Switch charging time is 3 hours, non-removable battery

Oct 13, 2006
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Yeeeeah, I think I'll wait for Switch Lite or whatever revision they'll eventually release. I was trying to talk myself into getting it.

It's almost like a cruel Sphinx's riddle: What do you call something that doesn't have enough battery life to be considered a portable, yet not enough horsepower to be considered a competitive console?

Hmm but even still, LOZ:BOTW and Mario Odyssey make it tempting. Maybe realistically I should be saying "How long will I hold off getting it." Instead of a full "It's a pass."
 
Mar 24, 2005
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The thing about Switch being a hybrid system means you always hear justifications that skew towards the side other than the one the discussion is about depending on how it suits the person. For instance:

1) When there is a concern about Switch's power especially for its price and year of launch, the justification is "It's a console that goes portable and the difference between it and 3DS is huge". Also implying that it's fine for it to be like that because it provides a big jump from 3DS.

2) When there is a concern about its portability such as this thread, the justification becomes something along the lines of "It was never meant to be a portable console that replaces 3DS".

Smh
You mean you hear actual reasons from people with some sense? Because the system is required to be portable at times that puts a limit on the possible performance levels (system has to be designed around mobile hardware). But because it has to be a console most of the time that puts a limit on how low you can drop performance for longer battery in handheld mode (you need to be able to play those console games in handheld mode). Its simple logic, no justification needed for what should be plain right there in front of anyone with an ounce of sense.
 
Mar 11, 2012
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Jesus, am i really now treated a fanboy because i think that the post claiming that charging the console will take longer than playing it was bullshit?

Is this all it takes to be considered a Fanboy nowadays?
No, you're treated like a fanboy because you're telling people they shouldn't complain about an issue they very clearly have a reason to complain. It turns out that being condescending bothers some people, who knew?
 
Aug 28, 2014
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That's something I actually always wondered about; the Garmin GPS I have in my car lasts for ages on battery while staying completely cold, even though it's six years old now, but when I use my quite new phone's GPS function, it drains the battery in what seems just a few minutes, and when it's plugged in while in use as GPS the phone gets to boiling hot temperatures in no time.
Well you're adding energy when it's plugged in, so it'll get a lot warmer compared to using it unplugged.
 
Feb 8, 2016
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4310mah isn't too bad. my mate 9 has a 4000 mah battery.

usb-c is the nice part.

I got one of these giant 26800mah battery packs for traveling, so if I need to top off the switch on a plane or something, its not an issue.


I can't see many situations where I'm lugging the switch around without my battery pack.
 
Sep 29, 2013
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I'm feeling that SoC nVidia offered is.. while very reasonable price wise, as for battery life it is simply not competitive at all.
It's competitive with tablets & mobiles. Run any of the more taxing games constantly the way Switch will be used and you're looking at similar battery life. The simple fact is running games is energy intensive and there's only so much energy density you can fit in a battery.
 
Dec 29, 2004
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Dublin, Ireland
So come into this thread I read the OP, see the 3 hours charge time, think "that's pretty reasonable", and see that they're using a 4310 mAh battery, which is on the top end of what I would have expected. Good stuff.

And then I start reading the replies... holy hell. I know neogaf has a reputation for over-reacting to things, but this thread is just straight up nuts. Go outside, take a walk, have a breath of fresh air, and when you've calmed down you can come back and we can actually look at the facts.

You're back? Great, nice day outside, isn't it? Okay, now let's talk batteries.

Battery Size

At 4310 mAh, Switch has by far the highest-capacity battery of any gaming device ever made. Here's what's currently out there:

3DS / 2DS - 1300 mAh
New 3DS - 1400 mAh
(New) 3DS XL - 1750 mAh
PS Vita - 2200 mAh

That's about twice the capacity of PS Vita or almost three and a half times the capacity of the 3DS or 2DS.

Now, you're surely saying "but X phone or Y tablet has such-and-such a capacity, Nintendo must be able to fit more in there!", but I'm willing to be X phone and Y tablet aren't actively cooled. A typical phone or tablet these days is basically a battery with some electronics and a screen attached. For a phone the battery could account for 60-70% of the internal volume, and it can be even higher for tablets.

Nintendo doesn't have the luxury of dedicating so much internal space to batteries, because it has to fit a fan and heatsink in there, which likely occupies as much as half the space between the screen and the rear of the case. Have a look at this rear-view photo of the Switch:

The blue box I've included is pretty much the best-case-scenario for how much space Nintendo can allocate to the battery in Switch. If you look at the fan vents at the top and bottom of the unit you can see where the heatsink and fan are going to sit (and I've been pretty conservative with the red box for this, as I'm not even including the area around the third vent to the lower right). Then on the left we've got space taken up by the game card slot, microSD slot, kickstand, and likely part of the logic board (which will overlap the cooling system).

