Kindle Oasis Pros and Cons – Plus Kindle Comparisons

Kindle Oasis Pros and Cons

The Kindle Oasis is Amazon’s 8th generation Kindle and it’s their first model to feature an offset, tapered design.

It’s also the first Kindle to come with a cover that has a built-in battery to help extend battery life and take some weight away from the device itself by keeping its internal battery smaller.

The overall design and concept of the Kindle Oasis is a fairly drastic change from previous models.

So let’s go over the pros and cons of the Kindle Oasis and see how it compares to the other three current Kindles.

This is a preliminary review and comparison. Check back after the Kindle Oasis gets released on April 27th for full hands-on reviews and comparisons.

Kindle Oasis Pros

Charging Cover Included – The Kindle Oasis is priced high because it comes with a premium leather charging cover that probably accounts for about one third of the overall price. The cover has a battery that charges the Kindle and extends battery life to a couple of months. The cover has auto sleep/wake functions and it comes in three color choices, black, merlot, and walnut.

Improved frontlight – One of the biggest complaints with the Kindle Voyage was the inconsistent frontlight, so Amazon has added 4 additional LED lights (10 total) to the Kindle Oasis to help improve the lighting.

New Design – The tapered design centers most of the weight on the palm of your hand to make the device feel lightweight and comfortable to hold one handed for long periods of time. At 4.6 ounces the overall weight is 20% lighter than other Kindles (see comparisons below for numbers) and the slimmer profile is 30% thinner on average, says Amazon (except they neglect to mention the part you’re actually holding is thicker than the Kindle Voyage).

Page buttons – It’s somewhat surprising to see dedicated page buttons make a return on a premium Kindle after the Kindle Voyage featured sensors but a number of people really like page buttons so it’s good to have that option again. Plus the screen automatically rotates so you can use the buttons with either hand.

Glass Screen/Metal Frame – The Kindle Oasis has a flush glass micro-etched screen and a frame infused with metal using structural electroplating to help make it stronger while keeping it lightweight.

Kindle Oasis Cons

High Price – Somehow Amazon found a way to sell a 6-inch ereader for $300 in 2016 (not an uncommon price a few years ago) when they themselves frequently sell the Kindle Paperwhite 3 with the same exact E Ink screen and software as the Kindle Oasis for $99. The moral of the story is don’t expect a budget price for what Amazon describes as a premium top-of-the-line ereader. Whether anyone else shares the same opinion doesn’t matter because they think it’s the bee’s knees and they’re going to charge the most they think people will pay for it (kind of the opposite approach to their budget devices).

Same Screen – If the Kindle Oasis would have been an 8-inch model for $300, I think it would have been massively popular. The fact that it has the same exact 6-inch 300 ppi E Ink Carta display as the Kindle Paperwhite 3 and Kindle Voyage is a huge “No Deal” for most people. For existing Kindle owners the screen gives little incentive to upgrade, or to choose to pay a premium when the cheaper versions have the same tech.

Not Waterproof – With names like Voyage and Oasis, you’d think at least one of them would be waterproof, but sadly there’s still no waterproof Kindle. The aftermarket Waterfi Kindles are still the only option. It looks like Amazon is happy to leave Kobo and B&N with the waterproof segment of market.

Weird Design – Some people won’t like the new asymmetrical, tapered design and the fact that you have to use a specialized cover to get the most out of the battery life.

Nothing New – Aside from the charging cover, there really isn’t anything new about the Kindle Oasis when you get right down to it. The design isn’t new. Tapering has been done before with tablets and a number of ereaders have had buttons on one side of the screen in the past, like the PocketBook 360+, which was quite nice actually (and it also had a unique cover).

Kindle Comparisons

Amazon has new comparison tables up on their website with the Kindle Oasis and current models in a lineup. There’s a picture embedded below.

It’s interesting comparing the size of the Oasis to the other models. It’s quite a bit shorter and wider, except it’s not all that much wider than the entry-level Kindle Touch, just 3 mm. The height difference is a considerable 26 mm.

It’s kind of strange that they didn’t include the automatic light sensor on the Kindle Oasis like on the Kindle Voyage. That and the page sensors with haptic feedback give it its own unique feature-set.

It’s still hard to argue the fact that the Kindle Paperwhite 3 remains the best Kindle in terms of overall value, especially when it goes on sale for $99 (which will probably happen in about two weeks when Mother’s Day rolls around).

