It’s true that the new 7-inch screen is a big improvement. But the new kickstand is what really sets this device apart.

Even in direct sunlight, the screen doesn’t get quite that bright. Under the hood, there are no new features (and Joy-Cons are the same). 64 GB is still a lot of space.

Fingernail biting is a habit of mine. Because of this, I am unable to pop out the Nintendo Switch’s flimsy back kickstand. The kickstand’s lip is far too thin and close to the device’s body to be useful. Exasperatedly for years, I’ve been requesting that my girlfriend use her long, sharp claws to pull out the little bit of plastic (after trying a dozen or so times myself with no success). Before, it was either her or whatever tool I could get my hands on. Now that the new Nintendo Switch OLED is out, she may officially step down from this important role.

When it comes to mobile gaming consoles, there’s nothing like a top-of-the-line model like the new Nintendo Switch, which features an upgraded kickstand. You can still remove the Joy-Con controllers, dock it to turn it into a TV-tethered rectangle, and play the same games as on the original Nintendo Switch. With a price tag of $350, the OLED is the best option if you don’t already possess a Nintendo Switch. If you already own a Nintendo mobile device, the decision to update becomes more difficult.

The Switch debuted in 2017, and a new variant with improved battery life was released in 2019 for the same $300 price. The $200 Switch Lite, which omitted the dock and the detachable Joy-Con controllers, was also released that year. The newest Switch OLED is unquestionably the most cutting-edge of the bunch.

A 7-inch OLED screen replaces the 6.2-inch LCD, extra internal storage is included, an Ethernet connector is added to the dock, and yes, a redesigned kickstand is included. My excitement isn’t based on the new screen, which is wonderful, but rather on the kickstand. A kickstand has never been so thrilling to me.

It’s no longer simply a little piece of plastic that holds the console in one position, but a full-length kickstand that goes down the entire back of the console, exactly like Microsoft’s Surface tablets. It’s simple to remove, and the console may be angled as low as a few inches or as high as a few feet. With this, you can do almost anything. Only the OLED Switch fell over when I placed it on the arm of my couch, but the OG Switch remained upright. Which one are you thinking of?

Nintendo Switch OLED

Flying on a choppy plane or a jerky train is no problem at all. Even the lap test went well for it. ZDR, the scary planet and location for Metroid Dread, stayed put on my lap when I removed the Joy-Cons and spent time in ZDR. The addition of the kickstand alone makes the update worthwhile if you use it frequently.

There is no longer a hinged cover on one side of the dock, which houses the Switch OLED when you wish to connect it to a TV. Instead, the cover can be removed to make cable management a breeze. Despite the fact that my colleague Cecilia D’Anastasio claims that the lid of her test unit kept popping off, mine worked just fine. The front of the dock has two USB-A connections, but below the cover is a USB-C port for the dock’s power adapter, an HDMI connector to connect it to a TV, and for the first time, an Ethernet connection. (In the original, there was an additional USB-A port; this one replaces it.)

Since Wi-Fi isn’t as fast as a cable connection, you’ve had to acquire a dongle if you wanted to get rid of it. A 30-foot Ethernet wire has been collecting dust since I was too lazy to get one of those dongles (as you do). With the Switch OLED connected to my network, I was able to get download and upload rates of 172 and 30 megabits per second. Hooray! In multiplayer games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, I didn’t see any delays, but that meant I had to give up my normal excuse of low internet access anytime Mario chose to fly off the map.

Is there a single hiccup? When docking the Switch OLED, Wi-Fi is not instantly off. To my annoyance, I had to manually activate the wired connection. Wi-Fi connections, on the other hand, are shockingly fast. On the OLED, I often achieve 65/32 Mbps and on the original Switch, 30/29 Mbps.

