Recently I posted a review of the new 7-inch Samsung Galaxy Tab 4, and while I was at it I wanted to post a comparison review between it and the 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX to detail some of the differences between them.
Both are among the top brands for Android tablets, and both are very different devices, even though they can do many of the same things.
The biggest difference comes in terms of the software. The Galaxy Tab 4 runs open Android 4.4, and works seamlessly with Google’s apps and the Google Play store, whereas the Kindle Fire HDX does not—it remains almost entirely dependent on Amazon for content, and the software is much more closed down and is based on an older version of Android, 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.
Each device offers it’s own unique set of advantages. Here’s an outline of the main points to consider.
For this review I’m comparing the 7-inch models specifically, but most of these points apply to the larger models as well.
Kindle Fire HDX Advantages
- Higher screen resolution: 1920 x 1200 vs 1280 x 800 for the Galaxy Tab 4.
- Faster processor: 2.2 GHz vs 1.2 GHz.
- Adreno 330 GPU.
- More internal storage space options to choose from: 16GB, 32GB, 64GB.
- Touchscreen supports 10 points capacitive touch, whereas the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 supports 5.
- The HDX has 2 speakers located on the angled edges of the device and they are much louder and sound much better than the Galaxy Tab 4’s muffle-prone speaker on the back.
- Access to unlimited free streaming of instant videos with Amazon Prime membership.
- Kindle Lending Library: Can borrow one ebook for free each month (requires Prime membership).
- Mayday button for instant customer support 24×7, 365 days a year.
- X-Ray for movies (see trivia and character backgrounds, etc).
- X-Ray for ebooks (provides additional information about characters and places).
- X-Ray for music (text for lyrics).
- Text-to-speech for Kindle ebooks.
- Amazon’s prices are often lower for digital content.
- The HDX’s reading app has more features than the regular Kindle for Android app.
- Slightly more RAM, 2GB vs 1.5GB.
- It has a dual microphone for some reason instead of a single mic.
Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Advantages
- Has a microSD card slot.
- Operating systems is open Android 4.4.2 KitKat, with full Google Play support.
- Smaller more phone-like size makes it more comfortable to hold, and it weighs an ounce less than the HDX.
- Better overall battery life. Amazon claims more but personal experience doesn’t back that up, especially when sitting idle in standby mode the Kindle HDX’s battery drains much faster.
- Google’s appstore has hundreds of thousand more apps than Amazon’s appstore, and they are updated much more frequently.
- Can install Amazon’s appstore and use most of Amazon’s other services, which grants it access to much of the same content as the Kindle Fire HDX.
- 3MP rear camera (Kindle Fires all lack rear cameras).
- The Galaxy Tab 4 is about a zillion times more customizable, and unlike the Kindle Fire HDX, it supports widgets and custom background and lockscreen images.
- Run two applications at once side-by-side with Samsung’s multitasking feature (doesn’t work for all apps).
- Retails for $30 less than the Kindle Fire HDX.
- No sponsored screensavers and advertisements (costs $15 extra to remove them on the Kindle Fire HDX tablets).
- Google Now.
- Voice search.
- Speech to text (voice typing).
- Physical home button and capacitive sensors instead of onscreen buttons.
- Samsung Book Deals for free ebook per month via exclusive Kindle for Samsung app.
- Built-in IR blaster to use the tablet as a universal remote control