Amazon Kindle Fire HD vs Google Nexus 7
Let’s get one thing straight before we go into detail: these are Android-based tablets we’re dealing with. However, this is not the whole story. The Nexus 7 has the vanilla Android 4.1 Jelly Bean experience and features the core Google apps like the Play Store, Google Maps, YouTube, Gmail, etc. On the other hand, the Kindle Fire HD is based on Android 4.0, but lacks the Google apps, so no Google navigation and no access to the official Android app store – you have to rely on the Amazon App Store.
The Amazon tablet presents us with a heavily skinned UI of the Kindle Fire HD, which ties in deeply with many of Amazon’s services, but lacks the intense personalization aspects and comprehensive tertiary features of its rival. Additionally, the multi-tasking implementation, notifications system, and Google Now feature with the Nexus 7 cements our reason as to why it’s the preferred choice. And hey, it’s guaranteed to see the next version of Android.
Continuing to show why it’s the preferred tablet for productivity users, the Nexus 7 has a full arsenal of core organizer apps to help you keep on schedule – whereas with the Kindle Fire HD, we’re only given a small handful of basic apps. Looking further down the hole, there’s a huge disparity between the two experiences with their respective emailing apps, which goes to the Nexus 7 because of the refinements found with its Gmail app.
Since they’re both sporting 7-inch displays, we have little problems trying to write up a passage of text with their respective keyboards in portrait. And of course, it eases the burden since they boast spacious layouts and responsive actions.
Processor and Memory:
It’s a quad-core versus a dual-core with this processor faceoff, which some would suspect the former to be superior. Indeed it is on paper, but when it comes to the real world performance, both the 1.2GHz quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor of the Nexus 7 and 1.2GHz dual-core TI OMAP4460 CPU in the Kindle Fire, perform similarly to one another with all the same tasks. Yet, there are still some instances when we notice a few stutters with their performances, but for the most part, they exude peppy responses to satisfy our expectations.
Certainly there’s a lot of focus on cloud storage, however, there are still people who prefer the old fashion way of storing things locally. And with that, the Kindle Fire HD rises higher in stature over its competitor since it packs 16GB of memory – with the Nexus 7 sticking to a paltry 8GB of storage (the 16GB costs $250).
2. sorcio46 (Posts: 425; Member since: 27 Jul 2011)
Nexus 7 over the Kindle: Pure and lastest Android version, quad-core future proof CPU and the support from XDA community ;-) (and CyanogenMod)
3. frustyak (Posts: 197; Member since: 08 Mar 2010)
The problem I have with this article is that it really isn't an apples-to-apples comparison and isn't fair to either device. The Nexus 7 is a pure Android tablet, with everything that goes along with that - email, apps, etc. The Kindle Fire, although built with an Android base, for all intents and purposes is really an E-Reader, focused on delivering Amazon content. Their "raison d'etre" are completely different, despite superficially looking like similar devices.
11. Birds (Posts: 1150; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)
Are you kidding me? What will a consumer see when he/she goes to the store? Two awesome hellafied seven inch tablets right? So can they, off the bat, tell the difference between the two? The simple answer is no! If the consumer comes online and reads this review they will undoubtedly have a better understanding of these two tablets and the niches they are for. The Nexus if for android purists and people who want the best specs for the price, while the amazon kindle fire HD is for people who want to jump right into a cradled ecosystem. This will ultimately give a consumer a choice. Do they want a tablet with subscription based services that is extremely easy to use, but with limited app support or do they want a tablet with access to 600,000+ apps but with a slightly stricter learning curve? It comes down to that and that is simple enough for most consumers to break down and digest.
14. Jimstar (Posts: 259; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)
I believe this was more of a comparison of the tablets themselves, rather than the experience. And to me the tablets themselves match up pretty well. Might be even harder to tell in the future if modders can unlock the Fire.
4. alterecho (Posts: 1097; Member since: 23 Feb 2012)
Amazon should have reduced the size of the bezel.
