The new Oasis finally brings waterproofing, that I wished my Voyage had, and personally I appreciate the Audible integration. It’s a great product at a great price!
After 9 generations of Kindles over the course of a decade, Oasis 2 is the first to boast an IPX8 waterproof rating. This feature alone is sure to act as a magnetic draw for anyone who doesn’t already have a Kindle at home. It might also be enough to encourage existing owners to upgrade.
Accounting for over half of all e-reader sales and with digital books still selling like wildfire on Amazon, the industry giant enjoys something of a stranglehold. We foresee that grip further tightening as Amazon continues to hone and refine all their Kindle models in response to the needs of increasingly demanding users.
We recently reviewed Kindle Oasis so check out our blow-by-blow account here.
In today’s review, we’ll laser in on just what sets this uprated e-reader apart from the original iteration so you can make the best choice according to your requirements.
First up, a snapshot of the advantages and drawbacks of Kindle Oasis
What We Like
- New and improved 7-inch screen packs 300ppi and offers a larger, high-resolution display to bring your e-books to life
- 12 LEDs and an adaptive light sensor so you can read just as easily at night or in bright sunlight
- Waterproofed so read stress-free in the bath or on the beach
- Enjoy reading one-handed for hours on end thanks to ergonomic design and weight of less than 7oz
- Awesome battery life offering up weeks of use on a single charge
- Enhanced 8GB base storage for all your media needs
- Ships with Audible so ideal for anyone who loves audio books
- Hook up to Amazon’s incredible ecosystem and take advantage of over 1 million top-notch titles at rock-bottom prices
- Amazon Prime gives you unlimited access to a treasure trove of material for a nominal monthly fee
- Kindle Oasis replicates the feel of reading a physical book with all the added benefits of an e-reader
- Super-strong cover glass and rugged aluminum backing delivering style partnered with longevity
- Fully customize your reading preferences in more ways than ever before
- WiFi or WiFi and Cellular connectivity for total flexibility
- All of this increased functionality comes at an even keener price as before for a win-win
What We Don’t Like
- Does not ship with a cover as standard
- No headphone jack or USB-C so you’ll need to invest in some Bluetooth headphones for audio books
- Certainly not cheap but still superb value
Design: Enhanced Screen Size and Improved Feel
The first notable area where the all-new Kindle Oasis stands out from its predecessor is screen size.
The old 6-inch display is now a 7-inch touchscreen with the familiar physical page-turn buttons thrown in for good measure. By Amazon’s reckoning, this translates to 30% more text on screen and correspondingly fewer page turns.
The E Ink display has the same 300ppi resolution as before but with a surprise bonus…
Where last year’s Kindle Oasis had 10 LEDs, the new model boasts 12 and there’s a nifty adaptive front light. Rather than needing to constantly fine-tune the brightness manually, Oasis takes care of this for you. Whether you’re hunkered down in a darkened room or reading outside in the bright sun, automatic brightness adjustment makes your life even easier.
Everything comes together with this first-class display so it looks and feels like reading on paper and you get no glare to mar your experience.
Rather than the cheaper plastic used on older Kindles, the all-new Oasis has an anodized aluminum back. It’s still ultra-portable and lightweight but now packs a more prestigious feel.
All of the usual advantages of reading on a Kindle Oasis are in place which you can read up on further right here.
You’re spoiled for choice with this iteration of Kindle Oasis.
There are 3 options to mull over:
- 8GB Wi-Fi Only
- 32GB Wi-Fi Only
- 32GB Wi-Fi and Cellular
If you roll with the optional standing cover – more on this below – you can choose from 6 colorways:
- Saddle Tan
Essentials Bundle: Go All-In
With the Essentials Bundle, you can take up the offer of that standing case along with a handy power adapter and capitalize on a discount if you get in early. Check that out here.
Waterproof: Enjoy Oasis in The Bath
Now we’ve dealt with how Kindle looks and the variants at your disposal, on to the main event…
The all-new Kindle Oasis is waterproof meaning you can finally relax while reading in the bath, by the pool or on the beach without stressing about your e-reader taking a ruinously expensive dip.
Waterproofing follows the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) standards and Kindle Oasis is rated at IPX8. This means you could dunk it in 2 meters of fresh water for up to an hour. Obviously, this doesn’t give you license to bathe your e-reader but it should stand up to accidental water damage just fine.
If you don’t make a habit of reading in the bath or poolside, perhaps this long-heralded waterproofing won’t influence your buying decision. For anyone who spends time relaxing in the proximity of water, though, it removes any reason you might have not to buy the all-new Oasis.
If you’re conditioned to using a laptop or tablet, the battery life of Kindles will blow you away.
A single charge can yield an uber-impressive 6 weeks of reading. Amazon base this estimate 30 minute daily sessions without WiFi and with the brightness halfway down. Clearly, if you start streaming audio books or hammering the WiFi, this will drop significantly.
If you buy the optional power adapter, you can impart a full charge in just 2 hours. If you use the provided micro USB and hook it up to your computer, it still takes a mere 3 hours which is a marked improvement on the original Oasis.
The current incarnation has also done away with the need to attach Oasis to the case in order to further extend battery life. Everything battery-wise is now built in. This larger unit has not impacted upon the wafer-thin design so you get the penny and the bun. For convenience and ability to stay the distance, this tweak to the battery is extremely welcome.
Double The Storage
With 8GB of internal storage, the base model gives you twice the space as the older version of Oasis.
You can ramp that up to 32GB for a small extra charge and, as always, you can take full advantage of free Cloud storage so you can house your library, however voluminous, with absolute ease.
While this might not seem like a great deal of room, bear in mind that e-book files are tiny so you really won’t have cause for complaint whichever variant you decide upon.
Another fantastic addition to this version of Kindle Oasis is Audible.
This makes Oasis the first of Amazon’s e-readers to support Audible, their proprietary audiobook library offering you an almost overwhelming choice of spoken books narrated by Hollywood actors.
You’ll need Bluetooth speakers or headphones as there is no jack for regular audio connections.
If you like to mix things up, you can buy both the regular e-book and audio book at a discount then flick seamlessly from one format to the other without needing to search for your place.
For anyone who hasn’t yet experienced Audible, Amazon offers a free trial with a pair of free audio books thrown in so you’ve got nothing to lose and a whole new dimension of entertainment to gain.
If you intend to take advantage of Audible, it’s advisable to go for the 32GB Oasis. You’ll then be able to store more audio books than on any other e-reader available today.
Oasis Has You Covered: Optional Standing Case
Although there’s no longer any call to use the optional case to augment battery life, Amazon still sells this cover separately.
While Oasis is super-lightweight, many people prefer reading hands-free.
Choose one of the 6 covers above, flick your Oasis into portrait mode and kick back with your e-reader fully protected, your hands behind your head and enter full relaxation mode. And, if you’re lounging poolside, you won’t even need to worry about water damage.
What more could you ask for?
Kindle Oasis might not be the cheapest e-reader on the block but its functionality, waterproofing and performance place it head and shoulders above cheaper devices so don’t judge it on the price tag alone.
While some Kindles might have you scratching your head and asking yourself whether they’re worth the price tag, with Kindle Oasis, you might wonder how Amazon can deliver a device this hard-hitting at such a relatively reasonable price.
If you already own Kindle Oasis, only you can decide whether the battery of enhancements outlined above justify you upgrading.
For anyone not yet fortunate enough to own one of these sublime e-readers, the time is ripe to invest. Amazon continually surpasses itself with the current batch of product improvements and the all-new Kindle Oasis sees the colossus continue mining its rich vein of form.