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Best Kindle 2022: Amazon’s top e-readers tried and tested

If you want an e-reader then a Kindle is likely the top of your shopping list, and for good reason. Since we reviewed the first ever Amazon Kindle many moons ago the devices have consistently impressed our team of reviewers, with each new generation earning a place among the best e-readers available at launch.

But, with Amazon now selling a variety of different types of Kindle, picking the right one for your price and budget is a little trickier. In the old days you could just buy that year’s Kindle, but now there are multiple variants, each with different feature sets.

What’s more, picking the wrong one for your specific needs and budget can make for a poor reading experience. If you’re a night owl who likes to read in bed then you’ll definitely want to invest in one with a backlight. Equally, if you’re looking for one to use on holiday, you may want to invest in one with a proper water resistance rating. These are all things that are important to consider, but not immediately obvious when shopping for a Kindle.

Here to help you find the right Kindle for your price and specific needs we’ve created this guide detailing the best options we’ve reviewed that are still available to buy. Every Kindle on this list has been thoroughly reviewed and used by one of Trusted Reviews product experts for at least a week. During that time we check all the most important things people want in an e-reader including ease of use, portability, build quality, battery life and display clarity and brightness to make sure our advice is as accurate as possible.

But before you scroll down, keep in mind the Kindle app is available on most tablets and offers access to the same library of content. So if you only sporadically read books and don’t need a Kindle’s lengthy battery life it may be worth checking out our best tablet list as well.

How we test

Learn more about how we test Kindles

We use any Kindle we review as our main e-reader for at least a week when reviewing it. During this time we will check its battery life with regular use and how much it discharges on average after an hour with the screen on. On top of this we will check battery recharge times, max brightness levels and how easy it is to read in a variety of different conditions, including outdoor sunlight. We check performance, ease of use and build quality to ensure it is pleasant to use and rugged enough to survive use on the go, or with small children.

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2021)

The best option for most people
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Pros

  • USB-C
  • Excellent screen
  • Durable design

Cons

  • Not much support for content that isn’t from Amazon
  • Physical buttons for flipping pages would be welcome

Picking the best Kindle model is an easy choice. The Kindle Paperwhite takes the crown even though it isn’t the ‘flagship’ e-reader, but it is the perfect mix of feature-set and cost. It’s also the most recent Kindle model and comfortably the most up-to-date in terms of hardware.

With the 2021 version of the Kindle Paperwhite, Amazon upped the screen-size to a larger 7-inches. This makes it a bigger device overall, but it helps the reading experience. If you’re really against the bigger footprint then you’re best off plumping for the basic Kindle.

Like all the Kindles on this list, the Paperwhite is a fairly simple device. It has an accurate, sharp display with a light for aiding low-light reading. There are no buttons for flipping through pages, so you’ll have to rely solely on the touchscreen for that. While we found this a minor annoyance, with the screen occasionally missing a turn page command during testing, in general we found a lot to like about the Paperwhite.

The plastic body only comes in black, but it’s water-resistant for poolside reading and feels very rugged. It’s certainly more rugged than the metal Oasis, and during our months of testing, the Paperwhite has remained free of any notable scratches or dings.

This Paperwhite, along with the Signature Edition we’ll mention below, feels like the most modern Kindle. It replaces the aged micro USB port you’ll find on the Kindle and Kindle Oasis with the far more modern, faster USB-C and feels faster than the other models in everyday use.

Battery Life depends wildly on use and is roughly on par with the other models on this list. Our reviewer managed to make it last throughout a two week holiday, reading two books, without the need to bring along the charger.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full review: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2021) review

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition

The best premium option
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Pros

  • Great screen
  • Wireless charging is a handy extra
  • Switch to USB-C

Cons

  • The cheaper model is the better buy for most people

The Kindle Paperwhite Signature is, at its core, a slightly more beefed up Paperwhite. While the extra features are nice, they won’t be for everyone and that’s the reason this isn’t our number one pick.

All the features of the regular Paperwhite are present here, plus the additions of wireless Qi charging, more onboard storage and a light that automatically changes depending on your surroundings.

Wireless charging is a neat addition, and as it uses the same Qi standard as many of the best phones around, you won’t need to invest in another charger if you’ve already got one. Qi charger is a bit slow here but it’s handy for small top ups.

The additional onboard is another feature we like – although it’s far from vital. The regular Paperwhite has 8GB, while this version has 32GB. eBooks are generally very small in size, so 8GB is plenty of space for hundreds of reads, however 32GB is much better is plan on downloading long audiobooks from Audible. There are no speakers here though, so both the Paperwhite and Paperwhite Signature Edition need to be connected to Bluetooth earphones to make use of the audio features.

The automatic brightness is the least interesting addition, as it doesn’t really work that well. We tend to prefer just altering it manually. If those three features appeal, you should choose the Signature Edition.

