Change OLED vs. Switch | Digital trends


Another iteration of the handheld hybrid, the Nintendo Switch OLED features an upgraded screen and a shipload of bells and whistles. At first glance, the OLED model might not look all that different from the original Switch, but it certainly has a ton of new features that you should be aware of, especially if you are thinking of upgrading. With the original Switch nearly five years old at this point, it’s a great time to snag an OLED. Or maybe this is your first time considering buying a Switch.

Either way, it’s good to know the difference between the original and the OLED model so you can make an informed purchase – and this is where we come in. Here we compare the original Switch to the new OLED model with details that will hopefully help you choose one over the other.

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Nintendo switch Nintendo Switch OLED
size Approximately 4 inches high, 9.4 inches long, and 0.55 inches deep (with the Joy-Con attached) 4 inches high, 9.5 inches long, and 0.55 inches deep (with Joy-Con attached)
weight 0.66 pounds (0.88 pounds with Joy-Con controllers attached) Approximately 0.71 pounds (0.93 pounds with Joy-Con controllers attached)
screen Capacitive multi-touch touch screen / 6.2 inch LCD screen / 1280 x 720 Capacitive multi-touch touch screen / 7.0 inch OLED screen / 1280 × 720
CPU / GPU NVIDIA Custom Tegra processor NVIDIA Custom Tegra processor
storage 32 GB internal memory (expandable microSD card) 64 GB (expandable microSD card)
Wireless WLAN (IEEE 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac) WLAN (IEEE 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac compatible)
Video output Up to 1080p via HDMI in TV mode and up to 720p via the integrated screen in table and handheld mode Up to 1080p via HDMI in TV mode / Up to 720p via the integrated screen in tabletop mode and in handheld mode
Audio output Compatible with 5.1ch linear PCM output with output via HDMI Compatible with 5.1ch linear PCM output / output via HDMI port in TV mode
speaker stereo stereo
Keys Power button / volume button Power button / volume button
USB connection USB Type-C USB Type-C
Headphone / microphone jack 3.5 mm 4-pole stereo (CTIA standard) 3.5 mm 4-pole stereo (CTIA standard)
Playing card slot Nintendo Switch playing cards Nintendo Switch playing cards
microSD card slot Compatible with microSD, microSDHC and microSDXC memory cards Compatible with microSD, microSDHC and microSDXC memory cards
sensor Accelerometer, gyroscope and brightness sensor Accelerometer, gyroscope and brightness sensor
Operating environment 41-95 degrees / 20% -80% humidity 41-95 degrees / 20% -80% humidity
Internal battery Lithium-ion battery / 4310mAh Lithium-ion battery / 4310mAh
Battery life About 4.5 to 9 hours About 4.5 to 9 hours
Loading time About 3 hours About 3 hours
DT review 4/5 stars 4/5 stars
Availability Now available Now available

Design and functions


The switch and the switch OLED have a lot in common, from design to functionality. There are a few differences to be aware of, however, as each system caters to slightly different audiences. The most important factor to consider is the OLED’s screen, which highlights the colors more and is significantly larger than that of the original model. As the name suggests, it features a 7.0-inch OLED screen, as opposed to the 6.2-inch LCD screen on the original. Aside from being larger, the OLED screen is unique in that it offers backlighting to illuminate the pixels even further. This means that the colors will appear more vivid, making the original screen appear darker in comparison. For gamers who want to play more in handheld mode, the OLED should be the first choice.

You also get access to a built-in LAN port in the OLED’s dock, which makes it much more convenient to connect an Ethernet cable to it. All Nintendo Switch consoles support Wi-Fi by default, but connecting with an Ethernet cable will give you better, more stable internet speeds. With the original switch model, you can connect a LAN adapter to it via USB, but this can be expensive and less convenient. So, if you plan to gamble online frequently, the OLED might be for you. Note that you can only use the cable connection when it is docked. In handheld mode, both the switch and the switch must use OLED Wi-Fi.

