Technology & Life Tips

Full Nintendo Switch Lite Overview: What Makes it More Affordable than Other Gaming Handhelds in Australia?

New rumors are that the Nintendo Switch Lite 2 will be coming out soon. There is still no sure news on how soon the new handheld gaming console will arrive. Some current SURE news is that the cheap Nintendo Switch Lite is still relevant and a favorite of many.

I have mentioned “relevancy” as Switch Lite has been around for a while – nearly five years now. We have had remarkable changes in handheld gaming within this period.  But the Nintendo Switch Lite reviews on online stores in Australia show this model is still trending.  

Is it worth buying, though?

Key Takeaway: 8 Top Things about Nintendo Switch Lite

  • Nintendo Switch Lite is so cheap to buy
  • Nintendo Switch Lite is as powerful as its pricier predecessor
  • Nintendo Switch Lite is compatible with thousands of games
  • Nintendo Switch Lite has a 3.5mm jack, Bluetooth, and NFC
  • Nintendo Switch supports local, emulation, and stream gaming
  • Nintendo Switch Lite doesn’t support wired (Ethernet) connectivity
  • Nintendo Switch Lite has no IR Motion camera or regular/ HD Rumble
  • Nintendo Switch Lite doesn’t support tabletop and TV/ docked gaming

Nintendo Switch Lite: A Summary of the of the Budget Handheld Gaming Console

Below are the summary features and specs of the Nintendo Switch Lite you should know before buying.

  Nintendo Switch Lite
Release Year 2019
Dimensions (in inches) Approx. 8.19 by 3.59 by 0.55
 Weight Approx 275g
Processor/ Chip 20nm Nvidia Tegra X1
CPU 4x A57 cores + 4x A53 core (up to 2GHz clock rate)
GPU Nvidia Maxwell-based @ 384 MHz
Memory (RAM) 4 GB LPDDR4
Storage 32GB Internal + MicroSD
Built-in Display 5.5-inch LCD (1280×720 HD)
Resolution on Docked Mode N/A
Supported Game Format Game Cards & Digital
Rechargeable Battery 3570 mAh
Power Consumption 4W when gaming (3W when streaming)
Wireless Connectivity WiFi 5 (802.11ac)
Wired Connectivity N/A
Standard 3.5mm Audio Jack YES
USB Port Type USB-C
HDMI Output N/A
Bluetooth Connectivity YES (V4.1)
Built-in NFC Chip YES (scan amiibo figures/ cards)
Built-in Speakers YES

Nintendo released the Switch Lite in 2019, about two years after the debut of the original Switch. However, the new gaming console was barely an upgrade. As a matter of fact, it was a downgrade in various aspects, just like its name (Lite) denotes.

For instance, the Nintendo Switch Lite has (permanently) built-in controllers. The built-in controllers have a couple of benefits, such as more portability and gaming comfort. But it also means now you can’t detach them to slip the gamepad into the dock station.

Of course, we have newer gaming handhelds like Logitech G Cloud and Razer Edge that connect to an external monitor via USB-C. It is only that the attribute is not in the plans of Nintendo currently.

So, the Nintendo Switch Lite is ideal for someone okay with just handheld gaming mode. The device, yes, can connect with a wireless controller via Bluetooth if you want to enjoy local multiplayer gaming. But its display is only 5.5 inches- about the same size as an iPhone 8, which is rather small for many eyes.

Conversely, the small display of the Nintendo Switch Lite displays at a 1280 x 720p HD resolution. If you can compare, it has a crispier picture quality than its siblings.

More on that, continue reading the complete Nintendo Switch Lite review below.

Features and Capabilities of the Nintendo Handheld Gaming Console

In this section, we’ll break down the various crucial things you’ll get or miss on the Nintendo Switch Lite. Let’s start with the availability.

Nintendo Switch Lite Review: Price in Australia

The official Nintendo Switch Lite price in Australia today is $329.95 when brand-new. If shopping in the US, the Switch costs $199.99 and £199.99 for Europe.

Whether shopping locally or abroad, the Switch Lite is $A150+ cheaper than the other Nintendo Switches available. Thus, a perfect example if looking for the best handheld gaming console on a budget. The price even tends to drop by a couple of dollars during limited-time deals or includes freebies (like game cards).

But again, are the substantial savings worth it?

