Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on Switch LiteSource: iMore

Nintendo's smaller, handheld version of the Switch, officially called the Nintendo Switch Lite, can be yours. I got my hands on this handheld system the day it released and I have to say I absolutely love it. If you're interested, you can check out my full Switch Lite review. If you're just wanting some information on the system then read on.

There have also been rumors for awhile that another, more powerful Switch is also in the making, but we haven't heard anything official about that unit yet. Without further ado, here's everything you might want to know about the Nintendo Switch Lite.

Budget Switch

Nintendo Switch Lite

Light and portable

The Nintendo Switch Lite is a great, lightweight, budget-friendly Switch console with built-in controllers and a longer battery life.

What is the Nintendo Switch Lite?

The Switch Lite is a smaller, handheld version of the Nintendo Switch that offers longer battery life than the original console. There are several differences between the Switch Lite and the original console that you should know about. In order to not get confused, it's important to know that earlier this year, an updated version of the original Switch with longer battery life, known as the Switch V2, was also released. We'll go through and tell you how the Switch Lite differs from both the original Switch and the Switch V2.

This smaller Switch is currently available in three new colors including yellow, gray, turquoise, and coral. There's even a special Pokémon Sword and Shield edition if you're a Pokémon fan.

Nintendo Switch LiteSource: iMore

Switch (original) Switch V2 Switch Lite
Resolution 720p (up to 1080p when docked) 720p (up to 1080p when docked) 720p
Screen size 6.2 inches 6.2 inches 5.5 inches
Dimensions (H x L x D) 4 x 9.4 x 0.55 inches 4 x 9.4 x 0.55 inches 3.6 x 8.2 x 0.55 inches
Weight 0.88 pounds 0.88 pounds 0.61 pounds
Rumble and IR camera Yes Yes No
Compatible with Nintendo Switch Dock Yes Yes No
Removable Joy-Cons Yes Yes No
Battery life 2.5–6.5 hours 4.5–9 hours 3–7 hours

As you can tell by looking at these specs, the mini Switch weighs less and has a smaller screen than the original Switch and the Switch V2. To help you visualize the size of the Switch Lite screen better, it helps to know that 5.5 inches is an average size for a smartphone screen. Perhaps the most interesting thing about the Switch Lite is the extra battery life. It can last longer than the original Switch, but the Switch V2 still has the longest battery life of all three systems. Still, with up to seven hours of play time, you'll be able to get really far when playing on a Switch Lite.

The biggest difference between these three systems, however, is that the the Lite is a dedicated handheld, so you can't play it on a TV by placing it on the Dock and you can't play it in tabletop mode. In fact, the Switch Lite doesn't have a kickstand and the Joy-Cons don't detach. Similarly, there is no HD rumble and no IR Motion Camera in this system.

Differences between the Switch Lite and the larger Switch versions

How to transfer old saves and downloads to a Nintendo Switch LiteSource: Rebecca Spear / iMore

Aside from the obvious screen and system size differences, there are a few other visual changes with the smaller Switch. One of the biggest being that the buttons on the left-hand side have been switched out for a D-pad. This is something many gamers have wanted as it can give you a little more control. Additionally, on both the original Switch and the Switch V2, the microSD card slot is hidden behind the kickstand. However, since the Switch Lite doesn't have a kickstand, Nintendo has created a dedicated slot on the bottom right side of the system for the microSD card. From the outside you can also tell that the speakers have moved. On the original Switch and Switch V2 they are located on the backside, but the new Switch has them on the bottom of the system.

If you open the Switch Lite, it looks pretty similar to the larger, original Switch, but with a few differences. For one, it has a smaller 3.8 volt, 13.6 Watt-hour battery, which is a bit smaller than the larger Switch's 3.7 volt, 16 Watt-hour battery. Despite its smaller size, this battery offers more juice than the original Switch console's battery. The speakers, themselves, appear to be the same as the original Switch, but simply direct sound out of the bottom of the device rather than out the backside as we already mentioned. A huge difference between the Switch and Switch Lite is that the smaller handheld doesn't have hardware necessary to allow for HDMI output. This means that you cannot hook it up to an HDMI adapter and have it show up on your TV.

