• arrow
    LOG IN 
    • Log in using an option below.
         
      Forgot password?
      Login with Facebook
      Sign in with Twitter

  • REGISTER
Close
ABOUT US
Contact Us Who Are We? Hall Of Fame Advertising With PG Games Archive
BEST GAMES
Best games on iPhone Best games on iPad Best games on Android
FREE STUFF
Best free games on iPhone Best free games on iPad Best free games on Android Competitions
GAME SALES
iPhone game sales iPad game sales Android game sales
UPDATED GAMES
Latest iPhone game updates Latest iPad game updates Latest Android game updates
NEW RELEASES
New iPhone games New iPad games New Android games
MORE PG SITES
PG.biz PG FRANCE PG Game Guides PG GameHubs PG Connects 2014
MORE SM SITES
AppSpy Free App Alliance 148 Apps Android Rundown iPhone Quality Index iPad Quality Index Android Quality Index Swipe Magazine Best App Ever Awards
PARTNERS
Metacritic
GameRankings
Pocket Gamer on NewsNow
GamesTracker
dx.net
UK Mobile Pages Directory
Skinflint Price Comparison
 MULTIFORMAT FEATURE

Tablet throwdown: Amazon's Kindle Fire HD vs Google's Nexus 7

Can Google put out the Fire?
Product: Amazon Kindle Fire HD | Publisher: Amazon
 
Amazon Kindle Fire HD Multiformat, thumbnail 1
When it hit stores in the summer, Google's Nexus 7 managed to defy the expectations of even the late Steve Jobs, who famously declared that "7-inch tablets are going to be DOA".

The Nexus 7's elegant, sleek black design runs counter to its budget price tag, while the inclusion of Nvidia's power-packed quad-core Tegra 3 processor means it packs plenty of grunt for gaming and media playback.

It was fully deserving of its Pocket Gamer Gold Award, and to no one's great surprise became an instant bestseller.

From October 25th, however, the Nexus 7 will be going head-to-head with Amazon's newly announced Kindle Fire HD.

Like Google's touchscreen slate, Amazon's tablet has a 7-inch display. Unlike Google's touchscreen slate, the Kindle Run HD runs a heavily modified version of Android 4.0. And for those interested in prices, the 16GB base model Kindle Fire HD is £30 cheaper than Google's 16GB tablet.

On paper, Google could be facing some devastating competition here, but let's not rule the Nexus 7 out of this race quite yet...

Design

In the vanity stakes, it looks like Amazon's second-generation Kindle Fire tablet might have the edge over Google's smart but rather functional-looking device.

There's no denying that the Asus-built Nexus 7 has a rather plastic quality to it, yet it does fit rather snugly in your hands thanks to a rubbery rear cover, which should also reduce the number of accidental drops.

Taking its cues from the massively successful Kindle e-Reader, the Fire HD might be a few grams heavier than its competitor (395g compared to 340g), but it is reportedly designed to fit more naturally in one hand.

It also boasts a soft touch, metallic paint finish that looks and feels more expensive than its Jelly Bean-powered opponent.



Power and OS

If you want to play the latest cutting-edge Android games like Dead Trigger and Horn, the Nexus 7 is really the only way to go. This is primarily due to the Tegra 3 processor under its hood, which keeps things zipping along at a fair old lick.

Many Android titles - particularly those available on iPad, too - are exclusive to tablets and phones based on Nvidia's architecture. This does mean that the Nexus 7 can get a little warm when it's getting a real workout, yet the near-console-quality visuals and effects are a worthy trade-off.

The Kindle Fire HD, meanwhile, is fuelled by a rather unremarkable 1.2GHz dual-core processor, which incorporates Imagination PowerVR 3D graphics. Sadly, we don't know which version of the PowerVR Amazon is employing in its tablet, although it's unlikely to be a top-of-the-line version (like that powering the new iPad for instance) given the product's budget price.

The Kindle Fire HD definitely lags behind in the horsepower stakes, then, and it doesn't help that Amazon's custom operating system is built on Android 4.0, while the Nexus 7 runs on pure Android 4.1 (a.k.a. Jelly Bean).

This means owners of the Nexus 7 benefit from Google's "Project Butter", which enables the latest OS to run at a silky 60 frames per second. The Kindle Fire HD can't hope to match that kind of performance.

Display and sound

Screen-wise, there's little between the two. Both offer a sharp 1280x800 display made of IPS LCD so that you can view them from multiple angles.

We'll have to wait until we have a final model of the Kindle Fire HD to review before we can really compare them, but Amazon has promised "anti-glare technology" to make the device more usable in daylight than the Nexus 7.

In the audio department, the Kindle Fire HD leaps ahead of its sonically drab opponent. Amazon's slate boasts some exclusive Dolby Digital Plus technology, which optimises the sound depending on whether you're watching a movie or chatting on Skype. It also features an inviting virtual surround mode that will enhance film playback and gaming (especially on headphones).

