9,636 of 9,799 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kindle Fire HD - what is it for?
I hesitate to dip my toe in the turbulent waters of Kindle Fire HD customer reviews, but having owned the 32GB version for two weeks now my thoughts might be useful to some. I already own a Kindle 3G and a WiFi/3G Ipad, against which the Fire HD seems to be regularly compared against. The Kindle is primarily used to take books on holiday, and the Ipad is used at home...
Published 20 months ago by Stormcat
3,630 of 3,843 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Device Ruined by Amazon's Restrictive Software
This is a carefully considered review that acknowledges the good and bad fairly. I have been an Amazon customer for several years and have always praised Amazon's peerless customer service, its quick response and despite the criticisms here I happily acknowledge that my telephone complaints about this product were dealt with politely and generously. But this device has...
Published 20 months ago by R Young
Most Helpful First | Newest First
9,636 of 9,799 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kindle Fire HD - what is it for?,
This review is from: Kindle Fire HD 7", Dolby Audio, Dual-Band Wi-Fi, 16 GB - Includes Special Offers [Previous Generation] (Electronics)
I hesitate to dip my toe in the turbulent waters of Kindle Fire HD customer reviews, but having owned the 32GB version for two weeks now my thoughts might be useful to some. I already own a Kindle 3G and a WiFi/3G Ipad, against which the Fire HD seems to be regularly compared against. The Kindle is primarily used to take books on holiday, and the Ipad is used at home (via WiFi) and on holiday (3G/WiFi in the UK, WiFi abroad) for e-mails and internet access. I bought the Fire HD primarily (I thought)as a colour Kindle 'plus' - the 'plus' being a second access point to e-mails and internet if my partner was using the Ipad. Out of the box, it is a lovely looking piece of kit. It is heavier than a Kindle, but not distressingly so. You can hold it in one hand to read comfortably. WiFi access was automatically set-up - all I had to do was enter a pass-key (on the side of my Sky router). I have Sky e-mail, and I had to enter manually a couple of pieces of info in setting this up, but I got these from the account info on the Ipad. The Wi-Fi signal is picked up strongly throughout the house by the Fire HD, better than the Ipad in some rooms.
As an e-reader, it is very pleasing. The screen display is excellent - clear, detailed and the touchscreen works really well. Indeed, I am finding myself using it at home to read books which I have never done with my 'old' Kindle 3G. I also downloaded photos from my partner's Facebook to try this facility out - very easy to do and the photos look fantastic. What has really surprised me, however, is that I am now tending to use the Fire HD for my primary internet and e-mail access. Both functions are easy to use and very intuitive, and it is just easier to carry the Fire HD around than the Ipad. I have always worried about taking the Ipad abroad because of its size, even though the ability to use WiFi abroad has been invaluable. It looks like the Ipad can stay at home now, as I have an e-reader and internet access in one machine.
I have also used the useful comments from other reviewers and downloaded a number of third-party Android app sites and used these, as well as the Amazon App site, to load a few useful applications without any problems whatsoever, including Dolphin browser, YouTube etc etc. (And I write as someone who can just about turn on a computer).
In summation - and very much my opinion - I am delighted with my Fire HD. It is a much more portable size than an Ipad, offers the functionality I need and looks and sounds lovely. It has completely exceeded my expectations and is very much (for me) an Ipad 'minus' rather than a Kindle 'plus'.
Hope this review is helpful to someone.
6,364 of 6,538 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT!!!! SUPERB!!!!,
This review is from: Kindle Fire HD 7", Dolby Audio, Dual-Band Wi-Fi, 32 GB - Includes Special Offers [Previous Generation] (Electronics)
I toyed with the idea of buying a new Kindle Fire HD for over a month and, of course, read all the reviews here and on other websites. Many of these reviews put me off and I nearly ordered a Google Nexus 7. I am so happy now that I didn't. Somehow at one point I got a feeling that many of these negative reviews had been written by Apple groupies or by people who got so used to their iPads that all they want is just another iPad. And I decided to order a Kindle Fire HD. It arrived promptly, three days ago, already registered. I really can't understand why some people write that it shows American time or prices in dollars. During a setup process (which was fast, easy and very intuitive) I was asked about my timezone and, of course, the device was registered in the UK. The device itself is very nicely built and it is a pleasure to hold it, actually it has a much more pleasant feel than an iPad. An Amazon Kindle Fire HD cover, which came with it, fits nicely, it's comfortable to hold and has a pleasant feel. The screen is just FANTASTIC! Speakers are better than on any other tablet or even on a big desktop computer (I have an iMac). I never liked an iPad because of its size. It is just not convenient to carry it with you all the time, and to read it on public transport is about the same as to read a big art book. A 7 inch tablet is just perfect, you can carry it in your pocket. It was really easy to connect to WiFi and to sign on to my email accounts. I have two email accounts and both work really well on Kindle Fire HD. One of them is a Yahoo account, so first I used it through the Silk browser until I discovered a Yahoo Mail application at Amazon app store. But either with the browser or with this app it was fast and smooth for sending and receiving emails. And AOL account was very easy to synchronize, it took less than a minute to get all my emails and contacts. WiFi connection is better than on any of our home computers.
