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Amazon Announces the New Kindle Fire for $159, Plus the Kindle Fire HD in Two Sizes Starting at $199

Amazon just announced the new Kindle Fire for $159, plus the Kindle Fire HD, at their event in Los Angeles.

The new Kindle Fire still rocks a 7″ display, has a new faster processor, double the RAM, 40% faster performance, and longer battery life. It ships on September 14.

The Kindle Fire HD comes with either a 7″ or 8.9″ display with 254ppi, and a 1920×1200 resolution. It’s 8.8mm thick, runs an OMAP4 4470 processor, at least 16GB of storage, HD front facing camera, dual stereo speakers with Dolby Digital Plus sound, HDMI out, Bluetooth, and dual band WiFi.

The 7″ HD model with 16GB will be priced at $199 an ships September 14. The 8.9″ HD with 16GB will be priced at $299 and ships November 20. There will also be a 32GB version with 4G LTE connectivity (10 bands) for $499. The interesting part about this, is that they you can spend $50 for the year and get 250MB of data to use each month, plus 20GB of cloud storage and a $10 Appstore credit. As Ron so eloquently put it in the live blog, that’s “bonkers.”

On the software side of things, Amazon built in WhisperSync, which allows you to switch between reading a book and listening to it. It will save your spot, so that you can pick up where you left off. Same thing  for games. Say you play 30 levels on one game and then switch devices. WhisperSync will pull from the Amazon Cloud which stores your game progress, so that you can continue playing without having to start over.

They also tossed in a custom Skype app and a custom Facebook app.

To follow all of the details as they come out, be sure to tune into our live blog.

  • Bionic

    Not interested. Why? Because they all use amazons version of android which is disgusting

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gideon-Waxfarb/100002251671344 Gideon Waxfarb

      It’ll be hacked and unlocked in the first week :)

  • DainLaguna

    looks great!!!

    but i have a nexus. /end thread

  • http://twitter.com/j_hollender Justin Hollender

    Really interested to know some more specs like expandable storage options, bluetooth, and battery life.

  • http://twitter.com/j_hollender Justin Hollender

    Any word on the price of the HD 8.9 with 32GB without 4G?

  • http://www.facebook.com/dalebloom Dale Bloom

    I’ll wait for the Nexus 10 (or 9) for $299. Google will definitely counter this.

  • Bryan

    A couple of thoughts:

    1) Why did it take Amazon to build the WhisperSync service for saving game data? This is a great service, but I don’t understand why Google hasn’t done this yet for Android. This is a huge frustration to not be able to take game data from device to device without rooting and using some 3rd party app. I don’t even play Angry Birds anymore because I know as soon as I beat the levels, I will get a new phone and lose all my progress anyway, so why bother.

    2) With the data for the 4G version, what happens when you go over 250MB. Do you just get shut off, billed (how and what rate), or something else? Sounds like a good deal, but not sure if 250MB is enough for something like this that can consume data quickly.

  • A.J.

    If the dev community can get stock Android on this, the 8.9 at $299 wouldn’t be bad at all. Although I still think $249 would have been better.

  • Justin

    Where did he get this fallacy that the 4470 is better than the Terra 3? In all the benchmarks I’ve found, the 4470 is at the bottom of the list.

    • Robert Jakiel

      He has to sell it somehow. Price point + fallacy + Amazon vendor lock-in = PROFIT!!!

    • DerpDerp

      The TI 4470 has a faster GPU than Tegra3.

      • Justin

        But even the graphics benchmarks still show the Tegra beating the OMAP processor.

  • Booyah

    The low price is only there to lock you into Amazon’s services, which I’m not willing to do. I’m still happy with my 16GB Nexus 7 with 32GB OTG. Google > Amazon.

