If there is one thing that Amazon does exceptionally well, it is crafting e-readers. Amazon’s latest luxury flagship 2nd generation Kindle Oasis improves on its predecessor — the 2016 1st generation Kindle Oasis.
Design & Build Quality
A significant design alteration of the 2017 Oasis is it’s smoothly refined matte gun-metal or champagne gold finish, depending on the colour you choose. Both elegant colours are reminiscent of a luxury lifestyle.
The Kindle Oasis’s rear is made of aluminum and is no longer plastic. The design of the Oasis remains premium, but it just feels even more premium on the 2017 model.
A drawback of the newer Oasis is that it’s now a little slippery when holding as a result of its smooth finish compared to its more grippy 2016 predecessor. Holding the Oasis for extended periods without a case could be potentially problematic for someone.
Resolving this issue is simple: purchase a leather cover made by Amazon or a third-party. I would recommend the former as Amazon’s leather covers, particularly the revised 2018 leather versions, are significantly improved and provide better protection against scratches and drops due to extended coverage of the Oasis. The new cases also address the issues people had with the original ones. The redesign of Amazon’s Kindle Oasis 2018 leather covers is excellent.
Despite the high price of covers, the quality of the leather surface is superb. The leather covers came out less than one week ago, I preordered one, and mine arrived shortly after the release date.
Be sure to check out my review of the brand new 2018 redesigned black Amazon Kindle Oasis leather case here.
The most evident physical disparity between the 2017 Oasis and 2016 Oasis is the screen size. The 2nd gen Oasis has a larger 7-inch screen in contrast to the 6-inch screen in the 1st gen Oasis. One inch difference in screen size might not seem much of a big deal to the reader at first glance, but it indeed is.
The 7 inch renders the 6-inch displays of other Kindles feel drastically smaller. The larger screen is significant as it allows for a better reading experience, notably during reading marathons where fewer page turns are required because of the bigger screen on the successor. This permits the reader to indulge in the book they are reading and save the device’s battery.
The 7-inch front-lit display holds 12 LEDs in contrast to the 10 LEDs of the original Oasis. The additional LEDs in the 7 inch Kindle Oasis renders the brightness to appear a diminutively more than the original version. The display is exceptional. When reading a book, I could continue to read for hours without eye strain when compared to reading on a computer monitor or tablet. The clarity of the display is a sight to see. You may make the text bigger, change the type of font, and alter the margins and spacing if you want to enhance your reading experience further.
The screen maintains 300 pixels-per-inch (PPI) and now also incorporates the ability to enable auto-brightness which the Kindle Voyage already has. The added benefit to being able to enable auto-brightness in the Oasis is that the device will automatically adapt the strength of the front light to match the environment the reader is in. This is convenient since the reader does not need to go into the device’s Settings to render alterations when visually required.
Kindle Oasis vs Kindle Paperwhite
One thing that the Kindle Oasis has the most significant advantage over the Kindle Paperwhite is that there are no uneven shadows on the Oasis.
The problem I had with the Kindle Paperwhite was that my reading experience was reduced drastically due to being distracted by the uneven shadows on the bottom of the screen. This would lead me always to focus and look on the uneven shadows when reading something because it was impossible not to.
The Oasis absolutely shows no signs of uneven shadows in its display. In fact, the screen on the Oasis is the best I’ve seen in a Kindle. I’ve owned many models of Kindles before and this is obviously the most impressive e-reader.
The 2017 Kindle Oasis also sports 6 weeks of battery life in contrast to the 2 weeks of battery life found in the predecessor.
Battery usage will obviously differ based on usage. Amazon states that one charge will last up to six weeks if the following are met: wireless connectivity is turned off, reading is done half hour per each day, and the light setting is set at 10.
For me, the device went to 60% after two days, which included six to seven hours of reading per each day.
The newer Oasis has an IPX8 rating which means it is waterproof to a certain extent. The device can be submerged in water for two hours. If reading in the bath is your dream, this Oasis will get the job done.
The 2nd generation Oasis includes Audible support which allows you to play audiobooks purchased from Amazon’s store.
Keep in mind that the 2017 Oasis lacks a 3.5mm headphone jack and built-in speaker. This means that one cannot listen to audiobooks via wired headphones. This is likely due to the waterproof design of the device. Nevertheless, Bluetooth can be utilized.
If you own the Audible and ebook versions of a book, you may swiftly change between the two easily. Therefore, you may read the text on the e-ink screen and then change to the audiobook version whenever you want.
Furthermore, the battery on the e-reader will drain quicker when using Bluetooth headphones to listen to audiobooks. This is expected but isn’t a huge disadvantage.
A Kindle power adapter is not included in the box. Only a USB 2.0 charging cable is included.
For a top-of-the-line e-reader that costs up to $489.99 (CAD), it can be quite disappointing. Amazon has chosen to stick with a micro-USB port and not deploy a USB Type-C. One reader who wants a USB Type-C port on their device will likely be disappointed.
Amazon Canada currently offers two configurations of the 2017 2nd generation Kindle Oasis: 8 GB and 32 GB.
The cheapest and most affordable Oasis the 8 GB Wi-Fi version costs $389.99 at the time this review was published. Black Friday 2018 sees this device being discounted to $329.99 with a $60.00 discount ($15%).
The highest configuration Oasis is the 32 GB which costs $489.99 at the time this review was published and includes both Wi-Fi and free cellular connectivity where available. (4G LTE/ 3G/EDGE/GPRS). Black Friday 2018 sees this device being discounted to $409.99 with an $80.00 discount (16%).
The free global cellular connectivity is excellent to have since Amazon pays for your usage. For instance, you could be on the beach, and you may download without having to connect using WiFi or needing to enable your phone’s hotspot.
Another great thing about the Kindle Oasis is that there are no special offers. Other Kindles display advertisements because they are somewhat of a lower price. The Kindle Oasis is the top-of-the-line model. Hence, special offers do not exist.
To Buy The Kindle Oasis (2017) Or Not?
If you are a passionate reader who enjoys being able to carry thousands of e-books on a sleek, gorgeous portable device and enjoy the very best consumer products, the Kindle Oasis ought to be on top of your shopping list.
The larger 7-inch screen and waterproofing feature is difficult to ignore.
With prices starting at $389.99 (CAD) for an 8 GB WiFi model and $489.99 (CAD) for 32 GB WiFi + Free Cellular Connectivity, the Kindle Oasis remains as a pricey luxurious product that not everyone will purchase this holiday season even if a Black Friday discount of $60.00 to $80.00 (CAD) is offered. But for those that do buy one, they will simply enjoy it for the many years to come.
Amazon’s Kindle Oasis is merely the best Kindle ever made. There is no dispute to that.