Which Amazon Kindle should you buy: Kindle, Paperwhite, or Oasis?

Amazon Kindle Oasis 2019 on a wooden flooring
(Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

There's no shortage of choice if you're in the market for an e-reader, with Amazon alone offering three Kindles across various price points. Amazon has made e-readers for well over a decade now, and in that time, it has dominated thanks to a combination of hardware chops and an outstanding e-book store.

The current Kindle lineup starts at $99 and goes all the way up to $250. Although Amazon has announced the Kindle Scribe and 2022 iterations of the Oasis and Paperwhite models, they won't see the light of day until later this year. Whether you're looking to get started with e-readers or are interested in upgrading to a more feature-rich model, these are the best Kindles you can pick up today.

Kindle: The ideal starting point

Kindle (2022) next to the cover

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

The $99 Amazon Kindle (2022) has a lot going for it: incredible battery life, the ability to stream audiobooks over Bluetooth, and front-facing LEDs so you can read in the dark. The current-generation Kindle has much more storage than its predecessor, bumping up the older model's 8GB to 16GB, and improved pixel density. You'll greatly enjoy the crisp, improved new e-ink display.

There's also built-in Bluetooth that lets you stream your favorite audiobooks. The base variant is a decent choice if you're unwilling to spend over a hundred dollars on an e-reader, but you get so much more with the next variant in the series. Like most traditional Kindles, the entry-level model is available in Black. Alternatively, you can also opt for the Denim blue version.

Kindle Paperwhite: The obvious choice for everyone

Kindle Paperwhite

(Image credit: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central)

The 11th Gen Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2021) is the default option for most people right now. It costs $40 to $50 more than the base model and comes with a backlight and a larger 6.8-inch 300ppi display. The 300ppi display on the Paperwhite is just as vibrant as the costlier Oasis, and you have the option to adjust the intensity of the backlight. Amazon offers the basic 8GB and 16GB storage options as well as a special 32GB model with wireless charging called the Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition.

The back has a soft-touch plastic coating that makes it comfortable to hold the Kindle for hours on end. Also, the current edition is almost 20 grams lighter than previous versions. The screen is now flush with the bezels on the top of the device. So, you won't get lint or liquids into it, and it is now waterproof, like the pricier Oasis.

Unlike the base model which comes in black and blue, you can only choose your Paperwhite in black. The best new addition with this generation is adjustable warm light, which is ideal for reading at night. The warm lighting is easier on the eyes and makes a genuine difference. If you're looking for a Kindle that offers the best value, then the Paperwhite is the one to get.

Kindle Oasis: The upgrade pick

Amazon Kindle Oasis (2019) on a sofa handle

(Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

The Oasis (2019) is Amazon's flagship Kindle e-reader. It was the first one in the lineup to offer water resistance — though now other models also have this feature. The IPX8 certification allows it to be submerged in up to two meters of freshwater for 60 minutes. That makes the Oasis a great option if you're looking to read by the pool or in the tub.

The Oasis doesn't look like any other Kindle, and that's because of a unique design that sees the internal components located on one side. The design brief for the Oasis was to mimic a book folded in half, and it excels at doing that. Unlike the rest of the series, the Oasis has a brushed aluminum finish at the back. While it isn't as comfortable as the soft-touch plastic, you have the option to accessorize with a fabric case.

The screen resolution on the Oasis is the same at 300ppi, but the e-reader has a larger 7-inch panel. It also has 25 LEDs as well as an ambient light sensor, and an accelerometer that switches the orientation of the screen based on whatever hand you're holding the Oasis. The differentiator for the Oasis is the warm lighting that automatically adjusts based on ambient lighting in your room.

To match its premium feel and price, you can pick up the all-aluminum Oasis in graphite or champagne gold colors. If you want the best Kindle e-reader available today, the Oasis should be at the top of your list.

Add content to your Kindle

Buying a Kindle is just half the story; you'll also want to pick up some books to read on the device. Fortunately, Amazon offers a plethora of reading options, from its regular Kindle e-book store to subscription and lending services like Kindle Unlimited, Kindle Newsstand, and the Kindle Owners' Lending Library.

You can also read books for free on your Kindle by borrowing digital titles online. read our guide about reading e-books for free on your Kindle to learn more about this feature.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.