It’s always an exciting time when new tech arrives at Rapid Reviews HQ, and the latest is the new Nintendo Switch OLED. Having owned the original Switch and the Switch Lite, I was excited to see if the new member of the Switch family was a worthwhile addition. With the same internals, was the new OLED screen enough to warrant an upgrade? I’ve spent a week with the Switch OLED, so read on for my Rapid Review.
My review console came in a white finish, and it looked and felt like a premium product. It might just be a trick of the mind, but the Nintendo Switch OLED feels sturdier and more solid in hand. Some significant improvements over the original Switch are that the kickstand is far wider, making it so much safer when gaming in tabletop mode. It makes you wonder how Nintendo gave the original kickstand the thumbs up.
The dock has had a couple of upgrades, including a LAN port and a curved design. Again, it’s a subtle design change, but it does look far nicer.
The addition of the LAN port is handy, as you can now redownload your Nintendo Store purchases a lot faster, and online gaming will be far smoother.
Without question, the star of the show is the brand new 7 inch OLED screen. I was honestly blown away by it when I first switched the Switch on. Colours are gorgeously displayed and pop with unparalleled vibrancy, darks are darker, and whites are whiter. It’s hard to explain the difference without seeing it in person.
Games like Tetris Effect: Connected, GRIS, Hyper Light Drifter and Children of Morta look stunning. In terms of screen real-estate, the extra 2 centimetres and smaller bezel, while not sounding much, does make a massive difference. While the screen is a little larger, the Switch still feels comfortable when playing in handheld mode.
While the OLED screen rightly gets all of the attention, for me, the unsung hero of the latest member of the Switch family is the speakers. When compared to my daughter’s Nintendo Switch Lite, the difference is night and day. The new speakers are louder and have a surround sound quality to them. This makes gaming in tabletop or handheld mode a more immersive experience. Of course, if you want to listen to your Switch in private, you can now, thanks to the surprising addition of Bluetooth audio recently.
Another improvement over the original Switch is that the new OLED model now has double the storage with 64GB available. This is a welcome change, however, you’ll still find that this fills up rapidly once you’ve downloaded a few big titles. Fortunately, you’ll be able to upgrade the storage with compatible microSDHC or microSDXC cards up to 2TB capacity.
Better Battery Life?
The battery is an area that I feel Nintendo could have done a little more to make the Switch OLED a must-have. It has the same Lithium-ion 4310mAh battery found in the original Switch. However, in my time with the OLED, when playing a graphically demanding game, I have found the battery to last around the 6-hour mark. This is due to the power efficiency of the new OLED screen.
The rumours about a Switch Pro have been swirling for a long time now, so it does make me wonder if the Switch OLED is a stepping stone to the Pro model. Further investigation has shown that the Switch OLED dock is potentially capable of outputting in 4K. This does make me question whether or not this latest Switch is Nintendo’s way of testing incremental updates, with the view to releasing a Pro model in the not too distant future. For now, though, I’m just going to enjoy the updates that the OLED model provides.
Worth the Switch?
If you’ve already got the original Nintendo Switch, you’ll need to think carefully about making the upgrade. However, if you do, you will not be disappointed. As I’ve mentioned, this Switch looks and feels like a more premium product, it sounds much better, and the larger OLED screen is incredible, and games in your library can look and feel like a brand new experience.
Rapid Reviews Rating
4.5 out of 5
To find out more about the Nintendo Switch OLED, head to the Nintendo UK website here.
If you enjoyed this tech review, you can read some more right here.