Rounding up today’s Amazon device frenzy is the new 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HDX, replacing last year’s model. This new high-quality tablet boasts of a considerable internal upgrade that doesn’t bump the price tag at all. Amazon is also announcing the newest version of its Android-based Fire OS, codenamed “Sangria”, which brings a plethora of new features to both the Kindle Fire tablets unveiled today as well the third generation models as well.
To some extent, this new Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 is a mix of both old and new. The size, of course, has remained the same, as well as the 2560×1600 resolution, which isn’t bad at all, especially when augmented by Dynamic Light Control which adjusts the white point of the display based on surrounding light in order to better mimic the appearance of physical paper. The 2 GB RAM and three storage options of 16, 32 and 64 GB have also remained the same. The most notable changes, however, are where it counts the most. This next gen Fire HDX boasts of the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 805, a quad-core chip running at 2.5 GHz. And, for the first time, Amazon is putting Dolby Audio inside to make not just reading but also watching and listening an enjoyable experience. And it’s not just a plain Dolby either. Dolby Atmos makes its presence felt, which Dolby advertises to deliver the same experience as watching in a theater.
The new Fire HDX 8.9 also boasts of new services courtesy of the new Fire OS 4 “Sangria” that is making its way to the new Kindle HD 6 and 7 as well. These include ASAP or Advanced Streaming and Prediction, a feature on the Fire TV that tries to guess what you will watch next and starts streaming that video in the background so that your next playback will be instantaneous. Family Library gives the whole family access to each other’s purchased content, including books, audio, apps, games and Prime Instant Video for easier sharing without having to switch accounts back and forth. Fire OS 4 also introduces the concept of profiles that practically does the reverse, making sure that each user’s settings and private data remain private, turning the Kindle Fire HDX into an even better family-owned tablet.
The Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 is available for pre-order today and will start shipping in October. The prices have not changed at all and the 16 GB model still costs $379, while the 32 and 64 GB models still cost $429 and $479, respectively. There is also a 4G version of the tablet available with prices starting at $479. Fire OS 4 “Sangria” comes pre-installed in today’s newly announced Kindle Fire tablets and will arrive on 3rd gen devices via a free OTA update.