PS Vita Slim review

Sony's given its handheld a number of design tweaks, but can it survive in an ever-crowded market?

PS Vita Slim
The Vita's been on a diet

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You'd expect that switching out the OLED panel for an LCD display would give the Vita Slim a bit more of a battery boost, and Sony told us that we could expect to get somewhere between four and six hours of gameplay from a single charge. That's the potential for two hours more than the original.

From my time using the handheld I found that to be quite accurate. Flitting between less demanding titles such as Spelunky and more power-intensive games like Gravity Rush gave me just under six hours in total before a charge was required. However using services such as PS4 Remote Play obviously cut that time down.

PS Vita Slim review

Chugging along inside is the identical quad-core ARM Cortex A9 processor and 512MB of RAM found in its older version, so you can rest assured that the small battery enhancement is not due to Sony turning down the power dial.

However the Vita Slim does come with 1GB of flash storage built in, something that the previous model lacked. Given the extortionate prices of Sony's Vita memory cards, that inbuilt storage is welcome for game save files although it won't be enough to store any big downloads.

In terms of software, it's the same deal. The UI is identical to the one on the Vita original and you'll only need to slot in your old memory card to find all your saved games and data just as you left them.

PS Vita Slim review

You'll want to log in with your PSN account to use the PS Store and other social features, but other than that it's a pretty smooth, straightforward experience.

The Vita's LiveArea is a joy to use, with all your apps and games adorning the screen as decorative orbs. The PS Store is your key to many of these although you'll get plenty pre-installed, including social apps and a web browser.

Given the nature of the Vita, you probably wouldn't expect that web browser to impress, and you certainly won't be using it if you have your smartphone anywhere nearby. It's not the smoothest browsing experience but it's ok if you need to quickly look something up.

PS Vita Slim review

So then come the games. Current Vita owners will be familiar with the marketplace of games available right now - it's not massive, and still struggles to square up to the 3DS.

But that said, there are some real gems available for this handheld, from big titles such as Tearaway to indies like Hotline Miami and Spelunky. Here are five titles you definitely need in your collection if you're getting yourself a Vita.

Sony's digital marketplace is growing, and there are now a large number of older PS1 and PSP games that can be downloaded too. Not only that, but with PlayStation Now just around the corner, the Vita will soon be able to stream PS3 titles as well.

PS Vita Slim review

Hugh Langley

Hugh Langley is the ex-News Editor of TechRadar. He had written for many magazines and websites including Business Insider, The Telegraph, IGN, Gizmodo, Entrepreneur Magazine, WIRED (UK), TrustedReviews, Business Insider Australia, Business Insider India, Business Insider Singapore, Wareable, The Ambient and more.

Hugh is now a correspondent at Business Insider covering Google and Alphabet, and has the unfortunate distinction of accidentally linking the TechRadar homepage to a rival publication.