Google Nexus 7 (2013) vs Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7: Two Powerful but Affordable Tablets in 2013

Posted by B. Johnson
Google Nexus 7 (2013) vs Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7: Two Powerful but Affordable Tablets in 2013From all the tablets that have been reviewed on this website, I think the second-gen Google Nexus 7 (2013 edition) and Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 are 2 of my favorite tablets that surprisingly haven’t been pitted side-by-side in my comparison review.

And I think this is pretty weird because the timeframe of their release dates is really near to each other, which is 3 months away.

Plus, I also know that these 2 devices were aimed at budget tablet market with the same $229 price tag when they made their debuts in 2013.

So this is why I think it would be interesting to see how these 2 guys go and know more about their strengths as well as weaknesses in this review, especially in terms of gaming performance.

Google Nexus 7 (2013) vs Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 benchmarks and gaming performance

Not to mention, I also want to show you what makes each of these tablets good compared to each other, either in display, camera, battery life, software, overall performance and some other more.

Well, if you’re interested to see how these two slates fare against each other in this review, then here you go, my comparison between Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7.

Hope you like it!

Anyway, before you start reading this review, make sure that you have your popcorn and Coke at your disposal because this is going to be a really long written review!

Introduction

In 2012, to be more specific, in July 2012 at Google I/O conference, Google along with Asus, unveiled their world’s first collaboration in tech world by releasing the first generation Google Nexus 7.

And as part of Nexus family, of course Google had a significant involvement in the making of this device, either in software or hardware (but mostly in software).

What is so amazing about this tablet is, despite being the first Nexus tablet ever released by Google, this Google Nexus 7 totally nailed it as a great all-around tablet, either for enjoying media contents or even playing games.

A year later in 2013, Google along with Asus made a great come-back by releasing the newer and refined version of Google Nexus 7.

And as the sequel model in this series, of course the second-gen Google Nexus 7 brings a lot of improvements as well as fixes here and there on software and hardware.

However, Google Nexus 7 is not alone in this business. There’s another tech giant that is more than happier to steal the crown from Google Nexus 7 in the budget tablet market in 2013. And that company is Amazon.

Through Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7, this giant retail website shows how serious it really is not only to compete against Google’s tablet, but even to sidetrack other flagship tablets in 7-inch category.

That’s shown perfectly from the superiority of this device in terms of hardware.

It’s got the Snapdragon 800 processor, Adreno 330, 2GB of RAM and a super-sharp display with 1080p resolution. And we all know that this type of spec sheet was considered as flagship quality hardware package even until today in 2016.

But of course, Google Nexus 7 shouldn’t be underestimated here given that this device still brings the same class of hardware just like what Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 comes with.

It has the same sharpness with its 1080p display, the same space of memory with 2GB of RAM and the same level of performance with Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor along with Adreno 320 GPU.

But the questions remain. With all of the powerful specs found on both Google and Amazon’s tablet, which one between Google Nexus 7 (2013) and Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 that has what it takes to be the best gaming tablet in this review?

Which one is the best tablet in the whole aspect?

Is it worth it to buy any of these devices, especially for playing heavy 3D games?

Soon we’ll find out more about the answers of these 3 little questions right at the end of this review. So stick around!

Design

Compared to the first-gen Google Nexus 7 released in 2012, there’s nothing new about the design of the sequel of this tablet.

It still has the same design language as the predecessor, from the same rounded rectangular edges, same sizes of bezels and everything about it is just similar with the previous-gen model.

But I think this second-gen of Google Nexus 7 is still better in design than the generic looking Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7.

There’s nothing unique nor special about the design of Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7, especially compared with Google Nexus 7 that has its unique looks and it can be easily identified even by looking at the glance.

But that’s as expected because Amazon has never been so aggressive with the designs of its Kindle Fire series. And this company actually still keeps the tradition going even on the latest-gen Kindle Fire series released last year in 2015.

