The (original) Kindle Fire is Amazon’s three-year old slate that managed to stay relevant in our lives thanks to custom ROMs. So for Throwback Thursday, we took it out from its hiding and flashed it with Android 4.4.2 Kitkat.
The last time we wrote something about the Amazon Kindle Fire was two years ago. It ran Android 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich in April 2012 and Android 4.1.1 Jellybean in July 2012. We also flashed it with Android 4.3 last year which is more stable than the last two.
For an old tablet, we can definitely say that the Kindle Fire is a very tough and capable device. Although it’s running a 1GHz TI OMAP 4430 dual-core CPU, PowerVR SGX540 GPU, and 512MB of RAM, it was able to successfully run on three iterations of Android OS, including Kitkat which is designed to run comfortably even on devices with entry level specs.
I’m not going to discuss the features of Android Kitkat but we’re happy to say that it is the best OS we’ve ever used on the Kindle Fire. It has Google Now Launcher on board for a Nexus-like feel. In case you’re wondering what ROM we used it’s the CM11.0/KK 4.4.2 ROM by twa-priv of XDA. It’s lightweight too as we have 6GB of usable storage out of the claimed 8GB.
Overall performance is snappy and smooth on the Kindle Fire, smoother than Jellybean in my observation and feels brand new. We ran our usual series of benchmark tests to see how it stacks up and here are the results:
* AnTuTu – 9,082
* Quadrant – 2,120
* Vellamo – 1,114 (HTML 5), 331 (Metal)
* NenaMark 2 – 32.2fps
To conclude, it’s amazing to think that a person (the developer) with the right set of tools, software, and spare time, can push the limits and breathe new life into an aging device like the Kindle Fire. My huge thanks to them.
Big manufacturers, on the other hand, can simply decide to pull the plug and leave old devices in the dust with their outdated software to pave way for the new. From a business standpoint, that’s understandable, but for a consumer, that’s a bit unfair. Anyway, our old Kindle Fire is very much alive and still kicking, and it’s not going to retire anytime soon.