Categories: Kindle Fire HDX

5 shortcomings of the Kindle Fire HDX compared to the iPad mini and/or Nexus 7

  1. “Fire OS 3.0″is not customizable – it’s stubbornly Amazon centric -Kindle Fire HDX Operating system, “Fire OS 3.0″, a highly modified version of Android Jelly Bean cannot be personalized/customized
    • - 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
    • 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!
  2. No micro HDMI port, NFC or wireless charging – none of these are serious shortcomings as such. The iPad mini doesn’t have any of these either, but the Nexus does. There was a micro HDMI port on the 2012 Kindle Fire HD, but none on the HDX. In fact, the iPad doesn’t even have a micro USB port, but Apple users are already used to this. But the Nexus 7 can connect to HDMI via SlimPort to HDMI.
  3. No rear camera on the 7″ model – we think tablets’ rear camera specs are over-rated because a 7″ tablet isn’t the ideal camera to be taking photographs from when almost everybody has a smartphone with a better rear camera. However, for those few that do use the rear camera of tablets can consider the lack of it on the 7″ Kindle Fire HDX as a shortcoming
  4. Small app library – 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!
  5. Last but not least, it ain’t as sexy as the iPad Mini – there’s no arguing that the iPad Mini looks the best out of the lot. If the Fire HDX looks better than the iPad, boy, you’re one hell of an extremist Kindle Fan Boy :)

Bottom-line – How do you decide between the 3 tablets?

  • STEP 1: You IGNORE the 10 non-critical specs (because those are more or less the same among the 3 tablets)
  • STEP 2: YOU decide if the 5 strengths OR the 3 flaws matter to you most
    1. If the strengths ($170+ savings + Mayday etc.) outweigh the limitations – you buy the Kindle Fire
    2. If the limitations (Fire OS, smaller App library) outweigh the strengths – you buy the iPad or Nexus
Posted on Sep 29, 2013
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