Sep 06 AT 2:10 PM Sean Riley 17 Comments

Amazon’s Kindle Fire gets spec bump, price drop to $159


The 7-inch and 8.9-inch Kindle Fire HDs are the headliners here, but the original Kindle Fire is still alive and has gotten a not insignificant spec boost while shaving 20% off the price.

At $159 the Kindle Fire will again stand alone on the bottom rung of the Android tablet pricing ladder (among the major players anyway).

We’ll fill in all the details as they emerge, but the most notable upgrades to the 7″ Kindle Fire are a 20% increase in the processor and double the RAM for a 40% increase in performance. They have also extended the battery life from the original, which was rated for 8 hours of reading and 7.5 hours of video.

The new Kindle Fire will ship on September 14, but you can pre-order any of the new Kindles now.

This refreshed Kindle Fire can’t really go toe to toe with the Nexus 7 on performance or functionality (the new Fire HDs may be a different story), but at $159 and with the most valuable advertising space on the web, they are sure to move quite a few of them regardless.

Update: Interesting note that Amazon was a little quiet about during the announcement is that all the new Fires will have special offers (ads) on the lock screen.

Source: The Verge

Sean has been with Android and Me for over 8 years and covering mobile for the last 9. He occasionally muses about gadgets and tech outside of the Android universe at Techgasms.

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  • Thomas Biard

    I think the Specs are right in line with how much they’re asking. There are quite a few trade-offs between it and the Nexus 7 that make both a great buy. Maybe not as great performance from the CPU and GPU as the Nexus, but it has a front facing camera, optional 8.9″, optional LTE, and a great HD screen.

    I think it comes down to what each individual user wants…not the population as a whole.

    • Sean Riley

      Those specs are for the 7-inch HD model, this one more closely mirrors the original with just some revamped internals.

      I’m surprised we didn’t see a more significant price drop on this version considering the gap between it and the HD models spec wise. I imagine the teardowns are going to show Amazon losing around $30 a device on the HD models whereas I bet they are about even on this one.

  • seven2k

    Kindles are cool and all but jelly bean and the nexus 7 are just awesome. Grant it the 4g is pretty cool but when you have a 4.5 inches inch phone on the go I really don’t see someone carrying it around.

    • Sean Riley

      The 4G is nice, but even being pretty cautious I can’t imagine staying inside of that 250MB cap for more than a few days.

      • theviper21

        I’m with you, I can’t imagine that 250MB will last all that long, even if you’re just checking e-mail & browsing the web occasionally. Seems like it’s sort of for emergency use. I was a little surprised they didn’t introduce any other plans along with it.

        To be honest, I don’t think they’re really making the 4G LTE version to sell a ton of them; my guess is that it’s more of a pricing strategy to drive users towards the sub $300 devices.

      • theviper21

        Here’s another question though – they mention that you can have 20GB of cloud storage with the 4g plan; I wonder if accessing that counts towards your data usage? Also, I wonder if downloading/accessing Amazon apps, books, and videos will count towards data usage?

        If those things do NOT count towards your monthly data allowance, I think that would be a smart move for Amazon.

        • Sean Riley

          AT&T would never have agreed to that at these prices and I’m reasonably sure that would violate net neutrality rules.

  • DroidSamurai

    I wonder if the OG Kindle Fire will receive an OS update. Looks like Amazon decides to ignore its existence.

    • Sean Riley

      Good question, I haven’t seen anything on that yet, but I’ll try to track down an answer.

  • theviper21

    Another thing I just noticed – the “updated” lowest version Kindle Fire still only has 2-point multi-touch like the original, not 10-point like the HD. Big annoyance to me, having had an original Fire.

  • rashad360

    It is a great price point for some pretty good hardware, but I still think the flexibility of a traditional android tablet is superior to the amazon sandbox.

    • Steve Heinrich

      I agree. I don’t think I can stray from stock Android now that it is optimized for all platforms. The Amazon world feels too limited to me. But, then again, I am an Android enthusiast. To the broader consumer market this will probably be a hit.

  • alexanderharri3

    The prices will bring flocks to the cheap tablet…..but many will later complain about those pesky lockscreen ads…or they won’t….they’re just on the lock screen (to start…)

    • LukeT32

      Lock screen ads are ridiculous….

      • riboul

        who cares? Are you staring at your screen-locked tablet?

  • Fiasko

    After using my wife’s original Kindle I can certainly say I wont be buying any of these. I HATE the skin. It is obvious they built it for un-techsavy users who have no use for personalizing anything.

    I am sure it will be a smash hit because of this reason and its low price. You don’t need to be the best to appeal to the masses.

    • uzunoff

      you are right about that. Look at Apple