Kindle Oasis Third-Generation 2019 Review – Is This E-Reader Worth The Money?

Kindle Oasis Third-Generation
4.5 / 5 Reviewer
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I’m very happy with it and it has some great features.
I do like the adjustable amber tint, but I also really like the ability to invert the colors to white print on a black background. This is even easier on the eyes, but it does have a noticeable (and irritating) white flash every few page turns when using the buttons, and almost with every page turn when advancing with the touch screen. I believe this is the e-ink refreshing. I will probably use the black inverted color only when I’m reading outside in bright sunlight.

Amazon’s mighty Kindle Oasis remains the flagship model and it’s now better than ever before.

Facelifted in mid-2019, Oasis 3 as this third-generation range-topper now looks strikingly similar to the outgoing model.

Does this mean the Oasis is a disappointment or does it remain the best e-reader on the market in 2020?

Well, we’ll first highlight the leading benefits and drawbacks of Oasis 3 before we break down this upscale e-reader by category.

What We Like

  • 7-inch glare-free screen with 300ppi display so you’ll be able to read for hours without straining your eyes
  • Fully customizable warm light so you can switch up the shade from white through to warmer hues
  • Waterproof rated IPX8 so you can comfortably read by the pool or in the bath
  • Weighs just 6.6 ounces so you won’t find yourself fatigued when you’re sucked into your next page-turner
  • Battery life of up to 6 weeks based on regular reading of 30 minutes daily
  • Comes with free cloud storage for all your Amazon content
  • Physical page-turning buttons give you a great and highly ergonomic experience
  • Multiple colorways, configurations, and storage options so get the right Oasis for your needs
  • Oasis is designed so you’ll be able to read easily using just one hand
  • Works seamlessly with Audible so make more use of your commute by listening to tour favorite books
  • Roll with WiFi or cellular depending on your preferences
  • Amazon’s ecosystem is unbeatable and you’ll have access to millions of titles

What We Don’t Like

  • Oasis is undeniably expensive considering you don’t get tablet functionality
  • Ad-free version will run you a little more as will cellular connectivity
  • The choice of fonts could be improved
  • Case is no longer included so you’ll need to dig deeper for this

Outstanding Design and Now Waterproof, Too

With a premium metal build and a design differing from the mini-tablet look of other e-readers, Kindle Oasis stands apart from the crowd.

Anodized aluminum gives Oasis a premium design and the reader has a soft and smooth feel beneath the fingers.

Half of this device is markedly thicker than the other resulting in a ridge down the back. This is intended to make Oasis easier to hold but it’s less than ergonomic.

The asymmetric border is an acquired taste. Looks-wise, it certainly unbalances Oasis but functionally it serves a purpose. The thicker border is home to the physical page-turning buttons. You can hold this device with this wide border to the left or right of the screen. The display flips to match the orientation, a feature not present on other Kindles.

Navigating your book using the physical buttons is arguably better than relying on the touchscreen. These buttons are placed within easy reach and you’ll get none of the occasional misfiring that can blight the touchscreen controls.

The IPX8 waterproof rating means you could theoretically dunk Oasis in 2 meters of water for a full hour. Obviously, you’re not going to do this but you’ll be able to lounge poolside or relax in the bath without a care in the world.

The microUSB charging port is an anachronism and there’s no headphone jack or speakers either.

Overall, design is roughly comparable with the outgoing model so don’t expect too many changes on the outside. As they say, though, it’s what inside that counts…

Better Display with More LEDs

The all-new screen now measures 7 inches across so you’ll get more words than ever before on screen. Increased screen real estate is especially valuable if you read graphic novels or comic books. It’s also a welcome extra inch if you prefer reading larger fonts.

Where the outgoing 2017 Kindle Oasis came with 12 LEDs, the 2019 Oasis 3 is backlit with 25 LEDs. This increases overall brightness substantially while also giving you much more vivid contrast between lights and darks. This feature comes into its own with comic books.

Alongside the original 12 white LEDs, you’ll now get a ring of 13 amber lights. These will help reduce your exposure to blue light before bed, ideal for sleep health. You can make adjustments using a simple on-screen slider.

You’ll be able to allow the brightness levels to self-optimize according to lighting conditions or you can manipulate the settings yourself. If you activate the Warmness light setting, you’ll get a much less invasive reading environment at night.

The display is E Ink with an impressive pixel density of 300ppi. This allows you to read for longer than on LCDs or OLEDs without tiring your eyes.

While this display is monochrome, that’s fit for purpose. The vast bulk of the material you’ll be reading is in black and white and you’ll get a reasonable facsimile of reading a real physical book.

Character size and font along with spacing can all be easily tweaked to deliver a complete customized e-reading experience.

Performance and Overall Functionality

Kindle Oasis is still available in 2 main iterations:

  • WiFi
  • WiFi and Cellular

If you have serviceable WiFi at home or easy access to a WiFi connection, you can save some cash with the WiFi only version.

Base storage is now 8GB, up from 4GB of internal storage on the 2017 Oasis. You can also opt for a 32GB model but this is almost unnecessary given the size of e-book files. You’ll also have free cloud storage for all your Amazon content.

Battery life is exceptional at 6 weeks. This is based on running Oasis 3 at half brightness with Bluetooth off while reading for 30 minutes daily.

Recharging takes 5 hours or so but this is hardly a deal-breaker since you’ll only be reaching for the charger once every few weeks.

So far, so good. How about content, though?

If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you’ll be able to access over a thousand titles free of charge. With Kindle Unlimited, you’ll enjoy more than a million books along with a robust collection of audiobooks.

Audible and Bluetooth connectivity lets you widen your repertoire to the spoken word.

Overall Verdict

The new and improved lighting on Oasis 3 is certainly a welcome touch but we wouldn’t classify this is an essential upgrade. If you’re already happily using Kindle Oasis, we’d stick with the old model.

If, on the other hand, you’re looking to invest in a new e-reader for the first time, this night-friendly and waterproof Oasis is a smart bet and remains Amazon’s finest Kindle.

Don’t forget to bookmark Pick My Reader as your go-to resource for all things related to e-readers and come back soon. We’ve got a busy slate for 2020! 

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