15. ConnieL429 (Posts: 3; Member since: 13 Sep 2012)
Nah, as a former owner of the original Fire and current owner of the new one, i can definitely say I'm glad I have something to hold onto now. The new Fire is a vast improvement over the original and the original wasn't all that bad.
17. gragonHDfones (unregistered)
Yea the first was okay.... but the new one anyways, is a much bigger improvement, the bezel is not all that a big deal... it looks annoying here but just by looking at it in person i was impressed, then i got used to the bezel. I understand why people want nexus over this because Android experience is better but people would not be disappointed with this kindle.... I too am collecting all of them.
5. imkyle (Posts: 1065; Member since: 18 Nov 2010)
Amazon needs to add the Play Store in order to truly compete with the Nexus 7.
6. ervman1 (Posts: 14; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)
They would only be adding the play store to sell a few more kindles but then their content sales will drop like crazy. People will most likely use only 1 market, play store or amazons app store. Amazon is focused on content which is very smart.
Look at apple, the iphone remains relatively unchanged and is not necessarily the best hardware wise but the content they deliver makes for a solid experience. That said I still think Apple products are extremely overrated and will not be buying anything they produce.
13. Jimstar (Posts: 259; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)
Not really. Generally speaking the best of the apps in the playstore are all in amazon's app store anyway aside from apps like rootkeeper and others for more advanced users.
10. Fallin (Posts: 69; Member since: 10 Oct 2011)
I bought a Nexus 7. Wife took it over. I bought another one. Wife took that one over. Nexus 7 is a great tablet. My wife loves it. I enjoy it as well, whenever I get a chance to use my tablet or hers.
12. Jimstar (Posts: 259; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)
what the heck is your wife doing that requires two tablets?
16. papss (unregistered)
I have a 1st gen iPad 32 gig data and wifi that I may sell for a nexus...hmm
18. NHMom01 (Posts: 1; Member since: 26 Nov 2012)
Help Please.. My son wants a tablet for Christmas. He is just 11 years old and I am really up in the air with the one I want to get him. I have a first version Kindle Fire, and although I had some issues with the port for charging Amazon was amazing in their support. I do not have prime but was thinking of getting it and he and I sharing the account. I have an Android phone and LOVE it and love the Google Play apps as well. I am at a loss for what would be best for him. He loves Youtube and, Mine Craft and both you can use on either the Kindle or the Nexus. So if someone can give me some honest answers that would be great. And no I will not pay the money for an iPad Mini, I don't think it is worth it..
19. BetseyD (Posts: 1; Member since: 07 Dec 2012)
NHMom01, This is funny, as I am in almost exactly the same boat as you. I even live in NH.
My 16 Y.O. Son, who is also big-time into YouTube and MineCraft, wants a tablet for Christmas, and I was seriously considering the Kindle Fire HD - until I read this comparison review. Now, I am totally confused as to what to get him. I think that the biggest thing that has me leaning towards the Kindle is the fact that it has the e-reader function; he has recently been reading a lot more than before, and I want to do whatever I can do to encourage this. Besides having all of the Amazon content at his finger-tips, the Kindle seems to have a better screen-reading/video-viewing (as in color rendering) screen - and also seems to be a bit more intuitive to use, thus encouraging him to use it (hopefully for reading) more often. Also, I like the idea of the mini-HDMI port on the Kindle, as Amazon has a lot of video content, and it would be nice to be able to access, and share it, via our TV.
One other thing with my Son is that he already has a laptop (a cheapie special, which has proven to be nothing but problematic), so, if he were that enamored of Google content, he could always use that device to access it.
I feel as though whatever I choose, my Son will be looking at upgrading to another new device within the next couple of years. So, I guess what it boils down to, in choosing either tablet, is what you want for your Son to be able to easily access for content - and what kind of learning curve you want to throw at him. Generally, kids in that adolescent age range are not known for their patience; they just want a device to work, be intuitive to use, and not freeze-up/crash every five minutes. As long as whatever you choose accomplishes these goals, your Son should be happy with either tablet, at least until the next best thing comes along.
Good luck with your decision!
20. susanjohn (Posts: 2; Member since: 07 Dec 2013)
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