The OLED Switch is a powerful candidate for the most beautiful handheld device ever

Nintendo makes good hardware, but I don’t know if I would ever personally describe it as “beautiful”. The GameCube was cute; I liked the shell design of the Game Boy Advance SP; and I still have fond memories of the SNES controller. But the switch? I’m just kind of “okay” with that. It’s never been a piece of hardware screaming “touch me” – so far, with the upcoming OLED model.

Chris Naudus / Engadget

Expected to be released on October 8, the feature of the new switch is its larger, sharper screen. It is amplified to 7-inch OLED with a 6.2-inch LCD screen in the original. I had to spend about an hour and a half with that, although I couldn’t compare the two systems next to each other, I certainly noticed the difference when I got home. I fumbled with the brightness settings on my OG switch only to unfortunately realize they were at maximum. OLED is bright, sharp and beautiful. The original Switch switch still looks good, but the new screen does great.

Left Joy-Con with screen and hand visible

Chris Naudus / Engadget

The game shown in my demo is the upcoming Metroid Dread, which comes out the same day basically as a “launch title” for a refreshed system. It’s a good choice given the dark, sometimes claustrophobic settings of the Metroid series. It is easy to see each passage and distinguish impenetrable bricks from those you should blow up. The game will still be able to be played on a regular Switch or Switch Lite, but it seems the game should have been seen on the new hardware.

Narrow power and volume keys

Chris Naudus / Engadget

And it’s more than just a bigger screen. It is still the same basic shape and size, but somehow it feels fresher, even though it is heavier than the original. The volume and power buttons at the top are narrower, a design choice I don’t go crazy for even though they weren’t hard to press. (I think I prefer the feel of the circular button over the oval.)

Rear Nintendo Switch with wider stand

Chris Naudus / Engadget

The new footrest is also great, stretching the entire back of the system instead of the original thin vertical strap that fell off if you looked ridiculous. Of course, the new one needs a little more effort to pull it out, but it’s worth it for the added strength and reliability. And wake up my heart, it can actually be adjusted, although I didn’t use this too much because I preferred to play the system in manual mode. It felt … good. The new black and white color scheme personally looks great. I’ve always been a bad looking panda and I’d rather have this compared to the completely gray system I started with back in 2017.

All in all, I didn’t have enough time to test the battery life on the new screen or to see how many games I could cram into 64GB of storage. While I don’t know how long this will take in the wild, I’m not sure if this is an upgrade that needs to be upgraded, but I just personally looked at the OLED switch and found it hard to resist.

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Naveen Kumar

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