Old vs New Switch: What Nintendo didn’t tell you

– The new refreshed model of the Switch has finally started
making its way to stores, and after finally grabbing one, I’ve been spending a
lot of time comparing it to another fresh out of the box, new, older version of the Nintendo
Switch to see what exactly the differences between
these two systems are. And real quick, before
getting into all the different tests we ran and stuff, if
you guys are still looking for one of these new models,
it’s not really clear when they’re arriving at certain stores. It’s a little bit random, it seems to be based on whether or not that store happened to be getting
more Switches in stock. But thankfully, it’s easy enough to tell whether or not the Switches
they have are new or not, thanks to its redesigned all-red box instead of the white background box that we’re used to seeing. Now initially, the first
thing I wanted to test about these Switches was the battery life, because that is the
big thing that Nintendo has really been talking up
and advertising about them, that “hey, this new one has
longer, better battery life.” But before I could get to
that, I noticed something else was actually different between
these two Switch models. When I had them first
turned on side by side, and was just on the Home
menu, which by default is in Light Mode, so everything
is all light up in white. There’s no games installed
yet to kinda crowd it up. The screen on the new Switch actually looked different to me. It looked just a little bit
brighter than the older Switch, and more importantly, looked a lot warmer. It was shifting a little
bit orange in my eyes, whereas the older Switch
was a little bit more blue. And thankfully, I actually
know someone who is an expert on all this kinda stuff
to actually let us know what the real differences are
between these two screens. So to get an idea of what’s
actually going on here with these two screens,
we actually called in our resident color expert,
that actually doesn’t work with us, he works with Austin Evans, Wes! So Wes, what exactly are we gonna be looking at right now? – We’re gonna look at the
two basic main elements of a display, something
almost anyone would notice. So that’s the brightness,
and how accurate it is at a very basic level. So how warm it is, or how cool it is. – Okay, cool. So we’re gonna take a
look at the old one first. We’re just gonna use the plain white that’s on the home
screen, and then compare that to the newer screen and
see if there’s a difference. – Yep, that’s it, cool. – Let’s start with the old one then. I just took a screenshot
of basic whiteness. – Which is really good, by the way. That was the fastest screenshot
I’ve ever seen in my life. – Yeah, that worked out perfectly. So I’ll let you get to it. – Thank you. All right, well, what
we’re gonna do first, we put it on the table. This is the first official part
of any good color measuring is you wanna put it on a flat surface. That’s a joke, you don’t have to do that. So this is what’s called a colorimeter. So it essentially looks
at all sorts of colors throughout an entire
wavelength, and then it measures them to see how accurate they are. So what we’re gonna do now
is just give it a quick read. So here we go, so we can see that we are 291 nits on this unit. – Okay, and that’s on the old one.
– Yep. – So let’s go ahead and switch units and we’ll try the new one.
– Try it on the new one. – Lemme go ahead and
set this up real quick, make sure that our background still looks pretty by going back to Zelda. – Beautiful. – Okay, so, same deal.
– Yep. Just the plain white
screen I was able to get. – Put it roughly in the center. – So 291, if it’s brighter
it’s gonna be a bigger number. – Yes.
– Pretty simple. – All right, look at that. – 318 okay, and now that’s just
straight up the brightness. So if the screen happens
also to be warmer, that’s not impacting it,
it’s just flat out brighter. – You’re correct. And in the next test,
we’re gonna actually look at that color temperature number. – Awesome! – But yeah, you were
right, congratulations! – Now in terms of differences, ’cause it was what, 291 before? How significant of that,
it’s about like what, 30? – Yeah, it’s minimal, but what I will say is that little bit is
just enough to really make it visible in like, daylight. Around the 300 number
is what you usually see for a smart phone that starts to be sort of daylight viewable. So that is the number that you wanna see. Somewhere usually in the 320ish range to be more comfortable. – Awesome, so this one’s
closer to that range than the other one is, ’cause
it’s right below it at 290. – Oh, for sure, if you were
someone who was outside more, gaming, like maybe chilling
outside between classes or something like that, this
would totally be the way to go. – So this time we’re gonna
check color temperature. – Yep, so this is
essentially how warm or cool, or orange or teal, the
white or lighter colors are. – Yeah, and so before we
actually get a result, what I was seeing earlier is it looks like the new one, which we’re not testing yet, looked like the new one was a warmer color versus the old one being
a little more blue shift. So let’s see what we actually get. – Let’s do it. All right, so with the
absolute white reading, we are getting 7.2k-ish white balance. So about 7000-ish Kelvin. So when you’re outside,
it’s usually between about 5000 and 7000
Kelvin, and when you’re calibrating a display, if it’s
accurate to a video standard it’s usually 65,000. Or 6500. So being 7000, this one’s
a little bit cooler blue. So not as accurate, so if the other one is a little bit warmer, it might actually be more accurate, which would be cool for a newer version. – Let’s check it out! – And there’s no like, auto-modes or anything set on these, right? – Hmm? – No like, weird auto-modes
