Android Central Verdict
The Kindle (2022) is a nice upgrade over its predecessor, and users looking for an affordable, compact e-reader should be pretty pleased with Amazon's latest offering.
Small and lightweight
Plenty of storage for books and audiobooks
Very long battery life
Sharp e-ink display
E-ink display can be jarring
No auto brightness
No headphone jack or speakers
No water resistance
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I'll start this off by saying that I've never used a Kindle before. I enjoy reading, but the thought of consuming an entire book on a tablet-like device was somehow foreign to me, and the Kindle seemed more like something geared toward the older generation, like my parents. So when I got the chance to review the new Kindle (2022), I jumped at the opportunity to see what all the commotion was about.
The result? Well, I came out pretty surprised at just how practical it is. For such a simple device, there's plenty to like about the Kindle. But is it enough to sway me towards e-readers and convince me to switch away from physical books? Not quite, but it gets pretty close.
Amazon Kindle (2022): Price & availability
Amazon launched the Kindle (2022) in September, and the device went on sale on October 12. It is available at Amazon and other retailers starting at $99 (or $119 without lock screen ads). It is available in two colors: Black and Denim.
Amazon Kindle (2022): What I like
When Amazon launched the new Kindle, it boasted about how lightweight the device is, and they certainly weren't lying. When I received the device in the mail, I held up the nearly identical packaging for the Kindle and the cover case. Based on their weight, I could barely tell which held the actual Kindle without actually looking at the packaging. At just 158g, the Kindle (2022) is almost too light. It practically disappears in your hand, which I admit is great for a device you're expected to hold for long periods of time. Compared to the size and weight of my books, the Kindle is feather-light, and I can even fit it in my pocket.
There are definitely bigger options out there, like the Kindle Paperwhite, in case you need a larger display, but this seems like it'll be a good fit for most people, especially casual readers.
As for the actual reading experience, it's perfectly adequate. The display is such that it almost resembles a real book, which is likely thanks to the sharper 300ppi display, and the adjustable brightness makes it very easy on the eyes regardless of the environment or time of day. In broad daylight, the display is still very readable, and at night, you can adjust the brightness to incredibly low levels, so it doesn't blind you in the dark. For a more comfortable experience, I also love the dark mode, which essentially inverts the colors throughout the UI.
A comfortable viewing experience is pertinent because the battery life on the Kindle (2022) is pretty insane. I received the device with a roughly 50% charge, and it's taken two weeks of reading and listening to audiobooks to run the battery down to 1%. Amazon says the battery should last up to six weeks, depending on your usage, and that claim sounds pretty accurate.
The device supports 9W wired charging, which doesn't sound very fast, but it, fortunately, doesn't take too long to top up. I plugged the device in at 1% and checked back an hour and a half later to find it fully charged. Not bad for a device that lasts up to six weeks.
|Category||Amazon Kindle (2022)|
|Display||6-inch, 300ppi, 4 LEDs|
|Dimensions||157.8 x 108.6 x 8.0mm|
|Battery & charging||Lasts up to six weeks, USB-C charging, 9W|
I don't really care for audiobooks, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to give it a try with Mariah Carey's "The Meaning of Mariah Carey." Pairing to my Bluetooth earbuds is fairly easy, and the connection is stable as a roam around my apartment. I can definitely see the appeal of audiobooks, especially for people who may often find themselves doing other things and unable to keep their full gaze on a book for long periods of time. Plus, I couldn't resist hearing Mariah Carey read her own memoir.
Elsewhere, navigation is pretty simple, with two sections: Home for purchasing new books and Library for reading them. Buying and downloading new books and audiobooks is easy enough, and the new Kindle comes with 16GB of storage, which is double the storage you'll find on many other e-readers in this price range and more than enough storage than I know what to do with on an e-reader. Fortunately, Kindle Unlimited can help fill up your library, letting you hoard plenty of titles to keep you occupied for a while.
