Amazon Hearth HD 6 assessment: nice worth for a $ninety nine pill

Amazon Fire HD 6 review: great value for a $99 tablet

This is a query: How did Amazon comprehend it was time to make a $ninety nine pill? Due to focus teams? Its ace advertising division? Shut: consumer evaluations. Let’s not overlook that Amazon is greatest recognized for its retail empire, so when a lot of individuals begin shopping for low cost tablets, the corporate catches on shortly. And when buyers begin giving them awful consumer evaluations, nicely, Amazon notices that too. After studying plenty of write-ups from disgruntled clients about tablets with chintzy construct high quality, the corporate determined it might do higher. The Hearth HD 6, a 6-inch pill priced at $ninety nine, is the corporate’s least expensive and smallest slate but, and it is designed to tackle all these unreliable no-identify units that buyers appear to hate a lot. Suffice to say, it provides some nice worth for the worth. This is why.

Gallery | 22 Photographs
Amazon Kindle Hearth HD 6 evaluate

eighty two
Amazon

Hearth HD 6

Execs

  • Sharp display
  • Wholesome battery life
  • Helpful options similar to household sharing and the choice so as to add six consumer accounts
  • Nice general worth for the worth

Cons

  • Heavy for its measurement, low cost construct high quality
  • Restricted constructed-in storage, no microSD slot
  • Some efficiency lags
  • Does not embrace Amazon’s Mayday reside help function

Abstract

With lengthy battery life, a pointy display and a few helpful software program options, the HD 6 gives spectacular worth for the cash. It is a superb selection for youngsters, and anybody else on the lookout for a small-display pill on a finances.

Hardware

Amazon Fire HD 6 review: great value for a $99 tablet

There are many causes you may purchase the HD 6: display high quality, fascinating software program, lengthy battery life. However a beautiful design is not one in every of them. The HD 6 is a chunky and surprisingly heavy little factor, measuring zero.four inch thick and coming in at 10.1 ounces, or zero.sixty three pound. To place that in perspective, the Nexus 6 weighs simply 6.forty nine ounces, or zero.four pound, although it is about as thick as Amazon’s pill. Except for its boxy form and chamfered edges, the HD 6 has a plain shell normal out of clean plastic (my unit got here in white, however it’s also possible to get it in black, magenta, cobalt blue or “citron,” a loud yellow). Across the edges, you will discover a quantity rocker and energy key, however sadly no microSD slot — a disgrace since there’s solely 8GB or 16GB of constructed-in storage. There’s additionally a 2-megapixel digital camera round again, able to capturing 1080p video, together with a fair decrease-res VGA digital camera up entrance for the occasional selfie. In any case, put together your self for a great deal of nook-slicing right here. This can be a $ninety nine pill, and it seems to be the half.

That stated, what the Hearth HD 6 lacks in allure, it makes up for in sturdiness. Up entrance, the 1,280 x 800 display is coated in Gorilla Glass, making it much less weak to scratches. Amazon additionally ran its new pill via a gamut of torture checks, starting from sunscreen to salt water to a machine that simulates gadgets being tossed round inside a bag. I confess I have never tried the sunscreen check myself, however I did regularly put the pill inside a backpack alongside different devices, and to today it does not have any scuffs on both the entrance or again aspect.

Amazon Fire HD 6 review: great value for a $99 tablet

Talking of the display, Amazon units itself aside with a 6-inch, 1,280 x 800 panel, which equates to a good pixel density of 252 ppi. That is truly the identical decision as Amazon’s 7-inch pill, besides there, the pixel density drops to 216 ppi — one thing to think about for those who’re deciding between the 2. Extra importantly, you are going to be arduous-pressed to seek out one other pill on this worth vary that matches the HD 6 in sharpness; a lot of the different cheapies prime out at 1,024 x 600. That makes a distinction in nearly each space that issues: watching films, searching pictures, enjoying video games and studying books.

