AMAZON Kindle Fire HDX 7-Inch Review

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In this article, I give you my Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7-inch review with specs included. This is Amazon’s best Kindle in my opinion. It has a lot of improvements compared to the previous model. They went with the HDX name because this has a super-high-resolution display even compared to other tablets on the market.

With the 7-inch size and 1920 by 1200 pixels resolution, that’s bigger than the 1080p resolution display. That’s a higher resolution than a 1080p nice flat-screen TV that you might own at home.

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Of course, that is the same resolution as the Nexus 7. So, it’s not the only e-reader to have that resolution but it’s nice to see it, especially in something like a Kindle product because probably you’re going to be doing a lot of reading on this.

If you’re going to buy a Kindle product, you’re probably into the Amazon ecosystem, their books, and also their Prime instant videos. For watching videos you want a sharp picture too.

The 7-inch Amazon Kindle Fire HDX is part of a lineup that also includes an 8.9-inch model, reminiscent of the previous HD version released last year. The larger variant is expected to hit the market around November, albeit at a higher price point. Both models share similar features and hardware specifications, with the 8.9-inch version boasting an even higher resolution of 2560 by 1600 pixels, matching the display quality of premium tablets like the 2014 edition of the Note 10.1 and the Nexus 10.

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Under the hood, significant improvements have been made to the operating system, now dubbed Fire OS, enhancing overall performance and user experience. Previous iterations of the Kindle Fire interface were criticized for their sluggishness and lack of polish. However, the updated Fire OS presents a more refined and responsive interface, featuring sharp, high-resolution icons and a more intuitive user interface.

Navigation within the operating system has been streamlined, with smoother transitions between applications and faster response times. The inclusion of suggestions based on user activity, such as recently used applications and content, adds a personalized touch to the user experience. Additionally, the integration of Amazon’s cloud services ensures seamless access to purchased content, whether stored locally or in the cloud.

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One of the standout features of the Kindle Fire HDX is its audio capabilities, powered by Dolby Digital Plus technology and stereo speakers located on the device’s back panel. Despite the speakers’ rear placement, their positioning ensures that audio remains clear and unobstructed, even when the device is placed on a flat surface. The resulting audio quality surpasses that of many notebooks, offering users an immersive audio experience ideal for multimedia consumption.

The tablet’s interface offers a familiar experience for users accustomed to Android or iOS devices, with easy access to applications and settings. A swipe-down gesture reveals all installed application icons, providing quick access to frequently used apps. The inclusion of Amazon’s Silk web browser and suggestions for alternative search and location-based applications enhances the device’s versatility and utility.

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Amazon’s emphasis on its cloud services is evident in the device’s interface, with dedicated tabs for cloud-based content and locally stored files. Users can effortlessly switch between cloud and device storage, making it convenient to access their digital library from anywhere. The integration of personal content, such as music stored on Amazon Cloud Drive, further enhances the device’s multimedia capabilities.

While the 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX offers impressive performance and features, the upcoming 8.9-inch model promises an even more immersive experience, thanks to its larger display and potentially enhanced audio capabilities. The choice between the two models ultimately depends on users’ preferences and usage scenarios, with the 7-inch variant catering to those seeking a compact and portable device, while the 8.9-inch model offers a larger canvas for multimedia consumption and productivity tasks.

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The Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7-inch tablet delivers a compelling blend of performance, functionality, and affordability, making it a worthy contender in the competitive tablet market. With its refined operating system, immersive audio experience, and seamless integration with Amazon’s digital ecosystem, the Kindle Fire HDX offers users a versatile and enjoyable computing experience, whether for entertainment, productivity, or everyday tasks.

The Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7-inch tablet excels as a portable media device, particularly for watching movies. In my testing, I often use it while exercising on my indoor cycling machine, which tends to generate considerable noise. Unlike with my laptop, where I need to connect external speakers for adequate sound, the Kindle Fire HDX delivers loud and clear audio without any additional accessories. Even in a noisy environment, I can hear the audio output with sufficient clarity.

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Examining the device further, the back panel features a soft-touch finish that adds a premium feel to the device. However, it is susceptible to fingerprints and can become greasy with use. Fortunately, cleaning it with a damp cloth is effective in restoring its appearance.

