Kindle Oasis (10th Gen) review

Spoiler: Skip this one

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Despite what every other online review says about
how great this device is over the older generations”,
I beg to differ and I’ll say skip this one.

But first, a little back story

It had been ages since I actually picked up a book and read it cover to cover. It felt great getting back on the reading train as the last time I recall being someone who read a book was me in 10th grade (that was over 10 years ago — 2010).

So I recently realised I was serious about reading and I decided to get a kindle. Watching all the Youtube reviews, a lot of people said get the Oasis if you’re getting a new one. Upgrading from a recent paperwhite to Oasis isn’t worth it.

I was sold, and I bought the Kindle Oasis 10th gen in a whim.
I thought metal body — better build quality, light sensors will allow me to be more lazy and the buttons will allow for a single handed usage, higher storage — useful for Audible, etc.

Although it was super priicey as compared to the paperwhite and just gave a few good-to-have features as compared to the paperwhite, I considered it as a long term investment and went ahead and bought it.

Little did I know the surprise that was incoming.

Initial Impressions

The moment I pulled it out of the box (I wouldn’t call it the best unboxing expreince ever), my first thought?

GOD that is SO much smaller than I thought.
AND IT’S SO LIGHT WEIGHT!

From all the pictures, the weirdly shaped humpbacked-camel-toned Gold varient was available at quite the steal with 32 Gigs of storage in a recent sale at the “Great India Festival” on Amazon.

But my excitement was far from over.

I won’t lie, it was nice to read on this device, it felt great that I could stay away from notifications and just focus on the content. I felt glad that I bought this.

First night in…

I noticed something was off.

While I was in a well lit room, I’d turned down the screen brightness to a minumum, cause lets face it; its an e-ink display (check this video to understand how it works).

So, I moved from this well lit room to my bunk, which had the lights turned out during that time.

I turned on the Kindle in the dark room and..

I couldn’t see anything!

Why the Oasis is a bad purchase?

Now don’t get me wrong, everything that every reviewer has mentioned is accurate, about how great it feels and how well it reads.

But this is one nit that I really wasn’t ready to accept.

Ambient light sensor/Autobrightness sensor

Nitpick: The autobrightness sensor doesn’t work as expected when switching from a bright environment to a dark one (especially if your brightness is set to zero).

So if you were planning to buy the Oasis considering —
the autobrightness sensor as an important feature?

Don’t. Buy. It.

Like sure you don’t want to strain your eyes so it turns down the brightness during night time but leaving the brightness at zero even during night time in a completely dark environment? That’s dumb.

Now don’t get me wrong, E-inks are great to read on especially with ambient light and they almost feel like real paper — which is something that is highly praised by a lot of Youtube reviewers. But the way this Ambient light sensor works, it’s actually quite pointless for an e-reader and I’d rather have picked the Paperwhite instead.

This was the biggest and only deal breaker — for me (apart from the complete lack of Type-C in November, 2020).

Battery Life

The battery life is definitely not good enough(for someone who binge reads).

Here are the settings with which I used my device:

  • Airplane Mode: Enabled
  • Auto brightness: Enabled
  • Color shift in Evening: Enabled
  • Screen brightness: 7–10 (unless autobrightness increased it to maximum)

Too many people have mentioned that if device is in Airplane mode, the battery life is awesome. But I managed to kill this in less than two days from a full charge.

Why is Oasis is a good purchase?

Now sure most of you might think that thats a tiny nitpick, but if thats the case and you really don’t mind changing the leaving autobrightness disabled — you really could consider the Oasis as a strong candidate.

Here’s a few reasons to consider the Oasis over the Paperwhite.

Note: These are completely based on specs and not actual experience, I haven’t owned a Paperwhite.

The Display

The screen size is larger than its more affordable counterpart, without a doubt and it does have a high DPI screen.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that I could load a PDF and see it in the default print font size without any fuzziness even though it was being shown in less than half the real-estate.

Confluent Kafka, The Definitive Guide — No Zoom. (The camera does no justice to the screen)

Warm Lighting

It is a known fact that bluelight causes eye strain and this is the only Kindle in current generation that supported Warm lighting options.

I especially bought this device since it supports warmlight as an option (which makes reading super easy especially at night).

Page-turn Buttons!!

Physical Buttons for page turning

This may be an overstatement but it makes reading with a single hand so much easier!

You could have a cup of tea/cofee/hot chocolate by the window, the kindle on the other and easily switch pages without putting down your beverage!

Water-resistance certified

I strongly belive having this rating gives you that extra peace of mind, especially in a house with kids.

Also, as a lot of reviewers advertise; you could use it at the pool/bath tub too!

Note: No device is Water PROOF, or scratch PROOF or shatter PROOF,
They’re mostly just
RESISTENT so if you went for a replacement saying you claimed it to be accident proof, chances are they’ll just say it politely — it’s not covered under warranty.

Conclusion

If you’re buying your first Kindle,
you don’t mind splurging a little bit extra
and can live with the following nits:

  • Lack of Type-C charging port; living with MicroUSB 3–5 years down the lane — You’re less likely to upgrade a Kindle with every generation release
  • A close to useless Ambient Light Sensor
  • Lack of Audible support in India (picking a 8 gig varient might be the wiser choice as of now) — An issue that plagues all Kindle devices in India

By all means, the Kindle Oasis 10th Gen will be a great device for you.

But if there’s even the slightest voice in your head that can’t handle any of these nits, you might be better off with the Paperwhite and save the extra money and buy Kindle Books instead.

Note: It’s highly likely the next generation Kindle might come with a Type-C so as of November 1st, 2020; if you can wait for a few more months, there’s a good chance the next-gen Kindle might be coming and you could grab that instead.

Update: I returned the Oasis 32 GB Wifi

And replaced it with the Kindle Paperwhite 8 GB varient.

Reasons for this move are below (its highly likely you might want to return the Oasis for the same reason)

  • Premium device anxiety — I can literally throw the Paperwhite
    and not be worried I might nick the premium metal body that was on the Oasis
  • Bingeworthy Battery life — A week’s worth of reading time on the Paperwhite as compared to 2 days of binging on the Oasis
  • Audible support — While the paperwhite and Oasis both don’t support audible in India, it makes no sense buying the 32 gigs if you aren’t going to store audio books. Might as well switch to the lower storage varient instead

Disclaimer: For the Ambient Light Sensor, I had a few long calls with an Amazon representative and they confirmed that the light sensor has been designed to function this way and is in no way a malfunction. They suggested me to return the device for the same reason (not replace).

This post is a reflection of my perception, and experience with the device which could be different from that of yours. The best I could do was bring this daunting issue to notice which seems to have to have been missed out by most reviewers and help you make an informed purchase decision.

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