or anything like that? – Oh no, both of these
are set to max brightness, we don’t have any auto brightness on. I mean, they have that option,
but it’s not on right now. So for this result, if it is warmer, it’s gonna be a lower number. And if it’s closer to 65– – If it’s closer to 65,
we will be more accurate. We got 6757. That is so much more
accurate than the other one. – Yeah, so it is warmer,
but it’s warmer in a way that’s actually good, it’s
closer to true white balance. – Exactly, it’s closer
to what the developers actually meant for you to see. – And what exactly could they have done that would have made that happen? – Well, so they did one of three things. They either just did
the basic software fix, just to compensate for
how the display works. – Which this is running off the same thing as a regular Switch as far as we all know. – So chances are that probably wasn’t it. It might be a whole new panel assembly. Maybe just the newer generation
from the manufacturer. Or it’s just a new
backlight with a slightly better filter to not get
some more of that blue. But either way, this is
a much better display. It’s brighter, it’s got a more accurate white balance, it’s great. – Awesome! So to recap, the new Switch has a screen that is slightly brighter,
but at a very important range where it’s now better and more clearly visible
during direct sunlight, and it’s got a more neutral,
actual true color display, versus the older one that
was just a little too cool. – I don’t really play video
games, but I say get this one. – It’s worth noting that
there is such a thing as manufacturing variance
where you could have two displays of the exact same model and still see slight differences. But with the differences
we’re seeing in both brightness and color temp
and how significant they are, that likely isn’t the case. This looks like it is actually
a new display in the Switch. The update to the screens was
a really pleasant surprise. But now that we know that for sure, I wanted to get back to the first thing we wanted to test, which
is the battery life. And the way we went about this was we installed on both
Switches, Legend of Zelda. Good old fashioned main
standard for the Switch and usually the game
that Nintendo references when they talk about how long the Switch’s battery life can last. We just got to the
opening bits of the game, went out over a hill and looked over it, and just left both Switches
running for about an hour. I forgot initially that
when you’re leaving a Switch alone like that,
while you can turn off auto sleep, you can’t
turn off auto dimming. So to avoid that, I hung
out on a couch next to it with Pro Controllers
pressing B constantly. Which was fun. Now along with running the game, we did have brightness set
to max on both Switches. We also turned off auto brightness. We didn’t want anything messing with it. We just wanted to have the battery drain as high as possible over
this hour long test. Also had volume maxed out. And after the first hour of
running both these Switches on the same games, in the same situations, we had the older Switch down to 62%. While the new Switch was at 74%. That’s a 12% difference, which I realize, if you just think about it like, for that one hour, that
doesn’t sound like too much. But that’s for one hour. That adds up every single hour after that. In fact, on top of that test, while that one was a little
more rigorous and focused, over time of me running
other tests on both Switches and roughly putting them
through the same things, it eventually got to the point where before I finally put them both in docks, the old Switch was all the
way down to 14%, almost dead, while the new Switch was
still sitting at 41%. With these different percentages in mind, it looks like the original
estimates that Nintendo was giving about the difference between the two Switch models is pretty accurate. That being that the older Switch, depending on what you’re playing, lasts between two and a half
to six and a half hours, while the new Switch will go from four and a half
all the way up to nine. It’s worth noting that as of right now, this is the model of Switch
that has the most battery life, including compared to the Switch Lite, which Nintendo themselves have said will have more battery
life than the old Switch, but not as much as this one. Which we are planning on
covering the Switch Lite when it comes out and going in depth and doing comparisons just like this, to see how that battery maintains, so make sure to subscribe so
you don’t miss out on that. Now right after testing battery life, something else we wanted to test was how well both Switch
models handle heat. And the way we did this was after doing that hour long test of just
running them for a long time, we played both Switches for a little bit just to make sure that we’re pushing the processing as much as we could, and then took a thermal
camera to both of them. And there is a noticeable difference between how hot both get, with the new model being the cooler of the two. Now when you have these Switches side by side with the thermal camera, you can see just by the coloration that there is a noticeable difference. And when you take a
focused look at each one to see what temperatures
they are pushing out, well, the new Switch was hanging somewhere in the high 90s, roughly around 97, 98. While the older Switch model
was pushing up to 102°. So that’s a pretty significant difference of about five degrees. We also wanted to see how
well these two systems would handle docked mode as well, so we set them up side by side, plugged them into the
same TV that allowed us to do split screen, which was super cool, and just running both of them for a long period of time and playing, and then taking a thermal camera to them, side by side, again the new Switch docked looked like it’s running cooler. Which is really important,
