Kindle Oasis Battery Life is Excellent and Terrible at the Same Time


Kindle Oasis Wireless

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.

10 Responses to “Kindle Oasis Battery Life is Excellent and Terrible at the Same Time”

  1. Bluetooth consumes quite a bit of battery – you might just do some tests where that is the only variable, the results might be interesting.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

      • 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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?