Road to Disappointment: The Amazon Fire HD 6

Amazon normally deserves the all-around-awesome award. It’s because of this that I am pained to admit I’ve become quite disappointed with them recently. My disappointment is thanks to the Fire HD 6…. please allow me to provide some background to explain why…..

The Amazon Fire HD 6

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My original intent was to get the newer 7″ version and ordered four (one for each family member) the day after Thanksgiving. Disclaimer – I’m not a Black Friday shopper. Our whole family is a firm supporter of Small Business Saturday. The order was shamefully placed on Black Friday only because I feared stock levels would quickly vanish and I’d be shit out of luck. A few days after placing the order I saw that it the status changed and now it wasn’t expected to be fulfilled until a month later – after Christmas. Fearing that my family’s “big present” wouldn’t arrive in time, I opted to cancel the order and pay MORE for the Fire HD 6 since that showed in stock. A quick glance at the technical aspects reaffirmed my decision; Fire HD 6 seemed like an all around better device and thus Christmas morning would be saved.

 

Soon after I received half of my order (the tablets meant for my wife and I) while the other half (which was meant for my kids) was evidently delayed. Every few days my inbox chimed with new Amazon-estimated anticipated delivery dates. Each time they sent a request for me to approved later deliveries. Them: “Do you still want your order?” Me: “Yes, god dammit. It’s all my kids want for Christmas.” Those dates came and went while my anxieties flourished. The whole purchase had transformed into a stressful experience – something that I’d never gotten from my dealings with Amazon.

 

The delay grew longer and longer until it was suddenly the week of Christmas – nearly a month after placing my original order. My trust in their online order tracking was totally diminished. Finally, I contacted Amazon support. As per their usual, they flexed their customer service muscle and resolved the issue. The colored tablets I ordered were no longer available so my kids had to settle for black ones (they’ll live). Amazon even credited me the difference for expedited shipping and the sale price to match what I originally paid. It took a second request before my refund was actually issued, but in the end I was satisfied.

 

All seemed to be well after the big reveal. My kids were ecstatic about having their own electronic escape. Amazon has structured an excellent parental control system so I can remotely stop their use before it turns into chemical dependence. It was a lot of fun watching them explore the functions while embracing different qualities in their own way. I was so pleased with the foothold Amazon had formed in my house, that I decided to sign up for their Prime Service to further my support. Amazon would have to share my soul with Google…. There’s plenty to go around.

 

It didn’t take long for my son to fill his 8GB memory capacity with stupid videos or animations of his own design. Since my own tablet had already become moderately full, I made my first Prime purchase a five pack of 16GB micro SD cards. Isn’t it nice how you can expand the capabilities of phones or tablets with a memory card the size of a multivitamin? But wait…. where the hell is the micro SD port? The Fire HD 6 inexplicably was not designed with any manner of card port. I’m kicking myself for not reviewing the specs for longer than a quick glance.

 

As a whole, the device could have been the best tablet/reader around for the price. The screen is bright (even if it could use a better night reading function), the sound is decent, and the learning curve isn’t insurmountable. I’d happily recommend it… but now I can’t do that. Yes, this review is more like a long rant. I probably would have received it better if my order experience went as smoothly as Amazon typically is. Without that buffer of satisfaction, I had little problem dropping my rating solely due to this unnecessary limitation. Otherwise you’d be reading an 8.5 review.

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Amazon has supposedly addressed many of these failings in newer versions. Are improvements expected in new models? Of course! What has me angry is that this shouldn’t have been an area that needed improving. Hell, even the lesser version (that I originally TRIED to buy) has expandable memory. Remember Pocket PCs? I had one around 15 years ago back in High School. It took months upon months of saving to buy that big, dinky, and fairly useless device. Even with all of those qualities, I can say that IT HAD AN SD SLOT!

 

My rating of the Amazon Fire HD 6 is a shameful 4.5 out of 10.

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Next time I have a tablet purchase it will most likely be outside of Amazon. You let me down, Amazon. Kindly return some of my soul now.

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