Nintendo Switch vs Nintendo Switch Lite. vs Switch OLED - Which is better?

The Nintendo Switch first came out in 2017 and was a refreshing step from Nintendo. It combined the functionality of a console whilst keeping the portable feature from the 3DS. Since the first launch, there have been a few console variations released and most recently the handheld-only Nintendo Switch Lite. It can be confusing to know the difference between the different versions and decide which one is best for you. So, we’ve got all the details to help you decide!

Nintendo Switch

Combining the innovative technology from the previous Nintendo console, Wii, and the portability from the 3DS handheld gaming system, this console was the perfect evolution.

Three Different Ways to Play

This lightweight console has three game modes, providing gamers the flexibility they desire.

Handheld Mode

The handheld mode enables players to take all their gameplay saves and favourite Nintendo characters with them, wherever they may be. From the comfort of their bedroom, to getting through the morning commute with entertainment on the go, the handheld mode is incredibly versatile.

Tabletop Mode

Another fantastic feature is tabletop mode. This is ideal for players who want to enjoy the Joy-Con’s motion features on a variety of games. Simply pull the standout from the back of the console, remove the Joy-Con’s and you’re good to go. It’s also great for playing Nintendo Switch co-op games with other players, as you can grab a Joy-Con each to play.

TV Mode

The last mode lets you soak up the incredible graphics across Nintendo’s greatest games. The console comes with a charging dock which is easily plugged in to the TV. Once you’re connected and ready to go, simply place the Nintendo Switch into the dock and it will recharge whilst you play on the TV. You can use the Joy-Con’s for single and multiplayer games, or you can attach them to the controller, which comes in the box, for more traditional gameplay.


The Nintendo Switch features a multi-touch 6.2-inch LCD touch screen. You can enjoy the single screen experience in tabletop and handheld mode, but as soon as you connect it to the TV you can play your video games on your TV without compromising graphic quality.

Since being released, Nintendo have adjusted the visuals by changing a few of the settings to create a brighter and warmer display. Get ready for an even better gameplay experience!


Nintendo is known for its wide and varied games library. It continues to grow every month with new games being released, from brand-new characters and adventures, to all-time classics such as Animal Crossing.

Many Nintendo Switch games showcase the true capability of the console. Games such as Super Mario Party have a variety of mini-games, where you can use the Joy-Con’s to complete certain actions. But there’s also games for the handheld player too! Pokémon is a classic that every console owner should have in their library, along with Mario Kart 8 and The Legend of Zelda. Whether you’re looking for new games to compliment your new console or want to expand your already existing library, there is plenty to discover.

Nintendo Switch (2.0) with Improved Battery

The latest edition of the Nintendo Switch was released just a few months ago and it had one drastic enhancement – an improved battery life. Of course, battery life will all depend on the type of game you’re playing. For example, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a large game, and Nintendo stated that the console charge will last for around 3 hours when playing this game. Otherwise, the improved battery generally lasts up to 7 hours.

Overall the Nintendo Switch gives you plenty of options to play whenever and however you wish. But how does the Nintendo Switch Lite compare?

Nintendo Switch Lite

The Nintendo Switch Lite was released in September 2019. It is a lightweight, handheld and smaller version of the Nintendo Switch.

Game Modes

Unlike the Nintendo Switch, the Switch Lite is designed for handheld mode only. The Joy-Cons are built-in, and the console feels slightly lighter and smaller making it easier to take on the go and a better handheld for smaller children. The Switch Lite acts more as a step up from the Nintendo 3DS rather than a full alternative to the Nintendo Switch.

Can I play the Nintendo Switch Lite on the TV?

Unfortunately, you can’t. This console doesn’t come with a dock, therefore can’t be docked or connected to the TV. If you’re looking for a replacement for a 3DS then the Nintendo Switch Lite will be perfect. The regular Nintendo Switch is better if you’d prefer to play on the TV.

Screen Size

The screen size for the Nintendo Switch Lite is slightly smaller but still boasts the same impressive resolution as the normal Switch. The screen size is about 5.5 inches and feels more comfortable and compact. The screen is just the right size to still enjoy your Nintendo Switch games, in a convenient handheld console.

Attached Joy-Cons

One of the most recognisable differences between consoles is that the Switch Lite has built-in Joy-Con controllers. On top of this, there have been a few adjustments, so all the triggers and buttons feel like the perfect size.

The left, right, up and down buttons have now been replaced with a D-Pad which feels natural and fits handheld mode more. Whilst the built-in controls don’t stray far from the Joy-Cons, the minor changes make a big difference to the overall feel of the console.

Can I wirelessly connect Joy-Cons to a Nintendo Switch Lite?

Yes, you can. You’ll need to purchase Joy-Cons seperately to the console and then you can easily Bluetooth connect them to the Switch Lite. If you do this, the only difference from the Switch Lite to the Switch is no TV mode!

If you do opt to buy Joy-Cons separately, we also recommend you purchase Joy-Cons seperately

Think you have what it takes to survive this scary game? Buy a charging stand so you can easily recharge the controllers.

What games can I play with the Switch Lite?

You can play any games that are compatible with Switch handheld mode. There are some games that require additional Joy-Cons, but you can wirelessly connect extra controllers. This means that you can play the entire Nintendo Switch games library!

With the Switch Lite and Switch you can become a Pokémon trainer, take part in turf wars in Splatoon 2, play as your favourite hero in Overwatch and more.

Nintendo Switch OLED Model

New Features

The Nintendo Switch OLED Model is the brand new Switch model, releasing in 2021. The OLED Switch comes with an assortment of great new features to make sure you have the best experience playing as possible.

OLED Screen

First and foremost, the OLED screen that the model is named after. This vibrant display is not only beautiful, but larger than the standard Switch model size too, thanks to the reduced bezel around the edge. The screen's crisp colours and high contrast really make the Switch games' worlds come to life like never before.

Wide Adjustable Stand

The Switch OLED also comes with a new design for the console's built in stand, with a wider, sturdier design allowing you to get the perfect viewing angle in tabletop mode to keep you comfortable while you play.

New Dock

The all-new dock included with the Nintendo Switch OLED Model brings a new feature for the first time - a wired LAN port to allow for more stable online play whilst in TV mode. This feature has been a much-requested addition in the past, so it's great to see Nintendo including it on the new OLED model. No more blaming your bad connection when you lose in Super Smash Bros Ultimate!

Enhanced Audio

Another great addition, the all-new onboard speakers provide crystal clear, enhanced audio to ensure that you always enjoy high-quality sound no matter the situation.

And of course, it goes without saying that the Nintendo Switch OLED Model shares all the great features of the Improved Battery Nintendo Switch model above, so you're not missing out on anything!

Final Words

From expanding your Pokédex in Pokémon Sword & Shield, building your own levels in Super Mario Maker 2 or helping Link escape a mysterious island in The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening – you can take your favourite Nintendo Switch games with you.

If you’re looking for a portable handheld console, then the Nintendo Switch Lite will be perfect. But if you have the extra cash to spend, the Nintendo Switch offers freedom to play anywhere, at any time and is worth every penny.

Searching for more Christmas present ideas? Check out our gift guide here.