The Steam Deck is getting a substantial overhaul in the display department. The upgraded handheld is known as the Steam Deck OLED–similar to the naming scheme adopted by Nintendo in regard to the Nintendo Switch.
The display isn’t the only treat we’re getting. The Steam Deck OLED promises better battery life, and improved audio support, with similar performance. While it’s not a direct upgrade to the Steam Deck, it does bring some well-needed quality-of-life improvements.
But how does the Steam Deck OLED compare to the Steam Deck LCD? Let’s do a deep dive into the Steam Deck OLED vs the Steam Deck LCD.
Steam Deck OLED vs Steam Deck LCD: Display Specs
Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of our Steam Deck comparison. The most notable upgrade that’s the face of marketing as well as the display. The Steam Deck OLED enjoys the new addition of an organic light-emitting diode panel.
This translates into overall better image quality. Users will enjoy deeper blacks, increased brightness, and better contrast. The peak brightness of the Steam Deck OLED comes in at 1000 nits which is tons more than the 400 nits observed on the LCD model. The display size has also been bumped up from 7.0 inches to 7.4 inches by eliminating the black borders.
To make matters even better, the Steam Deck OLED boasts an HDR display, allowing you to enjoy HDR content. HDR produces a shinier and brighter image than conventional OLED displays do, which is definitely a welcome bonus.
In addition, users will also enjoy a higher refresh rate this time around. The Steam Deck OLED packs a 90 Hz OLED panel in contrast to the regular Steam Deck’s 60 Hz LCD.
Steam Deck OLED vs Steam Deck LCD: Battery Life
Of course, battery life is a big concern when buying a handheld that’s catered to gamers. And things get even more concerning now that we’re getting a 90 Hz OLED panel. Despite concerns, Valve has decided to opt for a 50 Whr battery in place of the previously used 40 Whr battery. Valve claims that the Steam Deck OLED will provide nearly 30-50% more battery life with playtime hovering around 3–12 hours. Battery performance is always game-dependent on handhelds so it will be interesting to see how the new OLED version copes with some of the more intensive games.
Any changes in the size and weight?
The Steam Deck OLED features a slightly larger display in contrast to the LCD model as the bezels of the OLED variant are thinner. But all-in-all the dimensions of the Steam Deck OLED are identical to the LCD variant.
While the overall dimensions are the same, there’s a bit of a difference in the weight department. The Steam Deck OLED is 5% lighter than the original Steam Deck. That puts the weight of the Steam Deck OLED at around 1.41 lbs.
Internal components remain mostly the same
The future looks bright for the Steam Deck, especially now it features an OLED display, however, the performance remains very much the same. The Steam Deck OLED packs the same 6 nm Zen 2 APU that we’ve seen on the launch model.
We still get the same 16 gigs of LPDDR5 RAM, but the memory speed has been bumped by a few MTs. The Steam Deck LCD boasted a memory speed of 5500 MTs while the Steam Deck OLED enjoys a memory speed of 6400 MTs.
Another welcome bonus is the shift to Bluetooth 5.3. Users can now gain access to tri-band Wi-Fi 6E support, allowing them to connect to the internet on a 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz band. Valve states that users will enjoy faster download speeds, but it does come down to your router and internet connection too.
How much more is the Steam Deck OLED
The Steam Deck OLED starts at around $549 for the 512 GB variant, which comes in as the base model. For an extra 30 dollars, users can pick up a limited-edition 1 TB Steam Deck OLED, which comes with an updated case.
The Steam Deck LCD still comes in 3 different models and memory configurations. Users can buy the 64 GB Steam Deck LCD for $349. For an additional 50 dollars, you can get the 256 GB variant for $399. The 512 GB variant costs 449 dollars.
Is the Steam Deck OLED worth it?
The Steam Deck OLED Limited Edition is available for customers in the United States and Canada for $679. It comes with a 1 TB variant of the Steam Deck OLED. The limited edition Steam Deck OLED features a smoky translucent shell with neon crimson ventilation grilles and various other red details adorning the Steam Deck.
Customers will also get an updated zip-up case with a newer design printed on the interior of the shell. Valve has decided to bring some quality-of-life improvements to the Steam Deck. If you were waiting to buy the original Steam Deck but never really got around to it, now’s the best time to get your hands on the newest model as it will no doubt dazzle you. It is hard to say whether or not it is worth upgrading from LCD to OLED right now but as the Steam Deck OLED pre orders are fulfilled we will be greeted with many independent reviews to help.