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In addition, you’ll receive 64 gigabytes of built-in storage instead of 32 gigabytes on the newer models. Even still, I’m not impressed. As soon as I finished setting everything up, I realised I had forgotten to transfer my MicroSD card from my personal Switch to the OLED model. Unless you only intend to play Animal Crossing, you’ll need to get a card. (Don’t worry! (Don’t worry, Tom Nook won’t find out!)

Nintendo Switch OLED

The number of times I’ve used the word “OLED” has probably conjured up some grotesque pixel in my head. Screen technology called OLED is fast replacing LCD displays, which employ a grid of small LEDs beneath the screen to illuminate all of the pixels on the display. OLED screens are often seen on smartphones and TVs. Since a backlighting system illuminates the entire panel at once, OLED is the better option. A single LED lights up each pixel on the display instead of a single LED lighting up each pixel on the display at once. Each individual pixel may be independently activated and deactivated, allowing for brilliant and precise colours to be shown, as well as stunningly deep blacks when the display is at rest.

To a large extent, that’s what happened in this case. In comparison to the OG Switch, the OLED’s blacks are incredibly deep. The console’s startup sequence makes it clear, but games like Metroid Dread, which features many gloomy sequences, will make you fall in love with it even more. Colors are more vibrant, and the overall effect is less flat. It adds to the immersion and authenticity of the games. After playing on an OLED, it’s difficult to go back to using an LCD monitor.

It’s a shame that OLED technology doesn’t do much to boost the brightness of the Switch screen. This is the same issue I’ve encountered with the OG Switch in broad daylight. When I played Metroid Dread and Transistor on a sunny day, it was difficult to go through the dark areas. You’ll have to go out and find some cover.

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However, the screen size is increased. Like the iPad Mini’s latest redesign, the thick borders around the screen have been whittled down. The screen is still 720p (1080p when docked), but the pixel density is reduced somewhat. OLED screens aren’t noticeably more pixelated at regular viewing distances. Each of these games has remained visually stunning throughout their development.

“Enhanced audio” is just one of a number of tiny modifications to the technology, such as a rise in sound quality Nintendo alludes to. While the new Switch has a better defined sound, it’s difficult to notice the difference at the beginning of Link’s Awakening when compared to the old Switch. The dual speakers on the OLED are pointed downward, but those on the previous Switch are positioned squarely at your face. This led me to believe that the older Switch had louder speakers. Regardless, the fact that you may now attach Bluetooth headphones to any Nintendo Switch model may not matter.

The OLED is 2 millimetres longer and weighs 23 grammes more than the previous generation. As I handled and utilised it, it was exactly the same. Power and volume rockers have been extended to make them more accessible, and the game card slot’s flap has been changed. Just be aware that some of the original Switch’s accessories may not work with the newer device.

The rear has a gorgeous matte texture that resembles an eggshell, far better than the fingerprint-inducing glossy plastic of the original model. The machine as a whole appears to have been sanitised. It has a more polished look because to the lack of lines surrounding the components.

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Nintendo Switch OLED

If you spend most of your time playing with the Switch in handheld mode, you’ll benefit from all of these changes. The newest edition isn’t really necessary if you’re always being docked. Built-in Ethernet is also available as an option for the new dock.

The elephant in the room, though, is this: In spite of the passage of four years since the original Switch’s debut, this new system offers no enhancements in overall performance. Even worse, Nintendo claims that the Joy-Con controllers will stay intact, which means you might be vulnerable to the well-known Joy-Con drift issues in the future, when characters drift in one way even if the user is not using the joystick. In addition, rumours about an alleged 4K Switch with more powerful hardware are incessant (even if Nintendo vehemently denies it).

Is it really worth spending $350 on an OLED screen and a brand-new kickstand? Certainly, if your hardware is exhibiting signs of wear and tear or if the kickstand is finally driving you insane, it’s time to upgrade. Donating your present Switch to a sibling or friend, and setting it up as a docked game device in another room, are also options. Switching to an OLED is a no-brainer if you have to choose between it and the conventional model. Because your nails will appreciate it.

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