Sadly, although, the viewing angles are combined, and that is even though this makes use of an IPS panel. On the one hand, I had a simple time viewing the display whereas studying, checking e mail, browsing the online and updating Fb — principally, something that required me to be holding the gadget in two arms, not removed from my face. Once I was mendacity on the sofa, although, making an attempt to observe a film, there was no strategy to relaxation the pill towards my legs and nonetheless be capable of comply with alongside (not with out turning all of the lights off, anyway). Finally, I wanted to maintain no less than one hand on the gadget to take care of an optimum viewing angle. Let me inform you: After one hour of that, I used to be able to return to my Roku Streaming Stick, and stream Amazon Prime Video on my TV as an alternative. All of which is to say, should you assume you may do numerous film-streaming, think about shopping for one in every of Amazon’s elective case-stands, which begin at $30.

On the audio entrance, the HD 6 makes use of Dolby’s Digital Plus know-how, which Amazon makes use of in most of its different tablets (the excessive-finish Hearth HDX eight.9 makes use of Dolby Atmos as an alternative). Meaning the 6- and seven-inch Fires ought to supply comparable sound, besides the 7-inch model has stereo audio system, whereas the 6-incher makes do with only one. Take into account, I have never examined the brand new HD 7, so it is unattainable for me to match. However I’ll say this: The sound coming from the 6-inch mannequin is fairly weak. I needed to crank the quantity near the highest, even once I was sitting alone in a quiet room. It isn’t just like the pill had a lot to compete with, however I nonetheless needed to go up across the max quantity mark to pay attention comfortably. Even then, I had to ensure to not relaxation the pill face-up on my sofa or different mushy surfaces; as a result of the speaker sits on the bottom, the sound can muffle simply in the event you obscure the grille in any method.

On the brilliant aspect, no less than, the standard might have been a lot tinnier than it was. Which will sound like faint reward — and it kinda is — however I truly loved listening to Jimi Hendrix on this tiny factor. Positive, the decrease notes might have come by means of stronger, however all in all, the audio was nonetheless extra nice than I anticipated it to be.

Software program

Amazon Fire HD 6 review: great value for a $99 tablet

With the Hearth HD 6, Amazon additionally launched a brand new model of Hearth OS, codenamed “Sangria” (Amazon names its working methods after alcoholic drinks the best way Apple used to call its OSes after giant jungle cats). Based mostly on a forked model of Android KitKat, Hearth OS four brings a recent, straightforward-to-perceive UI. On the house display (pictured above left), you will see a carousel displaying all of your most up-to-date… stuff. Apps you simply opened? Books you latterly learn? It is all there, in a single steady string. Principally, it is the closest factor you must a multitasking software, because the standard button in Android for seeing open purposes is not included right here. Luckily, at the least, this setup works. Anytime I closed out of an app, perhaps to verify e mail or lookup one thing on-line, I used to be capable of shortly get again to the place I used to be by tapping the house button, adopted by one of many shortcuts in my “just lately used” carousel.

Under that, you will see a smaller carousel whose contents change relying on which app or file you’ve got chosen in the primary one. For example, if I swing the bigger carousel to a memoir I lately learn, I am going to see comparable ebook suggestions listed under. The one time this does not occur is when you choose sure native apps — issues just like the constructed-in digital camera. From there, swipe up and you will see that the remainder of the display is taken up by a grid of apps. In case you’re coming from a plainer model of Android, then you definitely’re used to opening a devoted app launcher, however the setup right here is simply so handy that you simply simply may get accustomed to it anyway. Lastly, on the prime of the display you will see tabs for particular person classes together with video games, apps, books, music, movies, newsstand, audiobooks, net, photographs and “store.” As you’d anticipate, tapping on any of these will can help you see every part you personal in that class, even when it isn’t current. And sure, at each flip you will discover hyperlinks to the Amazon retailer. How else is Amazon alleged to generate profits off such an affordable pill when you do not buy something on it?

