Nintendo Switch OLED vs Nintendo Switch Lite model: which one should you buy?


The latest model

Nintendo Switch OLED model

Handheld only

Nintendo Switch Lite

Nintendo Switch Lite Gray

The OLED Switch makes a few improvements to the Switch’s overall design, including a larger OLED display for crisper handheld gaming.

$ 350 at Best Buy


  • Everything is included in a Switch with a larger OLED screen
  • Improved kickstand
  • Ethernet port in the docking station
  • Improved audio in portable mode

The inconvenients

  • Almost all the disadvantages are transferred to the OLED model
  • 64 GB of internal memory is still bad enough
  • No more powerful than the Switch currently available
  • Higher price

The Switch Lite does away with some of the Switch’s key features to make it a cheaper model.

$ 200 at Best Buy


  • Cheaper option
  • As powerful as the other Switch
  • Excellent game library
  • Small and light

The inconvenients

  • Smaller screen
  • Some games and accessories are incompatible with this one
  • No more powerful than the Switch currently available
  • No docked option

The Nintendo Switch finally receives an update. While this isn’t the “Switch Pro” everyone has been waiting for, the Nintendo Switch OLED model, or Switch OLED, updates the Switch in several key ways. In addition to the larger OLED screen, the OLED Switch comes with a better kickstand, improved sound when playing on handheld, and an Ethernet port in the docking station. These are welcome additions that enhance the Switch experience, although you’ll want to check out how the Switch stacks up against the OLED Switch.

The Switch Lite begs the question: what if the Switch was just a handheld? The Switch Lite does away with some of the functionality of the Nintendo Switch, including docked play and detachable Joy-Con, focusing entirely on handheld play. But are these cuts worth it for the slimmer price? Let’s compare the two.

OLED Switch vs. Switch Lite: What is the difference?

Nintendo Switch Oled Model Vs Switch Lite SplitSource: iPlus

Here is the breakdown between these two consoles. Keep in mind that both options are compatible with handhelds, but only the OLED Switch can be read on the dock.

OLED switch Switch Lite
Price $ 350 $ 200
CPU / GPU Custom NVIDIA Tegra processor Custom NVIDIA Tegra processor
Resolution Up to 720p in portable mode / up to 1080p in docking station Up to 720p in portable mode
Screen 7.0 inch multi-touch capacitive touchscreen / OLED display Capacitive touchscreen / 5.5 inch LCD screen
Weight Approximately 0.93 lbs with Joy-Con controllers About. 0.61 lbs
Equipment needed to play on TV Console with Joy-Cons / Dock N / A
Number of parts 400+ 400+
Internet required Only for online multiplayer (free games are an exception) Only for online multiplayer (free games are an exception)
Storage of game data 64 GB internal storage / microSD cards 32 GB internal storage / microSD cards
Where to play TV / portable console Handheld only

While the price, resolution, and screen are obvious differences, let’s take a look at what you get for your money and how each console stacks up.

Initial price: Switch OLED vs Switch Lite

The first major difference between the Switch OLED and the Switch Lite is the price. The OLED Switch will release on October 8, 2021 for $ 350, while the Switch Lite is now available for $ 200. A pretty big price gap, but there are some pretty big differences between the two. The Switch Lite cannot be docked and therefore cannot be read on the TV. Joy-Con controllers are attached to the system, while they can be removed from the OLED Switch. Most notably, however, is the Switch Lite’s screen size, which is only 5.5 inches, which is 1.5 inches smaller than the Switch OLED display.

The OLED Switch features a 7-inch OLED display, which allows for a larger and brighter picture, even though both systems output at a maximum of 720p in portable mode. The Switch OLED also offers improved sound quality in portable mode and all the advantages (and disadvantages) of the normal Switch model.

Subscriptions and games: Are the games the same?

