Categories: Kindle Fire HDX

This Review on the Fire HDX 8.9″ is 3-Fold

  1. 7 Specs where the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ clearly wins over the iPad Air and Nexus 10
  2. Content Network – eBooks, Apps, Music, and Videos – price comparison based on research done by other reputable sources
  3. 3 flaws of the Kindle Fire HDX range of tablets compared to the Apple iPad and Google Nexus

7  “_ _ _ _EST” Features of the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″

  1. It has the HIGHEST pixel density (pixels per inch; ppi) among the Kindle Fire, Apple iPad and Google Nexus – 339 ppi (this has a 386 ppi display)
    • “…. BEST performing Tablet display we have EVER tested” – according to Dr. Raymond Soneira (PhD, Theoretical Physics) of DisplayMate Technologies, an independent evaluator of display technologies.
  2. It’s the LIGHTEST tablet in this size category – 13.2 oz (374 g) (it may be the lightest, however, it also has the smallest display diameter, so it has to be lighter than the other two)
  3. It’s the CHEAPEST between the three – $379 (this 8.9″ is only $199. Valid as of 2013-12-13)
  4. It has the FASTEST Processor – quad-core 2.2 GHz Snapdragon 800
  5. It provides the QUICKEST tech support of any device – “Mayday” : live tech support within 15 seconds
  6. It has the LONGEST battery life – 12 hours mixed use and 18 hours when reading
  7. Its rear-camera has the HIGHEST mega pixels of any tablet – 8 MP

    7 Superior Specs on the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9" Compared to the iPad Air and Nexus 10

Content is also CHEAPEST on the Amazon Digital Store

  1. Music is cheaper on the Amazon store – according to a study, “Amazon offers a better album price than iTunes 77.5% of the time
    Price comparison of JT Album

    Image credits: Apple iTunes, Google Play Store and Disclaimer: the prices were valid as of November 2013. May have expired by the time you read this.

  2. Videos are cheaper on Amazon compared to iTunes – another study concluded that “Amazon tends to offer less expensive movie rentals and purchases
  3. Apps are cheaper on Amazon – another study found that Amazon apps are cheaper than both iTunes and Google
  4. eBooks are cheaper on Amazon – yet another study found that the Kindle store was the cheapest for ebooks compared to iBooks, Google Play and Barnes and Noble
  5. We think the ICING ON THE CAKE, as far as the content eco-system goes, is the Amazon Prime Membership (Now 3 month FREE TRIALS and 6 Month FREE TRIALS are available for select categories of people; valid as of December 2013; conditions apply, not everybody qualifies) because you get;
    • Unlimited instant streaming of thousands of movies and TV shows
    • A Kindle book to borrow for free each month from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library
    • FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of items (for non-members, shipping is free only if the goods are over $25. But for Prime members, shipping can be free even if the product is only $0.99)

HUGE content ecosystem to feed your tablet

Free app everyday

Amazon gives a different paid-app for free everyday. Any other day, you have to pay for these apps. But everyday, Amazon picks one paid app and offers it for free. Check out the daily free app here and get an idea about the kind of apps you get for free. Typically what you get for free are those of $1.99 – $2.99 price range, but we have got apps as expensive as $14.99 for free thanks to the

Free App of the Day


So far so good, wouldn’t you say? Look at the Kindle Fire HDXs potential limitations as well, before you jump in to any conclusions!

But it also has a few potential FLAWS!