After reading many reviews and online chats I was prepared to install Dolphin, Adobe Flash player, VLC player, etc. But there was no need. There was no need for Dolphin. So far the preinstalled Silk browser has been working fine, I don't have any complaints.
I installed ES File Explorer (Essential!), Battery HD (Essential!), BBC Media Player, BBC iPlayer, BBC News app, UK News Online app, USA News app (both are for reading UK and US newspapers), A8 Player and some other applications from Amazon store. I have been watching films on YouTube for three days now and not a single time I was told that I needed a Flash Player. iPad doesn't have it as well. Watching programmes on BBC iPlayer is just great! Before downloading applications I went to device settings and allowed applications from sources other than Amazon, but so far I didn't download a single application from another source. For me Amazon app store has more than enough and will probably have even more in future. Some puzzling moments though. One can download Lufthansa or American Airlines applications, but not British Airways! But I hope that Amazon will sort this out.
I downloaded about 5 Gb of music and 22 films in MP4 from my laptop and I must say that picture quality on Kindle Fire HD is much better than on the laptop. It was very easy, just connected it to the laptop with the USB cable (provided) and copied to respective music and movies files on Kindle. Music sounds fantastic, not just rock but classical opera as well. Now I can listen to music and watch my favourite films while travelling. And when I play these films I am given three options of which player to use (including A8, which I downloaded). Films in MP4 play fine on all of them. So far I didn't try to watch any films on LoveFilm and probably won't as I don't want to have a subscription. I don't play computer games, so can't be a judge here.
Also I can't comment on advertising as I paid 10 pounds extra when I ordered my Kindle for the pleasure of not having these adverts and now I am happy that I did that. It's not such a big price for one's privacy.
And, of course, I downloaded a lot of books from Amazon. Reading on Kindle Fire HD is as pleasant as on all previous Kindles. My wife has a Kindle Keyboard 3G, which is absolutely fantastic, both of us are in love with it. I can only complain that the price of downloads now is almost the same as the price of getting a real book (which also became more expensive on Amazon). Initially they were much cheaper.
So, I really can't understand what is this moaning all about. I am SO VERY HAPPY with my new Kindle Fire HD! It does much much more than I expected. I thought it would be an e-reader with internet and email capability, but it turned out to be a TABLET (and a very good one at that) with e-reader capability! Congratulations Amazon!!!! And THANK YOU! You invested time, money and, I believe, love into it and I hope that your customers will love it as much as I do.
On the negative side, it is sad that Amazon has adopted Apple's marketing strategy of charging exorbitant prices for accessories. Charger should be in the box with a Kindle as it was before. And, of course, it shouldn't cost 17.99. But any generic USB charger will do the job. Amazon needs to think about it. Many of its customers don't like how they have been treated by Apple, but now they get the same treatment from Amazon.
Summing up, if somebody is in two minds on whether to buy a Kindle Fire HD, my advice will be - don't hesitate, buy it! And don't read too many reviews. :-)
I hope you enjoy your Kindle as much as I do!
4,371 of 4,599 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For Me - Better than my iPad!,
This review is from: Kindle Fire HD 7", Dolby Audio, Dual-Band Wi-Fi, 16 GB - Includes Special Offers [Previous Generation] (Electronics)
I've had an iPad 2 tablet for a while and, though I love it, it isn't the ideal tablet for me and this is mainly due to the fact that it is so large, bulky and heavy.
A 10 inch tablet is wonderful for watching movies and iPlayer stuff but I can't fit it in my bag and it is cumbersome and heavy to hold in bed at night when I like to read books with the Kindle app dimmed down.
So, as soon as I saw that Amazon were bringing out a 7 inch screen device, I jumped at the chance to get one. I had minor quibbles when I saw the iPad Mini was coming out but when I saw the price which is almost what I paid for my 10 inch iPad 2 - seriously Apple? You're having a laugh! It's way too pricy for what it is combined with the fact that the specs are not nearly as good as the Kindle Fire HD.
