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Kindle Fire HD 8.9" review

7.7/10 AVG.
RATING



7.7/10
Informr score
The Kindle Fire HD 8.9" currently has an Informr score of 7.7 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 23 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

At the last Amazon press event, a lot of people expected Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to unveil a 10-inch Android tablet. However, instead of a 10-incher, Bezos unveiled the Fire HD 8.9": a Kindle equipped with a 9-inch high-definition screen and 1920x1200 pixel resolution.

Based on early reviews, this Kindle appears to run a lot faster than the original. This is due in part to its 1.5GHz dual-core TI OMAP4470 processor and 1GB of onboard RAM. Internal storage starts at 16GB and can go up to 32GB, plus users can use Amazon cloud storage to back up and download all kinds of data. This particular tablet is one of the most well-equipped mobile computing devices ever announced with Android. Which by the way, is version 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich.

Most reviewers agree that those looking for tight integration with Amazon's catalog of movies, music, games and books would be well served by this tablet. If you're one whose been pining for a slightly larger version of the original Fire, you'll probably love the HD 8.9”.

Need to Know: Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9”

1. 9-inch capacitive touchscreen display features native resolution of 1920x1200 pixels. (The Good)

2. Designed to work well with Amazon’s various online services. (The Good)

3. Default software is an older version of the Android operating system. (The Bad)

4. Lacks Google Play for Android applications. (The Bad)


Operating system
Android
Processor
1.5 GHz
Screen Size
8.9"
Camera
Yes


What the Critics Are Saying...


148Apps

Though Terrortown is a good-looking and clever title that offers tons of achievements, it’s a pretty short game overall. Only perfectionists are going to want to comb through every single scoring option, whereas everyone else will probably sate themselves with a couple of playthroughs.But spen...

- Nadia Oxford, 148Apps
The Verge

The Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 is a solid device and an improvement over last year’s model. It's fast, light, and has a great display, but it doesn't really measure up to an iPad Air or even a modern 10-inch Android tablet when it comes to actual functionality. Watching video on the high-res display...

- Dan Seifert, The Verge
The Inquirer

The Kindle Fire HD has improved on its smaller sibling with a larger and higher quality display, and the carousel has certainly grown on us since first use with the 7in model, but the issues around performance and usability remain. The tablet is a good buy for anyone already tied into the Amazon eco...

- Madeline Bennett, The Inquirer
Expert Reviews

If you prefer to take your content from a wider range of sources though, like to play all the latest games, have access to a wider range of apps and have the freedom to choose your own browser and email client, then the Google Nexus 10 is a better buy for £90 more. That said, if you're on a ti...

- Seth Barton, Expert Reviews
PC Pro

If you’re looking for a general-purpose Android tablet, the Kindle Fire HD 8.9in does a more equivocal job. In terms of processing power it’s fine, but nothing to write home about: the dual-core 1.5GHz TI design is a step up from the 1.2GHz CPU used by the 7in model, but a SunSpider score of 1,438ms...

- Darien Graham-Smith, PC Pro


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Quick view

Screen Size
8.9"

The Kindle Fire HD 8.9"'s screen size is 8.9 inches with 1920 x 1200 pixels resolution.

Processor
1.5 GHz

There is a Dual-core OMAP4470 1.5 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The tablet runs on the Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system (OS).

Camera
Yes
There is a front-facing camera with 1+ megapixels resolution.
Storage
16/32/64 GB

Internal memory is 16/32/64 GB. No external card slot is available for expansion.

Battery
6000mAh

The tablet is powered by a Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol), 6000 mAh battery. Amazon's performance ratings are 10 hours Wi-Fi surfing.

Kindle Fire HD 8.9" Specs

Overview
Release date September 20, 2012
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kindom
Networks
No cellular data
variations
SIM card No
Dual SIM No
Operating System Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

