Nintendo Swap Lite Evaluation: An Unapologetic Return to Handheld

Nintendo Switch Lite Review: An Unapologetic Return to Handheld

“Small enhancements make the Swap Lite a mini triumph.”

  • Snug design
  • Sharp and vibrant show
  • Stable battery life
  • Brings again the long-lasting D-pad
  • Reasonably priced
  • Barely smaller recreation library
  • No TV mode assist
  • No movement controls

With the discharge of the Nintendo Swap — the corporate’s hybrid, grab-and-go console — Nintendo lastly discovered a cheerful medium for each console and handheld avid gamers. The Swap’s capability to “change” between TV and handheld mode on the snap of a finger was and nonetheless is its largest draw. That mentioned, just a few sacrifices have been made so it might attraction to a broader viewers.

The Swap isn’t as compact as the corporate’s earlier handhelds, such because the venerable Nintendo 3DS, it’s liable to cramping fingers throughout lengthy recreation periods, and it has a brief battery life that isn’t perfect for on-the-go gaming. Eradicating the power to “change” from the equation, Nintendo gave us the Swap Lite, an unabashed return to handheld gaming that’s an answer to all these issues.

Small and fierce

Ditching the Pleasure-Cons, the Swap Lite comes with an all-in-one design. It’s nearly an inch shorter in width, making it extra compact than the unique. Coming in at 9.7 ounces, it’s lighter however not a lot that it feels flimsy. As an alternative, you get a extra transportable console, made to be snatched up and slipped into the aspect pocket of a backpack or bag whenever you’re on the go.

nintendo switch lite review portableSmall however comfy to carry Julian Chokkattu/Digital Tendencies

Regardless of being smaller than its predecessor, the Swap Lite feels extremely comfy to carry. The format is barely completely different because the shoulder buttons are raised larger and the set off buttons a bit longer than on the common Swap. There’s additionally the introduction of a D-pad in lieu of the 4 separate directional buttons discovered on the Pleasure-Cons.

This makes for smoother and extra exact enter, as there is no such thing as a divot to maneuver over in the course of every button press. It feels good to play Tremendous Mario Maker 2 ranges the way in which I keep in mind enjoying traditional Tremendous Mario video games as a child. The Swap Lite’s ergonomic form matches snugly into your palms, and with an improved button format, the hand held gives the look its been made with lengthy periods of handheld gaming in thoughts.

It is available in a small number of colours — grey, yellow, or turquoise — with off-white buttons which are a pleasant distinction on the grey console, and complementary to the turquoise and yellow variants. There’s a Pokemon Sword and Defend model obtainable now, and Nintendo probably has plans for much more colours and designs, a technique the corporate has used with previous handhelds. With its small dimension, shade selection, and matte end, the Swap Lite has an lovable aesthetic that youngsters and Nintendo followers will love.

As for efficiency and battery life, the Swap Lite comes with a smaller and extra energy-efficient Tegra chip than the unique Swap. Nintendo says this contributes to its longer battery life. Contemplating portability is likely one of the Swap Lite’s key options, that is positively one of many extra necessary upgrades to contemplate.

nintendo switch lite review comfortJulian Chokkattu/Digital Tendencies

Nintendo says the Swap Lite will ship about three to seven hours of playtime. The unique Swap, by comparability, promised about 2.5 to six.5 hours. Taking part in Hyperlink’s Awakening at 50% brightness on the Swap Lite supplied up about 4 hours of playtime. On full brightness, it lasted me about three and a half hours.

In case you prefer to move the time throughout a commute or must preserve the youngsters (or your self) busy for just a few hours, I’d say that the Swap Lite will do a stand-up job. It didn’t final me by a six-hour flight, nevertheless it did provide up a pleasant distraction for a superb portion of it. I do want the Swap Lite supplied the identical prolonged battery life because the revised Nintendo Swap, however its small dimension and extra reasonably priced value could also be why it doesn’t.

