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Nintendo Switch Lite is HOT!

September 28, 2019


(happy electronic music) – I’ve had a few days
now to mess around with the Nintendo Switch Lite, and in the course of
playing along with it, I’ve also been swapping with
the new original Switch, so there’s a lot of
different things to consider. Of course people talk a lot
about the size difference, and features that you’re losing, but also the money saved with the Lite. So, we’re going to look at
all these individual parts and really see which one is right for you. First, lets talk about one
of the obvious changes, the size difference. So the Switch Lite is
meant to be a smaller, more affordable version of the Switch, and it’s scaled down in
a couple different ways. They actually have the same depth, but where things are different are in the height and width of the system. With the Joy-Cons attached
to the original Switch, it is 9.4 inches long while the Switch Lite is at 8.2 inches, so it’s quite a bit
smaller in that direction. The more important of the two however, when it comes to how the
controller feels in your hand, is that the original
Switch is four inches tall, while the Switch Lite is at 3.6. Now the reason why I say the height is the most important of these is because width doesn’t really do
all that much to your grip, it’s just whether you’re
holding it this way or this way. And the depth again is
the same between the two. The height of the controller,
however, is what impacts how much of your hand is actually gripping the sides of the attached joy cons. So, in the case of the Switch Lite, there’s just a little
less room to work with. Now in terms of how this
actually impacts your ability to play games for a long period of time, well your experience might
vary a little bit based on hand size, grip style,
all that kind of good stuff, but for me personally, I did find that over long periods of time of playing with the system, the Switch Lite is a
little less comfortable than using the regular Switch. And I really want to emphasize the use of the word little right there, because there regular
Switch is honestly already not a super comfortable controller to use, which is why there are so many different grip options
out there to upgrade it. And so, while the Switch Lite does take a bit of a hit due to the size, it’s really more or less
the same experience. And just like with the regular Switch, there’s going to be grip options out there to help give you a more
comfortable controller. Now of course, size of the Switch itself and how you grip it is one thing, but another important thing that’s been downsized is the screen. The original Switch has a 6.2 inch screen, while the Switch Lite has a 5.5 inch, and this actually has some upsides and some downsides for comparison. Now obviously one of the downsides
is it’s a smaller screen, and a big trade-off of that is any kind of local multiplayer games, if you’re trying to share
screens with multiple people, not going to work as well
because it is smaller. There’s also the issue
that there are some games out there where the font is pretty small, and people aren’t a fan of that. I know Fire Emblem: Three
Houses was a big problem for a lot of people in handheld mode, and that is only going to be made worse by the smaller screen of the Lite. However, while everything
is certainly smaller on this screen, because of the fact that both of them display in 720p resolution, you actually have higher
pixel density on the Switch Lite, so there are some games that look better because you
have a crisper image where everything’s more compact. At the end of the day
when it comes down to one of these just being
better due to screen size, it’s a little bit of a toss-up. I think for most people,
the original Switch is going to be preferable
because you have that larger screen and you’re
just going to be able to see stuff more clearly. But, if you don’t mind
having smaller text, and a slightly smaller image, especially if you’re just
playing games on your own, you’re not planning on
doing multiplayer on the go, then the crispier image of the Switch Lite is very welcome. Now performance wise, there are a couple of different things we wanted to test as far
as how the Switch Lite compares to the new regular Switch, and how it might stack up
to the old original one as well if you still have the launch one and you’re debating if
you want to change over. First off, there is the
idea of battery life, which the results basically lined up with what Nintendo has been talking about as well for how the system’s going to run. It lasts longer than the regular Switch, but not as long as the new regular Switch, which is a little bit of
a shame because I think one of the biggest
selling points of the Lite is that focus on portability and the new Switch having longer
battery life is just a huge win in that category. That being said, if you
still have a launch Switch, and you like the idea of the Lite, you’re still going to get
a battery boost that way, which is good. So, after having done our
battery test and running both systems under the same
conditions for a while, next we’re going to take
a look at how hot they’re both running. So we’ve got a little thermal camera here attached to my phone and
I’m going to take a look at them and see what
the relative temperature is between them. Yeah, and you can definitely
see that the Switch Lite is running hotter between the two. So the main way you can
see that is that with the Switch Lite, you’re
seeing a lot of a bright white and red, while the
other Switch has a little bit of a green spot but mostly
kind of a yellow-orange. This honestly makes a
lot of sense because both Switches are running at the
same level of performance, but the Switch lite is
smaller, more compact. So it’s harder to get a
good airflow and therefore it’s just going to run a lot hotter. Now I will say that
after playing for a long period of time I haven’t necessarily noticed that higher heat, it’s not uncomfortable