Amazon Fire HD 6 review: great value for a $99 tablet

Along with a brand new format, Amazon launched a number of new options as nicely. This consists of the power so as to add as much as six consumer accounts (two adults and 4 youngsters), making it excellent for household use. In an analogous vein, a brand new “Household Library” function permits you to share books, apps, video games and movies with another person in the home — perhaps a partner who has their very own Amazon account. Talking of the type, Amazon baked in some strong constructed-in parental controls, together with the power to determine which apps youngsters can use and when. Individually, Amazon has a “FreeTime Limitless” service ($three a month for Prime subscribers; $5 for non-members), which gives limitless streaming for movies, books and films aimed toward ages three to eight. Moreover, Amazon introduced over the Firefly function it launched on the Hearth telephone. That allows you to scan gadgets utilizing the constructed-in digital camera after which, you already know, purchase them. Amazon additionally added “ASAP” (Superior Streaming and Prediction), a function that first debuted on the Hearth TV. In short, it is designed to foretell what you are going to watch subsequent on Amazon’s streaming service and begin preloading it within the background to keep away from buffer occasions.

Gallery | fifty three Pictures
Hearth OS four.zero “Sangria” screenshots

As with Amazon’s different current merchandise, there’s Goodreads integration, in order that if you fee a guide in Amazon’s Kindle Retailer, you are additionally score it on the social community too. One other oldie-however-goody: X-Ray, which serves up info from IMDb to inform you extra about no matter film, present or audio monitor you occur to be enjoying. As an example, if I am watching Scandal and Olivia Pope and President Fitzgerald Grant are having a tryst, I am going to see a notification within the higher-left nook of the display saying that Kerry Washington and Tony Goldwyn are within the scene. At any time, I can click on by means of to study extra, at which level the video will pause whereas I look stuff up. For music, in the meantime, you will see the lyrics as you take heed to the track.

Lastly, there’s the Amazon Appstore. That is necessary as a result of, in contrast to a correct Android pill, you will not have the posh of accessing the Google Play retailer. Fortuitously, a minimum of, Amazon’s app retailer is now at some extent the place it has a really properly-rounded choice. Talking from private expertise, I used to be capable of finding most of my favorites, together with Fb, Twitter, OneDrive, CNN, The New York Occasions, Spotify, Pandora, Slacker, Mint.com and others. The one one I needed that I could not discover was Dropbox. I am positive you will be lacking a number of too, however on the entire, Amazon has a lot of the massive names taken care of.

All advised, Hearth OS four reads like a biggest-hits listing of Amazon’s greatest options, however there are actually a pair issues lacking. To start with, Amazon did not embrace its Mayday reside help function, which you will discover on the Hearth telephone and Amazon’s larger-finish HDX tablets. Additionally, the reliance on Amazon’s personal apps and providers feels a bit tedious after some time. I get as a pill operating a forked model of Android, the HD 6 may by no means be eligible to run Google-licensed apps, like Gmail or the Play Retailer itself. However for Pete’s sake, is Amazon Cloud Drive actually the one choice for storing paperwork? Who amongst us would have used Amazon Cloud Drive earlier than buying an Amazon pill?

Efficiency and battery life Amazon Hearth HD 6 Google Nexus 9
Samsung Galaxy Tab S**
NVIDIA Defend pill Quadrant 2.zero 6,681 thirteen,737 18,597 20,556 SunSpider 1.zero.2* (ms) 663.1 948.three 1,109 463 3DMark IS Limitless 10,346 24,256 12,431 30,970 GFXBench three.zero Manhattan Offscreen (fps) Unable to run 31 5.5 31

*SunSpider: Decrease scores are higher.

**Common scores for the eight.four- and 10.5-inch fashions.

The HD 6 chugs alongside on an unspecified quad-core 1.5GHz processor and 1GB of RAM. It is definitely not horrible, particularly for a pill at this worth, however do not anticipate any miracles both. Although it is completely fantastic for easy issues like e mail, e-books, net browsing, Fb, Twitter and film-watching, there’s nonetheless a faint sluggishness all through. You will discover it once you hit the menu within the higher-left nook, and the pill pauses for a second earlier than the menu ultimately flies out. Ditto for the onscreen keyboard — I typically observed a delay after tapping a textual content subject with my finger. Sometimes, too, the paltry RAM allowance turned a problem — I could not run a sure graphics check in GFX Bench, as an example, as a result of the gadget did not have sufficient reminiscence. Wouldn’t it have killed Amazon to throw in one other gig of RAM, particularly if it was already resigned to promoting the hardware under value?

