Amazon Kindle Fire 7 HD review: a great gaming tablet from Amazon

Written by B Johnson December 17, 2013
Amazon Kindle Fire 7 HD Specs
Hi guys, welcome back to this site!

Previously, i’ve already showcased Amazon Kindle Fire HDX in some articles on this website. And that happened a couple of days ago, if i’m not mistaken.

(Amazon Kindle Fire 7 HD Specs)

I’ve mentioned a LOT how this tablet is insanely powerful for playing any graphics intensive games across Amazon App Store, besides great as a media and entertainment tablet.

As a matter of fact, i’ve included this tablet in the list of top gaming tablet at low cost in 2013, alongside 2nd gen Google Nexus 7 and Tegra Note 7 (probably HP Slate 7 Extreme as well in the future, given that this HP’s tablet is also packing the same internals like Tegra Note 7).

Amazon Kindle Fire 7 HD benchmarks and gaming performance

So today, i want to bring up the older gen Kindle Fire to the table.

However, it’s not gonna be the first-gen Kindle Fire that was launched around 3 or 4 years ago. Instead, this time, i will firstly put the spotlight to the second-generation tablet from Amazon.

And that is Kindle Fire 7 HD.

Maybe on some other day or maybe tomorrow, i will finally talk about the first-gen Kindle Fire in the future post.

Okay then, without further ado, as usual, let me show you first the brief introduction of Kindle Fire HD, in case if you’re interested to know about the story and history of this tablet.

But if you’re not, you can just skip to the next part, the design of this tablet.


As i mentioned above, Kindle Fire HD is the second generation of highly successful Kindle Fire tablet from Amazon.

Being the second gen tablet of course means that this model comes with more goodies and much better internal hardware than the previous generation model.

This tablet made its first debut before the holiday season in 2012.

At the announcement event of this tablet, Amazon brought up some of the major improvements that made this tablet way better than predecessor model.

But the core principal of why Amazon releases this tablet is still the same.

And that is to make a great media and entertainment tablet that is fully integrated and even chained to the Amazon ecosystem through Amazon App Store, Hulu, Netflix and its online store.

As a result, the Kindle Fire HD brings some fresh air to this series compared to the predecessor.

It’s now more powerful and much faster in performance sector, elegant in design, more beautiful and sharper in display, smoother in experience and long lasting in battery life.

And that’s great because these are the things that most of tablet shoppers really want to have from a media and entertainment tablet like Kindle Fire HD.


Kindle Fire 7 HD - Full tablet specifications

One of the key improvements found on this second-gen Kindle Fire HD is its design. Compared to the previous model, no wonder that Kindle Fire HD has much better looking design and more premium feel than Kindle Fire 1st.

And that’s not surprising because with Kindle Fire HD, Amazon wants to target the sales in 7-inch tablet market, not to mention, to stop iPad mini from stealing the sales in this market, the market where Amazon with its Kindle Fire was the pioneer that managed to put this market on the map and grow its presence in global tablet market against the iPad tablet market.

This tablet may not have the same premium feel nor aluminum material just like iPad or iPad mini.

However, something that really makes me impressed with this tablet overall is how Amazon manages to shape up the design of this tablet to be more elegant in dark black finish, making it look more solid and premium than the older-gen Kindle Fire, despite having a $199 price tag.

Of course, it only looks premium in its class, not in high-end tablet market, because if that is the case, then it’s Sony Xperia Tablet Z that deserves to be called as a premium looking tablet than Kindle Fire HD.

If you look at the design of the first-gen Kindle Fire, then you will see that there are many huge improvements being made by Amazon on this tablet.

It now looks more elegant, less bulky, less chubby, with less bezels and much darker elegant finish all over the body.

So with that being said, then Kindle Fire HD is definitely a suitable challenger for Google Nexus 7 (2012 edition), given that they both have equal internal hardware, similar quality design and the most importantly, the same price range.

Back to Top
  • Released in September 2012
  • 7.0 inch IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 800 x 1280 pixels, (~216 ppi pixel density)
  • Dual-core TI OMAP 4460 1.2 GHz Cortex-A9 CPU
  • PowerVR SGX540 GPU
  • 1 GB RAM
  • No microSD card slot
  • 16/32 GB storage Internal
  • Bluetooth
  • USB
  • No Radio
  • No GPS
  • No Java
  • No GPRS
  • No EDGE
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band
  • 1.3 MP front-facing
  • No Video
  • Android OS, v4.0 (customized)
  • Non-removable Li-Ion battery
When talking about specs, then Kindle Fire HD may have something to brag about in front of other tablets in its class, say Google Nexus 7 (2012) or iPad mini 1.

