Amazon Kindle Fire review

Some limitations, but the Kindle Fire offers a lot for not much money

24 Nov 2012
Our Rating 
4/5
Price when reviewed 
129
inc VAT

Page 2 of 3Amazon Kindle Fire review

Specifications

8 in 600x1,024 display, 400g, 1.2GHz TI OMAP4430, 1.00GB RAM, 8GB disk, Android 4.0

The Fire is just as convenient to use as any Kindle. It's an Android tablet at heart, running Android 4 Ice Cream Sandwich, but with Amazon's own user interface over the top. That means when you pull it out of its box and switch it on, there's virtually no setup required. It's already linked to your Amazon account, and any books or digital music you've already purchased on Amazon are only a click away.

Movies and TV shows are available via the Lovefilm Instant service for streaming and downloading – there's a one month's free subscription included so you can try before you buy, which is normally £4.99 per month. And as with a standard Android tablet, you can also install apps on the Kindle via the Amazon app store. However, there's no support for the Google Play market, so your choice of apps is more limited and you won't be able to run any Android apps you already own on the tablet.

Amazon Kindle Fire

That isn't the only thing that’s annoying, though. The lock screen displays “special offers” whenever you switch it on unless you pay an extra £10 extra to turn it off. And we're not keen on the limited specification. We can live without a camera on a tablet, but the lack of Bluetooth is a real problem for a device meant to be used for watching movies, listening to music and playing games.

The Kindle Fire only has 8GB of storage, which you'll find quickly gobbled up by downloaded content, and there's no expansion slot for adding to it. Any content purchased through Amazon can be removed from local storage and downloaded later, but we'd rather keep as much in local storage as possible.

The Kindle Fire isn't a bad little tablet, but it's simply too expensive; with the superior Kindle Fire HD costing only £30 more, you'd have to be on a very tight budget to opt for this model. Either way, the inflexible Amazon software and sluggish web browsing means we'd still recommend opting for the far superior Google Nexus 7 - only dedicated users of LoveFilm need think twice.

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