  • Robert Jakiel

    The Kindle HD is meh. The Kindle Fire is meh squared. The 8.9″ Kindle HD w/ 4G is meh cubed. I don’t see the draw at these price points even though Amazon is pitching the service more than the device. Fact is pound for pound the high end quad cores and the Nexus 7 out do all of these devices for a lesser or equal price. With a cheap data plan and tethering off your phone or 4G hotspot you are better off in the long run.

    • A.J.

      This is key and I’m glad you brought it up. If you already have a 4G phone, there really isn’t a need for the Kindle Fire HD with 4G LTE. Also if you want a more desktop experience (like I do) then a plain old Android tablet is the way to go. The advantage of Amazon going after Apple (which is clear that’s whose customer base they are targeting) is that it will force others across the industry to respond.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Gideon-Waxfarb/100002251671344 Gideon Waxfarb

      The Nexus 7 doesn’t have an HDMI port, which is what makes the Fire HD interesting to me. And the high-end, quad core tablets don’t come in anything smaller than 10″.

  • DerpHerp

    1920×1200 on a 7″ is 323 dpi. Should look pretty nice.

    • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

      The 7″ is 1280×800 (720p), the same resolution as the N7. The 8.9″ has the 1920×1200, which is still Retina-level display for $299.

      • DainLaguna

        well near retina

  • Aaa

    4G Model: What does 250mb get you? that’s not even one 40 minute tv episode…

    Overall: it looked cool, but I’m afraid of it being a sort of “free to play” device. Does it have an internet browser?

    • Tristan Cunha

      That’s the two questions I had, what happens when you use up your 250mb, and how long down is it? Does Amazon just want me to buy stuff from their store, or can I use it for other stuff without having to jump through too many hoops?

    • Aardvark99

      250 GB/month should be enough for light use outside of WiFi (browsing, email, facebook). I’d assume the Amazon Appstore will limit its download of large items until it gets to WiFi.

    • Aardvark99

      I’m sure it has the silk browser. 250GB/month should be enough for email, browsing, and FB when away from WiFi. Use WiFi for larger items (media, game downloads). It would be nice it the software (appstore) would help manage this (maybe it does?).

  • Jeff Tycz

    I would really like to know what forked version of android this is running

    • http://twitter.com/Belatukadro Justtyn Hutcheson

      I’m going to guess ICS myself, JB hasn’t been out long enough

      • Justin

        Second. I found it somewhere but I don’t recall where.

  • cooksta32676

    The “New” Kindle Fire……I smell a lawsuit.

  • Southrncomfortjm

    Awesome specs and prices for sure, but I’m still glad I got my Nexus 7. Easily rooted and hacked, the N7 wins even if you can do similar hacking with the Kindle Fire. Actually, the nice thing about my N7 is that I haven’t had to do a thing to it yet, just unlocked and rooted it for future use.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=716789798 Lonnie Kerchief

    While I’m a little jealous of the specs, having just bought a Nexus 7 16GB, I’m still happy with my decision because I’m rocking stock Android on a non-hacked, unlocked bootloader.

  • John

    Dam n

  • Asuriyan

    Great. It seems that apple’s tablet competitors are doing the same thing as their PC competitors: A race to the bottom.

    if you can’t beat them, undercut them!

    • Droidzilla

      Jobs has been dead for a while, now. You can stop quoting his marketing points.

  • EC8CH

    Depending on the price of the HD I might almost regret my Nexus 7 purchase.

    Being locking into the Amazon ecosystem would make me think twice at any price however.

  • EC8CH

    Wow… first event this week that has been impressive…

    looking at you Nokia and Motorola.

    • Robert Jakiel

      Motorola’s event was definitely craptastic but the Nokia event was pretty good. The Lumia 920 is a really nice handset and WP8 is actually a pretty slick OS.

  • Buy This

    Holy. Shitballs.

  • BaltiCzar

    Holy!!!! Looks like it’s time to ebay my Samsung Galxy Tab 7.0 Plus and get with this bad boy.

  • Marc White

    Does it support blue tooth?

    • Justin

      The HD does, but not the regular Fire.

