Friday, 7 September 2012

Amazon's Kindle Fire HD : Failed to Impress


Despite the hardware improvements, many early hands-on reports suggest Amazon's new Kindle Fire HD tablets still aren't up to snuff. It's based on older version of android ICS and software seems half cooked yet.

NBC News said: "Perhaps our expectations were too high or perhaps we'd been spoiled by the Nexus 7 and iPad, but the Kindle Fire HD seemed downright sluggish at times, lagging at odd moments."

While Gizmodo said: "It's just not nearly as smooth as the Nexus 7 on Jelly Bean. ... It's bad enough that when you tap an icon, you wonder if you did it wrong, if maybe you didn't tap firmly enough."

And the chaps at Droid Life noted: "The UI itself is almost identical to the original Fire, including the consistent presence of lag from the home screen. Jumping between sections like Books or Videos takes a few seconds, making the overall experience feel cheap."

One thing Amazon didn't mention at its event is that all the new Kindle Fire HD models are going to be ad-supported. Yes, ad-supported. 

The Kindle Fire HD is a closed system that, for the most part, plays nice only with Amazon's own services along with a selection of apps that is dramatically limited compared with Google's Play store. 

Its hardware lacks many of the sensors found in the Nexus 7, including NFC, a digital compass, and GPS. To that end Amazon also lacks an integrated Map or Navigation app, as these would rely on some of the omitted sensors. 

Android apps purchased through Google are not easily installed on the Kindle Fire HD, nor are apps purchased through Amazon easily installed on all types of Android devices (though the latter action is easier to accomplish). Here's specs comparision of Kindle Fire and Nexus 7. You better judge yourself.

Kindle Fire HD 7"Nexus 7
Dimensions  7.6 inches by 5.4 inches by 0.4 inch (HWD) 7.8 inches by 4.72 inches by 0.41 inch (HWD)
Weight 13.9 ounces 12 ounces
OS Custom Android 4.0 Android 4.1
Processor Dual-core,1.2GHz OMAP 4460 Quad-core Tegra 3
RAM 1GB 1GB
Storage 16GB or 32GB 8GB or 16GB
Front camera Yes, unknown type Yes, 1.2 megapixel
Rear camera No No
Battery 11 hours 10 hours
Charge type Micro-USB Micro-USB
3G No No
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n (MIMO) 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth Yes Yes
Screen size 7 inches, antiglare, laminated (IPS) 7 inches (IPS)
HDMI out Yes No
Resolution 800x1,280 pixels 800x1,280 pixels
Book store Amazon Google Books, third-party
App store Amazon Google Play
Book formats Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively, DOC, DOCX, Audible (Audible Enhanced (AA, AAX)) App-dependent, more inclusive
GPS No Yes
Gyroscope Yes Yes
microSD No No
NFC No Yes
Adobe Flash Yes No
Microphone Yes Yes
Other features Cloud storage backup, wireless sync, Whispersync, Amazon Silk Web browser, Amazon Lending Library, Prime Instant Video, Dolby Digital Plus audio, X-Ray, FreeTime, MIMO dual-band antenna Larger app selection, Google Now, Voice Commands, broader accessibility options, integration with Google services (Gmail, Docs, Maps, Drive), location-aware,
Price $199 16GB, $249 (32GB) $199 8GB, $249 (16GB)

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