Nintendo Switch OLED vs Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch OLED vs Nintendo Switch
Rory Greig Updated on by

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Today we’re having a look at the Nintendo Switch OLED versus the Nintendo Switch to see which handheld console makes more sense for you.

The Nintendo Switch came out way back in 2017 but has proved enduringly popular ever since. It combines all everything we love about Nintendo consoles. You get the portability and handheld gameplay of the 3DS, coupled with the TV docking, and motion controls of the Wii.

Since then, we’ve had two other versions of the original console, the Switch Lite and the Switch OLED. It’s the latter we’re interested in here. The Switch OLED, as its name suggests, comes with an OLED display which means that it is capable of darker blacks and lighter colours. It also has a bigger screen, measuring in at 7 inches.

Despite the age of the Switch console, now is still as good a time as ever to invest in one. You might have heard some rumours about an upcoming Switch 2. However, we are confident that, because of the upcoming Zelda Tears of the Kingdom release, even if a second Switch does eventually come out, it won’t be for a good long while.

We should note here that we are comparing the 2019 model of the classic Nintendo Switch, which made a few improvements over the original 2017 model but sells under the same name. If you are buying a Nintendo Switch new you can be sure it will be this 2019 model.

To make things simple, we’ve broken our comparison down into separate sections of specs, display, design and value for money. This should give you a complete overview of the two consoles. So whether you’re wondering which one to buy, or if you have the original and wondering if you should switch (get it), we’ve got you covered right here. Let’s get into it.

Nintendo Switch OLED vs Nintendo Switch – Spec comparison

SpecsNintendo Switch OLEDNintendo Switch
Screen size7 inches6.2 inches
Resolution1280 x 7201280 x 720
Display typeOLEDLCD
Storage64 GB32 GB
CPUNVIDIA Custom Tegra processorNVIDIA Custom Tegra processor
Battery4210mAh4310mAh

As you can see from the table above, the Switch OLED made some improvements in several key areas, though much does also remain the same.

The two main areas of difference, spec-wise, are in display and storage. As the difference between displays is so vital, we’ve got a whole section covering it further below.

The other main difference is the increase in storage for the Switch OLED which is welcome. Nintendo doubled it from the 32GB you get on the Nintendo Switch up to 64GB. This means more space for downloading games, DLC and saving screenshots.

Read more: Best monitor for Nintendo Switch

However, the storages of both the original Switch and the OLED version are expandable with a microSD card up to a massive 2TB. Though these are sold separately. This means that if you want the original Switch you don’t need to worry too much about this smaller storage size.

Now let’s cover the similarities between the two. The most important thing to know here is that the performance of both consoles is the same. Both house the same amount of RAM and make use of the same custom CPU from Nvidia.

This means that you won’t see any differences between the games available between the two, nor any improvements in performance.

The same is true for battery size as well. While the size is different, in terms of milliampere-hour (mAh), Nintendo states that both last 4.5 – 9 hours from a full charge, depending on usage.

Nintendo Switch OLED vs Nintendo Switch – Display

The real difference between the Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch OLED is in the display. Though there are also some similarities here, as we will cover.

The OLED screen on the Nintendo Switch is great. This display technology individually lights each pixel, while the LCD display of the original switch features a single global backlight. This means that blacks on the original Switch come out lighter, almost grey.

This is not a problem on the Switch OLED. Its blacks are deep and inky, even when in low light conditions. This not only makes for more vibrant colours and contrast but is also good for gaming in low-light conditions.

Read More: Best headphones for Nintendo Switch

The display of the OLED model is also larger, 7 inches versus the 6.2 display on the original Switch. This is another big draw. Having a large screen is great for immersion, allowing you to lose yourself in the world of the game.

The most obvious similarity between the displays of the two is in resolution. Many had hoped to see higher resolutions made possible on the Switch OLED, but Nintendo has kept things the same here, with both being 720p when in handheld gaming mode, and 1080p when docked to a TV.

Nintendo Switch OLED vs Nintendo Switch – Design

The design of the OLED model takes its cues very much from the original Switch. Apart from the larger size, not a huge amount separates the two. Both make use of the same detachable joy con controls that dock to the console in the same place. They also both come with an adjustable stand for tabletop gaming.

There are a few differences, however. The OLED model does have thinner bezels which make for easier immersion, and it is also available in a slightly more mature all-white colour.

Nintendo also implements some other, less obvious improvements to design. These include redesigned and superior speakers, and an incorporated LAN port for the OLED Switch. While you could connect to the internet over LAN on the original Switch, you had to purchase a separate adapter in order to be able to do so.

Nintendo Switch OLED vs Nintendo Switch – Value for money

It won’t come as a surprise to anyone that the newer and bigger Nintendo Switch OLED costs more, the question is just how much.

On the OLED’s release day, that amount was $50, with its price tag of $349.99, versus $299.99 for the original. The price of both has come down for some retailers since then, but the difference between the two isn’t all that different. For example, we have linked below to both versions of the console sold by Amazon for a discounted price.

The question of which console offers more value for money has a less objective answer. Overall, we would say they present the same value. The bigger screen and improved display of the OLED model justify its extra price, and, if a large display is important to you, it’s a great bargain at only around $50 more.

Nintendo Switch OLED 

MSRP

$339

Screen size

7 inches

Resolution

1280 x 720p

Storage

64 GB

CPU

NVIDIA Custom Tegra processor

Nintendo Switch

Screen size

6.2 inches

Resolution

1280 x 720p

Storage

32 GB

CPU

NVIDIA Custom Tegra processor

Which one should you go for?

Price will inevitably be a vital consideration when deciding which of these consoles to for. It is clear the OLED model features improvements over the original Switch, the question is do these improvements justify its higher price?

Well, it essentially comes down to a question of preferences. The OLED Switch has a larger screen and improved display. This display brings with it deeper blacks and vibrant colours that suit Nintendo’s colourful style. It also comes with double the storage, while not actually costing all that much more than the Nintendo Switch.

However, there are no improvements to the resolution or gaming abilities of the console, meaning that if you don’t feel like you need a bigger screen and want to save money where you can, the original Nintendo Switch will offer essentially the same gaming experience for a lower price.

Frequently asked questions

Can you use Switch OLED joy cons on Nintendo Switch

Yes – The Switch OLED can be used with any Nintendo Joy Con controller, the Joy Cons that come with the OLED model can also be used on the original Nintendo Switch.

Can you watch Netflix on Switch?

No, unfortunately, Netflix is not available from the Nintendo eShop, there are some ways around this but they involve installing a new OS onto your Switch and so we do not recommend it.

Is 32GB Switch enough?

32GB of storage is enough for a few games, though remember that some of that will be used for system storage. 32GB is a good starting point, but be prepared to buy a microSD card to expand your storage if you are going to game regularly.