Should you get a regular Nintendo Switch or a Nintendo Switch OLED Model?

Martin Brinkmann
Jul 7, 2021

Nintendo announced the new Nintendo Switch (OLED Model) yesterday and plans to release it later this year. The new Nintendo console won't replace any of the existing offerings; the regular Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo Switch Lite will still be sold next to the OLED model version of the Switch.

You have three models to choose from now. In this article, we will provide you with information on the models and help you make an educated decision when it comes to buying a Switch.

Here is a quick overview of the three Switch models to get started:

  • Nintendo Switch (OLED model) -- $349.99, better screen, more internal storage,  improved stand, with LAN port and improved onboard speakers.
  • Nintendo Switch -- $299.99, the standard model, play on the go and on the TV.
  • Nintendo Switch Lite -- $199.99, cheapest, handled only play, no TV connection.

Nintendo Switch vs Nintendo Switch OLED model

nintendo switch oled model

The new OLED model of the Switch is not the long awaited Switch PRO. It has the same processor and memory as the regular Switch console. As such, it does not support higher resolutions when connected to a TV or display.

All games and peripherals, e.g. joy-cons, work on the regular Nintendo Switch and the OLED model of the Switch. You may also place an old Switch in the new dock and an OLED model of the Switch in an old dock without experiencing any issues. Battery life and charging time are the same for both consoles.

Nintendo uses OLED technology for the Switch's own screen and has increased the size of the screen from 6.2 inches to 7 inches. The larger screen increased the size of the Switch slightly. From 9.4 inches of the regular version to 9.5 inches of the OLED version. Weight increased as well, from 0.66 lbs to 0.71 lbs.

Another major improvement is the OLED model's storage, as Nintendo has doubled the storage that is available in the model from the regular Switch's 32 Gigabytes to 64 Gigabytes. Both models support microSD cards to expand storage further.

The new Nintendo Switch model comes with improved audio speakers on the device according to Nintendo, but the audio experience is the same if you use headphones, TV speakers or other audio hardware.

The dock of the OLED model has a LAN port, which means that you may connect an Ethernet cable to it from your router or modem for Internet connectivity.  The stand, available to use the Nintendo Switch in tabletop mode, has improved in the new version of the Switch.

And the Nintendo Switch Lite?

The Nintendo Switch Lite is designed for handheld play. You cannot connect it to a TV screen or monitor. It has a smaller 5.5. inches screen, weights .61 lbs, and comes with a less powerful battery, which reduces battery life to 3-7 hours. The non-Lite models have larger batteries and a battery life between 4.5 and 9 hours.

The Switch Lite has the same hardware as the regular version. It comes with 32 Gigabytes of storage that you may expand.

Which Switch is right for you?

If you want to play in handheld mode and on a TV: Nintendo Switch (OLED model)

  • The OLED model has the best Switch screen, expanded storage, a LAN port and an improved stand.

If you only want to play in handheld mode: Nintendo Switch (OLED model) or Nintendo Switch Lite

  • If price does not play a role, pick the OLED model as it has the best screen (larger and better) and better battery life as the Lite model. If price is an issue, pick the Lite model.

If price is a deciding factor: Nintendo Switch regular or Lite

  • You may $50 less for the non-OLED model of the Switch. You get a screen on the device that is not as good and less storage, but that is about it. The Lite model's price is $100 less than the regular Switch's price, but you cannot connect it to a TV.

Now You: do you own a Switch? Will you buy a new OLED model?

Should you get a regular Nintendo Switch or a Nintendo Switch OLED Model?
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Should you get a regular Nintendo Switch or a Nintendo Switch OLED Model?
Nintendo has three Switch models (OLED, regular and LITE): which version of the Switch should you get, and what are the differences between the console versions?
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  1. Mystique said on July 8, 2021 at 7:47 pm

    Beyond what I have already said, you gotta figure that the same old components are so much cheaper now than they were 5 years ago when the switch launched, if anything I would say Nvidia is begrudgingly dragging out this old tech for Nintendo whilst better Nvidia has better hardware that has been gathering dust for ages now.
    Lets face it, the NEW 3DS had more system updates than the NEW OLED Switch does… let that soak in for a bit.

  2. Anonymous said on July 8, 2021 at 1:16 am

    I don’t understand the hype around these idiotic devices. I don’t know anyone who has one. Nintendo treat their customers like garbage. I would never support Nintendo.

  3. Tyrion LANnister said on July 7, 2021 at 2:54 pm

    I wonder why Nintendo called it a LAN port. I can connect to a LAN with a Wifi card.

    Maybe they think people are dumb and think you can only connect to LAN through cable.

    1. Peterc said on July 10, 2021 at 7:25 am

      @Tyrion LANnister:

      You are an ill-made, spiteful little creature full of envy, lust, and low cunning. Men’s laws give you the right to bear Tywin’s name and display his colors since he cannot prove that you are not his. And to teach him humility, the gods have condemned him to watch you waddle about claiming a mastery of WiFi surpassing that of the most accomplished maesters. But neither gods nor men will ever compel him to let you turn LAN connectivity into your whorehouse.

      I mean, that’s the way *I* remember it. It’s been a few years… ;-)

  4. Mystique said on July 7, 2021 at 2:36 pm

    Nintendo wasn’t always the weakling in the console world. Two pivotal moments in Nintendo’s history is the Gamecube and the Wii, both for different reasons. The Gamecube was arguably more powerful and advanced than the competition, unfortunately it wasn’t enough to outpace the momentum of the likes of Sony and the new kid on the block Microsoft. Nintendo took that as a harsh lesson and leaned on that more heavily when they developed the Wii and ultimately released an under-powered cash cow. It really enforced their mindset which is very much prevalent today.

