Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 (2014): The new refreshed model powered with Snapdragon 805 and Adreno 420

Posted by B. Johnson
Published on January 20, 2015 | 0 comments
Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 (2014): The new refreshed model powered with Snapdragon 805 and Adreno 420Hi guys, welcome back!

Kindle Fire series from Amazon has been one of the best selling tablet series on the market, especially in the US.

There’s a lot to be liked from this device, especially if you love getting new contents straight away from Amazon.

Even if you’re just looking for a simple media-consumption device, Kindle Fire tablet can still be a pretty good choice.

The latest-gen Kindle Fire HDX series is the most impressive and powerful ever released by Amazon.
  • It has a super-sharp display,
  • a powerful processor,
  • huge collection of movies and other digital contents like apps on Amazon App Store
  • and the most importantly, it’s really easy to use because it deploys a simple basic UI that doesn’t require some complicated learning curve from its users, similar just like the iOS on iPad.
Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 (2014) benchmarks and gaming performance

This year, Amazon is back again with its ‘new’ tradition, which is releasing the next-gen series of its beloved Kindle Fire tablets.

This time around, however, Amazon doesn’t only update its Kindle Fire line, but it also introduces some new stuff to the market.

There are the new Fire HDX 8.9 model, a new Fire 6HD and Fire 7 HD.

Not to mention, this company also debuts some other new stuff like Kindle Voyage, Kindle Fire HD Kids Edition and Fire Keyboard (which basically will also work on other devices by using Bluetooth connection).

However, today i’m not going to talk about all of these new devices in this review. I’m more interested to bring up the new Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 into this review.

This tablet actually still inherits the same design and plastic matte finish just like the predecessor.

However, according to ZDnet, despite using plastic, this tablet actually still feels sturdy in hands and thin to hold. The great news is, now Amazon brings some bumped up specs on this new-gen device.

Well, if you’re interested to find out more about this tablet, including my take on with its gaming performance, then here you go, my personal review of Amazon Fire HDX 8.9.

Introduction

Ever since Amazon released its Kindle Fire HDX tablets, many people especially in tech industry (like theVerge, CNET, etc) started taking this company seriously.

Not only did Kindle Fire HDX tablets have some beefy monster specs inside, but the 8.9-inch variant of this series also managed to top other competitors out there – even the iPad – with its 2.5K display.

And that’s truly impressive because when it comes to tablets, people usually look at 2 giant companies – Apple and Samsung – not Amazon.

But that soon changed when Kindle Fire HDX tablets made their debuts.

Now everytime Amazon releases new devices to the market – no matter how successful or not they are in the future – tech sites will be more than happier to check out their new stuff and announce them to the world.

It goes the same when this online-retailing company introduced the next-gen series of its Kindle Fire tablets.

Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 (2014)As i mentioned above, this year, Amazon brings a lot of new stuff – from the next-gen Fire HDX 8.9, Fire 6HD, Fire 7HD, Amazon Fire HDX Kids Edition and Amazon Fire Keyboard, which all of them will be great additions to the tablet market last holiday season.

However, the biggest highlight on these Amazon’s new devices is definitely the new-gen Amazon Fire HDX 8.9.

Compared to the previous-gen model, this new refreshed variant now brings new beefier specs and upgraded sectors here and there on the hardware and software.

The most prominent upgrade of this tablet are definitely its processor and GPU.

Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 (2014): The new refreshed model powered with Snapdragon 805 and Adreno 420If the predecessor was already equipped with a powerful Snapdragon 800 processor, now this next-gen Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 uses a much ever more powerful but efficient Snapdragon 805 processor.

Not only that, this chipset also comes packed with Adreno 420 GPU, which is believed could deliver 75% of graphical performance than the predecessor.

So when it comes to gaming, there’s no doubt that Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 will be an insane beast for that matter.

As a matter of fact, this tablet is one of the best gaming tablets on the market right now.

But the questions remain. With all of these new upgrades, new processor and more powerful GPU, does this tablet have what it takes to be an iPad Air or iPad mini killer?

Does this tablet stack up against other flagship rivals on today’s tablet market?

Is it worth it to upgrade to this Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 if you already own the previous-gen Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 or Kindle Fire HDX 7?

Well, hopefully we’re about to find out more about the answers of those questions at the end of this review? So be sure to stick around guys!

