Popular American online store Amazon started its India operations in June. Two of its popular gadgets — Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Paperwhite — are now officially available in the country on the store’s Indian website, amazon.in. The company plans to increase sales of products on its online store through these gadgets. Let’s see how these gadgets measure up.
KINDLE FIRE HD
The Kindle Fire HD 8.9 isn’t a head-turner, but is a well-built tablet. The matte finish on the rear panel gives it a good grip. The 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD weighs 567 grams, which is slightly heavier than other tablets of the same size. If weight is your primary concern, you can go for the 7-inch Kindle Fire
HD (395 g).
The Fire HD 8.9’s 1,920x1,200-pixel display is fantastic. The screen, however, is reflective, which is troublesome when a light source is behind the user. The touchscreen is quite responsive. The speaker’s volume and sound quality is neat, and improves considerably with a good pair of headphones.
Even though it runs Android, the Kindle Fire HD’s user interface has no traces of Google’s operating system. The home screen has a “carousel”, which displays large icons of frequently used apps and books, and a panel at the bottom shows related items. For instance, if a book is on the carousel, you will see related books based on what people have bought from Amazon.
The tablet performs well and apart from a couple of times when the software froze, there were no issues. The tablet lasted over a day on moderate usage which included playing HD movies, music, browsing the internet and using apps.
Google Play Store has excellent phone apps, but the quality of tablet apps is poor. Kindle Fire HD doesn’t have Google Play Store, instead has an Amazon app store. The biggest advantage is that all apps look great on the tablet as developers have to optimise their apps for Kindle Fire before they can be uploaded to the store. The downside is that the number of apps on Amazon’s store is low.
The Fire HD is competitively priced at Rs 15,999 (7