PROS OF KINDLE FIRE HD:
1) It is small, portable and light enough to take out with me no matter where I go. Fits into my bag very nicely while still being a useful size for Internet, email, games, books and more.
2) Quick and easy access to all your Amazon content: all my music, Kindle books, games and apps, movies from LoveFilm and Amazon shopping all in one handy place. OK you can do this with most other tablets but not so seamlessly integrated.
MP3s you buy from Amazon are automatically stored in the cloud for you for free - and you can even upload some of your own MP3 music to the cloud for free. If you want to simply add MP3s onto the device itself, you can do that by connecting your Kindle Fire to your PC with the lead it came with and then adding them manually into the correct folder - someone else said this is called the music folder. I haven't yet tried it because I haven't needed to.
3) Beautiful backlit screen with adjustable brightness, what can I say. Really looks crisper than my iPad 2 device.
Tested this in bed last night. So much lighter and easier to hold than the 10 inch iPad for reading and because it is backlit (unlike my old Kindle Keyboard) I can carry on reading it when the lights are out. You might want to try the free GSam Screen Dimmer if you need to dim the screen even more - it worked great for me.
4) Awesome sound either out loud from the speakers or with using headphones in the headphone jack. Seriously, if you are really into music, this is the tablet to get because you won't get a better sound experience even with a pricier tablet.
I tested this side by side with the same games and music on hubby's Google Nexus tablet last night and the Kindle Fire was the clear winner with regards to a richer, sound experience.
5) Easy and intuitive to use. At least it is for me anyway. The carousel displays all your most recent items. If you want to add items from the carousel into a Favourites section, press and hold down on a carousel item and choose Add to Favourites. You can see all your favourite apps etc by clicking on the Star symbol which is bottom right - love that feature.
If you don't want the last web page you looked at shown on the carousel then go to Settings | Applications | Silk - and uncheck Display most recent page in Carousel
I love the fact that Amazon recommends items that other people have bought under the items in your Carousel display. You might not like this, if so go to Settings | Applications | Amazon Home Recommendations and select hide so they do not display.
6) Appears to be very tough and well-built though I've popped it into a case as I do with most gadgets.
The wide bezel around the edge makes it easy to hold and grip the device without accidentally touching the screen and pressing something you don't want to.
CONS OF KINDLE FIRE HD:
1) Less choice of apps. You get spoiled with the Apple app store because they have so many apps. However, I did find that I got bored looking for apps on my iPad after the novelty wore off and I just used the same core set all the time. Sometimes having too much choice is simply overwhelming.
Apparently it is possible to get the Google Play apps, perhaps do an internet search on that - I'm too busy working my way through the Amazon apps right now. Might try it at some point.
2) Physical volume buttons and the Off switch are a little hard to find especially in the dark. Amazon could definitely improve on that.
It is very easy to change the volume on-screen with the top menu that slides down even when you are on the Internet or reading.
3) I want to be able to buy and own (not rent) digital movies from Amazon like the Americans do - I believe that there are more complex laws in Europe but hope that eventually this will be possible. I certainly think Amazon are trying their hardest to deliver what they can to the UK market.
I found it very hard to connect my existing Lovefilm account with the device - Amazon should make that much easier if they can. But I did get it working.
Essentially you click on the Videos section, then you click on the middle bar icon at the bottom which gives you some settings. I had to log in to LoveFilm with my existing account details, once there I clicked above a film on a link that mentioned something about connecting accounts and then logged in with my Amazon acc details to link it all up. Now my Lovefilm items come up in the Videos tab. Sorry if it is vague but that's what I remember from the process. There is help in the on device help guide too!
NOTE ON iPLAYER - yes it does work. You need to download 2 apps - BBC iPlayer and BBC Media Player. Then you just use the iPlayer app as normal and it works like a charm.
Apparently you can add your own movies but only MP4 ones that have NO protection - ie ones you got from itunes won't work because they are protected. I think you can add them by transferring with the cable - they do not show up in the Videos tab (that's Lovefilm stuff) they show up apparently in APPS / Personal Videos. I haven't tried it but read about it and hope that helps people :)
Really delighted overall with my KFHD - I can see that the iPad might be made redundant because the 7inch screen of the Kindle Fire is so much more practical for me which means it's going to get a lot more use.
