Nintendo recently released the Switch Lite, a more portable version of the Switch that’s designed for on the go gaming. It’s smaller, cheaper, and more colorful compared to the older version, but is it worth buying?

Here’s a quick look at the differences between the original Switch and the new Switch Lite, and the pros and cons of getting the newer device. It’s worth taking a look before choosing to buy.

Play Modes

The Switch Lite, according to Nintendo, is “dedicated to handheld play.” It’s designed to be held in hand while playing, and unlike the original Switch, doesn’t have features that allow docked and tabletop play.

The newer handheld doesn’t have a kickstand that allows it to be propped up on the table so that more than one player can join in on the fun. It also lacks one key aspect that gave the system the name “Switch” in the first place, according to Forbes: the ability to be docked so that players can continue playing games on a wide screen.

Despite these, the Switch Lite can still be used for multiplayer. Up to eight Switch and Switch Lite systems can be linked via local wireless connection and online multiplayer.

Compatible Games

The Switch Lite, by itself, can’t play all of the games in the Nintendo Switch library. Nintendo says that by default, it can only play games that support handheld mode. Switch Lite owners who wish to play games that do not support handheld mode will need to use separate controllers in order to play.

Joy-Con controllers

Speaking of controllers, the Switch Lite comes with built-in controls. The joysticks, D-pad and buttons are built right into the system, which means it doesn’t come with removable Joy-Cons. This also means that it doesn’t have the HD Rumble or the IR Motion Camera found on the Joy-Cons.

Switch Lite Zacian and Zamazenta Edition
The Switch Lite (Zacian and Zamazenta Edition) costs less than some Android smartphones. Nintendo

Size and portability

The Switch Lite is smaller and lighter compared to the original Switch. It weighs approximately 0.61 lbs which is lighter than the original’s weight at 0.88 lbs. Its battery also lasts a bit longer than the older model, at 3-7 hours on the Lite vs. 2.5-6.5 hours on the older Switch.

With a smaller body comes a smaller display, however. The Switch Lite’s display measures 5.5 inches, which is significantly smaller than 6.2-inch display on the original model.


This is one area where the Switch Lite shines. The smaller handheld is priced at $200, which is definitely cheaper than the original model’s $300 selling price. It’s cheaper, but buyers must realize that there’s a huge tradeoff: docked and tabletop play, local multiplayer on just one Switch, a bigger display, and a bigger game library that won’t require players to spend on additional Joy-Cons.