The argument of who has the best $200 tablet has been easily won by the Google Nexus 7 over the Kindle Fire until now with the release of the Kindle Fire HD. From the start we will go ahead and say we still feel the Nexus 7 is the best low budget tablet even with the release of the new Amazon HD but the race is much closer. In fact its down to what you use it for and personal opinion as of yesterday.
Below we will compare some of the major features of each device, mostly from a hardware and overall software stance.
What is better about the Google Nexus 7 than the Amazon Kindle Fire HD:
First and formats the Nexus 7 comes with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean while the Kindle Fire HD will be loaded with Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. If we know anything about Amazon they will likely never update to Jelly Bean for the simple fact that their version of the Android OS is so highly customized. Second major difference where the Nexus 7 wins is with its Tegra 3 quad-core processor while the Kindle Fire HD will be using the older dual-core OMAP processor. The Nexus 7 is also a lighter device weighing in at 340 grams with the Kindle Fire HD coming in at 395 grams. The Nexus 7 has Google Play and its 600,000 plus apps along with the ability to install the Amazon App Store while the Kindle Fire HD will only have access to the Amazon App Store’s 50,000 apps. A few of the other smaller features that the Nexus 7 will have over the Kindle Fire Hd is Google Now, NFC, Voice Commands, and a few others.
What is better about the Amazon Kindle Fire HD than the Google Nexus 7:
The one major positive hardware feature that the Kindle Fire HD has is its initial 16GB of storage capacity where the Nexus 7′s $200 model only comes with 8GB. Even when upgrading the Nexus 7 has up to 16GB of storage and Kindle Fire HD can hit 32GB. The Kindle Fire HD gets about 1 hour more from a full charge at 11 hours while the Nexus 7 lasts about 10 hours on one charge. Some of the other features that the Kindle Fire HD has that you will not see on the Nexus 7 is Dolby Digital Plus, and HDMI output, and a few other small ones.
What do the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD have in common:
One of the key features in a tablet is its screen resolution and both the Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire Hd have a 7″ screen with a 1280×800 screen resolution. The difference is type with the Nexus 7 having a 1280×800 HD 216ppi and the Kindle Fire HD with its 1280×800 HD LCD IPS display. Both devices come with 1GB of RAM and a front facing camera. We aren’t sure what the camera on the Kindle Fire HD it but can assume it will not be much better if at all than the Nexus 7′s 1.2 MP camera. Both have about the same dimensions with the Kindle Fire HD about .15 mm thinner but 17 mm wider.
When choosing between the Nexus 7 or the Kindle Fire HD it will all come down to what you want to do with your Tablet. Those that are into gaming or molding will be better off with the Nexus 7 although if your reading books and watching movies the Kindle Fire HD may be the right tablet for you. Either way you will have a great piece of hardware. We personally like the Nexus 7 due to the pure Android experience and speeds but not all users will notice this.
The big question is should I get the Google Nexus 7 or the Amazon Kindle Fire? Both are low cost 7 inch tablet and both are big names in the industry geared towards content like reading books, magazines, watching movies and listening to music. Amazon easily has a head start being the first of its kind to the market and having a years worth of publicity and sales under its belt. Both having price point of around $199 which one should you choose?
Google Nexus 7 vs Kindle Fire Price Point:
The Amazon Kindle Fire comes in one version with a price of $199 for an 8GB model which is exactly the same as the Google Nexus 7′s 8GB model at $199. This being said Google also has a 16GB model of the Nexus 7 for an additional $50. Even with Google having the upgraded model this seems to be a tie since the average user will be looking at the 8GB model if comparing the 2 on price.