Back to Top


Google Nexus 7 (2013)Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7
4G LTE
Micro-SIM
Released in July 2013
7.0 inch LED-backlit IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 1200 x 1920 pixels (~323 ppi)
Quad-core 1.5 GHz Krait Qualcomm Snapdragon S4Pro Chipset
Adreno 320 GPU
2 GB RAM
Android OS 4.3 Jelly Bean, upgradable to Lollipop
5 MP rear-facing camera, 2592 ? 1944 pixels, autofocus
1.2 MP front-facing camera
No Memory Card slot
16/32 GB Internal storage
GPRS
EDGE
NFC
GPS
HSPA+, LTE
Wi-Fi 802.11
Bluetooth v4.0
microUSB v2.0 (SlimPort)
No Radio
Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass Sensors
No Java
Non-removable Li-Ion 3950 mAh battery
Released 2013, October
Micro-SIM
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
Wi-Fi 802.11
Bluetooth
GPS
No Radio
microUSB v2.0
Accelerometer, gyro Sensors
HTML5 Amazon Silk Browser
No Java
Non-removable Li-Ion battery

Despite being released in the same year, it’s actually Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 that looks more prominent here than Google Nexus 7 when it comes to overall specs.

Okay, this Amazon’s slate may not have the rear-facing camera nor all the standard features found on stock Android OS, which both can be had on Google Nexus 7.

However, in the whole aspect, Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 is definitely the one that comes out as the winner here against Google Nexus 7.

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 features a 7-inch display sporting the 1080p resolution (1920x1200 pixels), a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor, Adreno 330 GPU, 2GB of RAM, Fire OS 3.0 layered with Mojito UI (based on Android Jelly Bean OS), 1.3MP front-facing camera and other standard features, including cellular connectivity.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the road, Google Nexus 7 comes with the same 7-inch display sporting the same 1920x1200 pixels resolution, a Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 5MP camera on the rear along with 1.2MP camera on the front, Android 4.3 Jelly Bean (upgradeable to Lollipop) and other standard features including 4G LTE connectivity.

Unfortunately, there’s no expandable storage via microSD card slot to be found either on Google Nexus 7 or Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7.

So if you’re running out of space on internal storage, you must be willing to delete some of your existing media files or apps in order to give more space for the new ones.

Screen

Watching movies, reading books, browsing the web and playing games are definitely ideal to do on either Google Nexus 7 or Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7.

And that’s clearly because both of these devices are sporting 1080p resolution on their 7-inch displays. So everything that you throw on this screen definitely looks sharp and crisp.

Both Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 are packing the same 7-inch screen with the same 1920x1200 pixels resolution, resulting the same pixel density of -323 ppi (pixel per inch).

So as far as the screen sharpness is concerned, it’s really obvious that both tablets are equal one to another.

The great thing is, both tablets are powered by the processors that are more than sufficient to handle this high-resolution display without draining a lot of juice from their batteries.

As a result, they have beautiful and gorgeous looking screens, they perform really fast and smooth, and they are also really efficient with the use of battery, which is why Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 are remarkable when it comes to battery life.

User Interface

Okay, both Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 may have the same sharpness on their displays and they’re also running on Android OS. However, in terms of software, these 2 devices actually fall in 2 different bandwagons here.

Google Nexus 7, as the member of Nexus family, still keeps the tradition going with the pure stock untouched Android UI along with all of its standard features, while Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 is more comfortable to deploy the light-weight and simpler version through Mojito UI (based on Android Jelly Bean).

So the thing that separates these 2 devices is actually their features.

Google Nexus 7, as you all know, comes with all the standard features found on stock Android UI, including the standard Android layout, app drawer, its widget element, etc.. etc..

Looking and working differently than Google Nexus 7 is Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 with its Fire OS, which is layered with Mojito UI (based on Android Jelly Bean OS).

So basically, this UI is the simpler light-weight version of Android UI which strips off almost all the standard features of Android OS. So there’s no widget element, no standard Android layout and many more.

But this is actually the reason why so many fans of Kindle Fire series love this UI. It’s really simple to use and doesn’t require some complicated learning curves.

So everything from music, movies, books, etc is just there on top navigation of homescreen so users can easily find and of course, buy media contents they love straightly from the homescreen.

They can find their favorite books, movies, music and other media contents including apps on Amazon App Store.

This simple and light-weight UI has also been the reason why all Kindle Fire tablets have great battery lives. And Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 is no exception.

