New Nintendo 2DS XL: Review

Nintendo has once again refreshed its already varied line-up of 3DS handheld devices, however this time focusing more on a budget friendly model, the New Nintendo 2DS XL (priced at $149.99) aims to provide a much cheaper alternative for interested consumers and with only a small number of differences from its older brother, the New Nintendo 3DS XL, it sure feels like a bargain considering the vast amount of games available in the 3DS platform.

What is inside the box: A 220V-240V Charger, Quick Start Guide, AR Guides and the N2DS XL unit itself, both the 4GB MicroSDHC and Stylus are in their proper ports. This is for the MDE version of the item.


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Probably the easiest way to distinguish the New 2DS XL from its older model is the console’s appearance, Nintendo abandoned the “Door Stopper” design in favor of the standard “Clamshell” design, which helps the “portability” a lot and people always had mixed opinions of that design. The unit it self is made of plastic, with the top top exterior having a ridged-matte feel, the current available models Black (with Turquoise Blue) or White (With Orange) accents, makes the unit look fresh and less of as a toy despite the obvious difference of materials used.

Looks great besides the small gap I noticed near the LED indicators.

The screens are also carried over from the N3DS XL, with the top screen measuring 4.88″ and the touch screen at the bottom at 4.18″ which is separated by a hinge that is a bit of a hit or miss, as some units are reporting to have a bit of wobble while some don’t. The viewing angles are a bit decent on this screens but as far as I can tell, these are not IPS panels, which does make sense since this is the cheaper model. Another difference is that the whole part of the top interior of the handheld is covered in glass instead of only the screen, a bit disappointing on this part as glass is a horrible fingerprint magnet and it is quite hard to find a screen protector for this item at this time.

The bleed extends until the border of the item.

The screen and the over-all material does pose a concern as I have noticed that there seems to be a “slight” gap on the bottom of the unit I have. Not to mention the “bleeding” of the LCD that is present when playing in the dark on both the front and back of the top screen. Many people have been experiencing this as well and I do suggest buying the Black/Turquoise version of the item as it seems that it isn’t as noticeable because of the color of the unit.

It may not be noticeable in the photo but trust me, you will see it in actual.

The Cart and MicroSD slot is also hidden behind a flap that is at the lower left of the device, in the middle lies the headphone jack and the smaller stylus, at the right side is the LED indicators for Power, Battery and WiFi connections. The speakers are also placed at left of the removable flap and the right of the LED indicators, the sound feel weaker because of this and for some people who have huge hands, it is possible for them to “cover” the speakers while holding the item, not to mention that since the device has a plastic body, you can feel the back/bottom of the device vibrate because of the noise being generated. At the back is the Infrared port and the Charging port together with the L/R/ZL/ZR buttons.

I named my N2DS XL “Tracer”, credits to BossMac for giving me that idea.

The button layout mostly remains the same with the inclusion of the “small” circle pad at the right of the console with some changes being that the Home button now lies below the D-Pad and the built-in Mic is now at the hinge instead of below the touch screen. I do have concerns regarding the small circle pad as it feels that it wasn’t as firm as I was used to when I still had my N3DS XL.

Due to the design changes, the N2DS XL is a bit smaller and lighter than the N3DS XL, which is great as I usually found myself getting tired of holding the N3DS XL for extended hours, and with the smaller size, it does add a bit more portability to it.

Device New Nintendo 2DS XL  New Nintendo 3DS XL 
Dimensions (Closed) 3.4 in. x 6.3 in. x 0.8 in. 3.7 in. x 6.3 in. x 0.8 in.
Dimensions (Open) 6.4 in. x 6.3 in. x 0.8 in. 6.78 in. x 6.3 in. x 0.8 in.
Weight 260 g 329 g



There are 3 cameras present in the system with one of them at the hinge itself and 2 of them at the bottom of the device, because of this, it does seem that the cameras (especially the 2 at the bottom) are pretty susceptible to damage/dust despite being a bit “indented”.The cameras at the bottom can take 3D images as well but cannot display them due to the removal of the 3D feature in this system.

The lack of the small “feet” does pose some issues in terms of protecting the bottom cameras.

The built-in 1,300 mAh lithium-ion battery is enough to last for 3.5-4 hours (depending on settings and games being played) while the N3DS XL has a 1,750 mAh is a bit disappointing for a handheld device, but compromises had to be made to target that price point.

Since most features between the N2DS XL and the N3DS XL are the same, such as the Amiibo support (by placing the figure at the touchscreen), the updated processor that is needed to play the New 3DS exclusive games like Xenoblade Chronicles, etc. The auto-stereoscopic 3D is removed which is fine considering how there has always been mixed and how some games don’t actually fully use this feature. Between all the differences aside, this removal is probably the biggest cut Nintendo had to make in order to justify the $149.99 tag price of the device.

And as a bonus, I decided to buy the available Hori Screen Protector and Crystal Case at Gameone. You may see the items at the video below (sorry for the quality):

While the case was a good investment, its a different situation with the screen protectors. The cover for the top screen was fairly easy to attach however the lower screen had bubbles and it seems that Hori used a different adhesive and since we couldn’t push the bubbles out, we had to remove it (it was pretty hard to remove by the way), at the end I decided to purchase one from a local shop and had the person “customize” the one for an iPhone to fit the lower screen.

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  1. how and where were you able to purchase that thing for just 7500 Php?!!! i’ve checked with a few stores and so far they sell the damn thing for about 11k–the same price as a new 3ds xl!

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