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Amazon Kindle Fire HD vs Kindle Fire: Specs comparison

TabletsFeatures
by Will Dalton
, 10 Sep 2012Features
Amazon Kindle Fire HD vs Kindle Fire: Specs comparison

Amazon is finally bringing its Kindle Fire tablets to the UK - and at some very good prices too. The all new Kindle Fire HD comes in at just £159 for the 16GB version, while a refreshed edition of the original Kindle Fire will be one of the cheapest slates on the market, at £129 (8GB).

The Kindle Fire HD goes head-to-head with the current 7in tablet king, the Google Nexus 7, but if you’re really admiring Amazon’s value-for-money approach, you may wish to go one better with the even cheaper Kindle Fire. Unlike most specs comparisons, we know who the winner will be here. But do the Fire HD’s capabilities warrant shelling out the extra £30, or are these two similar enough to make the original Kindle a better purchase. Let’s find out. (HD model left of image below).

Kindle Fire HD on the left, Kindle Fire on the right

Size and weight

The Kindle Fire HD measures up at 193 x 137 x 10.3mm, compared to the smaller, but chunkier Kindle Fire at 189 x 120 x 11.5mm. The Fire may only weigh 5g more at 400g, but the 1.5cm extra thickness may be the noticeable difference with the device in hand.

Display

According to the tablets’ respective names, this is apparently the key differentiator. Both have 7in IPS LCD screens, but the Fire HD’s 1,280 x 800 pixels resolution and 216 PPI, puts the 1024x600, 169 PPI of the Fire comfortably in the shade. On a range being marketed heavily as reading devices, the crisper text and all-round better visual experience offered by the HD makes you think it is worth paying that bit extra.

Storage and memory

The Kindle Fire HD will ship in both 16 and 32GB versions, whereas the Fire only has an 8GB edition. With no card slot available for extra storage on either, this is an important specification for this comparison. The fact that a £30 price-hike is standard fare when you double the storage on a device, the HD again looks a worthwhile investment given the enhanced specs that come elsewhere. The models should perform similarly in action with 1GB of RAM apiece.

Processor

The Kindle Fire HD is powered by an OMAP 4460, a dual-core processor clocked at 1.2GHz, just like the Fire’s OMAP 4430. But the former is stronger in the graphics department so it can cater for that superior screen. (HD model bottom of image below).

Software

The Kindle Fire HD runs a modified version of Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and though Amazon has not yet confirmed details of the Fire’s OS to us, it would make sense for it to be running the same software from the manufacturer’s point of view.

Camera

The front-facing camera on the Fire HD may have the vague description of being simply ‘HD’, but the Fire has no camera at all. Thus, the HD model again appears to be worth that additional £30 as its predecessor struggles to keep up with the new tablet’s hardware.

Battery

With wireless switched off, the Kindle Fire HD lasts for “over 11 hours continuous use” according to Amazon, while the Fire manages “almost 9 hours” under the same conditions. Both devices play on the Kindle family’s long-life heritage with good performance here, but some may value that extra couple of hours offered by the HD.

Connectivity

The Kindle Fire HD’s dual-antenna is a world first on a tablet, with Amazon touting faster downloads and streaming as a result. Despite its Wi-Fi connectivity, the Fire does not offer this new technology.

Verdict

For £129, the refreshed Kindle Fire will be a very good value-for-money tablet when it hits the UK from its 25 October release date. But for just £30 extra, the superior display, better battery life, and addition of a front-facing camera - useful for video calling – makes the HD worth the higher sum.

For a closer look at both tablets, check out our reviews of the Amazon Kindle Fire HD and the Amazon Kindle Fire.

 

Amazon Kindle Fire HD

Amazon Kindle Fire

Display

   

Screen size

7in

7in

Resolution

1280 x 800 pixels

1024x600

Pixel density

216 PPI

169 PPI

Type

IPS LCD

IPS LCD

Processor and battery

   

Family

OMAP 4460

OMAP 4430

Cores

Dual-core

Dual-core

Clock speed

1.2GHz

1.2GHz

Battery (wireless off)

‘Over 11 hours continuous use’

‘Almost 9 hours continuous use’

Storage and memory

   

Internal memory

16 / 32GB

8GB

Card slot

No

No

RAM

1GB

1GB

Ports

   

USB

USB 2.0 (micro-B connector)

USB 2.0 (micro-B connector)

HDMI

Micro-HDMI (micro-D connector)

None

Camera

 

(NONE)

Megapixels

HD

N/A

Video

HD

N/A

Dimensions

   

Size (lwh)

193 x 137 x 10.3mm

189 x 120 x 11.5mm

Weight

395g

400g

Operating System

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

TBC

Price

£159 (16GB)

£199 (32GB)

£129 (8GB)

UK Availability

25 October

25 October

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