How does the exclusively portable version of Nintendo’s nifty console stack up against the full-fat version? Read our review to see if it’s brilliance on a budget or a disappointing downgrade.
What we love — Good design, great games library, superior battery life
While a key selling point of the original Switch is its versatility, the Switch Lite can only be used as a portable console. That’s a compromise to be sure, but even in this capacity it is still an excellent bit of kit, not the least because it still grants you access to the ever-growing Switch library of games. Much smaller than its big brother, its 5.5-inch screen fits comfortably into your palm and so is ideal for gaming on a commute.
Related: Nintendo Switch Review
Depending on the brightness settings and the game you’re playing, the Switch Lite lasts between three and seven hours of gaming on-the-go, which is an improvement on the original version of the Nintendo Switch (although this has since been beaten by the revised Nintendo Switch with a larger battery).
Nintendo purists will have no doubt spotted the iconic D-pad, which has been resurrected by the Switch Lite. Notably absent on the larger Switch, the D-pad is a welcome addition here, particularly if you’re indulging in some retro titles.
What we didn’t like — Compatibility issues, unreliable local multiplayer
While the smaller console does a lot of things right, it’s worth noting that a couple of games are not playable on the Switch Lite because they require detachable Joy-Cons. Major games affected by this compromise include 1-2 Switch, Just Dance, Super Mario Party and Ring Fit Adventure; but frankly, we felt that it was worth the trade-off. However, without the docking feature that defined the Switch, local multiplayer is a lot more tricky to get going, which does somewhat spoil the typically social experience of a Nintendo console.
Related: PS5 Review
If you haven’t bought yourself a Switch and you’re just looking for portable play, then this is without doubt the console to buy. However, think carefully about whether you’d prefer the versatility of the Switch, because the docking ability opens up some other fun games and, more importantly, a more seamless multiplayer experience.
Our Recombu reviews are created using data collected by Trusted Reviews Labs, utilising their testing expertise to bring you an easy-to-read, short-form review.