The Nintendo Switch OLED has a nicer look than the original LCD version, with a larger, more vibrant display, improved audio, and double the internal memory – however, it still doesn’t have 4K.
- Larger 7-inch screen
- perfect black; accurate colors
- The speakers sound fantastic
- No update in TV mode
- The internal specifications remain the same
- Durability remains questionable
The latest Nintendo Switch matches the OLED version in terms of performance, screen resolution and battery life. But you’re missing out on a bigger screen and a more immersive experience.
- Cheaper than OLED
- Bright, clear, color screen
- Same performance
- The display is not so vivid
- Larger frames
- It looks a bit old now
Nintendo Switch vs Nintendo Switch OLED is an important conversation that hybrid console fanatics should have. Both consoles showcase home and portable capabilities, but as the Nintendo Switch begins to show its age, OLED is stepping up. But is it worth spending a little more money for a nicer display?
The launch of the original Nintendo Switch in 2017 was pretty revolutionary and still manages to showcase some pretty impressive graphics in today’s digital climate. While it doesn’t offer much when placed next to the PS5, it still has its quirks. So while the Nintendo Switch OLED doesn’t improve performance but focuses on graphical fidelity and looks, the pair still has a long way to go in comparison.
However, these are not the only two options. The Switch Lite also launched in 2019 as a handheld-only option, without the Switch’s usual removable Joy-Con controllers. For some people who care about the hybrid design of the original Switch, this is a major breakthrough. For those who are only interested in long-distance gaming or playing handheld games, this is a cheaper option. In 2019, Nintendo also released a refreshed version of the original Nintendo Switch that boasts improved battery life.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at why the Switch OLED is a better option than the original LCD version, as well as other improvements you’ll get if you go for the Nintendo Switch OLED. Though that doesn’t necessarily mean the original Switch isn’t right for you. Read on to find out more.
Nintendo Switch OLED vs Nintendo Switch: price
The Nintendo Switch OLED costs $350 / £309 / AU$539 and was released on October 8, 2021. That’s $50 / £30 / AU$90 more than the original Nintendo Switch at launch which instead costs $300 / £279 / AU$449 USD . However, since the OLED launch, the original model has seen a slight price cut, now priced at £259.99 / $259.99 / AU$435.
Given their popularity, we rarely see any of the models enjoy discounts. This currently applies to most current-gen consoles, but below you’ll find a rundown of any Nintendo Switch deals that have are live now.
Nintendo Switch OLED vs Nintendo Switch: Design
The Nintendo Switch OLED looks similar to the original Switch after its 2019 refresh. It has interchangeable Joy-Con controllers, the same button layout, and even features the familiar bright neon blue and red color scheme.
However, the version you’ve probably seen online for the Switch OLED is the new White version. This more calm, mature color scheme is the kind of outfit we’ve come to expect from the supposed Nintendo Switch Pro. The Switch OLED may not be the Switch Pro, but for now it’s the closest. Many of the leaks previously thought to point to the Pro are in this redesign.
You’ll also find some other important design changes. The thick bezels of the original Switch display have been greatly reduced in size, and the 6.2-inch LCD panel has been replaced with a vibrant 7-inch OLED panel.
This gives the new Switch a less dated look and means there is no significant difference in size to the new model, despite the use of a larger screen. It is 0.1 inch longer and measures 9.5 x 0.55 x 4 inches (W x D x H).
For this reason, any previously purchased Joy-Con controllers will work fine with the Nintendo Switch OLED. Assuming they didn’t suffer from notoria before Joy-Con Drift, meaning. The new console uses the same “rail” system for such accessories.
Nintendo has reworked the Switch’s kickstand to be much less fragile as well. It now runs over most of the back of the console, which we found keeps it more securely upright. The stand is also adjustable, allowing for different viewing angles when playing in tabletop mode.
You wouldn’t know it at first glance, but Nintendo has also redesigned the Switch OLED speakers. They still sit on the bottom of the handheld, one on each side, and offer improved sound over the original speakers. They are much stronger, more striking and do not distort at maximum volume.
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As before, the OLED Switch comes with a dock that allows you to play games on your TV. However, it doesn’t offer the 4K output many had hoped for in the Nintendo Switch Pro console. Playing in the dock and 1080p remains the maximum output resolution, and the display is 720p when playing in handheld mode.
The Ethernet (LAN) port is an add-on that we get. take a cable from your home internet router and plug it into the dock for a more reliable signal than with the Switch’s own Wi-Fi connection. You can still get a wired internet connection while playing docked on the original Switch, but this requires a separate purchase LAN card (opens in a new tab).
Nintendo has doubled the Switch OLED’s internal storage from 32GB to 64GB. As before, you can also add a microSD card to the Nintendo Switch if you need more space, supporting up to 2TB of additional storage. Battery life remains the same as the refreshed Nintendo Switch, ranging from 4.5 to 9 hours. This is better than the 2.5 to 6.5 hours of the boot switch, but the OLED switch doesn’t bring any real improvement here.
There are plenty of accessories you can get to enhance your experience with all versions of the Nintendo Switch console, but we especially like the ZenGrip Pro OLED. This adds grips to the console in handheld mode, making it easier and more comfortable to hold as it is otherwise completely flat.
Nintendo Switch OLED vs Nintendo Switch: Display
Here’s the interesting part: The new Nintendo Switch has an OLED screen. These display panels have emissive pixels, which means the black parts of the image on the screen will look perfectly inked, even if you’re playing under the covers in perfect darkness.
For a standard Nintendo Switch, blacks look a bit gray under these conditions. The OLED Switch is much better for bedtime gaming than the old model, helping Nintendo’s already colorful visual style stand out even more. It is also the largest screen placed on a Switch console. It measures 7 inches across, compared to the original Nintendo Switch’s 6.2 inches and the Switch Lite’s 5.5 inches.
Just note that there is no resolution change. Nintendo Switch OLED remains a display with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. Many hoped for a jump to 1080p (and there were even rumors of a 4K offering) in this “next-gen” project, but that never materialized.
Nintendo Switch OLED vs Nintendo Switch: power
While the OLED screen makes games look richer, bolder and more immersive than before, the new Switch console does not increase performance in any way. The OLED Switch has the same Nvidia Custom Tegra processor and RAM as the standard Switch model, so there are no performance upgrades under the hood.
This means that the developers will not unlock any new potential to bring more versatile games to the new console. As such, it can’t really compare to previous mid-gen console upgrades like the New Nintendo 3DS, PS4 Pro, or Xbox One X. However, it does mean that the Switch OLED will be able to play the same games as the Switch – and vice versa.
Nintendo Switch OLED vs Nintendo Switch: Verdict
If you were hoping for a Nintendo Switch Pro with a 1080p screen and 4K output to your living room TV, the Nintendo Switch OLED won’t meet that requirement. The games will look the same, but at least they will look nicer when played in handheld mode and tabletop mode, which is the highlight.
So, if you mainly play in the dock, the Switch OLED doesn’t offer much new. The ethernet port on the dock is welcome, as is the increase in capacity to 64GB, but ultimately we’d say the Nintendo Switch OLED is a clear case of evolution rather than revolution.