Differences Between a Kindle Fire & a Kindle Fire HD
By John Lister
As of August 2014, Amazon offers four models in its Kindle Fire HD range. The Fire and Fire HD are both full-blown tablets as opposed to the e-Reader only Kindle models. The Fire HD models are more expensive than the Fire, owing to the HD models having more features and improved specifications.
Amazon only sells one model of the ordinary Kindle Fire. It sells three models in the Fire HD range: the Fire HD, Fire HD 8.9" and Fire HD 8.9" 4G. The three HD models vary in price and features, so check carefully before buying.
The Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD both have 7-inch screens. The Kindle Fire HD 8.9" and 8.9" 4G, as the name suggests, have 8.9 inch screens. The 8.9" models are the thinnest in the range, with the original Fire the thickest, though the difference is very slight. The Fire and Fire HD both weigh around 14 ounces while the 8.9" models weigh 20 ounces.
Screen and Camera
The Fire has a 1024 x 600 pixels resolution screen. The Fire HD has a resolution of 1280 x 800, meaning it meets the 720p minimum resolution to be described as HD. However, only the 8.9" models, with a resolution of 1920 x 1000, meet the 1080p minimum resolution commonly described as "Full HD." The Fire HD includes a 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera; the regular Fire does not include a camera.
The Fire has stereo speakers. The Fire HD has dual-driver speakers, which split the high and low frequency parts of sound for better quality, similar to full-size hi-fi speakers. The 8.9" models each have two separate sets of stereo speakers. All three HD models support Dolby Digital encoding.
All four models support Wi-Fi. The three HD models support dual-band, meaning they may get better reception with less interference. The Fire HD 8.9" 4G has a built-in receiver for picking up LTE cellular broadband.
The Fire has 8GB of onboard storage. The Fire HD and 8.9" model is available in 16GB and 32GB versions. The 4G model is available in 32GB or 64GB versions. All models can access free online storage for digital content purchased through Amazon, such as movies.
A professional writer since 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism, John Lister ran the press department for the Plain English Campaign until 2005. He then worked as a freelance writer with credits including national newspapers, magazines and online work. He specializes in technology and communications.