3,630 of 3,843 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Device Ruined by Amazon's Restrictive Software,
This review is from: Kindle Fire HD 7", Dolby Audio, Dual-Band Wi-Fi, 16 GB [Previous Generation] (Electronics)
This is a carefully considered review that acknowledges the good and bad fairly. I have been an Amazon customer for several years and have always praised Amazon's peerless customer service, its quick response and despite the criticisms here I happily acknowledge that my telephone complaints about this product were dealt with politely and generously. But this device has severely changed my whole view of Amazon's business practice.
This is a detailed review which touches many aspects of not just the hardware but the whole experience of using the Kindle Fire HD, especially for those users who were hoping for more than just a closed system passport device to access Amazon's apps, books and films. I recognise that the many glowing reviews here are justified in the context of users who perhaps feel they are happy with a highly restricted device, or who are content with a more sophisticated form of their previously owned e-readers.But for those of us who want a proper tablet experience, this otherwise brilliant machine is so shockingly restricted in its severely stripped and customised operating system that the description "Tablet" is barely valid, though after a lot of hard work and fiddling, it is possible to radically transform it into a decent, fast and responsive device which then competes very well with the Kindle Fire HD's main rival, the Nexus 7. Out of the box though, the hardware appears sluggish and the software is poor.
Value for money for UK customers vs the US version
The US version is $199. At the time of purchase that converted to just over £124. Straightaway we see that UK customers are paying a premium over US customers, and although a small part of that might be due to our higher sales tax (VAT), nevertheless US customers do have some sales tax to pay yet are getting a much better deal. This is not confined to this product and UK customers of globally available devices are constantly being short-changed compared with US equivalents. This is a very poor practice and it's about time UK users stood up and said "enough".
The price of this device, including advert removal (see below), and a decent power charger, is considerably over the advertised £159. It totals around £187. If the software had not so dreadfully been interfered with, this would still represent very good value, but given the control freakery of the standard operating system, this is not good value. No power charger included? That is not on. Again, a US power charger is typically $10-$15. Here, Amazon offers one at just under £18. Purchasing a cheaper charger is pointless because that would take all night to charge the Kindle Fire HD. Plugging it via usb into a computer will make charging considerably longer still.
Now we come to the adverts, which are euphemistically described as "special offers", opting out of which costs an extra £10 but even this outrageous fee doesn't actually remove the ads, since the "customers also purchased" line of icons on the display ARE adverts and are still present after paying the £10. Amazon should hang its head in shame over this. Some reviewers who do not object to this are entitled to their views. My view is that I do not wish to be treated as an obedient and compliant subcriber to Amazon's advertising, especially since I actually paid to remove the ads, and they are still there.
Right from the word go Amazon, for the first time, has got my back up even before using the Kindle Fire HD, and in my opinion it has shot itself in the foot with this blatent and unacceptable interference with a privately owned tablet. I want a device that serves my needs, NOT the needs of Amazon. This fundamental principle has been breached and is a blot on Amazon's otherwise deserved reputation for fairness.
Hardware and Performance
If the average user is happy with the default performance of the Fire HD then fine, but I feel they might be blissfully unaware of just how good the hardware is when it is released from the worst of the neutered software that is running it. Let me be clear that you do not have to do anything radical to make this device much much better, or invalidate your warranty, or do anything Amazon would have any reason to object to. Most of the solutions are actually available on Amazon's own store and certainly there is no need to do much more than replace much of the default software with more decent stuff - more about this below.
The hardware and potential performance is actually very good. The screen is exceptionally good, with brightness and contrast easily class leading, especially compared with the poorly calibrated and washed out display on the Nexus 7. The processor is perfectly adequate and potentially fast. The menu system is clear and easy to use. The controls and adjustments are straightforward. The physical build is solid. I have no objection to the highish weight compared with the competition. I would rather have a solidly built device than something more flimsy for the sake of style. Holding the Kindle HD is satisfying and reassuring. On this, the Kindle Fire HD is a commendably good piece of kit. Thumbs up, but sadly there are some glaring problems.
Operating System and Software
The O/S is nominally based on Android 4. But no-one would know from the display. Do not for one moment accept the notion that the stripped down, customised, neutered o/s is somehow a customer-oriented, hand-holding, user-friendly design, conceived for our benefit - and here comes my most negative comment about this product. It is a blatantly and heavily restricted o/s for one single reason, which is to do everything possible to prevent me from buying anything other than Amazon digital content. This wouldn't be so bad if Amazon's Kindle Fire HD store and apps were half decent in breadth and depth. But the store is threadbare of decent apps in its current state. While its book choice is exemplary, I was dismayed to see that the Amazon App store is shockingly poor. It is not just the small number of apps, but the paucity of quality apps which are available elsewhere in their thousands.
