Amazon Kindle Fire vs Kindle Fire HD
Amazon had the crown for the best budget tablet around the corner for offering Kindle Fire for $199. But this time, they have certainly caught us by Fire. Amazon Kindle Fire HD tablets introduced yesterday at an event in Santa Monica California were breathtaking. The Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos teased the crowd by introducing a slightly upgraded version of Amazon Kindle Fire which shattered the hopes of the tech geeks. Then he amazed the audience by introducing two new versions of Kindle Fire HD having a 7 inch and 8.9 inch tablets. These seemed to be very nice and well-built devices falling under the budget category. The slightly improved new Kindle Fire is priced at $159 which is $40 drop from the initial price. Amazon Kindle Fire HD comes with several versions depending on the screen size and internal storage.
Since the new Kindle Fire doesn’t have much compared to Kindle Fire, hence we decided to compare the Kindle Fire HD against Kindle Fire to find out what new features Amazon has given to this wonderful budget tablet. It seems Amazon is directly targeting Apple’s upcoming iPad Mini as well as Asus Google Nexus 7 since they fall in to the same category as Kindle Fire HD.
Amazon Kindle Fire HD Review
Amazon lists that Kindle Fire HD has the most advanced 7 inch display ever. It features a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels in a high definition LCD display that seems to be vibrant. The display panel is IPS, hence offers vivid colors, and with Amazon’s new polarized filter overlay on top of the display panel, you are bound to have wider viewing angles, as well. Amazon has laminated the touch sensor and LCD panel together with a single layer of glass reduces the effective screen glare. Kindle Fire HD comes with exclusive custom Dolby audio in dual-driver stereo speakers with auto optimization software for crisp balanced audio.
Amazon Kindle Fire HD is powered by 1.2GHz dual core processor on top of TI OMAP 4460 chipset with PowerVR SGX GPU. This sleek slate has 1GB of RAM to support the processor. Amazon claims that this setup is much faster than Nvidia Tegra 3 mounted devices although we need to do some benchmarking tests in order to verify that. Amazon also boasts of featuring the fastest Wi-Fi device which they claim is 41% faster than new iPad. Kindle Fire HD is renowned as the first tablet featuring dual Wi-Fi antennas with Multiple In / Multiple Out (MIMO) technology enabling enhanced bandwidth capabilities. With the dual band support, your Kindle Fire HD can automatically switch between the less congested band of 2.4GHz and 5GHz. The 7 inch edition doesn’t seem to feature GSM connectivity, which may be problematic if you’re in an area where Wi-Fi networks aren’t frequent to come by. However, with new devices like Novatel Mi-Wi, this can be easily compensated.
Amazon Kindle Fire HD will feature Amazon ‘X-Ray’ feature which used to be available in ebooks. This would enable you to tap the screen while a movie is playing and get the complete list of actors in the scene and you can further explore those using IMDB records right in your screen. This is a pretty cool and solid feature to implement inside a movie. Amazon has also enhanced the ebook and audio book capabilities by introducing immersive reading, which enables you to read a book and hear the narration of it at the same time. This is available for almost 15000 ebook audiobook couple according to Amazon website. This merged together with Amazon Whispersync for Voice would do wonders if you are a book lover. For instance, if you were reading and went to the kitchen to prepare the dinner, you’ll have to ditch the book for a while, but with Whispersync, your Kindle Fire HD would narrate the book for you while you’re making your dinner and you can come right back to the book after dinner enjoying the flow of story the whole time. Similar experiences are offered by Whispersync for Movies, Books and Games. Amazon has included a front facing HD camera that enables you to keep in touch using custom skype application and Kindle Fire HD offers a deep Facebook integration, as well. The web experience is said to be ultra-fast with the improved Amazon Silk browser that comes with the assurance of 30% reduction in page load times.
The storage starts from 16GB for Amazon Kindle Fire HD, but since Amazon offers free unlimited cloud storage for all your Amazon content, you can live with the internal storage. Kindle FreeTime applications offer the parents with a chance to give a personalized experience for their children. It can limit children from using different applications for different durations and supports multiple profiles for multiple kids. We are positive that this is going to be a favorable feature for all the parents out there. Amazon guarantees 11 hours of battery life for Kindle Fire HD which is really great. This version of tablet is offered at $199 which is a great bargain for this killer slate.