A severe handheld

There aren’t any apparent variations in gaming efficiency; Nintendo’s properties proceed to run as clean as butter on the Swap Lite. Drifting round Bowser’s Fortress in Mario Kart eight Deluxe remains to be as satisfying as I keep in mind it to be. Simply the identical, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 nonetheless suffers from texture loading points, and the occasional drop in framerate is ever-so-slightly noticeable in Hyperlink’s Awakening. Principally, video games that didn’t carry out so scorching on the unique Swap will proceed to, properly, not be so nice on the Swap Lite.

Taking part in video games on handheld and evaluating the 2, I discovered the 5.5-inch touchscreen and 720p decision of the Swap Lite show sharper and extra vibrant than the unique Swap’s display screen. That is probably a results of how the Swap’s native decision appears to be like on a smaller display screen however the distinction is noticeable.

nintendo switch lite review displayExtra vibrant and sharper show Julian Chokkattu/Digital Tendencies

Regardless of their variations, the Swap Lite has lots of the similar choices as the unique. The OS is similar, which suggests it comes with all the identical options — and lack thereof. There isn’t any native chat assist (not less than not and not using a little assist from recreation builders) and, as introduced up by Enterprise Insider, nonetheless no Bluetooth audio assist.

The Swap Lite’s lack of Bluetooth assist for wi-fi headphones is a possible ding for some, nevertheless it’s extra environmentally accountable. Wi-fi earbuds contribute to the issue of e-waste because of their quick lifespans and lack of repairability. And in case you really want Bluetooth audio, purchase an adapter — one in every of a number of cool Swap Lite equipment you’ll find yourself investing in. There’s additionally the included auxiliary port for wired headphones, which is able to provide up higher audio for gaming anyway.

It’s additionally value mentioning that the Swap Lite doesn’t inherently assist the total Swap library. This is smart: The Swap Lite doesn’t include a dock, HDMI output, or Pleasure-Cons, which suggests it could actually’t hook up with the TV and doesn’t have movement controls. Out of the field, it solely helps video games playable in handheld mode, which you’ll see labeled on the again of a recreation’s case or on its web page underneath supported play modes within the Nintendo eShop.

This doesn’t considerably affect your choices, however in case you’re eager on enjoying Simply Dance or making an attempt out Nintendo Labo, you’ll need the usual Swap. As somebody who solely performs the Swap in handheld mode, these choices received’t be missed. You could possibly buy Pleasure-Cons and look right into a stand in case you’re fascinated with enjoying video games that require tabletop mode assist, however that’s a further chunk of change out of your pocket that is perhaps higher spent on a daily Swap.

Our take

For handheld avid gamers, the Nintendo Swap Lite is a small triumph. Its compact physique makes it extra transportable than the unique Swap, and its ergonomic design feels nice to carry throughout lengthy periods of gaming. These small enhancements mixed with the return of the D-pad and a shocking show add as much as make the Swap Lite one of the best devoted Nintendo handheld but.

That mentioned, it’s a handheld by and thru. With no dock, HDMI assist, or Pleasure-Cons, the Swap Lite doesn’t have TV assist or movement controls, which barely impacts your gaming choices. Its battery life may very well be higher, nevertheless it’s an enchancment over the unique.

Is there a greater different?

No, the Nintendo Swap Lite is presently one of the best handheld you will get. The closest rivals can be the Nintendo 3DS or PlayStation Vita, however the 3DS is seeing fewer recreation releases and the PS Vita is not supported by Sony. Each are dated in comparison with the Swap Lite.

How lengthy will it final?

Nintendo programs have a 12-month guarantee that covers defects however not bodily harm. By way of relevancy, the Swap Lite has the potential to final till the following technology of Nintendo consoles. Whereas the Sony PS5 and Xbox Scarlett are due out subsequent yr, beloved first-party exclusives and an ever-growing recreation library make the Swap Lite a substantial choice, particularly for avid gamers on the lookout for a devoted handheld.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sure. The Swap Lite is one of the best handheld console you should purchase at this time, and probably one of the best ever made.

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