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.