I’m very happy not tearing down my carefully constructed consoles, but I’m totally here for everyone who does.
If you’ve been playing around with the Switch Lite since it launched late last week, you’ve probably been having a ton of fun. The console has a great feel and the colours are fantastic, and the extra battery life is always a huge plus.
But how much of the Switch Lite’s internals really differ from the original Switch? The only way to truly find out is with a full teardown of the new console, which YouTuber Spawn Wave has down. There’s a slight mistake in the RAM — the Switch Lite has more energy efficient RAM than the original Switch, which is a prominent factor in the improved battery life — but for the most part there isn’t a lot of difference with the internal components.
Some things are slightly different. The Wi-Fi antenna on the original Switch, for instance, was located just under the top bezel. In the Switch Lite, there’s an antenna towards the top and one on the bottom, which could help improve reception slightly. The speaker is now housed in plastic, and the whole unit is engineered in a way that the entire backing can be unscrewed and removed to access the screen, whereas the original Switch required a little more work before you could get to the screen.
But what about the JoyCons? Unfortunately, very little has changed there. Some of the chassis design around the JoyCon casing is slightly different, but most of the differences are with the D-Pad, which is a nice improvement from the original Switch.
It’s a nicely engineered unit, although if the JoyCons start drifting like the original Switch then it’ll all be for nothing. Only time will tell on that front, but from the opportunity I’ve had to play with it over the weekend, the Switch Lite certainly feels nice in the hand. That smaller screen is a killer for reading text in Fire Emblem, though.
I’m still super keen on seeing what a refreshed Switch with a smaller bezel and the quality of screen that we’ve seen in smartphones over the last few years would be like. An upgraded processor would be sweet as well, but one can dream.