Hardware The Switch Lite is inferior to the New 2ds XL in just about every way

r0achtheunsavory

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First of all, I ignored the handheld market for a long period of time so I'm not one of those people who have all 10 models of the 3ds. I purchased only a New 2ds XL and a Switch Lite, but I've used the large version of the Switch at stores to compare it to. Here are the problems I've noticed on the Switch Lite compared to the New 2ds XL and larger Switch:

1) Screen color tint - Most of the Switch Lites people post on the internet from Amazon reviews to everywhere else all have terrible color temperature and are either tinted yellow or green while the big switch doesn't have this problem nearly as bad (still an issue on the large Switch on some samples, but it's more like the norm on the Switch lite and affected the one I bought too).

2) Screen contrast - Even the good Switch Lite samples I've seen will still be off-white and look like they have 750-800:1 contrast, while a good large Switch sample will have pure whites and probably 1000:1 contrast or more. My New 2ds XL has far better colors, gamma curve, and contrast ratio than the Switch Lite too.

3) Screen coating and gap - If I hold up a New 2ds XL next to a Switch lite while both are turned off, the reflection you see on the New 2ds XL is a clean reflection like from a piece of glass, while the Switch Lite reflects a more blurry image like they put some type of gunk inside or on the surface of the plastic to fight glare, but really just messes up image quality and makes the plastic hader to see through and focus on. Screen gap is also smaller and far better on the new 2ds XL.

4) Dpad - The dpad is flat out awful on the Switch Lite compared to the New 2ds XL. When I first touched it, I thought to myself it felt sort of like the SNES dpad, but in practice, it doesn't work out that way at all. It's mushy and imprecise. The SNES dpad had kind of a mush feel to it, but was still very accurate. This one is just flat out mushy with no accuracy like one of those cheap $10 controllers on Ebay.

5) Real world perfomance compared to a console controller - I have medium sized hands and like small controllers like the SNES, but the size of the dpad on both the Switch Lite and new 2ds XL is irrationally smaller than the SNES for no reason and hinders performance. Even though the new 2ds XL dpad is too small, it's quality is good enough where you can still play maybe 75-90% as good as a real console controller, while the Switch Lite dpad being both low quality and too small, you'll probably play 30-50% as good.

6) Ergonomics - Both the overall form factor and build quality is worse on the Switch lite than New 2ds XL. The fact your right thumb constantly hits the right analog stick when trying to play is an issue that never should have made it to production. Even Linus from Linus Tech Tips who knows absolutely nothing about computers and technology cited this as a big issue. The size of the buttons are also too small on both the New 2ds XL and Switch when they could have easily made them bigger and more SNES-sized. You'd probably need to reverse the positions of the buttons and right analog stick on Switch Lite to fix it's problems.

7) Responsiveness and lag - Many of the games I've tried on Switch are running on middlware like Unity and are generally laggier and less responsive than a bare metal 3ds game. Many of the ones that don't even run on Unity seem to be less responsive. There's a million different factors that can contribute to this, but in the desktop space, Nvidia has been consistently creating much more bloated and laggier render pipelines and drivers, so using an Nvidia GPU in the Switch instead of a more esotric pick like PowerVR or whatever might contribute to this.

8) Heat - New 2ds XL vs Switch Lite heat is almost a meme in itself. The New 2ds XL doesn't even get warm in my hands where you can barely notice a difference in it being turned on or off, while the Switch lite has an actual fan and still puts out volcanic levels of heat. Apple doesn't need a fan on it's SOCs with far higher CPU IPC and better GPU power than the Switch, and neither do any Android ARM A57 tablets, so the culprit is obviously Nvidia's GPU here. Never should have used Nvidia hardware in a portable device.

9) Games - The Switch has a good amount of decent games, but there is a major problem. This is not inherently a Switch only problem since it happens on the Playstation too, but a lot of the games are things like PC ports that do not play well at all on the Switch. I tried the Torchlight II demo for instance, and while being a relatively fun to play game on PC, is not fun at all on the Switch, to me at least.

