Amazon Kindle Oasis (2019) full review
Amazon periodically updates its range of eReaders and it's now the turn of the premium Kindle Oasis. It's not hugely different to the last version but in 2019 you namely get a warm light at the same price. Here's our full review.
Although previously a little complex, the Kindle range is now a set of three; the regular Kindle, Paperwhite and then the Oasis. Thanks to various upgrades to the first two, there are fewer reasons to splash out on the luxury model but you still might want to.
We've always been impressed by the Oasis and Amazon has upgraded it for 2019. As usual, Amazon calls it 'All-new' but that's not quite the case here.
If you're following the Kindle in terms of generations, this is the 10th-generation model over all and 3rd-gen Oasis.
As mentioned, the Kindle Oasis 2019 comes in at the same price as the last model, which arrived in 2017.
That means you can buy it from Amazon starting at £229, $249 or 249 Euro. It's almost twice the price of the Paperwhite and more than three times the regular Kindle, so you're going to really have to want one.
You can buy it direct from Amazon.
At this price, you'll get 8GB of storage but you can upgrade to 32GB and then that same larger storage with free cellular data so you can download content wherever you are - signal permitting - without needing to find any Wi-Fi.
Those in the US will need to pay an extra $20 to remove 'special offers', or ads that appear on the lockscreen.
Here's a price table for the Kindle Oasis 2019 models.
|8GB Wi-Fi||32GB Wi-Fi||32GB Wi-Fi + 4G|
Design & Build
We don't have a huge amount to say about the Kindle Oasis design for 2019. Amazon has kept it almost identical to the last edition.
If you're new to the Oasis, this means that you're getting an eReader with a premium aluminium chassis available in Graphite or Gold colours. Gladly, we didn't find the front edge of the metal to be sharp as we found with our 2017 sample.
It has an ergonomic wedge shape so most of the weight is in your hand, reducing fatigue for longer reading sessions. It can be used in either orientation with automatic screen rotation.
It might be 0.1mm thicker at the larger end but it's 6g lighter – neither of which are significant, of course.
The Oasis also features physical page turn buttons so you don't need to touch the screen if you don't want. It's also IPX8 waterproof so you can read in the bath or similar situations without worry – it can cope with two metres of fresh water for up to an hour.
What is a shame is that Amazon no longer makes a magnetic case for the Oasis which neatly attaches to the thinner part of the device. We really liked this solution on the previous model which also doubled up as a stand.
You can still get some of these old cases and although they fit the 2019 Oasis, the magnets do not attach at the back. We imagine this is why the device is 6g lighter but we'd rather have those magnets.
The new cases wrap around the entire Kindle, therefore not making as much use of the wedge shape.
Specs & Features
Like the design, Amazon hasn't actually changed much about the Kindle Oasis on the hardware front for 2019.
As you know, eReaders are much simpler products compared to a smartphone so there are no cameras, fancy fingerprint scanners so to be fair to Amazon, there's little to upgrade on what was already a fantastic device.
The Kindle Oasis 2019 still has a 7in Paperwhite E-ink touchscreen with a 300ppi pixel density. That's the same crispness of display as the other Kindles but the screen is 1in larger meaning you can fit more words on it.
As usual the built-in light is higher quality with 25 LEDs compared to just five on the Paperwhite and four on the entry-level Kindle. The Oasis provides an even and consistent light and it will automatically adjust if you want it to.
The big, well we should say main really, upgrade for 2019 is that the light now has a warmth adjustment. This, like a lot of smartphones, changes the colour of the screen from white to amber. Like the brightness, you can adjust it in 24 levels.
It's not scientifically proven, but it's widely agreed that reducing the blue light makes for a more comfortable and less strenuous reading experience, especially at night. It's as nice addition to have but it's hardly ground-breaking.
Otherwise, the Kindle Oasis 2019 still has the kind of things we've come to expect such as plenty of storage for thousands of books – only those looking to download a lot of audio books will need the 32GB model.
There's Bluetooth so you can connect some headphones or a speaker in order to listen to audio books. However, we'd still like a humble headphone port – especially since there's space for one.
Battery life depends on how much you read but as usual you're looking at around six weeks based on around 30 minutes of reading per day with the brightness set at 13. In other words, 21 hours of continuous reading.
Battery life isn't really an issue then, but we do wish Amazon would move things on when it comes to charging. In a world of fast charging over USB-C, the Oasis is still stuck on the old micro-USB port and takes three hours to fully charge.
It's hard to summarise this year's Kindle Oasis since it's so similar to the previous model, so it depends where you're coming from.
Owners of the 2017 Oasis will struggle to justify an upgrade simply for a warm light. Otherwise, it's a welcome update for the same price - even though we'd like more such as USB-C and a headphone jack. We're also disappointed about the magnetic case being taken away.
If you're trying to choose between the full Kindle range then you need to ask yourself whether spending this much for the ergonomic design, page turn buttons, auto adjusting light - now with the warm setting - and larger screen are worth it.
For most people, we suspect the Oasis is a little pricey. The Paperwhite is still the sweetspot - with a decent light and waterproofing - but even the regular model has a light now.
Amazon Kindle Oasis (2019): Specs
- 7in Paperwhite E-Ink touchscreen, 300ppi
- Built-in light with 25 LEDs and warmth adjustment
- 8/32GB storage
- 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi (optional 4G)
- micro-USB for charging
- Page turn buttons
- IPX8 waterproof
- Graphite or Gold