Amazon are fairly new contenders to the tablet computing scene. Once eBooks gained traction around 2006/7 they came out with the “Kindle”: an eBook reader that allowed purchasing off of the Amazon store via WiFi. Once the popularity and buzz behind eBooks started to die down and tablets became a big deal, Amazon developed and released the “Kindle Fire”: a 7” tablet that ran a hugely modified version of Android with a focus on entertainment. So as to retain relevance of the name they integrated the Amazon store and made a highly functional eBook reading app.
Since then, the Fire brand has continued to develop and has dropped the Kindle title. There are a total of 5 Fire tablet devices to choose from.
A tablet is very similar to a smartphone: the idea of a touchscreen and hugely user friendly interface are kept with a larger form factor. The general purpose of a tablet PC is for entertainment and multimedia but they do also function well for the purposes of typing up documents or editing spreadsheets thanks to the likes of Google Docs and Office 360. The best way to think of a tablet is like a laptop with a focus on portability.
Taking out a contract will allow you to spread the payments of the device you choose across a 12 to 24 month period. It’ll also give you a monthly data allowance for access to the internet anytime, anywhere.
Amazon’s “Fire” modification of the Android operating system has some fairly impressive additional features. While they’ve sacrificed much of the customisation and creativity that Android is based on they’ve created a heavily functional UI that runs surprisingly well.
One of their major selling points is their superb tech support. With only a few taps you can call their live help center and a representative can see your screen and walk you through the more complex tasks.
Which device is best for me?
The sort of device that you choose to buy will be hugely dependent on what your intended purpose is. There is a vast range of Amazon Fire and Kindle Fire tablets available in all sorts of different shapes and sizes. Have a read of our low down on available devices below:
The fire HD 6 is a new entry into the Fire range. It’s 6”, making it on par with a lot of modern smartphones. The benefit here over a top range smartphone is the price: it starts at £79. It features a 720p HD display and fairly decent specifications for both the price and size. This sort of device would be perfect for anyone who doesn’t have a smartphone but would enjoy the benefits of owning one: on the go entertainment and games.
The HD 7 has a 7” 720p HD display and almost identical specs to the HD 6. The larger screen, however, is a lot better for watching films, TV shows and videos on than a 6” screen. If you’re the sort of person who watches a lot of media then this device is perfect. It also features both a front and back camera, although the quality of these won’t be fantastic.
This is another 7” device although features a much greater resolution (1920×1200, 323ppi) and better specifications. It supports 4G/LTE speeds and has a front-facing HD camera although no backfacing one. This set is a general all rounder: it’s great for watching, playing and working.
As the name suggests, this tablet has an 8.9” display and is Amazon’s current tablet flagship. It has a 2560×1600 (339ppi) resolution screen and a battery that’ll last up to an astounding 18 hours. It has two cameras: a front-facing HD camera and an 8MP back-facing one and supports 4G/LTE connectivity. This device is Amazon’s cutting edge and so is recommended for anyone who is looking to make a long-term investment as it should last for at least 3 years.
Getting an Amazon Kindle Fire contract allows you to pay the cost of a device across a 12 – 24 month period rather than all at once. This’ll mean that you get your tablet right away instead of waiting to save up for it and also provides you with some extra benefits such as 4G data bundles allowing you to access the internet anytime, anywhere. This is fantastic if you have a long morning commute or holiday around the country a lot. Even if not, being able to access the internet anywhere and at anytime is hugely beneficial to the tablet experience and the financial ease means that you have no reason to hold back from buying a device.
Amazon has created a fantastically smooth and simple modification of the Android operating system and their device range is varied enough for there to be something for everyone but not so much that it’s overwhelming such as the case with the Samsung Galaxy series. However, such a heavy modification may feel like a completely different experience to standard Android and this may not be what you’re after. Contract prices can also vary fairly dramatically. See below our table on costs and choosing the best option.
|Apple Tablet Contracts||Android Tablet Contracts||Windows Tablet Contracts|
|Contract Prices||Largely Higher Priced Contracts||Prices vary wildly||High, Mid & Low ranged prices|
|Apps||Largest amount of apps||Most diverse amount of apps||Least amount of available apps|
|Customisation||Restrictive||Large amount of freedom||Moderate amount of customisation|
|Connection||All 4G supported||Range from 4G to 2G||Range from 4G to 3G|
|Usability||Very easy to use and get to grips with||Can be harder depending on user knowledge||Moderately easy to use on larger screens|
|OS Family||OS X, UNIX||Linux||Windows|
|Internet Browser||Safari||Google Chrome ( or android browser)||Internet explorer|
|Manufacturer||Apple Inc||Google, LG, Samsung, HTC, Sony, ASUS, Motorola, and many more||Microsoft, Nokia, Bush, Linx and Connect 7”|
|Cross compatibility||All Apple products||All Android devices & selected Apple / Windows Products||Most Window devices, selected Apple / Android Products|