If you are going to produce a device which cripples access to open content and enslave the user to a closed loop system, the least you can do is provide a viable store which serves even basic needs. In its present state the Fire's app store is very poor, given that the average user is handcuffed into using it without escape. This entirely commercial decision is not only an insult to the customer, but is utterly counter-productive for Amazon. If you drag customers who purchased in good faith kicking and screaming into a poorly stocked content store, you are building a customer-base of discontented, frustrated and potentially disloyal people. Far from winning me over with this tablet, which could have been SO good, I feel exploited and cheated. Amazon, what ARE you thinking? All you are doing by shutting down open access to third party content is to alienate me. I concede that Apple does the same thing. But the difference is that Apple has content of a hundred times the volume but crucially ten times the quality.
This petulant and childish habit of so-called "eco-system" (Ugh!) providers battling out their market position by restricting their customers is bad enough, but shackling customers to inadequate content is simply unacceptable.
I purchased this as a gift for my partner. She loves the screen and feel of the Kindle Fire HD. But after a few minutes we both saw the flaws. The email app is adequate but no more. We could not see the Skype app, and for some reason it was not installed. Nor was a camera app and using Evernote, choosing the camera produced an error
message. I downloaded a third party camera app and it worked, then downloaded Skype from the store. Why provide a camera then fail to make it work by default?
The heart of any Tablet is web browsing, so when I saw the default Silk browser I thought we would have an experience to enjoy. Not so. "Silk", as in "smooth as...." is a poor description of a browser that makes the Fire HD appear as though it has a weak processor. Far from being smooth and silky, this browser is painfully slow. It stutters, jerks and crawls its way through website browsing especially when there are many images. The "acceleration" option makes it no better, and I can only guess that the caching and buffering Amazon is trying to attempt is either poorly optimised or simply does not work.
Things radically improve by installing Google Chrome beta, and better still with the Dolphin browser which transforms web browsing into near ipad smoothness. This is an example of how much untapped potential there is in the Kindle Fire HD's hardware. I cannot understand why Amazon would bother with a default web browser that makes the whole device appear sluggish.
The YouTube experience out of the box produces a very fine, rich display, but again it is absurdly slow to load each clip. YouTube via the Dolphin Browser loaded clips in a quarter of the time. Embedded YouTube clips fail to play, and that is because there is no flash by default. The "flash won't work" conventional wisdom is a myth. Flash 11.1 works absolutely fine after installing it, so why not include it by default?
OK, I've been somewhat harsh up to now so let me summarise the good things:
* Brilliant Screen/Display
* In the main good and intuitive navigation
* Very slick store access and commendably good interface
* Excelllent auto-install of apps
* Solidly Built
* Option of Cloud or Device installed apps very good
* 16 gigs storage very reasonable
* Unlimited Cloud storage for paid apps and very fair storage for personal content
* Good value except for the advert removal fee and lack of power charger
* Potentially fast and smooth operation once default browser is replaced
* HDMI output is an excellent idea and very useful
Now the bad:
* Ridiculously neutered core software which locks the user to Amazon
* Only just adequate email, contacts apps
* Small point, but icons way too large
* Zero customisation without running through hoops
* Zero access to third party stores without a lot of work
* Sluggish default web browser
* No flash by default despite it being perfectly possible to install
* Price is not so much value when you add the £10 "advert removal" and the price of a decent charger
Major Issue Closing Apps
Maybe I have missed something here but I don't think so. Many users will be aware that on occasions their Kindle Fire HD slows down to a crawl for no apparent reason. Here is the reason: When you have finished with an open app, It does NOT close. If you hit the home screen button, which is the seemingly obvious way to close an app, it is still there in the background, and if it is an app that uses resources, it will slow you down. If you have opened then "closed" several apps, they are still in memory. This is a blunder by Amazon. The only way to free up memory and CPU for certain is to laboriously open settings/more/apps/force shut down. This is an absurd way to have to properly close an app, and needs to be addressed urgently with an update.
UK Prime Members
If you are a US customer you not only get this device considerably cheaper in relative currency terms, but if you are a US Amazon prime customer, you get free access to thousands of streamed TV programmes and films. Yes, FREE access. This is a major selling point but is denied to UK prime customers. The measly "one borrowed book"
per month is not anywhere near an adequate substitute and indeed Amazon should really remove any mention in its advertising relating to UK prime customers, since in reality there is little benefit at all. Moreover, whatever the legal ramifications as to why UK customers do not get the same benefits are, Amazon should have been scrupulously fair and made some kind of realistic concession to compensate UK customers for this ommission. As usual, the UK customer gets a very poor deal compared with the US despite the fact that Amazon is in a global market. This is not good enough.