That stated, the HD 6 managed to show in a greater SunSpider rating than the Nexus 6, 2014 Moto X or the Samsung Galaxy Notice four, suggesting that the constructed-in Silk net browser is greater than able to maintaining together with your net-browsing habits. Actually, I feel a part of the rationale I am being so choosy is that I’ve used greater-finish units, and I do know what a quick pill seems like. For a primary-time purchaser, although, or perhaps a toddler, it’s going to in all probability matter much less.

Pill Battery Life Amazon Hearth HD 6 eleven:14 Microsoft Floor 2 14:22 iPad Air thirteen:forty five (LTE) iPad mini three thirteen:forty five Apple iPad mini 12:forty three (WiFi) Samsung Galaxy Tab S (10-inch) 12:30 Samsung Galaxy Tab S (eight-inch) 12:22 Apple iPad mini with Retina show eleven:fifty five (LTE) iPad Air 2 eleven:15 Amazon Hearth HDX (7-inch, 2013) 10:forty one Samsung Galaxy Observe Professional 12.2 10:04 Acer Iconia W4 9:50 Google Nexus 9 9:10 Sony Xperia Z2 Pill 7:fifty seven Nexus 10 7:26 Dell Venue eight Professional 7:19 Nexus 7 (2013) 7:15 Samsung Galaxy Tab Professional eight.four 7:thirteen

The HD 6 is rated for as much as eight hours of “combined use,” in response to Amazon’s product web page, however the truth is, I obtained fairly a bit greater than that. With a film looping, the display brightness fastened at 50 % and WiFi on, however not related, I received an unimaginable eleven hours and 14 minutes of runtime — virtually precisely what we noticed from the a lot greater iPad Air 2. So how does Amazon pull it off? Intelligent software program settings, principally. Particularly, Amazon has a function referred to as Sensible Droop that creates a tool-particular profile for when the pill just isn’t in use. Moreover, when the software program detects that the pill is idle, it mechanically turns wi-fi off, a tweak that may end up in as much as 25 % extra standby time, in accordance with Amazon.

Configuration choices

Amazon Fire HD 6 review: great value for a $99 tablet

The Hearth HD is accessible in 8GB and 16GB editions, with and with out “particular presents,” or advertisements on the lock display. For the 8GB mannequin, the beginning worth is $ninety nine with these ads, and $114 with out. When you go for the 16GB model, the worth climbs to $119, or $134 advert-free. Moreover, there’s that barely bigger HD 7 I discussed earlier. That begins at $139 with particular gives (8GB), and goes as much as $154 with out. (There’s additionally a 16GB mannequin for $159, or $174 advert-free.)

Sorry, guys, I am not fairly carried out overwhelming you with pricing information. Bear with me for only a minute. Amazon additionally sells a Youngsters Version of each the HD 6 and HD 7, which comes with a rubbery case and a two-yr, no-questions-requested guarantee overlaying any and all accidents. These begin at $149 for the 6-inch mannequin and $189 for the 7-incher. Each have 8GB of storage, with no 16GB choice. So why the upper worth, you may ask? Nicely, the guarantee, but in addition this: There are not any particular provides right here. For the perfect, if youngsters are going to be utilizing it — why expose them to unnecessary advertisements?

