Conclusion: I didn't think I'd say this, but the 3DS XL has a lot more going for it than merely a larger screen. The larger body fits more comfortably in the hand, battery life is a lot better and the build quality feels a lot more solid than the original 3DS. In fact, after playing with the 3DS XL overnight, I'm never going back to the 3DS - I'm just going to sell my 3DS and buy a 3DS XL.
Pros: Larger screen makes portable gaming way more comfortable than on the original 3DS; nice design and build quality
Cons: Most 3DS casings and accessories will not fit the 3DS XL.
Conclusion: The Nintendo 3DS XL is a large, fun handheld with a big backwards-compatible game library and a bigger screen, but if you're upgrading from an original 3DS, you'll have to leave your downloaded games behind.
Pros: Big, beautiful screen. Solid build. Comfortable to hold.
Cons: Glasses-free 3D still has issues. System transfer process is convoluted.
Conclusion: The 3DS XL is an improvement to the original Nintendo 3DS without question. The larger screen is much easier on your eyes, and the lower screen’s increased girth makes things like touch commands easier. The ergonomic redesign is also much easier on your hands, even with the overall increase in mass.
Pros: Much bigger 3D display, Larger touchscreen is easier to use, Better, more ergonomic design
Cons: Adding a right thumb stick would have made sense, $30 more than original 3DS, Software library is still weak
Excerpt: When the Nintendo 3DS gaming portable was released in March 2011, it wowed us with its glasses-free, autostereoscopic 3D technology (read review here), but an over-inflated price, lack of games and confusing marketing saw it fail to capture the imagination of a public swept away by their cheap, easy and plentiful iOS and Android fun supply.
Pros: Bigger screen looks great, 3D sweet spot much larger, Comfortable curved design
Cons: Build feels a bit cheap, Heft makes it cumbersome, Bland styling
Conclusion: Perhaps as expected, the 3DS XL is an evolutionary step rather than a revolutionary one, and while there's no denying the benefits offered by the larger screens in providing a more immersive and enjoyable gaming experience, the lower resolution makes its success a rather qualified one.
Excerpt: When we reviewed the original Nintendo 3DS in March 2011 we thought that the lack of decent launch titles and limited battery life were its two biggest woes. But its believable, glasses-free 3D display - well, for some viewers, but not all - was an interesting prospect.
Pros: Better battery life than original 3DS, large 4.88-inch screen, can be used as a 2D device, enough decent games now available, more affordable than original 3DS was at launch
Cons: No power charger included!, same resolution as 3DS, the 3D mode won’t be for everyone, is the age of the handheld console and pricey games challenged by smartphones and tablets?