Amazon Kindle Fire HD vs Google Nexus 7: who's who in the Android tablet market

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
Amazon Kindle Fire HD vs Google Nexus 7: who's who in the Android tablet market
Well, well, well, now that's interesting! Amazon has just unveiled its new tablet, the Kindle Fire HD! Ta-daa, now, we wonder if it has what it takes to compete with its impressively tough opponent, the Google Nexus 7...

You know, ever since Google introduced the Nexus 7, the Kindle Fire and its $199 price-tag stopped being such a big deal. Of course, that's completely understandable, having in mind that the Nexus 7 is a full-featured tablet with a quad-core processor and all the bells and whistles one would expect from a modern tablet. And it too is available for $199. The original Kindle Fire, on the other hand, is a somewhat more specialized, limited device, tightly integrated with Amazon's content ecosphere. With both devices going for $199, it doesn't take a genius to know that users will prefer to purchase the more powerful tablet, which also comes with the full Google experience and latest Android version.

But the times, they are a-changin'. One day you're on top, the other... not so much. And the original Kindle Fire is still commanding some 20+% of the Android tablet market. That's because Amazon has this giant retail reach, and Google, well, let's just say that Google isn't that's good at retail. But a fact is a fact - the Nexus 7 is the better device when compared to the Kindle Fire. Amazon isn't dumb, though. It knows its strengths and weaknesses. So, what can the new Amazon Kindle Fire HD models do for the company now, will they be what Amazon needs to beat the Nexus 7?

Although Google isn't really well positioned as far as retail goes, it's still in the position of 'the people's champion'. That's why we belive that it will be very hard for Amazon to preserve its significant lead in the market. And although its lead may not remain as big, the Kindle Fire HDs are a good reason to believe that Amazon will at least remain a prominent player.

Amazon has just announced some very cool devices. It will start offering an upgraded version of the original Kindle Fire for $159, and it will later add a 7" Kindle Fire HD, and an 8.9" Kindle Fire HD, with the first one offered for $199, and the latter for $299, which isn't really mind-blowing. Finally, there's the 4G LTE version of the 8.9" model, will which will sport 32GB storage (the other models will have 16GB), and will sell for $499, as much as a 16GB iPad Wi-Fi. Well, the prices may not be as shocking as the $199 price-tag of the original Kindle Fire once was, but they sure beat the competition. Yeah, the Nexus 7 has hardware that's about as good, and a better, more feature-rich software experience, but don't forget that its $199 version only features 8GB of internal storage, and the 16GB is $249. So, in terms of specs, it's relatively safe to say that the Kindle Fire HD is a step ahead of Google's offering, but when it comes to software, well, we're sure that one can have a much better experience with stock Jelly Bean, compared to the Kindle's custom carousel UI. As a mattery of fact, we still don't know exactly what Android version will the software on the Fire HD be based on, but we presume it will be Android 4.0 ICS.

What matters, though, is if that "full Android experience" will be important for the regular consumer. And the answer is probably 'no'. With its enormous retail reach, Amazon will easily put the Kindle Fire HD front and center, offering it to all kinds of customers visiting its ecosystem. The Nexus 7? It'll probably remain more of a geek product. Actually, making geek-products is something that Google can't seem to escape from, and that's a bit sad, because the company has the potential to achieve great things in the hardware business as well. Anyway, these two companies have walked different roads, and have extremely different ways of doing business (although they both happen to sell tablets, among other things). Right now, Amazon seems to prove that it takes more than just a great product to be successful in the market. It's a lesson that Google will hopefully learn, but it's not yet clear exactly when this is going to happen.


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37 Comments

1. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

The bezel on the Kindles seem HUGE. Kind of unattractive

6. joaolx

Posts: 364; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

I didn't notice it until you said it. Why did you say it??

8. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

Just to ruin your day. (:

34. Nikolas.Oliver

Posts: 1574; Member since: Jul 01, 2012

so did i...

14. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

Says you. It looks more like the Playbook does, which IMO I liked the bigger bezzle of it a lot. I thought the original Fire had a bezel that's way too small. Also, unlike the retarded camera placement on the Nexus 7, this properly has it placed in landscape instead of portrait. ' If you dont like the Fire UI or whatever amazon calls its UI, just root it and put on a stock JB rom, this tablet will then instantly be better than the Nexus 7.

21. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

7 inch tablets are regularly supposed to be used in portrait, which is why the Nexus 7 had the camera "properly" on top. 10 inch tablets are supposed to be used in landscape, 8.9 inch tablets are debatable. And how will this be instantly better than the Nexus 7? The Nexus 7 has a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, while the Kindle has either a OMAP 4430, 4460, or 4470; which, last time I checked, none of those beat the Tegra 3 in benchmarks (probably the 4470 did because of the new graphics). And the Nexus 7 has stock Jelly Bean out of the box, and is guaranteed updates straight from Google; while you have that HEAVILY customized UI over ICS on the Kindle, which most likely won't get updated to Jelly Bean or anything past that because the original Kindle Fire is still on 2.3 last time I checked. Not many people are into rooting Kindles, mainly because the majority of people who buy it just use it for books or videos. For those that want to root and mod, the get a REAL Android tablet (like the Nexus 7 that will have huge amounts of dev support) instead of a mock-Android Kindle, that can't even access Google Play. The Nexus 7 is a better tablet.

