Kindle Fire HDX 7 and 8.9 Review: Powerful Media and Entertainment Tablet at Competitive Price

Posted by B. Johnson
December 17, 2013 | 0 comments
Kindle Fire HDX 7 and 8.9 Review: Powerful Media and Entertainment Tablet at Competitive PriceHi guys, welcome back to this blog! Glad to see you again here.

Okay, in the past few days, i’ve already made some of my personal reviews of tablets ranging from Google Nexus 7, LG G Pad 8.3, iPad Air and most recent one, Tegra Note, which i thought these tablets would be great for playing games.

But that’s not the end of it as i have some other powerful tablets that are worth recommending for all of you here who are seriously looking for a great tablet for playing games, not just some simple games like Angry Birds or Fruit Ninja, but also any kind of graphically demanding games across the respected app markets around the world (i.e., App Store, Google Play Store, Windows Marketplace).

Kindle Fire HDX 7

Kindle Fire HDX 7 benchmarks and gaming performance

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9

Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 benchmarks and gaming performance

Today, i want to bring another tablet to you, from Android camp, that i strongly believe will also be an ideal tablet for gaming.

This one comes from Amazon, the latest gen tablet known as Kindle Fire HDX.

However, this time, i’ll focus on both models, both the 8.9-inch and 7-inch models, not just one of them, which I think is still acceptable given that both tablets share the same exact spec sheet, with the exception of the screen and camera of course.

I believe this review should also be really interesting though because, despite their affordable price point, these tablets surprisingly are packing some jaw-dropping monstrous specs that are considered as today’s industry standards of high-end tablets.

And that’s amazing because Amazon’s Kindle Fire has been known as a budget tablet that never intended to enter the high-end market.

But the specs of the latest Kindle Fire HDX clearly shows that Amazon now doesn’t hesitate anymore to fight head-to-head against other big players like iPad or Samsung GALAXY tablets.

Okay then, without further ado, here i’ll show you some of the reasons to buy this tablet and also some other reasons to not buy this tablet.

But as always, before we get to the actual review of this tablet, i must inform you that in writing this review, i don’t own the actual device by myself, okay!

So the way i’m writing this review is based on my knowledge about this tablet and also from other sources around internet, like video reviews or user reviews.

So i’m not going into more in-depth review of this Kindle Fire HDX.

I’m just gonna share to you some of important things regarding this tablet, like pros and cons, that hopefully will help you decide whether you should buy it or otherwise, choose other alternatives that are better than Kindle Fire HDX.

First of all, before we go straight to the review of this tablet, please allow me to give you a brief introduction of Kindle Fire HDX tablet.

Introduction

When Kindle Fire tablet made its first debut on the tablet market around 3 years ago, this device became so quickly popular among tablet shoppers in the US that time.

With more than 5 million Kindle Fire tablets shipped in the holiday season, this tablet managed to put Amazon on the map alongside Apple’s iPad and Samsung GALAXY tablets.

Now go back to the present – today, we have Kindle Fire HDX, the latest generation tablet from Amazon.

And just like the last year’s model, this year, Amazon is back again with its new lineup of Kindle Fire tablets, from the flagship model Kindle Fire 8.9 HDX, the budget model, Kindle Fire 7 HDX, the last year but revamped version of Kindle Fire HD and the low-end model Kindle Fire 1, which also is the revamped version.

However, the ones that should get the spotlight are of course the latest models, Kindle Fire 8.9 HDX and Kindle Fire 7 HDX, which both are packing an 8.9-inch screen and 7-inch screen respectively.

As we all know already, Kindle Fire tablet has been popularly known as a simple tablet dedicated for media-consumption only, like for watching movies, reading books, browsing internet or playing games, just like iPad.

And as a simple media and entertainment tablet, Kindle Fire adopts a really simple UI with no complicated features found on the Android version of other tablets out there.

And that means, this tablet is not that demanding when it comes to hardware specs. However, that concept finally changes when Amazon launches the latest generation Kindle Fire HDX to the market.

Packing some monstrous specs that are considered as today’s standards, Kindle Fire HDX emerges itself as a true challenger for other high-end tablets across the market, like iPad, Samsung GALAXY tablets, Sony Xperia tablets or Asus tablets.

With snappy Snapdragon 800, 2GB of RAM and Adreno 330 GPU, then it shouldn’t be questioned anymore that Kindle Fire HDX is a beast tablet.

Amazingly, with this type of specs, Kindle Fire HDX manages to surpass other competing tablets that are considered as high-end devices, like Samsung GALAXY Tab 3, Google Nexus 7 and even Sony Xperia Tablet Z.

