Amazon shook up the tablet market last year with its bold ($199) pricing for Kindle Fire. This year, it is Google which has surprised everyone with its Nexus 7 tablet, offering outstanding specifications in a budget tablet.
For consumers, this means more choices, and also more decisions to make. Anyone looking to buy a tablet at this time is likely to ask:-
First, a head to head comparison of the two tablets, followed by discussion of hardware features and main selling points of the two tablets.
Nexus 7 vs Kindle Fire Comparison Table
|Features||Kindle Fire||Nexus 7|
|Size (L x W)||7.5 x 4.7 inches||7.82 x 4.72 inches|
|Thickness||0.45 inches||0.41 inches|
|Weight||425 grams||340 grams|
|Screen size||7 inches||7 inches|
|Resolution||1024 x 600, 169PPI||1280 x 800, 216 PPI|
|Processor||1.2 GHZ, Dual Core||1.3 GHZ, Quad Core|
|Storage||8 GB||8, 16 GB|
|OS||Customized Android||Android 4.1|
|Battery Life||7~8 hours||8~10 hours|
|Front Camera||No||1.2 MP for video chat|
*Current Prices may vary^
Let us now take a detailed look at the main hardware features that stand out in above comparison table
Nexus 7 vs Kindle Fire | Form Factor
- Kindle Fire – 7.44 x 4.72 x 0.45 inch thick, 400 grams in weight
- Nexus 7 – 7.82 x 8.42 x 0.41 inch thick, 340 grams in weight
Nexus 7 is light, in-fact it is currently the lightest tablet in the market. Overall, in this area Nexus 7 scores over Kindle Fire due to its lighter weight, lesser thickness and textured leather like rubber covering on the back of device, which is getting positive reviews in the media.
‘The inclusion of this seemingly small bit of design panache makes the tablet one of the most comfortable I’ve ever held” – CNET, on Nexus 7 back design.
Nexus 7 vs Kindle Fire | Display
- Kindle Fire – 1024 by 600 display @ 169ppi
- Nexus 7 – 1280 by 800 display @ 216ppi
A resolution of 1200 x 800 on Nexus 7 ends up producing an impressive pixel per inch value of 216 on its 7” screen.
This is not only better than kindle Fire’s 169 ppi display but also closer to the Retina display found on Apple’s latest Macbook pro series notebooks (221 ppi).
Processor, RAM & Storage
- Kindle Fire – 1.2 GHZ dual core Processor, 512 MB RAM, 8GB Storage
- Nexus 7 – 1.3 GHZ quad-core Processor, 1GB RAM, 8 and 16 GB Storage
Compared to Kindle Fire’s 1.2 GHZ dual core processor, Nexus 7 comes with a faster 1.3 GHZ Quad core processor, which translates into faster performance while playing games and watching videos.
It is likely that Amazon will be matching Nexus 7’s RAM and processor in its next version of Kindle Fire. However, for now it is advantage Nexus 7 in this area.
- Kindle Fire – Customized Android OS
- Nexus 7 – Android 4.1
Nexus 7 is powered by Android 4.1, Jelly Bean which is the latest version of Google’s popular Android OS for tablets. Jelly Bean has been designed to offer faster performance, smarter notifications, and easy customization of the home screen.
In comparison, Kindle Fire runs on an older version of Google’s Android Operating system.
However, it must be mentioned that the Android OS on Kindle Fire has been heavily customized by Amazon resulting in an OS that really works well and does a good job of offering seamless connectivity to Amazon’s digital content.
Nexus 7 vs Kindle Fire | Camera
- Kindle Fire – No Camera
- Nexus 7 – 1.3MP front facing camera’s
While higher priced tablets like iPad and Samsung galaxy feature front and rear facing cameras, Google has gone half the distance on its Nexus 7 tablet by offering a front facing camera for Video Chat.
A camera on Nexus 7 compared to no camera on a Kindle Fire is definitely a plus for Googles tablet, especially for those who are considering value for money.
Touch Screen Glass
- Kindle Fire : Gorilla Screen
- Nexus 7 – Scratch Resistant Screen
Nexus 7 comes with a scratch resistant glass while Kindle Fire offers a superior Gorilla Screen glass manufactured by Corning.
Gorilla Screen is extremely resistant to scratches and unlikely to break in case you accidently happen to drop Kindle Fire.
You can find videos on YouTube demonstrating the scratch resistance and toughness of Gorilla Screen.
Specs Are Not Everything
Well, specs are not everything as proved by Apple’s iPad, which still remains the undisputed King of tablets despite other tablets having matching or even better specs.
Hence, let us now take a look at the main selling points of both Kindle Fire and Nexus 7 Tablet.
Google Nexus 7 Tablet | Selling Points
- Over 4 million books to choose from, Google claims to have the world’s largest collection of eBooks.
- Movies and TV shows in full HD from Google servers.
- Over 600,000 free and paid apps to choose from
- Bluetooth and NFC capabilities
- Built in GPS – You can download a Google map for your city and use the built-in GPS to navigate, even when you do not have a data connection
Google Now – This is a cool feature on Nexus 7 tablet which provides you with the right kind of information, just at the right time.
Google Now provides you the weather information just before you start your day, traffic information just when you are about to leave for work, and tells you the exact time when you can expect the train to arrive while you are standing on the platform.
Google Now traffic Card
As Google says, the best part of Google Now is that all this happens automatically, Google Now information cards appear throughout the day at just the moment that you need them.
Google Now requires that you allow Google to track your location.
Kindle Fire Tablet | Selling Points
- Unlimited cloud storage for Amazon content
- Millions of books, magazines, songs, videos, movies and TV programs to choose from
- Unlimited, commercial-free streaming of over 10,000 popular movies and TV shows with Amazon prime membership
- Free 2 day shipping for eligible Amazon products (with Prime Membership)
- Whispersync technology – Lets you read books, watch movies across other devices. You can start watching movie on Kindle Fire and resume watching from the same point on your TV.
- Movies at your fingertips – Buy or rent at competitive prices
- Netflix, Hulu Plus and Pandora – In case you want more movies
- Borrow one book per month Free with Amazon prime membership
It makes all the sense to go for Nexus 7 tablet, considering its superior hardware features and the sheer value for money that Nexus 7 provides.
When it comes to other considerations, Amazon is definitely a more established brand with movies, books and other items being cheaper on Amazon compared to other retailers.
Also, those used to shopping from Amazon through-out the year and more so in Christmas are likely to get more value for their money by going for Kindle Fire with Amazon prime membership.