Amazon debuts the powerful Kindle Fire HDX 7 and 8.9
It wasn't too long ago when Amazon's biggest tech achievement was trading online. Thing sure have changed since, for the e-tailer is quickly growing into a quite ambitious project, and one that seems to work. That's mostly thanks to what has turned into somewhat of a magic formula for success in the mobile industry – you don't necessarily have to hold content and hardware in both hands to make it through, but it sure helps a lot. What's interesting with Amazon's new additions to its line-up of tablets is that the they represent a testament to the company's ambitions, despite their lack of hardware history. Just how good are the two new Kindle Fire HDX tablets, though? Let's have a look.
New, sleeker design
Keeping to tradition, Amazon is again treating us with two nearly identical versions of the same product, though they do differ in one pretty major regard: size. What that means is that, like with the Kindle Fire HD before them, the new slates also come in a 7- and 8.9-inch versions. Both, however, have seen an extensive design overhaul – the tablets are now industrial-looking and sleeker, and also a fair bit lighter at 303 and 374 grams, respectively, as well as a tad more compact. What's more, Amazon has, like LG, decided that hardware buttons' are meant to be on the back of a device, so those have been moved.
But Amazon isn't about to drop the ball and rest on looks alone – the internals of the new tablets are beastly. We're talking 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 800, 2GB of RAM and up to 11 hours of battery life (17 hours in Reading Mode, more on that later). Still not impressed? The pixel density on Amazon's new boys should help – the 7-inch version sports a resolution of 1920x1200, or 323 ppi, while its bigger sibling has crossed into iPad territory with a 2560x1600 resolution, or 339 ppi. The LCD displays on the new Kindles are actually a point of pride for Amazon – they feature some interesting sensor-based tech that will adjust contrast when bright environments threaten to overpower color fidelity. We'll be keeping an eye out for this.
Amazon's Fire OS 3.0 fork of Android is surprisingly good
Amazon has been known for forking Android when it comes to its tablets, and this isn't about to change. In fact, Amazon is releasing a new version 3.0 of its Fire OS (aka Mojito), which brings a swath of changes both in UI design and features. We obviously haven't had a chance to play with it just yet, though some of the seemingly notable changes include a break-away from the carousel – there's now grid view for all the content on your tablet. Several mandatory apps, such as Gmail, the calendar and document-editing apps have also been improved.
As you probably know, Amazon is quite big on reading, and if the troves of content haven't made that obvious enough, then the all-new Reading Mode that we touched on before should. The new feature basically shuts down all non-essential processes when you want to go for a read, which in turn cranks battery lifetime to a reported 17 hours.
Another very interesting feature of Fire OS 3.0 is the so-called Mayday option. Mayday represents a sort of a 24/7 remote helpline for HDX owners and is said to connect you to a live support rep in 15 seconds, which sounds quite amazing. What's even more amazing is that the feature allows the user to see the actual person who's helping him troubleshoot in a small window on the tablet, whereas the Amazon employee sees what's running on the customer's tablet. TheVerge has already reported that in their experience, the new service works as advertised, and we can't deny that we're impressed and looking forward to testing it out for ourselves.
Price and release date
With the holidays soon to be upon us, many of you will be in the market for some new goodies. Amazon's offerings usually qualify with ease as far as Christmas shopping goes, mainly because of the really great price to quality ratio of their slates. Speaking of price, in the case of the HDX 7, it'll be $229/$269/$309 for the 16GB/32GB/64GB version, respectively, while those of you looking for some connectivity on the go will have to dole out $329/$369/$409 for the 16GB/32GB/64GB 4G LTE version, respectively. Looking for some more real estate? Then the HDX 8.9 will set you back $379/$429/$479 for the 16GB/32GB/64GB version, respectively. If you've got 4G LTE on your mind, then you'll have to dip into your savings, it's $479/$529/$579 for the 16GB/32GB/64GB 4G LTE version, in that order.
