The Amazon Kindle is arguably Amazon’s best product. The e-ink display, the long battery life, and the simple design make for excellent e-readers. However, Amazon’s naming schemes for Kindle models could be better. There’s little rhyme or reason behind them and they often confuse people. For instance, the fourth generation Paperwhite is actually part of the 10th generation of devices, while the third generation Paperwhite is part of the seventh generation.
You may need to know which Kindle model you have in order to buy the proper case or other accessories. Perhaps you’re just curious and you simply can’t remember. In any case, here’s a quick and dirty guide to which Kindle you have. For reference, the most recent Amazon devices are the Kindle Basic 3, the Kindle Paperwhite 4, and the Kindle Oasis 3.
How to identify your Kindle model
There are three prevailing characteristics that work best for identifying your particular Kindle model. The first and most effective method is with the serial number. Your serial number is unique to your device. However, the first few digits are the same across all Kindles of the same model. For instance, all 10th generation Basic model serial numbers start with either G0910L (for black) or G0910WH (for white).
You can find your serial number by:
- Going into your device’s Settings menu.
- Find the Device Info option and tap it.
- The model number should appear along with things like the MAC Address and other info.
The second method for identification is the physical model number. This is visible on the product packaging as well as the device’s rear. For instance, the 10th generation Paperwhite model number is PQ94WIF and the 10th generation Basic model is DP75SDI. Simply Google Search that model number and the appropriate Amazon page should be the first search result that isn’t an advertisement.
Kindle serial numbers
The below table has each device, its release year, the generation it was a part of, the short name, and serial number prefixes to help identify it. Again, go into your device settings, find the Device Info option, and look at the first few characters of your serial number. Compare it to the table below to find your specific model. Please note that some models had a whole bunch of potential serial numbers. We noticed Paperwhites have a ton of serial numbers.
|Kindle model (Release year)||Generation||Serial number prefix||Short name|
|Kindle Oasis 3 (2019)||10th||G0011L, G000WQ, G000WM, G000WL||KOA3|
|Kindle Basic 3 (2019)||10th||G0910L, G0910WH||KT4|
|Kindle Paperwhite 4 (2019)||10th||G000PP, G000T6, G000T1, G000T2, G00102, G000T3||PW4|
|Kindle Oasis 2 (2017)||9th||G000P8, G000S1, G000SA, G000S2||KOA2|
|Kindle Basic 2 (2016)||8th||G000K9, G000KA||KT3|
|Kindle Oasis (2016)||8th||G0B0GC ,G0B0GD, G0B0GR, G0B0GU, G0B0GT||KOA|
|Kindle Paperwhite 3 (2015)||7th||G090G2, G090G4, G090G5, G090G6, G090G7, G090KB, G090KC, G090KE, G090KF, G090LK, G090LL||PW3|
|Kindle Voyage (2014)||7th||B013, 9013, B054, 9054, B053, 9053, B02A, B052, 9052||KV|
|Kindle Basic 1 (2014)||7th||B0C6, 90C6, B0DD, 90DD||KT2, BASIC|
|Kindle Paperwhite 2 (2013)||6th||B0D4, 90D4, B05A, 905A, B0D5, 90D5, B0D6, 90D6, B0D7, 90D7, B0D8, 90D8, B0F2, 90F2, B017, 9017, B060, 9060, B062, 9062, B05F, 905F, B061, 9061||PW2|
|Kindle Paperwhite 1 (2012)||5th||B024, B01B, B020, B01C, B01D, B01F||PW|
|Kindle 5 (2012)||5th||B012||K5|
|Kindle Touch (2012)||4th||B00F, B011, B010||KT|
|Kindle 4 (2011)||4th||B00E, B023, 9023||K4, K4S, K4B|
|Kindle 3 (2010)||3rd||B008, B006, B00A||K3|
|Kindle DX (2010)||2nd||B004, B005, B009||DX, DXI, DXG|
|Kindle 2 (2009)||2nd||B002, B003||K2, K2I|
|Kindle (2007)||1st||B001, B101||K1|
The table or the previously explained model number method should be enough for most people. In fact, the only time this method doesn’t work is if the screen doesn’t turn on and the model number is worn off of the back of the device. If that’s the case, things get a little more complicated because you’ll need to identify your particular model just from its design, and that’s not as easy as you might think.