I love that the Library is seemingly always a click away, the last book you were reading is pinned to the navigation bar, which I find handy when I want to jump back in where I left off.
I also love that highlighting a word can bring up several options, such as a dictionary, Wikipedia search, and an X-Ray feature that scans the book for other instances and notable clips of the word or term. It's a pretty handy feature.
Amazon Kindle (2022): What I don't like
One thing about Kindles is that they're very low-power devices, which is why they last so long on a single charge. But the low refresh on this device really bothers me, and performing just about any task results in an uncomfortable flashing, which I assume is just a characteristic of e-ink displays. It doesn't completely ruin the experience, but it's certainly jarring for a first-time user such as myself, especially coming from a full-color 120Hz display on my smartphone.
There's also no auto-brightness feature, meaning I have to interrupt my reading to manually adjust it myself using the "pull-down" menu.
Build quality is also not the best. Sure the device feels incredibly lightweight, and it's actually small enough to fit in my pockets, but the plastic chassis just feels cheap. That's salvaged some by the cover case, which feels much more comfortable in the hand, especially while the flap is magnetically clamped to the back.
The device also does not feature any water resistance, which is a bummer in Seattle during the fall, when the weather is often wet.
Also, I don't get why Amazon insists on sticking the power button on the bottom. It always takes me a second to remember where it's located, which is a little irritating. Not only that, but it's the only button on the device. With the low refresh rate of the display, interacting with the touch screen can feel a bit delayed. I feel like a button or two (or three) would potentially speed up navigation.
Lastly, I do wish there were more options when it comes to audio. It seems Bluetooth is the only way to listen, which is fine for me, but at one point, I wanted to just hear the device play the audio from the speakers, which I realized it doesn't have. It also lacks a headphone jack, which I feel is an unnecessary omission for this kind of device
Amazon Kindle (2022): Competition
Nook is one of the closest competitors to the Amazon Kindle, and the Nook GlowLight 4e is a decent alternative. It has a similar 6-inch display and long battery life that can last you weeks. Plus, it has buttons for those of you that prefer not to use the touch screen. However, storage is only 8GB, the display isn't as sharp, and it's a little more expensive.
The Kobo Clara HD is another good option for anyone looking for the best e-ink tablet. It has a similar design to the Kindle (2022), the same display size, and the same sharpness. You can even adjust the display temperature to its easier on the eyes. However, it also has only 8GB of storage, meaning less space for books and audiobooks. It also uses micro-USB for charging.
Amazon Kindle (2022): Should you buy it?
You should buy this if...
- You love to read
- You travel a lot
- You enjoy audiobooks
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You prefer large screens
- You prefer wired audio to Bluetooth
- You want a high-end e-reader
As I've stated, there's a lot to like about the Kindle (2022). It's incredibly lightweight, reading is comfortable in just about any lighting condition, and you can access tons of books and audiobooks. And with weeks upon weeks of battery life, you'll probably get through a few novels by the time you have to charge it again.
That said, despite the convenience of a Kindle, I still prefer the feel of a physical book. Call me old-school, but there's something about the feeling of a page-turning that gives me an odd sense of accomplishment that I don't feel with the Kindle. It's a bit lifeless.
Still, I feel that the negatives I've pointed out are a bit nit-picky; the Kindle (2022) does what it does and does it well.
I can definitely see myself using the Kindle to supplement my reading. I'll most likely stick to buying physical books before I go for the e-book, although I can see myself dipping into the Kindle Unlimited library for some titles if they're available (and there are a lot). With access to thousands of titles, the subscription just might be worth it if you do decide to purchase a Kindle.
The new Amazon Kindle is nice step up from the previous model, thanks to the additional storage, adjustable brightness, and super lightweight build, making it easy to take on the go and dive into your favorite book in just about any environment.
Derrek is a long-time Nokia and LG fanboy who loves astronomy, videography, and sci-fi movies. When he's not working, he's most likely working out or smoldering at the camera.