Nintendo Switch vs Smartphones.
This week Huawei unveiled its new flagship smartphone, the Huawei Mate 20 X. It is an impressive device that combines the best that technology has to offer at the moment, with three rear cameras, a 5000 mAh battery, 6 GB of RAM, 128 GB of internal storage and the new octo-core Kirin processor. In addition, they have a massive 7.2 inch screen, making the Huawei Mate 20 X an attractive smartphone for entertainment, especially for watching videos and playing video games.
It must be because of this that Huawei felt it should make a comparison with the Nintendo Switch. And so it did. At one point in the presentation, Huawei showed its new smartphone with the Nintendo Switch side by side, stating that the Mate 20 X is the best portable video game machine. Is there any truth to this statement? We know in advance that it is an unfair comparison for several reasons, but we decided to take the bait of Huawei and make a comparison of Nintendo Switch with smartphones, based on the Huawei Mate 20 X.
Price – 899 euros vs 329 euros
This is how Justin Bieber (in DJ Khaled’s song) says, “it’s a no-brainer, it ain’t that hard to choose”. The Huawei Mate 20 X has better specs than the Nintendo Switch, but it is much more expensive. It is almost three times more expensive than Nintendo Switch in Europe, so it was bad if it didn’t have superior features. There’s no denying that the Huawei Mate 20 X’s screen is better… the battery also has more capacity, there’s more RAM and in theory the Kiri processor might even be higher than the Nintendo Switch’s Tegra X1, but for 329 euros, the Nintendo console does not unravel anything badly. This takes us to the next topic …
The volume of games currently available for any smartphone is daunting, but few really matter. Both the App Store and Google Play are immersed in extremely low quality games. Although the volume of games on the Nintendo Switch eShop has increased significantly in recent months and, consequently, the quality has also decreased, the Nintendo console continues to have a vastly superior offer, not to mention the issue of exclusives.
Nintendo Switch has games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Splatoon 2, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, among others, which were developed from scratch for the console and are not available on any other platforms. The quality of games for smartphones has increased lately, but the reality is that they are not yet on the same level as games developed exclusively for consoles. So on this issue, although you can play games on your smartphone like PUBG, Fortnite and Arena of Valor, the Nintendo Switch catalog is superior.
There are no games like that for smartphones yet
Touch controls even work well in some games, but in general, the physical buttons are much better for playing. Huawei seems to know this and has created an official accessory for the Huawei Mate 20 X. Despite this, the accessory only offers an analog and d-pad. The Nintendo Switch has all the buttons on a traditional controller. It also has the advantage that the joy-con has been designed as an integral part of the console concept and several games even allow you to play with only one joy-con, making it easy to live with a second player. Joy-Cons also have motion controls and HD Rumble, things that the Huawei accessory does not.
The Huawei Mate 20 X requires a separately purchased accessory to have physical controls.
Making direct comparisons is tricky because most Nintendo Switch games are not available for other devices, but we can take Fortnite Battle Royale, one of the most popular and most demanding games for mobile. Fortnite is also available for Nintendo Switch and Digital Foundry made a comparison between three versions: iOS, Android and Nintendo Switch. Although the Nintendo Switch loses in things like resolution and viewing distance, all mobile versions aim to reach 30 frames per second.
Therefore, the smartphone versions of Fortnite can be visually superior to the Nintendo Switch, but we cannot fail to mention that we are talking about equipment that cost between 800 and 900 euros, while the price of the Nintendo Switch is lower. Smartphones are capable of performing tasks that the Nintendo Switch does not, but the Nintendo console has the advantage of being a platform exclusively for games, which allows for an optimization and much better use of the hardware.
Unfortunately, we cannot compare how the games of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, DOOM and The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim would perform as these games are not available for smartphones (and there are not even similar games).
In the case of Fortnite, the smartphone versions are visually superior.
Finally, a point in favor of the Huawei Mate 20 X! According to Huawei’s comparison, your smartphone has a battery capable of playing Arena of Valor for more than 6 hours, while the same game on the Switch drains the battery in just over 3 hours. What is curious is that the Mate 20 X battery does not have a much larger capacity than the Switch battery. The Huawei smartphone has a 5000 mAh battery, while the Switch has a 4310 mAh battery. Perhaps the Nintendo Switch needs an optimization in this matter, since Huawei can extract more than 3 hours with a battery that is only slightly larger.
Other things to consider
As a gaming machine, there is no doubt that the Nintendo Switch is superior to any smartphone at the moment, contrary to Huawei’s claims. But we have to underline that smartphones have, on a daily basis, more uses than the Nintendo Switch. We can use smartphones as cameras, to work, make calls, browse social networks, watch videos on Youtube and Netflix and many other things that are not possible on Nintendo Switch.
As we said at the outset, it is not a fair comparison for either party. A smartphone is a device designed for multitasking, the Nintendo Switch is a dedicated gaming machine. Still, Nintendo could already have added more features, such as an application for Youtube and Netflix. Smartphones have another advantage for online games, which is Internet data. Nintendo Switch only has WiFi, which means you can’t play in the middle of the street unless you have an Internet connection.
A smartphone has more uses than the Nintendo Switch.
For a game like Arena of Valor, which is dependent on an Internet connection, I would say that a smartphone is better just for the sake of Internet data and portability. The Huawei Mate 20 X has a huge screen, but remains more portable than a Nintendo Switch, which increases its proportions due to the huge bezels and joy-con. However, Arena of Valor is an exception. It is a game that was developed on purpose for smartphones and whose touch controls work extremely well, but in other games, the Nintendo Switch wins the arm wrestling.
Which device do you prefer as a gaming machine: the Nintendo Switch or a high-end smartphone?