Gear Review Kindle Fire Tablet (5th Generation 2015)

Discussion in 'Functional Gear & Equipment' started by Brokor, Nov 22, 2015.

  1. Yes, I own a Kindle Fire tablet

  2. Yes, I own a Kindle E-reader

  3. No, I don't. I am considering buying one.

  4. No, and I will not buy one.

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    The Kindle (Amazon) Fire, 5th Generation offers quite a few features which would attract users, most notably, its SD storage just for starters. Price as tested: $64.99 with free shipping. The MicroSD card is not included. You should only use a class 10 SDHC Micro card for compatibility reasons. You can buy it new for as little as $49.99, but it comes with special offers as a screensaver. I do not especially like advertising.

    How does this thing work? A lot like a "smart phone", I imagine. Swipe, drag, poke...

    • Beautiful 7" IPS display (171 ppi / 1024 x 600) and fast 1.3 GHz quad-core processor. Rear and front-facing cameras.
    • All-new Amazon Underground, a one-of-a-kind app store experience where over $10,000 in apps, games and even in-app items are actually free - including extra lives, unlocked levels, unlimited add-on packs and more.
    • Enjoy more than 38 million movies, TV shows, songs, books, apps and games.
    • 8 GB of internal storage. (Actually 5.63 GB internal storage) Free unlimited cloud storage for all Amazon content and photos taken with Fire devices. Add a microSD card for up to 128 GB of additional storage.
    • Updated user interface - Fire OS 5 designed for quick access to your apps and content plus personalized recommendations that make it easy to discover new favorites.
    • Up to 7 hours of reading, surfing the web, watching videos, and listening to music. The battery will last much longer if you turn off wifi and use the tablet for reading books.
    • Stay connected with fast web browsing, email, and calendar support.
    • Operating system is "OS 5 Bellini", which is android. The "Silk" browser is quite nice.
    • USB/power adapter and cable included. The cable can be removed from the small adapter end, making it a USB data cable to connect to a PC.
    First, allow me to describe to you my intentions for purchasing this tablet. I intend to use this primarily as an educational tool for when it becomes necessary. It's light, portable, rechargeable, and can run for long periods. Until it is needed for such purposes, I might as well continue testing out its additional features.

    PROS (from my perspective):
    • Easy to use, intuitive design.
    • It's clean, responsive, and fast.
    • Affordable -but only because it's designed to market apps, games, books, music and video to you. I see this as a bonus rather than a burden since I can easily turn off Wifi capabilities and still have all the functionality I need.
    • I found a workaround to the storage problem (see below in "cons") -I used the Silk browser to access my own, private cloud server (not Amazon cloud) and downloaded all of the E-books I needed (although I am limited to about 4 GB roughly to be comfortable).
    • This Fire tablet will work great with my solar setup, making charging a breeze without any additional components to buy.
    My Kindle Fire with a NuPro case:

    Pros summary:
    Usability 5/5 :5s: Affordability 5/5 :5s: Portability 4/5:4s:


    This little bugger is a bit heavier than I expected, meaning I have held it in my hands for over an hour and wish it weighed a little less. It's not too heavy to carry around, nor does it seem to be too fragile.
    Storage: Yeah. You do have the ability to use a MicroSD card, and it does accept the card fine. However, if you were thinking you could get away with storing all your E-books and downloaded content from the browser onto the card, you're sorely mistaken. You see, you can only use the internal storage for those things, but you can gladly store all your apps, videos, movies, and pictures on your SD card, just don't expect to use your SD storage for your E-books, music, or private data. One more thing, you could always use the free, unlimited "cloud" storage for all your purchased a good zombie.

    Battery: It's not too bad for what it is, but compared to the Kindle e-readers available which can maintain a charge for weeks and months of ordinary use on a single charge, about half a day persistent use with no wifi active still doesn't compare. But, it's good enough for standard and emergency use, especially with solar recharging, and far better than any laptop or netbook I have used.

    Cons summary:
    Weight 3/5 :3s: Storage 2/5 :2s: Battery 3/5 :3s:


    Additional Information
    You can press and hold an icon on the main page of your Fire until it pops out at you, then drag and drop to move it around. If you drag it onto another icon, it will make a folder and you can name it. You can do the same to remove the icons from the folder if needed. I moved all the Amazon icons into its own folder and named it "Amazon", and then did the same for everything else I didn't intend to use and named the folder "unused". This will free up the home page. Any additional apps you download and install will appear on your home page. In the photo below, you can see my Fire with the front camera blocked with clear tape and paint...because, reasons.
    DSC00032.JPG Don't worry -it still has a fully functional rear cam which takes very nice pictures.