Compare Android Tablets

Secondary OS No
Processor Dual-core OMAP4470 1.5 GHz
Internal Flash Memory 16/32/64 GB
RAM 1 GB
ROM No
Digital compass No
Flightmode Yes
Hearing Aid Compatible No
TTY/TDD No
SAR Unknown
Languages English
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included Data Cable, Manual
Power & battery
Type Lithium Polymer (Li-Pol)
Battery Capacity 6000 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Battery Charge Time 5 hours
Video Playback Time Up to: 10 hours
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 10 hours
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Reading Time Up to: 10 hours
Standby Time Unknown
Physical Characteristics
Material Plastic
Colors Black
Dimensions [H x W x D] 24.0 x 16.5 x 0.9 cm (9.5 x 6.5 x 0.4 in)
Weight 567 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 1920 x 1200 pixels
Pixel density Unknown
Size 8.9 inches
3D No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features Capacitive Touchscreen
Input / Navigation
Touchscreen Yes
Sleep / Wake Key No
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Predictive Text Entry Unknown
Physical keyboard No
Text-to-Speech Yes
Screen Reader No
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features -
Messaging No
Connectivity
USB Micro-USB 2.0
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth Yes
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, OPP/FTP, HID
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n
WiFi Encryption WEP/WPA/WPA2
Mobile Hotspot No
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot No
Expansion Slot Info No
PC Synchronization No
TV Out Yes
DLNA Support No
NFC No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Dual lens
No
Zoom
No
Flash
No
Additional Main Camera Info
No
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Front Camera
Resolution
1+ megapixels
Zoom
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MIDI, MP3, MP4, AAC, AMR-WB, WAV, OGG
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, MPEG-4
Mobile TV No
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Stereo
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones No
Vibration Alert No
Apps
To-Do / Task List No
Calendar No
World Clock No
Alarm No
Stop Watch No
Timer No
Calculator No
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types AZW, BMP, DOC, DOCX, GIF, JPG, PDF, TXT
Weather No
Stocks No
Maps No
NotePad No
Voice Memos / Recorder No
Games Yes
Apps Downloadable, Pre-installed
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Free unlimited cloud storage for all your Amazon content
Related Links Kindle Fire HD 8.9" Reviews
Where to buy Kindle Fire HD 8.9"
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Critic Reviews


148Apps

Noticeably short, but it's still a clever title that looks great

from 148Apps

Though Terrortown is a good-looking and clever title that offers tons of achievements, it’s a pretty short game overall. Only perfectionists are going to want to comb through every single scoring option, whereas everyone else will probably sate themselves with a couple of playthroughs.
More

Though Terrortown is a good-looking and clever title that offers tons of achievements, it’s a pretty short game overall. Only perfectionists are going to want to comb through every single scoring option, whereas everyone else will probably sate themselves with a couple of playthroughs.

But spending even a mere couple of hours in Terrortown is worth the price of admission. The game is a good reminder that cute ghosts aren’t necessarily friendly. Respect the dead, or suffer the consequences.

Read full review

Less

The Verge

It's more speed, more pixels, and less weight

from The Verge

The Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 is a solid device and an improvement over last year’s model. It's fast, light, and has a great display, but it doesn't really measure up to an iPad Air or even a modern 10-inch Android tablet when it comes to actual functionality. Watching video on the high-res display is awesome on the 8.9, but it's too big to be truly portable, and other than video, doesn't offer a great reason for the larger screen to exist...

More

The Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 is a solid device and an improvement over last year’s model. It's fast, light, and has a great display, but it doesn't really measure up to an iPad Air or even a modern 10-inch Android tablet when it comes to actual functionality. Watching video on the high-res display is awesome on the 8.9, but it's too big to be truly portable, and other than video, doesn't offer a great reason for the larger screen to exist.

The same argument can be made between the iPad mini with Retina Display and the iPad Air, but Apple’s robust accessory ecosystem, better productivity apps, and vastly superior selection of games at least give the Air more than just a big screen to work with.

Read full review

Less

The Inquirer

Great display, but some performance and usability glitches

from The Inquirer

The Kindle Fire HD has improved on its smaller sibling with a larger and higher quality display, and the carousel has certainly grown on us since first use with the 7in model, but the issues around performance and usability remain. The tablet is a good buy for anyone already tied into the Amazon...More

The Kindle Fire HD has improved on its smaller sibling with a larger and higher quality display, and the carousel has certainly grown on us since first use with the 7in model, but the issues around performance and usability remain. The tablet is a good buy for anyone already tied into the Amazon eco-system, and has some business friendly features, but it's not as slick a user experience as other models out there, even in its low-cost price bracket.

Read full review

Less

Expert Reviews

Great hardware for the money, and a great range of content to buy, but Amazon’s take on Android still feels comparatively inflexible

from Expert Reviews

If you prefer to take your content from a wider range of sources though, like to play all the latest games, have access to a wider range of apps and have the freedom to choose your own browser and email client, then the Google Nexus 10 is a better buy for £90 more. That said, if you're on a...More

If you prefer to take your content from a wider range of sources though, like to play all the latest games, have access to a wider range of apps and have the freedom to choose your own browser and email client, then the Google Nexus 10 is a better buy for £90 more. That said, if you're on a tight budget and are happy to work around the limitations, then the Kindle Fire 8.9" is still a lot of tablet for the money.

Read full review

Less

PC Pro

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9in

from PC Pro

If you’re looking for a general-purpose Android tablet, the Kindle Fire HD 8.9in does a more equivocal job. In terms of processing power it’s fine, but nothing to write home about: the dual-core 1.5GHz TI design is a step up from the 1.2GHz CPU used by the 7in model, but a SunSpider score of...More

If you’re looking for a general-purpose Android tablet, the Kindle Fire HD 8.9in does a more equivocal job. In terms of processing power it’s fine, but nothing to write home about: the dual-core 1.5GHz TI design is a step up from the 1.2GHz CPU used by the 7in model, but a SunSpider score of 1,438ms is merely average – the iPad polished the same test off in 868ms. A score of 2,693 in the Quadrant benchmark confirms that this is a capable but by no means exceptional performer.

