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Friday | June 5, 2020
Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7in Review

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7in Review

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 7in Tablet Review

Conclusion

Starting with the build quality and design of the Kindle Fire HD we have a device which has a real mix of quality. The screen for example is crisp and clear however doesnt quite have the same quality at extreme viewing angles as some other tablets. Then we have a nice soft touch back however the edges of the device surrounding the front screen are far too rough which can make it less comfortable to hold. This is also a reasonably heavy 7" device with internal layout which gives the impression of a more weighty tablet in landscape than portrait hold. Amazon could also work on the feel of the buttons for power/volume as they are too hard to find by touch alone.

Moving to the software on the device we have an OS which tries to keep some of the key Android functionality while offering its own unique look and feel. For experienced android users this can cause some initial confusion but with time the carousel arrangement is functional enough. Key to the Kindle Fire HD user experience is the Amazon Appstore. Amazon clearly have a great selection of media available however the lack of Google Play means we are somewhat restricted (without some significantly lengthy workarounds) in terms of apps/software with the two marketplaces having their own strengths and weaknesses in this regard. Amazon also try to stay away from Google software elsewhere, using their own browser rather than Chrome, Bing rather than Google for searches within it and there is no Google Maps, Youtube app etc here. We use the web versions which are less ideal, something which can also be said of the default lock screen behaviour. Here rather than a stock set of images when we wake our Kindle Fire HD from sleep it displays an advert for movie, book, cruise, electric item that we might want to buy from Amazon… a very disappointing approach to user experience. At the very least we should get an opt out displayed there and then and we should note that pushing new content at us is something the Kindle Fire HD is very focused on. Barely a move goes by within the OS without some form of advert being displayed somewhere on-screen.

In terms of performance there have been some compromises to hit the desired price point with this tablet using a dual core CPU which is lower specification than the Nexus 7’s quad… and it shows when combined with a heavily modified OS. Throughout our time with the Kindle Fire HD we noticed a less responsive experience than competitor product and that goes for OS navigation as well as more demanding websites such as Google Maps. Zooming for example was noticeably laggy. That said we can play HD content on the device, basic games play OK and it does have decent dual band Wi-Fi. Hopefully with time the OS will become more refined in terms of responsiveness. Finally on performance, battery life is around 10 hours of normal use which is reasonable for this class of product.

Value is a key aspect of the Kindle Fire HD. As noted above there have been compromises in a few key areas to keep costs at a minimum and this includes the decision not to bundle a mains plug which seems a step too far. That said, for media consumption specifically, there is a lot to be said for the 16GB option at £159. We would however for the same money recommend the more powerful, better built, PSU bundling, Nexus 7 with its full Android and Google Play experience which also allows us to read eBooks through the Amazon Kindle app.

Scoreboard
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About Author

Stuart Davidson

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