The other day someone asked me how to tell "the different Switches apart?" Wait, what? After pondering that inquiry for a few minutes it hit me like a Professor Layton puzzle solution. I got it! The Switch Lite. Wait no that's not it, there's another Switch. Oh yeah, the mysterious "better battery life model!"
Just in case you're looking to pick up a regular non-Lite Switch, you really should know what you're buying. It's actually pretty simple: the new model is in a red box, and the old one is housed in the classic white background box. The old one is "HAC-001," and the new one is "HAC-001 (-01)." You'll sometimes see "HAC-001 (-01)" listed specifically on marketplaces like Amazon, which denote the better Switch.
Now this isn't a "Switch Pro" or a "Switch 2.0" or anything like that. The only notable upgrade is relegated to battery life, and that's specifically "4.5 to nine hours" in the -01 compared to "2.5 to 6.5 hours" in the 001. Sadly, Nintendo hasn't made a big effort to differentiate them at all, so ordering online can be a gamble unless it specifically mentions the -01 model. Some retailers may even provide the red box image but not actually sell the -01. In-store visits with price matching might be the best option.
Be vigilant and happy holiday shopping! Here's a handy graphic for you below.
[Thanks for the idea Rick!]