10) More on input lag - There's also the issue that I can load up all these new, 2d, pixel-platformers on my laptop and play them with vsync off and they generally feel more responsive than playing the same game on a Switch. On the New 2ds XL, this problem did not exist and everything seemed lightning responsive. I don't think this issue is entirely forced Vsync or anything so simple on the Switch, but things like that always play a part. It's probably a combination of the underlying Switch OS being too bloated plus the Nvidia render pipeline being too bloated as well.

If the Switch Pro is released with an Nvidia Xavier SOC, they will have the same problems all over again - too much heat for a handheld and not enough power for a full console to compete with Sony and Xbox. Nintendo needs to completely segregate their handheld and console market instead of pretending it's a good idea to try and do both at once. If Nintendo doesn't want to compete in the console space, just add HDMI out to the handheld as a luxury feature only, but don't compromise it's handheld functionality to try and make it a console too.

And here's some pictures of what I was talking about with good vs bad samples of the large Switch and Switch Lites. You can see how even if you get a good sample of the Switch Lite (seems difficult to even do), it's demolished by a good sample of the larger switch in color and contrast ratio:

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r0achtheunsavory

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I sadly have to agree 100%. i have a switch lite and i hate it since screen gives me headaches while my 3ds is great. if theres ever a screen modding service to swap displays ill be all over it

Yea, I failed to mention this other negative about the Switch because I couldn't figure out what was causing it. My first thought was that the Switch Lite might be using PWM (pulse width modulation), but when I tried to detect it via ipad camera, I couldn't pick it up. Could still be there, though.

Other possibility is that the bad, more blurry coating on the Switch Lite and it's excessively large screen gap causes the issue due to making the eyes mess up their focusing ability. I'm still leaning more towards the idea of the Switch Lite having some form of PWM, though. All I know is that to me it feels like the New 2ds XL has less eye strain, but I don't know why.
 

IC_

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@IC_ i've got a thread for you!
I already liked it

And yes I agree, the new 2DS XL was already at the beginning of Nintendo's hardware quality going down a lot but I guess this new switch lite is even worse, at this point I expect any "Switch Pro" or whatever other new version to be completely unusable and break down even more often.
 
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Rahkeesh

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Yea, I failed to mention this other negative about the Switch because I couldn't figure out what was causing it. My first thought was that the Switch Lite might be using PWM (pulse width modulation), but when I tried to detect it via ipad camera, I couldn't pick it up. Could still be there, though.

Other possibility is that the bad, more blurry coating on the Switch Lite and it's excessively large screen gap causes the issue due to making the eyes mess up their focusing ability. I'm still leaning more towards the idea of the Switch Lite having some form of PWM, though. All I know is that to me it feels like the New 2ds XL has less eye strain, but I don't know why.

XL is magnifying games designed for smaller screens, while Lite is shrinking games designed for larger. (And in many cases way larger, caring only about having a good TV interface) The upper screen of the clamshell is also likely to end up closer to your face than the unibody Switch..

Comparing the relative sharpness feels almost futile considering the XL's ginormous pixels with minsicule PPI.
 
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r0achtheunsavory

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I wanted to state that my post is mostly referring to the Switch Lite being a complete flop in my eyes. A lot of the downfalls here can be overcome by using the larger Switch instead (assuming you get one with a good screen), or hooking the large Switch up to a TV. That gets rid of a lot of the controller issues since you can get a SNES controller for it, and whatever display issues you may or may not have don't matter when connected to TV either.
 