    1. Operating system-related ‘flaws’
      • Non-customizable Fire OS 3.0 – Kindle Fire HDX Operating system, “Fire OS 3.0″, a highly modified version of Android Jelly Bean is not very customizable
        • - e.g. you can’t choose your own lock-screen photo; you can’t have desktop widgets on the home screen etc.
        • Apple iOS doesn’t allow customization either. However, tablets with stock Android OS  like the Google Nexus, Samsung Galaxy Note 8 and tab 2, Sony Xperia, and Lenovo tablets allow various kinds of customizations
      • It’s Amazon centric
        • In general, you can only consume music, ebooks, movies, TV shows, and apps that you buy/download for free from Amazon – that’s not necessarily a bad thing
        • If you already had music, ebooks, apps etc. from iTunes or Google Play Store, you can’t directly play/use them on the Kindle Fire HDX – e.g. let’s say you had already bought Adel’s “Rolling in the deep” from iTunes back in 2011 and you want to play it on your newly purchased Kindle Fire HDX. You can import non-Amazon music, but it’s not straightforward. Same goes for ebooks, apps etc. There are 3rd party tools you can use to make iBooks work on the Kindle Fire, I personally wouldn’t bother. I’d rather repurchase it from Amazon! But it’s Absurd having to pay twice for the same thing. Once on iTunes and again on Amazon.
        • No Google Play Store on the Kindle Fire HDX – What does this mean? Let’s say you had bought Asphalt 7 from Google play store for your Android Samsung Galaxy S4. Now that you’ve bought yourself a new Kindle Fire, you want to play Asphalt 7 on your large screened Kindle tablet. Because you CAN’T access Google Play Store on the Kindle Fire HDX, you have to buy it from Amazon app store! IMO, that sucks!
        • In contrast, you have a Kindle app on both iOS and Google Play Store meaning you can access most Amazon content on the iPad and the Nexus. 
      • Lack of stock Android features – you can’t access Google Voice, Google Maps, Google Earth etc. etc. on the Kindle Fire HDX. Now, there are certain alternatives on the Amazon App Store, but if you’re already really really used to the Google services, their absence on the Kindle can be a deal breaker!
      • iOS7 of Apple probably provides the smoothest and most fluid-like, best out-of-the-box OS. Android OS of the Nexus 10 is highly customizable and could be made better than iOS7 by the right person. Fire OS 3.0 probably receives the last place in this aspect in most people’s minds.
    2. Hardware related flaws
      • No expandable memory – no micro SD card slot.
      • No micro HDMI port – there was one on the previous model, but none on the HDX
      • No NFC, No Wireless charging – not really “flaws”, but the Nexus has them
    3. Content Eco-system related ‘flaws’
      • Small app store – Of the 4 main departments of content, that is music, ebooks, videos and apps, the first 3 departments of the Amazon digital store are as strong or stronger than those on Apple iTunes and the Google digital store. However, when it comes to apps, the Amazon App Store only has about 10% the total number of apps on iTunes and Google. ~100,000 apps on Amazon is a lot and almost all the major ones are there; however, looks miniature in comparison to the > 1 millions apps on Apple and Google!

A suggestion for Amazon

When it comes to the 7″ Kindle Fire, there is a Budget Model for just $139 (we compared the Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Fire HDX here). Even though it’s considered a ‘budget model’, it has a dual-core processor, an HD display etc. But it has NO CAMERA, it has no 4G LTE option, and it has no Mayday access. This is how Amazon is able to sell it at a cheaper price. We wish there was such a budget model for the 8.9″ version as well. Well, there is a budget 8.9″ Kindle Fire HD . But it’s the older, 2nd generation model. But the 7″ Budget model is a 3rd generation Kindle Fire HD. We feel it would have been nice had Amazon made a 8.9″ 3rd generation budget model without the cameras, HDX resolution, Mayday, 4G etc. so that it’s affordable to the masses. At $379, it’s only $100 less expensive than the iPad Air and is beyond the comfort zone of a lot of people. For those who are interested in the 2nd Generation 8.9″ Kindle Fire HD, it starts at $199 (May be a limited time offer, valid as of December 13th, 2013).


Now that you’ve read the facts, which tablet would you go with?

The $139 Budget Kindle Fire HD 7″ Kindle Fire HDX 8.9″ Apple iPad Air (White with Silver) Google Nexus 7
Amazon Image Amazon Image Amazon Image Amazon Image

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Posted on Nov 6, 2013
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