Amazon is still one of the biggest tablet manufacturers in the world, competing against Samsung and Apple for the top spot. At the moment, the iPad still reigns supreme with around 70 percent of the market share and Amazon is holding a good portion of the other 30 percent.
To keep up the market share, Amazon has revealed their third generation Kindle Fire HDX, fit with better internals and a new funky design but the same budget price, to really capture users wanting a premium device like the iPad for a lot less.
The two previous Kindle Fire models didn’t have a lot of unique features, Amazon decided to build a black slate and make sure the design wasn’t outgoing or provocative, trying the minimalistic approach.
With the Kindle Fire HDX, we are starting to see Amazon’s design side and it feels half-baked. The sides have been edged and this is where the power and volume buttons hide – the decision to put the buttons on the side is edgy and makes them harder to find.
It still has the rubbery texture we are accustom to seeing on the Kindle Fire tablets, alongside the Amazon logo in the center. Amazon is also adding origami cases for the Fire HDX, these cases are similar to the Smart Case Apple makes, only they fold in all sorts of shapes.
Display on the Kindle Fire HDX has been massively improved from the 1280 x 800 display on the Kindle Fire HD. Amazon has went full out with a gorgeous 1920 x 1200 panel, surpassing the iPad Mini in pixel density and hitting the same mark as the Nexus 7.
Android tablets have sometimes been hit hard for their poor tablet app selection, but because of Amazon’s key app store for tablets coupled with their own content experiences, there is a wide variety of very well scaled apps and a good selection of apps designed specifically for tablets, which look incredible on this amazing display.
Amazon has not just pumped a load of juice into the display, the performance on the Kindle Fire HDX makes it feel like a truly powerful tablet, not some cheap tablet that can only manage a handful of tasks before it crashes.
This all begins with the Snapdragon 800 processor inside the Kindle Fire HDX, alongside 2GB of RAM and Adreno graphics. The processor from Qualcomm provides enough raw-power and speed to make games and intense applications run incredibly fast and with 2GB of RAM and Android 4.2 underneath Fire OS 3.0, apps run as smooth as butter.
Battery life on the Kindle Fire HDX is a mixed bag, some days the user will get a full day of battery life but other times, especially when watching HD movies or streaming videos, this can turn down to around 6-10 hours.
As we said before, Amazon ships the Kindle Fire HDX with their newest version of Fire OS, version 3.0. Amazon’s skin has been loved and loathed by millions of users, but for the majority it is a nice, simple way to venture through the content Amazon has to offer.
The experience on the newest version of the operating system is better than ever, Amazon now has a stock Android app design, instead of the carousel they also offer. The web browser and email service has been improved with some nice design changes and the whole OS looks and feels upgrade worthy of the 1.0 bump.
Amazon’s App Store still feels a little barren, even with the large bump in applications. Everyday apps are almost all there, but the new “thing” like Snapchat is unlikely to come to this tablet first, we would still recommend the iPad and iOS if you are in to getting every new app on the block the day it becomes popular.
One of the newest features on the Kindle Fire HDX is Mayday, a new customer service platform delivered by Amazon, offering free over-the-tablet help and advice from a friendly Amazon customer service employee.
Many reviewers and users have touted Mayday as the feature of this tablet, the reason Amazon should be able to sell millions to people who have never owned or rarely use a tablet or any electronic device.
The video service allows the user to connect one-on-one with a customer service representative, who can walk through different steps to perform a certain task on the Kindle Fire HDX and can even take over control of the tablet to help the user out.
This is without a doubt the most personal and powerful customer service application we have ever seen and it is true to Amazon character as a company, one reliant on making sure the customer is satisfied and the product is endlessly loved and used.
Is the Kindle Fire HDX the best tablet for its price? Maybe – it depends. The Nexus 7 (2013) is definitely another option and features many of the same components built into the Kindle Fire HDX. At the end of the day, it is a customers experience on a tablet that makes it good or bad, you must answer a question about what OS you prefer: stock Android, Fire OS or iOS.
If the answer is Amazon’s Fire OS, then hop aboard, this is the best in its class.