In case you're wondering, this handheld houses a Nvidia Tegra X-1 SoC, a 32 GB Flash Storage, and a 4 GB of LPDDR4X DRAM, which is basically the same hardware you find in the larger Switch.

Does the Switch Lite have drift issues?

Unfortunately, it looks like the joysticks are pretty similar to the larger Switch console's so drift issues are likely. In fact, there's already been a few reported cases of joystick drift, which has pulled the Switch Lite into the existing class action lawsuit against Nintendo, conducted by the Chimicles Schwartz Kriner & Donaldson-Smith law firm.

Due to the prevalent drift issues found in the larger Switch console's Joy-Cons, Nintendo offers free repairs and has setup a special customer support page specifically for submitting a Joy-Con repair ticket. We assume that this page allows you to submit Switch Lite joystick drift repair tickets as well. Now, not every Joy-Con nor every Switch Lite will be affected by joystick drift, but it's important to be aware of it.

Pricing for the Nintendo Switch Lite

Nintendo Switch LiteSource: Rebecca Spear / iMore

Since the smaller Switch ditches some of the tech seen in both the original console and the Switch V2, it's also less expensive. You'll only need to pay $200 for a brand new Switch Lite in comparison to the $300 you'll spend on a new standard Switch or the Switch V2. Incidentally, $200 is how much you used to pay for a brand new 3DS XL, and it looks like the Switch Lite has quietly replaced that handheld gaming system.

Can it play the same Switch games and use the same accessories?

Many of the same games played on the original Nintendo Switch work just fine on the new Switch Lite. However, if a game doesn't support handheld mode, like 1-2-Switch, then you'll need to connect a compatible wireless controller in order to play those games. The reason why the Switch Lite can only play games that support handheld mode is because the smaller gaming system doesn't have detachable Joy-Cons or motion controls like the larger consoles do. The lack of motion controls especially makes several games impossible or less convenient to play on the Switch Lite without connecting an external controller.

The Switch Lite works with many of the existing Switch accessories. This includes Joy-Cons and the Pro Controller. If you like to play multiplayer games or party games, you'll likely need to pair external Joy-Cons to the system in order to play. You'll also find accessories specifically for the Nintendo Switch Lite. The Switch Lite is smaller and built a little differently from the larger Switch so some Switch accessories won't work as well on the small handheld.

Nintendo Switch Online and local co-op with a Switch Lite

Nintendo Switch LiteSource: Nintendo

You can still access Nintendo Switch Online content and participate in online multiplayer gaming with the Switch Lite. As a matter of fact, if you have a friend who owns one of the larger Switch consoles and you purchase the Switch Lite, you'll be able to connect your devices and play local co-op games. Pretty nifty, eh?

Can I transfer my Switch game saves to the Switch Lite?

Anyone planning on shifting from either of the larger console versions to the new gaming system can breath a sigh of relief. You can transfer your game saves and downloads from one Switch device to another whether it be the original Switch to the New Switch V2, the Switch V2 to the Switch Lite or any other order. If you want instructions on how to do that check out this guide.

Does it support amiibo?

Don't worry, your amazing amiibo collection is usable with the smaller Switch as the device still offers NFC functionality. Of course, some Switch games don't work with amiibo, so whether or not you want to use them will depend on which game you're playing (but you already knew that).

What are your thoughts?

Are you going to purchase the Nintendo Switch Lite? Sound off in the comments below.

Updated February 2020: Turned article into an ultimate guide.

Budget Switch

Nintendo Switch Lite

Light and portable

The Nintendo Switch Lite is a great, lightweight, budget-friendly Switch console with built-in controllers and a longer battery life.

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Nintendo Switch

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