I will concede that after spending several days and many many hours getting rid of the poor out of the box experience, removing the clunky default software, downloading some third party apps which in itself involves convoluted and time consuming circumventing of Amazon's control freakery, our Kindle Fire HD has become a very respectable device.
If Amazon had thought intelligently about the backlash and resentment it is fostering by its blatant disregard for customers who wish to occasionally opt out of its heavily restricted system, it would have a far greater satisfied number of customers. As it stands the Kindle Fire HD is an example of control freakery at the extreme. Not only has this put me completely off buying anything from Amazon's app store, it has utterly changed my previous position of being a loyal customer with nothing but praise for its service.
Amazon needs to think very carefully about what it is doing here because it is storing up resentment and potentially losing hard won customers. I acknowledge that some customers are perfectly happy to be restricted in this way, but for those of us aware of just how much better the Fire HD could be, this device falls way short of its competition and the locked-in system is not only unacceptable but will in my view do nothing but lower Amazon's reputation. When you force customers to buy your content, all you are doing is encouraging them to look elsewhere because they resent being manipulated like this. I would be more likely to buy Amazon content if I was given the freedom to choose. Amazon's policy in this regard is psychologically a disaster, commercially lacking in vision even in its own interests, and morally reprehensible.
For that reason my single star is I think fair. If Amazon would kindly update this device, get rid of the closed system, open up access to third party apps, sort out the browser, compensate UK prime members from lack of access to free videos that US customers enjoy, with other commensurate features, revise the core software to serve the user, not Amazon, and get rid of the Adverts, and I mean ALL the adverts, without the £10 charge, then I will happily edit this review and give the Fire HD the five stars it would have deserved if Amazon had not strangled it for their own purposes.
Until then this review stands, and given that I have been a loyal and regular customer for years, and one who has praised Amazon to the hilt in the past, I would take an extremely dim view if any of this review is censored.
825 of 901 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could be better, but full of small problems.,
This review is from: Kindle Fire HD 7", Dolby Audio, Dual-Band Wi-Fi, 32 GB [Previous Generation] (Electronics)
I bought the kindle Fire HD after debating for a long time whether to get this or the Google Nexus. What swung it for me was the reviews, the price which is the same as the Nexus, the HD screen and the fact that I like to read.
It arrived in lovely packaging and few instructions on what to do. Still its very straight forward what to do.
It runs on Android but you can't have access to anything remotely android or on Google Play. So anything you have on your Android phone can't be moved over or downloaded. Everything is done through Amazon and there's a severe lack of apps at this time.
No camera! You have to buy an app to use the camera. This is very naughty of Amazon and you'd expect it to have already been included in the price.
HD video play back? This doesn't work on youtube. It only seems to work when you buy or rent a movie off Lovefilm or Amazon... Again very naughty. You can only add your own movies to the Kindle Fire if they are in the correct format. It would have been better if the tablet would automatically convert your own videos for you.
Reading wise the Kindle Fire is fantastic. You can adjust the colours, brightness of the screen etc which is handy at night and it can even read out the ebooks for you too.
But the big let down though is its default internet browser, Amazon Silk. It is very slow to load and as a few touch issues too.
Overall the Kindle Fire HD is ok. But with too many small issues and restrictions on it at the minute I can only give it 3 stars. If they were to get rid of the Android block and fix 1 or 2 of the other problems I can see it being an excellent tool.
UPDATE JANUARY 2013!!!!
I am having a bit more success now with my kindle and I am fairly enjoying it now. I managed to get most of my apps off my Samsung Galaxy S 2 and transfer them onto my kindle. These apps weren't available through Amazon so I downloaded Frostwire for my phone and kindle and it allowed me to transfer the apps over and install them no problem on to the kindle. So effectively you could get an app of Google Play on your android phone and send it over to your kindle. Sadly the YouTube and Sky Go apps don't work on the kindle, but this is only a small downer. It's saved me a fortune as I no longer need to buy the same apps that I've already bought and downloaded on my phone. I even installed Google Chrome, so now my internet browser is a lot quicker.
This in my opinion nudges the kindle fire hd up to a 3.5/5.
I hope this helps.