Amazon’s design aesthetic is evident in the Kindle Fire HDX, featuring bevels around the edges to accommodate the speakers and facilitate access to the back-facing controls. The power button is conveniently located on one side, with the volume controls positioned opposite it. These buttons are tactile and easy to distinguish by touch, although users may need some time to become accustomed to their rear placement.

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The micro USB port on the side allows for charging the device and transferring files from a PC using standard Android file transfer protocols. Beneath the heavily customized Fire OS, the tablet runs on the Android Jelly Bean operating system, although the user interface may not immediately resemble traditional Android interfaces.

A unique design feature is the angled placement of the micro USB port, which may seem unusual at first but is intentional and does not affect functionality. On the opposite side, a 3.5mm combo audio jack accommodates headphones and microphones, providing versatility for audio input and output. Additionally, a front-facing camera with 720p resolution enables video calls via apps like Skype.

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Accessing settings and controls is straightforward, with swipe-down gestures revealing options for auto rotation, brightness adjustment, and other essential functions. Despite the glossy display, which can result in glare in bright environments, the screen offers impressive brightness levels, suitable for outdoor use.

However, the glossy display may not be ideal for prolonged reading sessions, especially for users sensitive to glare. In such cases, the Kindle Paperwhite, with its glare-free e-ink display, may be a preferable option for reading ebooks.

The Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7-inch tablet offers a compelling multimedia experience, with excellent audio quality and a vibrant display suitable for watching movies and other media content. While its glossy screen may pose challenges in certain lighting conditions, its overall performance and user-friendly design make it a versatile and enjoyable device for entertainment on the go.

This feature allows for quick control of music playback. Additionally, there’s Mayday, a support feature accessible within approximately 15 seconds, connecting users with Amazon support staff via one-way video chat. This functionality serves as a valuable resource for individuals who may be less familiar with technology, such as older family members, offering them assistance without relying on immediate assistance from family members.

Access to all settings is conveniently available through the Amazon account section, where users can input their Google account information. The device includes standard applications for contacts and calendars, as well as an email client, although it lacks a native Gmail application. Users have the option to customize various settings, including display preferences, sound configurations, and keyboard settings. Language selection is extensive, catering to a diverse range of users with options such as English (UK and US), French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, simplified Chinese, Portuguese, and German. Additionally, the device offers text-to-speech functionality for accessibility purposes.

Parental controls are provided, offering a “kid mode” feature that allows parents to restrict access to certain websites, books, or applications, providing a safer browsing experience for children. For those weighing their options between the Kindle Fire HDX 7-Inch and the Nexus 7 2013 edition, notable differences include the aspect ratio, with the Kindle Fire opting for a wider feel reminiscent of a book, in contrast to the taller and narrower profile of the Nexus 7. While both devices boast the same resolution display, they differ significantly in terms of software, with the Nexus 7 running full Android in a more vanilla form compared to the heavily customized interface of the Kindle Fire.

Similar to most tablets on the market, the Kindle Fire HDX features a sealed battery, precluding user access to the battery compartment. Amazon claims an impressive battery life of up to 11 hours of mixed-use and 17 hours of reading time, a claim that has been corroborated through testing, with the device consistently delivering around 10 and a half hours of mixed-use, including activities such as video streaming, magazine reading, and ebook consumption.

The internal components of the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7-inch are notably impressive compared to previous models. While Amazon has previously opted for cost-effective CPUs, this time they’ve integrated cutting-edge hardware. The device is powered by a 2.2 gigahertz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU, coupled with Adreno 330 graphics. This configuration represents top-of-the-line performance, comparable to competing processors like the Tegra 4 and Samsung’s latest Exynos Octa CPUs.

The inclusion of Adreno 330 graphics enables smooth gameplay, setting the stage for a potential influx of high-quality 3D games on the platform. While the Kindle app store predominantly features casual games, the improved hardware capabilities may lead to an expansion of more sophisticated gaming options.

