Switch’s Battery Compared To Every Other Nintendo Handheld

Some Nintendo fans are still concerned that their latest console’s battery life won’t properly serve them. However, it seems that it is vaguely lines up with the majority of Nintendo’s other handhelds. While the Switch’s 5 hours was trumped by the original Game Boy’s 31 hour battery life, it smashed the 3DS’s measly 3 hours. Check out the video below to see how the other handhelds fared.

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43 thoughts on “Switch’s Battery Compared To Every Other Nintendo Handheld

  1. Game Explain proved Switch has 2.5 hrs playing Zelda… which is what everyone will be playing. For them to claim 5 hours is rediculous.

    Not playing a game? how is that a “real-world” test? This test a total waste of time, unless everyone plans to just turn on their equipment and let it sit, unengaged.

    I understand why MNN reported on it, but the video itself is just stupid.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Game Explain’s video was a “stress test” with brightness and volume at max and wifi turned on. A similar test with the default settings (brightness at 75% and wifi on) yielded just over 3 hours for Zelda, which is more in line with what was said during the presentation.
      I agree that this video doesn’t have much real-world purpose though, mostly just something interesting to see.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. If you are not playing a game, not engaging the video card or processor, then you are collecting data that no one cares about and has no use to anyone.

        What possible use could you have to know how long the switch can sit unused?

        Maybe if they put them all in standby, then that would have been useful. But all of those devices will drain their battery at a completely different rate when in use.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. But what Riley is saying is that the Game Explain vid you are referencing was with everything going maximum, brightness, wifi, everything… so no less than 2 1/2 hours, which is not too bad considering.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I totally agree, and have even said so myself in this comment section. My entire point is that there is nothing to be gained by the experiment they conducted to make this video. :)

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Many thanks Sir! Plan B is to buy it retail and cancel my Amazon order, although I get a discount at Amazon… 20% off.

        Plan C is to just stay off all Zelda topics and enjoy Mass Effect Andromeda until April. X.x First World Problems. haha.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Maybe, but ai don’t even think it shows that.
        Nobody (unless by accident) will ever, ever leave their switch turned on, not charging, not gaming… the only reason to do that is to waste a battery cycle.

        I’m saying it’s utterly useless to know how long a device can last when just sitting there, left powered on.

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      2. All the devices that went off before it would likely do the same when gaming depending on what is being played. That’s what it shows. The battery isn’t some horror show like some have made it out to be.

        On how long you can play Zelda on the go all I have to say is that’s it’s very unlikely for me to never be near an outlet if I ever decide to play it that long away from the dock. Either that or a portable charger.

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      3. The NVidia Shield has about a 2.2 hr “gaming battery life.” There’s useful batter information. Switch has a minimum of 2.5 hrs. Given what the switch can do, it’s not horrible, it’s just not terribly portables as you won’t make it far. Good for short to medium trips.

        But Nintendo has said over and over its a home console. so to pick up a home console and take it portable for a couple hours is totally fine IMO.

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      4. Nintendo is saying the “home console” thing so they can keep selling 3DS’s until they’re discontinued. It’s a mind game just like when the DS first came around ;)

        The Switch is good for any trip where you know you’ll be near an outlet at some point between 2.5 and 6 hours which is many places. Portable charging devices also exist which I might buy a good one before I go to California. Speaking personally though, even during that trip I probably will only play in the hotel and on the plane or while waiting in lines at the D23 convention. It’ll be fine for all of that.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Does the switch come with a USB-C cable to plug the tablet in outside the dock?

        And if I owned a switch, I’d be fine. I have several battery bricks that are at least twice the switch capacity.

        People should be sure when they buy an external battery that it has a 2 amp output capacity. :)

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Ah, OK. I wasn’t sure if you could pull the USBC from the dock. that’s good, although to save wear and tear on the connection, I would probably buy a USBC for the bedroom and on the go, because I’d have that thing undocked all the time. ;D

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Maybe it’s for those with smartphones dead that need to browse the games for hours to waste their time. 2 and half hours of gaming aren’t enough, better browse games on the home screen for 5.

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      1. From the EShop? I’m not even sure you’d get 5 hrs of EShop time out of it, and that’s a distant stretch for making use of this data, but it’s a creative one! ;D

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wasnt it confirmed that the N3DS had about a 5 hour battery life, with the XL having about an extra half hour or hour?
    Also not a real life test, unless you have no money to buy Zelda at launch and you are just sitting there playing with the home menu

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  3. I don’t understand the video, otherwise if I understand it correctly it’s of no use. Is it measured just with the screen on and without games played? Because if it is this it’s just useless. Or does it last 5 houre with some games running?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m looking forward to this. I hope there is some sort of throttling with nVidia’s System-on-Chip that will allow simpler games to last longer. Nintendo should develop those games too then.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. With your settings turned down, and a very low power game, you might get 5 hrs?? with a really dim screen maybe?

        Even if that is true, this video doesn’t test it, and doesn’t confirm it.

        It’s really ashame. they had all that tech in the same room, and wasted the opportunity to do something useful.

        1. how long does it take to fully charge them from below 10% while powered off?
        2. How long to charge them, while playing on them? (again, I heard the switch charges VERY slowly while docked AND gaming.)
        3. How long does each last while gaming on max settings? (providing a minimum game time)

        I look at the switch like an EVA from Evangelion. Rediculously versitile and somewhat powerful, but once untethered, they don’t last long. (but they kick ass for the short time they have power!)

        I’m more sure now than I’ve ever been that I’m not buying a switch anytime soon, but honestly the battery has no affect on my decision. I think what they have in there for a Version 1 launch is fine. No doubt a larger battery will be in the Second gen Switch.

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  4. It sounds like it is more on par with the 3DS. How does it smash it? 3- 5.5 hours (3DS) -> 2.5-6 hours (Switch)? Sounds like it is exactly the same, depending on what is turned on/off for both consoles.

    The only thing that smashes it is the DS which I have no clue why we stopped using that powerful of a battery. That thing lasted forever.

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  5. Battery life on the DS doesn’t change significantly while gaming. Sure it’s less when working a game, but wifi and 3D are much bigger battery drainers than the processor.

    The Switch is like a Car.
    Idling and Driving pull completely different amounts of resources. Once you start driving, you begin sucking down gas because you have a large engine that needs fed. That’s why most of a cars stats are measure by mileage. If the car isn’t in motion, nobody gives a rats ass how long it can sit in the driveway idling.

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    1. While the unit is in full-blown gaming mode, yes.
      Scale back some settings… maybe you could get 3 hrs of Zelda? Smaller games should go longer hopefully. but Everyone and their grandma’s will be playing Zelda.

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