Author: Bob Buskirk
Usage & Testing
What better way to show you how the Kindle Fire HD works than with a video. Check out our usage video below.
You know when I first heard about the Kindle Fire and how there were using a skin on top of the Android OS I was a little upset. This keeps most people in Amazon’s ecosystem, but after using the Kindle Fire HD for a few weeks now I really haven’t had an issue with that. For everything that I want to do (read books, listen to music, stream movies and maybe go on Twitter and Facebook) it can be done with ease on the Kindle Fire HD. The UI that Amazon uses works great and everything is just 1 tap away. In the time that I have used the Kindle I did not experience any application freezes or sluggish movement, even when I had multiple apps open at the same time.
When it comes to getting apps you are limited to what is in the Amazon App store, not Google’s Play store. This obviously puts some limits on what you can download. For example Amazon wants you to use their web browser so alternative web browsers are not listed in their App store. Now there are way to get those apps on your Kindle Fire, but we will go over those in a few follow up articles. If you are not keen on trying to install 3rd party apps etc then I would check to see if your must-have app is available on the Amazon app store before you purchase a Kindle Fire.
One thing that is great about getting a Kindle Fire HD is that you do get a free month on Amazon’s Prime service. The Prime Service gets you free 2-day shipping on most products, free HD streaming of TV shows and movies and access to Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. I showed you the HD streaming in the video above. It actually works quite well and the video quality is just awesome! The Lending Library is a HUGE collection of books that you can essentially rent. You can borrow 1 book at a time, this saves you quite a lot of money if you read a lot of books. After your free 1 month trial the prime service is $79/year. When it comes to reading books the 7-inch form factor in my opinion is perfect. You are able to hold the Kindle Fire HD in one hand. The small size also makes it easy to take with you places. It can easily fit in a backpack or purse.
The camera on the Kindle Fire HD allows you to take photos of yourself or you can use it for things like Skype. I made a few Skype calls and friends on the other end said they could hear me just find and that the video was nice and clear. The two small speakers provide good enough sound for watching movies and listening to music. Of course if you want a better sound experience you can plug in headphones.