Review: The New (2019) Kindle Oasis

When the Kindle Oasis was first announced, I thought it was a bit odd, and I didn’t think it was great. I did, however, like the 2017 model, which was waterproof. The display was excellent, and I loved the extra width of the display, since I read with fairly large fonts.

Amazon has just started shipping a new model, which differs from the 2017 model by having a few more LEDs to light the display, and it now offers a warmth setting, allowing you to change the tone of the device. I like this idea, something that is common on my iPhone, iPad, and Mac, because as the day gets later and the light changes, you can have the screen change from a bluish tint to an orangish hue. I find that, in the evening, reading my Kindle Oasis without this setting feels a bit uncomfortable on my eyes. (Amazon.com, Amazon UK)

The body of the device is identical, and it works with the same magnetic case as the previous Oasis. The device comes with multiple storage capacities, and with and without cellular access, and is also available in a champagne gold color. (I got graphite.) It has 25 LEDs, compared to 12 for the previous model, and at first glance, this wasn’t very noticeable, but when I started reading on the Kindle, it was clear that the extra lighting made the fonts seem a bit crisper. I used to read my Oasis with the bold setting at the second level; I have lowered it on this one to the first level.

However, the “warmth” setting is interesting. By default, the new Oasis display is a bit warmer than the previous model; you can see it here: the 2017 model is on the left, the 2019 model on the right.

Kindle7

I’ve tried to get these colors as precise as possible. Since the screen emits light, it’s hard to get them to look exactly right, but the difference is quite visible.

The Warmth setting is available in the same place as the brightness setting. Here’s a series of photos showing the warmth at different levels, from off to the warmest possible setting.

Kindle1

Kindle2

Kindle3

Kindle4

Kindle5

Again, I’ve tried to get the colors as precise as possible, but it’s hard to really convey just how odd the warmest color is. It’s almost the color of a fake tan. However, upping the warmth just a bit looks very comfortable, and will make for excellent reading, though if you did like the bluish tint of the Kindle, then you might be disappointed. And if you look at both models in sunlight, with the backlighting off, the new Kindle looks a bit greenish compared to the previous model.

In practice, I found that I was comfortable with the warmth setting just up one notch. Any more than that, and it started seeming artificial. Since the default coloring of the screen is already a bit warm, it doesn’t need much more to be comfortable; however, it would simply be weird to want to put it all the way up.

It’s worth noting that I have the original fabric cover by Amazon, that was discontinued a few months after the 2017 Kindle Oasis was released. This held the device with magnets front and back. On the new Kindle, it doesn’t stick on the back, but does on the front. The current case that Amazon offers is a shell case, which I find defeats the purpose of the one-handed design of the device. To grip it correctly with one hand, you have to remove it from the case shell. So if you do have that original cover like I do, you can use it with the new Oasis, but you can’t use it as a stand (it’s Amazon’s “origami” cover that folds), since it doesn’t stick to the back of the device.

It’s fair to say that this is a very minor upgrade. If you already have and like the Kindle Oasis, you probably don’t need to upgrade. But if the addition of the warmth setting is something you find useful, and if you want some slightly sharper fonts due to the better lighting, you might want to check out the new Kindle Oasis. (Amazon.com, Amazon UK)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.