7
   

Kindle Fire or iWhatever or a smartphone?

 
 
Reply Wed 2 Jan, 2013 09:08 am
Mo wants one of these type of gizmos for his birthday. I'm thinking I have about $300 to spend.

He has a smartphone now but it's an older one and not very good. I see pluses to an updated phone: it is a phone, it fits in your pocket.

Tablets (is that the right word?) seem to be more versatile though. The larger screen makes it easier to read on, game on, investigate on.

I admit I'm kind of biased against Apple stuff just because it seems so cultish and hipstery. I understand that they're pretty good and usually worth the extra money though.

What say you, O Gadget Gurus of A2K? Where would my money be best spent?

Thanks!
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jan, 2013 11:04 am
@boomerang,
Hmmmm....

Maybe the better question to ask is:

Do you have one of these devices or have you bought one for your kid? What made you choose the one you did? Are you happy with your decision?
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  3  
Reply Wed 2 Jan, 2013 11:29 am
@boomerang,
Apple iPads are plain out and out TOO EXPENSIVE. The Kindle Fire though not as flashy as an iPad or a Samsung equivalent would be a great tablet for Mo given his age and his needs.

With a new smartphone, do you mind paying the excessively expensive dataplans? The Kindle Fire could be used off of wifi so you don't have to go with the additional data plan. Buy him the Kindle Fire and take some of the money saved (since you're not spending the entire $300 plus on an iPad) and purchase the additional warranty/insurance.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jan, 2013 11:37 am
@tsarstepan,
We get our phone plans through Mr. B's office so we'd just have to buy the phone outright -- that puts it in the same price range as the Kindle or the Apple.

The Kindle I'm looking at for him costs $300.

I'm looking at some head to head comparisons and veering towards the Kindle. Since I have an Amazon account and have been considering getting Amazon Prime it kind of makes sense.

I agree with the Apple stuff being too expensive. I think you pay extra for the logo.
mismi
 
  4  
Reply Wed 2 Jan, 2013 12:00 pm
@boomerang,
My boys (twins 12 and a 9 YO) do not have phones yet. But I did just buy them an itouch 5. We like portable. The kindle fireHD (very close runner up) is less portable (as in - they like putting them in their pockets) and we already have an extensive itunes library for music and apps. Those are our reasons. We really really love the itouch 5's though. The screen is bigger than the old models and it is so light and easy to carry. Although - I am sure they would have loved to have the Kindle Fire as well. The swaying fact was that we had the iTunes account and so many apps.

I have avoided the whole droid/smartphone craze - just because I am a technophobe as a whole. But I did just get an iPhone recently...mainly because we could buy one for $1 as an upgrade and we were paying so much for overages on our old contract. It was a wash - and I must say - I love it. Even though it is just a 4 - it has been amazing. It is so easy and user friendly!

The boys can text and face time with friends from home or wherever there is wifi on their 5's. I have a tracphone for them if they are going to be somewhere they need a phone. But that happens so rarely.
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Wed 2 Jan, 2013 03:03 pm
@mismi,
Oh interesting!

I didn't even know about the ipod touch. I'll have to look at that closer.

We have all of our music on the Amazon cloud so that might be something I should consider in favor of the Kindle.

I was also thinking I could drop Netflix and get Amazon Prime -- they have movies AND books in their lending library. Since I have a Kindle too, that's another plus on their side.

Off to check out the iTouch!.....
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  4  
Reply Wed 2 Jan, 2013 03:59 pm
@boomerang,
You need to determine what the use of the device will be, and then pick the best device.

If he needs voice, or mobile data, then a smartphone will be the best bet. (Personally, I'd recommend a good Android smartphone.)

If he needs iTunes, then an iPad or iPhone might make sense... I agree with you that they tend to be overpriced, but on the other hand they're excellent for people who are non-technical.

If he wants to access Amazon Instant Video from the device, then the Kindle Fire is probably a good choice. Beware that the shipping version of the Kindle Fire does not support the Google app store (now called Google Play). (It can be made to access Google Play, but it's rather technical.)

If he doesn't need Amazon Instant Video, then I'd suggest that you consider the Nexus 7. It's an Android device, about the size of an iPad mini. You can install a Kindle app, and use it as a Kindle. You can access Google Play. Retail is about $250.

boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 2 Jan, 2013 05:34 pm
@DrewDad,
Thanks DrewDad! I'll look at that Nexus 7. It sounds pretty cool.

Is Google Play better than the Kindle Apps store?

He already has a smartphone but it is an older model (as is mine).

