Nintendo Switch's "Improved" Battery Life Subjected to Punishing Test

Nintendo Switch's "Improved" Battery Life Subjected to Punishing Test

Does the revised Switch bend or break when it's put to the ultimate challenge?

Some revised Nintendo Switch units are starting to find their way into stores in North America. If you need a reminder, the revised Switch is exactly the same as the current model you know and love, except the battery life in handheld mode is supposedly much-improved. GameXplain decided to hold Nintendo to its word with a stress test.

The new battery is supposed to last 4.5 to 9 hours, a big improvement over the launch model's 2.5 to 6.5 hours. It's hard to stick a pin in the Switch's battery performance because it changes according to which game you're playing, and which hardware options you have turned on. For its test, GameXplain utilized one of the Switch's highest battery-drains, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It also turned the screen brightness all the way up, turned the volume all the way up, switched on Wi-Fi, and made sure the Switch's screen couldn't dim midway through the test. Then the Switch was left alone to slowly die.

And die it did, after running for 3 hours and 53 minutes. When GameXplain ran a similar stress test at the Switch's launch, Zelda lasted for 2 hours and 28 minutes. That's quite an improvement.

Nintendo says Breath of the Wild is supposed to run for over five hours on the revised Switch, but as GameXplain points out, you're probably not going to actually play your Switch games at max screen brightness and at max volume, unless you want your airplane seat neighbor to find a way to kill you with a sachet of peanuts. The stress test was conducted to measure the revised Switch in "the worst case scenario."

You might be able to find a revised Switch now if you start looking, but if you can't find one, you'll probably have more success towards the middle of the month. If you live in Europe, you should be able to find the revised Switch in September.

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Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve,, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

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