The Kindle line of e-readers by Amazon allows you to store thousands of ebooks and take your entire library with you anywhere. Two of the most popular Kindle models are the Kindle Oasis and the Kindle Paperwhite. But how do you decide which one best fits your needs as a reader?
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll compare the key differences between the Kindle Oasis and Kindle Paperwhite, including design, display, storage, pricing and more. My goal is that by the end of this article, you should be in a good position to decide which Kindle suits your needs better!
So, let’s dive in!
We recommend Kindle Paperwhite as it gets the best bang for your buck! It is the cheapest Kindle that has all the important features for an e-reader!
Kindle Oasis vs Kindle Paperwhite: Quick Overview
First launched in 2007, Kindle e-readers use electronic ink (e-ink) technology to mimic the experience of reading paper books. The e-ink display shows no glare even in direct sunlight, helping you read comfortably for hours.
The Kindle Oasis and Kindle Paperwhite represent two of the best e-readers that Amazon offers:
- Kindle Oasis – The premium Kindle model with the largest screen and thinnest, lightest design. First released in 2016.
- Kindle Paperwhite – Amazon’s mid-tier Kindle device. Features a flush screen and waterproofing. First launched in 2012.
Both models have the same access to Amazon’s massive library of ebooks through the Kindle Store. But there are some key differences that set them apart.
Here is a quick comparison table highlighting the major differences between the two models:
|7″, 300 ppi
|6.8″, 300 ppi
|8GB or 32GB
|8GB or 16 GB
|Up to 6 weeks
|Up to 10 weeks
|159 x 141 x 3.4-8.4 mm
|174.2 x 124.6 x 8.1 mm
|WiFi & free cellular
|25 LEDs, auto-adjusting
|Check Latest Price
|Check Latest Price
Now let’s explore some of these key differences in more detail.
Key Differences Between the Kindle Oasis and Kindle Paperwhite
Let us understand the main differences between all the key features for both the Kindle Oasis and the Kindle Paperwhite one-by-one:
One of the biggest differences between the two Kindles is display size and quality:
- Kindle Oasis – Comes with a 7-inch diagonal e-ink display with 300 pixels per inch (ppi) resolution. This creates crisp, print-quality text and images. The larger display provides more screen real estate for reading content.
- Kindle Paperwhite – Has a 6.8-inch display, also with a 300 ppi resolution. While smaller than the Oasis, the Paperwhite screen still produces sharp, easy-to-read text.
Both Kindles share the same 300 ppi pixel density, so text and images will appear uniformly clear and sharp on either screen. The screen real-estate for the Kindle Paperwhite is just marginally smaller.
Overall, the Oasis does provides a larger display area if you want more room for displaying content but the difference is quite minimal in my experience.
2. Design & Size
In terms of device design, the Kindle Oasis and Paperwhite have quite different builds:
- Kindle Oasis – Constructed from premium materials like aluminum and Gorilla Glass, allowing an ultrathin and light design. The tapered ergonomic shape makes it easy to hold in one hand. At 3.4 mm at its thinnest point, this is the slimmest of all Kindle models.
- Kindle Paperwhite – Has a standard rectangular shape with a soft-touch plastic back. It is slightly thicker than that of the Kindle Oasis at 8.2mm. The smooth, symmetrical design fits nicely in the hand.
The dimensions tell more of the design story:
- Kindle Oasis – 159 x 141 x 3.4-8.4 mm
- Kindle Paperwhite – 174.2 x 124.6 x 8.1 mm
As you can see, the Oasis has a noticeably sleeker, thinner form factor. However, the Paperwhite is shorter in height, which some may prefer for portability.
In terms of weight, the two models are quite close:
- Kindle Oasis – 188 grams
- Kindle Paperwhite – 205 grams
The Kindle Oasis achieves a more premium, lightweight build while the Paperwhite sticks to a more standard e-reader design focused on simplicity and ergonomics.