Back to Top

There’s no other topic that got me really interested to discuss here more than the gaming performance between these 2 tablets. And that’s because either Google Nexus 7 or Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 is really great when it comes to playing games, especially heavy 3D games.

And to be truthfully honest, I’ve already seen how these 2 guys perform for playing games, like a LOT, from many video reviews I stumbled upon on YouTube.

Long story short, they are beast in terms of gaming performance and definitely way better than their predecessors.

However, in this section of this review, of course I will give you a more thorough perspective about the gaming performance of each tablet, especially how they perform for some specific games.

Is it smooth? is it laggy? what’s about the graphics of the games when being handled by both devices? are they running in highest or lower graphics?

But first, let me start with Google’s tablet.

So what do we have here?

A Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor, Adreno 320 GPU and 2GB of RAM, not to mention, this hardware package is tasked to deliver their power on a 1080p display with stock Android UI without any customizations from the manufacturer, or in this case, Asus.

And how does it perform?

Well, as a tablet with some powerful hardware, of course Google Nexus 7 really excels when it comes to overall performance.

It runs really fast, smooth and there’s minimum amount of lags found on its software, either for opening apps, switching to other apps, closing apps, going to the multitasking window, sliding the screen and some other stuff.

The good thing is, Google layers this device with the pure stock Android UI without any customizations whatsoever from Asus.

So this significantly improves the overall performance and fluidity of its UI given that its memory is not loaded with so many tasks in default, which in turn, will boost the longevity of its battery.

Unfortunately though, despite running smoothly for daily basic tasks, this Google Nexus 7 comes in second place after Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 when it comes to gaming performance.

So as mentioned above, Google Nexus 7 is powered by a Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor clocked at 1.5GHz (per core), coupled with Adreno 320 GPU in graphical department. Not to mention, a huge 2GB of RAM is provided to ensure its smoothness especially when running some heavy tasks at the same time, including games.

Eventhough this hardware package seems great on paper, the reality is, this Google Nexus 7 is sadly not very sufficient enough to run all heavy games on Play Store.

Okay, this device may perform well, in fact, smoothly and perfectly when playing some of the most graphics-intense games like Asphalt 8: Airborne, GTA Vice City, NOVA 3, Modern Combat, Need for Speed or Dead Trigger 2.

And of course, all of these games are running in full highest graphics.

However, when deployed with one ‘huvy’ (huge and heavy) game called GTA San Andreas in full graphics, there’s just a large amount of choppiness found here and there all over the gameplay.

And this totally ruins the whole experience of playing this game, especially for real gamers who always demand high graphics in the games they play.

So it runs extremely low (below 20 fps if I’m not mistaken), it’s filled with a huge amount of lags and pretty much everything about it is just not playable for human being.

Long story short, Google Nexus 7’s hardware is not sufficient enough to run this game at its full highest graphics.

But that’s probably not really shocking for me because Google Nexus 7 is only powered by a Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor, which is not a flagship quality processor, especially in Qualcomm’s lineup in 2013.

Not to mention, its Adreno 320 GPU is also not a very powerful GPU around the market in 2013.

So no wonder if this device is not very flawless when it comes to gaming performance. There are some heavy games that cannot be played in full graphics with this tablet.

But the story is totally different here with what happens to Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7.

Despite having the same price tag ($229) with Google’s tablet in its first debut, Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 is definitely the one that will come out as the winner here against Google Nexus 7 in terms of gaming performance.

And that’s clearly because this Amazon’s slate is packing way more powerful hardware specs than what are found inside Google Nexus 7.

It’s powered by a Snapdragon 800 quad-core processor with the staggering clock speed of 2.2GHz (for each of the 4 cores), accompanied with Adreno 330 GPU and 2GB of RAM.

This hardware package may seem pretty identical with Google Nexus 7, but it’s actually not. The CPU and GPU of Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 are no doubt more powerful and have more horsepower than what Google’s tablet is capable to deliver, especially for gaming.

And that can be seen perfectly when this Amazon’s tablet is deployed with even the highest-performing games on the market right now, GTA San Andreas or Modern Combat 5.

