Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 Review
Recovering after the lousy foray of its smartphone, the not-so-hot Fire Phone, online retail giant Amazon is again hinging on its tablets to drive sales for the upcoming holiday season. Last year, they introduced the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 to all of us, which impressively enough was a stellar package for its price point – easily being a formidable contender in the tablet space. This year, however, they’re differentiating its tablet line by dropping the “Kindle” name entirely, opting instead to name its successor as the Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 – while giving it the usual hardware and software upgrades in the process. In light of the other notable tablets to launch recently, can Amazon’s premier tablet get its cut of the pie?
The package contains:
- microUSB cable
- Wall charger
- Getting to know guide
No changes here whatsoever, it’s still the same thin and light package from before.
Recycling designs is something we’re quite familiar with, so we’re not taken by surprise to find that nothing has changed with the design of the Amazon Fire HDX 8.9. Indeed, it employs the same design language as its predecessor, but its dimensions have slightly been enlarged (9.1 x 6.2 x 0.3-inches) – though, for the most part, it’s hardly noticeable.
What we have here, however, is one thin and light package that’s easy to hold with one hand, thanks in part to the soft touch matte finish of its casing and tapered edges. In comparing it to its rivals, the Fire HDX 8.9 is marginally more aggressive looking than the Nexus 9, but it’s still by and large a long way from matching the premium construction of the iPad Air 2.
Just as before, its power button and volume controls are placed along the tapered edges around the back of the tablet – offering us comfort and quick access to them. It’s accompanied with the same ports from before, so they include the 3.5mm headphone jack, microphones, microUSB port, and dual speakers. Interestingly, they’ve upgraded the audio experience by adding in the Dolby Atmos sound engine, which casts a 5.1 multi-channel sound field to create multidimensional sound when using the headphone jack.
The screen is perfect for nearly everything, as it’s one of the most detailed and brightest out there.
Utilizing the same screen as its predecessor, the tablet’s 8.9-inch 2560 x 1600 LCD display is a remarkable thing to behold because of its sharp details (339 ppi pixel density), potent brightness output of 533 nits, and vivid color reproduction. Whether it’s reading a magazine, or watching some high-def movie, our eyes are constantly affixed to its iridescent glow – so the display is perfect for a handful of experiences. This observation is further established by the wonderful readings that we got: color temperature is nicely gravitating around the 6800 K mark (reference is 6500 K), while Delta E grayscale is the more than decent 3.5. All of this is pointing towards a really well calibrated display.
Overall, it’s identical to the specs of its predecessor, but Amazon has made some subtle improvements with the screen to make it even better than before. For the price point, the screen is unquestionably sharp on so many levels.