Kindle Fire 8.9″ 4G: first impressions
I got my
last night when they predicted I would. They said by 8:00 at night…it came at about 7:00.
Setting up was as easy as is to be expected, and that is very easy. I turned the power on, entered my password to connect to my wi-fi (I would have been allowed to skip that), confirmed I was me, and that was it.
It showed me a demo screen for how to do things, similar to what I’d seen on the 7″.
My Carousel was populated, and by default, I did see recommendations at the bottom (“Customers Also Bought”, now sometimes abbreviated as CAB).
It had 37% battery charge life when I got it.
I swiped down, and saw this for Service Activation Needed (although it was already showing me AT&T as an icon near my battery icon).
Tapping that Activation Needed, it took me to “Welcome to DataConnect from AT&T!”
Okay, I want to be careful about this next part.
My experience here may be quite atypical…I don’t think there are a lot of these 4G models out there yet, but I’ll be interested to hear what happens with other people.
It quickly became the most frustrating experience I’ve had using a new Kindle.
The screen kept flickering on and off (I had it both in and out of the case). The lighting on the screen actually looked irregular near one short edge…sort of like the Kindle Paperwhite.
The flickering was at a level that was clearly unacceptable.
It wouldn’t wake up without the power button being used twice. The first time, it would only go to a gray screen…no image.
Clearly, it seemed like a power issue, so I decided I would charge it overnight.
This morning, I was still having problems. At that point, I copied the screenshots I had taken for this post (just like with the Kindle Fire 7″, you can hold the power button and the lower volume button ((the one towards the center of the screen)) at the same time and get a screenshot which is stored in Pictures…and it’s a nice animation so you know it has happened) to my desktop, and did a factory reset.
Yes, that meant it automatically deregistered it, and that I’d have to download content and set up my wi-fi again. I wanted to try that early, before I had much on it.
It seems to be fine this morning so far. Calling Kindle Support has never been an unpleasant experience for me, but I didn’t want to have to send it back (even though they make it as easy as possible).
I’ll have to try it for a day or so and see if the problem recurs, and if it does, I’ll contact them.
Let’s ignore that for now, and I’ll give you some more impressions of it.
The screen is gorgeous: I can tell the difference between this one and the 7″ (this one has more pixels per inch: 1920 x 1200 versus 1280 x 800).
It’s pretty comfortable to hold…it doesn’t feel that much heavier than the 7″, interesting, although I haven’t held it for a long session. It is 6.1 ounces heavier).
The Carousel showed about 20 items when I started, and I believed it is cumulatively adding things as I open them. Oh, another problem at first…even after I downloaded items, it wouldn’t open them, telling me there was a problem with the DRM (Digital Rights Management). Restarting the device took care of that.
Downloading seemed slow before the reset to factory defaults…now it seems fine.
I like the look of the bigger screen! I’ll have to see how it is to carry it around with me compared to the 7″.
The screen seems super responsive to the touch…maybe even too much. In landscape mode, the keyboard is big enough for me to actually type, although I don’t quite have the hang of that. I’ll have to try my Bluetooth keyboard with it.
The keyboard is also different from the 7″. It has an icon of a scissors on the ABC/?123 button (the one that switches you from letters to numbers. Holding that down gives me a bunch of editing tools, including ones for copy and paste. I found it a little confusing at first. You have to use the T with the square around it to select the text, then you can copy.
Drat! The issue with the screen is still there!
It’s easy to identify it now…just setting it lightly down on something causes it to flicker. Plugging in the USB cable causes it to happen. It appears to me to possibly be a loose connection in the power system, a loose battery or something.
I’m going to contact Kindle Support for what I presume will be a replacement.
At least you got to see how to register for the AT&T…
Update: the new one should be here Thursday. It’s not the first Kindle I’ve returned, and the process is simple. I’m always a bit surprised at the lack of information that the Customer Service rep may have about my account, though. I do go through
which means I identify my device before we are on the phone. However, the rep asked me when I had originally ordered this Fire…and I looked it up at
I would have guessed they could see that as easily as I could.
For those of you who don’t know about the returns, you contact them and if return is the right answer (it isn’t always), they e-mail you a link to a return label. You print it out, take it to a UPS store, and that’s it. You do not need to send the defective one back before you get the new one. The one big recommendation I have for you: keep the original packaging material for thirty days at least after you get it…that makes it easy to box it up for return, if necessary.
Update: I went through all of the one star reviews on this model on Amazon…nobody else mentioned this problem, so hopefully, mine was a fluke.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.