33. sniper1087

Posts: 537; Member since: Dec 31, 2011

well I agree to some of that, but are you kidding me? the Original Kindle Fire got rooted the same day it got released and the UI got changed immediately, there is a huge community for it since is a budget friendly tablet, and this wont be the exception. The Nexus 7 is a great tablet, but I am dissapointed that Butter technology did not apply to google chrome, which I constantly see lag, it definitely needs work.

37. NeXoS

Posts: 292; Member since: May 03, 2011

For $199, you get 16gb with the Kindle, only 8gb with the Nexus 7. For most people, the quad core vs dual core isn't going to matter, they don't play hard core 3D games. What's really nice is that they have a 1080p model for only $300!

32. pikapowerize

Posts: 1869; Member since: May 03, 2012

it just look like a chinese product... the bezel is really kinda annoying to watch... oh well at price $159 what will you expect.. atleast you'll get a decent e-reader and a dual core tablet!

2. Synack

Posts: 688; Member since: Jul 05, 2011

Good lord that bezel in monstrous. PASS. Nexus 7 destroys it.

3. cheetah2k

Posts: 2228; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

Nexus 7 + Kindle App = best of both worlds

28. Goldeneye

Posts: 419; Member since: Jan 22, 2011

And Android market.

4. MeoCao unregistered

The real price of N7 is $175, for knowledgeable people it's not hard to make the choice, it's N7 all the way. But we don't know how powerful Amazon ecosystem is, so let's see. Very interesting.

12. wendygarett unregistered

But some people will cont buy kindle fire no matter what, considering the customer satisfaction which can actually beat iPad tho... Survey also found that more and more female prefer this over iPad... Besides, the screen resolution is not bad after all... You don't like it probably you are not female, just sayin XDXD

16. nak1017

Posts: 328; Member since: Jan 08, 2010

That's true, I know a ton of women that got'em... I'm just happy there's 2 big players in the android tablet market offering high-end value priced stuff. Samsung builds some nice things, but they make you pay for it and it's never quite as top-of-the-line as it should be.

23. MeoCao unregistered

Haha, can we argue with women? I agree that KF is nice option for those who use Amazon exclusively.

5. sorcio46

Posts: 435; Member since: Jul 27, 2011

Nexus 7 with its powerful SoC and with the lastest stock Android experience !

7. Fluxman

Posts: 51; Member since: Jun 03, 2010

"So, in terms of specs, it's relatively safe to say that the Kindle Fire HD is a step ahead of Google's offering..." Except for the storage space, there is nothing better, spec-wise, in the Kindle Fire HD. It is still sporting a dual core, while the Nexus 7 has a quad-core, ideal for gaming. I can't imagine the Kindle Fire HD could handle some higher end games...

15. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

Fire HD uses the same GPU as the Ipad, which benches higher than the Tegra 3, every time. So its more ideal for gaming, since being ideal for gaming is based on graphics performance.

20. medicci37

Posts: 1361; Member since: Nov 19, 2011

Actually, I would expect the Nexus to be better than the Kindle for gaming.

22. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

The new iPad has a PowerVR SGX543MP4 GPU, and the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 has the PowerVR SGX544 (don't know how many cores). So, about performance... Ehhh? I don't know. But the Kindle Fire HD does not have the same GPU as the iPad. (:

26. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

well not the exact same, but it is similar to it, and regardless it outbenches the Tegra 3, which has been a major disappointment in benches, considering the Dual Core S4 Krait outdoes it every time as well.

24. MeoCao unregistered

N7 is flawless in gaming, I just don't know how KF HD can do better. N7 GPU has 12 cores.

27. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

# of cores doesnt mean better. As mentioned before, S4 Krait in dual core configs gets higher benchmarks, which means better performance. The S4 Pro that will be hitting phones and tablets soon widen the gap even more. A tegra 3 has never benched as good as an Ipad 3 either, which has a similar GPU to this.

9. RapidCat

Posts: 351; Member since: Jun 12, 2012

1980x 1200 pixel+1

19. nak1017

Posts: 328; Member since: Jan 08, 2010

WTF ratio is that? it's a weird 9.7:16 or 9.1:15 or something...

10. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

XDA will be able to get full android on these babies...

11. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2340; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

I wonder what HTC Is going to offer with their 7 inch tablet. There is going to be an awful lot of choices out there within a short amount of time.

13. wendygarett unregistered

If you think choice is a disadvantage for you, then wait no more!!! run to Apple store and go buy an iPad!!! :D

25. MeoCao unregistered

He does not say more choice is bad. LOL

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