Kindle Fire

Here are some of my first impressions with the $50 Kindle Fire. After using iPad and iPhones (and one stint of a Galaxy Nexus on Android 4.x) I needed something to replace an aging and slower iPad 2. (Curse you iOS 9, I want iOS 6 back.)

Screen – definitely not Retina-class. The ppi is 171. That shouldn’t be too bad for movies or books, but it’s noticeable when coming off of an iPhone. Fingerprints show up easily and I’m missing auto-brightness.

Speed – Not bad, but the slowness can be noticed. Heavy websites aren’t super speedy on the Silk browser. The rest of the OS is fine and mostly smooth if you’re not in a hurry.

Feel – I like it. I think it’s a good size. Fits most pockets and doesn’t feel too thin like an iPad does. I don’t have a case yet.

Weight – Enough heft to know it’s there. That can be good as I don’t think I’ll break it by handling it, and bad as it might get noticeable when reading a book. I might need a case that stands it up.

Software – meh, it’s Android. Which means there are dozen ways to do things and it’s annoying. A little cluttered with lots of default Amazon apps and “suggestions” (glorified ads) on every page. At least the ads suggestions can be turned off. Once I get used to it, it should be fine tho’.

I still have to get all my software on it. Lastpass, Plex, Netflix, etc… we’ll see how it does over the next week or so.

Bonus – SD card slot for expandability.

So far – Seems like I’ve been pointing out all the flaws. Actually, I like it. There’s actually lot of value for the money. Especially if you’re already in the Amazon ecosystem for books and videos (or Amazon Prime).

For reading and watching video should be a winner. For light browsing it should be good enough. Much better than my iPad 2, but not as good as an iPad Air 2. Of course I’m comparing wildly different class tablets too.

UPDATE – It’s been two weeks now and I’m not as impressed as I was. The CPU is too anemic for browsing and moving around the UI can be quite laggy. And the screen resolution is annoying for small text, which seems to plague a lot of websites with crappy mobile design. As a Kindle (book reader), it’s good, but don’t inflate your expectations beyond that.

Photo Tests

Here is an example of a low(er) light photo with HDR on an iPhone 6 Plus. The lights weren’t too low, but they were much lower than what I would have liked with my iPhone 4S. The focus is incredibly fast and I’m the optical stabilization will help me out a lot. I was constantly retaking blurry pics on my 4S because I’d shake the camera. So far, I’m quite impressed.

My (currently) favorite beer.
My (currently) favorite beer.