Reviewer: Max Parker

Full review: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Signature Edition review

Amazon Kindle (2019)

The best affordable option
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Pros

  • New front light makes the basic Kindle more versatile than ever
  • Audible support via Bluetooth
  • Massive Kindle library
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Lowest PPI Kindle display
  • Front light is a bit too blue
  • No inverted colour accessibility option

The cheapest Kindle is, as you can probably guess, is the most basic option in this list. If you want a device purely for reading and aren’t fussed about design flourishes or having the sharpest screen then this a great choice for the price.

Compared to the Paperwhite above and the Oasis below, the Kindle is missing numerous features. It has a 6-inch display, but isn’t as sharp giving text a bit of a jaggedy look. There’s no waterproofing either, meaning this isn’t a great choice for poolside or beach reading.

What it does have is a light behind the display, a feature that used to be kept for the pricier Kindle models. The amount of LEDs is only 4 (as opposed to 17 on the Paperwhite and 25 on the Oasis) so the light isn’t as bright, but it still works well enough in regular daylight based on our tests.

With all that being said, for many people the Kindle is a great choice. It has access to the same books as the other models and the smaller form-factor might even be a benefit to some. Our Editor-in-chief, Alastair Stevenson, still uses the base Kindle as his main e-reader as, despite years of abuse being lugged around the world in various satchels, it continues to work and offer a comfortable reading experience.

Reviewer: Richard Easton
Full review: Amazon Kindle (2019) review

Kindle Oasis

The best for travellers
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Pros

  • Big and sharp display
  • Page-turning buttons are great
  • New “warmth” display setting is nice on the eyes

Cons

  • With the Paperwhite being so good, the oasis is a hard sell
  • Lack of USB-C is annoying
  • Minimal updates from the previous model

The Kindle Oasis is a good e-reader, however it is starting to age slightly and could do with a healthy refresh, hence its place this far down on the list. Still, it remains the best looking Kindle model thanks to a metal body and is the only one to have physical buttons for flipping through pages.

It’s also the only model to offer 4G connectivity for downloading books away from Wi-Fi and it has the brightest, most accurate display light. The 4G connectivity is particularly important as, with a sim installed, it makes it the only option there that can download content without relying on a WiFi connection.

However, its use of the older micro USB port along with the high price make it hard to recommend to anyone other than those who really want wider connectivity options and a premium build. For most the high price that make this feel like an e-reader for a very specific users.

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full review: Amazon Kindle Oasis review

Amazon Kindle Kids Edition (2019)

The best for kids
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Pros

  • Excellent value
  • Two-year guarantee including accidental damage
  • Easy-to-read front-lit screen

Cons

  • Only available in blue and pink
  • Lots of big books aren’t free

While all Kindle devices can be locked down with parental controls, the Amazon Kindle Kids Edition is well worth the extra £30, particularly if you don’t have an old Kindle to hand. For starters, it comes with Amazon’s excellent two-year worry-free guarantee (a staple of all Amazon’s Kids edition products): if the device is broken, accidentally or otherwise, Amazon will simply replace it.

Secondly, it comes with a year’s subscription of Kids+, which gives you thousands of books thrown in for free, ranging from comic books, educational titles and bigger books, such as Harry Potter and Geek Girl. That said, there are still plenty of big children’s authors whose books aren’t included, so expect to splash out on some titles to keep your kids amused.

Each Kids Edition comes with a case, with a choice of two patterned options, pink or blue. Considering that the regular Kindle ships cover-free, this is yet another reason why this edition is better value than you might think.

Parental controls are built-in as standard, controllable through the web interface. For each child in your house, you can set up a profile, locking down content to titles that are suitable for their age only. Crucially, the controls also prevent children from buying books through your account. Parental controls work brilliantly and, combined with Kids+, it means you can leave children to explore and find a range of books, without the worry that they’ll download something inappropriate.

Otherwise, this is a standard Kindle, with a 6-inch screen and front-light making reading at night or in the car easy. We found the screen to be sharp and detailed. We’ve had no complaints from our kids, who’ve read everything from long books to graphic novels on it.

If you’ve got an old Kindle that you can reuse, you may as well stick parental controls on it; if not, the Kindle Kids Edition is great value and a secure way to let your kids read and find new books.

Reviewer: David Ludlow
Full review: Amazon Kindle Kids Edition (2019) review

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FAQs

Do Kindles have 5G?

There currently isn’t any version of a Kindle with 5G. Outside of the Oasis, which has LTE connectivity, to download books and magazines you need an active WiFi connection. The content is stored locally, however, so you can read it offline

Is there a colour screen Kindle?

Kindle’s all use black and white e-ink screens. Amazon doesn’t currently sell a colour screen Kindle.

Are Kindles the only e-reader?

Numerous companies have and do make e-readers including Kobo, Sony, Huawei and many more. We generally recommend Kindles over rivals due to the wealth of content available on the store.

Comparison specs

You can see a detailed breakdown of the all the devices mentioned in this guide’s specs in the table below.

UK RRP
USA RRP
EU RRP
CA RRP
AUD RRP
Manufacturer
Screen Size
Storage Capacity
Video Recording
IP rating
Wirless charging
Fast Charging
Size (Dimensions)
Weight
ASIN
Release Date
First Reviewed Date
Ports
RAM
Colours
Bin capacity

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Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

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