Eine gelbe Nintendo Switch Lite

The Nintendo Switch Lite - Is it worth buying? Here's our take!

Find out all the relevant differences between the Nintendo Switch Lite and the classic Nintendo Switch.

The classic Nintendo Switch which was released in 2017 and has since become one of the most popular gaming consoles on the market, along with the PlayStation 4 and PS5. Instead of focusing on ultra-realistic graphics, Nintendo invented a completely new kind of a console system with the Switch. The Nintendo Switch is a hybrid of a traditional console and a Gameboy and offers various creative ways to use the different parts of the console when playing.

Two years later, the cheaper Nintendo Switch Lite was launched as a purely portable handheld games console.

In this article we show you:

  • The differences between the Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite .

  • The exact weaknesses the Switch Lite has over the original .

  • How to get a Nintendo Switch Lite at a cheaper price.

What are the differences between the Nintendo Switch and the Switch Lite?

To give you an accurate comparison of how these two consoles differ from each other, we have listed all the important differences and similarities for you here:

  • The Switch Lite is slightly smaller than the classic Switch.

  • The screen size of the Switch Lite is 5.5 inches (13.97 cm), while that of the classic Switch is 6.2 inches (15.75 cm).

  • The Switch Lite can only be played in handheld mode, the Switch can also be played in tabletop and TV mode.

  • Resolution, internal memory, graphics and speed performance are identical on both consoles.

  • The Switch Lite does not have Joy-Cons (the small detachable controllers on the side) and cannot be taken apart to play games like the original Switch.

  • While the Switch Lite can play the same games as the regular Nintendo Switch, some require Joy-Cons, which must be purchased separately.

  • Multiplayer games are supported on both consoles.

  • The Nintendo Switch Lite is available in yellow, turquoise, grey and pink and the regular Switch in red/blue and grey.

  • In handheld mode, playing the games is almost identical, with the exception that instead of the buttons on the left Joy-Cons, a directional pad has been installed on the Switch Lite.

👉 Read our in-depth Nintendo Switch review for more details on the classic Switch.

The original Nintendo Switch (left) and the Switch Lite (right)

Die originale Nintedo Switch und die Switch Lite

The original Nintendo Switch offers many gaming options, while the Switch Lite only supports handheld mode

The regular Nintendo Switch is superior to the Switch Lite because of its many gaming options. Even as a portable console, the Switch Lite has no real advantages over the original Switch. 

The Nintendo Switch Lite is about a third cheaper than the original, depending on the provider. So is it worth buying the Switch Lite if you only want to play on the go? To answer this question, let's take a closer look at the weaknesses of the Switch Lite compared to the Nintendo Switch.

Nintendo Switch Lite and Nintendo Switch - The features at a glance


Nintendo Switch Lite

Nintendo Switch


9.1 cm height, 20.8 mm width, 1.39 cm thickness

51 cm width, 10 cm thickness, 18 cm depth


275 g

320 g (In handheld mode)

Controllers included?

No extra controller included

Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons x2 (3 g / 8 hours battery life)


32 GB

32 GB or 64 GB (OLED) / connection of an external hard disk possible


5.5 inch (13.97 cm) screen with 1280x720 megapixels, maximum refresh rate of 60 FPS

6.2 inch (15.75 cm) screen with 1280x720 megapixels, maximum refresh rate of 60 FPS


Graphics card: Nvidia Maxwell, 4 GB DDR4 memory

Graphics card: Nvidia Maxwell, 4 GB DDR4 memory

Battery Life

Up to 7 hours (Nintendo)

Up to 9 hours (Nintendo)


Surround compatibility with many different headphones

Surround compatibility with many different headphones


1 x USB port, 1 x headphone jack

1 x console port, 2 x USB port, 1 x power supply port, 1 x HDMI output port, 1 x headphone jack

What are the weaknesses of the Nintendo Switch Lite?

The first obvious disadvantage is the lack of possibility to play with the Switch Lite on a TV. It can only be used in handheld mode. If you want to use this option, you should go for the normal Nintendo Switch or the Switch OLED.

Another possible problem is that games played with detachable Joy-Cons are only playable on the Switch Lite if you buy extra Joy-Cons.

So if you use the Switch Lite as a screen and want to play a multiplayer game like Mario Kart or Super Smash Brothers with someone in the same room, you'll need a separate Joy-Con for each person, which are not included with the Switch Lite.

NB: Joy-Cons are not included with the Switch Lite.

Zwei Joy-Cons in Rot und Blau

A Joy-Con pair is included with the Nintendo Switch and the Switch OLED.

Unlike the classic Switch, the Switch Lite does not have a stand on the back with which you can simply place the console on a table. This also has to be purchased separately if you want to play in tabletop mode. 

The battery life of 7 hours stated by Nintendo could not be confirmed in our review. We were able to play Zelda Breath of the Wild for about 4 hours before the battery of the Switch Lite was empty. Since the Switch Lite is intended exclusively as a portable console, the battery life is the biggest weakness of the console in our opinion.

Nintendo Switch Lite - final thoughts

If you plan to play with your Switch in handheld mode only, you can get a cheaper Nintendo Switch with the Switch Lite, which is identical to the regular Nintendo Switch in terms of graphics and performance.

The disadvantages of the Switch Lite are mainly the low battery life of about 4 hours, and the smaller screen compared to the standard model. 

The classic Nintendo Switch can basically do everything the Switch Lite can do, but offers more ways to play, whether on the TV or in tabletop mode. We recommend buying the classic Nintendo Switch second hand (but refurbished), as you can get a better console at a similar price of a new Switch Lite in retail stores. 

For those who value high screen quality with maximum colour space, the Switch OLED with its 7-inch (17.78 cm) OLED display is the right choice. However, it is a little more expensive than the normal Switch. Find out more about the Switch OLED in our ultimate Nintendo Switch OLED review.

We regularly review and compare different consoles on Back Market. If you're still not sure which console platform is right for you, you can read our comparison articles to get a better idea. Find out the differences between all three Nintendo Switch consoles on our Nintendo Switch vs Switch Lite vs Switch OLED article.

How do I get a Nintendo Switch Lite at a good price?

With us you can buy your Nintendo Switch Lite or any Nintendo Switch console refurbished. Refurbished consoles are used consoles that have been checked by a certified professional refurbisher and are repaired and renewed if necessary.

The advantage of refurbished game consoles is the significantly lower price compared to new consoles. In addition, the risk of a defect with refurbished devices is significantly lower than with normal used devices due to the inspection that each and every one of our listed refurbished sellers undertake before listing the product for sale.

For this reason, we offer a 12-month guarantee on Back Market plus a 30-day hassle-free return policy. This guarantee applies to all consoles you buy on Back Market!

Buying a second hand Nintendo Switch Lite from Back Market is not only worthwhile financially, but also supports a sustainable business model. A lot of electronic waste can be saved by repairing and refurbishing consoles. In addition, a lot of resources are saved that would have been used for the production of new consoles.


Written by HaziqTech Expert for Back Market UK, Ireland & Australia

When not fighting the good fight for environmental sustainability, Haziq loves making reviews of everything and anything tech-related.

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