Kindle Oasis vs Paperwhite: Why Expensive is Not Always Better
There are different versions of books such as hardcover, paperback, mass-market paperback, etc. But when the first e-readers started digitizing Dickens and Dostoevsky, the difference in the physical format started dissolving. But now, we have different versions of the e-reader, and today, we’ll be pitching the two most loved e-readers in the market, this is the Kindle Oasis vs Paperwhite match.
Both the Kindle Oasis and Kindle Paperwhite are from the same company, Amazon and it has made sure that all their products must be compatible with the different sections of the market. Kindle Paperwhite is the advanced version of their basic Kindle while Kindle Oasis is a different segment in e-readers, offering the best of the tech and features.
This article will pitch the two against each other and compare their usability, battery life, features, the convenience of use, real-life performance difference, etc. This is not an on-sheet specs comparison because that does not mean anything useful for the readers. What we’ll try to find out is who’s the best and most suitable buyer for each of these e-readers.
The elephant in the room
Before we get into the details, there are a few things that lie in the “obvious zone”. Kindle Oasis is a much more expensive and better specced-out e-reader. So comparing the Oasis with the Paperwhite in terms of specs would always have an expected outcome. This is why we’ll be comparing them based on needs and uses, rather than the specs to give a better idea about the real-world use of these Kindles.
Here’s a spec comparison between Kindle Oasis and Paperwhite:
|LEDs||5 LEDs||25 LEDs|
|Resolution||300 ppi||300 ppi|
|Screen||Non-adjustable||Cool and Warm|
|Connectivity||WiFi + Cellular||WiFi + Cellular|
|Battery||Weeks of standby||Weeks of Standby|
This was the basic spec sheet for both models. But what do they mean in real life? Let’s take a look. We’ll compare them based on these specs.
The screen depends majorly on two things, the size and the resolution. Since Kindle is used mainly for reading, a screen with better resolution will always show better, crisper texts. Both Kindle Oasis and Paperwhite come with 300ppi, so reading on both of them would be a pleasure. But the Oasis has more to offer.
Kindle Oasis has a larger, 7-inch screen lit by 25 LEDs and comes with features such as auto-dimming and color temperature control. None of these features are available in Paperwhite. A larger screen is always a welcoming feature in e-readers, especially if you are reading comics or manga. No need for zooming and swiping.
Auto-dimming works great. The device detects the light from outside and lowers or increases the backlight to compensate. Since it has 25 LEDs, the screen gets sufficiently bright for reading outdoors, perhaps while sitting in a park and basking in the sun. But what about when you’re in your bed and darkness has engulfed every part of your room?
The color temperature control comes to help in this case. With this, you can get rid of the blue spectrum of the backlight, turning the screen into milder orange. The reduced blue light lightens the strain on your eyes and prevents disruption of the sleep cycle.
Based on these features, you’ll get the extra perks for the extra price in the Oasis, but if you can live without these features and save a hundred bucks, then Paperwhite is the one for you.
The second most important feature (I’d say it is as important as the display) is the battery life. How long can you read before plugging it back to the socket? While the charging times are not very long (and the world has become accustomed to charging smartphones daily, battery life was good on Kindle Oasis, not great. Battery life was decent in Kindle Paperwhite.
Amazon says that at 30 minutes of everyday reading, both Kindles will last more than weeks. But here’s the thing, for someone who buys an e-reader, they intend to read for more than 30 minutes. So we tested it out for ourselves.
Reading for almost 2 hours every day, the battery life for Kindle Paperwhite, at around 30-40% of brightness, was almost 2 weeks. Do note that reading with full brightness will result in battery life reduction. A week and one or two days would be our bet.
For Kindle Oasis, the battery life was a little better than Paperwhite. It lasted for 2 weeks and 3 days with similar usage. But this was tested with the WiFi and cellular turned off. Turning on WiFi or cellular resulted in the reduction of battery life by almost 3-4 days.
What about audiobooks?
Both Paperwhite and Oasis come with Bluetooth support, allowing readers to listen to their books using a Bluetooth device. While it is very convenient, it takes a toll on the battery life. Using audiobooks for about 2 hours each day made the battery last only for 1 week and 3 days for Paperwhite and 1 week and 5 days for Oasis.
Charging is not terrible for both devices. Paperwhite takes 2 hours to charge if you feed it DC while using your laptop or PC to charge increases the charge time to 3 hours. The Oasis takes 3 hours to charge from the socket and 4 hours to charge from a PC or laptop.
Dimension and comfort
While the paperwhite is smaller and thinner than the Oasis, it is not necessarily more comfortable to hold. Kindle Paperwhite has a size of 6.6”(height) x 4.6” (wide) x 0.3” (thickness) ( 167 x 116 x 8.18 mm) or 16.7 x 11.6 x .8 cm. The display size is 6-inches.
Kindle Oasis has a screen that’s 7-inches diagonally. While on paper it is just an inch larger, in real-world usage, it makes a difference. The size of Oasis is 6.3”(H) x 5.6”(W) x 0.13-.33” (Thickness), or 15.9 x 14.1 x .34- .84 cm.
In terms of comfort, the Kindle Paperwhite does not come even close to the Oasis. Oasis will make you into a voracious reader just because of how comfortable it is to use it and read books. There’s a thicker section at the edge of the device that makes it holding it in one hand a breeze.
Then there are two physical buttons for navigation and page-turning. This is the best addition to any e-reader out there and it makes reading so comfortable. You won’t realize how many pages you’ve read because it is so comfortable and easy to turn those digital pages.
Both Paperwhite and Oasis are waterproof, come with LED backlighting, decent battery life, and WiFi, and 4G support. Oasis has a larger screen and comes with other features such as auto-brightness, display warmth control to reduce the blue light, etc. But which is the better one?
Paperback vs Oasis: Which is better?
Kindle Oasis is better than Paperback and it is no shocker. Oasis is a new and expensive iteration of the Kindle line. But this does not mean it will be the right one for you. It all depends on your needs.
If you are buying your first e-reader, get the Paperwhite. It has the perfect balance of price and features, giving the greatest value for money.
If you intend to read a lot of books, use the e-reader regularly, both under the sun and while sleeping in the darkness of night, then get the Oasis. Oasis has better screen features for sunlight visibility and blue-light filtering. Plus the physical buttons for page-turning are a great addition to comfort.
If your reading is sporadic, then even if you have the money to spare, it is better to get Paperwhite.
If you want to listen to audiobooks, then Kindle Oasis is the right choice for you. Why pay extra for a better screen if you’ll be using just the audio? Plus, Kindle Paperwhite has smaller dimensions, easier to carry and manage.
If you want to read comics, manga, or other graphic novels, then Oasis is a better choice for you. That extra inch in the screen does a lot for readability.
Finally, if you want to hold something that feels premium, well-built, and very comfortable to use, then the Kindle Oasis is the right choice for you.
So there you have it, which of the two is better based on the needs. The Oasis is more expensive. So it is logical that it will be better than the Paperwhite. But what matters is whether you need those better things.
The pricing has been very volatile for the past few months. Depending on the time, you might see a different price than what’s mentioned here. At the time of writing this article, these are the prices of both the Kindles in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia.
Both the Oasis and Paperwhite are out of stock for Amazon US. But we’ve added the Amazon link in case it becomes available in the future. The prices mentioned here are subjected to change.
Kindle Oasis (8 GB variant)
Kindle Paperwhite (8 GB variant)
This concludes this article. Here are some other great articles that you will find interesting. Take a look: