New Nintendo Switch model can have almost 80 percent better battery life according to tests

(Image credit: Nintendo)

The new Switch with improved battery life has been on shelves for more than a week, and now the big question is just how much extra game time it packs in for handheld-happy players - as well as if Nintendo snuck any other changes in there. A new report from hardware analyst outlet Digital Foundry offers hard numbers on just how much more battery life you can expect, along with some other slight tweaks that you'd probably only ever notice if you put both systems side by side.

According to Digital Foundry's testing, the revised Nintendo Switch is capable of lasting nearly 80 percent longer than the original model in certain circumstances. Specifically, the system was able to play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on full brightness for 4 hours and 18.5 minutes versus an original Switch's 2 hours and 25 minutes, an improvement of 78 percent. Running at 50 percent screen brightness for each, the new Switch lasted for 5 hours and 2 minutes, 64 percent longer than the original.

The new Switch has the same battery as the original, but it has a new processor and memory that are much more power efficient. They also allow the system to run a little cooler and quieter.

If you often play your Switch in handheld mode until the battery warning starts flashing (or beyond, you daredevil), this change will be a big deal for you. If you've spent that much time with your Switch, you might also notice a slight difference in the screen. It looks like the new display has a slightly different color profile, with a stronger magenta cast to the entire screen.

As long as we're talking nitpicks, the new Switch also seems to have improved performance in some extremely specific examples, like entering the Korok Forest in Breath of the Wild or playing replays in Mortal Kombat 11. The performance improvements are too infrequent and inconsistent to consider them a substantial part of this hardware revision, but if you were going to pick one up for the battery life anyway, you might be pleased to find a smoother experience every so often.

Find something to play on your new system with our list of the best Nintendo Switch games.

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.