Samsung Galaxy Note vs Amazon Kindle Fire

October 8, 2011
26 13 10

    The Samsung Galaxy Note is a 5.3″ device that should be the biggest, yet still pocketable, Android device once it’s on the market. It blurs the line between a tablet and a smartphone. You could watch videos on it, play games, browse the web and read books, too.  This is why it could a much more portable reading and media consumption device, while still being pocketable, than something like a Kindle Fire. So, let’s see how they stack up against each other.

    Samsung Galaxy Note Specs

    • Processor: dual core 1.4 Ghz Exynos chip
    • Display:  5.3″ Super AMOLED + Gorilla Glass
    • Resolution: 1280×800 (285 PPI)
    • Storage: 16 GB
    • RAM: 1 GB
    • Cameras: 8MP rear-camera and 2 MP front-camera
    • Video: 1080p@30fps
    • Body: plastic
    • Weight: 178g
    • Battery: 2500 mAh
    • Connectivity: 3G + Wi-Fi
    • OS:  Android 2.3 Gingerbread

    Amazon Kindle Fire Specs

    • Processor: dual core processor, possibly OMAP 4430, but could be a weaker one to cut costs
    • Display: 7″ IPS + Gorilla Glass
    • Resolution: 1024×600 (169 PPI)
    • Storage: 8 GB
    • RAM: 512 MB
    • Cameras: no cameras
    • Video:  no video recording
    • Body: plastic
    • Weight: 413g
    • Battery: Unknown
    • Connectivity: Wi-fi only
    • OS: Android 2.3 Gingerbread + Amazon’s UI redesign

    Processor

    I suspect that the Kindle Fire’s CPU is weaker than the current crop of dual core chips, but even if it’s a dual core 1 Ghz OMAP 4430, it would still be significantly weaker than the Galaxy Note’s dual core 1.4 Ghz Exynos chip in both computing performance and graphics performance. It may not matter much if you mainly want it for reading books or watching videos, but the difference will be shown in playing games and browsing the web.

    The Kindle Fire does have the Silk browser which should compress web pages and make browsing faster, but you could more or less do the same with Opera Mobile or Opera Mini, if you want your pages compressed by their servers and then delivered to you.

    Display

    The Amazon Kindle Fire has great IPS display, but it’s no match for Samsung’s Super AMOLED, which is even better for media consumption because of the deep blacks and strong contrast it offers, but it’s also better for reading. Why? Because of the almost double PPI (285 vs 169), which makes fonts a lot sharper. For a non-e-ink display, the more PPI the better if you want a more enjoyable reading experience. Although, you’ll still have to deal with backlighting on both devices. But that’s the compromise you have to make if you want to also be able to play games, browse the web and watch movies.

    Body

    As mentioned earlier, the Galaxy Note may be the single best device with the biggest screen that is also pocketable. It’s quite a bit harder to put a 7″ device like a Kindle Fire in your pocket, and even then it has to be in your backpocket, if it fits.

    Both are made of plastic, but the Galaxy Note is less than half as heavy, weighing only 178 grams, while the Kindle fire weighs 413 grams. I expected the Kindle Fire to be much lighter, considering Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Tab 7.7 will have about 335 grams. It will be bigger but weigh almost 100 grams less. I suppose Amazon didn’t want to spend too much money on slimming down the device.

    Market

    With the Galaxy Note you get the complete Android Market with over 250,000 applications. On the Kindle Fire you only get a few thousand (granted most are high quality and hand-picked by Amazon). But you still can’t sideload apps to the Kindle Fire, and you won’t be able to use any of Google’s apps on it. Plus, you will have to pick your choice of ecosystems – it’s either Google or Amazon. At least on Google’s ecosystem, you can still take advantage of some of Amazon’s apps. On Amazon’s ecosystem’s, not so much.