And one of them is its display. Of course, I’m talking about the 8.9-inch model of Kindle Fire HD, not the basic 7-inch model.

The 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD comes with a full HD 1920x1200 pixel display.

And that is way higher than the low resolution display on iPad mini 1.

However, they are not equal rivals given that the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD obviously is much bigger than the 7.8-inch screen on iPad mini.

Okay, back to the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD. We’ll talk more about 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD later in the future post, okay?

The 7-inch Kindle Fire HD comes with the same exact display found on the 2012 edition of Google Nexus 7, 1280x800 pixels.

So they both have the same quality displays, the same price tag of $150 for the basic 16GB model and their hardware are also slightly equal one to another, although i know that Tegra 3 on Google Nexus 7 is just more powerful than the CPU found on Kindle Fire HD.

In terms of performance, Kindle Fire HD is packing some pretty great specs on it, from a dual-core TI OMAP 4460 clocked at 1.2 GHz Cortex-A9, 1GB of RAM and PowerVR SGX 540 GPU.

For your information, the PowerVR SGX 540 GPU is actually the same one found on older iOS devices, like iPhone 4 or iPhone 3S if i’m not mistaken.

So when it comes to graphics performance, especially games, Kindle Fire HD is more than capable to run heavy older games like Asphalt 7: Heat, 9MM, ShadowGun, Dead Trigger or Gangstar Rio, in full graphics setting.


What makes this tablet amazing is that, its 1280x800 pixel display on this tablet is capable enough to deliver such an eye pleasing experience to the users.

It may not be as impressive as the 1920x1200 pixel display on the latest-gen Google Nexus 7 nor the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD, but the 1280x800 pixel display is still good enough for a $199 tablet like this.

Besides, newest tablets with the price point of $199 that are released this year, like Tegra Note 7 or HP Slate 7 Extreme are still using slightly lower 1280x700 display.

So with that being said, then the screen of Kindle Fire HD is still better than even today’s $199 tablets.

User Interface

When it comes to User Interface, just like the older-gen Kindle Fire and even the current-gen Kindle Fire HDX, the UI of Kindle Fire HD can be considered as pretty boring for some users, especially tech geeks.

However, for majority of people who are not big fans of the stock Android traditional homescreen, where you can put widgets, apps or live wallpaper on it, they don’t really find the simple big icon UI of Kindle Fire HD annoying.

In fact, many of them really like it because it makes it easier for them to just go straight to the apps right away from the homescreen.

Besides, they love being chained in the Amazon ecosystem where they can straightly buy contents they love like movies/TV shows or apps on Amazon app store.

So, if you’re a type of users who don’t really fancy widgets or live wallpaper homescreen, and just want to have a simple straight-forward UI, then Kindle Fire HD is definitely a great choice for you.

However, if you love putting widgets, apps or using live wallpaper on the homescreen to beautify and personalize your tablet, you better pick either Google Nexus 7 or Tegra Note or HP Slate 7 Extreme or HP Slate 7 Plus.


As mentioned above, in terms of performance, Kindle Fire HD is more than capable to run heavy tasks in smooth performance.

And that’s thanks to it dual-core TI OMAP Cortex A9 processor, 1GB of RAM and PowerVR SGX540, not to mention its 1280x800 pixel display.

With these goodies, Kindle Fire HD is definitely a great tablet for many stuff, like watching movies, reading books, browsing internet, listening to music and the most importantly, for playing heavy games.

Switching the screen or opening apps also runs really smooth given that Kindle Fire HD uses a simple UI called Fire OS, which is the forked version of Android OS (or the simplified version of Android OS).

So it will not inundate the memory of the tablet, thus delivering a fast and fluid performance to the users.

Back to Top
I’ve seen some of heavy games like Gangstar Rio, ShadowGun, Dead Trigger 1 or Modern Combat 4 run great on this tablet, and in full graphics setting.

However, if you want to get a more reliable and more powerful tablet for playing the latest games that are gonna launch next year or even the next 2 years, you better pick up the latest-gen Kindle Fire HDX given that this tablet is packing some monster specs like Snapdragon 800, 2GB of RAM and Adreno 330 GPU.

And these specs are currently the highest specs found on any high-end tablets on the market to date, like Samsung GALAXY Note 3, HTC One, Sony Xperia Z, Samsung GALAXY Note 10.1 LTE (2014 edition) and many other high-end devices.

But if you don’t mind to only be able to play older heavy games like Asphalt 7, Gangstar Rio, Dead Trigger 1, ShadowGun or PES 2012, then Kindle Fire HD is still a pretty great gaming tablet.

