Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 (2014) vs Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 (2013): Tablet Battle

Posted by B. Johnson
January 20, 2015 | 0 comments
Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 (2014) vs Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 (2013): Tablet BattleHi guys, welcome back!

Earlier, i just showed you the next-generation model of Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 tablet.

Amazon actually launches some other new models and even keyboard dock in its new device lineup for the last holiday season.

However, i’m more interested to bring up the 8.9-inch Amazon Fire HDX tablet because this tablet is just really impressive in many ways, especially on the hardware sector.

The next-gen model of Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 is now called as Amazon Fire HDX 8.9.

And as the next-gen model, this tablet surely has some new great things to offer to its user, especially compared to predecessor.

And that’s true because Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 now brings a lot more stuff that is just way better and more powerful than the previous-gen model.

Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 (2014) vs Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 (2013) benchmarks and gaming performance

Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 (2014)The most prominent improvement made by Amazon on this tablet is definitely on its processor.

Now Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 is armed with the new Snapdragon 805 processor, coupled with the new Adreno 420 GPU, which are just way more powerful than on the predecessor (Snapdragon 800 and Adreno 330 GPU).

So as a result, not only does this tablet perform much faster and smoother, but it’s also more capable to handle even the future games that are about to release next year.

Yes – that’s right, with Snapdragon 805 processor and Adreno 420 GPU, it’s very obvious that Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 will be more than happier to execute any new games released next year.

But we’ll get more on that later.

Meanwhile, the predecessor, Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 (2013) is powered by Snapdragon 800 processor and Adreno 330 GPU.

These processor and GPU are already considered as powerful even for handling the latest games like Asphalt 8: Airborne, GTA San Andreas or Modern Combat 5, or even the next-gen games released in 2015 (like Asphalt 9 for example).

Again, we’ll get more on that later.

Anyway guys, today, i’m gonna show you the comparison review between these 2 Amazon tablets.

So similar just like my previous comparison reviews, the same applies to the comparison review of these Amazon tablets.

So i’ll talk about their display, design, overall specs, how they perform especially when handling games and some other more.

Well, if you’re interested to see how these Amazon tablets compete on each aspect and especially in gaming performance, then here you go, my comparison review between Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 (2014) and Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 (2013).

Introduction

Just 2 months ago or so, Amazon just launched some new devices in its new Kindle Fire lineup for this holiday season.

However, from all that Amazon brought to the market, i think Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 was the one that stole the thunder.

Amazon might have its new Fire Keyboard or Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 Kids Edition debuted for the public to see, but none of these 2 new devices could overshadow the real monster here - Amazon Fire HDX 8.9.

Compared to the predecessor, this next-gen Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 now brings a lot new stuff and goodies that are just way better than the last-year Kindle Fire HDX 8.9.

First of all, on the performance department, now Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 is now armed with the new Snapdragon 805 processor, coupled with Adreno 420 GPU, which are far more powerful than the Snapdragon 800 and Adreno 330 GPU found inside the predecessor.

But that’s not it.

On this new model, Amazon also brings some new goodies like:
  • Fire Sangria OS (based on Android 4.4 Kit Kat),
  • much improved cameras,
  • longer battery life
  • and many other upgraded sectors.
If compared with the previous-gen Kindle Fire HDX 8.9, this new-gen model is actually no different than its sibling, of course with the exception of their gaming performance.

It still inherits the same design, material and similar build quality.

But the question remains, with all of the improvements and upgrades done by Amazon on Amazon Fire HDX 8.9,

Is this tablet a better gaming tablet than the predecessor?

Does Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 have what it takes to be an iPad Air 2 killer or iPad mini 3 killer?

Is it worth it to upgrade to Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 if you already own the previous-gen model?

Hopefully we’ll find out more about the final conclusion of this review at the end of this post. So be sure to stick around guys!

Design

Surprisingly, Amazon decides to leave the design of Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 untouched through its Amazon Fire HDX 8.9. It still shares the same design language of the predecessor, especially on the rear side.

It still uses the plastic finish just like the predecessor, but impressively, it feels really sturdy in hands (according to ZDnet) and comfortable to hold even in long hours.

Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 may not have the same premium feel and material just like iPads. But as a media-consumption device, i believe the material and design applied on these tablets are still more than good for most of its users.