The great thing about the Switch Lite is that you can easily access almost any Switch game in the console’s library. Games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Monster Hunter Rise, Animal Crossing: New Horizons and many more are available on Switch Lite. Note that I said almost – a few Switch games don’t perform as well on Switch Lite as they do on Switch, lacking features like motion controls. Some aren’t playable at all on the Switch, while others require additional hardware.

Both the Switch OLED and the Switch Lite have access to the 100 NES and SNES games available on Nintendo Switch Online, as well as the exclusive battle royale games Pac-Man 99 and Tetris 99.

The control: Joy-Cons stay on

Nintendo Switch Lite YellowSource: Nintendo

The OLED Switch comes with two Joy-Con controllers that attach to the console and easily remove for instant two-player multiplayer or motion controls. Joy-Cons are available in many colors and have a lot of features like HD Rumble, amiibo support and can support motion and gyroscope controls. The OLED Switch can also use the Nintendo Switch Pro controller and other third-party controller options.

While the Switch Lite supports Joy-Cons, they’re now included by default on the Switch Lite, meaning you’ll have to purchase a pair yourself if you want to play Joy-Cons in tabletop mode. The same goes for the Pro controller, but without the USB ports on the docking station, you won’t be able to use third-party controllers that need to be plugged in, nor will you be able to charge the controllers using the Switch Lite.

Performance and storage space: Switch OLED vs Switch Lite

Oled Nintendo Switch model in the DockSource: Nintendo

Switch V2 and Switch OLED support MicroSD cards to expand their storage capacity. The Switch Lite comes with just 32GB of internal memory, while the Switch OLED model has double the memory. Both can access cloud save media through Nintendo Switch Online.

Both Switch models can output resolutions up to 720p in portable mode, although the OLED Switch looks better thanks to the larger OLED screen. However, the performance is the same, so if a game stutters or performs poorly on a Switch Lite, it won’t perform differently on the OLED Switch. The OLED Switch can be docked and the resolution can reach 1080p.

Availability: Is the Switch hard to find?

Three Switch Lite consoles playing togetherSource: Nintendo

Since their release, the Switch and Switch Lite have been the top seller and have become harder and harder to find. However, things have gotten better lately and you can easily find a Switch Lite at most major electronics retailers. The OLED Switch will release alongside Metroid Dread on October 8, and we expect it to sell out pretty quickly. So if you want an OLED Switch at launch, your best bet is to pre-order now.

Parental control: Keeping things safe for children

Whitelist games on Nintendo SwitchSource: iPlus

Both Switch models have access to parental controls. With the Switch, parents can set playtime limits, control the types of games their kids can access, and even set eShop passwords so kids don’t buy games without approval. Additionally, most Switch games are not compatible with a gaming headset, so your kid won’t be able to talk to strangers online.

OLED Switch vs. Switch Lite: Which one should you buy?

Model Oled Nintendo SwitchSource: Nintendo

Choosing between the Switch Lite and the Switch OLED depends on the type of gamer you are. If you’re a casual gamer and don’t mind the discounts to the Switch Lite, you’ll find that this is the cheapest way to access Nintendo Switch’s excellent library of games. With the Switch Lite, you’re ready to play anything right out of the box.

The OLED Switch improvements may not be breathtaking, but they are especially great for Switch owners who primarily use their console in portable mode. The OLED screen, the best kickstand, the improved audio – all of these things make OLED the best portable experience, and of course, you get all the functionality of a normal switch, including TV playback. The OLED Switch is actually the best portable experience and the best overall experience, but the Switch Lite’s price means it’s by far the most accessible option.

Handheld all day

Nintendo Switch Lite Yellow

Nintendo Switch Lite

An essential pocket computer

The Nintendo Switch Lite is abandoning some of the main features of the Switch to focus solely on handheld gaming.

The most recent model

Nintendo Switch Oled Model Product Art Neon Red Blue

Nintendo Switch OLED model

An OLED upgrade

Enjoy everything you love about the Switch with a few key changes that improve portable gaming.

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