The launching of the 2015 Fire tablets were envisioned by many as an attempt of Amazon at breaking into the reasonably priced small tablet market, and taking some of the spotlight away from the other major players in the market like Samsung. The 2015 Fire HD line looks promising, with some of that Dolby stereo magic and fairly good performance stats for a device at a very reasonable price range.
However, while the 8 inch model of the Galaxy Tab 4 is significantly more expensive, the 7 inch model is offered at a very reasonable price through Amazon and it is thus a worthy contender to the Fire HD.
An important point to note is that the 7 inch Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 has been out in the market for a while before the 2015 Fire HDs. The Galaxy Tab 4 also started out at a slightly higher price point, before dropping to its newer competitive price, so it’s going to be interesting to see whether the Fire HD, which was conceived as a more budget-friendly tablet from the very beginning, can hold its own against a fan favorite with somewhat of a pedigree.
Difference between Fire HD and Galaxy Tab 4
Before we move on, let’s take a look at a basic side-by side comparison outlined in the table below, to get an idea of how these two measure up.
|Specs||Fire HD 8||Galaxy Tab 4 7|
|Resolution||1,280 x 800||1,280 x 800|
|Pixel Density||189 ppi||216 ppi|
|Processor||Quad-core up to 1.5 GHz||Quad-core 1.2 GHz|
|Battery Life||Up to 8 hours||Up to 10 hours|
|Cameras||720p HD Front-facing camera|
5 MP rear-facing camera
1080p HD video recording
|1.3MP Front-facing camera
3.15 MP rear-facing camera
720p HD video recording
2.4+5GHz dual band
2.4+5GHz dual band
|Storage||8 or 16 GB||8GB|
|Expandable Memory||microSD card slot||microSD card slot|
|Height||8.4" (214 mm)||7.36" (187 mm)|
|Width||5.0" (128 mm)||4.25" (108 mm)|
|Thickness||0.3" (7.7 mm)||0.35" (9 mm)|
|Weight||11.0 oz (311 grams)||9.7 oz (276 grams)|
So, the two tablets are fairly similar, with some notable performance differences. Now, let’s look at the pros and cons of each device separately.
Advantage of Kindle Fire HD over the Galaxy Tab 4
The Fire HD has more storage available right off the bat, and you can add another 128 GB if you so choose. Another great thing about it are the dual stereo Dolby Atmos speakers, which provide great sound for such a compact device.
It also has a better camera than the Galaxy Tab 4, with the ability to record in 1080p HD, and outperforms the Samsung tablet in terms of processing power, but you can really notice that they’ve cut corners to keep the price lower – you will get some lag when switching from app to app. The device also gives you full access to Amazon content, which is a major plus.
Advantage of Galaxy Tab 4 over Kindle Fire HD
The Galaxy Tab 4 is somewhat lighter, although it is pretty much the same size as the Fire HD. The Multi Window feature is a great little addition that lets you do some basic multitasking. The batteries will also hold up a bit longer than on the Fire HD, but not for much.
A more notable difference is that the Galaxy Tab 4 has an option of upgrade (here you can find a model on Amazon) that can be used as a phone, as well as a tablet. You might not be in the market for a new phone, but if you can have additional functionality on your tablet for a little higher price, then that’s worth a few extra points in my book.
Who should get the Amazon Fire HD?
Ok, it’s time to get into the practical side of things. The Fire HD 8 was envisioned as nice functional affordable tablet, and it really nails this role. This tablet is great for the casual gamer, movie lover, parent looking to get their kid something “cool and fun” that won’t break the bank, an avid music fan who is often given the role of “designated DJ” by his or her friends, or your average student who needs to do a bit of web browsing, watch a few movies and listen to some music, but has a fairly tight budget to work with.
The tablet has been getting quite some positive Amazon Customer Reviews, and the general consensus is that it offers great value for the price, which is exactly what you should be looking for in this tablet. All in all, it’s an excellent option for anyone looking to get some decent performance, durability and reliability, at a low price.
Who should get the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4?
As a lot of Amazon users have pointed out, it is good for covering all your basic needs, and you shouldn’t really expect it to blow your mind. The battery life is relatively good, so you won’t have to stop and recharge all that often. The main problem is its lackluster performance – unless you are a more casual user who doesn’t mind a bit of lag, you’ll probably find yourself rolling your eyes at your Galaxy Tab 4 from time to time.
The upgraded phone option of Galaxy Tab 4 (that we mentioned above) is a good option for people who are online 24/7 and have needs that a smaller smartphone simply can’t fulfill. It is also a good option for people who are on the move quite a lot, as it can be a life-saver if your phone battery dies and you need to make a call, and it is fairly light, so you can bring it along with you anywhere you go.
When all’s said and done, the Galaxy Tab 4 doesn’t quite measure up. It has some positive sides, it’s just that you can’t help but feel like you are getting less than you need. Sure, Amazon is offering it at a very alluring price these days, but the Kindle Fire HD 8 is just a better “nice and basic” tablet. I’d recommend the Fire HD 8 to people who like to watch movies, TV shows and YouTube videos, and often find themselves playing music on their phones to create a bit of an atmosphere for their friends.
The upgraded phone option of Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 may be a decent option for active people who want to have a phone functionality and a bit more battery life, and don’t really mind the poor camera and sound performance when compared to the Fire HD 8.