I always get confused about which Kindle Fire is which. Apparently, a lot of people get confused too. So, let’s get the basics straightened here. There are three generations of Amazon tablets, so far. The first generation is called Kindle Fire; the second generation is called Kindle Fire HD; the third generation is called Kindle Fire HDX. Each generation of product has their own refreshes and updates, the intricacies of which I will not get into right now. The Fire HD 6, Fire HD 7, and Fire HD Kids Edition that were released last year (2014) are all additions to the second generation, Fire HD, series. BTW, the word “Kindle” in Kindle Fire HD has been dropped and now, it is called the Fire HD series.
FIRE HD 6 (8 GB)
FIRE HD 6 (16 GB)
Here are the basic specifications at a glance:
|Details||Fire HD (2013)||Fire HD 6||Fire HD 6, Fire HD 7|
|Size||7.5″ x 5.0″ x 0.42″ (191 mm x 128 mm x 10.6 mm)||6.7″ x 4.1″ x 0.4″ (169 mm x 103 mm x 10.7 mm)||7.5″ x 5.0″ x 0.4″ (191 mm x 128 mm x 10.6 mm)|
|Resolution||1280×800 resolution at 216 ppi, video playback up to 720p, with IPS (in-plane switching) technology, advanced polarizing filter, and anti-glare technology||1280×800 resolution at 252 ppi, video playback up to 720p, with IPS (in-plane switching) technology and advanced polarizing filter||1280×800 resolution at 216 ppi, video playback up to 720p, with IPS (in-plane switching) technology and advanced polarizing filter|
|Screen Size||7 inches||6 inches||7 inches|
|Weight||12.2 ounces (345 grams)||10.1 ounces (290 grams)||11.9 ounces (337 grams)|
|Storage||8GB (4.8GB available to user) or 16GB (11.9GB available to user) of internal storage||8 GB (4.5 GB available to user) or 16 GB (11.6 GB available to user) of internal storage||8 GB (4.5 GB available to user) or 16 GB (11.6 GB available to user) of internal storage|
|Operating System||Fire OS 3.0; Mojito||Fire OS 4; Sangaria||Fire OS 4; Sangaria|
|Processor||1.5GHz Dual-Core CPU, with 1GB of RAM||Quad-Core: 2 @ 1.5 Ghz + 2 @ 1.2 GHz, with 1 GB of RAM||Quad-Core: 2 @ 1.5 Ghz + 2 @ 1.2 GHz, with 1 GB of RAM|
|Camera||No camera||Yes; both front and back||Yes; both front and back|
|Battery Life||Up to 10 hours||Up to 8 hours||Up to 8 hours|
Size, Weight, and Display
From the specifications, we can see that the length, breadth, and width of Fire HD and Fire HD 7 are exactly the same. They both stand at 7 inches of screen size. The only difference is the weight difference of 8 grams; Fire HD weighing 345 grams and Fire HD 7 weighing 337 grams, which not much at all. However, the Fire HD 6, owing to the screen size of 6 inches is more compact, although the thickness is the same between all three models. The Fire HD 6 is lighter at 290 grams.
Coming to display, the resolution of Fire HD and Fire HD 7 are the same. They both have 216 ppi while the Fire HD 6 has 252 ppi. Judging by this quality alone, the Fire HD 6 is definitely crispier and sharper than both Fire HD and Fire HD 6 due to pixel density. Apart from this difference, all models seem to have similar display configurations.
Operating System and Processor
Both the Fire HD6 and Fire HD 7 runs on Fire OS 4; Sangaria while the Fire HD runs on Fire OS 3.0; Mojito. Both of these operating systems are Andriod based. Sangaria isn’t much different than last year’s Mojito, but it adds a few features to make sharing the tablet with family members simpler and extending the battery life easier.
The processor runs on 1.5GHz Dual-Core CPU, with 1GB of RAM on the Fire HD while Fire HD 6 and Fire HD 7 runs on Quad-Core: 2 @ 1.5 Ghz + 2 @ 1.2 GHz, with 1 GB of RAM.
To us, all of these specifications would mean that Fire HD 6 and Fire HD 7 would run faster than Fire HD. Switching between Apps, gaming experience, the general responsiveness of the tablet would be friendlier on both Fire HD 6 and Fire HD 7.
All of these devices come in 8 GB and 16 GB storage options. Note here that the actual storage available to the user is a little bit lower on the Fire HD 6 and Fire HD 7. On the Fire HD, you get 8GB (4.8GB available to user) or 16GB (11.9GB available to user) of internal storage while on the Fire HD 6 and Fire HD 7, you get 8 GB (4.5 GB available to user) or 16 GB (11.6 GB available to user) of internal storage. It is a difference of just 0.3 GB, but to a regular user, that may be worth a couple of Apps. This storage difference is definitely not a deal breaker, but you would want to know all of the teeniest differences if you are anything like me.
You cannot extend the storage by using an external memory card; however, you can store unlimited number of items on Amazon Cloud including pictures, videos, music, and so on for free. This totally makes up for the rather small memory space otherwise. I would still recommend that you go for the 16 GB version.
Camera and Audio
The Fire HD has no camera at all while the Fire HD 6 and Fire HD 7 have both front-facing camera and rear-facing cameras. The quality of the cameras, however, leaves a lot to be desired. You will get a front-facing VGA and 2 MP rear-facing cameras with no flash. If you are serious about taking photos with your tablet, you may not be the happiest person. It works just fine for Skype or video chats.
The sound system is a completely different ball game altogether. You get 3.5 mm stereo jack and integrated speaker with Dolby Digital Plus on all three: the Fire HD 6, Fire HD 7, and Fire HD. The sound is still as nice as it was when Dolby-tuned stereos were first introduced in Fire HD.
Which one to Choose?
This is definitely not competition between the three devices. Most specifications are almost the same comparing these Kindle tablets. At most, you will have to decide whether you want a 6 inch screen or a 7 inch screen. The Fire HD (2013) can definitely take the back burner since Fire HD 7 with better specifications is offered at the same price. If you want something smaller and handier, go for the Fire HD 6.