Nintendo Switch Vs Nintendo Switch OLED: Which Should You Buy?

  • Nintendo Switch box-1

    Nintendo Switch

    Affordable, Good for Children

    The original Nintendo Switch model may have a smaller screen than the OLED, but it remains an affordable console with an extensive gaming library.

    Pros

    • Cheaper than the OLED
    • Good for handheld and docked mode
    • Good option for children
    Cons

    • Smaller screen
    • Wi-Fi only connection

  • Switch OLED box

    Nintendo Switch OLED

    Best If It’s Your First Switch

    The Nintendo Switch OLED model enhances the graphical features of the original Switch and offers a bigger screen, improved dock, and more internal storage.

    Pros

    • Brighter colors and visuals
    • Larger screen
    • Dock includes LAN port
    Cons

    • More expensive
    • Heavier, which may impact handheld gaming and portability

The Nintendo Switch launched in 2017 and quickly became one of the company’s most popular bestselling consoles, due in part to its ability to be played as both a home console and a handheld gaming device. In 2021, Nintendo launched the OLED model of the Nintendo Switch, which improved on the original console in various ways.


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Related

Is The Nintendo Switch OLED Worth It?

The Nintendo Switch OLED is a newer model with a variety of improved features, but is it worth the extra cost?

However, as the two consoles are fairly similar, it can be difficult to know whether it’s worth investing in the extra cash needed for the OLED model. What exactly is the difference between the two versions of the Switch, and which one is best suited to your needs?

Updated December 18, 2023 By Ben Jessey: As it’s the holiday season, many people are looking into consoles they may buy, either as gifts for others or to give themselves something to play over the festive period. So, we thought now was the time to return to our comparison between the Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo Switch OLED to clean it up and make it as clear as possible.

  • Nintendo Switch Nintendo Switch OLED
    Screen Touch screen / 6.2-inch LCD Screen / 1280 x 720 Touch screen / 7.0 inch OLED screen / 1280 x 720
    Storage 32 GB (Additional storage sold separately.) 64 GB (Additional storage sold separately.)
    CPU NVIDIA Custom Tegra processor NVIDIA Custom Tegra processor
    Battery 4.5 – 9 hours 4.5 – 9 hours
    Dimensions 4″ x 9.4″ x 0.55″ (With Joy-Con) 4″ x 9.5″ x 0.55″ (With Joy-Con)
    Weight 0.66 lbs without Joy-Con / 0.88 lbs with Joy-Con 0.71 lbs without Joy-Con / 0.93 lbs with Joy-Con
    Audio 5.1ch Linear PCM output / Output via HDMI connector in TV mode 5.1ch Linear PCM output / Output via HDMI connector in TV mode
    Charging Time 3 hours (in Sleep Mode) 3 hours (in Sleep Mode)
    Screen Resolution 720p Handheld / 1080p Docked 720p Handheld / 1080p Docked


Same Games, Bigger Screen

Mario Reaching For The Wonder Flower While Surrounded By His Friends And Bowser

The OLED model has the exact same games catalog as the original Switch, with no exclusive titles, but the biggest difference between the two is the size of the console’s screen. The original Nintendo Switch has a 6.2-inch LCD screen, whereas the OLED has a 7-inch OLED screen.

Where the original Switch had a black border around the edge of the screen, the OLED’s screen expands further, giving you an extra 0.8 inch of screen while playing in handheld mode. The upgrade from LCD to OLED also means that colors appear brighter on the screen and make graphics appear to be more detailed.

Docked Mode Vs. Handheld Mode

Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons Next To Dock with the switch docked in it
via: Polygon

Which version of the Nintendo Switch is right for you may depend on whether you prefer to play in docked mode or handheld mode.

At first glance, the OLED’s larger screen may draw you if you’re into handheld gaming, but that also means the console is slightly heavier — 0.93 lbs compared to the original’s 0.88 lbs.