Your Kindle’s physical appearance
We highly recommend the serial number method and the physical model number method. However, if you can’t obtain any of those, you’ll need physical identifiers to tell them apart. This is usually pretty easy and Amazon has a help page with photos of each of them here. However, in some cases, it can be difficult to tell the difference between models just from images. For example, the 2017 Oasis and the 2019 Oasis are physically identical to a point where you can use the same folio case for either one.
Below we’ve listed each model and some defining characteristics in order to help you identify which Kindle model you have.
- Kindle Basic 3 — The back has the Amazon arrow logo without the word “Amazon.” It is otherwise physically identical to the Basic 2 aside from size.
- Kindle Paperwhite 4 — The Paperwhite 4 looks physically identical to the Paperwhite 3 except the “Kindle” text on the front is white instead of black.
- Kindle Oasis 3 — The Oasis 3 is physically identical to the Oasis 2. The only differentiation as far as we know is the Oasis 3 can emit warm light from the screen instead of the usual backlight color of the Oasis 2.
- Kindle Oasis 2 — The Oasis 2 is much larger than most other models at 7-inches with a two-button handle on the right side. The handle is thicker than the rest of the device. The back has an Amazon arrow logo with “Amazon” text written vertically rather than horizontally.
- Kindle Basic 2 — The back features rounded edges, which are different than the sloped edges of the Basic 1. The front otherwise looks identical to other Basic models.
- Kindle Oasis — The original Oasis looks the same as the other models. However, the original Oasis was much smaller than the other two and that is its only defining difference.
- Kindle Paperwhite 3 — The Paperwhite 3 is the only Paperwhite with black “Kindle” text on the front. It looks strikingly similar to the Basic 1. However, if you look closely, you’ll notice the Paperwhite 3 has a taller screen than the Basic 1.
- Kindle Voyage — The Voyage has a front design unique to all others with thin, vertical lines on the side along with left and right soft-touch buttons for easy page-turning.
- Kindle Basic 1 — The first Basic is very similar to the other three Basic devices. However, on the back, the edges are sloped rather than rounded and it is, to our knowledge, the only e-reader in the bunch with those sloped designs.
- Kindle Paperwhite 2 — The second-generation Paperwhite is the only Paperwhite with a glossy black Amazon logo on the back. All future generations have engraved logos that are the same material as the rest of the device. The front looks the same as basically all other Paperwhites.
- Kindle 5 — The fifth-gen is physically identical to the fourth generation except this one comes in black instead of silver. They are otherwise so close together that Amazon lists them together on its list of all devices.
- Kindle Paperwhite 1 — The first Paperwhite looks the same as future generations. However, the first one is the only one that has the word “Kindle” on the back as well as the front. All future generations use the Amazon logo.
- Kindle Touch — The Touch is easy enough to identify. It’s the only one with the four-line home button on the front of the device.
- Kindle 4 — The fourth gen e-reader has the characteristic square button on the front with two circular buttons on the left and right sides. This one only came in silver, though, and the fifth generation model only came in black.
- Kindle 3 — This third-gen product is the last one that came with a full keyboard. It has four rows of buttons along with two page turn buttons on the right side. This model also introduced the square button that would be prevalent on the fourth and fifth generation models later on.
- Kindle 2 — The Kindle 2 has a totally unique look. It had a five-row keyboard with two buttons on the left side as well as five buttons on the right side. It is the only Amazon e-reader with that configuration.
- Kindle DX — The DX has a larger screen than most early devices. However, its four-row keyboard is much smaller and, as a result, the screen-to-body ratio is much larger than most, making it easy to identify.
- Kindle 1 — The first one is easily identifiable by its keyboard. It’s the only one with a keyboard split down the middle and separated for easier two-hand typing. Additionally, each key has a weird bend to it that is vastly different than all other models.
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We hope this guide helped you identify your Kindle model. If not, leave us a comment and tell us why so we can fix it!