Product review: The $50 new kindle fire


home screen of my kindle fire

I have had the new kindle fire for just over 2 months now so I feel qualified to give a review. I wrote about the reasons why I bought one in a previous post, but I’ll share those here.

  1. The ability to download movies and TV shows from Amazon video. 
  2. Read all of my kindle books on a color screen. 
  3. I wanted to see what kind of tablet you can get for $50. 

Features I love about the new kindle fire

My favorite readings apps are available. I use Feedly, Pocket, Flipboard, and Zinio. The only thing missing is PDF Expert, but that’s an iOS only app.

This tablet has expandable memory, the fire hd 6 does not. The fire hd 6 does have a sharper screen and faster processor for $50 more so you need to decide what means more to you. Note that the sd card can store movies, TV shows, music, photos, personal videos, and some apps. Not books. Yes there are other fire tablets to choose from, but I didn’t want to spend much since I already have an ipad.

games i have downloaded

There are a ton of games available. I don’t play video games enough to splurge on a dedicated game console, but I do play them. Games can be saved to the SD card. So far I have downloaded:

  • Call of Duty Heroes
  • Happy Street
  • Sonic Dash
  • Monument Valley
  • Farming Simulator 14
  • DragonVale

Blue shade. Blue Shade is an exclusive Fire OS “Bellini” feature that works behind the scenes to automatically adjust and optimize the backlight for a more comfortable nighttime reading experience. When reading at night, I turn on blue shade and then dim the brightness.  

Things to be aware of about the new kindle fire

You can only use amazon’s appstore, not google play. So some of your favorite android apps aren’t available. This is well-known, but I’m writing it here for anyone who is considering buying a fire and has not gotten the memo. Visit this page to search for available apps.

This tablet is glitchy and freezes on a regular basis. It doesn’t bother me because I knew what I was buying. Anyone who thinks they are buying a $50 ipad will be disappointed.

It’s heavier than it should be. Amazon says it’s 11 oz which is 0.6875 pounds. It’s not so heavy that you can’t hold it for long periods, but I just figure devices with small screens should have small weights to match.

iPad killer?

This is definitely not an ipad killer. It’s not an android killer either. It is a good, cheap compromise for someone who wants a in-between device for their smartphone and laptop and who is already invested in the amazon ecosystem. You should definitely consider this tablet if you are a prime member. 

movies I have downloaded to kindle fire

I downloaded a few movies from amazon video (free through amazon prime) and can watch them at the gym while I cycle. My gym has wifi, but I don’t trust it to stream movies without a whole lot of buffering. 

If you already have a ipad or android tablet…

The $50 price makes this a good option for a device dedicated to one task. Some ideas: 

  • Bedside alarm clock/white noise machine 
  • Lullaby player in baby’s nursery
  • Use it in the kitchen to look up recipes 
  • Way to access a cheap, digital Washington Post subscription (prime members) 

So that’s it. Do you have the new kindle fire? Are you considering buying one? Is there something specific you would like to know that I did not address? Let me know in the comments. 

Disclaimer: Amazon did not give me the Kindle Fire. No one asked me to write this review and I am not being compensated in any way for writing it. I’m a consumer sharing my experiences with those who might be interested.