in the hand or anything, it’s not like ruining the experience, but we’re definitely seeing
here that it gets hotter. So my only real concern
there is whether or not the plastic they use for the Switch Lite is better than the regular
Switch when it comes to handling those high
heats because something we saw with those launch Switches is when they got hot, especially in docked mode, it would over time start
to cause things like the plastic cracking. The Switch Lite obviously
I haven’t seen any signs of those yet, but it’s only been about a week, not several months down the road. Something else we’re
going to do is load up the same scene from Zelda and just see if there’s any difference in load times. I think they should be the same, but you never know, might be a surprise. (fast bass music) And that was really close, it looks like the regular
Switch was a tiny hair faster, but honestly, that was within the range of error of how sometimes loading times
can be a little faster or a little shorter. So, they look to be the same. And finally, there is the issue of volume. So on our regular Switch,
the speakers have been located on the front right here, whereas on the Switch Lite, they’ve been relocated to the bottom. Now as far as our testing shows so far, the sound coming out of
them is actually the same, the issue is the fact
that because they are down firing its a little
quieter when it’s facing you. (grass rustling) (air whooshing) (birds chirping) (air whooshing) And the real time I’ve noticed this is if I’m in a quiet room, just a void, it sounds basically the same, but if there’s any kind
of other noise going on, maybe a loud air conditioner, or a fan, something like that, it does cause the sound to get a little more muddled and lost compared
to using a regular Switch. Luckily though, you still have the ability to use a headset with the top aux, or you can still make use
of USB-C adapter-based audio headsets which include
things like the Genki for using your favorite pair
of Bluetooth headphones, or even the new SteelSeries
headset which relies on a USB-C connector to
the bottom of the system. Hey guys, you’re used to used to seeing us do ad’s every now and
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coupon code right here to get 15% off your order today. Now size is not the only
thing that is different about the physical
construction of the Switch Lite versus the regular Switch. One of the things that
people noticed immediately and were a little worried
about is the fact that it does not not have Joy-Cons, instead they’re just actually permanently attached controls to the system. Now, despite this fact,
the Switch Lite still works just like a regular Switch in that you can take Joy-Cons that you have from another Switch or that
you bought separately and connect them wirelessly
to the Switch Lite. You just have no way of charging them, so you have to find a
separate method of doing that like buying a charge stand. Now while there is a
certain coolness factor about being out and about with a Switch and having the ability to remove a Joy-Con and hand it to someone to
play games and multiplayer, not having them attach to
the Switch Lite actually I think makes for a better feeling system, because when compared
to the regular Switch, the Joy-Cons are just slid on the rails, yeah, they’re solidly connected, they’re not going to go
flying off any moment, but at the same time there’s just this little light jiggle effect that makes the entire
thing feel a lot looser. So with the Switch Lite, it being just one piece, it just feels like a more solid system. This is a huge benefit
for things like buying it for a kid, because it’s going to be a
little bit harder to break, you don’t have to worry about things like latches breaking if they drop the system, it’s just going to be
all one piece together. And I have to be honest, personally, this also just feels more right to me. I’ve grown up playing Nintendo systems, but I’ve always spent a
lot more time on their handhelds than their home consoles. I love the Super Nintendo,
N64, GameCube, and so forth, but I’ve spent way more time
on the Game Boy’s and DS’s, so having a handheld system that’s just one solid piece
just feels right to me. There’s also some change to
the buttons on the system, the A-B-X-Y’s have a softer touch, whereas the Joy-Cons on
the regular Switch have that very kind of click-y effect. I actually found this to
be a lot more comfortable for long playing sessions. While there are of course, like I said, some hand cramping issues
due to the smaller size, as far as button presses go, any games that had lots
of A-B-X-Y presses, my thumb felt a lot better
with this soft touch versus that very heavy
click on regular Joy-Cons. There is of course also
the addition of a D-pad, something that people
have really missed from official Joy-Cons, and
honestly it is a great one. It’s not the absolute best I’ve ever used, but it’s a huge upgrade over
some of the options available, and it really makes me
hope that Nintendo makes some kind of official D-pad
version for the regular Switch. Now of course the one huge question on physical construction that everyone has about the Switch Lite are the sticks. Are you going to have
the same drift issues that are on regular Joy-Cons, and the answer right now is… I can’t tell you. Look, I have been putting a
lot of stress on this thing, I have been playing non-stop
since I picked it up, and we’re trying to
devise some ways of doing some crazier slightly
unrealistic stress tests on it, but the fact of the matter is the issue with stick drift is
something you can’t really discover until you’ve been playing with the system for a much
longer period of time. Quick little update to
the stick drift situation, there are some people that
have bought Switch Lite’s that are reporting they
are having that problem right now which is a little bit weird, because even with the original Switch, stick drift is something
that was settling in a little later for a
