No, the Nintendo Switch Pro’s 720p resolution isn’t a problem, and here’s why

The Nintendo Switch Pro is said to have a 7-inch 720p screen, not 1080p. But is this really an issue?

by Oliver Barsby
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Earlier today, news broke that the Nintendo Switch Pro will reportedly feature a 7-inch OLED screen produced by Samsung. While the new Switch model may support 4K resolutions when docked, it will allegedly still run at 720p when in handheld mode.

Naturally, the internet did what it does best – it complained.

The Nintendo Switch certainly has some problems, even four years on: Joy-Con drift, a lack of themes, lacklustre online, and hardware limitations. But the 720p resolution isn’t one of them – here’s why.

Small screens and pixel density

As much as 4K is also a marketing buzzword (1440p will do you just fine), a potential Switch upgrade to 1080p would be exactly the same – a nice marketing line to slap on an advert.

With just a 7-inch display, the Nintendo Switch does not need the same resolutions as a monitor or TV. This all comes down to Pixels Per Inch and the Retina display calculation.

When looking at the Pixels Per Inch of the Nintendo Switch Pro’s alleged OLED screen, it will have a PPI of 209.8. If the Switch Pro had a 1080p display, the PPI would be 314.7. In comparison, a 4K 21-inch monitor also has a PPI of 209.8.

Using this PPI, the Switch Pro’s 720p screen has will become retina at 16 inches, compared to 11 inches if it was 1080p. If a screen is said to be ‘retina’, it has reached a threshold where the human eye cannot distinguish between the pixels at the viewing distance in question.


Essentially, the Switch Pro’s 720p screen has the same PPI and retina distance as a 4K monitor, meaning that unless you hold the Switch Pro incredibly close to your eyes (which I would not recommend, for health reasons), you probably won’t notice a difference.

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Would a 1080p screen drain the battery?

Another complaint raised about the 1080p screen is that it would drain the battery much faster than a 720p. While there will be a slight difference between the two, it wouldn’t be as big as has suggested.


What is more important is the type of screen used. LCD screens, like the one currently used in the Switch and Switch Lite consoles, spend lots of their power consumption on a backlight for all of its pixels. In comparison, pixels in an OLED display do not require a backlight as they are self-illuminating.

This means that the Switch Pro’s OLED would probably offset any battery drainage from the 1080p screen. However, given the impressive imagery an OLED screen offers when in 720p compared to the Switch’s LCD screen, this will be more than enough to justify picking up a new Switch when it eventually releases.

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Oliver Barsby