    I do feel like the Switch absolutely needed a bump up in available power but I guess if you were Nintendo and people were buying your hardware like crazy on the current set up why bother. I can’t help but feel like they would make some decent gains if they increased the power even a little bit. We’re talking a few fps here. At this point I don’t even think the Nvidia Tegra chip is they are using is economical or worth it but that’s just me.

    What baffles me is why Nintendo felt the need to enhance the sound and not the GPU instead. I could only imagine that it was on purpose to keep that artificial gap wide enough between this generations switch and the next one.

    There is a point that Nintendo has to accept and that is that some more power even moderately to allow the current games they have to perform as they should or better is a quality of life improvement and not an evolution. It’s as though they completely omitted one of the biggest oversights of the console not to mention the joy-cons so one would hope that the internals are different on the joy-cons because thus far they have barely changed across revisions aside from moving the wireless aerial to fix the range issues but have done absolutely nothing to address drift.
    I have opened and fixed several joy-cons and usually check out any new models for changes but nothing has really changed. The good thing is that parts are relatively easy to find and cheap but that does not exonerate Nintendo.

    One of the biggest hurdle is the cost and availability of larger capacity carts. That in of itself is a huge problem regardless of what power the console has.

  5. Yuliya said on July 7, 2021 at 1:20 pm

    I bought the regular Switch last Christmas and I love it. It’s the Animal Crossing edition :3
    I’m ok with the screen, it’s a good IPS, surely my smartphone has a superior display overall, but as long as I’m not looking at purely white or black screens, in colourful situations the IPS is fine as well.
    If I were to buy it now, ofcourse I’d go for the OLED model.

  6. Garth said on July 7, 2021 at 12:22 pm

    None of the above. There are thousands of great games on PCs and older consoles already, more than anyone could play in a lifetime. $349 for another stupid portable just so you can play Mario or Zelda for the billionth time? Seriously, what a waste of money.

    1. Ryde said on July 8, 2021 at 10:57 am

      100% agree.

  7. xa said on July 7, 2021 at 9:48 am

    Don’t get why people are acting like this is the nail in the coffin for any Switch Pro device. Nintendo always releases multiple variants of their devices.

    1. matthiew said on July 8, 2021 at 3:23 am

      People are just annoyed because there are obvious drawbacks to the Switch that Nintendo are ignoring. i.e. the SoC is too weak to power some of it’s games properly; joy-con drift; no Bluetooth audio.

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on July 7, 2021 at 11:06 am

      A Switch Pro is still a possibility, but considering the age of the Switch, it is also possible that a Switch 2 will be released by Nintendo that is backwards compatible.

      1. xa said on July 7, 2021 at 1:14 pm

        I think you’re right about that.

  8. Iron Heart said on July 7, 2021 at 9:35 am

    Nintendo undoubtedly makes great games that are fun to play (although, at times, it is the 1000th iteration of the same thing). However, more often than not I feel that their hardware is cheaply made, with weak components, and that they deliberately keep it that way to also earn a surplus when selling the hardware (afaik, no other console manufacturer makes money with the hardware). I mean, the manufacturing costs of some smartphones are not higher than those of the Switch, but they still sport powerful components far above those of the Switch. The Switch has insane frame drops in some areas of Zelda – Breath of the Wild, for example. That’s just shameful for a $300 console.

    Again, no hate for the games, those are oftentimes very good, but the hardware is just a cash grab with Nintendo and has been at least since the Wii (that’s when they stopped trying to put a powerful console out).

    1. Anonymous said on July 7, 2021 at 12:01 pm

      their games price keep going up tho…

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on July 7, 2021 at 11:05 am

      You cannot compare smartphones with the Switch or any other console or even PC for that matter. Most smartphones have issues when you play taxing games as they tend to warm up quickly, and then you may get reduced performance as well.

      It is a valid approach to sell hardware without a loss. Both Microsoft and Sony subsidize their consoles, and the different strategy seems to work for Nintendo.

      Anyway, I do agree that Nintendo’s focus is on games and enjoyment, and not on the latest and greatest hardware. Framerates could be better in some games.

      They do innovate quite a bit though and release experimental games such as Nintendo Labo, Mario Kart Live Circuit or Ring Fit Adventure.

      1. Iron Heart said on July 7, 2021 at 12:51 pm

        @Martin Brinkmann

        Martin, you can solve the thermal issues with a fan (the Nintendo Switch sports a fan) and with heat dissipation across the back surface of the device. The problem is, if even the inexpensive iPhone SE is more powerful than the Switch, then we need to talk.

        Let’s take a look at the Switch, shall we?

        – Lackluster screen resolution.
        – Lackluster flash memory capacity.
        – Lackluster RAM capacity.
        – Processor now weaker than the ones of most modern smartphones.
        – Bad battery life.

        = $300???

        Nintendo is not a smartphone manufacturer that needs to make profit with the hardware – the Android smartphone manufacturers don’t subsequently sell you apps or services, after all. Again, Nintendo doesn’t need to make a profit with the hardware, yet here we are, with Nintendo selling us $120 hardware for $300, and then they still want $60 for the games. Get off my lawn, Nintendo!

        I am interested in their games, but I would only buy their hardware at a significant discount or used / mint condition. Not supporting their hardware cash grabs and their mindset of developing subpar hardware because it will be selling like cakes anyway.

      2. matthiew said on July 8, 2021 at 3:17 am

        As Martin said earlier, your comparison makes no sense. Why are you complaining that a $400 device is more powerful than a $300 device?

      3. Iron Heart said on July 8, 2021 at 7:34 am


        The “$400 device” doesn’t cost $400 to manufacture. There is profit involved. Nintendo doesn’t need to make profit with the hardware, in their case, $120 hardware.

  9. me said on July 7, 2021 at 8:14 am


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