The competitors

As for every little thing else available on the market, nicely, the HD 6 has fairly a couple of massive-identify rivals, even on the $one hundred degree. There’s Lenovo’s A7 pill, which begins at $ninety five with 8GB of storage, and in addition has a 1,280 x 800 display and quad-core processor (MediaTek on this case). Acer’s Iconia One 7 additionally has a 1,280 x 800 panel, and although it is technically priced at $one hundred thirty, Amazon itself is promoting it for $one hundred. HP’s additionally acquired a $one hundred Android pill, nevertheless it’s held again by a 1,024 x 600 display and shorter, 5.5-hour battery life. It is a comparable story with Toshiba, whose $ninety nine Excite Go pill additionally has a decrease-res 1,024 x 600 show. Lastly, ASUS’ final-gen MeMO Pad 7 has seen a worth drop to $one hundred, however you are in all probability higher off paying $24 additional on Amazon.com for ASUS’ newer mannequin.

I might identify much more choices, however I feel you get the thought: The Hearth HD 6 has competitors, however the display high quality and probably battery life are going to be superior generally. As for on a regular basis efficiency? Not essentially. Even then, although, the HD 6 continues to be enough for primary duties. Given all that, the primary query you want to reply is: Are you snug locking your self into Amazon’s ecosystem, or do you want entry to the Google Play retailer? If plain Android is extra your velocity, you will need to save that brief listing of choices I simply gave you.

However let’s not restrict ourselves completely to Android, even when the HD 6 does run a forked model of KitKat. As costs for Home windows tablets proceed to fall, I might recommend you think about a few these too — the variety of apps within the Home windows Retailer is steadily rising and in the meantime, you’ll be able to set up common desktop packages as properly. As a disclaimer, I have never had the prospect to check any of those, however that being stated, the $one hundred HP Stream 7 appears probably the most promising: It packs a Bay Path-collection Intel Atom processor and 32GB of storage, and has the identical 1,280 x 800 decision display because the Hearth HD 6 and seven. Wrapping up, there’s additionally the $one hundred and five Toshiba Encore Mini, however be warned that it has 16GB of constructed-in storage, not 32, and the show is decrease-res than the Stream 7’s.

Wrap-up

Amazon Fire HD 6 review: great value for a $99 tablet

I hesitate to name the Hearth HD 6 one of the best pill you should purchase for $ninety nine, however that is primarily as a result of I have never had the prospect to check all of them. What I can say, unequivocally, is that Amazon’s latest pill provides large bang on your buck, together with lengthy battery life and a comparatively sharp display that makes it best for watching films and studying books. And whereas some individuals will nonetheless choose an Android pill with full entry to the Google Play retailer, Amazon’s Hearth OS is straightforward to navigate and consists of helpful options like household sharing, parental controls and the power so as to add as much as six consumer accounts. Additionally, for anybody afraid of being locked into Amazon’s ecosystem, the corporate does no less than have a broad vary of content material; that features music, films and books, in fact, however even its app retailer now gives most of the similar huge-identify titles as Google Play.

If something, I need to warn individuals not concerning the working system, however the restricted storage — the pill has at most 16GB of area, and there is no microSD slot within the occasion you want extra room. It is also heavy for a tool this measurement, although nonetheless eminently moveable. All that stated, although, the HD 6 stays a robust selection, particularly at this worth. I like to recommend it for individuals with youngsters, or anybody who’s been looking for an honest finances pill. You actually cannot go incorrect with this one.

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<a href=”http://www.engadget.com/merchandise/amazon/hearth/hd-6-inch/”> Amazon Hearth HD 6-inch </a>

  • Key specs
  • <a href=”http://www.engadget.com/merchandise/amazon/hearth/hd-6-inch/” title=”Amazon Hearth HD 6-inch critiques” goal=”_blank”> Evaluations 1 </a>
  • Costs
  • Discussions
  • Type issue Pill
  • Working system Android
  • Display measurement 6 inches
  • Storage sort Inner storage (Flash)
  • Digital camera (built-in) Sure
  • Introduced 2014-09-17

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10common consumer score
  • Options zero
  • Show 10
  • Battery life 10
  • Ease of use zero
  • Storage capability zero
  • Design and type issue zero
  • Portability (measurement / weight) zero
  • Sturdiness zero

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