614 of 671 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GREAT DEVICE (SHAME ABOUT THE CONTENT),
This review is from: Kindle Fire HD 7", Dolby Audio, Dual-Band Wi-Fi, 16 GB - Includes Special Offers [Previous Generation] (Electronics)
- Nice, solid, heavy build quality means it feels great to hold. Rubber backing ensures a nice firm grip (lol)
- Quality 7" IPS 720p HD touchscreen delivers great colours from all angles and is great at countering glare
- Surprisingly good sound quality from stereo speakers - Custom Dolby Engine provides virtual surround sound
- Very Fast Wi-Fi with dual antennas and support for 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands - tested with Virgin Media 60mb
- 10+ hour battery life ensures the device will be able to get through a typical day with some juice left over
- Great selection of amazon mp3 music, kindle books and magazines to choose from
- Device is priced well and good value for money
- TV/Film streaming limited to Lovefilm's library which is not that great. The Americans get a far, far richer variety of
content & in better quality. Netflix UK offer a better selection of new content, and more content in high definition.
- Poor selection of apps/games compared to Google's full Playstore and the behemoth that is the iTunes app store. Amazon
limits what makes it to their own Apps for Android Store - it does a good job of cutting out the garbage, but a lot of the
good apps also get caught in the crossfire.
If you only use the Kindle for reading books then you can give this one a miss, the Kindle Fire HD is designed for much more
than just books, and the E-Ink Pearl screens on regular Kindles are still top dog for reading. I also would NOT recommend this
tablet for home use, its not a replacement for a full sized tablet like the iPad or Galaxy Tab.
However, it is a great, cheap, tough and portable tablet that you can throw in your coat or bag when you go travelling. It does
everything a full sized tablet does at a fraction of the price. Its comfortable to hold with one hand unlike a full sized tablet,
and its much tougher meaning a drop or two will not result in it shattering to pieces.
You might think a smartphone is enough for you when travelling, but reading books, browsing the web, and watching videos on a
bigger 7" screen is something smartphones cannot match. A 7" tablet like the Kindle Fire HD is perfect entertainment when travelling.
Although Amazon UK offers a great selection of books and music (easily comparable to iTunes), the video content from Lovefilm is
seriously lackluster, especially when compared to what Amazon US is getting. The majority of video content being standard definition
is quite laughable. Add to that the neutered Amazon Apps for Andorid Store, which results in a lot of great apps and games getting cut,
and the content lineup looks really poor.
The Kindle Fire HD is a great device and currently the best cheap, portable tablet on the market. Its only flaws are on the content
side of things, specifically apps, games, and video selection. If this bothers you then i suggest having a look at Apple's new iPad
Mini. They have the content side of things well covered with iTunes' enormous collection of music, books, apps, HD TV shows and HD
films - but you'll have to pay the price as it costs over £100 more than the Kindle Fire HD.
SCORE: KINDLE FIRE HD - 4/5
431 of 471 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OUTSTANDING.,
I can not enthuse enough! I don't know what I hoped for in the Kindle HD but it was far more than that! Between my books, the net, games and Apps I am having a great time, don't understand the half of what it can do but it is a computer in my pocket. Did I mention that I am 75?
144 of 157 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delighted! I love it!,
I am absolutely delighted with the Kindle Fire. Quite a few members of my family have bought it and they are 'in love' too.
I am not a big fan of Apple so this is excellent for me. I find Amazon much easier to use than itunes. The content available from Amazon and loveFilm is excellent, as you would imagine.
The tablet itself is dinky, neat and solid, although fairly light and certainly easy to handle. The screen is crystal clear and a joy to watch. The speakers are excellent and the sound is as good as I would ever need, or most people, I would imagine. I find the internet really quick but I have yet to try out the 3G so can't comment on that yet. The apps seem good too with a fair choice and I'm sure that will continue to improve. I actually like it for reading too as the writing is so clear, perhaps I'll revert back to my actual Kindle when the novelty has worn off to prevent any eye strain. The battery has been fine so far too and I think every good as its counterparts.
My review is not technical, as I am not a technically minded person, but I hope it helps people like me who just want to know the basics of it in ordinary language! I find it so easy to operate it that I'm buying my mum one for her 80th, and she is even less technically minded than me! I love the Kindle Fire. It is an EXCELLENT price for what you get, unbelievable actually! I absolutely recommend it to anyone like me who wants to listen to their music with decent sound, watch movies and programmes in top quality screen, read books and play games. This will make an amazing gift for anybody and I fail to see how anybody could be disappointed. Highly recommended from me!
