The updated Nintendo Switch battery is a major upgrade from the original

nintendo switch v2
(Image credit: Wachiwit /

Nintendo will have a new Nintendo Switch Lite model to offer in September, but it now has a refresh version of the original Nintendo Switch that can offer improved battery life over its predecessor. And, it has shown a substantial increase in playtime in a test by our sister site, Tom's Guide.

The test they conducted involved running two Nintendo Switches, an old model and a new model, side by side at maximum brightness for an endless Super Smash Bros. Ultimate match of eight computer-controlled characters with increased AI and all items enabled.

The result of the test was 4 hours and 50 minutes for the updated Nintendo Switch and 2 hours and 45 minutes for the original Nintendo Switch. It's worth noting that the original had been purchased and in use since 2017, so the battery may have seen some degradation in charge capacity.

But, the results still speak strongly to the increases in battery life of the revised model. Nintendo rates the original Switch battery life at 2.5 to 6.5 hours, and the new Switch at 4.5 to 9 hours. The test showed both devices falling within Nintendo's suggested ranges.

Efficiency over size

Interestingly, the size of the Nintendo Switch's battery hasn't changed between the revisions. The new model still has the original 4,310mAh battery capacity.

And, since Nintendo doesn't details the specifics of other internal components, it's unclear where exactly the battery life gains are coming from. But, there had been some early suggestions that the new Switch would be more efficient. This test seems to prove it, and it could come down to an improved version Nvidia's custom Tegra X1 processor that powers the Switch.

If you're in the market for a Nintendo Switch, make sure you pay attention to whether you're getting the new or original model, as it will make a big difference in your mobile gaming experience.

Mark Knapp

Over the last several years, Mark has been tasked as a writer, an editor, and a manager, interacting with published content from all angles. He is intimately familiar with the editorial process from the inception of an article idea, through the iterative process, past publishing, and down the road into performance analysis.