    There are plenty of free apps available to install, some are good, some may not be useful. I am still testing a few of them, but thus far, no tricks. I have really found some decent books for free already.

    Yes, that's my wallpaper (Cintia Dicker, my future not-wife) :whistle:


    A screenshot of some books I downloaded and are on the reading list:

    Here's after I opened the Silk browser in airline mode (Wifi disabled) to test if I can still access my downloads:

    And here is one of the downloads working perfectly, even if it is stored on my internal storage:

    The Kindle Fire (5th Gen) is not a bad item overall, but the Amazon marketing strategy very nearly makes this a sour deal.



    First, I would allow the consumer to control their own data. If you make a product with MicroSD storage, don't program the damn thing so nobody can use that storage except how you want them to. I tried dumping files from my PC onto the Fire, and it will not read the files unless it is downloaded through the tablet by means of purchasing software or web browser. Of course, there is one exception for the pictures folder, you can transfer pictures, no problem -but with two cameras, why wouldn't it?

    Second, I would at least try to market the Fire to an intelligent consumer by being honest and not attempt to fascinate and captivate the younger generation with dual cameras and an endless sea of marketable apps. Just make it fully functional and keep the bells and whistles optional.

    To date, Kindle has yet to make and release a Kindle in any line which will absolutely permit you to fully integrate your E-books onto removable storage. They seem to be focused on pushing "cloud storage" and ignoring the need for users to have control of their data at all times. In this modern and mostly insecure world of uncertainties, the "cloud" provided by a corporate giant just isn't fanciful.

    Aside from all of the above, it's a remarkable little tool, and worth every penny for the low cost, in my opinion.

    Mindgrinder, stg58, Yard Dart and 2 others like this.
  2. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    How does it do watching YouTube?

    We have an older version Kindle Fire and it's a pain to use with YouTube. I've about given up trying and use a laptop or my phone.
    Mindgrinder and HK_User like this.
  3. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    The YouTube app works flawless so far. Only used it to watch Sports Illustrated swimsuit models and Lexy Panterra twerking, though.

    I have a stylus coming soon since I am not very accurate with my finger tapping.
    HK_User likes this.
  4. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    I like the look of your future ex-wife, @Brokor... :whistle:
  5. natshare

    natshare Monkey+++

    Nice to see that Amazon FINALLY put an SDHC slot on their Fire tablets. (y) Too bad they limited the usefulness of it! (n)

    I had the first generation of the 8.9" HD Fire tablet, for my first ever (modern) Android tablet (had a dinosaur, 7" Archos tablet, that ran Android 2.2 :rolleyes: ). I liked it for what it was, but found the tablet far too limited in its abilities, thanks solely to Amazon trying to make their users build their entire experience around (you guessed it) Amazon's services (movies, books, music, etc.). I ended up giving that to my sister (who has Amazon Prime, and enjoys the fact that the screen is larger than her old 7" Fire tablet), and bought myself an Asus 10" tablet, that I use mainly for traveling with, as it's so much lighter than any laptop could ever hope to be.

    Glad, also, that you're enjoying the Silk browser, as the version they had on my old 8.9 Fire HD was a real POS of a browser, and tended to lock up on me, way too often. :(
    Brokor likes this.
  6. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    A well written review and I dont understand why you bought it. You can use the kindle app for all amazon books and move them to an SD card. Just saying. I have the same nook i have had for years and all of my purchases work on my smart phone on the Nook app and on the Kindle app. My next electronic thingy will be a tablet and I will use apps. Not set on what yet.

    I hate proprietary crap.
  7. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    Couple of notes
    It is an Amazon Fire - not considered a Kindle by the folks at Amazon.

    Some folks have complained about charging related issues, so beware.

    For $50 I picked one up to jailbreak into an Android tablet - making this the least expensive 'droid tablet on the market right now. I also have a gen 1 Kindle Fire - but it has no Bluetooth, the new Amazon Fire comes with a Bluetooth - the major factor in my purchase.

    Once 'converted to a Android, Kindle apps can be leaded and the card based memory fully used.

