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Nintendo Switch Lite

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The Nintendo Switch Lite was announced recently. It is a smaller handheld-only device with the joycons integrated into it. Nintendo mentioned that the new device has a longer battery time but then we also got a Nintendo Switch model that has a longer battery life as well. A teardown of the Nintendo Switch Lite reveals that the battery is smaller than the original Switch.

Switch Lite is listed in the US and needs to be certified by the FCC for network communication components. That is where this information comes from. The teardown of the Nintendo Switch Lite reveals that it has a heat pipe to keep the SoC cool. It seems to be some custom Nvidia Tegra X1 chip but we are not sure at this point as not much can be made out of the images.

We can see that there is a small fan in the device that will keep the SoC from overheating. Interestingly, while the rated battery life is claimed to be longer than the original Nintendo Switch, the upcoming device has a smaller battery. The battery is 13.6Wh rather than 16Wh. It is more than likely that Nintendo is now using a more efficient chip. It is also worth mentioning that the Nintendo Switch Lite does have a smaller screen so that is another factor that can account to the longer battery life of the product.

Nintendo Switch Lite Teardown

The Tegra chip has a lot of thermal paste on it and it is hard to tell whether this is a new chip or the same old one. We will know once and for all once the Nintendo Switch Lite is released on September 20th. So stay tuned for more information regarding the handheld.

Nintendo Switch Lite Teardown

We also talked about how the full experience of the Nintendo Switch Lite costs pretty much the same as the Nintendo Switch, so you really aren’t saving much if you buy the joycons. That is something that you should keep in mind if you are interested in getting one and are deciding between the two variants.

Another Interesting piece of information that you should know if that the original Nintendo Switch had the codename ODIN and the Switch Lite board mentions the codename VALI, which most likely stands for Valkyrie. It is possible that we will have a variant for Odin’s son Thor. Which is most likely going to be the Nintendo Switch Pro. The version that is expected to be more powerful. This part is speculation so do take this information with a grain of salt.

Nintendo has confirmed that no new hardware is coming out this year so Thor might release next year alongside the Xbox Scarlett and PS5.

The long-rumored Nintendo Switch Lite is announced as a smaller more compact handheld. Switch Lite costs less than Nintendo Switch but drops some key features. For $199.99 the handheld only plays games that support handheld mode. It has a smaller screen and comes with a D-pad. Joy-cons are sold separately to play games that won’t support handheld mode.

Nintendo made the situation clear on its official website which leads us to our topic for today. Does the full Switch Lite experience cost pretty much the same as Switch?

Nintendo Switch Lite can play the games in the Nintendo Switch library that support handheld mode. For games that do not support handheld mode, players can wirelessly connect compatible controllers (sold separately) to Nintendo Switch Lite. If using separate Joy-Con controllers, users will need to have a device to recharge them, such as the Joy-Con Charging Grip. To find play mode compatibility information for specific games, please refer to the product packaging or Nintendo eShop.

If we look at the numbers, you are paying almost the same for Switch Lite but still getting less in terms of features.

Nintendo Switch Vs Nintendo Switch Lite – Price and Feature Comparison

Nintendo Switch

  • TV Mode – Yes
  • Table Top Mode – Yes
  • All Switch Games Supported
  • Comes With a Set of Joy-Con Controllers
  • Switch Dock and HDMI cable included
  • 4″ high 9.4″ long .55″ deep (with Joy-con attached)
  • Weight–.88lbs
  • 6.2″ Touch Screen
  • Battery Time — 2.5 – 6.5 hours
  • Price – $299.99

Nintendo Switch Lite

  • TV Mode – No
  • Tabletop Mode – No
  • Only Supports Handheld Games
  • Joy-Cons Not Included
  • HD Rumble – No
  • IR Motion Camera – No
  • Not Compatible With Switch Dock
  • 3.6″high, 8.2″ long, .55″ deep
  • Weight – .61lbs
  • 5.5″ Touch Screen
  • Battery – 3-7 hours
  • Price – $199.99

Nintendo is recommending you buy Joy-Con Controllers and Charging Grip to get the full experience. On Amazon, a pair of Joy-con controllers go for $59 at the time of this writing. Meanwhile, Charging Grips are available from $33-35. To get the full Switch Lite experience you need to pay extra $92-94 on top of the $199.99 base price.

The question is, the Switch Mini is worth buying? The company recommends buying Charging Grip and Joy Cons separately to play games that don’t support handheld mode. You are paying $292-294 for the “full” experience but still on a smaller screen, without dock support, no rumble, and no IR motion camera.

The handheld makes sense for people on a budget and looking for an entry point into Nintendo gaming. But if you are deciding where to spend your money, Switch or Switch Lite, we suggest going with Nintendo Switch.