3. Storage Options
When it comes to onboard storage, the Oasis clearly has a minor advantage:
- Kindle Oasis – Comes with 8GB of storage as standard, with the option to upgrade to 32GB of storage.
- Kindle Paperwhite – Base model also has comes with 8GB of storage with the option to upgrade to 16GB
Having up to 32GB of storage means you can load the Oasis up with thousands of ebooks, audiobooks, PDFs, and other documents without worrying about running out of space.
The Paperwhite’s 8GB of included storage is likely sufficient for most users’ needs who mainly want to buy an e-reader for reading Kindle books.
However, power readers who want to carry their entire digital library in one device may prefer the Oasis with its mammoth 32GB capacity. Furthermore, those who also like listening to Audible books can greatly leverage and benefit from the bigger 32GB storage capacity of the Kindle Oasis.
4. Battery Life and Charging
Battery life and charging speed is another area where these two Kindle models differ:
- Kindle Oasis – Rated to last approximately 6 weeks on a full charge, assuming 30 minutes of reading per day. Takes just 2 hours to fully recharge from empty.
- Kindle Paperwhite – Gets an estimated 10 weeks of battery life per full charge, based on 30 minutes of daily reading. Full recharges take approx 3 hours.
So while the Paperwhite edges out the Oasis in total battery life, the Oasis recharges much quicker.
Realistically, either model will last weeks or even months between charges if you don’t use it extensively every day. The quick recharge time of the Oasis may appeal to some, but that’s barely a minor difference.
Personally, I’d prefer that my Kindle lasts a few weeks extra rather than take a few minutes to charge faster. Thus, if it is the battery life that you’re looking for, my recommendation would be the Kindle Paperwhite.
5. Waterproof Capability
One area where the Oasis and Paperwhite are evenly matched is waterproofing:
- Both e-readers boast an IPX8 waterproof rating, meaning they can be submerged in up to 2 meters of freshwater for 60 minutes without issues.
This waterproof capability gives you the freedom to safely read near pools, beaches and baths without worrying about water damage. Both models are also dustproof.
So for water and dust protection, it’s a tie between the Kindle Oasis and the Kindle Paperwhite.
6. Software and Reading Experience
Since both Kindle models run Amazon’s proprietary reading software, the core reading experience is virtually the same. Here are some of the features that you get to experience on the Kindle ecosystem:
- Easy access to millions of titles in the Kindle Store
- Adjustable font sizes, margins and orientation
- Features like X-Ray that provide background on characters, settings and terms
- Whispersync synchronization across devices
- Dictionary lookups for any word
- Notes, highlights and bookmarks
You’ll get the same functionality for actually reading and interacting with ebooks on either device. The software is tailored for the specific hardware, but designed to be simple and intuitive.
For software and core reading experience, there is minimal difference between the Kindle Oasis and the Kindle Paperwhite.
Additional Features You Get with the Kindle Oasis
Beyond the core features common to any Kindle, the Kindle Oasis contains some extra capabilities you won’t find in the Kindle Paperwhite variant:
1. Better Front Lighting
The Kindle Oasis contains 25 LEDs that evenly light up the display from the front, compared to the 17 LEDs in the Kindle Paperwhite.
This more advanced lighting system provides brighter, more uniform illumination of the Kindle Oasis screen. The lights can reach maximum brightness faster than the Paperwhite as well.
While day time reading is great on both the devices and it is quite comfortable to read under direct sunlight, the lighting on the Kindle Oasis is a bit brighter.
2. Auto-Adjusting Light
A unique feature of the Kindle Oasis is the ambient light sensor that automatically adjusts the screen’s brightness and color temperature based on your surroundings.
This auto-adjusting front light warms the screen tone as the day goes on to avoid straining your eyes at night. Kindle Paperwhite lacks this contextual lighting capability.
This feature is great as the impact on your eye due to long term reading is even lesser.