ZachyCatGames

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> Switch's OS is bloated
ok, I've read enough, I'm out, I cannot take this seriously.
(also half of the "issues" are purely subjective and multiple of these issues are present on the 3ds line too and are in some cases are much worse there (screen shit), some are also just not issues at all (heat shit))
 
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squee666

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> Switch's OS is bloated
ok, I've read enough, I'm out, I cannot take this seriously.
(also half of the "issues" are purely subjective and multiple of these issues are present on the 3ds line too and are in some cases are much worse there (screen shit), some are also just not issues at all (heat shit))
I lost it when he was comparing screens.and complaining the differences in plastic blur and also saying that the n2ds has better ergo

I fully lost it when he said apple designs don't need fans on their cpus
Which isn't totally because they would let them thermal throttle instead
And then said nvidia shouldn't do them when the tegras pretty amazing.
 
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Sono

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Let's see...

1) Pretty sure you just didn't have an accurate enough reference point. Here is a properly white-balanced image: https://puu.sh/GAFDH/c31b88e1d8.jpg
As for comparing Switch Lite to 3DS... I don't have a new2DSXL, and knowing it doesn't have a parallax barrier but still has similar LCD panel to regular new3DSXL, I kinda doubt the results would be too different from my results: https://puu.sh/GAG7F/75db4683a1.jpg

But it's also a bit wrong to assume what the camera sees is what we see. To me, the regular Switch looks really correct, and I can see the slight green tint on my Lite, but if I don't compare the Lite to anything and just playing normally, I don't see any tint, and the colors really look good in ACNH, which is a really colorful game.

2) Pretty sure the contrast thing is right, the Lite is really dim at max brightness, whereas the regular Switch screams brightness. Based on your explaination, I must've got one of the worst contrast batches.

As for comparing 3DS screen to Switch screen: yeah no, it's night and day. 3DS screens are terrible and uncallibrated (because there is no hardware support for callibration). Not saying Switch screens are callibrated (because I don't know), but comparing the two with similar contents displayed is just really different. 3DS screen looks too bright and washed out, whereas the screen used in the Switch seems to be more color-accurate, compared to my reference screen as seen on my screenshots.

3) I guess I can't reply to this, because none of my 3DSes have the type of screen you described. My 2DS has a huge air-filled gap between the lens and the screen, and my new3DSXL has a smaller, but still air-filled gap between the front lens and the screen.

Personally I see no problem with this, unless a sharp light is hitting the screen, which is when the light diffusion becomes apparent.

4) Pretty sure this point is down to preference. Some people like clicky DPADs, and some people prefer mushy DPADs.
But I can tell, the Lite's DPAD is definitely not bad. It's not as good as a DSLite, but there are worse DPADs I have used, and the Lite's is slightly above middle ground.

Just as a sidenote: (search for the term "tweaking" for DS Pokémon games) try tweaking on a clicky DPAD :tpi:

5) I can agree with the DPAD being small. If I do the "tweaking" motion, I accidentally keep pressing either UP or DOWN while tweaking.
However I still appreciate the DPAD being a DPAD. Don't even try using the JoyCon's pathetic excuse of button reuse as a DPAD, it's impossible. Luckily not many games require use of it for main actions as an actual directional pad.

6) I have huge but slender hands, but I don't have comfort issues regarding the right analog stick. But I guess it's not an issue for me because my fingers are so long that my hand isn't even touching the right analog stick while my hand is RESTING on the right side of the Switch Lite, or I'm just used to it. I'd say it's the former though.

Considering you use the ABXY more than the right analog stick, it makes sense to put ABXY in mirror position of the left analog stick, so you put "equal strain" on your whole hand on both sides.

As for the location, it's both an unfortunate lack of space, and it has to match the regular Switch's appearance.

7) Don't know what input method you're using, but I don't have any issues with lag with the Lite's own buttons. There is a really noticable lag via Bluetooth, but not hardwired.

However you're somewhat right on the driver part. However almost all games to my knowledge use double buffering to prevent screen tear, so this argument is invalid if the game is running at perfect capped 60FPS.

I'd blame the screens more. On my new3DSXL, it could take less than 2frames for a pixel to fully transition from one state to the other. Didn't measure on Switch, but both my regular and Lite have huge screen ghosting compared to my 3DSes. I didn't measure the difference due to how noticable the ghosting difference is in my testing.