because one of the problems that people were running into with the original run of
Switches, myself included, is that the Switch gets
very hot in the dock, and over time that can cause things like the plastic to warp a little bit, bend a tiny bit, and even cause
cracking in some locations. Now while the new Switch running cooler doesn’t necessarily guarantee that this exact thing isn’t going to happen, it does mean that it’s less stress that it’ll be going under. So hopefully, it will last a lot longer and maybe is just enough to
save it from that same fate. One other thing that a lot of people were theorizing about the new Switch is whether or not we would see any difference in
performance, based on the fact that the Switch remodel does
also have a new processor. The fact that it has a new
processor is undeniable. That is a thing that is in the Switch. But whether or not it actually impacts how it runs is up for debate. So lining up the two
Switches side by side, we loaded up the same
game, Legend of Zelda. We did the initial boot as well as loading up a game, and the results based on
doing it quite a few times is they are absolutely the same. Every now and then, one of them would get to the actual title
screen slightly faster, but which one actually came out ahead went back and forth. And as far as loading
up the actual game went, loading our save file,
they were the exact same time and time again. Now of course it is possible that while they are running
the same in handheld mode, maybe in docked mode, it would act a little bit differently. So we put both of them in a dock, hooked it up to the same TV, put it on split screen, loaded games up, and the
results were the exact same. Once again, loading up any
kind of major save file resulted in the same exact load times. Now aside from changes to
the main Switch itself, something that a lot of
people have been hoping to see with the Switch revision is also potentially a
change with the Joy-Cons. That is something that a few people who’ve bought them have reported saying that some of the buttons, some of the way that the plastic feels
is a little different. And the main hope here isn’t just that maybe they’re newer
slightly nicer Joy-Cons. But that specifically these might actually be new Joy-Cons that are not going to have the same drift issue. Now the drift thing in and of itself is a little hard to test, because it’s all based on wear and tear and it’s not something
that’s gonna show up if you just play for a few days. It’s something that’s gonna
be a bit more in the future. But for now at least,
we can at least open up the Joy-Cons, take a look at the insides, and see if there’s actually any kind of major discernible differences, letting us know that hey,
this is a new Joy-Con. So I’m going to start with
opening up the right Joy-Cons. Depending on what we see, we might open up the left ones as well. The right Joy-Con is
traditionally the slightly more dense and kind of special one, because it includes things like the IR sensor and the NFC reader. There’s just a little
more internally going on. So if there’s any major
changes that are in this one, they’re gonna be either
present in both of them or only in this one. The left one doesn’t have
anything too special about it. And it is using the same
screws, so that’s good. This is also why we made sure that when we bought a new older version
of the current Switch, that we got the gray Joy-Cons on that one, and the neon blue and red
combo for the new Switch. That way we could easily
remember which one is which, and in this case which Joy-Cons
belonged to which pair. Or which Joy-Cons belonged to
which Switch, not what pair. These are the pair of Joy-Cons. Whatever, words. I’m always a little afraid
with these outside screws because I have stripped them in the past, and that is the worst feeling, if you strip the head of it, because then you just can’t get it out. Okay, so there’s all the
screws out of the new one. Let’s go ahead, let’s try and open these at the same pace, so let’s get screws out of the gray one as well. There’s a part of me that really hopes that this new Joy-Con isn’t
actually too different, because while I’ve gotten pretty good at opening and disassembling
these, I’m not perfect at it. So I’m gonna be a little mad
at myself if this new one is actually a lot nicer and I don’t put it back together to standard. We’ll find out. Okay, so, we’ve got all the screws out. Let’s go ahead and pop these open. Oh, and oh no, wait, that’s
the same as before I think. This one corner is acting
like the screw is in, and it’s not, and it’s
really bothering me. There we go, finally snapped. Okay, so here we are
just with the batteries. Oh, interesting, yeah, these do… The batteries themselves
actually have different… Yeah, these are actually
different batteries as far as model number is. I’m wondering if maybe
there’s a difference in the performance of the
battery on the Joy-Con now? That takes a lot longer to
drain than a Switch battery. But that’s interesting. Those are different. Okay, so looks like they still have the readers in the same spots. Just go ahead and move that
out of the way for now. And then we’ll go ahead and
take off this next plate and see if there’s anything
different below there. This is thankfully a little easier than doing a shell exchange. There’s still a lot of
screws I have to undo, but there’s a couple specific parts I don’t need to mess
with that I would have to for a shell exchange, like
swapping out the buttons. It looks like the boards
are the same model number. I’m seeing all the same
