Top positive review
Great if you are looking for a purely portable experience.
Reviewed in Canada on September 23, 2019
If you already own a Switch console (the dockable one) or a 2DS/3DS and are wondering if the Switch Lite is worth picking up, let me help you decide. The OG Switch has been reviewed to death, so this review will only cover the major differences between consoles as they are essentially the same things from a hardware standpoint.
TLDR: Don't replace your current Switch with this if you have one already. Definitely replace your 2DS/3DS with this if you're in the market for a new handheld.
If you play or plan on playing your current Switch docked AT ALL, the answer is no. Don't buy this. Besides the obvious fact this cannot dock and output it's display to a TV, this is NOT a console built with local multiplayer in mind. Yes, you CAN connect JoyCons to it, prop it up against something, and play multiplayer games all on the Switch Lite. Just consider the fact that the OG Switch can also do that, and it does it much better. If you're looking for a home console for your family, the Switch Lite ain't it chief.
If you've never once docked your Switch and are looking for a smaller, lighter Switch with no creaky plastic, this is EXACTLY what you are looking for. Is it worth shelling out 250 of your hard earned Canadian dollars if you already own a Switch though? Probably not, unless you plan on selling your old Switch.
If you own a 2DS/3DS (or are looking to buy one) and aren't sure if it's worth getting this over those, just keep in mind that the Switch Lite is positioned in the market to kill off the older DS models. Nintendo has no plans for supporting the DS ecosystem going forward. For $50 more than a 3DS, you're getting access to a massive library of games on Nintendo's modern console. It's a no brainer.
The Switch Lite is the spiritual successor to the PlayStation Vita, not a doubt in my mind. If you are the type of person who plays games on the go and wants a more modern library of games, this is the console to get.
Minor/Major gripes with the Switch Lite:
Major Gripe - The D-pad is atrocious. I am mainly a SSB and Street Fighter player, and I am unable to consistently hit certain moves that require a diagonal press. The D-Pad on the Switch Lite is 'shallow', it doesn't stand tall from the case and I find it incredibly difficult to consistently hit diagonal movements. This is unfortunate, because comparing the D-Pad on the Switch Lite to the PlayStation Vita (both the OLED and Slim models), the D-Pad on the Switch Lite feels like an afterthought and I honestly would have preferred they kept the same button layout as the JoyCons. If you plan on playing SSB or Street Fighter, you may find it frustrating to pull off certain moves. For every other use case, it should serve you just fine.
Major Gripe - The Switch Lite doesn't have standard Bluetooth connectivity, which I think is honestly the dumbest decision Nintendo has made with the Switch consoles. If you want to use headphones with this, they either must be wired OR you have to buy a third party Bluetooth adapter to connect your headphones. Great, another thing to carry with your portable console.
Minor Gripe - The game cartridge cover/flap that covers the slot feels really cheap and flexible, just a light press on it when it's closed causes the entire cover to bend and flex, which doesn't inspire a whole lot of confidence if you're giving this to a child who isn't gentle with their belongings. It's great that the rest of the console itself feels solid and sturdy, but I can't help but feel that if someone drops their Switch Lite, that little cover is going to snap off/pop open and the game cart might come flying out.
Minor Gripe - The screen comes calibrated from Nintendo with a different color temperature compared to the OG Switch. Colors appear warmer on the Switch Lite, which I personally don't care about at all but it was noticable and to some of you considering this, might actually be a deal breaker (you know who you are). Because color accuracy and temperature preferences are personal, I will not outwardly say which screen is objectively better because that is a completely subjective preference. I will say that I personally prefer the screen on the Switch Lite.
I'll try to keep this review updated while I use the Switch Lite and discover more things I like and don't like about it. For my use case, it's a perfect replacement of my original Switch console and solves nearly every issue I had with the OG Switch.