If you are contemplating buying a Nintendo Switch console, you may be wondering whether to go with the original Switch, or the Switch OLED. And one factor which may help you make your decision is the Switch battery life. How long does each version last, and how long does it take to charge a Nintendo Switch or Switch OLED?
The Switch OLED has a larger, brighter screen than the original Switch. And usually, a bigger screen will drain the battery faster. However, OLED is more efficient than the LCD screen on the Switch, which means the screen draws less power. But what exactly is the trade-off, and which version of the console comes out on top?
Nintendo Switch Battery Life
The Nintendo Switch battery is a 4130mAh Lithium-ion power cell. It takes approximately 3 hours to fully charge, although this will be longer if you are using it at the same time. There are actually two versions of the Switch - a model launched in 2017. This has a serial number beginning with XA. These Switch consoles have a battery life of around 2.5-6.5 hours. The later models have a serial number beginning with XK, and the battery life on these is much improved, ranging between 4.5-9 hours.
It's worth pointing out that there is a significant margin in these Switch battery life estimates. This is because the battery life is heavily affected by how you are using the Switch, and what games you are playing. As a benchmark, Nintendo says that you will get around 5.5 hours of battery when playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. How do these figures compare with the Switch OLED?
How Long Does It Take To Charge A Nintendo Switch OLED?
The Switch OLED battery is the same 4130mAh Lithium-ion unit that is used in the Switch. The big question is what impact the screen has on the battery. And the answer is...not much. Nintendo quote the exact same 3 hour charging time for the Switch OLED as they do for the Switch.
And in terms of battery life, the Switch OLED has the same 4.5-9 hour battery life as the later Switch models do. It will also last for the same 5.5 hours when playing Zelda, as the Switch. So what the Switch OLED loses because of the larger screen, it manages to claw back thanks to the more efficient display technology.
Overall, there is very little difference in Switch battery life and Switch OLED battery life (unless you have one of the early Switch units). You will, in general, experience similar levels of battery life, and similar charging times, regardless of which model you have.