We compare two heavyweights in this article, the Amazon Kindle Oasis and the Kindle Paperwhite. If you’re a voracious reader and like to travel, an e-book reader is perfect for you. Amazon makes many of the best e-book readers, but deciding what model to choose is hard. Much depends on what features you crave. Is it worth it to buy the top-of-the-line Kindle Oasis? Would you rather save a little money to buy more books and opt for the latest Kindle Paperwhite?
Despite Amazon’s efforts to update its range over the years, choosing between its two top models can still be difficult. Here are the pros and cons of the Kindle Oasis and Kindle Paperwhite and which one you should buy.
Check out our comparison of the Amazon Kindle and the Kindle Paperwhite. Looking to grab yourself a Kindle? Take a look at our guide to the best Black Friday Kindle deals and this great Kindle Unlimited offer.
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DDD: Design, Durability, and Display
There is a big difference between the looks of the Oasis and Paperwhite. The Oasis sports an aluminum body with a thicker section at one side that houses physical turn-page buttons. The Paperwhite is matte plastic with chunkier bezels around the smaller screen and no physical turn page buttons. Although the Oasis is available in graphite or champagne gold, the Paperwhite is available in black, sage, plum, or twilight blue.
Both e-book readers have an IPX8 rating, so splashes, rain, and immersion in freshwater for up to one hour are no problem.
The new Oasis has really impressed me with its display. Although both the Oasis and Paperwhite have sharp screens rated at 300 pixels per inch, they have some important differences. For a start, the Oasis has a much larger 7-inch screen, while the Paperwhite has a 6-inch display. We also like the fact that only the Oasis allows you to block out blue light at night if you want to, making nighttime reading a more pleasant experience.
In addition to using LEDs to light up the screen, the Oasis also has more LEDs than the Paperwhite. It offers more lighting levels and a more uniform screen. Neither device supports automatic brightness, but we found it to work much better with the Oasis, while we had to manually adjust the Paperwhite.
Winner: Kindle Oasis
Performance, Battery Life, and Charging
The Kindle Oasis and the Kindle Paperwhite were both responsive and slick to navigate, although Amazon doesn’t specify their processors or RAM. Compared side-by-side, the Kindle Oasis is a touch faster to turn pages and respond to touches, so it is possible that it has a bit more processing power.
There is no stated battery capacity, as Amazon describes a single charge for both Kindles as lasting up to six weeks. This is based on an hour of reading per day. The Oasis must, however, have a bigger battery, since it has a massive display to power. Both, unfortunately, rely on a Micro USB port for charging — and this is especially problematic for the $250 Oasis. Despite this, the Oasis charges in just two hours from a 5W charger and around three hours from a computer USB port. The Paperwhite, on the other hand, took between three and four hours to do the same.
You won’t have to worry about battery life with any Kindle. With a little more smoothness, the Oasis wins here.
Winner: Kindle Oasis
Software and Updates
The software on the Kindle Oasis and Kindle Paperwhite is largely the same; the Oasis has a few extra options. In other words, both have features like Whispersync, which keeps your location across devices, and both have optional ads on the lock screen, which lowers the price.
Both come with 8GB or 32GB of storage. You won’t be able to expand the storage via MicroSD card, but you’ll get free cloud storage for all your Amazon content. Both devices should receive software updates at the same time.
Neither of these devices has speakers or a headphone jack. Both devices have Bluetooth capabilities and can stream Audible audiobooks to Bluetooth speakers or headphones. Upgrade either device to receive cellular and Wi-Fi services if you’re willing to pay a bit more.
Other notable features on Oasis include the page-turn buttons, which can ease the fears of readers who are wary about using an e-reader, and the blue-light filter. You’ll be able to read for others without worrying about the screen keeping you up at night.
Winner: Kindle Oasis
Price and Availability
At the time of writing, the Kindle Oasis starts at $250. The Kindle Paperwhite is significantly cheaper at $130. Shoppers are always encouraged to keep an eye out for bargains. These typically appear during Prime Day deals. However, it’s fair to say you’re always able to find the Paperwhite for a lot less than the Oasis. You should also consider the value propositions involved.
While the Oasis has more features, you need to ask yourself if those features are worth $120 to you. Paperwhite offers a lot for over $100 less than the Kindle Oasis, and that’s $100 that could be spent on a lot more e-books instead of a different display or design.
Almost always, you can find Amazon Kindle devices on sale. One of Amazon’s biggest sellers, the Kindle is available wherever Amazon is sold. In addition, devices with LTE will work anywhere there is a reliable 4G signal. Further, the devices function similarly over Wi-Fi; you’ll be able to download books anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection.
Overall Winner: Kindle Oasis
Based on Amazon’s e-book readers, the Kindle Oasis stands out as the best option. It has a larger display, a blue light filter, and a unique design. The biggest differences are in the main design elements. Therefore, if you prefer the cheaper Kindle Paperwhite, you’ll still get a comparable and excellent product. You’ll get a crisp display and a waterproof design, plus an extra $120 for e-books.
The Kindle Oasis is a great choice if you want the best and money is not an issue. But if the Oasis’s high price has you scratching your head, consider that the Paperwhite offers basically the same experience for almost half the price. That’s nothing to sniff at.