Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 review

Doing it Amazon's way on a bigger screen

Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 review

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I've already talked about how good the Fire HDX 8.9 is for movies and TV shows. I've also discussed the quality of the speakers for music or audiobooks. This tablet is made for entertainment.

Gaming is a definite weak spot for two reasons: the lack of certain titles in the Amazon Appstore and the lack of support for some titles that are there, and some suspect performance with stuttering and crashes when playing a graphically intensive title like Injustice: Gods Among Us.

Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 review

Amazon may of dropped the Kindle from the title of the Fire HDX 8.9, but rest assured it's still a very good device for reading on. The Kindle app is one of the best options on Android for reading books and the things that elevate it above the crowd also apply to the rest of Amazon's content offerings.

The X-Ray feature enables you to find out more about what you are reading or watching. You'll also find that Whispersync works perfectly to allow you to seamlessly pick up where you left off on one device on another one.

Amazon's content library is absolutely vast and if you sign up for Amazon Prime you'll get access to the Prime Instant Video library, which was once Love Film, offering thousands of movies and TV shows, which can also be downloaded for offline viewing.

You also get the Kindle Owners' Lending Library enabling you to read a book a month with 500,000 titles to choose from.

Alternatively you can sign up for Kindle Unlimited at £7.99 per month for access to 650,000 books and thousands of audiobooks. Then there's Audiobooks from Audible with over 100,000 audio books for £7.99 per month.

Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 review

X-Ray is a nice extra feature that lets you find out more about what you are reading

On the music front you have Amazon's Digital Music store offering 30 million tracks. Amazon Music allows you to share any tracks you buy across ten devices and you can upload 250 of your own for free.

Extra features like Second Screen and X-Ray, which enable you to use your Fire HDX 8.9 as a remote control for content playing on the big screen will only work with Amazon's services. You can also mirror your screen if you have a Miracast TV, though Amazon would prefer you to buy Fire TV for £79, $99.

The Amazon Cloud Drive gives you 5GB of free cloud storage and you can automatically back up photos, videos, and documents from your Fire HDX 8.9.

Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 review

Signing up to the Amazon ecosystem will vastly improve your experience with the Fire HDX 8.9

There's no doubt that the best experience the Fire HDX 8.9 has to offer requires full immersion in the Amazon ecosystem. Signing up for all these extras is the only way to enjoy the full feature list.

The apps, games, and music are the weak links compared to competitor's offerings. The Appstore is functionally poor, as well as lacking titles, and not always getting the latest updates to existing apps as quickly as the Play Store.

Amazon doesn't offer a music streaming service in the UK and it isn't really competing with things like Spotify or Deezer right now.

The book, movie, and TV show offerings are very strong and competitively priced. They're easy to use and they just work.

Amazon is banking on the idea that once you're invested it will be hard to leave.