When new tech hits the market, I get a little sceptical when a version 2 comes out soon after. And in the case of the Steam Deck, we published our original Steam Deck review back in March 2022. And now we’ve just got our hands on a brand new Steam Deck Oled, which has released maybe a year and a half or so after the original Steam Deck. And in this video, I want to cover the difference between the two, and the types of performance you can come to expect from a bunch of random games I’ve picked. Now this isn’t Steam Deck 2 or a massive overhaul of tech, or next-gen or anything like that. It’s the same configuration really, with a few slight differences. Now a big question though which I will answer straight off the bat is whether it’s worth upgrading if you’ve already got an original Steam Deck? Well, no not for the price really. You’re not going to be getting a huge change to warrant it. But if you’re Steam Deckless, which version is worth buying? The OLED one, FOR SURE!
As everyone has probably guessed, and of course seen all the videos on YouTube about it already, the biggest difference between the Steam Deck and Oled version is…. that’s right, the Oled screen, will give you a much better contrast, as well as HDR capabilities on your games. It has 1000 nits of brightness and a nice wide colour gamut, a beefy contrast ratio and some real nice inky blacks and I must say over the original Deck, the screen just absolutely pops, and there’s a really nice separation of colour and contrast now, which to be honest was most notable for me anyway when playing some Doom Eternal. Some of the enemy types in that game on the original Deck just blended into the scenery for me and my eyesight, but with the OLED version, enemies popped, and they were a lot easier to shoot.
When it came to gaming though, it was pretty obvious most of the time the differences between the two but there were instances, like with Miles Morales for example, that it just didn’t make much of a difference during certain scenes, especially when zipping around New York. However, if you’re playing some Ori and the Will of the Wisps? My gosh, the inky blacks of the Steam Deck Oled just made that game shine! Hollow Knight too, due to the nature of the game, playing it on the Oled made it look a lot nicer, and when I showed some friends the difference between the two screens, their feedback was the Oled screen made the games feel like they’ve come to life, whereas the original Deck screen made the games look very flat and dead. Even older titles like Fable Anniversary which by the way if you haven’t played it is a fantastic game by Lionhead Studios (RIP) and the Oled version made Bowerstone look a lot more vivid and bright and colourful, where the backlight bleed almost hurt it a bit from the original Steam Deck screen. Let us know in the comments if there’s any other games on Steam that you would like to see on the Steam Deck Oled screen and we’ll try and get the video made for you. As I said, I just picked a small handful of games for this video as a demonstration.
So what else is new? Well. the screen is a little bigger on the OLED version, coming in at 7.4 inches over the 7-inch screen on the original and it’s also a little bit lighter in fact which was a little strange to feel when first opening the OLED Deck. Screen resolution of 1280×800 is exactly the same between the two, though the OLED Deck is capable of a refresh rate of 90Hz, over the max 60Hz of the original Deck. This can also be Dimensions though are exactly the same, so if you felt comfortable using the original Deck, you’ll feel right at home here.
So the new Steam Deck Oled has a 50-watt hour battery over the 40-watt hour battery of the original Deck. They’ve reduced the processer from 7nm to 6nm, and improved the thermals and heat pipes and all that jazz which makes the Oled Deck a little quieter. Now okay, in real life, this isn’t going to make a huge difference to your battery life, you’re not going to be gaming all day on this thing, but you can expect an extra hour or so depending on the demand of the game you’re playing. Cyperpunk, much less so, but Dave The Diver you can expect more.
As I said in the intro, this thing isn’t the Steam Deck 2, and if you’ve already got yourself an original Steam Deck, it’s not really worth upgrading at this point. Though however, if you are new to the Steam Deck and are looking to purchase one, definitely go for the Oled version over the original, as the changes we’ve outlined here make that extra cost so worth it in the long run! I will also say that there has been some changes. According to the Steam website, the original 64GB and 512GB are no longer available, and have been superseded by the Oled version. So now in their lineup is a 256GB original version at £349, a 512GB Oled version at £479, which by they way is SO much cheaper than the original 512GB Deck cost on release, and finally a brand new 1TB Oled version coming in at £569. Which one will you choose?