    Additional Considerations

    The Kindle Fire is intended first as a reader, and then as a tablet that allows you to use other types of media. If you are looking for a direct pipeline to Amazon’s media ecosystem, and desire the additional functionality that a regular Android device provides, plus the stylus, pen type functionality that the Galaxy Note affords additionally, then the Kindle Fire is a sound choice – particularly considering its price. The Galaxy Note is intended to be more like the one device to help you get rid of all the other devices. It’s a smartphone, it’s a reader, it’s a tablet, a gaming device, and so on. So at the end of the day, you’ll have to decide if you want a more specialized device like the Amazon Kindle Fire that costs only $200, no contract, or a “all-in-one” device like the Samsung Galaxy Note that will probably cost $200 on contract, or over $500 unlocked. What would be your choice?

    Which device is better?

    View Results

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    Comments

    • http://www.facebook.com/benjaminwt Benjamin Turner

      samsung hands down

    • internet idiot

      When can I get one here in the states??

    • Jon Garrett

      they want $900 for the note, WTF is gonna buy that?

      • Daniel Holmes

        I just did.

        Basically, good phone off plan = $700. Galaxy Note = $900. The difference in hardware is more than worth an extra $200, especially considering I dont need to buy a tablet.

        • Ben

          Your calculation is spot on. As a slight adjustment, two months later after your comment, I bought mine for $689. And yes, I’m using off plan too.

    • Brian Worhatch

      Galaxy Note is way better but they are different devices. Note is more like a phone while the Fire is just a tablet. Which will sell more and be more successful? My guess is the Fire

    • Top Gear

      The idea that this has a future in a world where the Fire exists is ridiculous, laughable, and pitiful.

      The Kindle Fire is intended first as a reader, and then as a tablet that allows you to use other types of media.

      This is an utter lie. It’s obvious that Amazon has positioned it as a video and music player and ebook reader on equal grounds.

      If you are looking for a direct pipeline to Amazon’s media ecosystem, and desire the additional functionality that a regular Android device provides, plus the stylus, pen type functionality that the Galaxy Note affords additionally, then the Kindle Fire is a sound choice

      This is a horribly worded paragraph.

      t’s a smartphone, it’s a reader, it’s a tablet, a gaming device, and so on.

      This is a horribly pointless sentence. How many tablet users want a smartphone in their tablets? How is the Amazon Fire not a reader, when you just said it was? And yes, it’s a tablet. Good job mentioning the obvious, and I must admit I do wonder if being a tablet will help sells, as opposed to the other tablets out there, which obviously aren’t as quite tabletly as this tablet, because those tablets don’t have the fact that they’re tablets going for them. And what games? I’m sure the Fire will play the same ones and will attract more developers than any vanilla Android tablet. This will of course push development into games for other Android tablets, but it’s the Fire that will attract the devs.

      So at the end of the day, you’ll have to decide if you want a more specialized device like the Amazon Kindle Fire

      Can’t you see that people want these $200 specialized tablets? Look at what B&N is doing with Hulu. Yet the traditional Android tablet makers can’t see the problem. Neither can you. SD support, usb file hosting, and customization options will not win any major marketshare. But tying into the Amazon marketplace and Amazon Prime at a cheap price will. It’s why B&N are hooking up with Hulu (and hopefully Netflix).

      Amazon and B&N know how to compete in this new market that the iPad has created. Other vanilla Android manufacturers do not (HTC, Samsung, etc).

      The idea that any vanilla Android tablet is a serious competitor to the Fire or iPad is a joke. And anyone who suggests such a thing loses all credibility.

      • Joeaboujaoude

        while i agree with you on the statements and comments regarding the quality of the article, i have to disagree on the end conclusion. there are those of us who do not find it comfortable to carry around two devices the latter being a 7″ tablet or even 10 if your an ipad fan. the note gives us a chance to consume the same media while avoiding the exra baggage. furthermore, the two cannot be compared , how can you think to compare a 800$ smartphone with a 200$ tablet. they are for different costumers with different features and different price tags to match.

      • Ben

        Soooo … why don’t you just go ahead and speak for all of us?

    • Jas

      For the galaxy note, can you get a kindle app for it and read textbooks for school?

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