The $199 Nintendo Switch Lite Is a Dedicated Handheld with a Smaller Screen, Longer Battery Life

(Image credit: Nintendo)

After months of speculation, the smaller Nintendo Switch is finally official. Nintendo has announced the Nintendo Switch Lite, a $199 dedicated handheld version of its popular home console that's launching on Sept. 20. 

As its name suggests, the Switch Lite is smaller than the standard Nintendo Switch, measuring at about 8 inches long and 3.5 inches high. The system packs a 5.5-inch touchscreen (down from the 6.2-inch 720p display on the original Switch), and comes in three colors: black, turquoise and yellow. There's also a special gray, blue and red version on the way to coincide with Pokemon Sword and Shield.

Unlike the standard Switch, the Switch Lite's controls are attached to the system, don't feature HD rumble, and can't be removed like Nintendo's Joy-Cons. On the plus side, the Switch Lite packs a proper d-pad in lieu of the four directional buttons on the left Joy-Con. 

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Interestingly, the Switch Lite could last longer on the road than its bigger brother. Nintendo rates the new handheld for 3 to 7 hours of battery life, compared to the 2.5 to 6.5 hours that the company suggests you'll get out of the normal Switch.

In terms of compatibility, the Switch Lite will work with any Nintendo Switch game that works in handheld mode (so, almost all of them). The Switch Lite cannot be docked to a TV and doesn't have a kickstand, but you can connect other controllers to it wirelessly for games that are meant to be played with separate gamepads.

With Nintendo seemingly phasing out its aging 3DS handheld, the Switch Lite seems like a smart addition to the company's console lineup, especially for younger gamers. Even with its more limited functionality, I can't help but want one -- it's just so adorable.