July 24, 2014

Comparing the Nexus 7 to the Kindle Fire HD

nexus_7_vs_kindle_fire_hd_720w

Until yesterday, the argument for low-cost tablets revolved, for the most part, around the Kindle Fire and the Nexus 7.  Today, we’re swapping out the Amazon tablet for something a little more powerful.  We thought we’d put together a quick head-head list of the details so that readers can get a general sense of what each model has over the other, if anything.

It’s worth noting that this does not break down every single component, codec, and feature.  In a nutshell, these are the features that most users will look to for the sake of comparison.

Battle of the $200 tablet experience

[default_table]

ASUS NEXUS 7 KINDLE FIRE HD
OS Android 4.1 Jelly Bean Custom Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
Display 7” 1280×800 HD (216 ppi) 7″ 1280×800 HD LCD IPS
Processor Quad-core Tegra 3 1.2GHz OMAP4460 (dual-core)
Memory 1GB RAM 1GB RAM
Storage 8GB 16GB
Camera 1.2MP front-facing camera Yes (unknown)
Battery 10 hours 11 hours
Weight 340 grams 395 grams
Size 198.5 x 120 x 10.45mm 193 mm x 137 mm x 10.3 mm
Apps/Games Google Play (600,000+) Amazon Appstore (50,000+)
Other

Microphone
NFC (Android Beam)
Accelerometer
GPS
Magnetometer
Gyroscope

Google Now

Voice Commands

$25 Google Play credit

Dolby Digital Plus

HDMI output

Dual Wi-Fi antennas (MIMO)

FreeTime

WhisperSync

Prime Instant Video

X-Ray

Price $19916GB ($249) $19932GB ($249)

[/default_table]

Early Consensus

If you are an experience Android user and really want to keep on the forefront of the platform, the Nexus 7 is the clear winner.  It’s a stock Google experience that just happens to be the latest release available.  The Tegra 3 processor is in a class of its own and the Google Play store opens the door to an exponential number of apps, including Amazon Appstore.

Those who are new to the tablet and e-reader game will likely find the Amazon Kindle Fire HD more appealing.  It might be easy to point to the extra storage, HDMI output, and Dolby Digital as the reasons for the justification, but it’s the experience that wins out.  Amazon’s WhisperSync, FreeTime, and X-Ray are incredibly cool features that users will come to enjoy.  Toss in access to the growing Amazon Prime Instant Video library and you can appreciate the “content is king” adage.

Which one is right for you?

We get the feeling that the younger you are, the more you’ll lean toward the Google device, but we could be wrong.  The Kindle Fire HD is going to be the one you see in beauty salons and airports while the Nexus 7 is the device you’ll see in colleges and and sports bars.  Obviously we’re speaking generally here, but the two appeal to different demographics.

Ask yourself what kind of user you are or expect to be. Do you plan to play the latest games and push the tablet around, bending it to your will? Heard about some great apps that sound like they’ll change your life?  Nexus 7.  Primarily want to read magazines, books, watch movies?  Like to game once in a while, but nothing too serious?  Kindle Fire HD.

In the end, neither of these are wrong for you.  It’s a cop-out answer, but  it’s what we’d tell our friends when they ask.