Design

In terms of design, Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 is actually not a huge departure from its predecessor. As a matter of fact, this tablet still inherits the same looking design of the previous-gen Kindle Fire HDX 8.9.

It looks clean on the front side, the bezels are a bit thicker and the rear-cover is also still made out of plastic matte finish.

The great thing is, despite using plastic materials, according to some reviews on the net (including theVerge), this tablet still feels sturdy in hands and very comfortable to hold.

Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 may not have the same premium feel and material just like the iPads, but at least, it still feels convenient to hold even for long long hours of use, which is really important for a media-consumption device.

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  • 4G LTE
  • Micro-SIM
  • Released 2014, October
  • 8.9 inch 2560 x 1600 pixelsIPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, (~339 ppi pixel density)
  • Android OS, v4.4 (KitKat - customized)
  • Quad-core 2.5 GHz Krait 450 Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 Chipset
  • Adreno 420 GPU
  • 2 GB RAM
  • - Fire OS 4 Sangria UI
  • - Dolby Atmos sound enhancement
  • No Memory Card slot
  • 16/32/64 GB Internal storage
  • 8 MP rear-facing camera LED flash
  • Secondary front-facing camera
  • GPRS
  • EDGE
  • LTE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band
  • Bluetooth
  • microUSB v2.0 (SlimPort)
  • Accelerometer, gyro Sensors
  • No Radio
  • GPS (4G model)
  • No Java
  • Black
  • - Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
  • Non-removable Li-Ion battery
  • Battery life for up to 12 hours Talk time
On this next-gen model, Amazon made some huge upgrades on Amazon Fire HDX 8.9. The most prominent sector that gets revamped on this model are its processor and GPU.

Now Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor, coupled with Adreno 420 (plus 2GB of RAM), which are more powerful than the Snapdragon 800 processor and Adreno 330 GPU found inside the predecessor.

So in terms of performance and especially gaming capability, it’s very obvious that Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 is far more superior than the previous-gen model.

The rest of the specs of this tablet are actually not very different than the predecessor.

In fact, there are still some sectors that probably are left untouched by Amazon on this next-gen model.

It still inherits the same 2560x1600 pixel resolution on its 8.9-inch display, 8MP rear-facing camera with LED flash, front-facing camera, 12 hours of battery life (talk time) and a bunch of other standard features.

But there are still some new stuff like new Sangria OS (based on Android 4.4 KitKat OS) and much improved cameras.

Screen

Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 still inherits the same 2560x1600 pixel resolution on its 8.9-inch display, which is no different than the display of its predecessor.

So it basically looks super-sharp, the text looks clear and totally readable even from a far distance, images look really crisp, and everything that you throw on the screen will look insanely sharp on this tablet. No doubt about that.

The most impressively is, according to some display benchmark tests, the 2.5K display of Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 (predecessor) surprisingly manages to top all the flagship tablets on the market, even the iPad Air.

So it’s certainly a great thing to have a tablet that has a superior display than the iPads, right?

User Interface

Similar just like its predecessor, the UI of Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 still looks and works relatively similar. It’s a simplified version of Android UI.

So there will be no widget, no Android standard features and design layout of stock Android OS.

Even so, there is still one new thing found on its software. And that its new Sangria UI (which is based on Android 4.4 Kit Kat).

But it basically still looks and works just like the previous-gen Mojito OS 3.0, especially the design layout.

So if you’re not such a big fan of Android stock UI, then you will feel at home when using this tablet.

It’s really simple, it works really fast and smooth and all of your favorite and most viewed contents are presented right away on the homescreen in big huge icons.

And if you want to buy new contents, you can just search through all the tab navigation that Amazon already provides straightly on the top area.

Not to mention, there's also the app drawer found on the bottom of homescreen.

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As the next-gen model, it’s not so surprising to see a new more powerful processor found inside this tablet.

But the thing that really makes me impressed with this new model is, Amazon apparently skipped the Snapdragon 801 processor and decided to use a far more powerful Snapdragon 805, which brings the new Adreno 420 GPU on its graphical department.

In terms of performance, basically this tablet is blazing fast and smooth.

Actually, the predecessor was already fast and powerful with its Snapdragon 800 processor and Adreno 330 GPU, especially when knowing that this tablet came with a very-light Fire OS.