There's no space for a bigger battery. The reason I say 4310 mAh is at the top end of what I would have expected is because there's just nowhere to put anything bigger. A 4310 mAh battery is basically Nintendo squeezing as big a battery as they possibly can in there. Quote me on this, when we see teardowns in March there isn't going to be some big gap where they could have put a bigger battery. They've squeezed in as much as they can without increasing the physical size of the device.

Charging

Regarding the "Switch doesn't do quick charging" claim, let's first do some basic maths. A 4310 mAh battery, assuming a standard 3.7V, comes to 15.95 Wh. For that battery to charge from 0 to 100% in 3 hours, then at an absolute minimum, it would have to be charging at a rate of 15.95/3 = 5.3W. Standard USB 2 provides 2.5W of power, so it's physically impossible for Switch to charge so quickly without some form of "quick charging".

However, as several people have already pointed out, batteries don't charge at a flat rate from 0 to 100%, they charge more quickly for the first ~80%, and much more slowly for the final ~20%. It's quite likely that Switch's peak charging rate is anywhere from 10-15W, which is, once again, far more than a standard USB 2 charger would provide.

Finally, we have Nintendo's FCC listing for Switch last month, which gave us these little nuggets of information:

See that bit where it says that the (USB-C) AC adaptor can output DC at 15V? That, folks, means that the system uses USB Power Delivery Revision 2.0 Version 1.2 or later. Or, in layman's terms, quick charging.

So, unless Nintendo have broken both the laws of thermodynamics and some regular human laws by lying to the FCC (although I'd imagine they'd get into more trouble over the former), Switch is most definitely capable of quick charging by any definition.

Regarding the total charging time of 3 hours, this is pretty typical for a gaming device. The 3DS takes even longer at 3 and a half hours for a full charge, while the PS Vita takes 2 hours and 40 mins. And in both cases we're talking about far smaller batteries than Switch has.

People also need to keep in mind once again that li-ion batteries are much slower to charge for the last 20% or so. This is why phone manufacturers always give specs like "charges to 80% in an hour", and leave out the fact that the remaining 20% takes another hour. Anantech provides some useful charging graphs in their smartphone reviews (e.g. OnePlus 3T, Honor 8), and if you look through them you'll notice a trend that charging to 80% typically takes only half the time of charging fully to 100%. This is going to vary a little bit depending on the battery and charging tech used, but it's usually around that ratio.

Translating to Switch, what we're probably looking at is the device charging to 80% battery in 90 minutes or so. Which, for me at least, is pretty reasonable. Yeah, they probably could have got it down to 60 minutes by using a more expensive battery, more expensive power ICs and a more expensive charger, but I doubt I'll ever be in a situation where that's the difference between my Switch having a usable amount of charge or not.

TL:DR

- Switch's battery is far bigger than any other gaming device
- Switch's battery is as big as they could possibly fit in there given the active cooling
- Switch definitely uses quick charging (source: FCC & James Clerk Maxwell)
- Switch probably charges to ~80% battery in about 90 minutes
 
Aug 29, 2011
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How does that work, 2.5 hours playtime and 3 hours recharge? Is that even possible?
100% yes. It's rare for a device today to have a longer charging time than usage time, but older electronics -- specifically the ones that integrated network features and color screens -- used to drain and die in a shorter time than it took to charge them. I distinctly remember a Siemens phone from the early 00's that suffered from this. It would take nearly 5 hours to go from 0 to 100% charge, and it would be dead in less than 4 -- something I discovered on a road trip.
 
Mar 3, 2010
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So come into this thread I read the OP, see the 3 hours charge time, think "that's pretty reasonable", and see that they're using a 4310 mAh battery, which is on the top end of what I would have expected. Good stuff.

And then I start reading the replies... holy hell. I know neogaf has a reputation for over-reacting to things, but this thread is just straight up nuts. Go outside, take a walk, have a breath of fresh air, and when you've calmed down you can come back and we can actually look at the facts.
This post is telling me then that this system was an awful idea from a conceptual standpoint. If this is the best they can do, then their best isn't good enough.
 
Jun 6, 2004
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Amman, Jordan
This post is telling me then that this system was an awful idea from a conceptual standpoint. If this is the best they can do, then their best isn't good enough.
It will be good enough for tens of millions of people, myself included.

I hated most of what was revealed about the Switch yesterday. Battery life wasn't one of them.