Honestly I think it would mostly be used for games, reading and watching videos.
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Thu 3 Jan, 2013 07:33 am
@boomerang,
Netflix has an Android app, but Amazon Instant Video does not. For me, that's the tipping point for Kindle Fire vs Nexus 7.

Google Play is where the vast majority of Android apps can be found.

(Technically, the Kindle Fire is an Android device, but Amazon is trying very hard to marry it to their app store and to cut out other Android devices from accessing their video service.)

Google play offers music and movies in addition to apps.

Amazon Instant Video has a bunch of free videos, if you're an Amazon Prime member.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jan, 2013 07:41 am
@DrewDad,
Quote:
but Amazon is trying very hard to marry it to their app store and to cut out other Android devices from accessing their video service.)

I don't believe that Amazon is that stupid as to totally make their Amazon streaming usable (strictly proprietary) only for the Kindle.

But I do agree with your previous assessment DD that the Nexus is a far superior tablet to the Kindle Fire. The Kindle Fire is basically an Amazon content delivery machine. Not saying that's a bad thing. I just think it's perfectly fine for someone Mo's age. Anything more powerful might be a tad overkill for his age group. Since it will be his first tablet, I'd suggest the cheaper version if not the cheapest version. Not much of loss if he gets too squirly and finds a way to brick the tablet by going to a suspect website or downloaded a suspect app.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jan, 2013 11:35 am
@DrewDad,
This may be a stupid question...

Why would Amazon not want other devices to access their video? They charge for the video unless you have Amazon Prime. Wouldn't that just be extra money for them?

This stuff is so confusing.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jan, 2013 11:39 am
@tsarstepan,
Mo shares my computer with me and so far he hasn't done anything to muck it up so I'm not overly concerned that he'd muck up a tablet.

I've found that the cheapest version of things usually turns out to be the most expensive option for us as we end up having to upgrade so soon.

I've been looking at some comparison sites between the Nexus and the Fire but still haven't reached a conclusion. I think it will be between these two items though....
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Thu 3 Jan, 2013 12:07 pm
@boomerang,
It's a strategic move to get more people on Kindle Fire. (Most) Kindle Fire users are locked into the Amazon app store.

Historically, this "walled garden" is successful in the short term (initial Macintosh computers, iPhones, etc.), but not successful in the long term (later Macintosh computers, Android overtaking iPhone now, etc.).

I suspect they're taking a loss on the Kindle Fire hardware, and hoping to make up the difference in app sales, Amazon Prime memberships, movie rentals, music sales, etc.

Personally, I think it's a mistake. I think the smart money is on a proliferation of Android devices, and they should just be marketing all of their products to the masses.
DrewDad
 
  3  
Reply Thu 3 Jan, 2013 12:13 pm
@DrewDad,
I've just been reading about the Kindle Fire FreeTime app for kids.... looks totally awesome.

Content is too young for Mo, but looks just right for Keetah and Buddy....

I may have to get one of these for my birthday....
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jan, 2013 01:44 pm
@DrewDad,
Oh I see.

I don't look around much and I know next to nothing about apps but it does seem like I see a billion knock off type things.

Okay....

About this app thing.....

There are a lot of games Mo likes to play on my computer. For example: Liquid Measure (he's even got me hooked on that one). Would he be able to play that without buying an app or will he have to buy it?

Do you know?
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jan, 2013 01:48 pm
@DrewDad,
That Free Time thing does look pretty cool for younger kids!

The one thing that is swaying me towards the Fire is that I can tie it to my Amazon account and know everything he's buying. I could set him up on an allowance type thing.

It looks like on the Nexus you have to buy a data plan. If he started buying things would it just charge to whatever card the plan was on? How does that work?
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Thu 3 Jan, 2013 03:06 pm
@boomerang,
The Wi-Fi versions of the Nexus do not require a data plan. The version with HSPA+ does require a data plan.

The Google Play store requires a gmail account, and a payment method for any purchases.

DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jan, 2013 03:08 pm
@boomerang,
I searched on "liquid measure android" and found a game on Google Play. It has fairly bad reviews, though.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jan, 2013 03:11 pm
@DrewDad,
Thanks! I'll be sure I'm looking at the Wi-Fi version then.

So do you have to pay each time or can you set up an account and keep a small amount of money in it?

Thank you for taking the time to answer all my silly questions. I'm hopeless with this stuff!
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Jan, 2013 03:13 pm
@DrewDad,
There are some TERRIBLE versions of Liquid Measure out there.

The good ones give your brain a real workout: http://armorgames.com/play/7295/liquid-measure-2

It starts easy but gets very complicated!
0 Replies
 
 

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