Nintendo Switch Lite Review: Design & Styling

In our chart with the specs of the Nintendo Switch Lite, the overall size is more compact than the original model. It measures approximately 8.1 by 3.5 by 0.5 inches, a size you can not only fit in your purse, backpack, or traveling bag easily. But you can also carry it in your pants pocket (that fits your Samsung S24) over short distances.

Besides the compactness, Nintendo’s Switch Lite is light to hold – only weighs about half a pound. It is a device you can game for many hours without your hands tiring or getting cramped.

As for the build, the Nintendo Lite has solid polycarbonate housing, just like the first Switch. However, the controllers of the Lite console also feel solid and firm since they are built into it. They don’t have the “jingling” and “clicking” you feel on the removable (Joy-Con) controllers of the other Switches.

It is also worth noting the controllers of the Nintendo Switch Lite utilize a D-Pad (Nintendo calls it “+Control Pad) for directional movements. Not individual buttons for right, left, up, and down on the other Switches.

Furthermore, the Nintendo designers have created the Switch Lite in not just their regular gray finish. The Lite can also come in Blue, Turquoise, Yellow, or Coral for those of us into flashy/ colorful stylings. Then, the company sometimes has limited special editions for their specific audience- like Nintendo Lite Dialga and Palkia for Pokémon diehards.

Nintendo Switch Lite Review: Performance

In the Steam Deck OLED vs Nintendo Switch OLED review, we see the latter slightly behind on CPU and GPU. The Nintendo Switch Lite is also behind the Steam Deck, as it has the Tegra X1 chipset with 4x A57 cores/ 4x A53 cores architecture.

But even behind the Steam Deck, Nintendo Switch Lite performs with a boosted GPU speed of 384MHz and 2GHz CPU. While the figures might not make sense, it means the Nintendo Lite performs about the same as the regular Switch.

So, you can enjoy AAA titles like Resident Evil, Witcher, Overwatch, and Mortal Kombat. The games load decently fast and play smoothly well- the 4GB RAM also helps a lot there.

Nintendo Switch Lite Review: Picture Quality

With the original Nintendo Switch vs Nintendo Switch Litegraphics side by side, the former loses a point on clarity. Of course, the 6.2-inch display on the original Switch gives slightly bigger pictures than the 5.5-inch screen of Switch Lite. But the two record at 720p HD resolution.

Therefore, the Nintendo Switch Lite has a higher pixel density- the image pixels are more closely packed. And this gives video games with deeper colors, albeit small in-game writing may be a little hard to read. In that case, you may have to hold the gaming device closer to your face to read out some of the texts.

Tip: Nintendo Switch Lite doesn’t support docking to an external monitor. It is a handheld-only gaming device.

Nintendo Switch Lite Review: Local Storage

The Nintendo Switch Lite has a built-in 32GB of internal storage. It is not much, considering over 6GB is a reserve for the system. However, the Switch has a built-in slot for a MicroSD card to expand the local storage.

Moreover, the Nintendo Switch Lite has another slot so you can insert physical game cards. The drawback is that you’ll have to purchase the cartridges for the games you want.

Nintendo Switch Lite Review: Games Library

Nintendo Switch Lite has access to as many games collections as the other Switches. Many games are first-party titles that Nintendo has made themselves. Then, the other are competitive cross-platform games you can also find in Playstion and PC.

Fast forward, some of the best video games you can play on Nintendo Switch Lite are:

  1. Mario collections
  2. Apex Legends
  3. The Legend of Zelda
  4. Pokémon Series
  5. Yakuza collection
  6. Atari 50
  7. Resident Evil Collection
  8. The Witcher 3
  9. Assassin’s Creed Collection
  10. Kunai
  11. Mortal Kombat
  12. Lego Star Wars
  13. Ninjala collection
  14. Metroid Dread
  15. Advance wars 1 + 2
  16. BioShock: The Collection
  17. Bloodroots
  18. Bulletstorm: Duke of Switch Edition
  19. Borderlands Legendary Collection
  20. Boyfriend Dungeon
  21. Ring Fit Adventure
  22. Overwatch Series
  23. Red Dead Redemption
  24. Castlevania Advance Collection
  25. Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling
  26. Call of Juarez: Gunslinger
  27. Cassette Beasts
  28. Creature in the Well
  29. Darksiders: Genesis
  30. Disco Elysium
  31. Dusk
  32. Journey to the Savage Planet
  33. Gang Beasts
  34. Hoedown
  35. Islanders
  36. Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning
  37. Kunai
  38. Ninjala collection
  39. Nintendo Labo
  40. Monster Hunter Rise
  41. GTA V (PlayStation Remote Play)
  42. Battlefield (PlayStation remote play)
  43. Marvel Spiderman (PlayStation remote play)

A lot of Nintendo Switch Lite games can be downloaded and saved into the internal storage/ MicroSD card or played from a game cartridge. Thus, allowing local gaming while on the go or without an internet connection.