The system might not be for you. That's fine. People have different needs and expectations. No product will please everyone.
 
Mar 12, 2011
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So come into this thread I read the OP, see the 3 hours charge time, think "that's pretty reasonable", and see that they're using a 4310 mAh battery, which is on the top end of what I would have expected. Good stuff.

And then I start reading the replies... holy hell. I know neogaf has a reputation for over-reacting to things, but this thread is just straight up nuts. Go outside, take a walk, have a breath of fresh air, and when you've calmed down you can come back and we can actually look at the facts.

You're back? Great, nice day outside, isn't it? Okay, now let's talk batteries.

Battery Size

At 4310 mAh, Switch has by far the highest-capacity battery of any gaming device ever made. Here's what's currently out there:

3DS / 2DS - 1300 mAh
New 3DS - 1400 mAh
(New) 3DS XL - 1750 mAh
PS Vita - 2200 mAh

That's about twice the capacity of PS Vita or almost three and a half times the capacity of the 3DS or 2DS.

Now, you're surely saying "but X phone or Y tablet has such-and-such a capacity, Nintendo must be able to fit more in there!", but I'm willing to be X phone and Y tablet aren't actively cooled. A typical phone or tablet these days is basically a battery with some electronics and a screen attached. For a phone the battery could account for 60-70% of the internal volume, and it can be even higher for tablets.

Nintendo doesn't have the luxury of dedicating so much internal space to batteries, because it has to fit a fan and heatsink in there, which likely occupies as much as half the space between the screen and the rear of the case. Have a look at this rear-view photo of the Switch:



The blue box I've included is pretty much the best-case-scenario for how much space Nintendo can allocate to the battery in Switch. If you look at the fan vents at the top and bottom of the unit you can see where the heatsink and fan are going to sit (and I've been pretty conservative with the red box for this, as I'm not even including the area around the third vent to the lower right). Then on the left we've got space taken up by the game card slot, microSD slot, kickstand, and likely part of the logic board (which will overlap the cooling system).

There's no space for a bigger battery. The reason I say 4310 mAh is at the top end of what I would have expected is because there's just nowhere to put anything bigger. A 4310 mAh battery is basically Nintendo squeezing as big a battery as they possibly can in there. Quote me on this, when we see teardowns in March there isn't going to be some big gap where they could have put a bigger battery. They've squeezed in as much as they can without increasing the physical size of the device.

Charging

Regarding the "Switch doesn't do quick charging" claim, let's first do some basic maths. A 4310 mAh battery, assuming a standard 3.7V, comes to 15.95 Wh. For that battery to charge from 0 to 100% in 3 hours, then at an absolute minimum, it would have to be charging at a rate of 15.95/3 = 5.3W. Standard USB 2 provides 2.5W of power, so it's physically impossible for Switch to charge so quickly without some form of "quick charging".

However, as several people have already pointed out, batteries don't charge at a flat rate from 0 to 100%, they charge more quickly for the first ~80%, and much more slowly for the final ~20%. It's quite likely that Switch's peak charging rate is anywhere from 10-15W, which is, once again, far more than a standard USB 2 charger would provide.

Finally, we have Nintendo's FCC listing for Switch last month, which gave us these little nuggets of information:



See that bit where it says that the (USB-C) AC adaptor can output DC at 15V? That, folks, means that the system uses USB Power Delivery Revision 2.0 Version 1.2 or later. Or, in layman's terms, quick charging.

So, unless Nintendo have broken both the laws of thermodynamics and some regular human laws by lying to the FCC (although I'd imagine they'd get into more trouble over the former), Switch is most definitely capable of quick charging by any definition.

Regarding the total charging time of 3 hours, this is pretty typical for a gaming device. The 3DS takes even longer at 3 and a half hours for a full charge, while the PS Vita takes 2 hours and 40 mins. And in both cases we're talking about far smaller batteries than Switch has.

People also need to keep in mind once again that li-ion batteries are much slower to charge for the last 20% or so. This is why phone manufacturers always give specs like "charges to 80% in an hour", and leave out the fact that the remaining 20% takes another hour. Anantech provides some useful charging graphs in their smartphone reviews (e.g. OnePlus 3T, Honor 8), and if you look through them you'll notice a trend that charging to 80% typically takes only half the time of charging fully to 100%. This is going to vary a little bit depending on the battery and charging tech used, but it's usually around that ratio.

Translating to Switch, what we're probably looking at is the device charging to 80% battery in 90 minutes or so. Which, for me at least, is pretty reasonable. Yeah, they probably could have got it down to 60 minutes by using a more expensive battery, more expensive power ICs and a more expensive charger, but I doubt I'll ever be in a situation where that's the difference between my Switch having a usable amount of charge or not.

