12 December 2011

Do Not Buy The Kindle Fire

amazon.com logo

Previously I wrote about the Kindle Fire even when it was still just a  Kindle Slate. Both posts are still worth a read for context sake.

Kindle Fire screenshot

At least in my personal opinion it is a bad deal. Had not talked about the Kindle Fire bad angles because i had not used one myself. Only had seen the videos and read the perceptions from others. Finally, i got to play with one for 90 minutes to get a quick impression of it. With the false pretense i would buy it....i know...Bad, Bad me.

Anyway, found it horrendous. Everything bad it is being said about it is true. Let me enumerate the bad things about it:

1.-Bad Software UX

Who designed this Android OS Layer User Experience should be fired. From the way you don't have consistent overlay controls. From the fact you need to backtrack a hell of a lot all the time just to do something. And from the infamous 1-click trigger-happy purchasing that will make it impossible for you to let a kid use it or the fact you cannot disable or control anything about it.

2.-Constrained Ecosystem

Meaning no Google Market, Google Apps, App Sideloading. All Amazon, All the time. Oh and it will do require you to have an Amazon Prime account too if you want actually enjoy the thing.

Never thought it would be that bad. But unless you live in California or Washington state. There is really no way for you to be 100% happy with being so tied down to the Amazon Ecosystem this bad. In a way is like the Apple iTunes tied ecosystem from 2007 from what i could observe.

3.-Bad Performance

Maybe it is the Android Custom OS Layer not being optimized and the fact everything is a version 1.0 in it. But it choked too much. I mean i used the thing for 90 minutes and it slowed down while me navigating it every 10 minutes or so. What the hell?

You may have read or heard the hardware is a riff on The Playbook. But let me tell you this: The Playbook performance is great and the OS is great too. The experiences are not alike at all.

4.-Bad Browser

Amazon Silk Browser is crap. Seriously, it is crap. Another area where it cannot even surpass the stock browser in Android, much less Firefox Mobile or The Playbook Browser.

5.-Not Apt For Exteriors Or Commuting

This thing got a weak Wi-Fi stability. Forget about the fact it is not good to use while on the go or with too much natural light. Pairing it with a Wi-Fi hotspot will do work. just get used to it being spotty at times.

6.-Cloud Bound

The Kindle Fire reminded me in a bad way to ChromeOS. It is completely cloud bound. And because there is really little storage space. 8gb space that turns to be more like 5gb of usable space in practice. 1gb less than what Amazon is stating. you need to be connected. And not only you need to be connected, you need to make sure the connection is stable while downloading. Requiring you to stare at the screen and not moving the Kindle Fire much when you are downloading stuff. Downloading that sometimes will have errors. Oh joy.

7.-Management Needy

You will find yourself having to manage your Kindle every week or every month -- Depending on your usage -- because of the low non-expandable usable storage.


Do not buy. Or if you plan to buy it. You may want to wait until Amazon has resolved all they can via Software Updates as in 3 months minimum. But even if they do resolved most of the UI and UX problems. There will be many problems and limitations that will linger on.

My recommendation is that if you want something like the Kindle Fire and you are NOT tied to Amazon in any way. Check out the Nook Tablet. It may be $50 bucks more. But it is a lot better in several ways. And you can expand its storage beyond what it comes with.

If you on the other hand want to be able to use Amazon Kindle App and don't want to be in a walled ecosystem. Take a look at the very overlooked
Vizio Tab 8. Also $50 bucks more. But it also works as a universal remote and with a little Know-How you can use it as a basic game console or media center for your TV.

The Kindle Fire will still be a smashing success. I predict that Amazon should be able to surpass shipping out 4 million of these things on 2011 alone. But not because it is popular and cheap. It means you need to suffer through what is a clear rough around the edges 1.0 version device.
My points here are from a general and by default perspective. As it would be from a new kindle user and not a Android User or a Technically Advanced user.




Anonymous said...

Was this pre or post the recent software update? Because apparently that fixes a few things.

Avatar X said...

@Anonymous My Hands-on was two weeks ago and you can clearly see the date the post was written is put as 12 of December.

Amazon update don't changes the hardware and some of the most glaring UX issues yet. Something i do point out in this post at the end.

What has changed is that i would not have recommended the Nook Tablet as hard if i had wrote this Today, because of they banning App Sideloading with their own first update.

Anonymous said...

This is a silly post.Having used one for a couple of weeks now I would have to disagree. It is fast and simple. Almost all of my android apps run on it easily sideloaded from dropbox. It is about 80% of an iPad at 20% of the cost. While it is not very customizable at this point it is still very functional.


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