Switch OLED Battery Life
Image: Nintendo

Nintendo's new Switch OLED Model arrives this October, and brings with it a massively improved screen which is brighter, offers more convincing contrast and is larger in size, coming in at 7-inches corner-to-corner (the original Switch has a screen size of 6.2-inches while the Switch Lite has a screen of 5.5 inches).

The Switch OLED also brings with it enhanced audio thanks to superior speakers and a handy, Microsoft Surface-style kickstand which has several angle settings and looks to be a lot more robust than the one on the original Switch. With all of those improvements – which sadly stop short of a new CPU and RAM – you might assume that the Switch OLED Model has a better battery, too, but that's sadly not the case. It has the same 4310mAh Lithium-ion power cell that's seen in the original Switch model.

Ordinarily, including a larger screen would mean weaker battery life over the original model, because the battery is having to power a larger surface area. However, because the Switch OLED uses an OLED screen rather than an LCD one, it's actually using less power – so the theory goes that the increased screen size is balanced out by the less-hungry display technology.

This is presumably why Nintendo has listed the exact same approximate battery life for the OLED Model as the 2019 'XKW' version: 4.5 to 9 hours, depending on the game being played. The 2017 launch model – denoted by its serial number starting with 'XAW' – is only good for around 2.5 to 6.5 hours of gameplay on a single charge.

Here's a rundown of how the three Switch models compare when it comes to battery life:

Nintendo Switch (standard - launch model and 2019 revision) Nintendo Switch (OLED Model) Nintendo Switch Lite
Battery life Model number: HAC-001

(product serial number starts with “XAW”)
Approx. 2.5 to 6.5 hours

*The battery life will depend on the games you play. For instance, the battery will last approximately 3 hours for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Model number: HAC-001(-01) - Available starting in mid-August 2019

(product serial number starts with “XKW”)
Approximately 4.5 - 9 hours

*The battery life will depend on the games you play. For instance, the battery will last approximately 5.5 hours for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Model number: HEG-001

Approximately 4.5 - 9 hours
The battery life will depend on the games you play. For instance, the battery will last approximately 5.5 hours for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Model number: HDH-001

Approx. 3.0 to 7.0 hours

*The battery life will depend on the games you play. For instance, the battery will last approximately 4 hours for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.