Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 Review


Battery life has been improved incrementally with this year’s model, easily outlasting its predecessor.

Wow! Boy does one whole year make a big difference, as Amazon is able to effectively harness all of the juice from the tablet’s battery. Due to the enhancements of its new Fire OS 4 “Sangria” platform and the battery saving optimizations of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 805 chip, the Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 beats its predecessor by producing a long-lasting mark of 9 hours and 32 minutes in our battery benchmark test – besting the 7 hours and 46 minutes tally of last year’s model. Basically, we’re able to achieve well over a single day of heavy usage from a full charge.

Battery life (hours) Higher is better
Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 9h 32 min (Good)
Google Nexus 9 9h 24 min (Good)
Apple iPad Air 2 7h 27 min (Average)
Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact 9h 47 min (Good)


Where Amazon failed miserably in making a dent in the smartphone market, they’re able to continue having a strong presence in the tablet space – thanks in part to the well-rounded performance of this year’s high-end model, the Amazon Fire HDX 8.9. No doubt, it’s vying for notoriety over other impressive rivals of late, such as the iPad Air 2 and the Google Nexus 9, but Amazon’s model certainly poses a threat.

Honestly, it’s a great performing tablet, one that has a stunning screen, snappy overall response, and long-lasting battery life. At the end of the day, however, it all boils down to whether or not you can tolerate the Fire OS 4 platform. For hardcore fans of Amazon, it’s a knock out hit for its rich ties to all of Amazon’s services, which has been enhanced thanks to new features like Firefly, but for everyone else, it still proves to be an experience that’s lacking in functionality.

For the causal fun stuff, like watching movies and reading books, the Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 bear all the hallmarks in making it a perfect tablet for the experience, but when it comes to pure productivity and trying to bridge that gap between tablets and laptops, it just doesn’t have enough of the goods to make it an exorbitantly superior product. Luckily, it’s pretty affordable at $379, undercutting many of its main rivals, but we wouldn’t necessarily say it’s enough to separate it from the wholesome goodness from the $399 priced Google Nexus 9.

Software version of the review unit: Fire OS 4.5.1


  • Tight integration with Amazon’s services
  • Speedy performance with everything
  • $379 cost is pretty easy on the pockets
  • Thin and light design
  • Detailed and bright screen


  • Not a whole lot that’s dramatically different
  • The experience still lacks productivity depth
  • Platform is still limited with its apps selection

PhoneArena Rating:


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