TL:DR

- Switch's battery is far bigger than any other gaming device
- Switch's battery is as big as they could possibly fit in there given the active cooling
- Switch definitely uses quick charging (source: FCC & James Clerk Maxwell)
- Switch probably charges to ~80% battery in about 90 minutes
Let's talk facts: Nintendo says BOTW will play for 3 hours in portable mode and that the Switch takes 3 hours to charge fully. Your wishful analysis doesn't change the facts straight from Nintendo. People are rightly disappointed.
 
Nov 6, 2012
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This post is telling me then that this system was an awful idea from a conceptual standpoint. If this is the best they can do, then their best isn't good enough.
Even if i agree...for what it's worth, is the best one if they wanted a console-handheld hybrid that could converge both Handheld and console ecosystems/markets into one if you think about it...

Anyway...i'm more disapointed by the price (especially in Europe), the lack of games shown and the on-line fee than the battery itself to be honest...
 

10k

Banned
Mar 20, 2012
15,860
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
So come into this thread I read the OP, see the 3 hours charge time, think "that's pretty reasonable", and see that they're using a 4310 mAh battery, which is on the top end of what I would have expected. Good stuff.

And then I start reading the replies... holy hell. I know neogaf has a reputation for over-reacting to things, but this thread is just straight up nuts. Go outside, take a walk, have a breath of fresh air, and when you've calmed down you can come back and we can actually look at the facts.

You're back? Great, nice day outside, isn't it? Okay, now let's talk batteries.

Battery Size

At 4310 mAh, Switch has by far the highest-capacity battery of any gaming device ever made. Here's what's currently out there:

3DS / 2DS - 1300 mAh
New 3DS - 1400 mAh
(New) 3DS XL - 1750 mAh
PS Vita - 2200 mAh

That's about twice the capacity of PS Vita or almost three and a half times the capacity of the 3DS or 2DS.

Now, you're surely saying "but X phone or Y tablet has such-and-such a capacity, Nintendo must be able to fit more in there!", but I'm willing to be X phone and Y tablet aren't actively cooled. A typical phone or tablet these days is basically a battery with some electronics and a screen attached. For a phone the battery could account for 60-70% of the internal volume, and it can be even higher for tablets.

Nintendo doesn't have the luxury of dedicating so much internal space to batteries, because it has to fit a fan and heatsink in there, which likely occupies as much as half the space between the screen and the rear of the case. Have a look at this rear-view photo of the Switch:



The blue box I've included is pretty much the best-case-scenario for how much space Nintendo can allocate to the battery in Switch. If you look at the fan vents at the top and bottom of the unit you can see where the heatsink and fan are going to sit (and I've been pretty conservative with the red box for this, as I'm not even including the area around the third vent to the lower right). Then on the left we've got space taken up by the game card slot, microSD slot, kickstand, and likely part of the logic board (which will overlap the cooling system).

There's no space for a bigger battery. The reason I say 4310 mAh is at the top end of what I would have expected is because there's just nowhere to put anything bigger. A 4310 mAh battery is basically Nintendo squeezing as big a battery as they possibly can in there. Quote me on this, when we see teardowns in March there isn't going to be some big gap where they could have put a bigger battery. They've squeezed in as much as they can without increasing the physical size of the device.

Charging

Regarding the "Switch doesn't do quick charging" claim, let's first do some basic maths. A 4310 mAh battery, assuming a standard 3.7V, comes to 15.95 Wh. For that battery to charge from 0 to 100% in 3 hours, then at an absolute minimum, it would have to be charging at a rate of 15.95/3 = 5.3W. Standard USB 2 provides 2.5W of power, so it's physically impossible for Switch to charge so quickly without some form of "quick charging".

However, as several people have already pointed out, batteries don't charge at a flat rate from 0 to 100%, they charge more quickly for the first ~80%, and much more slowly for the final ~20%. It's quite likely that Switch's peak charging rate is anywhere from 10-15W, which is, once again, far more than a standard USB 2 charger would provide.

Finally, we have Nintendo's FCC listing for Switch last month, which gave us these little nuggets of information:



See that bit where it says that the (USB-C) AC adaptor can output DC at 15V? That, folks, means that the system uses USB Power Delivery Revision 2.0 Version 1.2 or later. Or, in layman's terms, quick charging.

So, unless Nintendo have broken both the laws of thermodynamics and some regular human laws by lying to the FCC (although I'd imagine they'd get into more trouble over the former), Switch is most definitely capable of quick charging by any definition.

