After having my Kindle Voyage since 2014, I woke up one Saturday morning in October to discover it wouldn’t turn on. After a minor panic, I spent time searching the internet for cures and even called Amazon (only to lose the connection due to our terrible cell signal!) So my husband and I talked about it and decided that it was time to use the points we had been accumulating from our Amazon card and get me a new Kindle.
I knew that I needed a Kindle with a built in light at a minimum. As I looked at the specs of each of the Kindles, I kept coming back to the slightly bigger screen of the Kindle Oasis and the fact it is waterproof (I have been known to read in the bathtub on occasion. After much deliberation and prayer for wisdom, I decided to order the Oasis and prepared to be Kindle-less until the end of the month.
Fortunately, after a day of using my phone to read (yuck!), I did some more searching and found someone who recommended charging the Kindle directly to a wall outlet using a Kindle charger. I rolled my eyes and decided it was worth trying. And as strange as it sounds, that actually solved my problem! My husband graciously agreed to let me still get the new Kindle, on the condition that my old one would go to him.
Kindle Oasis vs Kindle Voyage
I have now had my Kindle Oasis for almost a week and wanted to share a comparison between the two models and give you my impressions.
First off, the Oasis is not cheap. Starting at $249 for the version with wireless and “Special Offers” compared to the Voyage which is $199 for the same. Both are side-lit, both have the option to get the “free” cellular coverage (for an additional cost, of course).
WiFi Only vs Free Cellular Coverage
After getting the cellular coverage and not paying to remove the Special Offers on my first Kindle, I decided that WiFi works perfectly fine as I am mostly in places that I can get it, and when I’m not, I can use my phone as a hot-spot if I really have to download a new book when I’m at the airport or grocery store.
Special Offers or not?
And for me, it is worth it to pay to not have the Special Offers on the screen saver of my Kindle. At first, the offers were pretty good, but they ended up being for things I never need or care about. The worst part of the special offers, in my opinion, is that offers show up on the screensaver, and you have no control over the content. So I might have my Kindle on my desk at work with a picture of the cover of a horror book or a really steamy romance book. Or diapers. Sorry. Just not interested in having to see that!
The picture above has the Kindle Oasis on the left, the Voyage on the right. As you can see, the screen of the Oasis is considerably larger than the Voyage. Though I couldn’t discern a difference in the clarity of the text, there are more font options and more ways to control the appearance of the screen on the Oasis.
You might also notice that the screen of the Voyage has a glare, while the Oasis does not. The overall color of the screen and the quality of the reading surface of the Oasis was significantly nicer than the Voyage. The description that keeps coming to mind is that is that the Oasis is “softer”, but not as in fuzzy text. It is just gentler on the eyes.
Though the weight of the Oasis is a half ounce more than the Voyage (6.8 vs 6.3 ounces), I seriously found that the Oasis feels lighter. As I started to write this review, I had it in my head that the half ounce difference was in favor of the Oasis and was an influencing factor. When I looked up the actual weights, I was surprised. My thought is that the larger size of the device has the weight distributed differently causing it be better balanced and thus feel lighter. Or something like that.
The Oasis is much thinner than the Voyage, and is designed to be turned over so you can switch hands as you read for comfort. When I read in my recliner at home, I have my Kindle on a tablet arm, but I do spend quite a bit of time reading in other locations and have found that I really like the ability to flip it over and switch hands when I need to. Lately I’ve found that I like setting the display so I can have the wide part of the device at the bottom to hold it from there.
The buttons for turning the pages are placed in a good spot. I have the option with the Oasis to either use the buttons or simply touch the screen to navigate. I find I use both options, probably because I’m not used to using the buttons on the Voyage.
The one thing I don’t like is the placement of the power button. It is at the bottom of the Kindle (if you are holding it with the buttons on the left) and close to the edge. Normally it isn’t a bad thing, but I keep thinking that when I have it in the tablet arm that the mechanism that holds the Kindle will press on the button and turn it off. So far, I’ve been able to place it so that doesn’t happen. However, I have to confess that I have been known to read while I brush my teeth, placing my Kindle between the sink and the mirror. In the week I’ve had the Kindle, it has turned off in the middle of my brushing. As soon as I see it happening, I realize that I once again placed it with the power button against the counter, and the weight of the device causes it to sink into the button and thus turn it off. How embarrassing!
While I don’t tend to read multiple books at the same time, I do get lazy about removing them from my Kindle. And when I get a new book from Amazon, it is sent to the Kindle by default. As the device fills up, it slows down, which is annoying. The storage on the Voyage is 4 GB, which sounds like a lot, but I have managed to get to the slow-down point on it quite easily. The Oasis starts at 8 GB and if you want, you can get it with up to 32 GB of storage. I don’t plan on using it for Audible, so I should have lots of room for my e-books on it.
Overall, I have to say I’m delighted with the Oasis. It is hard to say if I would have paid this much for the upgrade if I didn’t have the points available because it wasn’t an option for us at this time, but I really, really like my new Oasis. And the way I see it, what I paid for it is less than a few nice-looking bookshelves and much harder to make look messy or cluttered.