Kindle Fire Review

Kindle Fire ReviewI pre-ordered the Kindle Fire the day they opened up ordering. I had been wanting a traditional Kindle and when I heard about the Fire, I decided to wait a few months for it’s release.  There are many things that initially attracted me to the Fire.

1. I like the compact size. I really like the 7″ screen

2. I loved that all my Amazon media would be in one simple place.

3. I LOVED that I could use it as an eReader

4. I liked the fact it was the Android OS…which in my opinion is the second best mobile OS behind Apple’s iOS.

5. Well, how can I not say I loved the price point?  This was certainly a big selling point to me.

6. Based on my experience with Amazon, I knew this would be a quality piece of hardware and not some flimsy piece of junk being sold by so many no-names out there.

Great interface, amazing screen clarity and color, unbeatable battery life and good performance.

 

So, I’ve been using it now for about a week. Yes, you are thinking it should be longer. Well, I received my Kindle Fire two days after the release date. When I turned it on, it wouldn’t stay on and while I was holding it, I would BARELY touch the power button and it would go off.  Of course I Googled it to see if other’s were experiencing this issue. I determined it was apparently a defective unit.  So, I called Amazon and they immediately offered to replace it with a new Kindle Fire.  Four days later, I got my new one.  The original one was DEFINITELY defective because the power button on this one works fine. Ahhhh….now I’m happy.

Let me say, I was 100% impressed with Amazon’s customer service.  I was also uber impressed that when I turned on not just my first but also my second Kindle Fire, that Amazon had already configured it. So it recognized me by name and self-registered. That was just cool!

So I finally get to sit down and spend some time with her.  Let’s cut to the chase.  Here’s what I like and yes, dislike about my Kindle Fire.

1. I do love the size. Though, it was heavier than I anticipated which can be a little daunting when using it as an eReader.

2. I love the user interface.  Unlike all the other guys, Amazon actually customized the user interface.  I think this is about the only device out there that doesn’t look like the iPad.  Don’t get me wrong. I have an iPhone and absolutely love it but I think it is a tad ingenious that everyone has just copied it. Amazon upped it, well in a way. They customized it to tailor more to it’s main purpose of an eReader.  On the top are basically all your apps and books, then on the bottom, you have your favorites.  Then there is small menu across the top for everything else. Very intuitive.

3. It is a bit challenging to go from the iPhone to the Kindle then back to the iPhone because there are certainly things that function differently.

4. LOVE the clarity and color sharpness of the screen! Not an ounce of disappointment here.

5. Touch Screen – hmmmm, this is a toughy for me.  Having an iPhone, I have come to expect everything to have the touch sensitivity and perfection it does.  If I didn’t have an iPhone, I might not be complaining.  But I do have to say, it does leave a little to be desired. Sometimes, I have to touch something three or four times to get a response.  However, I’m not so sure that this may be more of a resource issue, as opposed to a touch-screen issue. In other words, when I touch something, it is thinking but just doesn’t respond fast enough.

6. The Amazon Silk Browser – The Kindle Fire has a proprietary browser called Amazon Silk.  It has potential. But it needs some polishing.  I do have issues with functionality on certain web pages, particularly javascript.  I also found out rather quickly that changing the option to default to mobile sites, greatly increased performance. If you want to make this change simply go to the web on the device. Then at the bottom, click the options button, it is the one that looks like the top of a page.  In there, you’ll see the settings option. Click that. Then scroll down to the bottom and you’ll see Desktop or mobile view.  Choose Mobile.  You may also want to change the option for Enable plug-ins to off.  Making these two tweaks greatly improved my experience.  In my opinion, the 7″ screen is still too small for most websites so viewing the mobile sites is fine with me.

7. Wi-Fi – no complaints, quickly connected, stays connected and I have no speed issues.

8. Hardware – As expected, the Fire is solid. Like a mentioned, a tad heavy but it’s not a deal breaker.

9. Kindle – The Kindle software is by far the best eReader software in my experience so there is nothing left to be desired here.

10. Battery Life- This has to be best battery life I have ever experienced in a mobile device…PERIOD.  Even watching movies and doing heavy browsing, I can go for several days without recharging.  I do think they could have improved on the power input though.  It’s a little clumsy and sometimes a little difficult plugging it in. It’s just a little weird to me.

11. Storage Capacity – I cannot imagine ever needing more storage than the Kindle Fire offers. Anything you buy on Amazon is stored in the Amazon cloud instantly and is downloaded to your Kindle on demand. Because of this, you use little storage on the device itself. So far I have 20-25 apps, a dozen books, 40+ song and am only using 1 of the 6.5 GB.

12. A few HUGE pluses if you are considering other similar devices – With the Kindle Fire and an Amazon Prime Membership, you get instant access to “borrow” one eBook a month through the Lending Library.  The selection is great and even includes some best-sellers.  There is also a free app every day. That’s really cool. Lastly, there are hundreds of free Kindle books. Oh, and if you didn’t already know…Amazon’s price for songs is less than iTunes.

All in all, I am happy with my purchase and think it is easily the best $200 I spent.  In comparison to the iPad, I think it is certainly a competitor.  If you like the interface and the size, then save the $300. Also, with the free apps, free Kindle books and free monthly loaner, you quickly get back your investment.

NOW let me say this – IT IS NOT A REPLACEMENT for your laptop! If you are a student or need to use a mobile device for work, then the Kindle will not cut it. Though it can certainly enhance, it cannot replace. For example, students can use it for their books (if digitally available),tracking homework, web browsing and many other things but you aren’t going to want to type out your assignments on it.

Lastly – I think the Kindle Fire is great for just about everyone from 5 to 75.

Feel free to leave your comments or questions below.

Affiliate links are included in this review. However, I was no way compensated, nor was I asked to review this by Amazon or other interested parties. The review is 100% my opinion.

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  • http://shopmadden.com Steve Madden

    Very helpful review. I am considering the Kindle Fire for several people for Christmas and your detailed review was refreshing.