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Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 (2014)Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 (2013)
4G LTE (Micro-SIM)
Released October 2014
8.9 inch 2560 x 1600 pixels IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, (~339 ppi pixel density)
Android OS 4.4 KitKat
Fire OS 4 Sangria UI
Quad-core 2.5 GHz Krait 450 Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 Chipset
Adreno 420 GPU
2 GB RAM
No Memory Card slot
16/32/64 GB Internal storage
8 MP rear-facing camera LED flash
Secondary front-facing camera
GPRS
LTE
microUSB v2.0 (SlimPort)
No Radio
GPS (4G model)
No Java
Non-removable Li-Ion battery
Talk time: for up to 12 hours

4G LTE (Micro-SIM)
Released November 2013
8.9 inch 2560 x 1600 pixels IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, (~339 ppi pixel density)
Android OS 4.x Jelly Bean
Fire OS 3.0 Mojito UI
Quad-core 2.2 GHz Krait 400 Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 Chipset
Adreno 330 GPU
2 GB RAM
No Memory Card slot
16/32/64 GB Internal
8 MP rear-facing camera LED flash
front-facing camera (720p)
GPRS
LTE
microUSB v2.0
No Radio
GPS
No Java
Non-removable Li-Ion battery
Talk time: for up to 12 hours for 

In terms of specs, Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 actually is not such a huge departure from the predecessor.

However, the upgrades of its processor and GPUs, plus the software, can be considered as huge improvements over the previous-gen model.

They may share the same 8MP rear-facing camera with LED flash, 2560x1600 pixel display and 2GB of RAM, but when it comes to gaming performance, there’s no single doubt that Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 is just way superior than the predecessor.

Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 is now powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor, coupled with Adreno 420 GPU and 2GB of RAM.

This really contradicts with the previous-gen Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 that ships with Snapdragon 800 processor and Adreno 330 GPU.

Both of these tablets are equally great in performance, but the difference of these 2 tablets can be clearly seen through their gaming performance, with Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 being the winner here.

The rest of the specs between these 2 tablets are really identical one to another.

Besides having the same design, they also share the same 2.5K display (2560x1600 pixels), 8MP rear-facing camera with LED flash, promised 12 hours of battery life and many other more.

However, despite having similar spec sheet, Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 is still worth upgrading from predecessor because its processor and GPU are just more superior than Kindle Fire HDX 8.9.

Screen

Similar just like on the design, Amazon also leaves the screen of Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 untouched just like the predecessor.

It still has the same 2560x1600 pixel display. So when it comes to sharpness and clarity of the display, these Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 and Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 are both equally superior on those sectors.

So basically, any kind of stuff that you throw on any of these 2 tablets will look insanely sharp and clear, the text looks crisp, the colors look vibrant and everything just looks perfect on these 2 devices, even better than the "Retina" display on the iPads (according to display benchmark tests done between flagship tablets).

User Interface

Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 now comes pre-installed with the new Sangria UI on its Fire OS (based on Android 4.4 Kit Kat OS).

On the other hand, the predecessor Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 came with the old-gen Mojito UI on its Fire OS.

But the UI of Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 is basically still the same thing you’re already familiar to see on the predecessor.

So the contents are presented on the homescreen in big icons, there are also some tabs/navigation that will bring you to the specific type of contents you would like to get from Amazon.

Not to mention, there is also the app drawer on the bottom.

Compared to the stock Android UI on other Android tablets out there, the UIs of Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 and Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 look really simple, without many standard features and design layout of Android OS.

So if you’re not a big fan of Android standard UI, then you probably will feel at home when using this simplified Fire OS on Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 or Kindle Fire HDX 8.9.

The UI is much simpler, faster, smoother and it doesn’t require any complicated learning curve from its user, just like the iOS on iPads.

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As far as the performance is concerned, the next-gen Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 is definitely far more powerful than the previous-gen model.

And that’s obviously because its Snapdragon 805 quad-core processor and Adreno 420 GPU are just more superior than the Snapdragon 800 and Adreno 330 GPU inside the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9.

But even so, both of devices are still equally great and powerful, especially for doing some basic daily tasks.

The great thing about this next-gen Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 – compared to the predecessor - is, with the new addition of WPS Office that ships with this device, you can do a lot of productivity stuff with this tablet.

And thanks to its super fast processor, this tablet will have no problem at all in executing any of your Office documents in smooth performance, either in offline mode or even via cloud service provided by Amazon through this tablet.

Meanwhile, in terms of gaming performance, despite using 2 different-class of processors, both tablet are equally great on that department.

The Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 may have a lot more power from its Snapdragon 805 processor and Adreno 420 GPU.

But when handling games, you cannot go wrong if you pick any of these 2 tablets.

They are really powerful for playing games and they are more than capable to handle even the latest graphically demanding games like Asphalt 8: Airborne, GTA San Andreas or Modern Combat 5.

Any games that you see today on Amazon App Store, can all be executed perfectly and in full highest graphics on these tablets.

However, despite being equally great for gaming, the performance of the next-gen Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 is definitely more superior than the predecessor.

And that is shown by how this tablet is capable to deliver 75% of graphical performance than the previous-gen Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 - as claimed by Amazon -.

That is actually not very surprising especially when we all know that Adreno 420 GPU on this device obviously has a lot more graphical power than the Adreno 330 GPU on Kindle Fire HDX 8.9.

Anyway guys, if you want to know more about the gaming performance of Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 (2014) vs Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 (2013), including what games that will run on these tablets, check out my YouTube video playlist or Pinterest page. :)

Battery Life

Amazon claims that the battery of Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 is capable to survive in 12 hours in talk time. It’s actually the same promised battery life stated by Amazon for the predecessor Kindle Fire HDX 8.9.

However, there’s no information given regarding the battery capacities that Amazon puts inside these 2 devices.

But i think that 12- hour battery life is pretty believable given that these 2 Kindle Fire HDX tablets both come pre-installed with a simplified Android UI through the Fire OS, which eliminates most of features and visual presentations, plus design layout of stock Android.

So this probably really helps a lot in making their battery life solid and long lasting even in heavy use.

Even the first-gen Kindle Fire released a few years ago also gained many great reviews over its battery life, which was pretty solid especially as a media-consumption device.

So yeah, i believe it goes the same with these latest-gen models.

They may not last as long as promised by Amazon, but for doing some media-consumption tasks, they will be more than happier to accompany you in very long hours.

But of course, if you are a power user and will use any of these devices for doing some heavy intense tasks without resting the screen at all, then their battery life could drop drastically faster and would require you to recharge the tablet twice in one day.

My Personal Opinions

So my final conclusion of this comparison review is, i think both Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 and the previous-gen Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 are equally great in many ways.

The bottom line is, both of these devices are great for watching HD movies, reading books/magazines, browsing the web, checking out photos, taking pictures or recording videos, listening to music and even playing games.

You’ll make no mistake if you pick any of these 2 tablets.

However, if you’re also looking for a media-consumption device that is also great for doing productivity stuff, you might want to choose Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 instead of the predecessor.

And that’s because this latest-gen model already ships with WPS Office pre-installed, enabling you to open any Office documents either in offline mode or via cloud storage provided by Amazon.

You actually can do the same with the previous-gen Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 by downloading the similar apps through Amazon App Store.

But the fact that the last-gen model already comes with WPS Office really makes it much easier for users to use the apps straight away from the start.

The superiority of Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 is also shown clearly through its gaming performance.

Even though the predecessor is already super-powerful with its Snapdragon 800 processor, the gaming performance of Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 is definitely far greater especially in handling the next-gen games that are about to release next year in 2015.

So this probably could help you decide which tablet you should pick up for this holiday season.

To end this review, i’ll try to answer some of the questions i’ve asked previously above:
  1. Is this tablet a better gaming tablet than the predecessor? Without a doubt, YES – That’s mostly thanks to its Snapdragon 805 processor and Adreno 420 GPU found inside this Amazon Fire HDX 8.9. The predecessor is actually also powerful for gaming. But for handling the future next-gen games released in 2015, it’s no single doubt Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 is definitely the winner here.
  2. Does Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 have what it takes to be an iPad Air 2 killer or iPad mini 3 killer? Yes – despite using plastic finish all over its body, i still think that Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 can be an iPad Air 2 or iPad mini 3 killer. And that’s thanks to its a super-sharp 2.5K display and a powerful Snapdragon 805 processor, along with Adreno 420 GPU.
  3. Is it worth it to upgrade to Amazon Fire HDX 8.9, if you already own the previous-gen model? Yes – even though these tablets still share the same design and plastic material, Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 is still worth upgrading if you already own the old-gen Kindle Fire HDX 8.9. The most noticeable difference between these 2 devices can be seen on their gaming performance, especially when handling the next-gen games released in 2015.

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