The original Switch’s lighter weight makes it more convenient for traveling, but you will sacrifice the brighter on-screen visuals.

If you plan on playing your Nintendo Switch in docked mode, you will also need to consider the dock. While you can purchase third-party docks, the consoles come packaged with one, and the OLED has an improved version. It’s made from higher-quality plastic but also has extra features.

Both are fitted with a charging port, two USB ports, and an HDMI output, but only the OLED’s dock has a LAN port for a wired internet connection. The original Switch model can only connect to the internet via Wi-Fi. If you plan to do a lot of online gaming on your Switch, you may prefer the OLED model for this reason.

However, when docking your OLED, you lose the added benefit of the bigger OLED screen. If you plan to dock your Switch but don’t play many online games, the original Switch would be the option for you.

Does The OLED Have Better Graphics?

The Legend of Zelda Tears of the Kingdom: Link and Zelda beneath Hyrule Castle

The later model’s bigger OLED screen does enhance the visuals when you’re playing in handheld mode, but on a technical level, the graphics are the same as the orignal Switch. The two have the same processor — NVIDIA Custom Tegra — so they have the same internal power.

In handheld mode, both consoles will be 720p. In docked mode, it will be 1080p. However, the OLED screen does brighten up the Switch’s visuals, giving the impression of improved graphics.

Internal Storage

the front and back of the nintendo switch oled mario red edition

Purchased games from the Nintendo eShop and any saved data are stored on the Switch’s internal storage system. The original Switch comes with 32 GB of internal storage, whereas the OLED has 64 GB.

Given the size of many games these days, you will likely need to purchase an additional microSD card to store your games and saved data. The OLED gives you more room before you need to buy one, but it’s likely that you’ll need one later anyway, especially if you purchase games digitally.

Affordable Gaming

Image Of Nintendo Switch Being Reset

Other than the technical aspects, a big difference between the original model and the OLED is the price.

You can easily find the Nintendo Switch on sale for around $300. On average, the OLED version costs $50 more.

For this price, you receive a larger screen, an improved dock, and more storage space.

Conclusion

There are a few important distinctions between the original Switch and the OLED model, and the one that’s right for you generally depends on how you plan to use the console.

If you already own the original Switch, it’s difficult to recommend upgrading for the extra features, unless there’s a specific special edition that you want.

Overall, the OLED model makes a number of improvements to the Switch, making the extra $50 worth it if you’re planning to play in handheld mode a lot or to use it for online games.

The Nintendo Switch OLED is right for you, if…

  • You like to play in handheld to take advantage of the bigger screen.
  • You’ll use the Switch for online gaming and use the LAN port in the improved dock.
  • There’s a particular special edition OLED you like the look of.

However, the original Switch model could be for you if you plan to play on the TV in docked mode, but not for online gaming. The cheaper alternative is also great for children who aren’t interested in the technical aspects of the Switch models.

The Switch has a wide library of games that’s perfectly suited for younger gamers, and the original Switch isn’t as heavy as the OLED, so it’s easier for them to hold in handheld mode.

The original Nintendo Switch might be right for you, if …

  • You’re buying the console for a young family member or friend.
  • You’re not interested in graphics or online gaming.
  • You’re looking for an affordable option.

FAQ

How much better are the graphics on the Nintendo Switch OLED?

The Nintendo Switch OLED model has the same screen resolution as the original Switch (720p in handheld mode, 1080p in docked mode), but has a bigger screen and brighter colors.

Why is the OLED Switch more expensive?

The larger OLED screen, bigger internal storage (64 GB compared to the original models 32 GB), and higher-quality materials used the for the system’s dock add towards the console’s increased price.

Whether the OLED is worth the extra money depends on how you plan to use your Switch. If you appreciate the bigger screen and brighter visuals, it’s worth the higher price.

Next

Best Third-Party Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons In 2023

Your Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons will need a change-up at some point. Here are the best third-party ones.

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