Google Nexus 7 (2012) VS Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7: The battle between a new-gen tablet and an old one
Posted by B. Johnson
According to that review, Google Nexus 7 was the one that took the crown in that review especially in terms of gaming performance.
And that can be clearly seen by how powerful Google’s tablet really is when handling one heavy game called “Asphalt 8: Airborne” even in full highest graphics, while Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7 is only capable to play this game in low graphics.
But this is not shocking given that Google Nexus 7 is armed with a powerful Tegra 3 quad-core processor, as opposed to the dual-core TI OMAP 4460 processor found inside Kindle Fire HD 7.
Today, I’m still interested to put Google Nexus 7 again in my next comparison review.
And the challenger for Google Nexus 7 today in this review is actually coming from the same company that made Kindle Fire 7 HD, which is Amazon of course.
However, unlike Kindle Fire HD 7 with its sub-par performance, this one falls in the high-end category when it comes to hardware.
Okay, you probably already know what Kindle Fire tablet I’m referring here. Yes – it is Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7, which is an affordable tablet that costs only $299 when it first came out in 2013.
But don’t be fooled by its price tag. This tablet may be affordable to buy, but its hardware specs are actually on par with even the high-end tablets on the market in 2013, even the iPad mini Retina.
So when it comes to gaming performance, I think this Kindle Fire HDX 7 is on the same level with Google Nexus 7 (2012). As a matter of fact, this Amazon's tablet could turn out to be the winner here in this review against Google's Nexus device.
Well, if you’re also interested to know more about the comparison between these Google's and Amazon's tablets, as well as my take on their gaming performances, then here you go, "the battle of tablets" between Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7.
Hope you like what I'm sharing here. Enjoy!
As I mentioned above, when it comes to hardware package, Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 impressively is on the same page with other high-end flagship devices on the market in 2013, despite being an affordable tablet.
And this was actually the thing that used to make me really amazed a lot with this tablet.
I mean, how could Amazon cram some high-grade hardware like a full HD display, Snapdragon 800 processor, Adreno 330 GPU and 2GB of RAM inside the tablet that cost only $229 when it made its first debut?
Even the second generation Google Nexus 7 that also costs $229 (which also comes with a full HD display and 2GB of RAM) is only equipped with a Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor and Adreno 320, which are not as powerful as Snapdragon 800 and Adreno 330 GPU found inside Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7.
So when it comes to gaming, I think Kindle Fire HDX 7 is a more superior gaming tablet even than the second-gen Google Nexus 7 (2013 edition).
And if compared with the first-gen Google Nexus 7 (2012), of course the difference of gaming performance between these 2 devices will definitely be more obvious to see.
However, despite being a far less powerful gaming tablet than Kindle Fire HDX 7, I believe that Google Nexus 7 is still a pretty neat device to buy, even for gaming.
It has a pretty sharp 720p display, powerful Tegra 3 processor and it’s impressive as well when it comes to battery life.
But the questions remain, with all of the great things found on Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7, does this Amazon tablet have what it takes to be a better gaming tablet than Google Nexus 7?
Which one of these devices that deserves to be a great tablet in the whole aspect?
Is it worth it to buy Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 instead of Google Nexus 7?
Well hopefully, we’re gonna find out more about the answers of these questions at the end of this comparison review.
So be sure to stick around!
On the latest-gen Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7, the company actually doesn’t do a complete overhaul to the design of this device.
Just like the previous Kindle Fire HD 7 tablet, this sequel model still inherits the same bulky and generic looking design all over the place, with dark-black color blending in entirely with the UI of this device.
If I can make a comparison, this tablet kind of wants to do the same dark elegant concept of Sony Xperia tablets, but it just doesn’t do it right.
This is really the opposite of Google Nexus 7 tablet with its design.
Despite being an older-gen tablet released in 2012 (as opposed to Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 that was released in 2013), this Google’s tablet actually looks more appealing to buy when it comes to design.