Besides, latest games like Asphalt 8: Airborne or Dead Trigger 2 are still playable on this Kindle Fire HD, although not in full graphics of course.

And even if they run in full graphics, i believe there are some significant frame drops and the performance will not be smooth compared to when they are run in low graphics setting.

Battery Life

Just like the previous model of Kindle Fire, this Kindle Fire HD is also powerful when it comes to battery life.

In fact, thanks to the tweaks made by Amazon here and there on both software and hardware, this tablet is believed could last in 1 solid day in mixed usage.

However, if you’re gonna use this tablet to play heavy games or watch movies in marathon, then you can only expect to see this tablet last around 7 to 10 hours. And this is already good enough for a tablet.

Overall, the battery life of this tablet is one of the main selling points of this tablet.

It’s just powerful and long lasting even for doing some heavy tasks.

User Opinions

In my personal opinion, i really like the whole thing about this tablet.

I like its design, its hardware, its display, its performance, its experience and its battery life.

I also really like the fact that Amazon has put more focus in improving the design of this tablet.

It now looks more elegant and has premium feel than the predecessor. Its internal hardware are also something that i adore from this tablet.

With the injections of a dual-core TI OMAP Cortex A9 CPU, 1GB of RAM and PowerVR SGX540 inside this tablet, playing games, browsing internet or watching movies are such a pleasing experience.

And thanks to its 1280x800 pixel display, everything that you throw on the screen looks amazingly sharp and crisp. So watching movies will definitely get the most benefits from its highly-improved display.

It may not have the same full HD 1920x1200 pixel screen on the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD.

However, having a 1280x800 pixel resolution on a 7-inch display is already more than enough for most of the users.

However, the thing is – i’m not a big fan of the UI on this tablet.

Its simple Fire OS (which is the forked version of Android OS) is not something that is worth bragging from this tablet.

Just like the predecessor, its UI is still really simple and i also don’t really like the big icons of apps that are presented on the grid slider on homescreen.

They just look horrible and some even look so pixelated. And that’s kind of decreasing the whole experience when using this tablet.

But if you’re type of users who only want to enjoy media and entertainment on a tablet, plus you’re comfortable being chained to the Amazon ecosystem where you can order any content straight from the tablet, like from Hulu, Netflix and Amazon app store, then Kindle Fire HD is definitely your good choice.

With this tablet, it’s just a lot easier to get your favorite TV series, movies, books or music to the tablet given that the payment system on Kindle Fire HD is really simple and straightforward.

So you’ll find no trouble getting your favorite contents and enjoy them on this tablet.

It’s just easy, simple and fast, especially if you’re getting the LTE model of this tablet.


So to sum this up. I really like Kindle Fire HD.

I like its design, its hardware, its display, its battery life, its ecosystem and its easy payment system.

At just $150, now you can have this tablet in your hands for the basic 16GB of model.

And as you may know, the consequence of buying Kindle Fire HD is that it doesn’t provide microSD card slot, rear-facing camera, radio, GPS nor Java emulator.

However, for those of you who just want to enjoy HD contents like movies, TV series, music albums, books or games, then Kindle Fire HD is a great choice for you.

In the price range around $150, you can also switch your target to either HP Slate 7 Plus or Google Nexus 7 (2012).

As for the HP Slate 7 Plus, it comes with:
  • Tegra 3 processor,
  • 1GB of RAM,
  • 12-core GeForce GPU,
  • microSD card slot,
  • 1280x700 pixel display,
  • 5MP rear-facing camera,
  • radio,
  • Java emulator,
  • GPS,
  • stock Android OS with widgets,
  • live wallpaper on homescreen,
  • and the most importantly, it’s made by no other than HP, which has been popularly known for making some great products like printer, laptop, etc.
So you’ll make no mistake if you choose this tablet instead.

Meanwhile, at the same price point of Kindle Fire HD and HP Slate 7 Plus, you can get the last year’s model of Google Nexus 7.

It’s packing some similar specs just like HP Slate 7 Plus, like Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM, 12-core GeForce GPU, 1280x800 pixel display, but it DOESN’T HAVE microSD card slot nor rear-facing camera nor HDMI port.

However, it’s worth mentioning that, based on the users of this tablet, many of them experienced that after several months using this tablet, this Google Nexus 7 (2012) became laggy and slower in performance.

Some said that this issue has something to do with the low quality flash storage of this tablet.

So my advice for you is to pick either Kindle Fire HD or HP Slate 7 Plus instead.

Related Posts
Recent Updates
Our Top Picks
Copyright © All Rights Reserved. Designed by B. Johnson
Reproduction in whole or in part or in any form or medium without written permission is prohibited!
Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Archives