Yes, the Amazon Kindle Kids (2022) is a repurposed Kindle (2022) in all but name, but the additions prove to be both thoughtful and excellent value. The added cover and the two-year guarantee alone make it much more kid-friendly, while there’s plenty of free content from the Kids+ library access. If you want your kids to read more – and well – it’s close to being a no-brainer of an investment.
- Excellent, sharp display
- Two-year guarantree
- Free access to Kids+
- It’s literally an Amazon Kindle (2022) with a jacket
- Kindle Kids+ not a comprehensive library
- Not waterproof
- 6-inch 300PPI displayThe 300PPI E-ink display is a big step forward from the older Kindles, offering crisp text and visuals.
- Long battery lifeThe Kindle Kids (2022) will keep on going for weeks, not days.
- Amazon Fire for Kids UIThe child-friendly UI puts a focus on content for kids, while also gamifying features to make reading more engaging.
The Amazon Kindle Kids (2022) might sound like a cute and colourful bespoke e-reader that’s been purpose-built for children, but it’s a far more prosaic offering than that.
It’s literally an Amazon Kindle (2022), but with a pre-applied protective case, a year’s subscription to Amazon Kids+, and a two-year guarantee.
What it lacks in stand-alone wow factor, the Amazon Kindle Kids (2022) makes up for in pure practical value. If you have a kid who’s mad about reading – or one you wish was mad about reading – it’s pretty much the best £104.99 (at the time of writing) you could spend on them. But is it worth the £20 premium over the regular Kindle?
Design and screen
- 6-inch 300PPI display
- Simple button-free layout
- Compact plastic design
- Protective case as standard
As I mentioned at the outset, the Amazon Kindle Kids (2022) is an Amazon Kindle (2022). Rather than ask you to traipse through our 4.5-star review of that fine e-reader, however, let’s summarise how it looks and feels with the added perspective of someone with teeny-tiny hands and a total inability to sit still.
The biggest and best feature of the Amazon Kindle Kids (2022) is its display, with a super-sharp 300 pixels-per-inch (PPI) resolution that really makes text pop. This feature alone is a good reason to upgrade from the 2019 model and its (comparatively) fuzzy 167 PPI screen.
This screen is still a fairly compact 6 inches in size, like its predecessor. That makes even more sense packaged up in this Kids version, where the hands holding it will be on the petite side. What was easily wieldable by a single adult hand in the Kindle (2022) remains easy to wield in two here.
It’s very compact for an e-reader, with a shorter height than many current phones. At 157.8mm, it’s not much taller than an iPhone 14. Obviously it’s much wider at 108.6mm, with an aspect ratio that’s intended to mimic a page out of a paperback. At 256g (including the cover), it weighs just a little more than a large smartphone, which feels like nothing at all spread over a larger surface area.
The super-simple Kindle design makes perfect sense in the hands of a kid, with no page-turning buttons to get jammed up by slobber and cookie gunk. All interactions are through that display, which is recessed slightly in a way that further discourages nicks and scratches. It took me a while to even notice the tiny power button on the bottom edge, right alongside the USB-C charging port.
Going back to that screen for a second, the lighting isn’t the boldest or most even of any Kindle – a clear sign of budget-induced compromise. The Kindle Paperwhite Kids is available for £139.99 if you want the absolute peak of screen clarity for your child. But it’s not so bad that you’ll be fearing for your child’s eyesight when they’re reading in bed of an evening.
The key differentiating point between the Amazon Kindle Kids (2022) and the Kindle (2022), at least externally, is the protective case that the former comes in. It’s a fairly cheap and plasticky folio that’s available in a couple of colourful designs. It’s very effective at warding off knocks to the corners, while the thick padded display cover will keep the screen suitably protected when not in use. Subtle but strong magnets should keep the lid closed even when shaken up in a school bag.
One related design criticism we had for the Kindle (2022) perhaps applies doubly so with the Kindle Kids (2022) – it has no form of waterproofing whatsoever. So if little Jenny’s drinks lid comes off in said school bag shake-up, their Kindle is unlikely to survive the encounter. You’re best off investing extra in the Kindle Paperwhite Kids if that’s likely to be an issue.
