Hands On Nintendo Button Lite Review


Since its release in 2017, the Nintendo Switch has been raking in cash for the House of Mario.

We’ve held back on giving the Nintendo Switch Lite an official rating, as we want to have a few more days with the device before giving it a final score. This is mainly because batteries in new handheld consoles like this can take a few days to settle and we want to ensure we give you a truly complete review of the Switch Lite. But, don’t worry. We’ll be providing the Switch Lite an official score by the end of the week.

Nintendo Switch Lite:

The major difference between the Nintendo Switch Lite along with the first Nintendo Switch is the Switch Lite is solely a handheld device. Thus, the Switch Lite is much more compact and lighter than its predecessor.

The Switch Lite steps 91.1mm x 208mm x 13.9mm and weighs 275g, compared to the 102mm x 239mm x 13.9mm dimensions and 297g weight of this original Switch.

However, the trade-off is it may at times be difficult to read small in-game composing on the smaller display. We found ourselves needing to hold the console nearer to our face to see some text. It’s a small issue, but slightly odd for onlookers when on the afternoon commute.

But where the Switch Lite really shines is that it feels much more comfortable as a handheld device. Due to its smaller dimensions, it’s more portable and convenient to use on-the-go compared to the original Switch: you simply take less elbow room and it could probably fit in quite a huge pocket.

As someone with smaller hands, this writer knows that the first Switch may be uncomfortable to use in handheld mode. While rather compact, the first Switch remains large by handheld standards. By contrast, the Lite is considerably more mobile and fits snugly in your palms. However, it’s still quite wide and doesn’t feel quite as comfortable as, say, the 3DS did.
In addition, the Switch Lite comes with integrated controls rather than Joy-Cons. While you can connect separate Joy-Cons wirelessly, you won’t get an additional set out of the box using the Lite.


The D-Pad replacement feels natural, like it’s always been there and is definitely more appropriate to handheld play.

The ZL and ZR triggers feel that the perfect dimensions and help cement that snug fit. However, the L and R buttons are a bit thinner than on the first Switch. Arguably a bit too thin, as we sometimes found our fingers slipping off them.

Both versions also allow for wireless connectivity, Bluetooth and the usage of Micros D cards to grow the 32GB of internal storage, so you are’t really losing out on many features aside from docked mode which means no playing on the TV.
Due to the Switch Lite only being a handheld device, the console doesn’t include a dock, HDMI cable or kickstand. All you will get in the box is that the device itself along with a charger easy.


Nintendo Switch Lite: functionality

That he Nintendo Switch Lite has essentially the exact same functionality as the Switch, except the Lite has a slightly longer battery lifetime of 3-7 hours (although Nintendo warns that this is dependent upon the games you play).

However, it’s definitely worth noting that the Switch Lite doesn’t arrive with HD Rumble or a IR Motion Camera. The device is made to solely play handheld games, and will consequently simply play Nintendo Switch games which encourage handheld mode.

This ‘s not to say you can’t play games which don’t support handheld mode, but you would have to wireless connect Joy-Cons for this to work (and buy them plus their charging grip separately). At a hands-on preview event, a Nintendo representative explained that the console will be compatible with more devices than just the Joy-Cons, but what exactly would not be revealed until a later date.

The following games are unsuitable for the Switch Lite: 1-2 Switch, Super Mario Party, and Nintendo Lab accessory kits.

Despite missing these two features, the Switch Lite still has an accelerator meter, gyroscope, and brightness sensor.Adjusts depending on your surrounding.

Nintendo has’t awarded a firm answer how many Joy-Cons could be connected at one time, and if the Rumble feature will still operate on these controls if connected to this Lite. We’re assuming, for the time being, that you can’t use Rumble whatsoever and most party games won’t work to the best of their ability but we’ll be checking this in the coming days and updating this review with our findings.

However, wireless online play still means you can play with friends (just not necessarily couch co-op) as we were able to play Mario Kart 8 Deluxe online with ease. If anything, all the games we played felt less clunky due to the compact nature of the device.

Early verdict


The Nintendo Switch Lite is the perfect console for those who prefer comfortable handheld gaming and have never been sold by the Nintendo Switch’s docked mode.The compact and lighter device feels considerably better than its predecessor and is much less clunky. When it comes to portable gaming, the Switch Lite is easier to transport, takes up less elbow space on commutes and fits in your hands much more snugly. It’s not quite as comfortable as the 3DS, but packing in the same performance as the Switch means we can let that slide.

However, anyone thinking about picking up the Switch Lite needs to focus on the fact that it is intended to focus on solo, portable play and the number of games which are compatible with the device is slightly less than the original Switch. It is not simply a smaller Switch model.

But if you’re looking for a more comfortable, lighter and overall better looking handheld device (and a range of snazzy colors), and don’t particularly care about losing the few games we’ve recorded, then the Switch Lite is likely for you.

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