- Ed Hardy , TabletPCReview
Thanks to its outstanding hardware, the 2014 version of the Fire HDX 8.9 is one of the very best mid-size tablets on the market.
- Beautiful display
- Multiple user profiles
- Parental controls
- Mayday customer service
- Silky smooth performance
- Dolby Atmos audio
- Amazon Firefly
- No microSD support
- Lack of customization options
- Amazon App Store only
Amazon’s Fire tablets have become fan favorites with their combination of price and easy access to the bounty of Amazon content available. The newest version, the Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 (2014) aims to continue this trend and introduce a few new twists to the classic Fire tablet. Is the tablet worthy of the title or just another model soon to be forgotten? Let’s see what the reviews have to say!
Combining a 8.9-inch display at 2560-by-1600 pixels and a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor, the tablet is definitely a powerhouse on paper. Fortunately, reviews indicate that this also translate to real life performance as well. Wired calls it “fast and fluid.” Across many reviews, none noted any hesitance or instability to be found, even under high-definition gaming or heavy multitasking.
Whether you’re planning to enjoy the wealth of movies on Amazon or keep tabs on your social media accounts, the screen is sure to impress. Reviews all touted the screen for sharpness, brightness and color reproduction. CNet called the display “the best of the bunch” while Wired proclaimed it “the brightest, sharpest, and most-vivid in the tablet realm” even when compared to flagships from other manufacturers.
Couple this with rear-facing stereo speakers and Dolby Atmos audio processing and the reviews for the tablet as a media playback device are outstanding. PC Magazine called the speakers “the loudest, clearest built-in speakers of any tablet I've seen recently.” Reviewers also noted that the Atmos sound processing worked surprisingly well, even on small ear buds. However, the video must support Atmos for you to enjoy the effect, limiting its usefulness for some.
Other noted features included Amazon’s support service, Mayday, Amazon’s object discovery service, Firefly, and their in-depth parental controls and user profile support.
Unfortunately, there are some potential weak points to the new HDX as well depending on your preferences. The most obvious is lack of MicroSD card support. If you’re someone who prefers to store your movie and music on your tablet instead of stream them, you’ll definitely want to consider one of the larger storage options. With models ranging from 16GB to 64GB of storage, there is something available to suit most needs.
Another issue many reviews noted was the accessories offered for the tablet. While the Origamic Case works well to prop up the device, CNet found that the magnetic attachment was weak. Multiple sites also had issues with lag and delay on the Bluetooth keyboard.
One final concern listed by all reviews was that the Fire HDX locks you into Amazon services. Unlike many Android devices, there is no access to the default Google Apps or the Google Play store. If you’re a Prime subscriber or don’t mind investing in Amazon’s content and services, this is largely a non-issue, however, as Android Police points out “if you can't embrace the Amazon world, the Fire HDX is kind of a lump.”
Overall, reviews of the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 (2014) are overwhelmingly positive. From build quality and battery life to the display and performance, there was little that reviews found lacking. Wired summed up many reviews best, stating, “The HDX 8.9 looks great, feels great, sounds great, and performs great, even if it won’t bowl you over with bold new flavors.”
Reviews (8/10 Avg. rating)
Fire OS still doesn't convince
Best-looking tablet screen on the market
An excellent tablet for users that want to watch, read and play.
Users who want a great entertainment tablet should certainly consider the Amazon Fire HDX 8.9. The tablet offers access to all the movies, TV shows, audio books and ebooks that I need and is highly connected to the Amazon experience.
As a gift to a first time tablet user, the Mayday feature completes this package. The user can ask Amazon for help at any time, without feeling like they are bothering a relative for small items, which makes it easier to get in and start using the tablet.
You should certainly compare the Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 and the cheaper iPad Air b... Full review
Still the same thin and light package from before
Where Amazon failed miserably in making a dent in the smartphone market, they’re able to continue having a strong presence in the tablet space – thanks in part to the well-rounded performance of this year’s high-end model, the Amazon Fire HDX 8.9. No doubt, it’s vying for notoriety over other impressive rivals of late, such as the iPad Air 2 and the Google Nexus 9, but Amazon’s model certainly poses a threat.
Honestly, it’s a great performing tablet, one that has a stunning screen, snappy overall response, and long-lasting battery life. At the... Full review
An accessible, competitively-priced window into Amazon's world for the whole family
If you're looking for a family tablet that everyone can share, and you're happy to dive into the Amazon ecosystem and sign up for Amazon Prime, maybe even pick up a Fire TV as well, then the Fire HDX 8.9 is probably the best tablet for you.
It handles movies and TV shows beautifully. It's a lovely device for reading on. The audio quality is also impressive.
But if gaming and app choice are very important to you, then it's impossible to recommend the Fire HDX 8.9. You will find a much better game and app experience on the Nexus 9 or iPad Air 2.
The display, t... Full review
Tack-sharp, vibrant screen, superb battery life
There is a weak spot with the new HDX, and it’s a predictable one. While the tablet is an excellent piece of hardware for watching movies, surfing the Web, and playing games, you won’t find all your favorite iOS or Android apps in the cordoned-off halls of Amazon’s Appstore. Still, many major offerings are there (Netflix, Spotify, Pinterest, Pandora, Facebook, Twitter, HBO Go, Evernote, and plenty of games). But the most painful gaps are all the Google services: There’s no Gmail, no Google Maps, no Chrome, no Google Drive, no official YouTube app. You’re basica... Full review
A pretty one-way path
In using the HDX 8.9, I find myself able to do core things I want in a tablet, like email or gaming, and watching movies is a breeze.
The screen on the HDX 8.9 is phenomenal, which only makes you want to watch movies and TV on it. The touchscreen is responsive, too. Interacting with the device is a pleasure.
Amazon’s ecosystem, though — it’s lacking. Badly. Even though you get 500 Amazon Coins (which amounts to $5) to spend on things, there are plenty of omissions from the Amazon ecosystem.
Still, I found a lot of core apps available. Apps lik... Full review
A great tablet at an even greater price
Brilliant screen, long battery life and great parental controls
Impressive battery life and comprehensive parental controls are just a couple of great reasons to buy the $379 Fire HDX 8.9. The high-resolution display is stunning, and you get fast performance and a suite of exclusive features for getting the most out of Amazon's vast library of content.
On the other hand, you won't get the full Google Play app store and the base model of 16GB doesn't offer enough onboard storage. I'd recommend that you pick up the 32GB model, which will still cost you $70 less than the $499 iPad Air 2. Overall, the HDX is still a much better tablet for play th... Full review
The best value tablet for media out there
At $379, the Fire HDX 8.9" is a lower-cost alternative to higher-quality, high-priced tablets like the Editors' Choice Apple iPad Air 2 and Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5. Although it only has 16GB of internal storage, Amazon's reliance on the cloud and streaming helps mitigate that—provided you use this tablet as directed.
That's the plus and the minus of the Fire tablet series in a nutshell. Amazon makes it clear: This is not an Android tablet. It's an Amazon tablet. And while that may give a lot of geeks the heebie-jeebies, it's a simple, clear path for people who don't want... Full review
Darn, there are no reviews yet for this phone.