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.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

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.

Read this next

Zelda Breath of the Wild Walkthrough - All Story and Side Quests, Shrines Guides

Here's our full Zelda Breath of the Wild walkthrough, detailing how you can complete story and side quests, as well as conquering every Shrine in the game.

Zelda Breath of the Wild Master Trials DLC - Where to Find Midna's Helmet, Travel Medallion, Tingle Outfit, Korok Mask and More

Here's where you can find all the Zelda Breath of the Wild Master Trials DLC items, including Midna's Helmet, the Travel Medallion, Tingle's outfit, the Korok Mask, and more.

Zelda Breath of the Wild Champions' Ballad - How to Start BOTW DLC Pack 2

This is our guide on how to get started with the Zelda Breath of the Wild Champions' Ballad DLC pack.

Zelda Breath of the Wild Boss Guides - How to Beat Every Boss and Conquer Every Dungeon

This is our complete Zelda Breath of the Wild bosses guide, detailing every single boss and all the dungeons in Hyrule.

All the Essential Zelda Breath of the Wild Tips and Guides You Need

Here's our complete Zelda Breath of the Wild essential tips and tricks, including a beginner's guide to get you up and running in Hyrule.

More News

Remnant: From the Ashes is Quickly Becoming 2019's Breakout Hit

A multiplayer Souls-shooter is picking up steam.

Former Artifact Designer Says Expansions Were in the Works Prior to His Departure

He hopes the maligned card game can still find an audience.

More on Switch

Trials of Mana Interview: The Developers on Topping the Fan Translation and the Possibility of New Mana Games

"[T]he localization team took a look at the translation and the first thing they said was, 'We're going to show them up.'"

Oninaki Review

Oh now feel it, comin' back again.

Where Nintendo Switch Online Has Gone Wrong

The reasons Nintendo's online service is flaccid, and what it can do to pump things up.

New Trials of Mana Footage Shows Cleaner, More Accessible Fights

Let's have a good clean fight, Mana fans.

More Action Adventure Games

The Pride Flag in Marvel's Spider-Man is a Small Gesture That's Made a Large Impact

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Pride flags in Marvel's Spider-Man, edits to Yakuza re-releases, and an Ion Fury backtrack show publisher actions speaking louder than words

Remnant: From the Ashes is Quickly Becoming 2019's Breakout Hit

A multiplayer Souls-shooter is picking up steam.

Death Stranding is a Game About Walking, Apparently

Someone has finally played Death Stranding and can tell us what its all about.

New Link's Awakening Video Shows Off Dungeon Creator and Map Markers

The adorable Zelda remake changes a few things.