Kindle Fire HD 7 vs. Kindle Fire HD 8.9

Comparing the Kindle Fire 7 vs. Fire HD 8.9. Will a low-price, high-definition tablet be enough to help the world’s largest online retailer fend off tough rivals like Google and Apple?

Amazon throws down the gauntlet with the release of 2 new Kindle Fire HD models.

Industry observers believe Amazon is trying to counter advances from a rumored iPad Mini from Apple, which has yet to enter the marketplace at this writing.

Whatever the strategy is, Kindle fans are loving the sharper screens and expanded options of the new Kindle Fire models.

Let’s take a closer look at Kindle Fire HD 7 vs. Kindle Fire HD 8.9.

Kindle Fire HD 7

kindle fire hd 7 tablet
The entry-level Kindle Fire HD has a 7-inch IPS screen. The HD display boasts a 1280×800 resolution which is clear, sharp and provides plenty of contrast, even from odd angles.

The display has a polarizing filter called Advanced True Wide and a new laminated touch sensor built to reduce glare significantly.

Amazon says that the resolution is so good that it is impossible for the human eye to pick out individual pixels.

The interface is cleaner, and navigation is a little quicker and smoother than previous models. It has Dolby Digital Plus audio and dual-driver stereo speakers with surprisingly clear sound for such a small form factor.

The Wi-Fi setup offers dual-band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) access. Amazon says their Wi-Fi gets 40% faster streaming and downloads than major competitor’s tablets.

There is a wide choice of media: over 22 million TV shows, books, movies, apps and more can be accessed.

New Technology

Whispersync is Amazon’s technology that allows media to be updated across all devices.

For example, you can stop reading at a certain page on your tablet, and Whispersync will pick up where you left off if you open the same book on your smartphone.

Whispersync for Voice offers the same thing for audiobooks, and Whispersync for Games keeps track of your gaming in the cloud.

Unit battery life is rated at 11 hours.

Since social media has take over the world, users will be glad to know the unit has support for all the popular services like Twitter, Gmail, Facebook as well as calendar, email and contacts via Exchange.

Users can make Skype video calls using the front-facing camera.

Read also: Amazon Kindle Fire HDX review

Powerful Sound

The outside is slightly beveled on the back, with a smooth surface that is less “grippy” than some users might prefer. The speakers are hidden beautifully inside the edge of the casing.

Like a two-year-old kid on his first day at the mall, the speakers are small but can easily generate a lot of volume.

The volume buttons are conveniently placed on the side of the unit, separating the headphone jack and the power button.

Owners of an original Fire model will be happy to note that the on-screen graphics are much sharper on the HD screen. Images are not blotchy, and do not suffer from an ugly pixelated look.

App thumbnails are clear and legible.

Kindle Fire HD 8.9

kindle fire hd 8 tablet
Slightly larger than the 7-inch model, the 8.9-inch version’s screen boasts a 1920×1200 HD resolution.

The 8.9-inch model is slightly thinner than its little brother, and has a different microprocessor, running on the Texas Instruments OMAP 4470 processor (compared to the 7-inch model’s OMAP 4460).

The $299 8.9-inch model has the same Dolby audio with dual speakers, dual-band Wi-Fi, media access, social media support and HD camera as the 7-inch model, as well as 16GB of RAM.

For those with higher memory needs, a 32GB version can be purchased for $369.

The $499 8.9-inch model comes with 32GB of memory and lightning-quick 4G LTE wireless access provided by AT&T. The first year of the data package is only $49 (after which users can choose among the AT&T monthly data plans.)

The data plan includes 250MB of monthly data, 20GB of cloud storage and a $10 app store credit.

For users that love the top-of-the-line technology, the $599 model comes with all the features of the $499 model and carries a whopping 64GB of RAM.

Attractive Features

Parents will be happy to find that each tablet offers Kindle FreeTime, a feature that lets them set limits on media and game use.

Another cool addition for the new Kindle line is the ability to set separate user-profiles for different members of the family.

Each person can personalize the interface to their own preferences.

There are plenty of extras available as well. “Immersion Reading” reads a book to the user while it highlights the words being spoken on the screen.

Another new feature involves movie watching.

Movie fans may have questions about the actors or plot points of a movie they are viewing on their tablet. X-Ray is a feature that can display information about the movie as it is being viewed.

The application is smooth and seamless and should prove popular with consumers.

Kindle Fire HD 7 vs. Kindle Fire HD 8.9 – Final Verdict

Kindle fans remember the excitement that greeted the release of the original devices years ago. That same anticipation is being seen right now for the new generation of Fyre HD models.

CNET says “we have a real tablet race here,” while Techcrunch declared the tablet, “a much better deal than the competition is offering.”

The low prices being offered by Amazon for the HD models are certainly a major reason for their popularity.

Still, it is more than that.

Now Kindle fans can access all their treasured books as in the past while enjoying movies and other media as the mood strikes.

With much-improved screen graphics and killer sound, the Fire tablet family should prove to be another runaway hit.