If you remember Samsung GALAXY Nexus S or LG Nexus 4, then you can see how Google Nexus 7 really takes some design cues from these smartphones, especially the rounded corners and overall looks of the device
I think Google has done a marvelous job with the design of entire Nexus devices. They look appealing – or sexy, if you would – but they don’t compromise the hardware.
So they have the great performance plus great looking designs.
Not to mention, according to some reviews on YouTube, the materials used on Google Nexus 7 (especially on the rear cover), is really comfortable to hold.
It feels good in hands, has a good grip on it and it’s not slippery nor prone to catch finger prints just like cheap-made tablets with glossy plastic finish.
So as far as the design is concerned, I think I have to side on Google Nexus 7 in this review because it looks sexier than Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 with its flat generic design.
I’m not saying that Amazon’s tablet doesn’t look good because that would be wrong. It's still better than the predecessor (Kindle Fire HD 7).
But if compared with Nexus 7, I personally think that Google’s slate looks more appealing than Amazon’s tab.
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|Google Nexus 7 (2012)||Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7|
|Released in July 2012|
7.0 inch LED-backlit IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 800 x 1280 pixels, (~216 ppi pixel density)
1.2 MP front-facing camera
Quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 1.2 GHz Cortex-A9 CPU
ULP GeForce GPU
Android OS 4.1 (Jelly Bean), upgradable to 4.4.2 Android KitKat
No microSD card slot
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Non-removable Li-Ion 4325 mAh battery
|Released 2013, October|
7.0 inchIPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
1200 x 1920 pixels (~323 ppi pixel density)
Fire OS 3.0
Android OS, v4.x Jelly Bean customized Mojito UI
Quad-core 2.2 GHz Krait 400 Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 Chipset
Adreno 330 GPU
No micro card slot
16/32/64 GB Internal storage
2 GB RAM
1.3 MP rear-facing camera (720p video recording)
No front-facing camera
Accelerometer, gyro Sensors
HTML5 Amazon Silk Browser
Non-removable Li-Ion battery
Talk time: for Up to 11 hours
The first-gen Google Nexus 7 was released back then in 2012 (at the stage of Google I/O conference to be precise), while Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 made its first debut in October 2013 (as usual before the holiday season was about to start).
So in the spec department, of course Google Nexus 7 has to give the crown to Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 as this Amazon’s tablet is just way more powerful with its hardware package.
First things first, it has the full HD resolution on its 7-inch screen, the latest and greatest from Qualcomm's lineup in 2013 (Snapdragon 800 and Adreno 330 GPU), 2GB of RAM, newer software build and bigger internal storage options.
However, the absence of microSD card slot and rear-facing camera is still kept alive on this Amazon's device, which is a shame because rear-facing shooter is a MUST-HAVE on today’s tablet market.
On the other side of the road, Google Nexus 7 looks more humble than Amazon’s slate with the only 720p HD resolution on its 7-inch display, an older-gen (but still pretty powerful) Tegra 3 quad-core processor along with 12-core GPU, 1GB of RAM, as well as the non-existence of microSD card slot and rear-facing camera.
So if you love photography, you will be left disappointed by these 2 tablets. They both don't have a rear-facing camera (nor microSD card slot).
The good thing is, either Google Nexus 7 or Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 has that front-facing snapper if you love doing selfies or video calls.
So if you're a big fan of Skype and other internet-based telecommunication apps, then your need is still covered well on these devices.
As a budget tablet priced around $229 in their first debuts, I think Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 is just a steal for most of users out there. No argue about that.
I know that full HD resolution has been the minimum standard for budget tablets these days.
But with Snapdragon 800 and Adreno 330 GPU, plus 2GB of RAM, it’s just so obvious that Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 is a 'bang for the buck' tablet even for today’s standards.
I also know that Amazon latest tablets (since Kindle Fire HDX in 2013) have one of the best looking screens across the market, even better than the iPad Air.
So that already shows that the screen of Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 is just a top notch.
