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Nintendo Switch Lite test: a model that doesn't have to blush with your older sister

Two years after the release of the first Switch, Nintendo offers the second edition of its gaming console, reducing it to the simplest device. Switch Lite is now available. Time is perfect in three months of Christmas. Only time for the console to build a small reputation and arouse emotions in the playground (but not this …) and should sell like hot cakes next Christmas. We've tested a really portable console and you provide all of our impressions.

If Switch Lite has lost some of its capabilities compared to the classic version, especially its dock by allowing her to pair with the TV, she won, however, in terms of price. She, who inherits the huge Switch classic catalog, combines all the ingredients to create the perfect gift to put under the tree: commercialized 100 € less than the classic Switchshe is also more compact, is available in different colors rather well chosen and likes better autonomy, at least according to Nintendo. Especially since it comes when there is no one in front, Sony has thrown a towel for a moment about the portable console market. Under these conditions, it's hard to imagine how Nintendo might miss it.

Nintendo Switch LiteNintendo Switch
dimensions91.1 x 208 x 13.9 mm102 x 239 x 13.9 mm
weight275 g378 g
screen5.5 inch 720 pixel LCD touch screen6.2 inches LCD touch screen with 720 pixels
autonomy3 to 7 hours (4 hours of continuous play in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild)2.5 to 6.5 hours (3 hours of continuous play in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild)
Docking station and TV standnoYes
Joy-Con joysticksnoYes
Game modesportableTV, table, portable
catalogOnly Switch games with portable mode are compatibleAll Switch games are compatible

Improved design and ergonomics

As for the construction, the first observation: Switch Lite is to classify the radius only portable consoles. Unlike the classic Switch, it is not possible to insert it into the docking station, in particular for deporting an image on a large screen. And don't expect to use a USB-C plug to display any imageTo this end, nothing is planned, it does not work at all. Switch Lite, despite its name, does not "switch" at all and can not be turned into a home console. Nintendo has returned to its basics, at least those it imposed since 1989 in the design of Game Boy only portable console.

Second observation: get out of the detachable joyAnd goodbye, also directional buttons on the left isolated from each other. Although Switch Lite maintains a similar appearance to the classic Switch, the new portable console gains a new look. The joysticks are directly integrated into the device and cannot be removed. also the directional buttons give way to the directional crossjust like we found on the old Game Boy and other 3DS.

Also read: Comparative Nintendo Switch Lite and Switch, what are the differences

During this time Nintendo took the opportunity reduce the weight of the console, as well as its dimensions. For the Switch 275 grams Classic Switch Lite we go with 398 grams. In terms of size the console is also smallerWhen the Classic switch is 10.2 x 29.9 cm, the Lite switch is 9.11 x 20.9 cm. In terms of thickness, it does not change by one millimeter: Switch and Switch Lite have a height of 1.39 cm. Finally, note that the console is available in three versions: yellow, gray or blue. For our part, we've received the yellow version, which may not be the best color of the three, but it's probably just a matter of taste.

When it comes to ergonomics, small and medium hands will no doubt appreciate the console in its true value. Triggers, like joysticks and directional cross, are perfectly placed, The same applies to the buttons A, B, X, Y, – and +: Nintendo has made every effort to position them so that they are accessible without having to twist your fingers in all directions, whenever you order a little juggling. On the other hand, we regret that the directional cross is not more flexible. Understand this with the type of fighting games Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengersmovements that require circular movements or repetitive up / down movements are not always obvious to achieve. Nothing catastrophic too, but we'd like a bit more softness in the area cross.

Another point: large hands are likely to provide somewhat fair positioning of triggers. In this case, the console should be kept as high as possible. Therefore, it is not placed in the palm of your hand, but largely raised. Big hands will also find something wrong with the size of the A, B, X and Y buttons that they may think are too small. On our part, it never bothered us too much. It's probably just a matter of habit.