Google Nexus 7 vs Kindle Fire Form Factor:
The Google Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire seem to be pretty close when it comes to this as well both being 7-inch tablets and both being designed for portrait orientation. Both tablets have the same width at 120m with the Google Nexus 7 being about 8.5mm taller. The one thing that stands out with the Nexus 7 is that it is thinner by about 1mm with a curved back instead of the boxy feel of the Kindle Fire. Both devices have a soft back making it much more comfortable in your hands than most Android tablets. The Google Nexus 7 does have actual volume buttons instead of the on screen controls that the Kindle Fire has which is a nice feature that for unknown reasons was ignored on the Fire. As far as the screen goes the Nexus 7 has a higher resolution coming in at 1280×800 making it a much clearer display than the Kindle Fire. The Nexus 7 easily wins when it comes to its form factor and feel in your hands along with general use functionality.
Google Nexus vs Kindle Fire Hardware:
This Kindle Fire has a dual-core TI OMAP 4430 processor that runs at 1GHz and 512MB of RAM. The Nexus 7 however has a quad-core Tegra 3 processor which smokes the Kindle as far as speed goes with speed thats currently about as fast as it can be. The hardware on the Nexus 7 kills the Kindle Fire being that of a powerful gaming device as opposed to a reader with a little extra speed.
Google Nexus 7 vs Kindle Fire Content:
The content is where Google was really trying to stand out allowing users to not only have the Amazon market if they want it but the full Android market which was excluded from the Kindle Fire. This being said the Kindle Fire does have all of the Kindle services optimized and included without he tablet making it competitive. With this it was a close decision but we vote Google Nexus 7 simply because having Google Play is something that should be a part of any Android tablet by nature.
Google Nexus 7 vs Kindle Fire Software (OS)
Currently the Google Nexus 7 will be shipped with the newest Android OS Android 4.1 Jelly Bean which is not only the latest and greatest but is optimized for speed. The Kindle Fire is still running Android 2.3 Gingerbread, while heavily customized this is more than one Android OS behind the Nexus 7. With this we all know that Google will support and update their new child without the best they have to offer as it comes available so here we easily choose the Nexus 7
In conclusion if your choosing between the 2 we think that while the Kindle Fire is a great device that Google has came up with a worthy competition that wins in almost all aspects. If you strictly need a reader and aren’t interested in the added features and speed then the Kindle Fire is still a great tablet. Please let us know what you think and debate anything that you think we were unfair about in our comparison via comments below.
When Amazon originally started working on their Kindle Fire they mentioned that they were working on two Android tablets. The first tablet released was the Kindle Fire that is popular and widely used today. The Kindle Fire quickly became one of the most owned and largest player in the Android tablet market. Soon after its release there was mention of a 10 inch Amazon Kindle Fire but never came out.
The 10 inch Kindle Fire is said to run Nvidia’s Tegra 3 quad-core processor and was supposed to release in Q1 of this year. With Q1 ending in only a few days we can assume that the date we all hoped for is not correct. Amazon and Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos are very good at keeping secrets as we saw with the release of the current Kindle Fire.
While Amazon hasen’t mentioned anything about the 10 inch Kindle Fire it was reported by Digitimes that Amazon has ordered a chasis for a new Amazon Tablet from Catcher Technology in Taiwan. Catcher Technology is one of the chasis manufacturers Apple uses for their iPad and was used for the original Kindle Fire as well. Digitimes reported:
Catcher will supply the chassis to Amazon from its plants in Taizhou, China with estimated gross margin to be more than 40%, the sources noted.
We aren’t sure what this means exactly when it comes to Amazon ordering although its a pretty good indicator that they will be releasing a new tablet very soon. If all goes well and this order is for their 10 inch version of the Kindle Fire we could see them announced by the end of Q2 of this year.
Amazon released the Kindle Fire and had record sales of the device over the holiday season 2011 and now you can get Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich on the device. One of the more popular ROM’s MIUI has been ported over to the Kindle Fire allowing the upgrade to ICS.
Almost everything works on the port to Ice Cream Sandwich but there is a small list of things that don’t currently work. The current features that aren’t working include tethering via USB, hardware accelerated graphics static wallpaper and themes. This being said everything that a daily user needs works just fine on the Android 4.0.3 MIUI ROM for the Fire.
