Here’s a quick comparison review between the new 6.8-inch Kindle Paperwhite for 2021 versus the 7-inch Kindle Oasis that was released in 2019.
As noted in an earlier article, the Kindle Oasis no longer makes sense up against the new Paperwhite considering it’s supposed to be Amazon’s premium Kindle.
The Kindle Paperwhite 5 has more advantages now and it’s considerably cheaper so I don’t see the Kindle Oasis 3 staying around for much longer in its current configuration. I bet it either gets discontinued or replaced in the next six months, especially since the design has remained unchanged since 2017.
There’s really not a lot to compare since they both run the same software. The one difference is the Kindle Paperwhite 5 has a new page turn animation setting, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that makes it to the older models as well at some point.
When comparing the new Paperwhite with the previous gen Paperwhite, contrast is a bit better on the new model—the black ink is darker—but when comparing the Oasis 3 to the new Paperwhite I just can’t see enough of a difference to say one is better than the other.
The only notable difference that I can see when comparing the two screens is there’s more ghosting (afterimage effects) on the Oasis. Looking back at my Oasis review from 2019, I talked about ghosting being more noticeable than usual. At the time I just thought it was a software issue that would get resolved eventually but it never has. I haven’t noticed any ghosting at all on the Paperwhite 5.
The frontlights are both very comparable on the two units. The light on the Oasis does get a bit brighter at the highest setting, but the colors and evenness are about the same.
Kindle Paperwhite 5 Advantages
- USB-C port
- Wireless charging (Signature Edition only)
- Dual band WiFi support
- Better battery life
- Less ghosting
- Page animation setting
- Slightly faster page turns
- Smoother zooming and scrolling
- Smoother page transitions with PDFs and comics (because of the new page animation setting)
Kindle Oasis 3 Advantages
- Page buttons
- Rotation sensor
- Auto-brightness (also available on the Signature Edition Paperwhite)
- Premium build quality with aluminum back and glass front
- About 17 grams lighter
- Optional cellular connectivity
- The glass screen seems to show fingerprints and smudges less than the Paperwhite’s plastic front layer, and perhaps the glass layer is a bit clearer
Since the software is nearly identical on both, and the screens and frontlights are very similar, it mostly just comes down to the differences in the design and the few new upgrades on the Paperwhite 5.
The Kindle Oasis is still one of the nicest ereaders in 2021, but the Kindle Paperwhite 5 adds some new features that might make it hard to justify spending more on the Oasis, especially with its old micro-USB port and poor battery life.
Personally, I would have a hard time paying full price for an Oasis at this point, but I like having page buttons so I do still like it a bit better. I just hope Amazon doesn’t discontinue the Oasis like they did the Voyage. I think they should always offer a model with page buttons.