Regarding the total charging time of 3 hours, this is pretty typical for a gaming device. The 3DS takes even longer at 3 and a half hours for a full charge, while the PS Vita takes 2 hours and 40 mins. And in both cases we're talking about far smaller batteries than Switch has.

People also need to keep in mind once again that li-ion batteries are much slower to charge for the last 20% or so. This is why phone manufacturers always give specs like "charges to 80% in an hour", and leave out the fact that the remaining 20% takes another hour. Anantech provides some useful charging graphs in their smartphone reviews (e.g. OnePlus 3T, Honor 8), and if you look through them you'll notice a trend that charging to 80% typically takes only half the time of charging fully to 100%. This is going to vary a little bit depending on the battery and charging tech used, but it's usually around that ratio.

Translating to Switch, what we're probably looking at is the device charging to 80% battery in 90 minutes or so. Which, for me at least, is pretty reasonable. Yeah, they probably could have got it down to 60 minutes by using a more expensive battery, more expensive power ICs and a more expensive charger, but I doubt I'll ever be in a situation where that's the difference between my Switch having a usable amount of charge or not.

TL:DR

- Switch's battery is far bigger than any other gaming device
- Switch's battery is as big as they could possibly fit in there given the active cooling
- Switch definitely uses quick charging (source: FCC & James Clerk Maxwell)
- Switch probably charges to ~80% battery in about 90 minutes
I love you Thraktor. So, so much.
 
Mar 3, 2010
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It will be good enough for tens of millions of people, myself included.

I hated most of what was revealed about the Switch yesterday. Battery life wasn't one of them.

The system might not be for you. That's fine. People have different needs and expectations. No product will please everyone.
I'll eventually buy it because of NMH but I haven't seen a clear argument as to what the system does well. We're pretty much excusing the internals being shit because it's a handheld and we're excusing it being a garbage handheld because it's more powerful than other current mobiles (although smartphones will probably lap this before its replacement comes out).

The charge time is simply too long for the resulting playtime.
 
Dec 6, 2008
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That's what I thought. My Nexus 6p can go from 1% to 100% in under an hour with USB-C charging from a 110v outlet.
I honestly thought my 6p charger would double up as Switch charger, dunno what I expected. The 3DS is the only portable I own that takes fking 3 hours to charge and its stupid in 2017.


People expecting features that are in 800$ phones to be in a 300$ tablet that includes joy cons, dock, and grip. Get real peeps.
My year old Moto X Play which cost $200 and can go from 0% to 100% (not the 80% bullshit posted above) in under 50 minutes.
 
Jul 11, 2013
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Has it been confirmed yet whether or not we can charge the joy cons while playing on the TV with the base SKU components? People keep mentioning needing a $30 grip accessory otherwise you would need to play on the tablet while it charges.
 
Aug 20, 2008
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Has it been confirmed yet whether or not we can charge the joy cons while playing on the TV with the base SKU components? People keep mentioning needing a $30 grip accessory otherwise you would need to play on the tablet while it charges.
You need the $30 charge grip. Included one is just a plastic shell, no USB port or charging connectors.

That said, joycon battery life is listed at 20 hours so not a huge deal as long as you charge after long sessions.
 
Nov 6, 2012
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Has it been confirmed yet whether or not we can charge the joy cons while playing on the TV with the base SKU components? People keep mentioning needing a $30 grip accessory otherwise you would need to play on the tablet while it charges.
I believe the joy cons need to be attached to the Switch while is connected to the dock, otherwise you need a grip-charger at 30€
 
B

bomb

Unconfirmed Member
I'll eventually buy it because of NMH but I haven't seen a clear argument as to what the system does well. We're pretty much excusing the internals being shit because it's a handheld and we're excusing it being a garbage handheld because it's more powerful than other current mobiles (although smartphones will probably lap this before its replacement comes out).

The charge time is simply too long for the resulting playtime.
It does everything well. 1080p60fps or even just 900p is perfectly exceptable. You really think every ps4 game will look better than every Switch game? You are nuts. You must have a ps4 pro and a 2017 77" lg oled. I mean, how could you possibly play console gaming with anything less?

720p on the go is great. I don't know why everyone keeps bringing up the Shield. Barely anyone bought the Shield yet everyone acts like they own one.
 
Feb 22, 2011
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Virginia
Like, are you laughing because people might want to play for more than 3 hours between charges? Because that doesn't require camping, it requires leaving the house for 3 hours.
Typically when one leaves the house it's to go do something and not game for three + hours. If you do happen to have three hours to kill and want to play a demanding game like Zelda which will burn battery quicker than other games I'm sure you'll be able to find a place to plug in and charge. In the event that you can't, oh no.