With 2 gigabytes of RAM, the device meets the standard for higher-end tablets and smartphones, ensuring sufficient memory for multitasking and running demanding applications. Storage options include 16, 32, or 64 gigabytes, catering to varying storage needs. However, it’s worth noting that there is no provision for expandable storage via external memory cards. This limitation may prompt users to opt for higher storage capacities if they intend to store a significant amount of personal content locally.

For many users, reliance on cloud services may mitigate the need for extensive onboard storage. Amazon’s ecosystem offers integration with Cloud Drive for storing personal content, as well as access to Prime Video and digital media purchases directly from Amazon. The device is available at different price points based on storage capacity and connectivity options.

The base model, featuring 16 gigabytes of storage and Wi-Fi connectivity, starts at $229. Higher storage configurations, including 32 and 64 gigabytes, are priced at $269 and $309, respectively. Notably, the base model includes “Special Offers” – advertisements displayed on the screen upon waking the device. While these offers may present discounts or promotions, users have the option to disable them for an additional fee.

For users seeking cellular connectivity, Wi-Fi plus 4G LTE models are available, compatible with both AT&T and Verizon networks. These models come with the same storage options but incur an additional $100 cost, starting from $329 for the base model and reaching $409 for the highest storage capacity with 4G LTE capability. All models feature dual-band Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n) with Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) technology, ensuring reliable wireless connectivity. Additionally, Bluetooth support allows for seamless pairing with accessories such as keyboards, enhancing the device’s versatility.

As with previous Kindle devices, the Kindle Fire HDX 7-inch operates within Amazon’s ecosystem, meaning it does not offer access to the Google Play Store. Instead, users rely on the Amazon App Store for downloading applications and digital content. While this limits access to certain apps and services exclusive to the Google Play Store, Amazon’s curated app selection ensures compatibility and optimization for the device’s hardware and software environment.

Access to the Amazon Kindle app store is provided, offering a comprehensive selection of digital content including e-books, videos, magazines, and various other products available for purchase on Amazon’s platform. For users heavily invested in applications from the Google Play Store, particularly those acquired through purchases, the absence of direct access on the Kindle Fire HDX 7-Inch may pose a limitation. While many free applications commonly found on Google Play are likely available through alternative sources, users should consider the potential incompatibility of paid applications.

Resourceful users may explore methods to circumvent this limitation, potentially by rooting the device to enable access to the Google Play Store. Although Amazon’s ecosystem does not natively support Google Play Store applications, it is feasible to sideload certain Google applications onto the Kindle Fire HDX 7-inch. For instance, applications like Chrome, Google Play Books, and Google Play Magazines can be manually installed through the sideloading process. Detailed instructions for this procedure can be found on online forums such as xda-developers or, where enthusiasts have shared their experiences and insights into integrating Google services into Amazon’s platform.

Sideloading applications involves obtaining the installation files (APKs) for the desired Google applications and enabling the installation of apps from unknown sources in the device settings. Subsequently, a file manager app, such as ES File Explorer or Andro File Explorer, is utilized to navigate to the location where the APK files are stored, typically on the device’s internal storage or an external SD card if available. From there, the APK files are selected and executed to initiate the installation process, enabling the sideloaded applications to be installed and accessed on the device.

Despite the absence of native support for Google Play Store applications, alternative methods exist to access Google services and content on the Kindle Fire HDX 7-inch. For example, Gmail and other Google services can be accessed through their respective web interfaces or third-party applications available on the Amazon App Store. Additionally, content such as movies, books, and music from the Google Play Store can often be accessed through alternative platforms or services compatible with the Kindle Fire HDX 7-inch.

Ultimately, the decision to sideload Google applications or rely on alternative methods for accessing Google services on the Kindle Fire HDX 7-inch depends on the user’s preferences and requirements. While rooting the device and sideloading Google applications may provide access to a broader range of apps and services, it may also void the device’s warranty and entail potential risks associated with modifying the device’s software. Users should weigh these considerations carefully before proceeding with any modifications to their device.

I have successfully downloaded a magazine onto the device, demonstrating its functionality and versatility. It’s always exciting to explore alternative options, although users also have access to Amazon’s extensive collection of digital content, including e-books, videos, and magazines, through the Newsstand section. Simply tapping on any desired item allows users to seamlessly download and read it, although magazines may require a bit more time to download due to their larger file sizes compared to e-books.