      • Marc White

        Thank you for the reply, this does sound good if it easily rootable like the original, that I have running jeallybean right now

    • Raven

      Yes.

  • http://www.elliottblufer.com Elliott Blufer

    If these had Stock Android, they’d probably be the best thing out there.

    • Jordan Webb

      That’s the key though…not being stock means they can take a hit on the initial cost because their ecosystem is the only one accessible on the device.

      • Go Hawkeyes

        Until it’s rooted and unlocked and someone puts CM on it. Which will hopefully happen.

    • EC8CH

      wonder how easy they will be to root and install stock android?

      • moelsen8

        i bet amazon starts paying attention to that crowd a little more and starts actively trying to get in the way. when they’re competing at rock-bottom prices, i doubt they want any content sales going to google.

    • tomn1ce

      I’m pretty sure the developers would get JB on it in no time…. :-)

    • David Soto

      The original has an excellent dev base. I rooted and flashed a ROM the first day. I’m sure this will be no different.

  • Dustin Wen

    Wow that’s cheap…but I’ll never bite because it has Amazon app store

    • NemaCystX

      unless you hack/root it and change the ROM :P Devices are popular if they have a good price and a strong following (remember the Touch Pad that sold for $99 and people ported Android to it?)

    • BaltiCzar

      You can always root it and then it’s off to the races at that point.

  • http://profiles.google.com/adamtruelove Adam Truelove

    This thing is absolutely useless unless I can put real Android on it, not Amazon’s horrible bastardized version.

    • NemaCystX

      I believe hackers from XDA managed to just that on the Kindle Fire 1, it has a locked bootloader though

  • jerflash

    this sound pretty interesting…for my mom

    • Raven

      You are probably joking, but I was thinking the same thing. My mom currently pays $30 a month to do nothing more than check her email on her ancient Windows PC over a DIAL UP MODEM a couple of times a week. At a price of $50 a year for 4G LTE it would be much cheaper and the tablet would blow away her old PC in usefulness.

  • http://techonblogger.ward.pro/ TechRumblings

    Wow… Price on the HD version?

    • Justin

      No price has been advised yet.

    • Tommy Thompson

      $299 for the 8.9″

  • http://twitter.com/BriCo84 Brian Cohen

    hhmm…any indication on a front facing camera?

    • John

      People really care about that?

      • http://www.vinsonimages.com yamaha83

        if you want to use it for video chat… then yes…

      • Mike

        A front facing camera? Yes! It’s very useful for video chatting.

      • jtay23

        i care more about a front facing camera than a rear one

      • NemaCystX

        some people still use video chat and if you want to use a custom rom and use faceunlock (or in the future when they upgrade it to multi-user) you’ll want a FFC

      • Go Hawkeyes

        A front facing camera is the only logical camera location for a tablet.

        I use Skype all the time to talk to my family located all over the world.

        • capecodcarl

          On a tablet though? Isn’t it awkward to hold the tablet up at eye level while you’re talking? Otherwise they’re looking up your nose. I prefer using the web cam on my laptop. :-)

          • Go Hawkeyes

            Maybe for a business meeting, but it’s just family. I sure don’t concentrate on looking up my family’s noses when I Skype with them. If any of my family does, then they’ve never said anything.

    • NemaCystX

      yes, an HD FFC

      The Verge has more details:

      It includes an HD front-facing camera and a laminated touch sensor for better visuals and 25-percent less glare. It’s powered by an OMAP 4470 processor from Texas Instruments, which Amazon says outperforms the Tegra 3. The Kindle Fire HD also includes stereo speakers, an upgrade over the Kindle Fire’s mono driver. Amazon has improved Wi-Fi networking by adding a dual-band 2.4GHz/5GHz receiver, two antennas, and its new MIMO radio technology. For storage, the Kindle Fire HD offers 16GB of local hard drive space.

  • C-Law

    Sounds amazing so far!