One of the downsides to the original Switch is its flimsy, thin stand. It works well enough, but it always feels like the Switch is collapsing under the weight of the stand. Thanks to the new and improved stand of the Switch OLED, you will now have fewer problems. This is because the stand covers the entire back of the Switch OLED, is significantly more stable and allows multiple degrees of positioning. In short, the Switch OLED’s new stand is better in almost every way.

Finally, the Switch OLED has white Joy-Con controllers, which are available in this color for the first time (at least officially). The Switch OLED also has an integrated screen protector, which was a nice surprise. Ultimately, the Switch OLED has a number of additional functions that stand out from the original model. Other than that, the OLED doesn’t have any CPU or processing improvements over the original.


Nintendo Switch OLED.

In terms of controller support, the switch and switch OLED are practically identical. You can connect any Joy-Con to any system, along with the Pro Controller and even third-party USB-wired gamepads. Wired controllers must be connected to the dock, meaning you can only use them in TV mode. The Switch OLED’s dock has two USB ports on the outside, while the original Switch dock has three – one on the inside and two on the outside. This is a small win for the original Switch as it has more USB ports.

Both systems can be wirelessly connected to additional controllers in handheld, dock or TV mode. We highly recommend playing with a Pro Controller as it feels like a traditional gamepad that you can find on a PS5 or Xbox Series X / S. It works well, especially in games that require accuracy, such as B. Shooter. Both systems come with two Joy-Con controllers. Each Joy-Con can be mirrored horizontally and used as a single controller so that two players can enjoy the system immediately.


Samus slips away from an EMMI in Metroid Dread.

Again, both systems support exactly the same games. You can purchase physical cartridges or digital downloads via the eShop. It should be noted that the Switch OLED has 64GB of onboard storage, while the original only has 32GB. You can expand the storage with microSD cards, but by default the Switch OLED has more storage. It’s also worth noting that if you connect the Switch OLED using an Ethernet cable, you can download games faster than using Wi-Fi. So this is an important detail to consider. If you want to go the digital route, the OLED may work best as long as you dock it to the TV (and connect an ethernet cable to it).

Other than that, games look better on the OLED in handheld mode thanks to the improved screen. However, if you just want to play docked, you won’t be taking advantage of the improved screen. In this case, you can use the original switch instead.


Person holding Nintendo Switch and looking at the home screen.
Photo by Alvaro Reyes on Unsplash

The Switch OLED offers a fantastic range of features, but they are available at an additional cost. You can get an original Switch model for $ 300, and in some cases even less. In contrast, the Switch OLED costs $ 350, but it comes with a number of additional bonuses like the larger OLED screen, built-in LAN port, a better stand, and white Joy-Con controllers. It’s possible that the original Switch will get a price cut sometime soon, but it looks like it’s stayed at around $ 300 since 2017 and hasn’t changed since then. Ultimately, it’s up to you to judge for yourself whether that extra $ 50 is worth the price of admission to the Switch OLED.


While the Switch OLED is superior to the original model in more ways than one, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best option for you. The Switch OLED is perfect for those who often want to play in handheld mode as it has a bigger, better screen. It is also ideal for those who play online frequently or want to download most of their games as the system has a built-in LAN port on the dock. Or maybe you just love the white Joy-Con controllers that come with it.

If you already own a regular switch system it is difficult to recommend upgrading as the original model will do the job without any problems. If you don’t already have a switch and are considering getting one, the OLED is probably a better option. Even if you don’t necessarily like the new features, it’s nice to have the latest model. While it’s worth noting, the OLEDs were hard to come by, which means you likely won’t have any choice but to get the original model, at least for now. Gamers who just want to enjoy some of the best Nintendo games but are unsure of what they look like should consider purchasing the original Switch model as it is less expensive, more readily available, and works well.

After spending some time with the Switch OLED, it becomes difficult to go back to the original model, especially in handheld mode. As we said in our Switch OLED review, “The Nintendo Switch OLED may not be what gamers have been dreaming of, but it is undeniably a technical advance for the Switch.” With that in mind, hopefully you can make a decision that Suits your needs.

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