The new Nexus 7 is out, largely to positive reviews for its specs, features and price. The Google stock Android tablet may have an unexpected rival in the form of the Kindle Fire HD 2, which has an incredibly fast processor according to GFXBench benchmark tests. According to the benchmark results, the specs of the Kindle Fire HD 2 are better than the new Nexus 7. The Nexus 7 2 specs are as follows:
- 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 ProCPU
- 2GB of RAM
- 7.9x4.5x0.3 inches
- 11.2 ounces
- 7-inch, 1920x1200 display
- 16/32GB of storage
- 1.2MP front-facing camera, 5MP rear camera
- Android 4.3 Jelly Bean OS
- Bluetooth 4.0 support
- Wifi802.11 a/b/g/n
International Business Times reports that two different tablets appeared in the benchmark test, one code-named "Apollo" and another "Thor." The Apollo Kindle Fire HD 2 has a screen resolution of 2560 x 1600, an increase of 33 percent, making it the likely successor to the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HD. The other Kindle Fire HD 2 tablet, "Thor" was seen having a screen resolution of 1920 x 1200, a 50 percent increase over the 7-inch Kindle Fire HD, matching the new Nexus 7 released in July 2013. The specs of the Kindle Fire HD include a quad-core 2.15 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor. Those familiar with the specs of upcoming flagship phones and tablets should know that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 is considered to be a bleeding edge chipset, second only to the Samsung Exynos 5 Octa.
The "Thor" is the likely competitor to the new Nexus 7 2; this would make it the second upcoming tablet to have specs that outstrip the Nexus 7 2. The Nvidia Tegra Tab 7 is also expected to have a processor that far outstrips the Nexus 7 in benchmark tests. To add to the woes of the Nexus 7 it is facing a number of serious hardware and software problems that as of yet still don't have confirmed fixes.
The Kindle Fire HD 2 7-inch "Thor" will have a front facing camera only while the 8.9-inch "Apollo" will have both front and rear facing cameras. The Nexus 7 2 boasts both front and rear cameras, but many users consider the rear facing camera to be largely unnecessary. Overall the camera won't be what makes or breaks the success of the device. The Nexus 7 2 runs Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and will update to the latest Android OS, presumably Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie in October. The two Kindle Fire HD tablets are shown running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean in the benchmark tests, but it is almost certain they will be running a "forked" version that will not allow access to the Google Play Store.
This is likely the biggest disadvantage the Kindle Fire HD 2 tablets face compared to the Nexus 7 2. The inability to download Google Play Store apps and reduced compatibility with the Google apps like Maps, Now and Gmail are likely to present a major deterrence to users. That is not to say that users are entirely foreclosed from using these apps on the Kindle Fire HD 2 tablets, but the Amazon system dominates. Kindle Fire HD users will primarily have to use Amazon Prime, Kindle books and other contents rather than the Google system.
The Kindle Fire HD 2 specs may be enough to persuade users, but when it comes to a tablet, features are important. While both the Nvidia Tegra Tab 7 and the Kindle Fire HD 2 have things going for them, the real matchup is likely to be against the iPad Mini 2. As "The Diplomat" points out, Apple still controls 32 percent of the tablet market, a dramatic decline from the 60 percent they controlled a year ago. Android tablets are gaining ground, a Kindle Fire HD 2 tablet that uses a truncated Android system may not be appealing to many users.
It will remain to be seen if the Nexus 7 2 woes will convince users to switch to the Kindle Fire HD 2 or another rival tablet. We suspect that to some extent the devices appeal to different kinds of consumers, those interested in the Amazon system rather than Android OS devices, so perhaps it will have little impact.
Are you interests in the Kindle Fire HD compared to the Nexus 7 2 because of the specs?