How to Install Ice Cream Sandwich on the Kindle Fire:
Install ClockworkMod Recovery via ROM Manager (Free on Market)
Make sure your Kindle Fire is disconnected form PC
Open ROM Manager and tap “reboot into recovery”
Select the “factory reset” option and confirm on next screen
Go back to the main screen of recovery
Select install zip from SDcard option
Select the MIUI ROM zip file you downloaded earlier and confirm
Once complete select “wipe cache” then select “reboot device”
Be patient as the first boot will take a little time.
Congrats your Kindle Fire is running Android 4.0.3 ICS!
If you have any issues or need anything explained in more detail please feel free to leave a comment below. We have tested this on the device and love the ROM. We will try to get a video of the installation up soon although did not record the previous process as it was on a users device that we don’t own.
The Kindle Fire may not see the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich update for some time but developers have already got it running on the device. To get Ice Cream Sandwich on a $200 tablet is a dream come true although not ready for the public it is coming along nicely. There are problems with the audio and video feedback although everything else looks to be running quite well.
When the ROM comes available to the public we will be sure to post it here at Android Advice but until then lets just keep an eye on the progress.
The Amazon Kindle Fire has been dubbed the best tablet that runs Android. The Kindle Fire beat out all other tablets including the iPad on Amazon and BestBuy’s websites before it was ever released. We have seen a lot of movement in the development community with fast roots, market hacks and now Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich has been ported to the popular device.
A developer by the name of G1011999 has successfully ported Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich to the Kindle Fire and booted the device. While right now it seems a bit laggy and has plenty of bugs the hard part is done. We have no doubt that the Kindle Fire will have a working port ready for distribution in no time.
As we hear more about the port we will let you know and can;t wait to get our hands on the port to try ourselves. When available we will post the ROM link on Android Advice along with the instructions.
If you own a Kindle Fire there is already an update for the popular Amazon tablet getting it to version 6.2. This update is being released by Amazon with very little information about it. All we know is that it will “provide improvements to the operation of the Kindle Fire”. Of course if you have rooted the Kindle Fire this update will kill it and you will have to re-root after the update. We have no reason to believe at this point that the current root method will not work again after updating to 6.2.
To Apply the Kindle Fire 6.2 Update:
Navigate to Quick Settings -> Sync
The update will download and install
Yes its that easy…
If for any reason you try to sync to download the update and it says you don’t have updates available then go to “Quick Settings -> More -> Device” and check the system version. If the System version is already 6.2 then you already have the update and don’t need it. If you are on 6.0 or 6.1 you may want to check your WiFi connection.
After you have applied the update please comment here with anything you notice different. Hope all goes well and happy updating.
We already know that while the Amazon Kindle Fire will have access to Android Apps, but that these apps will not come from the Google Android Market. So how do you get access to the Android Market on the Amazon Kindle if its on the Google Market? These are very easy and functional instructions to sideload apps to your Kindle Fire when you just can’t find the app you want on the Amazon App Store.
NOTE: You must have the Android SDK installed on your computer for this to work.
Enable Sideloading on the Kindle Fire (Windows Instructions)
Go to your command prompt
Enter “echo 0×1949 >> %USERPROFILE%\.android\adb_usb.ini”
Press “ENTER” and close the command prompt
On your Kindle go to “Settings -> Applications” and check “UNKOWN SOURCES”
You can now sideload apps to your Kindle Fire via PC!
Enable Sideloading on the Kindle Fire (Mac Instructions)
On your Kindle go to “Settings -> Applications” and check “UNKOWN SOURCES”
Plug your Kindle Fire into the Mac via USB
Open ~/.android/adb_usb.ini with Text Edit
Add “0×1949″ to the end of the file and save it
Restart the adb server via the command “adb kill-server”
Run “adb devices” and your Kindle Fire should show up
You can now sideload apps to your Kindle Fire via Mac!