designations on everything. Oh, wait! This one has an additional line here. It’s not present on the other one, hmm. Oh, wait! These sticks are different
though, for sure. You can see the design
on the sticks themselves, on the base is a different
shape and outline. That’s a different stick model. So so far getting this
deep into the Joy-Con, these are definitely not
the exact same model. There are some minor
differences here and there, but the most notable thing
right away that I’m seeing is that the housing for the control stick, again, the thing that we
were most worried about, is different. They have a different shaped mold and there is a different
model number on them. It’s not even printed the same. Now hopefully this means that this one, this newer different one, is actually not going to have the same drift problems that
the previous older model had. There’s no way to prove
that quite just yet. It’s more of a time
will tell kind of thing with stress testing, but
these are not the same. Normally it’s better to
remove this board first, ’cause of the way some
of the pieces kinda sit. But I wanna look at this stick, so I’m just getting these out right away. These are not the same
stick module at all. They’re designed to be similar. They’re probably from
the same manufacturer. But these are definitely
two different models of the same design. Well, I think we got the
main thing out of the way which was finding out if
those are different sticks. But because I’ve come this far, I might as well remove the next board and just see if there’s anything different about where the buttons
connect or anything. Let’s check it out. So you can see actually right here, there’s a serial number on the board, and they are different, for sure. So it’s a different board. These are basically entirely
new Joy-Con internals from the looks of it. I mean, obviously it’s very similar and there’s a lot of similar parts used, but I’m sure things
like some of the buttons and some of the other parts, like the rumble motors, are the same. But the main board and the stick are definitely different parts. So I ended up taking a picture
of these different sticks and sent them over to
another YouTuber I know who is working on Switch
comparisons as well, Spawn Wave, and he actually went a step further than I did and opened up the insides of these casings, ’cause again, the outside
itself does look different. And on the inside they did have
different code designations, one being 5D, the other being 5E, but it looks to him that the internals are still basically the same
kind of material as before, and in fact, the magnetic
coating still flakes a little bit when it’s been scratched enough. So these are different, but
it might not be different in the way that we were actually hoping. So I’m really curious what
actually this might be impacting. It could just be a change
of parts over time, but I’m curious if maybe this has impacted battery life in any way, if this has solved the stick drift issue, or maybe even impacted things like how good the motion detection works. But I think the main takeaway here is that these are new Joy-Cons. And that raises some really
interesting questions for me, because it makes me wonder when exactly is this change taking place for ones sold separately. It makes sense that if you’re buying them bundled with a Switch, at least based on this example right here, that if you buy one of
the older Switch models, it’s going to be that older model Joy-Con, and if you buy the new refreshed one, it’ll have these new ones. So with all that said and done, what exactly is new about the new Switch? Well, like Nintendo already themselves made very clear, it has a larger battery. That much is for true, true. But there are a lot of other
little minor adjustments we’ve discovered that have made it even better than the original, in ways we didn’t really know. Including the fact that it has a slightly brighter screen
at an important point where it’s more visible
in direct sunlight, a warmer screen that is now
closer to actual true color, so you see games the way the developers intended you to, and
it runs cooler as well. Which might, just might, save that physical damage in the long run. As for the things that people
were hoping to see change, it looks like the load times are the same across both systems, and as for Joy-Con drift, we
just don’t know for sure yet. It does look like there are
slightly different parts inside of these Joy-Cons. They are updated pieces. But that might be nothing more than just moving onto new designs, and not actually anything that fixes that core issue. And when you get down to the
internals of those sticks, they look basically the
same and have the same kind of scratchable magnetic strips. They have a different designation, but it appears like it’s
still the same core part. Still, whether or not these changes could have an impact on Joy-Con drift, either solving it or at least making it not happen quite as quickly, there’s just no way to
know for sure right now. Only time will tell. That one potential problem aside, it’s pretty clear that in all the ways the new Switch is different
from the original one, it is a flat out upgrade. If you have not bought a Switch yet, and you are thinking of buying one, absolutely make sure that when you do, you buy the one in the red box. You’re going to have not only the better battery life,
but it’s gonna run cooler, and it’s gonna have a better screen. As for if you already own a Switch, well that all comes down to how much you’re willing to pay to
basically re-buy the system. It is a better version of it, but at the end of the day, you are still playing the same games. Of course, if you’ve had one since launch and it has started falling
apart like mine did, it’s a pretty tempting offer.


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