Here's why Android gamers should buy the Nintendo Switch Lite

Nintendo Switch Lite next to phone
Nintendo Switch Lite next to phone (Image credit: Russell Holly / Android Central)

Alright everyone, let's be honest with ourselves. While Android phones are awesome, they definitely aren't the best devices to play games on. Even with subscription services like Google Play Pass that provide plenty of awesome video games, an Android phone is still limited in comparison to other gaming options out there. So where can you turn for decent portable gaming?

Nintendo recently released a smaller version of the Nintendo Switch known as the Nintendo Switch Lite. It's specifically designed to be used on the go and comes in bright colors. I recently got my hands on this little gaming system and I take it with me whenever I leave the house and play games just about everywhere. It's a far better gaming experience than playing on my Android phone and I'll tell you why.

You won't drain your phone battery

The problem with playing games on your phone is that they often drain your battery something fierce. One of the worst things that can happen to you is having your smartphone battery completely run out of juice while you're out and about. If you play on a Nintendo Switch Lite instead, your phone battery won't get used as much and thus will last a lot longer.

The Switch Lite can run for up to seven hours on one charge. That gives you plenty of time to play games between charging sessions. If you use it daily, you'll just want to charge the gaming system each night like you do with your phone.

It's super portable

Unlike other gaming systems out there, the Nintendo Switch Lite is small and easy to carry. True, it's larger than most smartphones, but it gives me more gaming options. I can easily stuff mine in a purse or backpack and I've even seen men transport a Switch Lite in their pants pockets. If you want to add some extra protection when traveling with it, there are plenty of affordable carrying cases to keep it safe.

Superb library

If you're an Android gamer, you know that there are millions of games on your phone that you can play. There aren't quite as many on the Nintendo Switch Lite, but there are still thousands to choose from. These games range anywhere from small indie titles to colossal developer creations. That includes kiddie experiences for your toddler, or challenging games for serious gamers. Additionally, many of the free-to-play mobile games like Asphalt 9: Legends, are also available on Switch.

Using the Switch Lite you'll be able to access the Nintendo eShop, an online store where new titles are constantly coming out. There are also weekly sales on select games, so you can easily find inexpensive options. I've seen games selling on the eShop for as little as $0.50. With these deals you'll quickly be able to amass a large collection of fun games to play when you're on the go. The eShop also shows you what the most popular titles are for the week and keeps you updated on any new games that get released.

In addition to digital games, there are plenty of physical copies for those that prefer to hold a cartridge in their hands. You can often find used Switch games selling pretty cheap at second-hand stores. It's a great way to save on money while still being able to play the games you like. If you have a friend who owns a Switch, you can take turns borrowing each other's games and save money that way as well.

Higher quality games

Breath of the Wild

First off, I want to say that I still play some games on my phone — mostly Pokémon Go, Angry Birds, Super Mario Run, and a few card games. Thing is, for the most part these are light fluffy games that don't have a lot of depth. While there definitely are some fluffy games on the Switch Lite, most of the options are higher quality games with richer, deeper worlds to explore. You'll find everything from fun thinkers like Picross 3, to competitive multiplayers like Super Smash Brothers Ultimate, to involved single-player narratives like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

While Nintendo might not have as many games as you'd find on your Android phone, Nintendo's emphasis is on quality. On the Switch Lite, you'll be able to interact with rich fantasy worlds, take part in a complex RPGs, play competitive multiplayers, or blast your way through endless levels of evil creatures. It's far more immersive than the gaming sessions you get on your phone.

Better controls

Joy Cons are a joy to use

Some games, especially the cross platform titles, are a lot harder to play on your phone. Obviously, it is possible to play more intense games like Fortnite on your Android phone, but it's a frustrating experience that doesn't give you nearly as much control. The Nintendo Switch offers many of the most popular cross platforms and gives you 18 buttons and two joysticks to use when doing so. You'll have a lot more control during gaming sessions and will perform better because of it.

Suspend your game and pick up later

One of the best things about the Switch Lite is that the Power button suspends gameplay rather than shutting everything down. So for instance, say you are playing your game and then need to stop for whatever reason. You don't have to wait for a good saving spot, you simply suspend the game, which makes the screen turn off. As long as the device has enough juice left, you'll be able to resume playing right where you left off once you're free again.

In comparison, many Android games are forced to restart if you jump over to another app or turn the screen off for a while. This forces you to replay sections or lose some of the progress you've made. The suspend feature is one of the things that makes it easy to play your Switch anytime and anywhere for as long or as little as you like.

It was made with you in mind

Official image from Nintendo.

Official image from Nintendo.

I know that sounds like some cheesy slogan or something, but it's true. The Nintendo Switch Lite isn't just a "kid's toy" - a large portion of Switch gamers are grownups. Just take a look at the marketing on Nintendo's website, many of the ads feature adults. I mean, think about it. Just about everyone enjoys portable games on their phone, so making the jump to a Nintendo Switch Lite really isn't that strange of an idea for adults who participate in mobile gaming.

My husband and I always travel with our Switch devices and I frequently see other adults carrying them around as well. The biggest difference between gaming on my phone and gaming on my Switch Lite is that I find the latter to be more enjoyable and, dare I say it, much more rewarding.

Switch it up!

Do you yourself a favor and spend $200 to get a Switch Lite for some awesome portable gaming. There are more in-depth games on this handheld system than on Android and since the Switch Lite is super portable and offers a battery life of seven hours, you'll be able to play it just about anywhere, any time. There are several exclusive hits on the Switch, so you'll have a large number of awesome games to choose from.

Rebecca Spear
Staff Writer

Rebecca Spear is a staff writer for Android Central who loves following the latest tech, drawing with her Wacom, and playing video games. You can find her posting about her pets, art, and video game preferences on Twitter @rrspear.