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The Switch was a huge hit for Nintendo with over 89 million consoles sold worldwide. And now the gaming giant is hoping to take those sales even further with the introduction of a new iteration of the portable home console called the Switch OLED. As the name suggests, this device comes with a gorgeous OLED display, which is a considerable upgrade over the previous console (and the only portable Switch Lite) which only has an LCD display.
Nintendo Switch OLED review
But is that new screen enough to inject the cash and upgrade to this more expensive Nintendo console? We played on both devices and here is our verdict …
SWITCH v SWITCH OLED – THE SCREEN
There’s no denying that the new Switch OLED is a huge upgrade over the standard model. The new display is not only brighter, but also larger – so you have more space for your favorite games.
The original Switch has a six-inch LCD screen, but on this new model things are increased to a larger seven-inch panel. We used both consoles side by side and there really is no comparison.
With this larger viewing area, rich black tones and powerful colors, the new OLED version is ahead of the curve and offers a far more intense experience.
There’s nothing wrong with the original and it’s still a great device, but once you’ve tried the OLED model, you really don’t want to go back.
Notably, Nintendo didn’t increase the refresh rate on this upgrade as things are still stuck at 60Hz. Most modern phones, including the latest iPhone 13, have all now switched to 120Hz technology that offers silky smooth graphics, and it’s a shame the Switch OLED hasn’t followed suit.
This 120 Hz technology is also a big selling point on the new Xbox and PS5.
Nintendo Switch OLED has an improved stand
SWITCH v SWITCH OLED THE DESIGN
Nintendo didn’t tinker with the design of the new Switch too much, but that’s not a bad thing as the original stood the test of time. What the gaming company did with this new model are a few minor tweaks, all of which make a huge difference.
The biggest upgrade is the improved kickstand, which now makes the Switch more stable when playing on a tabletop. It can be set to any angle so you can always avoid reflections on the screen when playing on the plane, train or outdoors. The new stand, which now runs the full length of the console, is a huge improvement over the original Switch, which has a fairly thin piece of plastic that pops out of the rear case.
Also noticeable is a slightly larger power button on the top and the volume rocker has also been expanded to make it easier to pump up the melodies.
Otherwise, things are pretty much the same with a USB-C charging port on the base, all the buttons in the same place, and the usual method of taking off the Joy-Cons for multiplayer action.
The only downside to this new model is that it is a bit heavier than the original and weighs just over 420 grams compared to 400 grams.
SWITCH v SWITCH OLED – AUDIO & MEMORY
In addition to the buoyancy of the screen, there are also some better speakers in the OLED model that definitely sound better. They won’t exactly blow you away with surround sound, but it’s a nice enhancement that amplifies what is on the screen.
A more important upgrade is the amount of storage where Nintendo OLED owners now have 64GB of internal storage instead of the measly 32GB found on the standard Switch. It’s a really important addition as you can now store twice as many games on it without having to buy a microSD card.
SWITCH v SWITCH OLED BATTERY LIFE
Despite this larger and brighter display, Nintendo has managed to keep the battery life at the same level as the second-generation Switch. That means you’ll have anywhere from 5 to 8 hours of gameplay depending on what you’re doing and how bright you set the shiny new OLED screen.
The Switch has never had world-class battery life, but it’s enough for a short-haul flight or the daily commute on the train. And you can use the same USB-C charger that works with your phone, tablet or laptop to charge the battery on the go. It also works with external battery packs if you don’t have a plug for a long time.
Announcement trailer for the Nintendo Switch OLED model
SWITCH v SWITCH OLED – THE PROCESSOR
One thing many have expected from this new device was a faster processor to boost performance, but you won’t find any changes under the hood. Nintendo still uses the same CPU to power its consoles and there is the same amount of RAM as well. To be honest, the games all load quickly and there is no sign of stuttering with titles like FIFA 22 or Metroid Dread.
Don’t expect blazing fast performance or pixel-rich new 4K graphics when gaming on this new machine as it is identical to its predecessor.
While this chip hasn’t changed, there is one that will speed up a night of online action as the OLED dock now has the option to hook up an ethernet cable. That means you can play without having to worry about your WiFi letting you down.
SWITCH v SWITCH OLED THE PRICE
It can’t be hidden that the OLED model will set you back significantly more. The standard switch alone costs £ 269.99, a game package costs £ 289.99. If you go for the OLED version, it’ll cost you at least € 309 – that’s without games. Start by adding Mario Kart or Metroid Dread and you will get a bill of over £ 340.
The Switch OLED gets a larger 7-inch screen
SWITCH v SWITCH OLED DAS VERDICT
The original Switch was an absolute masterpiece by Nintendo – no wonder they shipped millions of them around the world. Despite being four years old, it’s still a fabulously flexible gaming device that we highly recommend.
The question is, has Nintendo done enough to justify the added price of the new OLED model?
There is no question that the new screen makes a huge difference and if you want the very best gaming experience it is well worth investing in. The updated stand is better too, and we really prefer the optional new white joy-cons, the sound is noticeably better too, and despite all of this added tech, Nintendo managed to keep the battery life at a solid 5-6 hours.
It’s a shame it doesn’t boost performance, and we would have loved to see more RAM and faster refresh rate on this stunning display.
Whichever model you choose, you will love it, but if money doesn’t matter and you want glorious games, then the Switch OLED has to be our number one choice.