What makes Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX more attractive to shoppers is definitely its price point.

For the 8.9-inch model, Amazon is placing the $379 price tag on this model, which is acceptable given that it comes with monstrous specs plus a Full HD display that is equal to iPad Air’s screen, even surpasses it.

Meanwhile, as for the smallest 7-inch model, this Kindle Fire HDX model will only cost you $229 for the basic 16GB storage, with a Full HD display (lower resolution than the 8.9-inch model) but the same exact monstrous specs just like the 8.9-inch model.

And this can be said as a sweet deal given that Kindle Fire HDX, with its jaw-dropping specs, is still cheaper than any other high-end tablets out there, like iPad mini, Samsung GALAXY Note 8 or Sony Xperia Tablet Z, especially when compared with the 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX.

So this is the reason why i’m so interested to show you what Kindle Fire HDX has to offer to you in that price range.

Pros
  • 8MP rear-facing camera (8.9-inch model)
  • Fast performance
  • Monstrous specs
  • Great battery life
  • Awesome feature to ask help from Amazon’s staff
  • Great display
  • Low price point for the 7-inch model
  • 4G LTE support
Cons
  • Boring UI
  • No microSD card slot
  • Ugly back cover design
Overall Specs

Kindle Fire HDX consists 2 models, the 8.9-inch model and the smallest 7-inch model.

Impressively, both models share the same exact monstrous specs going on inside them, like Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 clocked at 2.2GHz Krait 400, Adreno 330 GPU, 2GB of RAM and the same internal storage models ranging from 16GB, 32GB and 64GB models.

What separates both of these Kindle Fire HDX tablets are the camera and the screen specs.

First of all, let’s focus on the flagship model, Kindle Fire HDX 8.9-inches.

This model is packing an 8.9-inch IPS LCD display with the resolution of 2560x1600 pixels and the pixel density of -339 ppi.

You can also find a 8MP camera on the back, which is interesting to know given that last year’s model doesn’t come with rear-facing camera.

But Kindle Fire 8.9 HDX will likely have a hard time when fighting against the current-gen Google Nexus 7, which only costs $229 but already has a 5MP camera on the back, although Nexus 7's camera only takes mediocre shots, according to many reviewers.

Meanwhile, at the same exact price tag with Google’s tablet, we’ve got the 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX, the smallest screened model of this tablet.

Kindle Fire 7 HDX comes with an IPS LCD 7-inch display with the resolution of 1920x1200 pixels and pixel density of -323 ppi, which is still a full HD display though.

Unfortunately, on this model, there is no rear-facing camera to be found, which is a bummer given that Google Nexus 7 already has a rear-facing 5MP camera on it despite having the same $229 price tag just like Kindle Fire 7 HDX.

So it’s pretty hard to recommend Amazon’s tablet when Google Nexus 7, with the same $229 price tag, has much even better goodies than Kindle Fire 7 HDX, like a rear-facing camera, a better Android UI, access to Google Play Store, better design, full-fledged Android features, better Android experience, the same full HD display and many other more.

Not to mention, the other tough challenger comes from NVIDIA with its Tegra Note 7, which is packing:
  • a Tegra 4,
  • 1GB of RAM,
  • 5MP camera that is better than 5MP camera on Nexus 7 (based on camera tests),
  • a dedicated stylus and its hole,
  • a great touch response of stylus that even outperforms S-Pen on GALAXY Note 8, microSD card slot,
  • Bluetooth controller support,
  • much better looking games on Tegra Zone,
  • better design,
  • better UI,
  • faster performance
  • and many more (although Tegra Note only uses 720p display and 1GB of RAM, compared to 1080p display and 2GB of RAM on Kindle Fire HDX).
Anyway, on both Kindle Fire HDX models, as the owner, you’ll also get the usual stuff, like WiFi support, 4G LTE connectivity, 3.5mm headphone jack, GPS (4G model), non-removable battery and many more.

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  • 7-inch 1920x1200 pixels -323 ppi
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 2.2GHz quad-core
  • 2GB of RAM
  • Adreno 330 GPU
  • Android Skin Fire OS 3.0 Mojito
  • Android 4.x (Jelly Bean)
  • Internal storage 16GB/32GB/64GB
  • Front-facing camera
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Dolby Digital Plus Sound enhancement
  • 1.3MP camera
  • Radio NO
  • Java No
  • GPS (4G model)
  • 4G LTE
  • Non-removable battery up to 12 hours for talk time
  • 11 battery life
Kindle Fire 8.9 HDX
  • IPS LCD 8.9-inch 2560x1600 pixels -339 ppi,
  • 8MP camera 3264x2448 auto focus LED Flash
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 2.2GHz Krait 400
  • Adreno 330 GPU
  • 2GB of RAM
  • Android Skin Fire OS 3.0 Mojito
  • Android 4.x (Jelly Bean)
  • Radio NO
  • Java No
  • GPS (4G model)
  • 4G LTE
  • Dolby Digital Plus Sound enhancement
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Non-removable battery up to 12 hours for talk time
  • 11 battery life
Design

When it comes to design, there is something that keeps bugging me with this tablet.