Read full review

Less

Tech Advisor

Good-value tablet locked into Amazon's world

from Tech Advisor

The Kindle Fire HD 8.9" is a good-value tablet for those who are happy to be locked into Amazon's system. For a lot of people, that won't matter at all as it's certainly not a bad system, particularly if you want to use it mainly as an e-reader. The hardware is hard to fault – excepting the har...More

The Kindle Fire HD 8.9" is a good-value tablet for those who are happy to be locked into Amazon's system. For a lot of people, that won't matter at all as it's certainly not a bad system, particularly if you want to use it mainly as an e-reader. The hardware is hard to fault – excepting the hard-to-find buttons – and the screen is great for the money. The app store is lacking compared to Google Play, but undemanding users will find almost everything they need.

Read full review

Less

TrustedReviews

The larger version of the Kindle Fire HD is bigger and better, but still not perfect

from TrustedReviews

Like the 7-inch version, the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 offers great value for money. There’s a lot of quality hardware on offer here at a reasonable price, with the high-resolution screen being a stand-out feature. However, you do pay for those Amazon subsidisations elsewhere. The Kindle Fire software...More

Like the 7-inch version, the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 offers great value for money. There’s a lot of quality hardware on offer here at a reasonable price, with the high-resolution screen being a stand-out feature. However, you do pay for those Amazon subsidisations elsewhere. The Kindle Fire software is much slower than vanilla Android at this point, making it more frustrating to use than non-Amazon tablets.

Read full review

Less

TechDigest

A unique tablet experience that's keenly focussed on the Amazon ecosystem

from TechDigest

The Kindle Fire HD 8.9 is a great tablet, every bit as good as its Kindle Fire predecessors, and at a bargain price. It is however a unique tablet experience that's keenly focussed on the Amazon ecosystem, specialising in books and videos, something that must be taken into consideration before pi...More

The Kindle Fire HD 8.9 is a great tablet, every bit as good as its Kindle Fire predecessors, and at a bargain price. It is however a unique tablet experience that's keenly focussed on the Amazon ecosystem, specialising in books and videos, something that must be taken into consideration before picking it up. If they're all the functions you want a tablet mostly for anyway, than the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 is a steal. If you want a little more control over the way your tablet works however, maybe look at the more open Android alternatives on the market, and if you're after a well-stocked app store, check out any Android tablet complete with the Google Play Store or one of Apple's iPads.

Read full review

Less

ITProPortal

A great device at such a knockout price

from ITProPortal

The Kindle Fire HD 8.9 isn’t everyone’s perfect tablet. Larger screens still lend themselves better to productivity and business applications, and there are better choices for gaming. However, if you mostly want to consume content and you’re happy for that content to come from Amazon, then there isn’t really a tablet to touch it at this price. The screen and sound are superior to anything else you’ll find for under £250, and the user experience is very good – less technically adept users might even prefer it....

More

The Kindle Fire HD 8.9 isn’t everyone’s perfect tablet. Larger screens still lend themselves better to productivity and business applications, and there are better choices for gaming. However, if you mostly want to consume content and you’re happy for that content to come from Amazon, then there isn’t really a tablet to touch it at this price. The screen and sound are superior to anything else you’ll find for under £250, and the user experience is very good – less technically adept users might even prefer it.

If you want the most versatile tablet, then this isn’t it, but in producing such a great device at such a knockout price, Amazon has delivered its most enticing Kindle Fire yet.

Read full review

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The Telegraph

A compelling compromise between Apple and Google

from The Telegraph

The new 8.9” Kindle Fire HD model offers great Dolby sound and a screen that more than does justice to whatever’s being shown on it. Although it’s 1920x1200, offering ‘just’ 254 pixels per inch, it looks excellent. Similarly, its processor doesn’t struggle, and...More

The new 8.9” Kindle Fire HD model offers great Dolby sound and a screen that more than does justice to whatever’s being shown on it. Although it’s 1920x1200, offering ‘just’ 254 pixels per inch, it looks excellent. Similarly, its processor doesn’t struggle, and it features nice touches such as X-ray, which reveals during a film who is on screen, and there are also easy options to access Amazon’s cloud storage and to use it to read Kindle books too. Battery life claims 10 hours, which I’ve not been able to get to quite myself. But this is more than enough for most uses. Streaming from Lovefilm is a nice touch, but other tablets offer rival services such as Netflix.

Read full review

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