Amazon Kindle Fire Review
Amazon Kindle Fire is a device that promotes the economical tablet range with moderate performance that serves the purpose. It actually is boosted by the reputation Amazon has. Kindle fire comes with a minimalistic design which comes in Black without much styling. It is measured to be 190 x 120 x 11.4 mm which feels comfortable in your hands. It is slightly on the hefty side since it weighs 413g. It has a 7 inch multi touch display with IPS and anti-reflective treatment. This makes sure that you can use the tablet in direct day light without much of a problem. Kindle Fire comes with a generic resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels and a pixel density of 169ppi. While this is not the state of the art specs, it’s more than acceptable for a tablet in this price range. We can’t complain because Kindle will produce quality images and text in a competitive manner. The screen is also chemically strengthened to be stiffer and harder than plastic which is just great.
It comes with a 1GHz Cortex A9 dual core processor on top of TI OMAP4 Chipset. The operating system is Android v2.3 Gingerbread. It also has 512MB RAM and internal storage of 8GB which is not expandable. While the processing power is good, the internal capacity may cause a problem since 8GB of storage space just isn’t enough to fulfill your media needs. It’s a shame that Amazon doesn’t feature higher capacity editions of Kindle Fire. We got to say, if you are a user with the need to keep a lot of multimedia content at hand, Kindle Fire may well disappoint in you in that context. What Amazon has done to compensate this is enabling the use of their cloud storage at any time. That is, you can download the content that you bought over and over again whenever you want. While this is highly advantageous, you still have to download the content to use it which can be a hassle.
Kindle Fire is basically a reader and a browser with extended capabilities to fulfill the needs of the user. It features a heavily modified version of Android OS v 2.3 and sometimes you wonder whether that’s Android at all. But rest assured, it is. The difference is that Amazon has made sure to tweak the OS to fit into the hardware for a smooth operation. Fire can still run all of Android Apps, but it can only access the content from Amazon App store for Android. If you want an app from Android Market, you have to side load it and install it. The primary difference you’ll see in the UI is the home screen that looks like a book shelf. This is where everything is and your only way of accessing application launcher. It has the Amazon Silk browser which is fast and promises good user experience, but there are some ambiguities involved in that, as well. For instance, it’s observed that the Amazon’s accelerated page loading in Silk Browser indeed yields in worse results than normal. Thus, we need to keep a close tab on it and optimize that ourselves. It also supports adobe Flash content. The only blowback is that Kindle only supports Wi-Fi via 802.11 b/g/n and no GSM connectivity. On the context of reading, Kindle has added a lot of value. It has Amazon Whispersync included which can automatically sync your library, last page read, bookmarks, notes and highlights across your devices. On Kindle Fire, Whispersync also syncs video which is quite awesome.
Kindle Fire does not come with a camera which is justifiable for the price, but the Bluetooth connectivity would have been very much appreciated. Amazon claims that Kindle enables you a continuous read of 8 hours and 7.5 hours of video playback.
A Brief Comparison Between Amazon Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire
• Amazon Kindle Fire HD is powered by 1.2GHz dual core processor on top of TI OMAP 4460 chipset with PowerVR SGX GPU while Amazon Kindle Fire is powered by 1GHz cortex A9 dual core processor on top of TI OMAP 4430 chipset with 512MB RAM and PowerVR SGX 540 GPU.
• Amazon Kindle Fire HD has 7 inch HD LCD capacitive touchscreen display featuring a resolution of 1280 x 800 pixels while Amazon Kindle Fire has 7 inch IPS TFT capacitive touchscreen featuring a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels at a pixel density of 170ppi.
• Amazon Kindle Fire HD features a HD camera in the front for video conferencing while Amazon Kindle Fire doesn’t feature a camera.
• Amazon Kindle Fire HD is features a battery life of 11 hours while Amazon Kindle Fire features a battery life of 8.5 hours.
The conclusion here is definitely in favor of Amazon Kindle Fire HD. It’s rather apparent as Kindle Fire HD comes as the successor of Kindle Fire. However, we can check the possibility of investing $159 to buy a slightly improved version of Amazon Kindle Fire compared to the Fire HD. Obviously, if you do this; you’re going to miss the better display panel with better resolution and some very cool features as we listed above. Actually the gap is only $50 and hence we hardly find the need for the $159 Kindle Fire. It can be seen that Amazon has slightly changed their business model by providing hardware as a service platform, hence the decrease in price. In this concept, Amazon Kindle Fire HD, which is the hardware, is integral for customers to purchase other services from Amazon including premium services, cloud storages as well as games and applications from its own eco system. Amazon also offers wonderful action game figures and the likes of it; so be warned, you would be tempted to spend a lot more when you buy Amazon Kindle Fire HD. As a conclusion, we have to say we are impressed by this clean and attractive slate. It will be an absolute hit in the market in the holiday season to come and sometimes it may even have a dual with Apple for the sales volume given the appealing bargain of price and performance.