Not only do these games perform smoothly on Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7, buy they also run in full highest graphics, with all the visual effects and some extra graphic goodies during the game.

This is of course as expected given that Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 is packing the CPU and GPU that are still considered as flagship quality specs in today’s standards.

So no wonder if any games will run seamlessly without any hiccup on this Amazon’s slate.

Besides, Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 runs on the light-weight Fire OS (which strips down many standard features and visual interface found on pure stock Android OS).

So this definitely helps a lot in making this device perform fast and smooth, especially for playing games.

So between the 2, I think it’s very obvious that Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 is my definite choice of a gaming tablet here than Google Nexus 7 (2013) in this review.

Even though the app and game selection for Kindle Fire HDX 7 on Amazon App Store is not as huge as on the Google Play Store, it doesn’t really hold back Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 from being a more powerful gaming tablet than Google Nexus 7.

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. :)

Cameras

Despite having more powerful gaming performance than Google Nexus 7, there’s no camera to be found on the rear-side of Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7, while, Google’s tablet, on the other hand, has it with its 5MP rear-facing camera.

So for those of you who are really into photography, then Google Nexus 7 is definitely the one you should choose here instead of Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7.

However, it’s worth mentioning that, according to what I’ve heard from some video reviews on YouTube (MKBHD, theVerge and PhoneArena), there’s nothing special about the 5MP rear-camera of Google Nexus 7.

So if taking photos and recording videos are your favorite hobbies to do with your device, then you will likely be left disappointed by this tablet’s camera.

Google Nexus 7 may have the rear-camera, while Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 don’t, but the quality and sharpness are just not there to be found here on its camera.

But I think, it’s still nice to see a rear-facing camera on Google Nexus 7 (2013), which has been lacking on the first-gen model.

So good job Google and Asus for listening to the feedback of its users and reviewers around the net!

Battery Life

One of the strongest points found either on Google Nexus 7 or Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 is definitely their battery lives.

So according to some reviews, both Google and Amazon’s tablets are blessed with longevity with their batteries.

Google Nexus 7, with its small 3950mAh battery, impressively is capable to last around 8 hours and 40 minutes in moderate use, which is more than enough to get you through the day without double-recharging this device during the day.

And it goes the same with Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 that survives around 8 hours and 30 minutes in the same type of moderate use.

So basically, you can use any of these devices in one solid day on a single charge for doing some basic daily tasks like watching movies, browsing the web, listening to music, reading books or just playing games.

But of course, if you use any of them intensively to play heavy games without resting the screen at all, then its battery life would drop drastically to probably around 4 to 6 hours.

But even so, I think both Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 really excel when it comes to battery life. As a matter of fact, I’m actually really impressed with the battery life of Google’s tablet because this device is powered by a smaller 3950mAh battery capacity than the 4325mAh battery inside the predecessor.

So kudos to Google and Asus (along with Qualcomm) for making the second-gen Google Nexus 7 more powerful in battery life than the predecessor, without using a larger battery capacity than the one inside the previous-gen model!

My Personal Opinions

So to sum up, I’ve gotta say that Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 does really impress me a lot than Google’s tablet in this comparison review.

I’m really amazed at how serious Amazon to make this tablet an equal contender for other flagship tablets like Samsung GALAXY Tab S 8.4 and even iPad mini on high-end tablet market.

I mean, how is it possible for a budget tablet priced at $229 to have the hardware and performance of flagship high-end tablets?

It’s just unbelievable for me.

The second-gen Google Nexus 7 is also a powerful tablet, but compared with Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7, this Google’s tablet is just no competition here against Amazon’s slate by miles.

And that can be seen perfectly from how they handle some of the heaviest games on Google Play Store and Amazon App Store.

So Google Nexus 7 may perform well when ‘executing’ games like Asphalt 8: Airborne, GTA Vice City, Dead Trigger 2, NOVA 3, Need for Speed Most Wanted or Modern Combat 4 in full graphics, just like Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7.

However, when faced with a much heavier game from RockStar Game, GTA San Andreas, the degradation of its performance will start showing up in the gameplay.

And this doesn’t happen to Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7, even if it’s tasked to run GTA San Andreas in full highest graphics (with maximum draw distance, shadows, effects, resolution, etc).

