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Amazon Kindle Oasis review

Amazon’s luxury ereader hasn’t changed much

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Battery life

Amazon estimates that the battery in the Kindle Oasis (2019) will last you for six weeks, but that’s with a few caveats: to achieve that figure you’ll need to limit your reading to half an hour a day, keep Bluetooth turned off, and the brightness setting on 13, which is roughly half brightness.

While that might sound slightly limiting, in practice, if you’re going to be reading for an hour or so daily, and with the display a little brighter than Amazon recommends, your ereader is still going to take a fair few weeks to run flat, and this is exactly what we found in our testing.

We read for a good two-three hours daily, and it took about a week for the battery to drop down to 50% – that’s roughly the rate of battery consumption quoted by Amazon. In short, the battery life is pretty impressive – this thing will last you for ages.

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This is one of the perks of E Ink, as the tech uses barely any battery power to show content on the screen, and it’s certainly an eco-friendly alternative to reading books on your smartphone.

Charging via the micro USB port isn’t exactly snappy though – we found it took a few hours to charge the Oasis up to full power, but this doesn’t really matter too much if you’re only going to be powering up once in a blue moon.

Software

The Amazon Kindle Oasis (2019) runs on software that’s very tightly integrated with the Amazon Store – so much so that it can be easy to get confused between which books you own as part of your library, and which are suggestions from Amazon.

Once you get the hang of the software, though, it’s easy to find your way between the home page, your library, the settings, the store, and everything else you’ll need.

As is the case with ereaders in general, it’s not the snappiest device in the world, and it can often take quite a while to navigate through menus. This sluggishness can be particularly annoying when you’re trying to type, but it’s a price you pay for using a device that’s optimized for reading books rather than for smooth navigation of the user interface.

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As on other Kindles, you there are a few useful features you’ll find in the Oasis that make it a useful reading tool. One of these is the ability to change text fonts for ebooks, so if you absolutely must read your books in a sans serif font, you’re set. You can also change the page spacing, margins, and orientation, to fully customize your reading experience.

Amazon Store

The Amazon Store is the biggest collection of ebooks around, so you’re almost certainly going to find the fiction or non-fiction book, comic book or audiobook with relative ease.

If you’re a keen reader you may be interested in Amazon Kindle Unlimited, a subscription service available in some parts of the world that lets you ‘rent’ ebooks. It costs $9.99 / £7.99 / AU$13.99 per month, and you can download and store up to 10 books or comics at any one time, so it’s perfect for quick readers. 

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Kindle Unlimited is particularly good for fans of comic books and graphic novels, as those are typically quite quick to get through but the physical versions cost quite a bit; and the Kindle library has many of the classics, so you can use Kindle Unlimited to make your way through lots of titles quickly.

The selection of books on Kindle Unlimited is rather limited, certainly compared to the standard Kindle store, but it’s great for classic novels like War of the Worlds and 10,000 Leagues Under The Sea, as well as comic books, and a smattering of other titles you may not have heard of but might want to try.

Depending on your tastes and reading habits, Amazon Kindle Unlimited may or may not be worth the regular outlay for you, so do have a look at which titles are supported before you commit.

Alternatively, Amazon Prime members can use Prime Reading, which is like Prime Video in that it offers you free reading of certain ebooks as part of your Prime membership.

You can access both of these services from your Kindle or computer browser, as well as the standard library of books which you can buy, and overall we were able to find any book we wanted.