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 has recently been updated with 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 £320. 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 Amazon’s Kindles below.
Best Kindle: At a glance
- Best cheap Kindle: Amazon Kindle (£70)
- Best Kindle for travellers: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (£120)
- Best high-end Kindle: Amazon Kindle Oasis (£230)
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 are generally very well priced.
If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can also access the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, which lets you borrow one book a month from a catalogue of 600,000 ebooks.
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 such as The Week.
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
£69.99 Buy now
2. Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: Best Kindle for travellers
Price: From £120 | Buy now from Amazon
The current Kindle Paperwhite was released in November 2018 and it’s a huge step up from the rapidly ageing 2015 model. In fact, it’s probably the best Kindle yet, considering what it delivers for the price. Not only does this latest iteration – the fourth in the Paperwhite range – have double the storage capacity (8GB), but it’s now fully waterproof like the Kindle Oasis. And the premium features don’t stop there; it’s got Audible integration now, meaning you can continue to feed your brain when your eyes are too tired to read.
The design is classier than before too, with the backlit touchscreen lying flush to sleek black bezels – just like on the Kindle Oasis. Starting at £120 for the Wi-Fi, 8GB model with Amazon’s “special offers”, which is £10 more than the cheapest 2015 Kindle Paperwhite was but for all those extra features, it’s a fair trade. For the time being, this is the best value Kindle you can buy – and the cheapest way to get a waterproof Amazon ebook reader.
Read our full Kindle Paperwhite review for more details
£119.99 Buy now
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
£229.99 Buy now
Amazon Kindle vs Paperwhite vs Oasis: Specifications
Below, you’ll find a detailed breakdown of all Kindle models currently on sale.
|Kindle||Kindle Paperwhite||Kindle Oasis|
|Starting price||From £70||From £120||From £230|
|Built-in light||Yes (4 LEDs)||Yes (5 LEDs)||Yes (25 LEDs) + adaptive light sensor|
|Page-turns||Touchscreen||Touchscreen||Touchscreen + page turn buttons|
|Available colours||Black, white||Black||Graphite, gold|
|Waterproof||No||Yes (IPX8)||Yes (IPX8)|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi||Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + free 3G/4G||Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi + free 4G|
|Battery life||Weeks on a single charge||Weeks on a single charge||Weeks on a single charge|
|Dimensions||160 x 113 x 8.7mm||167 x 116 x 8.2mm||159 mm x 141 mm x 3.4-8.4 mm|
|Weight||174g||Wi-Fi: 182g4G: 191g||188g|
Alongside the choice of black or white, Amazon also offers the regular Kindle and Kindle Paperwhite 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 Paperwhite and Oasis also come in “Free 4G” models, costing a little more than the Wi-Fi-only variants. The 4G model of the Kindles come 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.
£69.99 Buy now
£119.99 Buy now