App stores and software

Google Play might be something of a hodgepodge of content, skewed heavily towards the search giant's rather unreliable video service and Kindle-lite eBookstore, but it's undoubtedly the best place to get the latest Android apps and games.

By contrast, the proprietary Amazon Appstore - which only launched last month in Europe - feels like a backwards step, especially considering its focus on casual games rather than heavy hitters.

Of course, the Kindle Fire HD experience is more about reading books, perusing magazines, watching movies, and downloading TV shows (under the LOVEFiLM banner) - apps are a secondary feature.

Crucially, you can't gain access to, or download apps from, Google Play on a Kindle Fire device, making it a markedly more closed system than its rival.



Battery life and connectivity

As with the displays, there's not a huge amount of difference between the Kindle Fire HD and the Nexus 7 in terms of battery life.

The Nexus manages about nine hours on a single charge, while Amazon promises that the Kindle Fire HD will run for 11.

There's no way to add external memory to either tablet, so you're stuck with the 16GB you're given. Unless, of course, you shell out £30 more for the 32GB Kindle Fire HD (£199).

Both devices offer cloud storage solutions, though Amazon nudges ahead of its competitor in this department on account of the unlimited virtual space for products bought in its store that the retail behemoth offers.

And because of its dual-antenna, dual-band wi-fi, which should result in 40 per cent faster download and streaming speeds than rival products, the Kindle Fire HD earns another big tick.

HDMI connectivity is included on Amazon's device, too. This is invaluable for watching movies on a bigger screen, although the input lag inherent in screen mirroring when gaming will be off-putting for serious players.



Conclusion

Ultimately, choosing between this pair of rather lovely devices depends on what you demand and want from a 7-inch tablet.

If you want a media centre with powerful Dolby sound, then the Kindle Fire HD will do you proud and save you a fair few quid in the process.

Yet, if playing bleeding-edge mobile games is your thing, then the Nexus 7's Tegra 3 chipset makes it the obvious choice.

So, that's our opinion. Why not let your fellow pocket gamers know whether you're backing Google or Amazon in this 7-inch hardware battle in the comments below, though.
 

Reviewer photo
Paul Devlin 15 September 2012
Have your say!  
Post a comment - Please log in to leave a comment
Pocket Gamer Biz     PG Login
Login with Facebook Sign in with Twitter
Show: Latest | Oldest
Joined:
Sep 2012
Post count:
2
rgorman1987 | 13:21 - 18 September 2012
I read somewhere that you can use a USB adaptor to connect an xbox360 controller to the nexus 7 to play certain games (Max Payne, Dead Trigger GTA3 etc) without rooting the device, does anyone know if this is true?
Joined:
Sep 2012
Post count:
1
@MattLogan10 | 13:07 - 16 September 2012
I don't think that Amazon's Kindle Fire HD is a competitor to Nexus 7 in the specs, but in the price I would go with the Kindle.
the Nexus 7 offers you lots of services like the Market and Google Play and lots of other great features while Amazon completely changed the Android into almost something new.
when it comes to new, getting a Kindle cover to protect your device is now random, but getting it customized with your own design or favorite picture printed on it, that what makes it great.
Regards,
Matt
http://www.wrappz.com/covers/kindle.php
Joined:
Sep 2012
Post count:
1
Perrin Alexander | 23:12 - 15 September 2012
I personally feel that the Kindle Fire HD is a great tablet especially at the price, but for me the biggest downfall especially here in the UK is the lack of Amazon Prime. OK that's not strictly true, we do have Amazon Prime but for us this extends to next day delivery on items ordered via the Amazon Store and not the extended film, music, magazine and lending library our cousins in America experience.

Had we been afforded the same benefits this tablet could have been a success here too. But instead we are offered LoveFilms, not only that you are asked to pay for it too.

I bought the Nexus 7 the day it was released and have not regretted that decision for one moment. I have a tablet with the full Google experience along with access to the full Google Play market as well as the Amazon app store. I also Amazon kindle along with the choices of Play Books, Barnes & Noble and other eBook readers available.

If I am being asked to pay for a streaming films I personally would chose Netflix which I have felt offers a wider choice if films and TV series.

Ultimately it will be every individuals choice, this individual has chosen Google and the Nexus 7 and the hardware to handle HD games and anything thrown in it's direction.
Joined:
Sep 2012
Post count:
1
James Rogerson | 12:52 - 15 September 2012
For anyone who likes Android i'd say the Nexus 7 is a no-brainer. The Kindle Fire HD barely even sounds like an Android tablet from what I've read- re-skinned, no Google Play, Bing rather than Google search. Plus with the Amazon app-store available on Nexus 7 you're not really even missing out on anything (in terms of software) by buying that.

If you're not so much an Android fan but don't want to or can't afford an iPad then I suppose the Kindle Fire HD becomes a good option.
POPULAR FEATURES LATEST COMMENTS
LATEST NEWS
LATEST VIDEOS VIDEO REVIEWS