    Neat toy that may work out - otherwise, it will hold all my pics, and cost less than a new battery for my PDA...
    Ganado likes this.
  8. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I wanted something powerful, updated and could store and use .pdf files on a removable card. I looked for days at a Nook, but I won't settle for one just yet. As a bare-bones system just for reading and allows the user to actually control their data, I think Nook is the only way to go. This was $49, with a slight upgrade -not gonna break the bank. That's why I got it.
    Ganado likes this.
  9. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    @DKR you can convert it to an android compatible device? (This is over my head)

    @Brokor cant beat the price thanks for sharing your thinking
    Brokor likes this.
  10. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    Consider getting one and down loading all of your monkey .pdf files... 64 gig can hold all of them and some of the better videos.... store in a safe with a solar recharger and if TSHTF you have back up for your files in a compact and inexpensive device
    Ganado, oldawg and Brokor like this.
  11. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    The Amazon Fire (not to be confused with the Kindle HD Fire) already is an Android device - the Fire OS is a variant (fork) of the Lollipop version. There is no need to 'root' the device, a simple script
    How to Install the Google Play Store on Your Amazon Fire Tablet
    will give you full access to the Google Play store and all the apps sold. Use at our own risk, YMMV, etc. If you don't know what a root kit is, it maybe worth asking an IT savvy friend to do the file work.

    You can root the Fire 7" device to be a full Lollipop Android device, but you will have to fuss over drivers...

    The Kindle Fire HD can be rooted to turn it into a Android device - and it must be rooted to do that.

    The Fire 7" was designed & sold with the idea that being too restrictive would hurt sales...

    Hope this helps.
    Ganado and Brokor like this.
  12. Gesko

    Gesko Monkey+++

    Can you actually use the SD card to store/install apps on it? I currently have an Android phone, but the apps can only be installed on the internal memory, not the SD card. The SD card is basically only for photos, etc
  13. Idahoser

    Idahoser Monkey+++ Founding Member

    all my android devices allow installations to be moved to the SD card, unless they're the original ones provided by the vendor.
  14. Gesko

    Gesko Monkey+++

    Doesn't work for me, they changed how the SDCard is being handled in 4.3 i think, guess i'll have to look into rooting the phone to fix that
  15. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    The Amazon Fire 7" is unique in the Amazon offering set.

    It does allow some things (like the Google play) and not others.

    Loading books from the Gutenberg Project - even in .mobi format - is a multi-step process. And the Kindle book app ignores everything not downloaded from Amazon. You can store the books (in any format) in the DOCS folder or the SD card and open them from there. One of those funny things not mentioned in the sales brochure.

    My Kindle Fire HD Gen 1 doesn't have a problem with .mobi files I've found and loaded off the net. So, as they say, each of these tablets has it's own set of odd behavior - if compared with another....earlier offering

    Then again, you did buy the Fire so you could buy all of your content from Amazon - right?
  16. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    HAhahahHAHA! ;)

    Yes, with the latest Fire you have the ability to do this from the settings screen with a simple swipe.

    Ganado likes this.
  17. Gesko

    Gesko Monkey+++

    Currently on sale for $34.99
  18. natshare

    natshare Monkey+++

    With free shipping on $35 (unless you're a PRIME member). Which means you'll have to find an add-on item, to boost you over. Typical Amazon! :rolleyes:

    I already have a 7" Android tablet, but thinking I'll pick one of these up, for a back-up. Great to store survival/prepping books & videos on a micro-SDHC card! (y)
  19. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    stg58 and Brokor like this.
  20. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Thanks for the link to the information on e-books, Witch Doctor.

    I have been more concerned with which E-Reader device to actually buy, as Amazon Kindle devices and even new Barnes & Noble Nook ereaders are out of the question since they are geared toward cloud storage and do not permit the use of storing .pdf's on your removable storage (without some crazy hacking in some cases). I do not want to have to hack the device to get it to save and access my data how I want it to.

    So, I have been doing a great deal of research, and the best E-reader device I have been able to find is this: Energy Sistem - eReader

    It meets every aspect I find important, with the only exception being weatherproofing, and it is also not terribly expensive.

    Then, there's the Kobo Aura H2o (a close second) Kobo Aura H2O - Rakuten Kobo-U.S. Store

    The Aura has the weatherproofing, but kind of lacks in some of the control/feature areas. The nice thing is, it will side load your ebooks fine, but the price is a bit steep for this device.

    I will just have to wait a little longer, I think. Maybe there's some product out there I may have missed or another will be invented with common sense in mind instead of ridiculous marketing tactics and gimmicks.
  1. sec_monkey
  2. Motomom34
  3. Witch Doctor 01
  4. 3M-TA3
  5. natshare
  6. Witch Doctor 01
  7. Idahoser
  8. Brokor
  9. Salted Weapon
  10. Idahoser
  11. Brokor
  12. Pax Mentis
  13. melbo
survivalmonkey SSL seal warrant canary