I tend not to take product names literally. Most of the time, they just seem like cool words slapped on a product in order to up the marketing game. The Kindle Oasis, however, truly lives up to its moniker. The Amazon Kindle Oasis delivers a reading experience smooth enough to create peaceful solitude even during hectic times for your own, personal oasis.
And with a starting price of $249, it better offer a premium experience. With the combination of a high-resolution display, auto-adjusting brightness, Bluetooth capabilities, and being waterproof, it’s definitely on the right track. Oh, and it also looks nice, to top it all off.
Amazon Kindle Oasis pricing and configuration
We reviewed the $249 base model of the Amazon Kindle Oasis, which has 8GB of storage, Wi-Fi and ads. For $20 more, you can ditch the ads while $30 extra will increase the onboard storage to 32GB. If you want cellular service, you can buy the 32GB model for $349.
Amazon Kindle Oasis design
Made out of aluminum and glass, the Oasis is surprisingly lightweight for its size. It measures 6.3 x 5.6 x 0.1 inches and weighs only 6.6 ounces. Compared to the smaller, all-plastic Kobo Nia (6.1 ounces, 6.3 x 4.4 x 0.4 inches), the Oasis doesn’t actually feel heavier, although it does feel a bit unbalanced.
There is a lip on the right rear of the device that is about 0.2 inches wider than the rest of the slate. This is where the lock and page turn buttons reside. It’s also a ready-made handhold. That being said, the sleek aluminum surface provides little grip, so even with the lip and the lighter weight of the device, it can still feel like you’re giving it your all just to hold on. The 7-inch display is bordered by 0.35-inch black bezels, with the right bezel measuring 1 inch. The back of the device comes in two different colors: Graphite and Champagne Gold.
Kindle Oasis ports
The Oasis is a one port kind of device. Unfortunately, it’s a micro USB port. Seeing how new and otherwise advanced this eReader is, it’s a little disappointing that they haven’t made the jump to USB Type-C, but the device charges fast enough regardless.
While the Oasis supports audiobooks and text-to-speech, there surprisingly aren't speakers or an audio jack. The Oasis makes up for this by implementing Bluetooth capabilities, but that’s only useful assuming the user already has a Bluetooth-compatible device.
Amazon Kindle Oasis display
As expected of a higher-priced item, the Oasis comes equipped with a premium display. At 300 PPI (pixels per inch), both words and images are free of pixelation and the overall crispness and clearness make reading a pleasure. There are also 25 LEDs that make up the front light, meaning you can almost use the Oasis as a flashlight in a dark room if you have it set to its brightest setting.
Thanks to the panel’s anti-glare properties, even reading in full sunlight is an easy task. Even while viewing at extreme angles, quality isn’t lost, and words appear crisp and readable. Compared side-by-side with the Kobo Nia, words look smoother and images are much less pixelated on the Oasis.
A setting new to the Oasis line is the addition of an adjustable warm light, which is basically an adjustable blue light filter. It’s a much-appreciated inclusion that saved my eyes during late-night reading sessions. There is also the option to set the warm light on a schedule.
Amazon Kindle Oasis user interface
For those familiar with the Kindle line, the Oasis’ user interface will be very familiar. There is a toolbar accessible at the top of every page. It’s not visible while reading, but a single tap near the top of the page will bring it to the forefront. From the home screen, you have access to your library and your reading list, while below you’ll see your recommended books in several categories. In the settings menu, there’s the option to turn off book recommendations on the home screen, which will then show only your library.
The back tab brings you back to the previously viewed page, but it doesn’t work as a page-turner while reading. The settings shortcut gives you quick access to Bluetooth, brightness, warmth, and Kindle sync settings, while also providing a shortcut to all device settings. The next tab gives quick access to Goodreads, a social database that lets you track and review books you’ve read, as well as books your friends are into. The Store page gives you the option to browse by recommendations based on your reading history, or by individual categories.
Next to the Store tab is a self-explanatory search bar. Lastly, there’s a menu that expands the options available on each page, be it navigating the store or through your collection, or access to words and quotes you’ve highlighted in each book. It also gives you access to the experimental browser, which I used to browse through Amazon just for funsies. It worked but I wouldn’t recommend doing any serious web browsing just yet.
Amazon Oasis reading experience
Reading on the Kindle Oasis is immersive and comfortable. With its auto-adjusting light sensor, you can read from day to night without even noticing the change in the light around you. Due to the slippery surface, it can be a little hard to hold; I had to keep switching hands to prevent fatigue. But thanks to the smooth screen rotation, I never lost my spot.
The page turn buttons work seamlessly, and short taps anywhere on the screen will turn the page as well. If you tap and hold any word while reading, the word will highlight and show you the dictionary definition. From there, you can highlight any part of the passage and translate, add a note, search the book for the word or phrase, or share whatever you have selected.
Amazon Kindle Oasis content
Amazon’s Kindle store is packed with millions of ebooks available to purchase, including thousands of Kindle exclusives and audiobooks through Audible. Browsing on the device is smooth and easy; the Oasis will show you books recommended based on your reading history, but also let you browse other categories. If you still prefer a wider browsing experience, there’s always the Kindle Books on the Amazon store where you can have them instantly downloaded on your device.
While the Oasis, unfortunately, doesn’t support the Overdrive app (which lets you borrow eBooks and audiobooks from local libraries), Amazon offers a service called Kindle Unlimited that lets you “check out” up to 10 books at a time. This does, however, cost $9.99/month, so unless you have the tendency to read more than 3 books a month, the option may not be best for you.
Amazon Kindle Oasis battery life
Amazon claims one full charge on the Oasis can last up to four weeks based on an average reading time of 30 minutes per day. I used the device for browsing and reading for three days in a row, averaging around 5 hours per day and had 69% battery left.
For $249, the Kindle Oasis provides a premium reading experience with the ability to read just about anywhere thanks to its numerous brightness settings and waterproofing. And thanks to its long battery life, it can be used as an everyday device for any book lover who doesn’t want to lug around a ton of books. And while it still hasn’t made the jump to USB-C and can be a bit tricky to hold, the smooth reading experience and new warm light make the Oasis an excellent device in my book.