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Amazon Kindle Fire HD Review

Amazon Kindle Fire HD

Posted: , posted by John V.

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Interface and Functionality:

On the surface, there isn’t much of a visual change with the Amazon Kindle Fire HD’s interface, seeing that it’s identical to what we’ve seen already with the original Kindle Fire. Underneath it all, it’s running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich – though, you really can’t tell by just browsing around since it’s heavily skinned. It also lacks the core Google apps such as the Play Store, Google Maps, Gmail and YouTube.

Personalization is still non-existent with this tablet, and just like before, the main item we’re greeted to on the homescreen is again the same 3D carousel of recently accessed items. Of course, we can access specific apps by selecting any of the categories listed on the homescreen – while, the notifications panel is still unchanged.

The Amazon Kindle Fire HD’s interface - Amazon Kindle Fire HD Review
The Amazon Kindle Fire HD’s interface - Amazon Kindle Fire HD Review
The Amazon Kindle Fire HD’s interface - Amazon Kindle Fire HD Review
The Amazon Kindle Fire HD’s interface - Amazon Kindle Fire HD Review

However, there’s one wildcard that Amazon has hidden under its sleeves – advertisements! Since this is Amazon that we’re talking about, we’re not all that surprised to find them advertising a variety of different content (like products and movies) to us directly from the lock screen. Needless to say, it fits into Amazon’s culture perfectly, as some people can be tempted to buy something impulsively with the nudge of the advertisements. Overall, the experience pales in comparison to what we find with the stock Android, but then again, it’s Amazon’s way of differentiating themselves.

Advertising different content directly from the lock screen - Amazon Kindle Fire HD Review
Advertising different content directly from the lock screen - Amazon Kindle Fire HD Review

Honestly, the Amazon Kindle Fire HD is a content driven tablet device – with productivity being more on the backburner. With that, it’s no surprise that we’re given only a small handful of organizer apps out of the box. Essentially, we find things like the Contacts, Calendar, and Email apps, which are pretty basic as they can get. All in all, they’re usable for the most part, but they don’t offer the same level of complexity and control as its full-blown Android counterparts.

Organizer apps - Amazon Kindle Fire HD Review
Organizer apps - Amazon Kindle Fire HD Review
Organizer apps - Amazon Kindle Fire HD Review
Organizer apps - Amazon Kindle Fire HD Review

In portrait, there isn’t much of a problem typing away on its on-screen keyboard – mainly because it’s responsive and that our thumbs encompass its entire layout. Conversely, it’s more challenging to use the landscape option due to its cramped confines, which makes us more cautious with our approach.

On-screen keyboard - Amazon Kindle Fire HD Review
On-screen keyboard - Amazon Kindle Fire HD Review


Processor and Memory:

By now, we all know that the Google Nexus 7 has set the expectation for $200 priced tablets, considering it’s running a quad-core processor under the hood. However, the Amazon Kindle Fire HD decides to pack instead a 1.2GHz dual-core TI OMAP 4460 ARM Cortex-A9 processor coupled with 1GB of RAM. Seriously, we can’t complain much about it, since it performs admirably with a variety of real-world operations – while also running graphically intensive games with little slowdown or lag.

As we’ve seen already, Amazon is really pushing for cloud storage with its tablet, but this time around, they’ve graced the Kindle Fire HD with a modest 16GB of internal storage, which is double the amount over the original Kindle Fire or the $200 Nexus 7.


Internet and Connectivity:

Certainly knowing it’s able to execute most operations with little fluff, we’re greeted with a smooth web surfing experience with the Kindle Fire HD’s Silk web browser. Even though it’s aided with some server-side processing, which is purported to offer speedy page loads, we don’t actually notice a commanding improvement over other tablets. Regardless of that, we’re more content to know that it loads pages relatively quick – with navigational controls being on the responsive for the most part. Actually, there’s a minute amount of jerkiness with its movement, but it’s never to the point intrusive.

Web surfing with the Amazon Kindle Fire HD - Amazon Kindle Fire HD Review
Web surfing with the Amazon Kindle Fire HD - Amazon Kindle Fire HD Review
Web surfing with the Amazon Kindle Fire HD - Amazon Kindle Fire HD Review
Web surfing with the Amazon Kindle Fire HD - Amazon Kindle Fire HD Review

Currently, the 7-inch Amazon Kindle Fire HD is available in 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi form only. Interestingly, it lacks some other modern conveniences like a GPS receiver, but it still offers Bluetooth connectivity.

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PhoneArena rating:
8Good
Display7.0 inches, 1280 x 800 pixels (216 ppi) IPS LCD
Hardware
TI OMAP4460, Dual-core, 1200 MHz, ARM Cortex-A9 processor
1 GB RAM
Size7.6 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches
(193 x 137 x 10.3 mm)
13.9 oz  (395 g)

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