When it comes to dedicated E Ink reading devices like Kindles, the technology evolves at a much slower pace than other electronics. Improvements are minimal between generations, and one thing that hasn’t improved at all over the years is battery life.
In fact battery life has gotten noticeably worse over the years on Kindles and ebook readers in general; battery life seems to decrease a little more with each new generation.
Battery life first took a hit when frontlights were introduced. But at least you have control over the light and you can keep it turned off if you prefer.
When testing the battery life on the Kindle Oasis 3, I found the frontlight greatly affects battery life. With 25 LEDs under the frame that shouldn’t be a surprise, but the difference is considerable. The battery can last over 4 times longer when not using the frontlight at all.
Battery life took another big hit when higher resolution E Ink screens came out. When Amazon upgraded from the Paperwhite 2 to the Paperwhite 3, with the main change being the screen going from 212 ppi to 300 ppi, their own battery life estimate decreased by 25%. When it comes to E Ink screens, powering more pixels definitely has a big impact on battery life.
Back when Kindles had lower resolution 800 x 600 E Ink screens and no frontlight, battery life was truly phenomenal.
With the addition of frontlights and more pixels battery life has declined noticeably over the years. Batteries have gotten smaller too, like with the Kindle Oasis, and that’s certainly not helping matters any. One of the biggest complaints about the Oasis is the battery life.
Kindles still have longer battery life than tablets and phones thanks to their low-power E Ink screens, but battery life still continues to trend downwards instead of improving.
So the questions is, are you satisfied with your Kindle’s battery life?
On a related note, here are some tips on how to extend your Kindle’s battery life.
I’m happy with the battery life on my Kobo Forma, but my Kindle Oasis is terrible in comparison. I rarely use the light on either.
Battery life is not nearly as good as it used to be, but it has never interrupted me while reading (something I can’t say about tablets).
Most of the Oasis review bombing had to do with people not understanding indexing and the massive drain it causes.
I have the Kindle with page turn buttons, a voyage snd a 2019 basic. The battery life on the voyage is worse than the oldest one and the 2019 one is worse again. The battery life on my original Kindle is getting worse as well but I put that down to wear and tear. I like the frontlight for night time reading but how do I turn it off? On my newest Kindle I can’t find an actual off function for it and they did away with the reactive function as well so I have to manually change the brightness of the leds. I keep being tempted by the Oasis for the audio and page turn but I am hanging out fir battery life improvements and colour e-ink screen.
I recently replaced the battery on my Voyage and was shocked at how small it was, it looked like the old Nokia phone batteries. I replaced it because I thought the short battery life was due to age, $45 later and I realise the truth.
Compared to my old Kindle keyboard where the battery took up a large proportion of the case. I used to go on holiday without taking a charger for the Kindle, can’t do that anymore.
The lowest settings is off. At least on newer Kindles. The old ones it was still on very slightly at the lowest setting.
I have a Kindle 7th generation that is 5 1/2 years old. The battery. as far as I can tell, is still going strong. Kobo and Nook batteries failed before 5 years. I have no complaints with my Kindle 7th generation battery. Perhaps newer Kindle batteries are not as durable, as Kindles got smaller.
I prefer e-readers without lighting. It is cheaper and easier to replace a light bulb than to replace an e-reader battery.
My kobo is approx 10 years old and I use it every day, with my battery lasting a long long time.
I have the Paperwhite 3 and I’m happy with the battery life.
Phil SMITH says
I have a kindle paperwhite 10th generation and use the light at its max and read for 3 hours or so at one time and still don’t need to charge the kindle more then once a week
I have a basic kindle 7 or 8 gen not sure which and the batteries last well enough I read for 4ish hrs a day and recharge probably every 3 weeks even then it still has power.
I have never seen the need for a light but then I live alone so I’m allowed to use lights whenever I want.
I guess I’m a more serious reader because it’s not uncommon for me to start reading with a fully charged Kindle and get annoyed when I receive the popup that I’m down to 5% or whatever. The good news is that it charges up to a decent amount pretty quickly but if I’m out without access to power or a cable, well…
I wouldn’t mind an ounce or two for much longer battery life. The early Kindles seemed to literally last me weeks between charges. Now I’m careful to charge it every day. Not so much an improvement in my book (pardon the pun).
I haven’t had any trouble with the Kindle Oasis 2019. The 2017 Oasis was TERRIBLE. I couldn’t even get two days out of it.
