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Best Nintendo Switch console

Which Switch will click with you the most?

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It should be no surprise why the Switch is Nintendo's best-selling home console ever, with more than 141 million sold worldwide. Its clever hybrid design was a first in the gaming world and lets you "switch" things up between handheld, tabletop, and TV modes so you can play however you like. Whether that’s passing the time on the long commute to work or sitting back on the sofa gaming on the telly — the Nintendo Switch does it all!

In the years since the original Switch launched though, Nintendo have released the Switch Lite and Switch OLED. And while they can all run the same Nintendo Switch games, they do vary slightly in price, size, controls, and screen tech to suit different types of gamers.

So, which Nintendo Switch should you buy? We’ve done all the thinking for you and compared the three models, to help you figure out which console is best for you.

You can still get your hands on the very same Nintendo Switch console that wowed us back in 2017. Keep it in the included dock and hook it up to your TV for fun on the big screen, take it out and game anywhere in handheld mode, or remove the Joy-Cons and use the built-in stand to play on your coffee table with a friend. It’s still the most versatile gaming console out there!

And while the newer Switch OLED has the edge over the original in terms of specs, it’s not by much. The built-in LCD display on the Switch still offers a great view up close, even if it isn't as big, bold or bright as the screen on the OLED version. And the quality of the graphics is no worse on the standard Switch when plugged into a TV, with both systems running up to 1080p resolution.

The Switch gives you between 4.5 to 9 hours of playtime undocked (depending on what game you're playing), which is no less than what you get with the OLED model. And despite being out for a few years now, it’s actually very decent when compared to even some of the more recent handheld games consoles.

For about £40 less than the Switch OLED, the original Switch is arguably the best value option of the three. And if you’re planning on playing a Switch on your telly more than in handheld or tabletop modes — it’s a no-brainer.

If you're looking for the most affordable way to play Switch games on the go, you'll love the Nintendo Switch Lite. It's dinkier and lighter than the standard and OLED Switch consoles with its compact 5.5-inch screen, making it the most comfortable of the three for handheld console gaming.

But as the Switch Lite is specifically designed for portable play (just like old-school Game Boys), this means that it can't be docked and displayed on a bigger screen. You're limited to using it in handheld mode only, so epic open-world games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild won’t feel quite as immersive.

The Switch Lite also doesn't have the detachable Joy-Cons the other models have. And while this makes it more robust, you can't play multiplayer games with your family or friends on a Switch Lite out of the box. It’ll easily connect with wireless Nintendo Switch controllers though. Or if someone else has a Switch of their own, the Switch Lite can automatically detect their console nearby for local multiplayer. Cool stuff!

The battery in the Nintendo Switch Lite won’t go for as long as original Switch and Switch OLED, but 3 to 7 hours of playtime is still plenty for most. And you’ll get it back to full charge in 3 hours to carry on your Pokémon and Pikmin adventures.

So, the Lite isn’t as versatile as its Switch siblings, but remember that it's a decent chunk of change cheaper. We also think it's the coolest looking of the three, and comes in a variety of vibrant colours so you can find your perfect match!

The top-of-the-line Nintendo Switch OLED is almost identical in size to the original Switch, features the same battery, and comes equipped with detachable Joy-Cons too. But as its name suggests, it boasts an epic OLED screen. This display tech is used in some of the best TVs out there, with self-illuminating pixels that give games a razor-sharp look with amazing contrast and vivid colours.

This makes the Switch OLED the best if you want to see all the details in your favourite titles when playing in handheld or tabletop modes. The built-in speakers have also been enhanced a little, with the built-in stand more adjustable so you can angle it just right. But if you see yourself playing your Switch on your telly more often than not — you'd be better off saving some money and going with the standard version as the picture quality is the same.

The Nintendo Switch OLED has a couple more small upgrades worth noting though. It features 64 GB of internal storage — twice the amount the standard Switch and Lite — which gives you more space for downloads. But remember, you can always top up the storage on all Switch consoles with a microSD card.

And if you prefer playing online with a wired internet connection, the Switch OLED's dock features a LAN port that allows you to plug in an ethernet cable. Which makes the online gaming experience smoother and more stable. Forget about annoying lag slowing you down in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe!

We’ve put the key specs of all three Nintendo Switch versions side-by-side so you can easily see how they stack up:

Specifications Switch Switch Lite Switch OLED
Compatible with TV Mode
Yes
No
Yes
Screen
6.2 inch LCD
5.5 inch LCD
7 inch OLED
Resolution
720p (up to 1080p via HDMI in TV mode)
720p
720p (up to 1080p via HDMI in TV mode)
Battery
Lithium-ion (4310 mAh)
Lithium-ion (3570 mAh)
Lithium-ion (4310 mAh)
Battery Life
4.5 to 9 hours
3 to 7 hours
4.5 to 9 hours
Built-in Controllers
Yes
Yes
Yes
Joy-Con Controllers Compatible
Yes
No
Yes
Internal Storage
32 GB
32 GB
64 GB
MicroSD Card Slot Yes
Yes
Yes
Weight
0.88 lbs / 398 g
0.61 lbs / 276 g
0.93 lbs / 422 g
Dimensions
102 x 239 x 14 mm 92 x 209 x 14 mm
102 x 242 x 13.9 mm

How much does a Nintendo Switch cost?

Nintendo's standard Switch console starts from around £259. The most budget-friendly system is the Switch Lite at just £199, while the top-of-the-range Nintendo Switch OLED comes in at £299.

Don't forget to check out our Nintendo Switch bundles too. These feature one of the three consoles with a few accessories like a protective case for playing on the go, or Joy-Con racing wheels for upping the realism in racing games. Some just come with an included game too, including Switch exclusives from the Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda series.

These bundles are perfect if you want to kick off your Switch journey with everything you need — and they're cheaper than buying all those bits separately!

What's the best Nintendo Switch?

The best Nintendo Switch console for you will depend on your budget and how you like to play. If you want the highest quality screen and great audio for handheld gaming, then the Nintendo Switch OLED is the best choice. The wired LAN port on the dock means you can get the fastest speeds for online gaming when playing through your telly too.

But if you're looking for something more affordable and don't mind a slightly smaller screen, the original Nintendo Switch is still a great option. And if you want to play amazing Switch games up close in the most portable and accessible system, then the Switch Lite is for you.

Any more questions?

We hope that's helped you make your mind up! To learn more about Nintendo's flagship console, check out our 3 cool things you can do on the Nintendo Switch and how to stream from your Nintendo Switch articles. And for all the latest Nintendo announcements and gossip, head to our Nintendo news section here on TechTalk.

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Ready to switch it up?