9 hours of battery life, 10% better than the Nintendo Switch 2019 “standard” model
  • An improved stereo sound that is clearer and more immersive
  • Revamped kickstand which is a lot more sturdy than previous iterations
  • Addition of a LAN port on the dock, you know… just in case?
What games are compatible with the Nintendo Switch OLED?

All Nintendo Switch games are compatible with the OLED model, there aren’t any exceptions as the Joy-Cons are detachable from the console (unlike on the Switch Lite).

When was the Nintendo Switch OLED model released?

October 2021 and retailed at $349 / £309.

How long is the battery life on the Nintendo Switch OLED?

Its claimed by Nintendo to last for 9 hours, which is around a 10% improvement when compared to previous models.

What is the screen resolution of the Nintendo Switch OLED?

It’s the same resolution for all versions of the Nintendo Switch, 1,280 x 720 (720p) in handheld mode and 1,920 x 1,080 (1080p) when docked.

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Nintendo Switch OLED: White Joy-Con
Refurbished - Very Good
Nintendo Switch OLED: White Console
£247.20
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£278.10
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£289.00
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Nintendo Switch Lite

Console Lifespan: 2019 - present
Release Price: $199 / £199

Best described as a much slimmer, sleeker and more affordable take on the launch Nintendo Switch model, the Nintendo Switch Lite is a version of the hybrid console that is intended for portable use only. Ostensibly this means that it’s a Nintendo Switch that doesn’t switch, which might seem strange, but results in a much cheaper point of entry to the platform for most people.

Performance-wise, the Nintendo Switch Lite is almost the exact same as the original Nintendo Switch console. It is still able to play all the games from the great library already curated by the Nintendo Switch, albeit only in portable mode. The most differences are seen in the actual design, with the new Lite version boasting a slightly smaller 5.5” screen compared to the first model’s 6.2”. Also, as you’d expect from a console model called the “Lite”, it’s around .20ibs lighter.

Because the Nintendo Switch Lite can no longer be docked and played on the big screen, there’s obviously no need for the Joy-Con to be detached from the main unit any longer. As such, the Joy-Cons are now built into the actual console itself, making them incredibly harder to lose now. Other advantages include the Switch Lite’s improved battery life, which now lasts between 3 – 7 hours compared to the Original Nintendo Switch’s 2.5 – 6.5 hours. It’s marginal, but something.

The Switch Lite is available in a range of colours, including Turquoise, Blue, Yellow, Coral and Gray.  With these great colour options, It feels like Nintendo are trying to attract a younger audience with the Lite model when compared to just 2 colour options on the "Standard" and "OLED" models.

Nintendo Switch Lite Tech Specs

Size Approximately 3.6 inches high, 8.2 inches long, and .55 inches deep
Weight Approximately .61 lbs
Screen Capacitive touch screen, 5.5 inch LCD screen at 1280x720 (720p)
CPU/GPU NVIDIA Custom Tegra processor
Video 720p in handheld modes
Storage 32 GB, expandable via microSD cards
Battery life Approximately 3 - 7 hours
Battery charging time Approximately 3 hours
What's in the box? Console, USB-C Charger

Nintendo Switch Lite FAQs

How much cheaper is the Nintendo Switch Lite?

The Nintendo Switch Lite currently has a typical RRP of $199 / £199, making it roughly $50 / £50  cheaper than the standard Nintendo Switch on shelves. This does come at the cost of sacrificing a few features, such as the lack of TV support and inability to remove both Joy-Con from the side.

What colours is the Nintendo Switch Lite available in?

The Switch list is available in five colours: Light Grey, Yellow and Turquoise, Blue and Coral. All of which have been painted in a beautiful pastel tone.

There are limited edition Switch Lite models available that mix the standard Light Grey with infographics of game themes.

Will there be any Nintendo Switch Lite exclusive games?

No, all versions of the Nintendo Switch share the same library. This helps avoid any confusion that would come from dividing the Nintendo player base.

What are the dimensions of the Nintendo Switch Lite?

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

Is the Nintendo Switch Lite region-free?

The only locked region for Nintendo Switch consoles is China.  All other consoles sold outside of China are "unlocked" meaning you can play games from any region.

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Nintendo Switch Lite: Grey
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£169.99
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£169.99
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Nintendo Switch Lite: Coral
Pre-owned
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£169.99
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Nintendo Switch (Original)

Console Lifespan: 2017 – present
Release Price: $299 / £279

First released in 2017, the standard Nintendo Switch model was available in 2 colours (Grey and Neon Red/Blue).  The standard model includes the main console unit, 2 x joy-cons and a docking station which allows you to output the Nintendo Switch's content to your TV or gaming monitor. While packing less horsepower than its PS4 or Xbox One competitors (at the time), the original Nintendo Switch was quickly taken into the hearts of many players for this unique hybrid nature.

