Amazon Kindle Fire HD full review
Two of the most popular budget 7-inch Android tablets are the Amazon Kindle Fire HD and the Google Nexus 7. Now that Google has released a new Google Nexus 7 2 tablet, we thought it would be a good idea to put the two tablets head-to-head with each other in this Amazon Kindle Fire HD vs new Nexus 7 2 comparison review. See also: new Nexus 7 (2013) review: the best Android tablet.
Amazon Kindle Fire HD vs new Nexus 7 2 comparison review: Price
We should start with the most obvious difference between the two tablets, and this is the price. The Amazon Kindle Fire HD is the cheaper of the two tablets costing £159 for the cheapest 16GB model while the newer Nexus 7 2 costs £199 with the same 16GB storage. See also: Nexus 7 vs new Nexus 7 2 comparison review: Which Nexus 7 should I buy?
We haven't yet had any hands-on time with the new Nexus 7 2, so this comparison will be based on specs and reported features of the new Nexus 7 2 and Amazon Kindle Fire HD. Once we receive our review sample of the new Nexus 7 2 we will update this comparison review accordingly. See also: New Google Nexus 7 2 UK release date, UK price and specs.
Amazon Kindle Fire HD vs new Nexus 7 2 comparison review: Design
The new Nexus 7 2 has been on a bit of a diet and the result is that it has made the Amazon Kindle Fire HD look like a bit of a tubster. There's not a lot of difference in the Kindle Fire's (193 x 10.3 mm) and new Nexus 7 2's (200 x 8.7 mm) height and depth, but the 23mm difference in width is pretty significant. The Google tablet is also a whopping 105g lighter than the 395g Kindle Fire HD too. Visit The top 10 best tablets: What's the best tablet you can buy in 2013?
The other major design differences are that the new Nexus 7 has a front and rear-facing camera whereas the Kindle Fire HD doesn't. The new Nexus 7 2's speakers appear to be both more evenly spread out and also more subtle than almost retro speaker grill on the Kindle Fire HD.
One final aesthetic point of note is that the bezel on the Kindle Fire HD looks pretty chunky in comparison to the new Nexus 7 2's.
Amazon Kindle Fire HD vs new Nexus 7 2 comparison review: Screen
While the design of a tablet is pretty subjective, the quality of a device's screen is a bit more definitive. And the long and the short of this comparison is that the new Nexus 7 2's screen is simply better than the Kindle Fire HD's.
While both displays are 7-inches, the new Nexus 7 2's screen blows the Kindle Fire HD's out of the water in terms of pixel count. The Kindle Fire has a pretty impressive 800 x 1280 pixels (216 ppi) for its £159 price tag, but there is simply no denying that the 1200 x 1920 (323 ppi) represents amazing value for a sub £200 tablet. The new Nexus 7 2's screen has Corning Gorilla Glass protection too, while the Kindle Fire HD does not.
The final difference between the two is that the Kindle Fire HD is a LCD IPS touchscreen, whereas the new Nexus 7 2 is a LED IPS display. For those who don't know the difference, the consensus is that LED screens are generally brighter and clearer than LCDs.
Amazon Kindle Fire HD vs new Nexus 7 2 comparison review: Processor
Google and Asus (the manufacturer of the new Nexus 7) have opted to equip the new Nexus 7 2 with the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core 1.5 GHz Krait processor. This is the same processor that is used in the impressive Google Nexus 4 smartphone.
Under the hood in the Amazon Kindle Fire HD is the TI OMAP 4460 Dual-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A9 processor.The Amazon Kindle Fire HD scored relatively poorly when we ran it through the Geekbench 2 benchmarking test with a score of only 1124.
While we haven't ran the new Nexus 7 2 through the same test yet, we are expecting it to perform better than the Kindle Fire HD, given than it's predecessor the original Nexus 7 managed to beat its score (Kindle Fire HD score: 1452) and also due to the fact the Nexus 4 smartphone, which has the same processor as the new Nexus 7 2 also smashed it (Nexus 4 score: 2009).
Amazon Kindle Fire HD vs new Nexus 7 2 comparison review: Storage
Storage capacity is a dead-heat, with both tablets only offering. 16GB or 32GB models, with no option for expandable memory via a card slot. The new Nexus 7 2 comes up trumps in the RAM race with 2GB on offer compared to the Kindle Fire HD's 1GB.
Amazon Kindle Fire HD vs new Nexus 7 2 comparison review: Camera
With regards to front-facing cameras, the Kindle Fire HD just shades it with a camera that is just 0.1 Mp better than the new Nexus 7 2 - the reality is that the picture quality on both of these cameras is nothing special.
However, the new Nexus 7 2 has a 5 Mp pixel rear-facing camera too, while the Kindle Fire HD does not. While you shouldn't expect to take competition winning quality photos with this camera, it is still a whole heap better than not having a rear-facing camera at all.
Amazon Kindle Fire HD vs new Nexus 7 2 comparison review: Software
Ok, where talking chalk and cheese here in terms on Android software. The new Nexus 7 2 couldn't be more vanilla in terms of its Android OS; you get standard Android 4.3 Jelly Bean OS, with no manufacturer's bloatware pre-installed - it's Google's tablet after all.
On the other side of this comparison is the Kindle Fire HD, which runs a heavily customized version of Android 4.0, where you only have access to an Amazon app store – albeit with some popular apps – and an Amazon web browser too. Key Android apps that are missing are Google Maps, Gmail, Calendar and Contacts. Read our full review of the Kindle Fire HD to find out more about how Amazon has customized the Kindle Fire HD's software and apps.
We would suggest that the clean Android OS on the new Nexus 7 2 is what the majority of tablet users would prefer here.
Amazon Kindle Fire HD: Specs
- TI OMAP 4460 1.2GHz dual-core CPU
- Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich
- 7in IPS touchscreen LCD (capacative: 10-touch point), 1280x800 pixels
- 752GB RAM
- 16GB storage
- 802.11 b/g/n dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz
- 1.3Mp front camera
- mini HDMI out
- micro USB 2.0 port
- 4400mAh 16.4Wh Li-ion battery