And we all know that, on Fire OS, Amazon did a lot of tweaks, even eliminate many standard features on stock Android UI and made it really simple with content-based UI, added with new tab navigation on the top and new app drawer on the low.

Basically, with this new hardware package, along with the simple Fire OS, Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 now performs much even faster and smoother especially when executing some basic daily tasks like watching HD movies, browsing the web and many more.

It goes the same when playing games with this device.

Thanks to the Snapdragon 805 processor clocked at 2.3GHz per core, 2GB of RAM and Adreno 420 GPU, there’s no single doubt this tablet is more than capable to handle any kind of games that you want to throw on this device.

Even with that super-razor-sharp 2.5K resolution (2560x1600 pixels), Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 is still able to run some latest graphics intense games like Asphalt 8, GTA San Andreas or Modern Combat 5 all in buttery smooth performance and of course, in full highest graphics.

I even believe this tablet will still be capable to play next-gen games that are about to release this year, especially thanks to Adreno 420 GPU (which is currently one of the top mobile GPUs on the market right now).

So if you’re looking for a great media-consumption device that also has great gaming performance, look no further, Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 is a perfect choice for you.

Anyway guys, if you want to know more about the gaming performance of Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 (2014), including what games that will run on this tablet, check out my YouTube video playlist or Pinterest page. :)

Battery Life

Similar just like the predecessor, Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 promises for up to 12 hours of battery life for talk time. There’s no information about its battery capacity, however.

But i believe this tablet will be more than happier to accompany you in one solid day, of course on a full charge.

Actually, Amazon has been doing great with the battery life of its Kindle Fire tablets.

Even the first-gen Kindle Fire tablet released a few years ago, according to some YouTube reviews, had an amazing battery life even for doing some stuff in heavy use.

It’s probably due to Amazon’s tweaks here and there on its software (Fire OS) which eliminates many of standard features and even design layout of stock Android UI.

So i’m not surprised if this new-gen model still inherits the same long lasting battery life just like the predecessors.

However, if you’re a power user and gonna use this tablet for doing some heavy tasks intensively – like watching HD movies in marathon or playing games in the row -, its battery life would drop drastically faster to probably just around 6 to 8 hours, which is still great for a media-consumption device.

My Personal Opinions

So in conclusion, Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 is definitely one of the best choices out there especially if you’re looking for a media-consumption device this holiday season.

As a matter of fact, if you’re still confused about what present you would like to buy for your family this holiday season, i strongly recommend this tablet to you.
  • It has a razor-sharp 2560x1600 pixel display,
  • powerful Snapdragon 805 processor,
  • incredible Adreno 420 GPU,
  • sharp-taking 8MP rear-facing camera with LED flash,
  • smooth experience with Fire OS,
  • long lasting battery life,
  • huge media-content and app catalog
  • and many other great things, including WPS Office that ships together with this device.
Pretty much everything about this tablet is just perfect.

In fact, thanks to the Snapdragon 805 processor, Adreno 420 GPU and 2.5K display, Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 is just way better than the iPad mini 2.

I even think this tablet deserves to be an iPad mini or iPad Air 2 killer, of course in terms of display, hardware and performance, not the entire thing like design or build quality.

So basically, Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 is just a great perfect machine for any kind of stuff. It’s great for watching HD movies, reading books/magazines, browsing the web, editing documents, taking photos, recording videos and even playing games. You’ll make no mistake if you decide to buy this tablet.

I think the biggest downside of Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 is only its UI or software.

As you know already, Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 comes pre-installed with Fire OS – which is the simplified version of Android OS.

So on this UI or OS, you’ll no longer see many features and even standard design layout of Android UI (widgets, etc).

So its UI is just pure simple straight-forward for enjoying media contents, no widgets, no Android features, although it still has the app drawer.

That’s why, if you are a big fan of Android OS and all of its features, you might want to switch to other tablets.

Besides, given its Amazon App Store, there will be many of your favorite apps and games unavailable for this device, forcing you to find the alternatives that of course are not as great as the originals.

But if you don’t mind being ‘caged’ forever in Amazon’s homemade Fire OS, including its limitation of features and lacking of app and game catalog, then you’ll make no mistake when getting this tablet.

Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 is still a decent quality tablet, even for playing games.


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

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