Logically, the console should cost the same amount of Joy-Con shivering troubles as some players at the beginning of the year. The YouTube channel had fun disassembling the device and found that the elements of the game controllers were in all respects identical to those of the Switch name, even if Nintendo changed their serial number. Several users already seem to encounter errors related to unexpected joystick movements. However, we have to mention that we did not have to deal with this kind of problem during the entire test phaseLet's assume that if there is a problem with drifting, it will be isolated, because this would mean that this time we need to send the entire console for repair, and not Joy-Con, as is the case with the classic Switch.

Finally, notice it the console has lost its brightness sensorwhich is housed in the Joy-Classic Classic Switch. As a result, if you can still adjust the light intensity on the screen, you must do it manually. What's more, by calling the screen, we can blame the device a bit too bright, a bit like a smartphone. Nothing really annoying, but what is more complicating the task of the player staying in full sun or in strong light inside.

Finally, the console box has a simple charger and a USB-C cable. Nintendo did not make much effort and did not include (for example) a protective cover or coupon to access the Switch online for a limited time.

A bit of disappointment on the audio and video side

The console screen is getting smaller: instead of the 6.2 "device, as in the classic Switch, we enjoy the 5.5 "screen on Switch LightOn the other hand, the console definition has not changed: it is 1280 x 720, just like on the classic Switch. Nevertheless, the resolution is better because the screen is smaller than its older one. From 237 ppi we go to 267 ppi. The other side of the coin is if you get finesse in 2D and 3D games sometimes the text becomes harder to readYou can see this after the first few seconds of console power, in the menu and submenu of the main interface. In games, subtitles and tuning options you really need to get close to the console to recognize something.

If the sound is correct, it lacks power compared to a classic switch, even when the volume is maximized. On the other hand, if you can still connect headphones or small speakers through the 3.5mm jack, you still can't connect Bluetooth devices. Finally, if it is possible, but it is necessary to go through the USB port and get a dongle, which does not make the task easier. In short, when it comes to audio, we'd like Nintendo to benefit from the introduction of this console to provide us with some new features.

Same power but slightly increased battery life

As mentioned earlier, Switch Lite inherits the same internal elements as the first Classic Switch, with some differences. On the processor side, we have Tegra adapted to the needs of the console. In the classic Switch it was Nvidia Tegra X1 with an engraved quad-core Cortex A57 with a length of 20 nm, supported by a quad-core Cortex A52 at a frequency of 2 GHz. On Switch Lite there is an equivalent processor, but engraved at 16 nm and codenamed "Mariko". In fact, it is the same processor that we find today in the classic Switch.

Of the twenty titles we tested, we didn't notice any changes in performance. Recent Awakening of the Legend of Zelda Link still pays high frame rates regardless of the console used, but it's not the processor's fault. On the other hand, when it comes to autonomy, it is the best, even if we are still far from the results announced by Nintendo. under Zelda Breath of the Wild, the console is fully discharged after 4:01, while the game was flat with the Classic switch (in 2017, say it) after playing 3:04. The difference may be less obvious depending on the titles tested. Super Mario Maker 2 is on Swith Lite at 4:00, but it already had a good result in Switch Classic (always 2017) with 3h32 on the clock. But in general, the processor change and the new battery model mean that the console has an increased battery.

The environment and the library of toys at the meeting

The main interface of Switch Lite does not move the iota compared to what is known in Switch Classic. So there is a home screen to access games downloaded or already played on the cassette. As with the classic switch, the touch screen virtually hangs game controllers to manage console settings. The interface is clear enough to prevent the player from getting lost in the menu and submenu. It will not get lost when it wants to achieve brightness, sleep settings, etc.

But the main advantage of this console is undoubtedly the huge toy library it inherits, because the console is 99.99% compatible with the titles of the first name switch. Nintendo also paid attention to details to allow players to transfer all data from one console to another. In fact, only Nintendo Lab is not compatible with the new gaming console, but it's not really paralyzing. For the rest, we really have nothing to complain about this console in the game library, because there is a very wide range of titles that sometimes please the youngest, sometimes teenagers and adults. For 199 € the console is a great deal. And if you're looking for titles that will power the console, don't hesitate to take a look at our selection of the best songs for Switch 2019. Come on, let's play Super Mario Maker 2, Zelda Breath of the Wild and … Ikaruga (who remains the best shooter of all time, true ?).

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