Additionally, here’s a link to More Kindle Comparisons with a list of all the models past and present, with some different sections than the table below.

Kindle Comparison

37 Responses to “Kindle Oasis Pros and Cons – Plus Kindle Comparisons”

  1. I’ve calmed down a bit from my initial disappointment to willing to give the Oasis a chance by seeing what reviews are like with an actual unit. Perhaps it is incredibly comfortable and incredibly convenient not having to charge every few weeks, to the point where it’s not a complete waste of money. However, I’ve never had an issue of holding my PW3 to the point of discomfort or ever thinking that I wish the battery life was longer. It’s hard for me to see me getting one at this point. But like I said, I’m willing to look at reviews and see.

    • Can I say “Ditto”? 🙂 However I don’t see the need to replace my Voyage. If I didn’t like the page turn buttons on the Voyage, I wouldn’t even have the need for that device either. I’m willing to read reviews, but I still won’t buy one. (Unless Amazon kills the previous Kindles and my Voyage dies.. although then I’d just buy a used Kindle or switch to an Android ink screen e-reader.)

  2. Crazy to think the Kindle Oasis without ads is more expensive than the Nook Galaxy Tab 2 8″ currently priced at $299.

  3. Disappointing. No audio. Storage?
    Price without leather cover? Not a significant change other than price.

  4. Beginning to think this is straight purposeful predatory pricing to drive lower end Kindle sales up once people realize the deal they are getting since the Oasis price is shockingly high.
    Voyage sales were stagnate and at 8000+ reviews for many months, so this might drive sales up. No Amazon will not sell a ton of Kindle Oasis but at the same time they don’t need to since it’s pretty much all straight profit at this crazy price.
    Who knows, by this predatory practice we might even see a Kindle Oasis 2 next year for $600 with the same specs in order to drive Oasis 1 sales up, effen SAD! I am really hoping that Kobo steps up their game and releases a new kick ass ereader here shortly. Their stage is set to make some noise and perhaps steal some fans over.

    • It’s not really predatory pricing practice. It’s a common “product-line” business strategy that many companys use.

      Amazon really wants you to buy more “Paper whites”. They know at this price — they’re only going to attract a certain small niche market. Also, Amazon, really cares more about selling e-books than selling e-readers. To them selling e-readers is just a strategy to help them keep their leadership position in selling e-books.

      Me. I’ll of course stick to my Sony PRS-T1 e-reader which I’ve had I think for over 3 years now, and still going strong.

      I’ll also might pick up a basic Kindle or a Kindle Paper White one of these days — when it is at a good sales price.

  5. Now i’m interested in purchasing a Kobo Aura H20. Are Chapters Indigo prices in Canadian dollars? For example the Kobo Aura H2O is priced at $199 which seems rather expensive to me as I thought it was cheaper. Also how is the service with Chapters Indigo? Thanks..

    • Kobo recently raised their prices in Canada because of the weak Canadian dollar. It might be cheaper to get it from Kobo now in the US since it’s still $179. But Indigo has faster shipping and tracking info.

      • Thanks for the info. I’ll see if I can find a deal on eBay this week if not I might have to go the chapters route.

    • As of today (April 26th) has it listed at CAN$179.98

  6. I’m happy with the weight, frontlight and battery life on my Voyage. What I’m NOT happy about are the rudimentary typography controls compared to Kobo AND I’m not happy about the lack of an sdcard.

    For me, they fixed the things that weren’t broken and left broken the things that were. No thanks.

    • I also have the voyage and I have quite the opposite experience from you. While the contrast is nice the display isn’t. I can’t get over the pinkish Hue display on the voyage compared to that of my Paperwhite 3. So while I do love the Kindles, I’m pretty bored and tired of of not having any control whatsoever which is why I also got rid of my iPhone in exchange for a Nexus which is a dream, but that’s another story. I need more control and customization even if that means sacrificing ecosystem, you always have Calibre.

  7. I havent’t seen anywhere, what sort of battery life to expect when using the Oasis without its cover. I did see a statement to the effect that the internal battery is smaller, to keep the weight down.

    Does anyone know?

    • Kindle execs said in a video the onboard battery lasts two weeks and the cover adds seven weeks. But then the specs say up to eight weeks so obviously their math isn’t so great.