38 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars My worst purhase from Amazon - bundled with *FREE* Lovefilm security flaw.,
This review is from: Kindle Fire HD 7", Dolby Audio, Dual-Band Wi-Fi [Previous Generation] (Electronics)
The title says it all. I have never before done a review, but this experience has forced me into print!
I had read the warnings of the overly restrictive nature of this device, but thought the reviewers were over-cooking the issue.
Boy, was I wrong! Amazon are attempting to place a kind of 'reverse ATM' in your home - designed to suck revenue and information out of your existence. I feel that the customer is secondary in this transaction.
As I'm in the UK, it was bad enough having to suck up the higher price tag that this device commands relative to the US. What adds insult to injury is the immensely inferior 'benefits' that the enforced Amazon Prime membership offers compared to the US counterpart. I presume that Amazon are relying on 'inertia selling' to wring additional revenue out of those people who don't remember to cancel after the free month.
However, this pales into insignificance when I discovered the major security flaw at the heart of Amazon's data-mining strategy.
Before purchasing this device, I already had an existing Lovefilm subscription. As Amazon's own promotional blurb states that it is supported on the device, it was the major factor that swayed me toward buying it.
Whilst configuring it however, I was prompted to link my Lovefilm account to the Amazon account. Smelling a rat, I double checked before proceeding...
Here's what will happen:
(i) Your existing Lovefilm devices will need to be reconfigured to work with your Amazon login credentials as Amazon supplants your existing Lovefilm login details. No fun if you have several existing devices already using the service.
(ii) You have to give your full Amazon credentials to each user, on each viewing platform, to access the service. While I unreservedly trust my family, giving the kids access to Lovefilm essentially also allows them full unfettered access to the whole Amazon shop floor without further challenge! (Why not give 'em your credit cards and pin-numbers too, while you're at it?).
(iii) Your purchase details/history will be accessible. So forget that surprise gift you had planned to buy for the family - they'll know as soon as you do!
I consulted Lovefilm's very helpful support line (0800 091 1716) who confirmed that this was indeed an serious issue that they had already flagged to the Kindle Fire team, "..to be resolved with urgency.." but that there is as yet no workaround. The Kindle Fire team had nothing more to offer "..take it or leave it.." being the vibe I received when I called them. In fairness, there was no quibble when I told them my reasons for returning the device.
This could so easily have been fixed by removing the unnecessary linkage between the accounts, but presumably this spoils Amazon's efforts to exploit 'user-synergy' (read: plans to push more stuff to buy at you). I doubt that there is any incentive to change this position.
Furthermore, it marks the point when Amazon stepped over the line from being a on-line retailer to actively attempting to 'own' me and my family by data-mining our usage patterns for their sales activities. We all tacitly know it happens, but this is just naked unapologetic exploitation.
My peviously high opinion of Amazon has fallen sharply after this experience.
As to the machine itself, it is a well-presented, perfectly functional, content consumption device. My issue is purely with the appallingly restrictive software/firmware that seems designed to serve Amazon, rather than the customer, to the detriment of such considerations as security.
The plan had been to buy several of these devices for the family, but I certainly will not do that now.
I am returning it to buy a Nexus 7 instead - which appears to be a more user friendly machine.
I'll let you know how it goes....
174 of 190 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely bloody wonderful !,
Better than I could have hoped for. This really is a classic example of getting it right. The first Kindle was great, and still is, but the Fire HD is just wonderful. The Hi Def photo's are better than my laptop. Everything connected first time, all seems to be working. I know that there is a slim chance that it might melt in a puff of smoke tommorow, but I doubt it. And if it does, Amazon's customer service is 1st class. I half regreted this because of the cost. Yes I know it's very cheap compared to other tablets, but never-the-less represents a large payout for me. Having tried it out I no longer have any regrets. All of my books and music appeared as if by magic and, important this, not installed but on the cloud. I thought it would put everything on the tablet and I would have to spend ages deleting a mass of stuff. It waited for me to tell it what to download. It really is intuative, I'm almost 70 and I managed to get it up and running without a problem. To a modern youngster it will be very simple. What a difference from my "Smartphone", that downloaded everything from the year 1745 to the present without asking. I think a lot of the Kindle's success comes from them genuinely listening to their customer feedback. How long this will last remains to be seen, but having read quite a lot about the new iPad mini, and Windows 8, other companies appear to have stopped listening altogether. Really can't praise this thing enough. It is just wonderful and I would recommend to anyone to buy without any hesitation.
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Kindle Fire HD 7", Dolby Audio, Dual-Band Wi-Fi, 16 GB - Includes Special Offers [Previous Generation] by Kindle Fire
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