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 is definitely a way more powerful gaming tablet than the second-gen Google Nexus 7.

But even so, both tablets are still equally great as media-consumption devices.

I mean, Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 both have sharp-gorgeous-looking displays, powerful performances, great battery lives and they are also pretty cheap right now to buy on tablet market.

Unfortunately, with all of the strengths found on both tablets, there are still some weak spots found on each of these devices.

So either Google Nexus 7 (2013) or Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 has no microSD card slot, which means you’re gonna be stuck with their internal storage if you’re running out of storage space. And nothing can help you besides the cloud storage of course.

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 also is not equipped with a rear-facing camera, while Google Nexus 7 has it with its 5MP rear-camera, although its quality and sharpness leave a lot to be desired here especially for dedicated photographers or even regular users with hobby of photography.

But apart from that, I still think that both Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 are still 2 worth buying tablets on the market right now, especially if their price tags have been slashed down to just around $150 - $180.

They have sharp 1080p screens, powerful performances, solid battery lives and they’re definitely great for enjoying media contents like movies, books and even games.

Anyway, to wrap up this review, let me answer some of the questions I’ve previously asked above:

Which one between Google Nexus 7 (2013) and Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 that has what it takes to be the best gaming tablet in this review?

Of course it is Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 that takes the crown here from Google Nexus 7 as the best gaming tablet in this review.

It handles any heavy games perfectly and it also has strong battery life, which are 2 of the most important variables for a great gaming tablet.

Which one is the best tablet in the whole aspect?

I’ve gotta say that Google Nexus 7 manages to impress me in the whole aspect than Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7.

Okay, it may not have the same powerful gaming performance just like Amazon’s tablet, but in terms of cameras, software and design, it’s definitely Google Nexus 7 that is more prepared than Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7.

It has a rear-facing camera, it comes pre-installed with pure stock Android UI along with all the standard Android features, it has the privilege to get the newer software updates from Google, and it also looks and feels nicer with its attractive design and good build quality than Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7.

On paper, Google Nexus 7 is also fairly equal with Amazon’s slate.

It has the same full HD 1080p display, the same 2GB of RAM, the same strong battery life and besides, this Google’s tablet has much larger selection of games and apps on Play Store than what Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 has on its App Store.

So this definitely makes up for its less powerful gaming performance.

Is it worth it to buy any of these devices, especially for playing heavy 3D games?

Yes, but only if you grab Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 instead of Google Nexus 7. I’m not saying that this Google’s slate is not powerful for gaming. Well, it’s wrong. Google Nexus 7 is still a pretty damn good for playing games.

But if compared with Amazon’s tablet, of course Google Nexus 7 is just not on par with Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7, especially in gaming performance.

Pros and Cons

Google Nexus 7 (2013)

Pros:
  • Sharp and gorgeous looking 1080p display
  • 2GB of RAM
  • Pretty great for playing games
  • Stock Android UI makes it run fast and smooth
  • Solid battery life, despite using a smaller battery capacity than predecessor
  • Finally has a rear-facing 5MP camera, which is lacking on the previous-gen model
  • Affordable to buy in its first debut
Cons:
  • No microSD card slot for expandable storage
  • Sub-par camera quality
  • Gaming performance is not the best on the market
  • Suffers a lot when playing GTA San Andreas in full graphics

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7

Pros:
  • Powerful for playing heavy 3D games
  • Gorgeous and sharp 1080p display
  • Simple-to-use User Interface
  • Solid long lasting battery life
  • Great for watching movies, reading books, listening to music and playing games
  • Affordable to buy
  • High-end specs even for today’s standards
Cons:
  • No rear-facing camera
  • No expandable storage with microSD card slot
  • Sub-par design
  • Software is lacking of standard features of Android OS
  • UI can get really boring over the time


Disclaimer: Hi guys, bear in mind that this is not some in-depth review. This is Read more...
Related Posts
Recent Updates
Copyright © 2017 GameTabletz.com. All Rights Reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part or in any form or medium without written permission is prohibited!
Privacy Policy | Disclaimer | Tablet Reviews Disclaimer | Contact Us