Kindle Fire HD vs Nexus 7 (Part 1)

12/11/2012 9:21:33 AM

Can Amazon’s Kindle Fire take on Google’s mighty Nexus 7? We pitch the two head to head to find out...

It’s a sad but true fact: until recently, the range of Android tablets was a rather bleak affair. There was, and still is, plenty of choice for those looking for a tablet fix, but the Android tablet OS always seemed to stutter behind the seemingly unstoppable force that was the iPad. The Nexus 7 was a sign of intent from Google to kick-start a tablet offering that could genuinely compete.

It has sold well, and captured mainstream attention like no other Android tablet. And now it has its very own direct competitor. The Kindle Fire HD from Amazon is, like the Nexus 7, a seven-inch device with an impulse-buy price tag attached. But while it runs Android it is so heavily skinned that you’d be hard pushed to notice at times. Just as the Nexus 7 was very much a Google device, so the

Kindle Fire HD vs Nexus 7

Test 1: Design and build

Without having a closer look, you can easily mistake both tablets for one another. The simply black slab effect is a tried and tested design that works well on both tabs, with the only noticeable difference at first glance being the varying location of the front-facing camera on each tablet. The location of the camera on the Fire HD is quite deceptive, and although its location is suited for landscape view, the tablet feels a lot better when you hold It in portrait orientation.

Look a little closer and you’ll soon start to see the key differences. The Nexus 7 has a thin bezel around its seven-inch screen, and the metallic look and feel of it screams quality. It's a whole lot smaller than the wide bezel (and plastic rim) that encompasses the Kindle Fire HD. The bezel isn’t a massive deal, but it’s certainly noticeable when you handle the tablet, and makes It feel considerably wider than the Nexus 7. Around the back of the tablets, both companies have opted for a simple, but comfortable design. The Fire HD has a soft matte finish, with a thin plastic spine running through It. Although the more plastic look isn’t as stylish as the metallic feel of the Nexus 7, the Fire HD is still an elegant design, even though it won’t win any awards anytime soon.

The stippled back of the Nexus 7 makes it very grippy indeed, and could be a god send for anyone who has problems with regularly dropping their devices. Either side of the Kindle’s backplate you’ll find small speakers, which are far better located than at the bottom of the device where you’ll find the Nexus’ single speaker. The awkwardly placed speaker of the Nexus 7 Is easy to cover up without you noticing, which we did by complete accident on

Kindle Fire HD is an Amazon one. It has a whole new user Interface, Amazon's software and Appstore and Is tightly integrated into Amazon’s ecosystem. It’s hard to imagine two devices that could be so similar yet so different.

So which is the best, and where should your money go? The friendly, mass-market Amazon, or the pure Android of Google. Read on to find out. many an occasion. It also lacks the volume and overall power that the speakers on the Fire HD offer.

The Fire HD is comfortable to hold In both landscape and portrait mode, but the slightly smaller Nexus 7 is equally as pleasant to hold, and with Google’s offering being noticeably lighter and thinner than its competition (340 grams in weight and 4.72 inches wide compared to the 413 grams and 5.4-inch waistline of the Fire HD) it’s easier to handle and transport around.

Despite the Nexus 7 being slightly thicker than the Kindle Fire HD, it’s still small enough to transport around, and it sure beats having a wider device to carry.

Verdict: Design and build

Kindle Fire HD

·         Large bezel gives old fashioned look

·         Feels quite heavy

·         Buttons in odd places

Nexus 7

·         Slim and stylish design

·         Premium fit and finish

·         Suited to portrait or landscape use

Test 2: Hardware and screen

As you'd expect with devices in this price range, there have been some cutbacks with the amount of ports on both of these tablets. Google has included a single micro USB port and 3.5mm audio jack that can both be found at the bottom of the device. Add just the standard volume rocker and power button to the right-hand side, and it means the Nexus 7 is a very, very stripped back affair. The same ports are also found on the Fire HD, but the addition of a micro HDMI port for streaming content to a bigger screen Is a welcome addition, and something that Google should’ve included.

Series6 PowerVR GPUs As Powerful As Desktop PCs

Series6 PowerVR GPUs As Powerful As Desktop PCs

Although both companies may have held back on the amount of ports they include on their devices, they’ve certainly equipped them both with a modern set of specs. Inside the Kindle Fire HD you’ll find a 1.2GFIZ dual-core CPU, a PowerVR GPU and a healthy 1GB of RAM. All In all, the Fire HD is a speedy tablet throughout that handles tasks well.

It can't, however, compare to the Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor, which alongside the 1GB of RAM, makes the Nexus 7 ridiculously quick.

Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor

When you turn on the devices - and it is surprisingly difficult to turn the Kindle Fire HD on thanks to the way the power button sits flush to the top of the casing-you’ll be hard pressed to find much difference between the two displays. Both pack a seven-inch 1,280 x 800 IPS LCD display. Neither can quite match the Retina display of the iPad, but a pixel density of 216ppi means that neither tablet’s display should be overlooked. Colours do appear to be a bit sharper on the Fire HD, for whatever reason, and this Is especially noticeable when you’re watching a movie.

Verdict: Hardware and screen

Kindle Fire HD

·         Supports HDMI-out

·         High-quality, high-res display

·         Solid processor and RAM specs

Nexus 7

·         Excellent display

·         No support for HDMI or micro SD

·         Very fast quad-core processor

Kindle Fire HD


Nexus 7

193 x 137 x 10.3mm


198.5 x 120 x 10.45mm

1,280 x 800


1,280 x 800

Dual-core, 1.2GHz


Quad-core, 1.3GHz

Android 4.0


Android 4.1




8GB, 16GB


8GB, 16GB







Amazon Cloud (Unlimited storage)


Google Drive (5GB free storage), Dropbox 8GB free)

$254.4 (16GB), $318.4  (32GB)


$254.4 (8GB), $318.4 (16GB)


Top 10
Review : Sigma 24mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art
Review : Canon EF11-24mm f/4L USM
Review : Creative Sound Blaster Roar 2
Review : Philips Fidelio M2L
Review : Alienware 17 - Dell's Alienware laptops
Review Smartwatch : Wellograph
Review : Xiaomi Redmi 2
Extending LINQ to Objects : Writing a Single Element Operator (part 2) - Building the RandomElement Operator
Extending LINQ to Objects : Writing a Single Element Operator (part 1) - Building Our Own Last Operator
3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cell Phone Battery (part 2) - Discharge Smart, Use Smart
- First look: Apple Watch

- 3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cell Phone Battery (part 1)

- 3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cell Phone Battery (part 2)
- How to create your first Swimlane Diagram or Cross-Functional Flowchart Diagram by using Microsoft Visio 2010 (Part 1)

- How to create your first Swimlane Diagram or Cross-Functional Flowchart Diagram by using Microsoft Visio 2010 (Part 2)

- How to create your first Swimlane Diagram or Cross-Functional Flowchart Diagram by using Microsoft Visio 2010 (Part 3)
Popular Tags
Video Tutorail Microsoft Access Microsoft Excel Microsoft OneNote Microsoft PowerPoint Microsoft Project Microsoft Visio Microsoft Word Active Directory Exchange Server Sharepoint Sql Server Windows Server 2008 Windows Server 2012 Windows 7 Windows 8 Adobe Flash Professional Dreamweaver Adobe Illustrator Adobe Photoshop CorelDRAW X5 CorelDraw 10 windows Phone 7 windows Phone 8 Iphone