Not only does it have the sharpness, but the screen also has great viewing angles and the colors look popping out gorgeously on the screen, making it an ideal tablet for enjoying media content, especially movies or games.
Meanwhile, Google Nexus 7 is definitely left behind in the race by Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 when it comes to screen sharpness.
Its HD 720p resolution is so outdated and for a 7-inch tablet, this type of resolution actually doesn’t deliver such an enjoying experience to users, especially for reading contents on the web.
So you basically will do a lot of pinch-to-zoom gestures everytime the texts you’re seeing look really tiny on the web page.
This contradicts with Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 with its full HD screen.
All the contents look sharp and crisp; the images, the texts, the videos and everything just looks awesome on this device.
So it’s not really necessary anymore to do the pinch-to-zoom gesture because the contents are already readable even in overview mode.
But we must never forget that Google Nexus 7 is a tablet released in 2012, which was a year before Amazon’s tablet came out to the market.
And besides, this tablet is now priced around $100 to $150. So you just cannot complaint especially on the lack of sharpness on this tablet.
On the software side, Google Nexus 7 looks much richer with its full-fledged stock Android UI, while Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 looks really simple with its Mojito UI.
So which one is the best in software department?
Well, in my opinion, I think it’s quite obvious that Google Nexus 7 looks more promising in terms of features as well as visual interface than Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7.
However, if we walk in the shoes of users, then we will realize that the UIs of both tablets are actually quite interesting to use for some specific types of users.
Of course, Google’s tablet with its stock UI has all the main elements and features found on Android Jelly Bean OS, like Project Butter, Google Now Card, Google Voice Command, offline mode in Google Maps, as well as the standard Android layout plus the app drawer.
The opposite of Google Nexus 7, the Mojito UI on Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 offers the easiest access to users so they can easily buy new contents like books, movies, music or apps from the Amazon web stores directly on the homescreen.
So on the top menus, users can easily choose each menu they want to explore to get to the new hottest contents available on Amazon like movies, music, books or apps all straightly from the homescreen.
And the simple payment system that Amazon provides on this device really makes it much easier for users to just buy any content they want to enjoy on Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7.
Between the 2, I think both UIs have their own weaknesses and strengths.
Okay, Google Nexus 7 may have all the elements and features found on Jelly Bean, but Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 with its Mojitu UI is actually really simple to use, especially for non-tech-savvy users who don’t want to get tangled with some complicated learning curves.
So they just want to have a simple and reliable device that they can use to watch new movies, read books, listen to music or play apps without spending a lot of time learning about all the features on Android OS.
They just want to buy the contents and enjoy them on the get-go.
I’m not saying that the stock Android UI on Google Nexus 7 is hard to use for new users.
But all the elements and layout of this UI still require users to at least learn from the basic things like changing wallpaper to more advanced tasks like setting up all the elements on the homescreen, like widgets, shortcuts, etc.
For me personally, I would prefer the stock Android UI on Google Nexus 7 because I love all the features on Android OS and besides, using the simple basic UI like on Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 could be quite boring over the time.
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So what do we have here?
Okay, Google Nexus 7 looks more than sufficient with its Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor, especially with its 12-core GeForce ULP GPU.
The same story happens to Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7.
It has Qualcomm’s latest and greatest processor in its chip lineup in 2013, Snapdragon 800, as well as the Adreno 330 which is a really powerful graphics chipset around the market in 2013 (even until today).
The amazing thing about Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 is, despite being priced in mid-to-low-end category ($229), this tablet is on par with other high-end flagship devices in 2013 like Samsung GALAXY Tab Pro 8.4 or even iPad mini Retina.
And that’s truly remarkable because Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 is a $229 budget tablet, yet it has the same powerful performance as other high-end tablets.
Not to mention, other high-end goodies like 2GB of RAM and a full HD display really make this device one of the best ‘bang for the buck’ tablets in 2013.
Anyway, in terms of graphical performance, of course Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 is just way more superior than Google Nexus 7.
It handles all the games perfectly and they all perform well even in full highest graphics.