Nintendo has an extensive library of online games if your Switch Lite can’t save any more games locally. The online games library also gives you a chance to compete with your friends, relatives, and other players across the globe.

Furthermore, you can play PlayStation games on Nintendo Switch Lite via remote play. A nice example is with the new Marvel’s Spider 2 and GTA V.

Nintendo Switch Lite Review: Battery Life

When comparing the three available Nintendo Switch consoles available, the Switch Lite has the least power convenience. The 3570mAh internal battery has a maximum range of 7 hours, about two hours less than the OLED model.

Nonetheless, the 7+ hours battery life is for the light indie games that don’t demand much from the machine. For instance, the Switch Lite battery lasts 7 hours and 6 minutes on Minecraft with minimum settings (and nearly 5 hours on maximum settings).

In demanding games, like Witcher, Red Dead Redemption, and Overwatch 2, you can expect a little over 3 hours on maximum settings. Then, on minimum settings, the Nintendo Lite battery can last a little over 4 hours.

Nintendo Switch Lite Review: Gaming Experience

When it comes to the gaming experience, Nintendo Switch Lite is a bit lacking. Yes, the handheld gaming console is easy to hold, plus the buttons and triggers are comfortable. It also has an accelerometer, gyroscope, and brightness sensor. Thus, making it possible to enhance aim by tilting the device and the display’s brightness to adjust depending on the surroundings.

Sadly, the Nintendo Switch Lite doesn’t have a complete pack of motion controls. One of the features lacking is the swinging motion controls like that on the individual Joy-Con controllers. Hence, no fun with Mario Golf or Tennis Aces since you can’t physically swing the console for a direct-control sensation.

Secondly, the Nintendo Switch Lite controllers don’t have HD Rumble to simulate vibrations from real objects.  Then, they don’t have the IR Motion camera, which makes games like Resident Evil fun with real-life reload.

The missing IR Motion  also  means the Nintendo Switch Lite isn’t natively compatible with games like Ring Fit Adventures and Nintendo Labo. You also get to miss the fun of Ninjala collection cards, Spy alerts (not so effective), and night vision mode.

Speaking of modes, the Nintendo Switch Lite doesn’t have an HDMI port for TV/ docked mode or a kickstand to enable tabletop gaming. You can only play with the console in handheld mode.

Note: The Nintendo Switch Lite can connect with Joy-Con controllers (sold separately). Thus, delivering full motion controls, where you can even physically swing the Joy-Con for Golf and Tennis games. Then, you also have access to the built-in IR Motion camera for supported Nintendo Switch games.


Key Takeaway: Why is the Nintendo Switch Lite Cheap?

In a nutshell, these are the most relevant details to know about Nintendo Switch Lite. As you can see, the gaming console is as powerful as the original Switch and compatible with most of the Nintendo games.

The games not naively compatible with the Nintendo Switch Lite are the titles that require physical swing motions or IR Motion Camera. The two missing features are some of the reasons the Switch Lite is cheaper than other Switches.

Other reasons Nintendo Switch Lite is cheaper than other Switches are:

  1. Nintendo Switch Lite has a slightly smaller display
  2. Nintendo Switch Lite has a lesser battery capacity
  3. Nintendo Switch Lite has no built-n Rumble (Regular or HD Rumble)
  4. Nintendo Switch Lite has handheld-only gaming mode: no tabletop or TV/ docked modes

All that said, we’ve seen you can get Joy-Con controllers and pair them with your Nintendo Switch Lite. Thus, giving you access to their associated features and perks.

As for the point of worthiness, the Nintendo Switch Lite is worth buying if okay with handheld-only gaming. The console is also more compact than other Switches, making it easier to carry during short or long travels.

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