Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 – Specs, Features, Pros, Cons and everything you need to know (Detailed Review)

Heidi Speare January 22, 2014 0


Today we bring to you a detailed review of the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9, one of the most popular full HD Android tablets available in the market. Even though the tablet is kind of out-dated, it still seems to be one of the most popular choices for consumers who are looking out for a decent tablet that can help them perform basic tasks.

Before we continue, we need you to know that the tablet we are talking about in this post is the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 that was launched in October of 2012. This isn’t the HDX version of Amazon Kindle HD 8.9 that was recently launched by Amazon.

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We hope you are ready to know more about the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9, and just in case you feel that something’s missing, then do let us know so that we can check it out and cover it for you. Let’s get on with the review and just before we start, take a look at the stuff that we’ll be covering in this post.

  • Design and Features
  • Key specifications
  • In the box
  • Price tags
  • Pros
  • Cons
  • Comparison chart

The Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 is one of the first tablets launched by Amazon. Even though the tablet was launched in Q4 of 2012, it has some really impressive specs and most importantly comes equipped with a full HD IPS LCD display that will never let you down when you want to show off your tablet to your friends and family.

The Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 might not have the best looks, but it definitely is impressive. The tablet has a gloss finish on the front side and a soft-touch material on the back side. The soft-touch material gives the tablet a premium look and you will love the feel when you hold the tablet in your hands.

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The feature we liked the most was the IPS LCD multi-touch display. Even though this display does not have a screen resolution as high as the New iPad or Google Nexus 10, you don’t have to worry about it whatsoever. The display on the tablet features a polarizing filter and anti-glare technology that ensure great viewing and quality from almost every angle.

If you are interested in the ports and buttons, you should know that the headphone jack, volume buttons and power button are on the right side of the tablet. There is a microHDMI port and a microUSB port on the bottom side. The speakers are present on the black colored strip that runs horizontally on the back side of the device.

One of the best advantages of buying a Kindle Fire HD 8.9 is that you do not need anything else in order to start using the tablet. So all you have to do is tear open the box, pick up the tablet and start using it. You don’t have to perform any kind of setup, you don’t have to install any software and most importantly you don’t need a computer to take full advantage of your new device since you can download content right from the tablet.

Another cool feature that might be of interest to you is the charging options available for the Kindle Fire HD 8.9. The tablet can be completely charged in about 14 hours when you connect it to your computer, but it just takes about 5 hours when you use the Kindle PowerFast charging accessory. This way, you will be able to save a lot of time in the process and the Kindle PowerFast charging accessory might come in handy when you are traveling somewhere.

Every smart tablet should have smart specs! So it’s time to take a look at the hardware specifications of the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9. We have been talking a lot about the crisp clear IPS LCD display present on this tablet, that definitely is an advantage, but as far as the processor is concerned, you might be a bit disappointed.

The Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 is equipped with a relatively low powered dual-core processor with 1GB of RAM. Even though the GPU is powerful enough, the dual-core processor and 1GB RAM will not be able to ensure smooth performance when you are multi-tasking.

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The tablet does not even have a rear camera, a feature that many consumers prefer to have in their tablets. And talking about the camera on the device, even the front facing camera is not that great – it’s just 1.3 MP. So go ahead, take a look at the key specifications of the tablet if you are planning to buy one.

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 (Key specifications)

  • 8.9-inch full HD IPS LCD touchscreen display
  • 1200 x 1920 pixels screen resolution
  • 254 ppi pixel density

Processing System

  • TI OMAP 4470 chipset
  • 1.5GHz dual-core Cortex-A9 processor
  • PowerVR SGX544 GPU
  • 1GB of RAM


  • 16GB / 32GB of internal storage
  • No microSD card slot


  • 1.3MP front-facing camera
  • 720p video recording
  • No rear camera

Operating System

  • Android 4.0 (customized)


  • Non-removable Li-Ion battery
  • Up to 10 hours of mixed usage


  • Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n)
  • Bluetooth (Standard)
  • High speed 4G LTE


  • Headphone jack
  • Micro USB port
  • HDMI port


  • Proximity
  • Ambient Light
  • Accelerometer


  • Weight: 567 grams
  • Dimensions: 240 mm x 164 mm x 8.8 mm
  • Color Options: Black

If you are already excited about this tablet and plan to buy one, then you should know about the stuff that you will be getting inside the box. We have the list for you right here, but there is one drawback that might disappoint you.

Amazon does not offer a power adapter as part of the deal. So you won’t find this piece of accessory in the box, you will have to purchase it separately. If interested, you can also check out the Kindle PowerFast charging accessory that we talked about earlier. And if you do buy one, please be sure to use it with the original USB cable that you get inside the box.

Amazon Kindle PowerFast charging accessory has been optimized for use with all Kindle tablets including the Kindle Fire HD tablets, Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle. Amazon strongly suggests that you use this accessory “with the black micro USB cable included with Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD and with the white USB cable included with Kindle Paperwhite and Kindle.”

Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 (In the Box)

  • Kindle Fire HD tablet
  • USB 2.0 cable
  • Quick start guide
  • (Power adapter sold separately)

Consumers interested in the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 must definitely be looking out for a decent price tag that goes along with this product. The good part is that the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 is a relatively old member of the family, and hence it will be easy for you to get good discounts on it.

You should definitely check out the best deals offered in the market, and you can compare the prices with the retail ones that we have listed out here. So go ahead and check out the price tags at which you will be able to get the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9. Remember that there are the retail prices, and there might be some differences here and there due to price changes that often take place in case of older devices. We are sure that Amazon will already be having great offers for you, so don’t be hasty in your buying decision and you will be able to save good amount of money.

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Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 (Price Tags)
Wi-Fi only

  • 16GB – $269
  • 32GB – $299
  • 64GB – $399

Wi-Fi + LTE

  • 16GB – $369
  • 32GB – $399
  • 64GB – $499

We finally come to the end of your review, and its time to tell you about the good things and bad things of this tablet. This is definitely not the best tablet available in the market right now, and even though Amazon has cut down the price, you can definitely check out other options.

If you are interested in this tablet, one of the best ways to use it would be to consume media. The tablet is great for watching movies and listening to music, but don’t plan to do a lot of work or multi-tasking on it. The tablet has support for 4G LTE and will provide great connectivity and speed, but then again web performance isn’t that good either.

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Consumers planning to buy the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 should know that even though the tablet has a decent price tag, there are some other expenses that you will have to take care of if you want to get the best experience possible. AS we already mentioned earlier, the tablet does not come with a power adapter, so you will have to buy that separately for around $20. The prices may vary depending upon the dealers, but you now have a figure.

Last but not the least, you might also want to add an extra $15 to the mentioned amount above in order to get rid of ads. Yes, you will still have to pay $15 extra for ad removal.


  • Full HD crisp clear display
  • High speed 4G LTE connectivity
  • Best suited for media consumption
  • Easy and clean user interface
  • Impressive build and design
  • HDMI port

THE BAD (Cons)

  • Limited options in the app store
  • Power adapter sold separately
  • No MicroSD card support
  • Poor web performance
  • Poor multi-tasking
  • $15 for ad removal
  • No Mayday support
  • No rear camera

Get this tablet if you want to keep a low budget and if you are mainly going to use it for music and videos etc. And id you are planning to buy one, be sure to get the right storage model because there is no support for microSD card. Hence storage expansion is not an option and if you do opt for the 16GB version, you should know that 3.3GB out of this will already be used up by the system; so all you are left with is 12.7GB.

So no matter what option you choose, don’t forget that some of the internal storage will already be used up by the system. And the next important thing you shouldn’t forget is that you will have to spend some extra money in order to get the full user experience, which we feel will be the best experience (in case of this particular tablet). So that would be about $20 for the power adapter that you have to buy separately and $15 for ad removal.

Interested consumers should also check out other options that might be a bit costly but at the same time offer greater value for the money you spend. Some of the other options we would suggest would the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7, Apple iPad Mini and even the Google Nexus 7. Each of these tablets have their own pros and cons, so it’s not about choosing the best in the market, it’s all about choosing the one that suits you (and your requirements) the best.

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No Mayday
If you are specifically interested in buying a Kindle Fire tablet for you or your family, then we have one last thing to tell you. The Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9, which happens to be an older tablet does not have the Mayday button that you might already have heard about.

Mayday is the unique feature that allows users to connect with a customer service representative via a video feed and get their problems and queries solved. As an experienced user, this feature might not be so important to you, but if you plan to gift this tablet to your friend or family member who isn’t on the technology side, Mayday is going to be a life saver for them!

We won’t say that Mayday is the best service in the world and that the customer support can solve each and every problem you throw at them (they most probably will), but it helps immensely. Having someone you can talk to and share your problem is the best way to get it sorted isn’t it?


If you do not already know, Amazon has unveiled a new and updated version of the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 tablet! The new version is called Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 and is better than the older version in almost every way possible.

We do not intend to compare these two tablets for you and list out the pros and cons they have over each other. But we simply want to present a chart using which you can compare these two versions of the 8.9-inch tablet yourself.

We are purposely providing this chart for you after the conclusion part, because some of our readers might not exactly be interested in the new model. But if you are, then this is the chart that’s going to help you a lot. So here’s a specifications chart of the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 (old version) and the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 (latest version):

Factors Kindle Fire HD 8.9 Kindle Fire HDX 8.9
Screen Size 8.9-inch 8.9-inch
CPU 1.5 GHz dual-core 2.2 GHz quad-core
GPU PowerVR SGX544 Adreno 330
Front Camera 1.9 MP 1.9 MP
Rear Camera NO 8 MP
Main Storage 16, 32 and 64 GB 16, 32 and 64 GB
Micro SD Support NO NO
Operating System Android 4.0 Android 4.2
Dimensions (mm) 240 x 164 x 8.8 231 x 158 x 7.8
Battery Li-Ion Li-Ion
Weight 567 grams 374 grams


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