Covers Kindle Unlimited audio books

Kindle Unlimited in the test: Amazon's flat rate for books is that good

AMAZON KINDLE UNLIMITED

Amazon offers over a million e-books and thousands of audiobooks with Kindle Unlimited in the flat-rate model at a fixed monthly price. We test what Kindle Unlimited can do and for whom the Amazon service is worthwhile.

Amazon Kindle Unlimited in the test

Editor's rating 6.5 Reader ratings
Price-performance ratio

Strongly dependent on your reading habits

An objective conclusion can hardly be drawn about Kindle Unlimited, because the evaluation of the offer depends on your interest in the available novels. If you read the relevant content - preferably also in English - with pleasure, a subscription is worthwhile. However, those who expect not only to be able to rummage through the Kindle Unlimited library with good luck, but also to find suitable results in the direct search for e-books, will be disappointed with the offer.

We liked that

  • Lots of indie novels to choose from
  • Good availability thanks to integration in the Kindle app

We didn't like that

  • Too little content from well-known authors and publishers
  • Catalog contains paid titles

The best eBook and magazine flat rates in comparison

In the comparison of the eBook and magazine flat rates, we compared different services for you with each other. Here you can see at a glance which flat rate is best for you. »For a detailed comparison of the eBook and magazine flat rates

  1. This is how Kindle Unlimited works
  2. selection
  3. Operation and availability
  4. Prices and terms
  5. Conclusion

In addition to Prime Reading, the Kindle Newsstand and Audible, customers with Kindle Unlimited can take out another subscription at Amazon, which enables access to e-books and audiobooks. But how is Kindle Unlimited, taking into account this large selection, on the one hand to distinguish it from the other book and magazine subscriptions on Amazon and on the other hand from competitors outside of Amazon? You read that in the review.

This is how Kindle Unlimited works

For a fixed monthly price of EUR 9.99, subscribers to Kindle Unlimited have access to Amazon's e-readers or app to a selection of around a million e-books and selected e-magazines that can be read at no extra charge. Books must first be borrowed before they can be accessed.

At the same time, ten books can be borrowed virtually. Anyone who would like to read more books must return previously borrowed copies digitally. Some books available contain an audio book that can be borrowed free of charge alongside the e-book version. Amazon determines which books are available for loan.

This means that Kindle Unlimited is initially to be distinguished from the Kindle Newsstand in that the Unlimited offer does not contain any newspapers and only a few selected magazines. It is differentiated from the Prime Reading offer insofar as the latter service comprises a catalog of only around 1,600 titles and is therefore significantly less extensive than Kindle Unlimited.

Prime Reading is part of an Amazon Prime membership; the Unlimited subscription can be taken out independently of one of these. While Audible sells millions of audiobooks, only a few thousand Kindle Unlimited titles contain an audiobook - here, too, the service differs from its own competition. But what does Kindle Unlimited have to offer in terms of content?

selection

Despite all the differentiation from other offers: Kindle Unlimited can only convince if the offer is extensive enough - and this is a major problem of the service. Most of the books included in the subscription are relatively unknown indie publications and hardly known bestsellers.

While specialist literature is completely absent, Amazon covers novels from a wide range of sub-genres and everyday guidebooks with corresponding indie e-books. While a substantial proportion of the books mentioned are available in German, the majority of the available e-books appear to be only listed in English.

A comparison of the catalog with the top novels on the Spiegel bestseller list shows that none of these titles are available to subscribers. An exception to the catalog, which is otherwise characterized by unknown titles, can be found in the Harry Potter series, which is completely available in German and English, which is widely advertised by Amazon.

The number of titles that are also included in audio form in the subscription is even lower: the approximately 2,000 available titles in relation to the Unlimited selection are so negligible that they should not be used as a reason for anyone to take out the subscription.

It follows from this that the Unlimited subscription is unsuitable if you specifically want to read a certain book - the probability that a title you are looking for is not available is far too great for the subscription to be justified. You can only benefit from this if you, conversely, like to be inspired by the book catalog and are basically open to indie publications and English titles.

Operation and availability

Amazon's infrastructure, into which Kindle Unlimited is seamlessly integrated, is both a curse and a blessing. Anyone who knows Amazon also knows the user interface of the Kindle Unlimited library - which is why borrowing and returning books usually works quickly. Similar to Prime Video, however, Amazon mixes Kindle Unlimited books with regular Kindle books, a list of pure Unlimited titles can only be found in a roundabout way by calling up the general Kindle library and ticking "E-Books" and "In." Kindle Unlimited included "Reach.

If you want to filter by genre, you always have to filter in the general Kindle shop first and then filter for unlimited books afterwards. A dedicated unlimited page is therefore not available.

It is also a pity that in the Amazon search under "Categories" you can select Kindle books, but not Unlimited books. This always creates the impression that Amazon wants to draw the customer's attention to books outside of the subscription.

However, there are unreserved positive things to report about the availability of the book flat rate across all devices: This extends to Amazon's numerous in-house Kindle devices, but also to Kindle apps for all common computers and mobile devices.

Accessing borrowed content by subscription does not require a separate app, but is simply possible via the regular Kindle app. If a borrowed book contains an audiobook, this can be accessed directly via the Audible app. The availability of the offer across devices is therefore very good.

Amazon has also been developing the Kindle app for many years, so that it looks very mature and enables an extremely fluid reading experience. You can read more about the Kindle app on the specially created page on netzwelt.

Prices and terms

A Kindle Unlimited subscription can be taken out for 9.99 euros per month. A one-month test period is available to you, during which you can try out the offer at no cost. If you are in the paid model, you can cancel on a monthly basis. After your subscription has expired, you will no longer be able to access borrowed content.

Amazon Kindle Unlimited

Editor's rating 6.5 Reader ratings
Price-performance ratio

Amazon Kindle Unlimited: The Best Alternatives

Don't you agree? Are you looking for suitable alternatives? Below are the best Amazon Kindle Unlimited alternatives.

We also recommend that you take a look at our book and magazine flat rate leaderboards. You can find comparable products, for example, in the list of the best "Reading enjoyment without end: E-book and magazine flat rates in comparison"

Amazon Kindle Unlimited: Datasheet

Here you can find the technical data for Amazon Kindle Unlimited. You can easily compare size, weight and other properties with other products.

Books✔ Yes
Magazines✔ Yes
Newspapers✘ No.
Monthly price 9.99 euros
Free trial period 30 days