3. Automatic Page Orientation
The Oasis employs an accelerometer that automatically rotates the page orientation based on how you’re holding the device.
With the Paperwhite, you don’t get the option to rotate the screen every time you switch between portrait and landscape positions. The Kindle Oasis does this automatically to optimize the viewing angle.
This feature is really helpful especially when you want to leverage the one-handed reading experience!
4. Physical Page Turn Buttons
The Kindle Oasis also comes with physical page turn buttons built into the tapered edge, allowing you to advance pages without touching the screen.
The Paperwhite relies solely on the touch display for navigation. Having those ergonomic, dedicated page turn buttons on the Oasis provides a more natural reading experience for many.
Additionally, the physical page turn buttons come in really handy when you are commuting and need your other hand to hold onto to something!
5. Free Cellular Connectivity
The Kindle Oasis also comes with free 3G or 4G LTE connectivity built-in, giving you internet access anywhere without needing WiFi. This lets you download books no matter where you are.
Meanwhile, the Paperwhite is WiFi-only. You need a wireless internet connection to download content. The free cellular access opens up more flexibility for the Kindle Oasis users as you don’t have to wait until you have WiFi availability.
Price Difference Between the Kindle Oasis and Kindle Paperwhite
The difference in price between the Kindle Oasis and the Paperwhite is perhaps the biggest difference between the two models:
- Kindle Oasis – The base 8GB model costs $249. To upgrade to 32GB of storage, the price is $279.
- Kindle Paperwhite – Retails at $139 for the base 8GB WiFi-only model. You’ll need to shell out an additional $10 for the 16GB variant.
So at minimum, the Kindle Oasis costs nearly double the price of the Kindle Paperwhite.
Keep in mind Amazon often gives discounts on the Kindles during sales events like Prime Day or even other times throughout the year. So, the real-world prices may be vary. So, make sure to click on the links above to check the latest price.
But in general, the Kindle Oasis commands a premium price, while the Paperwhite delivers value.
Kindle Paperwhite vs Kindle Oasis: Which is Better for You?
Now that we’ve compared the Kindle Oasis and the Kindle Paperwhite’s designs, features and specs, which is the better choice?
Generally speaking, the Kindle Paperwhite has all the features for a good reading experience for most readers. Kindle Paperwhite also provides a great battery life and tremendous value at almost half the cost! Kindle Oasis is best suited for readers looking for a premium reading experience!
For serious ebook lovers who want the ultimate premium reading experience, the Kindle Oasis is tough to beat. The large high-res display, lightweight aluminum body, adaptive lighting, physical page turn buttons and massive storage make it the most advanced Kindle available. Avid readers who spend hours each day reading may find the Oasis well worth the higher prices.
That said, the Kindle Paperwhite provides tremendous value at almost half the cost of the Oasis. The display is extremely clear, the battery lasts weeks on a charge, and the IPX8 waterproofing opens up more reading opportunities. Casual readers should find the Paperwhite more than satisfactory.
At the end of the day, your choice comes down to budget and how highly you prioritize the additional features that the Kindle Oasis has to offer. If you want the very best Kindle experience with all the bells and whistles, go for the Oasis. But don’t count out the Paperwhite – for its price, it holds its own as an impressive e-reader in its own right.
Personally, I look for better value when buying a product. Thus, if you need to choose between the Kindle Oasis and the Kindle Paperwhite, my recommendation would be to consider the Kindle Paperwhite as it gets the best bang for the buck!
The only major drawback I find with the Kindle Paperwhite is the lack of the 32GB storage option. And, if that is the main reason you want to consider the Kindle Oasis over the Kindle Paperwhite, I’d suggest considering the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition as it comes with 32GB on-board storage at a much cheaper price than the Kindle Oasis.
With that being said, one thing you can rest assured about is that both, the Kindle Oasis and the Paperwhite deliver an excellent reading experience that book lovers are sure to enjoy.