And if Christmas still appears distant to you, then we're happy to report that Amazon is already taking preorders, though the new tabs won't start shipping until October 18, in the case of the 7-inch HDX, and November 7, in the case of the 8.9 HDX.
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Amazon Kindle Fire HDX
1. Kindle Fire HDX 7
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9. Kindle Fire HDX 8.9
1. woodshop20 (Posts: 459; Member since: 14 Sep 2013)
No stock android, no thanks.
Anyways, who needs a 2560x1600 screen for reading books?
6. darkskoliro (Posts: 935; Member since: 07 May 2012)
with 2560x1600 and s800 im sure you can find other things than read books with that thing. Its just a bonus its got better optimised reading apps. But yeah not so liking its custom android on top of it
22. jinxed (Posts: 107; Member since: 10 Jan 2013)
hey do u no whether we can root and add custom roms to kindle ?
9. Bernoulli (Posts: 1433; Member since: 01 Sep 2012)
Just because it says Kindle doesn't mean it's only for books, don't forget if you want android and get the best out of your membership this is the only way to get both amazon prime video and Android apps, besides who would want lagdroid anyway?
20. Commentator (Posts: 2295; Member since: 16 Aug 2011)
There's no ";)" in "There's no "*" in you're[.]"
21. LG_is_the_best (unregistered)
2. kassi (Posts: 44; Member since: 25 May 2013)
229$ for a snapdragon 800 device with all those other specs is surprising
3. TrueGee85 (Posts: 7; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)
I am actually planning on getting the 7 inch HDX over the 2013 Nexus 7, just because of the snapdragon 800
5. JojoGo101 (Posts: 211; Member since: 17 Dec 2012)
Don't, the experience on the New Nexus 7 would still be better. Android 4.4 brings the newest kernel only Nexus devices will enjoy that for awhile.
7. jove39 (Posts: 1247; Member since: 18 Oct 2011)
I thought of same...if don't like mojito, just flash CM or other Rom of your choice...this device is gonna attract lt of devs.
4. x7black7x (Posts: 118; Member since: 19 Feb 2012)
i don't know why but this doesn't fantasize me that much!
although it is nice as it is so cheap and specs are high end but it just is not made for me!
maybe coz i dont like the amazon stuff on it!
pure android would have rocked the world for me!
8. TrueGee85 (Posts: 7; Member since: 25 Sep 2013)
I love the pure android experience, heck I am typing on my Nexus 4 but I am buying this primarily for gaming and I think Arena 330 for $269 is a steal.
10. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 2337; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)
Cool, liked the first pic with Hugh Jackman running
14. ashdch99 (Posts: 14; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)
Wow, that is unbelievably cheap considering those premium specs, I am already considering on buying an 8.9" myself....
15. metalspy101 (Posts: 27; Member since: 15 Dec 2012)
To Chris P... please stop being a biased bunch...what do you mean by this""while the its bigger sibling has crossed into iPad territory with a 2560x1600 resolution, or 339 ppi""" WHAt you Meant was Nexus 10 territory, sick biased prikks
18. DRAPicard (Posts: 24; Member since: 05 Nov 2011)
I was considering the 8.9" option but I think they priced themselves a bit too high on it right away. For that price point I would have to really think about it and compare to other options available. I am a HUGE Amazon fan. I have Amazon Prime and was really liking the idea of being able to use it to stream videos and download them to the device for watching on the go. But for $479 for the 64GB WiFi version, that is quite a lot of money! If this was closer to the $350-375 range I would have bought it instantly today. But as it stands I will have to wait and see what happens and how people like it.
I do like the look of the Fire Skin on the updated software though. I think that is definitely a step in the right direction :-)
19. Taters (Posts: 2592; Member since: 28 Jan 2013)
Awesome hardware, too bad it runs Amazon's OS and too bad I never had a ROM not have issues that bugged me compared to stock.