nintendo switch oled review

Nintendo Switch OLED review: Is it worth buying? Probably not

Nintendo’s portable/home console hybrid is selling like hotcakes, so what’s stopping them from making a slightly different but not necessarily better console with a higher price tag?

The Nintendo Switch OLED model touts its larger screen (the body of the console is the same) and vibrant colors as being impressive specs. I’m here to say that no, neither are all that neat. Blow for blow, each new feature is both a disappointment and a downgrade from the original Switch console.

Nintendo Switch OLED basics

Beyond the above two features added to the Switch OLED model (a cumbersome title for sure), it also has slightly improved sound quality and volume. The volume and power buttons now sit more flush on the console, but it takes some getting used to, as you’ll likely hit the wrong button more often what with their uniformity. The body of the console overall feels like it is made out of cooler, more dense metal.

The console comes with a dock with a built-in LAN adaptor, a first for the Nintendo Switch line. The Joy-Cons may be the improved, driftless version of the controllers, but the small, stiff buttons still make extended play uncomfortable.

The battery life is comparable to the latest model of the Switch, hitting at around six hours, which is plenty of time to fully immerse yourself in Animal Crossing or Smash Bros.

Nintendo Switch OLED model: What doesn’t work

While the Switch OLED screen is more vibrant than the original, it also displays darker grey tones in shades of green. Think The Matrix. This is a downfall of many pieces of tech with OLED screens, and is fairly noticeable. For instance, your home screen may be in the Dark Theme, making this visual flaw glaringly obvious.

A few parts have been moved around and reworked. The major issue with the sound output is where those ports have been moved to: the underside of the console. If you rest your Switch on a pillow or blanket while you play lying down, you will notice how easy it is to muffle the, admittedly louder, speakers. This simply was not the case with the placement of the old Switch model.

Lastly, the console heats up a lot faster. This could be due to general heat sink issues, but if I was to place the blame, I’d say it has to do with the more closed-off vent for the fan. Sure, less dust and debris get in through this tinier grate, but heat also has a lot more trouble getting out.

Is the Nintendo Switch OLED model worth buying?

I’m having trouble recommending the Switch OLED to anyone. I hardly notice the screen size change. The screen renders moving objects oddly; it’s almost as if the OLED screen’s vibrancy accentuates the lower frame rate of Nintendo Switch games.

The larger kickstand is by far the only flawless improvement of the OLED model. The original Switch kickstand feels so flimsy, and opening it feels nearly impossible. The tension of the OLED kickstand is solid, and it can be adjusted freely through many degrees of tilt.

The dock is sort of sleek and white, but the door comes off, lacking the hinge that makes changing out controllers and USB devices a cinch in the original’s dock. It is a fatal flaw, leaving me with no option other than to leave the door off all the time, fully displaying cord spaghetti.

Switch OLED review wrap-up

At one point, I was excited for the new Switch model. It isn’t the Switch Pro many were predicting and “leaking,” but the larger, more vibrant screen is an easy sell. I will admit, FOMO caught me purchasing this device, as it is quickly selling out of stores, as many current generation video game consoles are wont to do.

Do yourself a favor and get a Switch Lite as your second console. They are just small enough without making it difficult to play console games on, and come in at a much cheaper price than either the vanilla Switch or the Switch OLED.

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Nearly every feature of the original Nintendo Switch was made worse with the Switch OLED. The dock is functionally worse, the screen’s lower color range is horrendous, and the body gets very warm very quickly. Skip this and save up for a console with actual improvements, not this half-baked excuse for an increased MSRP.