Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 review

An excellent tablet that is essentially a portal to all things Amazon

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This is why you buy the the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 - for the media. Whether you're into movies, TV shows, apps, games or books, you'll find that this tablet is your one-stop shop for all those things. Well, if you're doing it within Amazon's ecosystem, that is.

Movies and TV

Like Netflix, you can stream movies on demand here, and like iTunes, you can rent or buy them, too. The same goes with TV shows.

If you're an Amazon Prime member, you'll get all the benefits of having Prime that you may already be used to. You'll get to stream thousands of movies and TV shows in HD, which look great on the tablet.

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8 9 review

We found the selection of movies and TV shows to be excellent, and for the really new stuff that isn't available for streaming, we'd often find them in the rent or buy section.

When you purchase a movie, you can also play them on your TV via a gaming console or set-top box, and your computer and iOS devices. Much like Google Play, when you buy it, you can pretty much consider ownership of that content as long as the device you're using supports it.

X-Ray for movies and TV

One interesting add-on is X-Ray, which gives you the ability to spot actors and actresses as they appear on screen. You'll also get casting info and other trivia, and it all comes from IMDb. All you have to do is tap the display while you're watching a movie or TV show, and the player controls pop up along with a sidebar to the left with the relevant info.

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8 9 review

A neat trick is the changing information in X-Ray that follows who's on screen at the moment. It's accurate and timely the majority of the time, and a little impressive. For example, if you're watching a scene and George Clooney suddenly pops up, his name will appear in X-Ray.


Amazon has a fine selection of music, and you can buy or stream songs just like you would with other media on the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9.

If you've purchased CDs from Amazon in the past, you'll get digital access to that music, too. Any music you've purchased through Amazon will be accessible to you via the cloud.

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8 9 review

We mentioned before that the speakers aren't the best on a tablet, and so it goes with music. Music played through the speakers lack depth and bass, so you'll want to use headsets when listening to music or any other media.

The music player is fine and intuitive enough, though the lack of lock screen controls is a bummer because you'll have to unlock your display and go to the music player or notification panel every time you want to skip songs or adjust volume.

X-Ray for music

Like X-Ray for movies and TV, X-Ray for music gives you a bit of info for the songs you're listening to - namely lyrics. You'll also find album art and a few bits of information here and there, and not much else. Still, it's a nice feature to have.

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8 9 review


When it comes to the Kindle brand, books are its bread and butter. Amazon has a tremendous selection of books for purchase, so there may never be a need to go to a bookstore again. Moreover, Prime members get access to Amazon's Kindle library, which allows you to check out a book once a month for free.

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8 9 review

The reading experience on the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 is quite good, and text is sharp as you'd expect on a device with 339 PPI. Screen brightness is dim enough not to hurt your eyes if you're reading in the dark, and certainly bright enough when you're reading where there is ample ambient light.

If you're thinking of buying a tablet just for reading, you may want to consider the Kindle Paperwhite since it's cheaper and easier on the eyes. However, if you like graphic novels and comic books, they'll really shine on the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9.

X-Ray for Books

For some books, you'll get X-Ray, which gives you information on characters and other tidbits on the books. It's really helpful if you're the type to lose track of characters in books where there are, well, lots of characters.

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8 9 review

It's a nice feature to have, especially if you read with huge gaps in between your reading sessions. If you have only have time to read a few days out of the week or less, it'll be helpful to use X-Ray to keep track of who's who in your stories.