When I reviewed the Kindle Oasis 3 in early August, I talked about how I wanted to do an in-depth battery life test.
The Kindle Oasis has gotten a reputation for having poor battery life. Read the reviews at Amazon and you’ll find plenty of complaints.
But poor battery life can be attributed to the way Kindles index content initially, especially when adding a bunch of content to a new Kindle all at once, so I wanted to do some tests to see what the battery life is really like.
I had visions of doing a long detailed test using a bunch of different variables, but after six weeks of barely scratching the surface, it’s clear now that the idea of doing a detailed battery life test is just too time-consuming an impractical.
For instance, I really wanted to test Amazon’s battery life claim of 6 weeks based on reading 30 minutes per day with the frontlight set at 13, but when it comes right down to it having to stick to such strict rules takes all the fun out of reading. Having to use to the light at 13 when it’s too bright at night and having to read 30 minutes only (not a minute more or less), is a real hassle.
But I did learn a lot over the past 6 weeks testing the Kindle Oasis’s battery.
The main takeaway, I was really surprised by how much longer the battery lasts by simply turning off the frontlight. The lights drain the battery a lot more than I had previously thought.
Based on my tests, the battery will last upwards of 40 hours per charge when doing everything possible to maximize battery life—turning off the frontlight, using airplane mode, turning off the touchscreen, using a small font size for less screen refreshes, etc.
It should be noted that this estimate applies to reading only and not navigating around and using a bunch of different features.
But still, that’s way longer than I was expecting, and it’s a fairly conservative estimate. The battery meter consistently goes down by 2% per hour under those circumstances, occasionally 3% so the actual number is somewhere between. On a number of occasions I read for an hour and fifteen minutes with only 2% battery drain.
On the flip side of the equation, it’s also possible to completely drain the battery in under 9 hours total, possibly even 7 or 8 hours if the circumstances are just right.
It’s pretty easy to drain the battery that fast too. All you have to do is have the frontlight maxed out, or even if you’re just listening to an audiobook.
So I can see why people would say battery life is terrible on the Kindle Oasis. If you just simply have the frontlight cranked up, battery life is going to be awful. But if you have it turned off or down low you can easily triple or quadruple battery life.
In short, battery life greatly depends on how you use the Kindle Oasis. It can be surprisingly good or surprisingly bad. The number one thing you can do to improve battery life is to turn off the frontlight, or at least turn it down to the lowest tolerable level.
For more battery-saving tips see this earlier article: Tips to Extend Battery Life on Kindles and Other eBook Readers.
Bluetooth consumes quite a bit of battery – you might just do some tests where that is the only variable, the results might be interesting.
The battery life on my Kindle Oasis 2 is terrible, and I almost never use the frontlight. It definitely varies greatly from device to device though. My husband talks about the great battery life on his, and he almost always has the light on at least a little.
Thanks for the info. Not all that surprising.
Very simple. No e-reader light use, minimal battery use. An additional reason to not use e-reader lights is that replacement of light bulbs is much easier and much cheaper than replacement of e-reader batteries. More common sense than rocket science. As your test confirms.
I think everyone worries too much about how long the battery lasts.
Other then leaving wi fi off just enjoy it and read a lot and charge it when it needs it. What’s the big deal?
The big deal is that batteries have a finite life. If a battery needs to get recharged more often, it will wear out faster. As I have found out, replacing an e-reader’s battery isn’t as easy or inexpensive as replacing a flashlight battery.
Sportbike Mike says
I’ve never had a phone’s battery died before the thing just otherwise crapped out, with that in mind Im not too concerned with my ereader batter dying prematurely. I charge my phone every day, and my Kindle maybe twice a week.
You are correct, and usually looking to buy new model before any battery dies. I had a nook that lasted 5 years and battery is fine. I have a paperwhite that is 3 years old and battery is still 100%.
To each their own.
I have had the batteries of two e-readers fail on me. I had bought both of them used: Nook Simple Touch and Kobo Aura HD. The Kobo failed in 2017, four years after it came out.
Installation of the Nook Simple Touch’s battery was problematic, but still accomplished. In any event, the cover is now too damaged for easy use of the old Simple Touch, even with a functioning battery. The Kindle cover is much more durable.
A Kindle that is nearly 5 years old still has a good battery.
The old Nook Simple Touch’s software functions MUCH better than Glowlight 3 software.
The big deal is when you are travelling and you cannot plug it in. Like in a long flight.
I read with light at 16 and warm at 10.
I read around 1 hour per day.
I charge when I am asleep.
I enjoy my Oasis 2.
I don’t have an Oasis (yet), but I use my Voyage 2 with its light set to 5-7. I do know it’s a bit on the dark side, but I can easily read at that level. Isn’t 13 a bit high?
I have the Kindle Oasis 2, and I have it always connected to Wifi, and auto light.
I don’t know exactly how long the battery lasts, but at least under 10 hours.
I don’t really see the problem. I pretty much have constantly access to a charger, so when it drops below 50%, I can just hook it up after having read a few hours.
Have to add that I tend to utilize tech to the max, and if I have to charge more often, it’s really not a big issue.
By using auto light, my eyes loves me. By having Wifi always on, I can just keep reading on my cellphone when out and suddenly have a few minutes to spare.
I read with light on around 8-9. If I leave Wi-Fi on, I have to recharge within a few days (maybe 5-6 hours of reading). If I turn aeroplane mode on I can go much longer. But I use sync between devices so it’s not convenient to keep aeroplane mode on all the time.
Andrew Jacobs says
I can accept that keeping the front light on low, or totally off will save battery power. However, I have upgraded from the paperwhite where even with the front light on all the time the battery life was so much better so why is the oasis not as good in that regard? I only ever use the warm light in bed for reading for about half an hour or so a night , I keep aircraft mode on unless I am downloading a book and never use blutooth and keep the front light a low as possible, and still without a doubt, battery life is very much poorer on the oasis
That said, the Oasis charges very quickly, which is ok when near a plug, and overall with greater definition and the warm light to ease eye strain when required, this is very much an improvement on the paperwhite and a much more pleasurable reading experience and I would not go back to the paperwhite. My joys would be complete if only the battery life was better
Ross Pullinger says
What a hopeless article.” If you use any of the functions of the Oasis the battery is terrible”
What is the point of making something that wont function if you actually use it. My car is really cheap to run as long as I don’t start it. I have had two Kindle Voyage and both have frontight and the last model has wormth as well and I use large print. Both units last two weeks when I read every day. I upgraded to an Oasis and I am truly sorry I did. I am now looking for something that actually works
I am unhappy with my Oasis. I frequently need to charge mine overnight or every second night. I keep the light on about 6-7, but I read quite fast so Page refreshes are very frequent, and I think this is the issue.
My original Kindles used to last for weeks with back light and wifi on, but the Oasis battery drains so quickly it has to be charged at least once a day. This model costs $100+ more than the other versions, there is no reason one should have to turn off everything just to get it to last longer then a few hours. That is a problem that Amazon should have fixed before promising battery life that they cannot deliver on without you basically disconnecting the entire device