On the front side, Kindle Fire HDX looks really elegant with its dark black finish that blends perfectly well with the screen, which kind of reminds me with the smooth dark finish on Sony Xperia Z tablet.

However, that contradicts with the back side of this tablet, that looks really ugly and weird with its random square shapes. And this makes it less attractive compared to Google Nexus 7 or Tegra Note.

And it’s worsened by the fact that this tablet feels uncomfortable to hold in hands, especially with the sharp edges of the back cover which kind of ruins the whole experience when using this tablet.

But overall, Kindle Fire HDX is still an impressive tablet though, in terms of hardware and entertainment aspects.

The screen is extremely sharp and thanks to its monstrous specs plus a simple UI, the experience of using Kindle Fire HDX is such an extreme fast.

It’s really fast, smooth and everything just looks nice and crisp in the eyes. So watching movies, browsing internet or playing games will be such a pleasing experience to the users.

And that’s a huge plus point.

Performance

As mentioned several times above, Kindle Fire HDX, either the 7-inch or 8.9-inch model, is packing some monstrous specs on it, from a Qualcomm snappy Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor clocked at 2.2GHz per core, 2GB of RAM and Adreno 330 on the graphical power.

With this type of specs, then no doubt Kindle Fire HDX will be extremely fast in terms of performance.

Watching HD movies will be an amazing experience given that its hardware can push the full HD resolution of the movie and deliver it to the screen in buttery smooth performance without draining too many energy from the battery life.

And this is the reason why Amazon decides to use Qualcomm’s latest flagship, Snapdragon 800 on this Kindle Fire HDX tablet, which is to provide users with a tablet that delivers a powerful and outstanding performance for watching HD movies, listening music, reading books, browsing internet or playing games without compromising the performance and battery life.

And again, that's a huge plus point.

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Playing games can also be really fun to do on this tablet given that the Snapdragon 800, 2GB of RAM and Adreno 330 GPU on Kindle Fire HDX will make sure that this tablet can handle any kind of games across the Amazon App Store perfectly and smoothly.

From simple games like Angry Birds to graphically demanding games like Asphalt 8: Airborne, Dead Trigger 2, Real Racing 3 or Modern Combat 4, all can be played in really smooth performance even in the highest possible graphics setting.


I strongly believe that with these monstrous specs, Kindle Fire HDX will still be able to play any high-performance games even in the next 2 years ahead.

So if you buy this tablet, don’t you ever worry about not being able to play many latest games next year.

Trust me on this, future games like Modern Combat 5, next Gangstar game, GTA San Andreas, N.O.V.A 4 or 5 or the next Asphalt 9 or 10, all can be played on Kindle Fire HDX with no lag whatsoever, and the most importantly, in full graphics setting.

Anyway guys, if you want to know more about the gaming performance of Kindle Fire HDX 7 and 8.9, including what games that will run on this tablet, check out my YouTube video playlist or Pinterest page. :)

Camera

If there is something new to be found on this Kindle Fire HDX tablet, then the camera is the one i’m talking about.

Kindle Fire HDX surprisingly comes with an 8-MP camera on the back that is able to shot photos with the resolution of 3264x2448 pixels.

And this is a great addition for sure because other competing tablets on the market to date, like Google Nexus 7 or Tegra Note, already adopt rear-facing camera.

Unfortunately, this 8MP rear-facing camera can only be found on the 8.9-inch model of Kindle Fire HDX, meaning that the owners of 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX is left alone from the party.

Anyway, the 8MP camera on this Kindle Fire 8.9 HDX, there are also the supports for auto-focus and LED flash, meaning that the subject of the taken photos will look sharp in the final results, while the LED flash will come in handy when users want to take shots at night with minimum light.

So this can be really useful for many users who forgot to bring their digital cameras or smartphones at their disposal.

Battery Life

If there is one thing about Kindle Fire tablet that stands out against rivals, then it’s definitely its strong battery life.