Thankfully, this is where Amazon’s two-year worry-free guarantee comes in. Like the previous model, any accidental damage inflicted upon the e-reader will be covered by the retailer. If it breaks, you can return it and Amazon will replace it for free.
Performance and software
- Familiar Kindle experience
- Amazon Kids UI set up from the off
- Free 1-year Amazon Kids+ subscription
- 16GB storage
You get the same software experience on the Amazon Kindle Kids (2022) as you do on any other Kindle, but with the Amazon Fire for Kids feature set-up from the off.
Through this UI you get a streamlined experience, with only kid-friendly books pushed to the fore. You can also pick which of the books in your own personal library you want to share and make accessible to your kids.
There’s a gamified element to the Kindle Kids UI too, which awards achievements for reaching your daily reading quota, finishing a book, and the like. There’s also a built-in vocabulary builder, which makes a note of any words that the child has looked up for later reference.
And yes, you can easily deactivate Kindle Kids in the Settings menu and simply use the Amazon Kindle Kids (2022) as a plain old Kindle. If you’re a one Kindle kind of a family, this could be all the e-reader you’ll ever need.
As part of the package, you also get a free one-year subscription to Amazon Kids+, which gives you free access to more than 1,000 child-friendly e-books. It’s a decent selection, but far from comprehensive, as we pointed out in our Kindle Kids (2019) review. I noticed a couple of comics on there too, and the Kindle’s compact monochrome E-Ink display is not well suited to such an image-led format.
Some might question the decision of Amazon to place a store selection prominently on the second hub screen, tantalizingly showing off heavyweight titles like The Books of Earthsea and The Hunger Games. It’s obviously designed to prod parents into hitting that Buy button when the pleading digital requests start to come through.
While we’re on the subject of Amazon sneaking money out of you, Amazon Kids+ is set to automatically renew your subscription after a year, at which point you’ll need to pay £3.99 per month. On the positive side, just totting this up over 12 months (it’s about £48) tells you you’re getting value for money from the £20 premium you’re being asked to pay over the plain Kindle (2022).
In terms of general performance, I noticed the odd stutter when scrolling through content and downloading books, but the core experience of flicking through virtual pages is smooth enough. And that’s what really matters.
16GB of onboard storage is ample for storing plenty of books, both text and audio, with the latter possible if you hook up a set of Bluetooth earphones. The switch to USB-C is a welcome one too, as it means kids will be able to charge their Kindle with their phone, tablet, Switch or laptop charger – whatever happens to fall to hand. The lack of a power brick in the box adds to the value of this switch.
Not that charging the Kindle Kids (2022) will be such a common occurrence. This thing lasts for weeks, not days. We’ve previously noted how the Kindle (2022) that sits at the core of this package will hit 10 days of solid usage and still have 60% left in the tank.
Standby time is similarly strong, so it won’t drain away while your child goes through one of their fickle non-reading phases.
Should you buy it?
You want an affordable e-reader for your kid: The Amazon Kindle Kids (2022) is excellent value, providing a brilliant screen, epic battery life, and a roster of free e-books for around £100.
Your kid hangs around near pools a lot: The Amazon Kindle Kids (2022) is not waterproof. Buy the Kindle Paperwhite Kids if this is an issue.
What initially appears to be a fairly cynical repurposing of the plain Amazon Kindle (2022) turns out to be a very good e-reader for children. Yes, this is literally Amazon’s mainline Kindle with a snazzy jacket, but that device was already a compact, intuitive reading device with a super-sharp display. It works as well for kids as it does for adults.
What’s more, the Amazon Kindle Kids (2022)’s extras add genuine value to the package. The peace of mind that comes from Amazon’s generous two-year guarantee shouldn’t be underestimated, while a year of access to Amazon Kids+ adds a library of content for kids to enjoy, even if it is far from comprehensive.
There’s the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Kids if you really want to pamper your children, but the Kindle Kids (2022) is really all they’ll need.
How we test
We test every e-reader we review thoroughly. We use the device over the review period. We’ll always tell you what we find and we never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Tested for a week
Read books to test battery life
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There’s a USB-C cable in the box, but no charging brick.
Unlike more premium models, the Kindle Kids (2022) offers no kind of official water resistance.