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Customer Review

150 of 161 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Improved User Experience, 30 Dec. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Kindle Fire HDX 8.9", HDX Display, Wi-Fi and 4G, 32 GB (Previous Generation - 3rd) (Electronics)
I've been using the Kindle Fire for some time now and have been largely happy, however, within a few moments of using the new Kindle Fire HDX, the improvements are palpable and pleasing.

The first thing to comment on, is the weight, despite the larger screen, it is now comfortable to wield one handed and significantly lighter than the older Fire and Fire HD. The shell is slimmer and has a nice soft grip finish on the rear and beveled edges which make it more comfortable to hold, and your fingers will glide effortlessly across the screen which is notably more responsive. The bookshelf interface has been significantly improved (although I'd like more flexibility on how to sort my files and apps - eg, I'd like my current book to remain at the front of the queue even if I decide to download a slew of new titles for later). If you are a keen reader, but find your wallet is a little on the lean side, you'll can also find a substantive catalogue of free or heavily discounted titles to browse through which should have something to suit all tastes.

If you've never used the Lovefilm service, there is a 30 day free trial for you to sample. Streaming is superb and I've not has a single issue with buffering films of TV programmes I've opted to watch. [My main gripe with Lovefilm is that the content is mostly quite old, but I still found stuff I wanted to see (eg Vikings) and the range of HD content has improved.] The display is just as superb and the clarity and depth of colour and detail are superb. Sound is impressive too for such a small device, and the two speakers offer stereo sound, although it is inevitably a little thin compared to the cinema experience - you can opt to use earphones (not supplied), so select a good pair and you'll be much more impressed with the experience. Personally, I still prefer watching my media on larger screens with full surround sound, so it's fortunate I can also have the same streaming experience on my smart TV or via my playstation or xbox for no extra cost.

If you've purchased music CDs from Amazon in the past, you may be pleasantly suprised to find electronic versions are available to you to stream from the cloud or download directly to your kindle. Whilst this is great, I've noticed that the tracks are not always correctly identified and this may lead to some confusion when creating a playlist. That strange issue aside, I found music streamed smoothly and I had no buffering issues either.

The silk browser is another step forward. The interface is snappier and feels much more responsive than in the previous models, and connectivity has so far proven to be more reliable too. Sadly, the browser doesn't support flash, so you'll have difficulty with sites that rely on flash media player, but generally pages load quickly and you can switch rapidly between multiple tabs - I've not been able to count the upper limit, but you will be advised when you reach it. The lack of flash support is an annoyance because it is still prevalent across the web.

There is both a front and rear (with led flash) facing camera. The rear camera is OK, it can record 1080p video clips, but at only 8mp, there are definitely better ways to take photos for better results, even if the screen does make a great viewfinder. The front camera can manage 720p video, so it does a decent job with skype messaging. Overall the camera features are good, but they could do with some improvements in future models.

There are a number of Apps available from the Amazon App store (rather than Googleplay) - I'm not really a big app or social media user, so this isn't a major feature for me and whilst there are some that I use which are absent, but I still have my smartphone for those. However, browsing through the selection you'll find many of the standards like Angry Birds, Tetris Bejeweled, Facebook, Twitter, iPlayer and YouTube. There is also a "free app of the day" which might offer up a bargain once in a while as it cycles through the range games and productivity apps that are on offer. If there are any glaring omissions from the library, I honestly couldn't tell you what they are.

Battery life is working out to be around 8-9 hours depending on use. The fact that the unit is sealed and batteries can't be easily replaced is also a little disappointing. It's not entirely surprising in our current era of corporately enforced technological obsolescence, but it would have been nice if we could at least have the option of being able to carry around a spare to extend usage.

I've gone for the 32GB model, which is more than sufficient for my needs, and for dragging and dropping files I can use the USB connections to link it to my PC , but the inclusion of a memory expansion slot could have increased the flexibility of the model. I have tge 4G version, but I'm not especially keen on being locked into Vodafone as the de facto service provider. I was able to pair up a bluetooth keyboard and microphone really easily and found them to function perfectly.

Overall, there are a few things that I think could be improved:

Battery life could be better and it would be useful to have the option to change batteries if needed.
More flexibility to allow the customer to choose who provides their 4G service.
Browser should support Flash whilst it it still so prevalent on the web.
A memory expansion slot would be advantageous.
Improved camera resolution and greater parity between the functionality and features of the front and rear cameras.

However, I absolutely love my Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 and it does everything I need it to do well (reading, email, web browsing and media streaming) and I'm glad I've made the switch.
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 7 Jan 2014, 07:42:06 GMT
Dlanod says:
Have you tried another Sim card in it? I tried a 7" model which I returned due to a faulty screen but it happily took my Three Sim card and worked just fine.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jan 2014, 12:43:06 GMT
Regie E. says:
You can download the free dolphin browser then by using that browser you can download the Flash Player 11.1 version but you cannot update the flash anymore but at least it helped if you want to watch something that requires flash player..i have it in my kindle :-)

Posted on 4 Jun 2014, 11:55:16 BST
Hi
Your review was very helpful, I have the 7 inch Kindle HD and I am thinking of getting the KHDX with the larger screen, re the expansion slot, I have a card reader, could I use that? to transfer from the camera card.
Cheers John.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 Jun 2014, 16:18:32 BST
S. Porter says:
I've never tried that, so I can't be certain. I can't think of any reason for it not to work.

(Thanks for Dlanod and Regie E for their good suggestions).
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