So you can totally expect games like Asphalt 8: Airborne, Modern Combat 5 or even GTA San Andreas to run super-smoothly on this device, especially knowing that Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 has a very light-weight UI but powerful GPU.
Unfortunately, the same thing doesn’t happen on Google Nexus 7.
As a tablet released in 2012, this Google’s tablet is still ‘stuck’ with the older-gen mobile chipset from Nvidia – Tegra 3 processor.
This processor might be really powerful especially in 2012, but for today’s standards where the newest games have more detailed graphics and advanced visual effects, then Google Nexus 7 is slightly behind the race in today's competition.
But the good thing is, thanks to the 12-core GeForce ULP GPU found inside the Tegra 3 processor, Google Nexus 7 is still more than happier to execute some of the heaviest games like GTA Vice City, Modern Combat 4, NOVA 3, Dead Trigger 2 or even Asphalt 8: Airborne.
However, as for Asphalt 8: Airborne, this game may perform well in full highest graphics, but it doesn’t run as smooth as on the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7.
And there is some obvious choppiness found here and there in the gameplay. Luckily, this game is still playable on this Google’s tablet.
Meanwhile, for other games aforementioned above like GTA Vice City, Modern Combat 4 and more, Google Nexus 7 has no problem at all in handling these heavy 3D games at the fullest. I mean in full graphics.
But of course, for much heavier 3D games like GTA San Andreas, it’s quite obvious that Google Nexus 7 is just not really adequate to run this game in full highest graphics, although it can still be played in low graphics.
Between the 2, I think it’s pretty easy to recommend Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 as a much better gaming tablet than Google Nexus 7.
It comes with powerful processor and GPU, and it handles all the games available today perfectly even in full graphics.
Anyway guys, if you want to know more about their gaming performances, including what games that will run on these tablets, check out my YouTube video playlist or Pinterest page. :)
If you happen to love photography a lot, then you will be left disappointed by any of these devices. And that’s clearly because either Google Nexus 7 or Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 has NO rear-facing camera on their ‘behind’ (no pun intended).
But the good news is, there is a front-facing snapper available on both tablets; 1.2MP camera on Google Nexus 7, while Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 also has its own 1.3MP shooter.
So if you’re really crazy with taking selfies, then your hobby will be accommodated very well on any of these tablets.
Other than that, it can also come really handy if you love doing video calls with your friends or family members with the Skype.
However, if you’re looking for an alternative that has the rear-facing camera, you may want to switch to either HP Slate7 Extreme, Nvidia Shield Tablet, HP Slate7 Plus, Google Nexus 7 (2013 edition) or Amazon Fire HD 7 (2014 edition).
These tablets are now cheap to buy on the market, although the 5MP cameras on HP Slate7 Extreme and Nvidia Shield Tablet totally blow the cameras of Nexus 7 or Fire HD 7 out of the water.
On the sector of battery life, both Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 are actually quite good when it comes to longevity.
Google’s tablet comes with 4325mAh battery, while Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 is also powered by an adequate capacity of battery to make sure that any of these devices could last all day long in mixed usage or moderate use.
And that’s true actually because according to various sources, Google Nexus 7 is capable to last around 9 hours and 49 minutes in mixed usage, while Amazon’s tablet comes second with 8 hours and 30 minutes.
So basically, for doing some random stuff with mixed screen on and off, you can expect to see any of these tablets to survive all day long, of course on the full charge of 100%.
But usually, vast majority of users who just got the device at the very first beginning, they would become so addictive in using the tablet that they would use it without resting the screen at all or non-stop in long hours.
So if you happen to be the same type of power user, then the battery life of these tablets could just drop drastically in probably around 4 to 6 hours.
My Personal Opinions
Okay then, now we almost come to the end of this comparison review. So what’s my final conclusion between the 2.
Well, let’s start with Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7.
This Amazon’s tablet is obviously so much better than Google Nexus 7. The reason is really simple.
