June 26th 2009 7:39 pm

Heads up! A newer version of this product is out!

final rating

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Criteria Comments Rating
  • Game library No comments
  • Graphics No comments
  • Battery life No comments
  • Portability (size / weight) No comments
  • Durability No comments
Detailed review
Lets dispel the common myth, the DSi is not a competitor to the iPhone, but rather a response to the age we live in. People are moving towards having less objects in their pockets, while being able to do more things, and the DSi accomplishes that, though the execution is less than perfect.

Let's start with the new form factor, which will either be a positive or negative, depending on your personal preferences. The device is slightly wider, slightly thinner, and slightly taller than its predecessor. It feels better in the hand then the lite, and the build quality feels just as sturdy. If you have larger hands, the DSi is the way to go for comfort.

The screens have increased in size, and it is definitely noticeable, but not a dramatic change. It allows some games to be played easier, such as GTA: Chinatown Wars, which seems to play better on the larger screens.

The buttons and D-Pad have returned to the "clicky" style and feel better then the "squishy buttons and D-Pad found on the DS Lite. They are very responsive and the new raised shoulder buttons are also an improvement.

The addition of camera's is bitter sweet, as they have some fun features, but the quality is so poor that the pictures themselves aren't even cell phone quality. At a paltry .3 megapixels if the lighting isnt good, the pictures wont be either. The camera does its job though and can make for some interesting features in games.

The new software on the DSi has added a few basic features that more devices have now, including a media player and web browser, both of which are bare bones. The browser works like an older cellphone browser and is nice for a quick check of mobile facebook, or digg, but not much else. The media player is a joy to play with, but because of its lack of MP3 support it doesn't do as well as a primary media player. Converting files is easy enough, but even basic phones support the format and considering its the standard download format files most likely will have to be converted.

Lastly the new ability to download games is a tremendous feature, which should catch on in the near future, if support for the 0-2$ apps increases the DSi could be even more dominant, but with a lack of free games, and a lot of 2$ games that should be free, this feature isnt a selling point yet.

Simply put, buy a DSi if you want the best DS gaming experience at the price of slightly lower battery life and no GBA slot, but if you have a GBA game collection, or think that the poor app support is a sign of the future, stick with the DS lite.