Red = better battery
Nintendo doesn’t make it easy to tell which is which, so here’s a simple way you can tell the new and old systems apart.
How to Make Sure You’re Buying the New Nintendo Switch
Instead of sporting a white background on its box art, the New Nintendo Switch has a red background like this:
Alternatively, you can look for the model number HAD: HADSKABAA (blue and red Joy-Cons) or HADSKAAAA (grey Joy-Cons). The older models start with HAC.
Some sites may list the New Nintendo Switch as HAC-001(-01), whereas the old model was HAC-001.
The new model is practically identical to the original Nintendo Switch, but sports improved battery life. According to Nintendo’s website, the new revision will get you 4.5 to 9 hours of juice on the go, compared to the 2.5 to 6.5 hours the original version is rated for.
We actually tested the company’s claim. Our older Nintendo Switch survived 2 hours and 45 minutes on our Smash test, whereas the newer model lasted 4 hours and 50 minutes. That’s a significant boost.
Looking forward, the Nintendo Switch Lite will drop on Sept. 20 for $199. So, if you haven’t gotten a Switch just yet, you can hold off and get a much cuter, and cheaper version.
Otherwise, you can buy your Nintendo Switch now and get nearly double the playtime on the go than the original.