  8. Meh. I’ll be surprised if the Oasis is successful.

  9. Is there really a demand to go more and more weeks without charging? If I was gasping to go two months or more without charging my e-reader, to the point that I’d be willing to pay top dollar for this device, I think I’d be better off packing paper books for my off-grid retreat to Amish country, or whatever people are doing with that many weeks of battery life. . .

    • In the Oasis video on the product page, the woman traveling to Africa was pretty excited about the long battery life. (Ya.. as if there isn’t electricity there.)

      • Hahaha, oh my lord. . . I’m so glad you mentioned the product video, because I hadn’t watched it, and I think it’s kind of unintentionally hilarious.

        Maybe the target market for the Kindle Oasis is “people who can afford to read through extensive international travel as though it bores them”!

  10. Wow I just went to Amazon to place a pre order just to see when it would ship. Oasis with special offers and brown cover has a ship date in June . the other cover options are in middle may.. must have made a limited run of these.

    • That’s how it usually goes down when a new Kindle gets released: the date keeps getting farther away and it usually takes 2 or 3 months before they have them listed as in stock.

  11. Interesting how they hued the screen of the Oasis in pictures. Usually they try to make the newer model look as if it has the lighter screen than the previous models. Oasis has strange greenish hue though. One might wonder why…

  12. I am still using a first generation Simple Touch and I’m looking to upgrade. I’m interested in the Oasis, but I’m probably going to wait to see what Kobo comes out with before making my decision.

  13. Here’s a question I’m not sure was asked yet, will it fit in your pocket with or without the case?

    Seems too wide to me.

    • I guess it depends on the pocket. It’s actually only 3 mm wider than the Kindle Touch and 5 mm wider than the Paperwhite. Not sure how much the case adds though.

  14. Another thing to consider is people who read in landscape mode. I personally do since it offers better readability on a small six-inch screen for me. It seems Amazon didn’t consider this for those of us that do, and the weight distribution Will be off balanced and tilted thanks to the “hump” especially if you read your Kindle without the cover which is something I always do. From pricing ro ergonomics to not listening to requests and now this, its just an awful move.

    • So you can tell all this by never holding one or even seeing one in person? Pretty remarkable talent…

      I bet it’s more comfortable to hold in landscape mode than current Kindles. Sitting it in the crook of your hand with a thumb resting on a button looks like it would be better than having to swipe and reposition your thumb with every page turn. Guess I’ll find out in a week in a half when it gets released!

      • Nope, haven’t seen one in person but it’s not that hard to tell by seeing numerous videos. Landscape mode would be awkward due to the hump regardless of buttons. However, looking forward to your review soon. It would be great if you can go over that aspect.

        • Re Landscape Mode I have another question to those who have access to an Oasis: What about switching to Landscape Mode automatically?
          The Accelerometer should allow this, but in the manual there is only one section which explains how to set Portrait / Landscape mode in the quick access menu (Font-Section), as you do with Touch/Paperwhite/Voyage.
          Rather disappointing, but could be solved with a firmware-update if the Accelerometer is not totally dumb
          That said, I am waiting for my tax-return and buy a second Voyage. The Oasis is underwhelming.

          Would have liked any of these, though some are more important than others:
          – wireless charging – simply drop the Kindle on a charging pad, no connectors to fumble in (USB-connector should have a different colour border on the device)
          – waterproof
          – bluetooth for Keyboard and Computer connectivity (see above why I do not like USB)
          – USB-connector which can be inserted both directions (upside and upside-down, like Apple-Lightning)
          Can do without sound, but might use it if available.

  15. Amazon undercut Sony and others who made some of the best built readers. They cannot compete and stop making them.
    Then Amazon just think of a number and charge it. Kobo’s H2o looks a bargain at present.

    • There is definitely a demand for Kobo eReaders. On Friday for example they had a third party seller selling the Kobo Glo HD on Amazon for $129 through prime. I added it to cart and saw that there were 16 available in stock, today (2 days later) there are none left, I got caught up and missed out but more importantly was surprised at the demand for the Kobo Glo HD. And yes the H2O is definitely a bargain.

  16. I’ll stay with my Voyage. underwhelmed by the overcharging price.

  17. Well, I am sending the Oasis back. Why?

    – The loss of automatic lighting adjustment from Voyage.
    – It’s slightly wider design makes it less pocketable
    – The battery life – especially without the leather cover, is very poor, especially with the light on.