lot of people to notice, but then again it was
also kind of a thing that people didn’t realize it
was a large-scale issue just quite yet, so, little
thing to be wary of. It is also worth noting
that Spawn Wave actually did a full tear down of the Switch Lite and found that it does
make use of the same style sticks that we see in
the original Joy-Cons and the updated Joy-Cons that
came with the new Switch. This isn’t necessarily
proof that we are 100% going to see stick drift across
the majority of Switch Lites, but it definitely is not a good sign. While portability is
definitely the huge focus on what is supposed to be
cool about the Switch Lite, there is a little bit of
a trade-off in that it is missing quite a few
functions that the regular Switch is capable of, and that is hopefully balanced out by it’s reduced price point. As we mentioned earlier
you do not have Joy-Cons that are actually a part of the system, you can buy other Joy-Cons
separately and then attach those wirelessly
to the system if you need to use them that way. But, at that point, the
extra money you’re spending could’ve just gotten you
the two attached Joy-Cons with the regular Switch. There are some Joy-Con
functionalities that are still intact with these attached controls, you can scan for amiibo
and you do have motion controls which is really
important for some games. However, you are missing
some other things like the IR sensor and HD rumble. And when I say that
you’re missing HD rumble, I don’t mean that is has regular rumble, I mean it doesn’t have rumble at all. There is no way that this
system shakes or vibrates, that’s part of the reason
why it’s so much lighter. And depending on who you
are that’s either something that you’re fine missing out on, or it removes a very
good reactive aspect of gameplay that I personally
have always enjoyed. So that is something that I’m a little sad to see missing here. And then of course, the one big missing feature that is been the really big make-or-break
argument for the system for a lot of people is
that you cannot dock it. There is no way to connect this to a TV like you can with the regular Switch, which in some people’s opinion makes it questionable why it’s
even called the Switch in the first place. Something I’d like to
point out as well is that Nintendo has also
mentioned is that this does not support tabletop
mode which is actually not true, but still pretty true. Well, what they mean by that is first off, it doesn’t have a kickstand, you can’t set it up on
a table if you like, and out of the box, if
you buy it brand new, there’s no way to play
with it separated from its controllers because,
again, you have to buy Joy-Cons separately. But if there are games
you want to play where you need to use Joy-Cons
or a pro controller aside, and you set the system down on the table, you can actually play it that way. It’s just that, also,
because of its reduced size and specifically reduced screen size, it’s a little harder to play
that way properly as well. So tabletop mode is not entirely gone, it’s just not really as efficient or works as well as you would have
it on a regular Switch. The big takeaway here
is that the Switch Lite is meant to be a handheld
through and through. Nothing more, nothing less. This is he handheld focused
version of the Switch. So, if you’re thinking
about grabbing a Switch, should you grab a Switch
Lite, or a new regular Switch? Honestly, I think it’s
a little bit more of a toss-up that most people
are willing to give it credit, because, look, if you want all the things that are made
popular by the Switch, the idea of switching to a TV, the idea of taking Joy-Cons off
to do multiplayer on the go, then you need to spend the extra money for the regular Switch,
that’s just the way it is. But, if you just love the idea of playing a small handheld on the go, if you grew up playing Game Boy and DS, and you just want the next step in that evolution, honestly,
the Switch Lite is great. Aside from the lower battery life, I’ve found everything
about the Switch Lite’s portability to just be better. It feels like a proper,
true, focused handheld. So if that’s all you’re looking for, and there’s no temptation
for connecting to a TV, this is a great way to go. Now something else worth talking about is what if you already own a Switch, is it worth side-grading, or even kind of lightly
downgrading to a Switch Lite, or is it even worth
grabbing it to have both at the same time. Well, as for the question
of just doing the downgrade, I think the big question there is again, do you see yourself
actually using TV mode? If you like the sound of the
slightly bigger battery life, and you want that more
focused handheld experience, it’s a good way to go, but just remember, you’re
losing that TV connection. On the other hand, if you’re thinking about actually keeping and using both at the same time, I did do a full video
breaking down the idea of playing with both, and it is a system that works. It’s not completely efficient, there are a few little hiccups and annoying things you
have to keep track of, but if you like the idea of using a regular Switch as a
permanently docked setup, and using the Switch Lite on the go, that is a way you could
definitely do this. I know it’s a point that a lot of people have driven home already
about the Switch Lite, but it really is a shame
that it doesn’t support any form of TV out because if it had that, even if it was offered
for 50 bucks more than it currently is, if it had that option, I think it would be a very
interesting competitor to the regular Switch. But lacking that feature
as well as that kind of looming fear of “what about stick drift?”, it just leaves this to
being a great, affordable, permanent handheld choice, and it isn’t really open
to the same size audience I think it could’ve had otherwise. So really, to put it all
as simply as possible, Switch Lite for portability,
regular Switch everything else.

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