The original model has a 6.2-inch LCD touchscreen with outputs to a resolution of 1,280 x 720 (720p).  The joy-cons are detachable from the console and they include an array of motion-sensing capabilities, making them great for playing games that utilise this technology (such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe or Zelda: Breath of the Wild).

There have been 2 iterations of the standard model - the 2017 “HAC-001” model, released in 2017, and the newer 2019 “HAD-001” iteration.  The more recent HAD-001 model features a newer, more efficient CPU, allowing the battery life to be extended as lasting between 4.5 and nine hours instead of 2.5 and 6.5 hours, as before.

The only problem with this new Nintendo Switch is distinguishing it from the original model, due to it having the exact same design and same screen size. Thankfully, there are a few cool tactics you can employ to guarantee yourself the console with the better battery life. For one, it features an entirely different-looking box. Whereas the original packaging featuring an image of the console with a white surround, the new batch of improved Nintendo Switches now opt for a deep red. Another way of checking it’s the newer hardware model is by looking at the serial number. If it starts with XKW, then that indicates it’s the new one.

If you're looking for an all-around Nintendo Switch experience, this would be the model of choice.

Nintendo Switch Original Tech Specs

Size Approximately 4 inches high, 9.4 inches long, and 0.55 inches deep (with Joy-Con attached)
Weight Approximately .66 lbs
Screen Multi-touch capacitive touch 6.2 inch LCD screen at 1280x720 (720p)
CPU/GPU NVIDIA Custom Tegra processor
Video Up to 1080p via HDMI in TV/docked mode / Up to 720p in tabletop and handheld modes
Storage 32 GB, expandable via microSD cards
Battery life Approximately 3 - 8 hours (2019 “HAD-001” Model)
Approximately 2.5 - 6 hours (2017 “HAC-001” Model)
Battery charging time Approximately 3 hours
What's in the box? Console, Joy-Con pair, TV dock, Joy-Con holder, USB-C Charger

Nintendo Switch Original FAQs

What’s the difference between the original Nintendo Switch released and the new model?

As already mention, not a whole lot. But the main difference might be enough to sway the purchase decision of some players. Essentially it all boils down to battery life: With the original launch model you get battery life ranging between 2.5 and 6.5 hours, whereas with the new Nintendo Switch 2.0 model it ranges between 4.5 and nine hours.

Does the original Nintendo Switch still have games released for it?

Yes, all Nintendo Switch models play the exact same games. Visually they will all be rendered no differently from one another.

Should I trade in my original Nintendo Switch?

If you’re considering upgrading from a launch Nintendo Switch to any other of the two models, you’ll see a huge difference in how long you’re able to play. If you like to play your Switch away from your dock or charger for extended periods of time, then you likely are always running the power down to depletion. A Nintendo Switch 2.0 or Nintendo Switch Lite could resolve that, possibly being enough cause to trade in your original Nintendo Switch.

Is the battery life difference worth it?

Whether or not you should seek out and upgrade to the 2019 version is entirely dependent on how you’ve been coping with the normal Nintendo Switch’s battery life so far. Graphically intense games like Skyrim and Zelda, for example, will drain it faster. But if you typically play smaller games, you might not need the added three-hour boost. That said, if you’re buying your first console, we’d say definitely opt for the new Nintendo Switch if you can.

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£199.99
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Refurbished - Very Good
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£207.20
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Refurbished - Good
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Which Nintendo Switch model is best for you?

If you've managed to read all of that, well done!  The question now is...  which Nintendo Switch model should you opt for?

I want the best of the best, no expense spared - Get yourself the Switch OLED.  It looks fantastic, the screen is super crisp and we have a soft spot for that white colour.

I want a solid all-rounder - The Nintendo Switch Original (2019 version) is your best bet. It does everything you want out of a Nintendo Switch and whilst it hasn't got an OLED screen, the LCD screen is still very good.

I'm on the move regularly - Well, either the Switch Lite or the Original (2019 version).  The Lite is fine, but if you have a little more cash to spend we'd recommend the Original.

If you're looking to grab a Nintendo Switch, take a look at our Nintendo Switch deals page, we're comparing console bundles and offers to help you find your perfect deal.

 

Have we missed anything or do you have any questions?  Let us know in the comments below.

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