It’s a new-gen tablet and it has the hardware package that is considered even today as high-grade specs in flagship territory.
That’s true because a full HD display, 2GB of RAM, Snapdragon 800 processor and Adreno 330 GPU are the specs of high-end flagship tablets. No doubt about that.
And the fact that Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 only cost $229 in 2013 (even cheaper right now) really makes it even easier for me to recommend this tablet to you, especially if you’re looking for a reliable tablet for playing games.
It may not have the expandable storage nor a rear-facing camera just like any other budget tablets like HP Slate7 Extreme, Nvidia Shield Tablet or Google Nexus 7 (2013 edition), but the powerful hardware found on this device really makes it up to those 2 missing elements.
Meanwhile, Google Nexus 7 is also a pretty good tablet to get right now.
Okay, it may not be on the same level of performance and hardware of Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7, but as a tablet under $150, I think Google Nexus 7 is still one reliable device to enjoy contents, even for playing games.
Besides, this Google’s tablet comes with the stock Android UI, so you’ll be able to enjoy all the elements and features that you’ve come to love on Android OS.
But of course, there are also 2 weaknesses found on this Nexus 7, just like the ones found on Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7.
And they are the absence of microSD card slot and rear-facing camera.
So if you’re a big fan of a tablet with microSD card slot and rear camera, then you may want to switch to other options like HP Slate7 Extreme, Nvidia Shield Tablet, HP Slate8 Pro, HP Slate7 Plus, Google Nexus 7 (2013 edition) or Xiaomi MiPad 7.9.
Okay then, to sum up, let me answer some of the questions I’ve previously asked above. Here you go!
Does this Amazon tablet have what it takes to be a better gaming tablet than Google Nexus 7?
Yes of course, no doubt and absolutely.
Google Nexus 7 is just no competition here for Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 when it comes to gaming performance.
It may have 12-core GPU on its Tegra 3 processor. But compared to Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 with its Snapdragon 800 and Adreno 330, this Google’s tablet is a weak performer in this comparison review.
The most prominent difference of performance between these 2 tablets can be clearly seen when they run GTA San Andreas in full highest graphics. And we all know that this game is a really HUGE game, especially in size and scale of the game.
So on Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7, this game will certainly run perfectly in full highest graphics.
On the other hand, on Google Nexus 7, this game really suffers a lot in performance, especially when run in highest setting of graphics.
But the good news is, it’s still playable in low graphics if you’re really eager to play it.
Which one of these devices that deserves to be a great tablet in the whole aspect?
Of course hands down to Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7.
It has a way more powerful performance, it has the ‘flagship material’ on its hardware package and it only costs at $229, which is a steal for an affordable tablet like this.
The bad news is, Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 is only available in the US and across the European countries. So if you live outside those regions, you can just dream of having this super powerful yet cheap tablet.
Is it worth it to buy Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 instead of Google Nexus 7?
Yes of course. Google Nexus 7 may now be priced under $150, but if you’re willing to add a little more $50 to your budget, you can have a way more powerful and reliable device for playing games like Nvidia Shield Tablet, HP Slate7 Extreme, HP Slate8 Pro or Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9.
You just can’t do wrong if you decide to buy any of these devices. They are totally worth buying tablets on the market right now.
Pros and Cons
Google Nexus 7 (2012)
- Good gaming performance
- Privilege to get software updates from Google
- Smooth experience with stock Android UI
- Long lasting battery life
- Good build quality
- NO rear-facing camera
- NO microSD card slot
- According to some users, this Nexus 7 tablet could become really laggy over the time if the internal
- storage is loaded with many files
- It’s not so powerful anymore for playing heavy games
- A flagship-quality tablet at low price
- Powerful gaming performance
- SImple-to-use UI
- Well-established Amazon ecosystem
- Great battery life
- NO rear-facing camera
- NO microSD card slot
- Sub-par design and build quality
- UI can be a bit boring over the time
Disclaimer: Hi guys, bear in mind that this is not some in-depth review. This is Read more...