Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 Review

Camera

It’s not perfect, but its 8-megapixel camera dishes up some surprising results with its still shots.

Aside from the introduction of Firefly, which is a handy all-in-one shopping/informative tool, one that can search for prices on a product or populate information from a business card, the camera shooting experience remains unchanged from the previous model. To say the least, the camera app itself is pretty bare bones with its arsenal – though, it features panoramic and HDR modes. Beyond that, there isn’t much else to fiddle around with, as we’re left to simply touch the screen to adjust the focus.

Like so many of the other things we’re realizing with the Amazon Fire HDX 8.9, it’s packaged with a very similar camera to what we had before – an 8-megapixel snapper that features an f/2.2 aperture lens, digital image stabilization, LED flash, and 1080p video recording. We can’t be too judgmental about its choice of employing the same camera system, seeing that it works for a majority of situations. The best shots, of course, are achieved under good lighting – where it compiles good details, proper exposure, and warmer color tones. Meanwhile, it’s still pretty versatile under low light, despite the noisier production and softer details.


Taking a pic Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec) Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 3.2
6
No data
No data
Google Nexus 9 6.3
No data
486
333
Apple iPad Air 2 2.5
3
No data
No data
Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact 2.8
2.8
526
No data

Most people will be satisfied by the tablet’s 1080p video recording quality, even though it exhibits some unpleasant characteristics. First and foremost, details are surprisingly softer-looking than its still shot quality, but adding to that, is the distracting motion blur effect when panning. Like we said, it’s not one of its greatest assets, but people are more likely to find it forgivable – especially when it’s able to maintain a steady composition thanks to its image stabilization feature.


Multimedia

From Amazon Prime Instant to Amazon Prime Music, the tablet has you covered with a rich multimedia experience.

Switching over to the music tab in the apps panel, it’s certainly flaunting a cold and dreary looking music player – it just looks boring and lacks and robust qualities. Regardless of that, it closely integrates with Amazon’s Prime Music service for instant music streaming. In listening to the audio quality produced by its dual rear-firing speakers, it’s somewhat underpowered and mute in tone – only achieving a mark of 76 dB.

Moving over to the video watching experience of the tablet, users are sure going to be pleased by the selection that Amazon offers with its Amazon Prime Instant Video Service. Best of all, videos just look stunning thanks to the high qualities of the display. Adding to that cinematic experience, we can attest that the Dolby Atmos sound engine delivers outstanding clarity and a surround sound experience that’s enjoyable on so many levels.

Headphones output power (Volts) Higher is better
Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 0.54
Google Nexus 9 0.808
Apple iPad Air 2 0.97
Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact 0.3
Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 76
Google Nexus 9 70.1
Apple iPad Air 2 77.9
Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact 72


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