When I reviewed the Kindle Oasis on Saturday, one of my complaints was that the much ballyhooed battery died in only three days. At the time I had written that off to the Oasis not living up to Amazon’s marketing claims, but now I wonder if there was a more specific cause.
There’s a new discussion over on MobileRead where one Oasis owner reports that their new ereader wasn’t charging correctly:
Why did my Oasis shut itself down when there was plenty of battery charge left at the cover? I started with both batteries at the Kindle and the cover fully charged at 100%. I started reading at light level 24 (maximum brightness) for 6 straight hours, WIFI off. At the end of 6 hours, I started to get low battery warning message before the device shut itself down. Before it shut down, I looked at the battery meter and it showed that the battery at the Kindle was at 10% while at the cover was still at 44%. Then the battery at the Kindle went down to 5% and then downed to 1% before it finally shut down while the battery at the cover only went down a bit further.
This mechanism made no sense. When the Kindle and the cover are connected, shouldn’t it use the battery at the cover first before draining the battery at the Kindle? And why shut it down when there was still 44% battery charge at the cover? Why can’t it draw current from whatever part of the unit still has battery charge?
I didn’t think to check my Oasis when the battery ran down, so I can’t tell you whether but this would tend to explain why the battery on my unit died so quickly.
Here’s my theory.
The Oasis connects to its battery case through a 5-pin port. A power connection would only require two pins, which tells us that it’s a smart connection of some kind.
What if the Oasis isn’t drawing from the battery case because it thinks the battery case isn’t connected? There are five pins; what if they’re not seating correctly?
That’s not as big of a stretch as it sounds. I for one fidget when I read, and I repeatedly caught myself removing the cover and snapping it back on.
I also noticed that it was possible for the magnets to hold the cover on even when the Oasis wasn’t seated correctly, so I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the reports about battery life had that obvious cause.
What do you think? Have you witnessed any strange battery behavior with the Oasis?