I get about a week of reading and I’m a book blogger so I’m definitely not a casual reader.
The Kobo Libra H20 battery of course lasts longer.
But I have to admit the Oasis battery finally improved.
I had 2 kindles and they deleted all my books, the battery life is awful. not going to buy another one it’s a waste of money
Anshuman Panda says
I purchased my first ever e-ink device less than 10 months ago, a refurb Kindle PW3. Battery life is outstanding. Usually 40-45 minutes screen time for every percentage. That would suggest about 70+ hours of SoT! Idle drain is very good as well, roughly 1%/day. I am still on the original firmware 5.10.x.x in the (admittedly slim) hopes of a software jailbreak in the future. I keep the frontlight at the minimum possible as I prefer to read in natural light. Airplane mode enabled all the time.
I have a Kindle Paperwhite 10th Gen and I feel that the battery life is great. Even more so now that they have introduced “power saver mode” onto the Paperwhite 10th Gen. i don’t understand why it’s not on all of the current Kindle Models as it seems to extend the battery life really well.
The battery on my Paperwhite is dead every time I try to use it. I think it’s more of a power management problem, but my infrequent use is made even more infrequent by the fact that it’s rarely usable when I want it.
Raj Kumar Moitra says
I have a different issue with kindle (s). Why don’t they use /support epub format, in addition to the mobi format? That would hugely simplify life without having to convert epub books from other sources to the mobi /azw3 format, which is very often a tedious process.
It’s probably for the better. If Kindles supported ePub format too then Amazon would gain an even larger market share than they already have and then there would be even fewer Kindle competitors than there are now.
Tedious to convert EPUB to Kindle-useable format? I do not find Calibre to be particularly tedious. Converting PDF to EPUB or Kindle-useable formats can be tedious, even using Mobipocket Creator.
Priscilla Winn says
I have a 7th gen Paperwhite and I have to recharge it at least twice a week. I use the front lights on around a 10 setting and I read about 3 hrs. a night. I read that Amazon based it’s claim of weeks of battery life on a device being used for 30 minutes of reading a day. I don’t know anyone who only reads 30 minutes a day. I’m sure they are out there but are they the majority of Kindle users?
Ahmed Khan says
I have kindle oasis 7″ one and its battery life is far away from what Amazon claims. You can not read with peace of mind.
Sportbike Mike says
There are battery in my KO3 is pretty bad, but I have never been interrupted with the need to charge. I just plug it in occasionally overnight and it’s never been an issue. The battery on my Boox Nova Pro is even worse but same thing. I’ve never been caught out in the cold with it.
Now if I did a lot of off grid camping it might be a problem.
Battery life is fine but the micro usb port on my Kindle Voyage no longer supports data transfer. Why doesn’t Amazon move to the more robust USB C?
Sam Madarkar says
What doesn’t need a ‘longer battery life’?
I’ve a Paperwhite 4 and I’m partially pleased with it. Battery life isn’t nearly as good as I’d want it to be.
I generally use it with an LED level of 5 through 11 depending on the lighting conditions (I don’t read outside), in airplane mode, with page refresh turned off and with low power mode (this was a massive battery saving setting, together with no page refresh) and I generally get ~5 to 10% drop every hour which translates to 2 days at worst or almost 4 at best, only when I don’t read that much might I get close to a week out of it.
My 2017 Oasis is terrible battery than Paperwhite 2019. It only remain about 12hours reading, half of PPW with more than 20hours.
I am also a book blogger and I read on an e-reader for 2 hours a day minimum. I’m old-fashioned and still prefer my Kindle keyboard, which lasts me over a week with a full charge. My Kindle Paperwhite 3 doesn’t get quite as much use (maybe 6 hours of reading per week) and lasts me weeks before I need a recharge.
My older Sony e-readers (I love the small size of the Sony PRS350SC) are great for reading PDFs, but the battery life is maybe a third of my older Kindles.
The indexing process is the most intense computational process the Kindle undergoes during regular operations, and the more books you add at once, the longer the process takes. Indexing one book can chew up a decent amount of time and battery life, but when you add tens or hundreds of books at once (either by syncing a new or recently wiped Kindle to your account or via sideloading) your index time skyrockets. A large book dump to your Kindle s internal storage can yield an indexing time that takes days and radically reduces your battery life.