5 Powerful Alternatives to Buying a Nintendo Switch OLED

·6 min read

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Nintendo recently pulled back the curtain on the Switch OLED — a reworked version of its handheld console that boasts a new display, LAN port and improved kickstand design. What it doesn’t include, however, is a new CPU or other internal hardware to improve overall performance. That omission has led to a lot of disappointment in the community, as demanding titles, such as Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity and Xenoblade Chronicles 2, will continue to see frame rate issues on the $350 console.

If you’re not completely sold on the Switch OLED, you’re not alone. In light of the news, we’ve pulled together several other products that provide a Switch-like gaming experience but offer better performance and internal specs. Some are much more expensive than Nintendo’s hybrid console, but there’s no denying the value these products bring to the table.

Here are five alternatives to the Switch OLED that might be a better use of your hard-earned cash.

OneXPlayer Is a Handheld Gaming PC

ONEXPLAYER handheld console nba on table
Credit: ONEXPLAYER

The OneXPlayer is the most expensive product on this list — starting at $999 — but that price tag is backed by an impressive list of hardware. Funded after just 15 minutes on Indiegogo, the OneXPlayer includes an Intel Core 11th-Gen processor, a massive 8.4-inch IPS display that supports a 2560×1600 resolution and an iRIS XE 96 Eu GPU capable of running Apex Legends, Battlefield V, Control and more at 60 FPS.

Its design clearly takes inspiration from Nintendo Switch, with dual analog sticks straddling either side of the screen, along with the usual assortment of face buttons and triggers. Unlike the Switch, however, this is a full-fledged PC. That means your entire Steam library is available at the tip of your fingers.

ONE-NETBOOK — the company developing OneXPlayer — isn’t new to the world of portable gaming. It’s previously developed a popular lineup of laptops, including the OneGX 1 that gave users detachable handles just like those seen on the Switch.

While some people will scoff at the price tag, there’s no doubt you’re getting a lot for your money. If there’s already a Switch in your home, consider passing up on the OLED model and putting that cash towards this behemoth of a machine.

AYA NEO Runs Next-Gen Games in the Palm of Your Hands

inbody AYANEO Worlds First 7nm Handheld Gaming Device_
Credit: AYANEO

Love everything offered by the OneXPlayer but think it’s a bit expensive? Then the AYA NEO 500G might be a better fit. Available for $700, this handheld gaming PC features a Ryzen 5 4500U processer and a GPU that runs next-gen games like Watch Dogs: Legion at an easy 30 FPS.

It doesn’t boast an OLED like the upcoming Switch, but its 7.0-inch H-IPS touchscreen is more than capable of creating crisp images during gameplay. Much like the Switch, however, it features a built-in accelerometer and gyroscope for aiming assistance during tense gaming sessions — and even goes a step further by including rumble motors for vibration effects.

GPD WIN 3 Has a Switch-Like Dock and Sliding Keyboard

GPD WIN 3 held in hand
Credit: GPD

Sitting comfortably between the AYA NEO and ONEXPLAYER is the GPD WIN 3. With a price tag of around $850, you’ll once again be dropping a significant chunk of change to get your hands on the latest in handheld gaming technology. That money is well-spent, however, as the WIN 3 uses a 12th generation Iris Xe Graphics card to run today’s most demanding games at 60 FPS. It also features a sliding design that hides a built-in keyboard. You can even purchase a dock that lets you connect to a TV — just like the one used for the Switch.

Its screen is similar in size to the Switch Lite — clocking in at 5.5-inches — and a native resolution of 720p ensures everything looks and runs smoothly. According to specs from the manufacturer, the WIN 3 will run GTA V, The Witcher 3, Death Stranding and more at well over 60 FPS. Combine that with its built-in keyboard and optional dock, and the Switch has some serious competition.

The Affordable Acer Nitro 5 Is a Powerful Gaming Laptop

inbody Acer Nitro 5 gaming laptop
Credit: Acer

Nintendo Switch might be more portable, but affordable gaming laptops pack twice the punch. You’ll have to spend a bit more cash – the Acer Nitro 5 can be found for around $800 — but you’re getting a complete PC instead of just a gaming console. And — like any other PC on the market — it has a library that can go toe-to-toe with Nintendo’s hybrid console — capable of running GTA V, Apex Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Final Fantasy XIV and more at some of their highest graphics settings.

It might not have an OLED screen like the Switch, but the 15.6-inch IPS display still looks incredible in action. Plus, you always have the option to connect it to your big screen TV or another monitor using an HDMI cable. As long as you don’t mind the extra weight, gaming laptops have become an excellent choice when it comes to playing your favorite titles while away from home, and it’s hard to beat the affordable Acer Nitro 5.

Turn Your Smartphone Into a Serious Switch Competitor

Razer Kishi Mobile Game Controller white background
Credit: Razer

If you’re looking for the most affordable way to play some quality games on the road, look no further than the Razer Raiju or Razer Kishi controllers. These high-end accessories turn your smartphone into a bonafide gaming heavyweight.

Mobile gaming has come a long way in the past decade. Long gone are the days of playing Doodle Jump and Snake on your iPhone — today, we’re playing triple-A titles from Microsoft, Activision and Ubisoft. Game streaming services such as Shadow and Xbox Game Pass have opened the door for your smartphone to be a legit competitor to Nintendo Switch, and pairing one of those services with a good gamepad makes for a surprisingly great gaming experience.

We’d recommend picking up the Kishi for a Switch-like experience and subscribing to either Xbox Game Pass Ultimate or checking out Shadow — a relatively unknown streaming service that turns your phone into a high-end PC.

As far as OLED screens are concerned, you probably already have one in your pocket. Plenty of the latest smartphones use the technology, including both the Samsung Galaxy S21 and iPhone 12.

Also, make sure to set up a Deal Alert and we’ll let you know the next time any of the hand-held consoles on your radar go on sale.

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