I’m glad I did, as it improves on the original in several ways, even if it’s not the anticipated Switch Pro with boosted performance. The Switch OLED edition is priced at $309, and after gaming on it for the past few months, here’s my in-depth Nintendo Switch OLED review.
Additionally, I’ve provided a side-by-side comparison with the original Switch to help you decide whether it’s worth upgrading.
Design and Build Quality
Despite having a significantly larger screen than the original console, the OLED model weighs 320 grams on its own or 420 grams with the joy-cons attached, making it only slightly heavier than the original, It’s comfortably light to hold and play with for extended periods.
Nintendo’s design improvements, such as a less conspicuous vent, a reduced logo size, and slimmer bezels around the screen, contribute to a more premium feel. The adjustable rear stand is a notable upgrade, allowing you to set the Switch OLED at any angle.
The overall build feels sturdier compared to the original model. However, to safeguard the screen, I still recommend using a carry case when not in use. While I haven’t encountered scratches or scuffs so far, some users suggest a screen protector for added protection.
Additionally, there are mixed reviews about the game card slots, but personally, I found them quick and easy to use. No issues arose with the micro SD memory card slot, conveniently located beneath the rear flap.
The Nintendo Switch OLED model comes with a revamped bundle dock, featuring a LAN port in addition to the standard HDMI for TV connection and two USB ports.
The LAN port proves especially useful if your home Wi-Fi is less than stellar, ensuring a smoother online experience. This is particularly handy when utilizing your Nintendo Switch Online membership to compete with friends over the internet.
The redesigned dock not only offers enhanced functionality but also allows for neater cable management, making it a less cluttered setup compared to its predecessor.
Display, Audio and Bluetooth
The impressive 7-inch OLED screen, a significant upgrade from the original Switch’s 6.2-inch IPS panel. Despite the increased size, the resolution remains at 1280 by 720 pixels, making the visuals slightly less sharp when viewed up close.
The pixelation is noticeable, especially if you focus on it, but in the midst of gameplay, the slick animations and smooth performance often overshadow this.
In TV mode, the Switch OLED can output at full HD for a sharper display. The OLED screen brings a remarkable improvement in contrast, evident from the moment you power it on, offering deep blacks compared to the murkier grays of the original IPS screen.
A side-by-side comparison with the original Switch’s screen, particularly in games like Metroid Dread, showcases a world of difference. The new OLED display enhances visibility outdoors, addressing a previous concern about the original Switch’s glossy screen coating.
While clarity outdoors depends on the game, titles like Metroid shine with bright colors and sharp contrast. However, in darker games like Diablo and Doom 64, visibility can be challenging in certain lighting conditions. Nevertheless, staying away from gloomy settings makes outdoor play enjoyable, with pleasingly vibrant colors thanks to the OLED technology.
Nintendo has upgraded the stereo speakers on the Switch OLED, directing the audio towards you for a louder and clearer sound compared to the original model. The speakers are satisfactory for public play, but there’s also a headphone jack on top for privacy.
A significant relief is the addition of Bluetooth support for headphones, a great convenience for those on the go with wireless earbuds. However, the Bluetooth experience on the Switch OLED has some drawbacks.
It requires manual reconnection of headphones upon booting up, and the audio can be crackly, even with premium headphones, accompanied by a noticeable lag. Unfortunately, if you’re hoping to use Bluetooth for online chat during Nintendo Switch Online play, you’re out of luck, as the Switch OLED does not support Bluetooth microphones.
The controls on the Switch OLED are just as reliable as ever, with the Joy-Cons maintaining the familiar look and feel of the original versions. While Nintendo claims to have made subtle refinements to reduce the chances of joystick drift issues, only time will tell if this holds true.
In my experience, playing with the Joy-Cons on the Switch OLED is comfortable for extended periods, much like the original Switch. I could enjoy a solid two to three hours of gameplay without feeling any discomfort or hand fatigue.
Just like before, the Joy-Cons can be easily detached from the main body of the Switch, perfect for co-op play or if you prefer a bit more distance between yourself and the screen, perhaps to make the 720p resolution less noticeable.
Performance, Storage and Games
As for performance, don’t expect any leaps, the Switch OLED shares the same custom Nvidia Tegra chipset as the original model, with no added memory or refinements. In my testing, I noticed no obvious difference in performance, as most games ran smoothly with a stable frame rate.
However, some of the more ambitious or less optimized Switch ports can struggle, especially during intense moments. In terms of storage, the Switch OLED comes with a more generous 64 gigs of internal space, double the amount of the original Switch. While this is an improvement, it’s still advisable to use a micro SD card, as some Switch games can easily consume 20 to 30 gigs on their own.
The Nintendo Switch game selection remains as brilliant as ever, offering a vast collection of both AAA and indie titles. The indie games, in particular, often go on sale for just three or four bucks, allowing you to build a diverse collection without breaking the bank. This is especially handy since Nintendo’s first-party titles tend to stay around the 30 to 40 quid mark; don’t expect them to drop to half price anytime soon.
The battery capacity hasn’t seen an increase for the OLED Switch, maintaining the same 4,310 milliamp-hour cell as before. However, the OLED screen on the new console proves to be much more energy-efficient.
As an example, when streaming video with the brightness manually set to maximum, I achieved over five hours of playback on the Switch OLED, compared to just four hours on the original Switch. This showcases a notable improvement in battery life with the new and more efficient OLED display.
Final Thought on the Nintendo Switch OLED
That’s my review of the Nintendo Switch OLED console after a month of gaming on it, spending countless hours attempting to conquer the challenging bosses in Metroid. While it’s not a Pro model, the Switch OLED boasts enough refinements and improvements, particularly the stunning display, to make me reluctant to go back to the original Switch.
However, it’s hard to justify an upgrade if your original Switch is still functioning well. Personally, I appreciate the refined design, sharper contrast, and enhanced outdoor visibility. I’d love to hear your thoughts, especially if you’ve been immersed in games like Metroid on the Switch OLED.
Nintendo Switch OLED Review vs Original
After a month of gaming on the Nintendo Switch OLED, the lack of Pro features is overshadowed by its refinements, notably the stunning display. While tempting, it's a tough sell for an upgrade if your original Switch is still going strong.
Audio & Bluetooth8
Storage & Games7.5