New Nintendo Switch arrives with better battery life while looking exactly the same

(Image credit: Future)

A new Nintendo Switch has been quietly announced, which is claimed to offer better battery life than the original version of the Switch, while sporting the exact same design.

The improvement in battery life appears to be substantial, with Nintendo quoting a single charge as lasting between 4.5 and 9 hours.

Compare that to the original Switch, which Nintendo reckons lasts between 2.5 and 6.5 hours - depending on the game you're playing - and gamers will be pleased with the improvement.

To give you a better idea of the new Nintendo Switch battery life, the firm has said you'll be able to play the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for up to 5.5 hours on the new version, while you'd only get up to 3 hours on the older model.

There's no clear indication from Nintendo on its specification page as to how the new Switch model is able to deliver this improved battery life.

Considering the console's dimensions and weight remain the same, it suggests the new version is using a newer, more power-efficient processor, rather than benefiting from a larger battery or more advanced cooling - two things which would add extra bulk to the device.

Small change, not a whole new console

The new Switch has a slightly different model number to the original - it's HAC-001(-01), while the first version was simply HAC-001 - which indicates the minor nature of the upgrade; however the much-improved battery life is a real plus.

In terms of cost, the Nintendo Switch price stays the same, at $299.99 / £279.99 / $469.95, so you won't have to pay any more for that improved battery performance.

It's worth noting that this new Switch isn't the Nintendo Switch Lite, which launched last week, nor it is the anticipated Nintendo Switch 2 - it's purely an upgrade to the current model we already know.

If you're considering buying a Nintendo Switch, you'll want to check the model number before parting with your cash, as the last thing you want is to end up with the older version with shorter battery life.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.