Moving on to the realm of e-books, I’ve selected Stephen King’s latest book for demonstration purposes. The device’s beautiful screen enhances the reading experience, providing crisp, clear text and a neutral white background. With features like Whispersync, users can seamlessly sync their reading progress across multiple Kindle devices, ensuring a smooth transition between reading sessions. Additionally, the device’s high-resolution IPS display delivers excellent viewing angles, making it a delightful choice for readers who prefer LCD screens over E-Ink displays.

After downloading the magazine, I navigate through its pages, noting the smooth performance and stunning display quality. While reading in landscape mode is an option, it may result in smaller text, making it more suitable for larger screens. However, the device’s accelerometer ensures that the screen orientation adjusts according to the user’s position, enhancing the overall reading experience. Furthermore, features like bookmarks and browsing facilitate easy navigation through the magazine’s content, contributing to the device’s user-friendly interface.

The device’s impressive performance is further validated by synthetic benchmarks, which demonstrate its speed and stability. With a Quadrant score of 20,382 and a 3D Mark Ice Storm score of 16,657, the device ranks among the fastest mobile devices available today, showcasing a significant improvement over its predecessors. This marks a notable departure from previous Kindle Fire models, which were often criticized for their sluggish performance and lackluster specifications.

In terms of web browsing, the device offers the Silk browser, a reliable WebKit-based browser developed by Amazon. Additionally, users have the option to sideload Chrome for an alternative browsing experience. While both browsers offer excellent performance, the Silk browser provides a seamless browsing experience, complementing the device’s overall functionality.

Overall, the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7-inch proves to be a versatile and high-performing device, ideal for users seeking an immersive reading and browsing experience. With its stunning display, seamless performance, and extensive content library, it sets a new standard for Kindle Fire devices, offering users a delightful blend of functionality and convenience.

The Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7-inch is praised for its fluid performance, speed, and capability to play HTML5 videos seamlessly. In a demonstration, an embedded video review of the Note 10.1 2014 edition is played effortlessly, showcasing the device’s smooth playback functionality.

Additionally, the device supports side-loaded YouTube, providing users with a familiar experience akin to Android devices. Sideloading applications like YouTube is relatively straightforward, offering users the flexibility to customize their device experience. Asphalt 8, a visually stunning 3D driving game, is also tested on the device, illustrating its ability to handle demanding gaming applications with ease. The game’s graphics and visual effects are lauded, affirming the device’s capability to deliver an immersive gaming experience.

Regarding size preferences, the 7-inch model is deemed suitable for users primarily engaged in e-book reading, magazine browsing, and light web browsing. On the other hand, the 8.9-inch variant may appeal more to individuals who frequently watch movies, as the larger screen offers a more immersive viewing experience. Magazines are also easier to read on the larger screen, eliminating the need for constant zooming to view content.

The Kindle Fire HDX 7-Inch is positioned as an affordable option compared to other tablets in the market, such as the Nexus 7 2013 edition. It caters particularly well to users invested in Amazon’s ecosystem, including those with Prime accounts who benefit from streaming services, Kindle books, and magazine subscriptions. The device offers a seamless experience for consuming Amazon content, with intuitive navigation and quick access to desired media. For users heavily reliant on Amazon services, the Kindle Fire HDX presents an attractive option due to its user-friendly interface and smooth performance.

However, users seeking a versatile tablet with access to the Google Play Store, Google Maps, GPS functionality, and a rear-facing camera may find the Kindle Fire HDX lacking in certain aspects. While it excels in providing a fast and responsive experience with a high-quality display, its focus remains primarily on Amazon’s ecosystem. Therefore, individuals requiring broader functionality beyond Amazon’s offerings may need to explore alternative tablet options.

The Kindle Fire HDX 7-inch offers a compelling choice for users seeking a budget-friendly tablet with robust performance and access to Amazon’s extensive content library. Available starting at $229, the device provides an excellent value proposition for individuals prioritizing seamless integration with Amazon services. Despite potential supply constraints due to high demand, prospective buyers can expect to find the Kindle Fire HDX readily available for purchase, both online and in retail stores like Best Buy.

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