8) Given proper ventillation, my Lite never overheated to hot, it always stayed "mild" even during the most intensive physics + graphics strain. The same with my regular Switch in docked mode, and I even had the exhaust covered with glasses cleaning cloth!

As for the 3DS, it CAN heat up, and can do so to uncomfortable levels. If it heats up, it's impossible to cool it down actively, it has to passively cool down somehow. And no, it wasn't charging.

9) Yeah. Let's not even talk about the bad mobile ports and the massive amounts of bad content and shovelware.

10) Well, it is VSync though. Modern drivers have a feature where if you render too many frames, it'll display the last *fully* rendered frame to the screen, hence you might not see tears, but still get "less input lag". Considering the game uses the conventional scan-update-draw-vsync method, this gives the illusion of less input lag, because there IS less input lag, but also because the image you see ir more recent than the game state 16.6ms earlier. So it's effectively how games are coded, and how they behave to VSync being turned on.
 
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Rahkeesh

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The Lite's d-pad is made with minimal tolerances where the diagonals can become very difficult to press if the d-pad in your unit ends up a tad too short. Many have reported trouble with fighting games here versus the Hori d-pad controller for full switch. Someone fixed it by 3d-printing a slightly taller d-pad and installing it. That's objectively bad and inexcusable. DSi can have similar problems.

I think Switch's controller polling is 16 ms whereas windows use 8, so yeah it's a bit more laggy. I've also noticed NSMBU feels sluggish compared to something as random as duck tales remastered on PS3 via bluetooth, so I wonder if there's some middleware they are using for fast WiiU ports, something akin to what they developed for the half-recompiled 3D mario all-stars.
 
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r0achtheunsavory

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> Switch's OS is bloated
ok, I've read enough, I'm out, I cannot take this seriously.

It's not really that simple of an issue. Idiot developers that do not care about input lag and responsiveness at all have been using lots of sub-optimal features in recent years. Take the Steam client for instance. There's a setting called "Enable DirectWrite for Improved Font Smoothing and Kerning" that's turned on by default.

You can have a $1000 GPU + state of the art CPU and turning features like this on will still bog down responsiveness. So even if some coding genius makes the most lean Switch OS possible, all it requires is one idiot lobbying for a setting similar to this to be used to destroy the whole thing. That particular setting is documented as capable of using " GDI, Direct2D, or application-specific rendering technology", so there's no telling what they're actually using underneath.

Doing things like inputting text by clicking the screen was extremely responsive for me on the Switch Lite, so the Switch OS itself probably isn't much of an issue. Some games once launched did seem to be a bit less responsive than PC counterparts, so the issues there would probably be more towards bad Unity middleware Switch implementations, or some esoteric Nvidia GPU features concerning power savings or God knows what.

Nvidia on desktop just keeps getting more bloated and laggier driver-wise every day, so I'm always highly suspicious of anything Nvidia now. In terms of desktop latency, everyone who has parsed the stuff lately has AMD coming out on top. Then there's other Nvidia problems like connecting a "Freesync" panel raises input lag even if you never turn it on vs a monitor that doesn't have it (unless it was changed recently, but I doubt it).

TLDR: Due to the Switch having an Nvidia GPU, it's far more likely to inherit some type of laggier, bloated render pipeline than the more primitive PICA200 in the 3ds that to my knowledge wasn't running middleware for games either.
 
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driverdis

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Well, A big win for the 3DS is that it can be cold boot hacked on any firmware without external devices like the SX Lite (RIP new activations and SXOS updates)
And can play online without a ban risk.
 
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retrospect

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Great post OP. I wasn't even aware the Switch Lite had issues until I read this. I have experienced the right thumb-stick issue but I'd forgotten about it.

I have the N3DS XL and prefer its design to that of the Switch(es).
 
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