So yesterday, I got a brand new Kindle Fire HD for free from the bank as a promotion thing. Super freaking excited! I've had it for 24 hours now and I wanted to do a little review of it.
I'll start by saying I'm not sure I would have bought this myself. I was pretty satisfied with my regular Fire and from the research I did I found that the only real difference between the two was the High Definition screen and the Dolby sound system. I figured I didn't really need that. But I was totally happy to get this one for free. ;)
I'm going to break this review down into the features I like and dislike. First what I liked:
- The volume control buttons. I like that these buttons are on the outside of the device and you can adjust the volume without turning on the screen. I didn't like the three to four step process of adjusting the sound with the original Fire.
- The High Def screen. While I don't need such a fancy screen, it is nice. The picture is sharp and clear.
- The sound system. Again, not a need, but definitely better than the original.
- The calendar. I never understood why the original never had one built in. My boring cell phone had more basic features than my fancy tablet. So I'm glad this came with a nice calendar already put in.
- Skype. The HD has a camera and is made for video calling on Skype. I use Skype a lot so this is nice.
There are only a few things I don't like, but they are pretty important to me and what made this loose a couple stars.
- Ads. If you want to pay just $199 for the HD you'll have to put up with something I think is kind of stupid. Screen savers that are also ads. So when you turn on the device the image that pops up is an ad for Discover Card or AT&T or any other "offer" Amazon has going. If you don't want to deal with that, it'll cost you an extra $15. Now, since I got my HD for free, I didn't know this and it took me some research to figure out why I was getting these stupid ads. So my "free" device has now cost me $15. Still a great deal, but also still annoying.
- Ads Part 2. On the HD's home page you have the Carousel that shows all the recent content you've looked at, and under each icon is this "Customers Also Bought" thing that shows similar content. For example, under my Sudoku game icon it shows me Bejeweled 2, Scrabble, and Tetris. I don't really care what other people bought. Yes, I can see how this can be useful. Like if you finish reading a book and want to read more like it, that information is right there on your homepage. But to me, it just screams "More ADS! More MONEY!" And there is no way to get rid of this "feature".
- Favorites. The original Fire had a favorite thing as well and I love that. The HD's is pretty much the same except it won't save the order I put the icons. I move them into the order I want them and then go do something else and when I come back to my favorites page the icons are all random again. This is only a little annoying, but it just seems like something really basic they could have work.
So there you have it. Hope this helps you as Christmas shopping is underway. My basic recommendation is if you want the Fire HD, spend the extra $15 to avoid the ads.