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Amazon Kindle

Amazon Kindle vs Paperwhite vs Oasis: The best Kindle in 2022

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What separates the Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle Oasis? We help you find the best Kindle for you

In the beginning, buying a Kindle was a simple job. There were two models: Amazon's Wi-Fi Kindle and the 3G-enabled Kindle, and they were effectively identical aside from offering different levels of connectivity. These days, however, the choice of Kindles is more complicated – there are three different models at three very different prices. So, which Kindle is best for you?

The cheapest Kindle is the 6in touchscreen model, first introduced in 2016, which is available from £70 and now includes a built-in front light under the screen. The most expensive model is the Kindle Oasis 32GB with Wi-Fi and 4G, which will set you back £230. The Kindle Paperwhite sits between the two, but there are multiple configurations for each model as well. 

If you're confused as to which Kindle to go for, we've helped you make the decision by comparing all of Amazon's Kindle models below.


Best Kindle: At a glance


Amazon Kindle vs Paperwhite vs Oasis: Common features

All of Amazon's Kindle ebook readers share a handful of core features. Each one has access to the same Amazon store for books, which offers a huge array of reasonably priced books and magazines.

Unlike other ebook readers, they're not set up to buy books from elsewhere, so all Kindle users can only buy books from Amazon. Thankfully, Amazon still has the largest range of titles and is generally very well priced.

If you're an Amazon Prime member, then there's also the Prime Reading service, which provides access to a range of free ebooks, magazines, and short-form material. It's not just cheap, self-published stuff here, either – on the list of books are Man Booker Prize-shortlisted titles and premium magazines.

Every Kindle supports Amazon's Family Library, which lets you share your ebooks with other members of your household. Essentially, this allows you to join two accounts together, so you can read each other's books, plus you can add up to four child accounts to the pair of adult accounts.

1. Amazon Kindle: Best cheap Kindle

Price: From £70 | Buy now from Amazon

Amazon's budget Kindle costs £70, or £80 if you want it without lock screen adverts (or, as Amazon describes them, “special offers”). The cheapest Kindle has a 6in touchscreen, a 1GHz processor and 4GB of storage, which is ample space to store thousands of books. What's new is that the basic Kindle now has Bluetooth and the screen is backlit. Battery life is also very good at around two weeks per charge if you read for an hour a day.

If you own the 2016 Kindle and are tempted to upgrade to this one, you might want to save your money, since the differences are marginal. If, however, you're looking at taking your first tentative steps into digitising your library, then the basic Kindle is definitely the way to go for the budget-conscious bookworm. 

Read our full Amazon Kindle review for more details


2. Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: Best Kindle for travellers

Price: From £130 | Buy now from Amazon

2021 saw the fifth generation of Kindle Paperwhite introduced, and while it's not as significant a step forward as the fourth, the all-new e-reader has enough new features to be an appealing choice to newcomers and those looking to upgrade.

Thinner bezels and a larger 6.8in screen mean more words per page, and it's noticeably nippier than the previous generation too, booting up and loading the Kindle store faster than ever. The new chip that makes this possible is also a lot more efficient, as battery life jumps from an already stunning six weeks to a gargantuan ten. Add to that 17 LEDs with warm lighting to help night-time readers sleep and USB-C connectivity, and it's a solid upgrade that builds on the previous edition by maintaining Audible integration and IPX8 waterproofing.

It's probably not worth paying £50 more for the £180 'Signature Edition', mind. While the extras it offers – wireless charging, automatic brightness adjustment and 32GB of storage – are certainly pleasing, if you're going to spend that much on an ebook reader, you're probably better off looking at the top-of-the-range Kindle Oasis instead.

Read our full Kindle Paperwhite review for more details


3. Amazon Kindle Oasis: Best high-end Kindle

Price: From £230 | Buy now from Amazon

The Kindle Oasis is Amazon's luxurious e-reader. With a £230 starting price to match, Amazon's refreshed Oasis' big new feature is its adjustable warm light, which lets you switch from the standard white LED over to a more eye-friendly amber light. This promises to reduce the amount of blue light when you're reading before going to bed. It also has a slightly bigger battery and can be picked up in a rather fetching gold colour.

As for the rest, the latest Oasis boasts several high-end features. Like the Paperwhite, it also has Audible integration for listening to audiobooks on the go, and it's waterproofed up to two metres, so there's no need to worry about dropping your ebook reader in the bath ever again. With a beautifully lit 300ppi 7in touchscreen with 12 LEDs for glare-free reading, it's the ultimate e-reading experience, no matter the lighting conditions.

Despite its extra size, it's lighter than the Paperwhite at only 188g. If your budget can stretch, this is the best Kindle available to buy right now, no question.

Read our full Kindle Oasis review for more details


Amazon Kindle vs Paperwhite vs Oasis: Specifications

Below, you'll find a detailed breakdown of all Kindle models currently on sale.

KindleKindle PaperwhiteKindle Oasis
Starting priceFrom £70From £120From £230
Screen size6in6in7in
Built-in lightYes (4 LEDs)Yes (5 LEDs)Yes (25 LEDs) + adaptive light sensor
Page-turnsTouchscreenTouchscreenTouchscreen + page turn buttons
Pixel density167ppi300ppi300ppi
Available coloursBlack, whiteBlackGraphite, gold
WaterproofNoYes (IPX8)Yes (IPX8)
ConnectivityWi-FiWi-Fi or Wi-Fi + free 3G/4GWi-Fi or Wi-Fi + free 4G
Battery lifeWeeks on a single chargeWeeks on a single chargeWeeks on a single charge
Dimensions160 x 113 x 8.7mm167 x 116 x 8.2mm159 mm x 141 mm x 3.4-8.4 mm
Weight174gWi-Fi: 182g4G: 191g188g

The regular Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite can be purchased in two variants: “with special offers” and “without special offers”. These are adverts Amazon pushes through to your device's lock screen. If you prefer to remove the adverts, you can do so by paying an extra £10.

The Kindle Oasis also has a “Free 4G” model, costing a little more than the Wi-Fi-only variant. The 4G model comes with no monthly fees or additional costs. Amazon covers the 4G connectivity, giving you the ability to download content to your Kindle almost anywhere in the world. You can see Amazon's full 4G coverage map here.

Which Kindle should you buy?

The budget Kindle is a nice start for people buying an ebook reader for the first time but a pointless purchase for people considering upgrading from the 2016 model.

The Kindle Paperwhite is, overall, the best Kindle in terms of value and performance. It has an excellent touchscreen and backlight and is the best upgrade option for people with old Kindle models. With its waterproofing and Audible compatibility, it's nearly as good as the luxurious Oasis.

Finally, the Kindle Oasis is the best choice for those who use their Kindle every day. Yes, it's expensive, but it's a genuine pleasure to use and it's the Kindle to buy if you want the best of the best.

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In-Depth
  • Amazon Kindle: The best low cost e-reader

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    The Amazon Kindle might lack audiobook playback and waterproofing but it's still a great e-reader

    19 Oct 2018
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  • Kindle (2014) review

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    The all new basic Kindle (2014) is a decent cut-price eReader with an excellent touchscreen but it looks and feels cheap

    28 Nov 2014
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  • Amazon Kindle (2012) review

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    69
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    It's basic, but the price is spot on and the screen quality is excellent. If you want a device for pure reading, this is it

    23 Oct 2014
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  • Amazon Kindle 3 review

    Amazon Kindle
    149
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    It’s cheap, the hardware is fantastic and the range of books is brilliant. These are all enough to overlook the minor annoyance of no ePub support.

    11 Oct 2010
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