Many users of old-gen Kindle Fire tablets have already reported that the battery life of this tablet is really powerful and could even last around 8 to 10 hours in heavy usage, either for gaming, watching movies or browsing the net in marathon.

The good news is, Kindle Fire HDX is no exception.

This tablet still inherits that strong battery life just like its predecessors.

So if you happen to love playing games in the row, mixed with some activities like watching HD movies, listening music, browsing internet and reading books, then you can expect to see the battery life bar of this tablet last in around 5 to 8 hours.

However, if you, at some point, are not using it heavily and only leave it in standby mode, then you can expect to wait around 2 days until the battery life bar of this tablet is fully drained to zero.

Conclusion

So to sum this up, Kindle Fire HDX is no doubt an impressive tablet at great price point.
  • It’s got monstrous specs,
  • great full HD display (that even matches the display resolution of iPad Air),
  • powerful performance,
  • fast and smooth experience given its simply UI,
  • great gaming capability,
  • and most importantly, strong battery life.
This is already enough to convince me to recommend this tablet to you, especially if you’re only looking for a powerful but affordable tablet that you’re gonna use solely as media-consumption needs.

However, when compared to other competing tablets at the same price point, this can probably make you confused. At $229, Kindle Fire 7 HDX will straightly compete with 2 tough challengers, Google Nexus 7 and Tegra Note.

Google Nexus 7 comes with a Snapdragon S4 Pro, Adreno 320 GPU, 2GB of RAM, 5MP rear-facing camera, stock Android OS and the same equal full HD display.

This will surely put Kindle Fire 7 HDX in tough position given that Google Nexus 7 looks more attractive to buy.

Google Nexus 7 may only have Qualcomm last year’s Snapdragon S4 Pro and Adreno 320 GPU, compared to Snapdragon 800 and Adreno 330 GPU on Kindle Fire 7 HDX.

However, that doesn’t mean that the performance of Google Nexus 7 will be inferior than Kindle Fire 7 HDX.

As a matter of fact, i personally think that Google Nexus 7 is slightly better than Kindle Fire HDX, in terms of performance, because Google’s tablet is using stock Android OS that has all the features of that OS, which means, you can add widgets on the homescreen, use live wallpaper and get more complete features than Kindle Fire HDX.

On the other hand, Kindle Fire HDX may have the latest beast from Qualcomm, Snapdragon 800 and Adreno 330 GPU.

However, Kindle Fire HDX is using the simple version of Android UI called Fire OS (based on Android 4.x Jelly Bean), meaning that many of features found on the original build of Android OS are banned on this tablet.

So you are not able to add widgets on the homescreen nor change the wallpaper, let alone use live wallpaper.

So over the time, this User Interface can be really boring for some users who really like to customize their tablets based on their preference.

With that being said, then Google Nexus 7 could be a much better choice than Kindle Fire 7 HDX because at the same $229 price tag, you can have a more reliable tablet that not only powerful in performance, but also gives users the freedom to personalize their tablets according to their own preference.

Not to mention, the lack of rear-facing camera on Kindle Fire 7 HDX will definitely make it easier for users to swap their targets to Google Nexus 7 given its 5MP rear-facing camera support.

Besides Google Nexus 7, the tough competition will also come from NVIDIA.

As mentioned above, this specialized-GPU maker apparently makes an impressive tablet called Tegra Note 7.

It comes with:
  • a quad-core Tegra 4 SoC,
  • 1GB of RAM,
  • 72-core GeForce GPU,
  • 720p display,
  • dedicated stylus with a great touch response technology that matches the quality of S-Pen on GALAXY Note 8,
  • great battery life,
  • great Bluetooth gaming controller,
  • much better looking games on Tegra Zone,
  • microSD card slot for up to 32GB,
  • stock Android OS with stylus-dedicated apps like draw and note,
  • loud and clear sound quality from speakers and many more.

So with all of these goodies, plus a cheap price tag of $199, then it’s really easy to recommend Tegra Note as the best alternative for Kindle Fire HDX tablet, even Google Nexus 7 as well.

Tegra Note may only have a 720p display and 1GB of RAM, compared to 1080p screens and 2GB of RAM on both Google Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HDX.

However, those are the only things that separate them.

Besides, it’s impossible for normal human eyes to see the difference between the tablet that has 720p display and 1080p display given that both screen already look sharp and surpasses human’s expectations.

So, are you willing to hand over your $229 for the Kindle Fire 7 HDX and $379 for the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HDX?

Or you want to steer your target to either Google Nexus 7 or Tegra Note? It’s up to you now.

Disclaimer: Hi guys, bear in mind that this is not some in-depth review. This is Read more...
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