Kindle Fire 7” HD Review

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As my Kobo reader’s performance started to slow down, I started looking into replacing it with a tablet. It goes without saying that there is a huge market of products that appear to do the same thing, and they all really do, but it comes down to a matter of how easy they are to use is what separates them. Essentially all I was after was a device for reading books and occasionally watching movies. I didn’t need or want Twitter/ Facebook/ Instagram capabilities on there, because that’s what my phone is for. I also wanted to stay with an android device just so I can download my paid apps without having to purchase them again.

It really came down to two products: The Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire HD. Despite it being a nerfed version of Jellybean (designed to promote Amazon products, obviously), The Kindle does have a better reader app and screen, and was nearly $100 cheaper, so I went with that. Hardware spec wise, I couldn’t argue with the value for money. The operating system, however, is such a piece of shit. Look, I had no intention in rooting the device when I purchased it. As I said earlier, I just wanted to use it as a reader (it does that, obviously) and watch videos. As you guys know, I subscribe to NFL Gamepass and watch the games online. But with no Gamepass App in the Amazon marketplace, out went that theory. Also, the limited apps they did have on offer, most were completely unavailable for Australian users under DRM restrictions.

It left me no choice but to root it and sideload the play store. It took a while, but once it was working, the Kindle Fire took to life. Here’s the thing, and the reason why I wanted to write the review and vent a little bit: The device is great. It has an amazing screen and the sound is the best I have heard on a tablet. The problems only laid with the software. I have no issues with a company trying to promote their own services, it makes total sense. But, look, when a company invests millions of dollars to create a product like the Kindle Fire range, and they are successful in creating a good device but undo it all with such a contrived attempt to force users onto their horrible marketplace, it is totally counterproductive.

If I had known what a pain in the arse it was to root the Kindle, I wouldn’t have bothered with it. I would have gone straight to the Nexus. And that’s my point altogether. The operating system and marketplace was so bad that it negated everything good that the hardware did. If they want to promote their marketplace and products, here’s an idea; actually have a product that customers want and are not forced into using! Imagine how popular the Kindle Fire would be, at that price, if it had both the play store and amazon marketplace pre-installed. Then, through incentives (such as giveaways and discounted prices) bring customers in that way. Wouldn’t that make sense? It at least makes more sense than driving initial customers away because they are forced into a crappy layout and non-functioning marketplace.

Verdict:

Pre – Root: 1 out of 5

Post – Root: 4 out of 5

It’s a huge difference.