Nook GlowLight Plus Software


The Nook GlowLight Plus doesn’t have much going for it. Looking at its specs sheet and how it compares to other legitimate eBook readers in the market, you can see that the Nook doesn’t have much in the way of file type support.

On paper, it looks like the Nook has as much functionality as a Kobo given its ePub, Adobe DRM, and PDF support, but it’s worth noting that the Nook treats PDF files like pictures and give you absolutely no option to zoom in. If are looking to catch up on the latest manga, you also can’t read comics with a Nook GlowLight Plus.

The Flexibility of Android

Interestingly enough, there is a workaround that should provide you with more flexibility. The Nook GlowLight Plus actually runs on the Android mobile operating system. This means that, if you know what you are doing, you can actually install other eReader apps into the GlowLight Plus. Need AZW compatibility? Install the Kindle app. An avid reader of comics or manga? There are tons for Android. Need an all-in-one eReader that supports all types of file formats, including comic books? Again, Android’s got you covered.

A small caveat though: if you do intend to install third party Android apps to your Nook GlowLight Plus, then be prepared to do a little digging and tinkering. It isn’t as straightforward as clicking a button or downloading apps directly to the device, so be sure you know exactly what to do before even attempting this (XDA forums should be able to help).

Nook GlowLight Plus Performance

On its own, however, the Nook performs well enough. They allow you to set up individual profiles for each Nook user, so you can turn your Nook into a family device without worrying about your family seeing your library.

And instead of selling them as e-books, the Nook Store sells digital copies of magazines and newspapers that are optimized for e-reading, probably because of the lack of zooming options. This gets rid of the many-columned styling sheets you’d expect from a periodical.

Overall, the Nook’s software features are adequate, and the ecosystem is pretty good – though nothing still beats Amazon’s robust features and well-polished store.

Nook GlowLight Plus User Interface

The user interface is clean, simple, and doesn’t clutter your device. They have an icon at the top of your tool bar that redirects you to your last/current read in one stroke.

The reading settings and apps are so-so, to say the least. They have all of the functionality you’d expect from an eBook reader, such as bookmarks and dictionaries, but lack the robust performance of its major competitors. Dictionaries, for one thing, are only available in English and the customizability of your reading settings are limited.

Of course, because you can tweak your Nook GlowLight Plus to run third party Android apps, you can enhance its functionality. Though, again, it will involve a bit of work to be able to get the most out of it.

B&N Readouts

One of the more unique features offered by the Nook GlowLight Plus is B&N Readouts. This feature offers free excerpts from books, magazines, and more, daily — allowing you to discover and preview content in a more involved manner.

Nook GlowLight Plus Hardware

Nook GlowLight Plus
Built-in LightYes
Resolution1448×1072 (300 ppi)
Charging cover
Advertised Battery Life6 Weeks
Weight6.9 oz (195 g)
Screen size6”
Storage4 GB (2.5 GB for content)
ConnectorsMicro USB
Cloud StorageYes
Supported File Types
  • Text: ePub, PDF, Adobe DRM ePub
  • Graphic: JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP

Nook GlowLight Plus Display

Hoping to go toe-to-toe with the Kindle Paperwhite, the Nook GlowLight Plus sports a crisp screen that features a similar 1448×1072 resolution with a 300ppi pixel density. This translates to sharp text and images, which should offer a better reading experience.

Continuing the similarities to the Paperwhite, the GlowLight Plus also features a front-lit display which allows you to comfortably read eBooks even in dim environments. The light also succeeds in giving the GlowLight Plus’ screen an even illumination. Compared to the almost book-like screen of the Paperwhite, however, Nook’s has a more bluish hue. This might be due to where the LEDs are placed though – up top for the Nook, and at the bottom for the Kindle. Still, the GlowLight Plus comes pretty close to matching the glorious screen of the Kindle Paperwhite.

Unfortunately, the GlowLight Plus’ screen isn’t the most responsive. You would have to press a little harder than usual for commands to register, and flipping between pages isn’t the fastest.

Nook GlowLight Plus Ergonomics

Unlike other eBook readers in the market, the Nook GlowLight Plus features an aluminum back, making it look more premium than even more expensive eReaders. Even better, at 6.4 x 4.6 x 0.4 inches, it is also smaller and lighter than other devices, such as the Kindle Paperwhite and the Kobo Aura H2O. Wrist comfort after a prolonged reading session is one thing you won’t have to worry about.

That said, the aluminum back is a bit slippery compared to the soft-touch material that can usually be seen on other eBook readers in the market. It’s not that terrible, but you might want to spring for a case if you tend to read while in bed, lest the device drops squarely on your face. Ouch!

Nook GlowLight Plus Customer Support

On top of the limited one year warranty, Barnes and Noble also offers lifetime free in-store support. This means that you can simply visit any of Barnes and Noble’s brick-and-mortar stores to get assistance. In-store support for the GlowLight Plus includes assistance for setup and connectivity issues, as well as basic troubleshooting. Barnes and Noble also offers free Wi-Fi connectivity in all of their stores, plus at over 30,000 AT&T hotspots across the U.S.

What's the Verdict on Nook GlowLight Plus?

Worth It, Some Issues

Nook GlowLight Plus Review 2020 — Conclusion

The Nook GlowLight Plus definitely has potential to be an excellent eBook reader, almost matching the brilliance of the Kindle Paperwhite. It offers a similar resolution and pixel density as Amazon’s most beloved eReader, as well as a comparable front lighting technology. It’s even smaller and lighter than other eReaders out there.

What’s more, it looks a lot more premium than even some of the actual premium eReaders out there, thanks to its sleek, aluminum-clad design. That aluminum back isn’t all great, though, as it makes the device rather slippery. The capacitive ‘n’ button is also a bit prone to accidental presses, while the screen isn’t the most responsive. A robust file type support is also lacking here, despite the Nook GlowLight Plus supporting the widely used ePub file type.

However, because this eBook reader runs on Android, you can actually tweak it so that you can install third party apps usually found in the Google PlayStore. This, in turn, can enhance the functionality of the Nook GlowLight Plus – especially if you install third party eReader apps that support a multitude of file types. Still, this involves more work than some will be comfortable with. Out of the box, however, the Nook GlowLight Plus provides enough versatility and value that most will appreciate. It’s is a pretty good eReader – one that comes close to the Kindle Paperwhite.